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What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
by fullyunenlightened
Not as simple as it sounds.....
Take for example the classic 'someone spits in your face'.......
There could be all kinds of mental and emotional events likely to happen
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:00 pm
by PadmaVonSamba
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Not as simple as it sounds.....
Take for example the classic 'someone spits in your face'.......
There could be all kinds of mental and emotional events likely to happen
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?
are you asking if equanimity is the mere arresting of malicious thought (in this example, concerning the provocateur)?

My understanding is that equanimity is based on the principle that all samsaric beings do whatever they do,
positive, negative, or otherwise, because of suffering, and a desire to have mental peace (be happy).
In this way, you and I and people who help us and those who hurt us are all motivated, ultimately, by the same wish,
which is to be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
So, we regard all beings equally and extend compassion to all beings equally as far as this point is concerned.

If you do this, then you see that a person spitting at you is really very miserable.
You don't have to arrest malicious thoughts when you see someone is suffering.
it's like seeing a frightened dog who snaps at you when you try to get close to help it.
Your first thought automatically becomes one of compassion.
.
.
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Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:03 am
by SteRo
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?
I don't think so because that might be achieved through discipline.

From my perspective concomitants of equanimity are neutral feeling and impartiality and a near enemy of equanimity is indifference.
What is the main difference between equanimity and indifference? I think a concomitant of indifference is selfishness while equanimity is kind of selfless.

:namaste:

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:49 am
by fullyunenlightened
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:00 pm
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Not as simple as it sounds.....
Take for example the classic 'someone spits in your face'.......
There could be all kinds of mental and emotional events likely to happen
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?
are you asking if equanimity is the mere arresting of malicious thought (in this example, concerning the provocateur)?

My understanding is that equanimity is based on the principle that all samsaric beings do whatever they do,
positive, negative, or otherwise, because of suffering, and a desire to have mental peace (be happy).
In this way, you and I and people who help us and those who hurt us are all motivated, ultimately, by the same wish,
which is to be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
So, we regard all beings equally and extend compassion to all beings equally as far as this point is concerned.

If you do this, then you see that a person spitting at you is really very miserable.
You don't have to arrest malicious thoughts when you see someone is suffering.
it's like seeing a frightened dog who snaps at you when you try to get close to help it.
Your first thought automatically becomes one of compassion.
.
.
.
SteRo wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:03 am
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?
I don't think so because that might be achieved through discipline.

From my perspective concomitants of equanimity are neutral feeling and impartiality and a near enemy of equanimity is indifference.
What is the main difference between equanimity and indifference? I think a concomitant of indifference is selfishness while equanimity is kind of selfless.

:namaste:
Ive no doubts that seeing the others' suffering works very well esp. regarding
the spitter.
But I think its limited to people/sentient beings. what about if a big rock accidently
falls on your own foot causing extreme pain? Can be compassionate toward painful sensation?
Or inanimate object like 2 bamboo trees rubbing against each other in the wind producing
an umpleasant screeching sound? i would get agitated and wish the whole forest burns down immediately
I reckon equanimity could handle all of those situations

I am using brute force at the moment. My provocateur gets busy trying to annoy me----I get busy
with my reactive thinking --- like standing at the door "you shall not pass!"
it works! Bit rough but does the job. Brute force.

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:29 pm
by seeker242
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?
More like the lack of production of malicious thought to begin with. There is no "provocateur" because there is no provocation.

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:43 pm
by fullyunenlightened
seeker242 wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:29 pm
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?
More like the lack of production of malicious thought to begin with. There is no "provocateur" because there is no provocation.
Exactly. Equanimity is the deliberate not allowing any kind of thought----zero.
Its looking directly at that thought- creating machine with the intention to stop thinking
and to continue not thinking-----not even allowing a single squeak.

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:21 pm
by Simon E.
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:43 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:29 pm
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?
More like the lack of production of malicious thought to begin with. There is no "provocateur" because there is no provocation.
Exactly. Equanimity is the deliberate not allowing any kind of thought----zero.
Its looking directly at that thought- creating machine with the intention to stop thinking
and to continue not thinking-----not even allowing a single squeak.
This is incorrect. No Buddhist practise attempts to stop or prevent thoughts by an act of will. Equanimity is the usual translation of the Sanskrit “ Upeksha” ..which is best seen not in isolation but as one of the Brahma Viharas which arise together, along with loving kindness, sympathetic joy and compassion. Rather than “ stopping thoughts” ( good luck with that!) one is aware of thoughts.watches them arise and let’s them go. Whether they are thoughts of attraction or of aversion. Equanimity lies in treating those thoughts alike and watching them arise, persist and then pass.

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:20 pm
by fullyunenlightened
Using force to cut thinking actually does work
If those thoughts were not cut---usually they go on and on and turn malicious. can get
so bad you couldnt stop them from going on for a whole hour.

in other words youre saying equanimity is awareness of the arising and passing away of thoughts

I am not letting go of my view that equinimity is the state of not reacting (mentally)

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:38 pm
by Bristollad
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:43 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:29 pm
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?
More like the lack of production of malicious thought to begin with. There is no "provocateur" because there is no provocation.
Exactly. Equanimity is the deliberate not allowing any kind of thought----zero.
Its looking directly at that thought- creating machine with the intention to stop thinking
and to continue not thinking-----not even allowing a single squeak.
So rocks have perfect equanimity? After all they've perfected not thinking, not even a single squeak :twothumbsup:

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:42 pm
by PadmaVonSamba
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:43 pm
Exactly. Equanimity is the deliberate not allowing any kind of thought----zero.
Its looking directly at that thought- creating machine with the intention to stop thinking
and to continue not thinking-----not even allowing a single squeak.
I think now you are setting up a duality:
equanimity vs. non-equinimity.
How will you "continue not thinking" in terms of that duality?
.
.
.

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:50 pm
by Queequeg
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Not as simple as it sounds.....
Take for example the classic 'someone spits in your face'.......
There could be all kinds of mental and emotional events likely to happen
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?
If you've attained equanimity, malice would not occur to you. It would be no different than a raindrop falling on you (I suppose there are some people who could get angry at rain, but they're clearly silly, and probably actually angry about something else).

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:53 pm
by Queequeg
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:49 am
i would get agitated and wish the whole forest burns down immediately
Whoa.

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:54 pm
by Queequeg
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:43 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:29 pm
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Is it the mere arresting of malicious thought concerning the provocateur?
More like the lack of production of malicious thought to begin with. There is no "provocateur" because there is no provocation.
Exactly. Equanimity is the deliberate not allowing any kind of thought----zero.
Its looking directly at that thought- creating machine with the intention to stop thinking
and to continue not thinking-----not even allowing a single squeak.
Sounds exhausting.

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:58 pm
by Simon E.
Precisely. The idea that Buddhadharma anywhere in any tradition promotes an absence of thought is an error. No Buddhist school does. What it promotes is non clinging to thoughts and that includes its apparent opposite, aversion to thoughts.

Not thinking is not an option for most of us ..and anyway is not a Buddhist goal.

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:20 pm
by fullyunenlightened
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:54 pm
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:43 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:29 pm


More like the lack of production of malicious thought to begin with. There is no "provocateur" because there is no provocation.
Exactly. Equanimity is the deliberate not allowing any kind of thought----zero.
Its looking directly at that thought- creating machine with the intention to stop thinking
and to continue not thinking-----not even allowing a single squeak.
Sounds exhausting.
Its not as bad as you think (if its only for a few mins)
its worth it
you dont do this cutting/suppressing/strongly glaring at the source of malicious thought.......you
got to put up with 3 things going on:
hearing the guys insults
the burning feeling of anger
non stop malicious thinking

I am experimenting with different tools

I still stand by 'cutting' is a valid practice-------eg mu. Isnt mu a device for cutting thought?

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:30 pm
by fullyunenlightened
Simon E. wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:58 pm
Precisely. The idea that Buddhadharma anywhere in any tradition promotes an absence of thought is an error. No Buddhist school does. What it promotes is non clinging to thoughts and that includes its apparent opposite, aversion to thoughts.

Not thinking is not an option for most of us ..and anyway is not a Buddhist goal.
Cutting/bit of brute force at a time when insults are thrown at you-----i'm calling it skillful means for that time only

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:44 pm
by Queequeg
Simon E. wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:58 pm
Not thinking is not an option for most of us
If only, Simon, if only...
:rolling:

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:45 pm
by Queequeg
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:20 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:54 pm
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:43 pm


Exactly. Equanimity is the deliberate not allowing any kind of thought----zero.
Its looking directly at that thought- creating machine with the intention to stop thinking
and to continue not thinking-----not even allowing a single squeak.
Sounds exhausting.
Its not as bad as you think (if its only for a few mins)
its worth it
you dont do this cutting/suppressing/strongly glaring at the source of malicious thought.......you
got to put up with 3 things going on:
hearing the guys insults
the burning feeling of anger
non stop malicious thinking

I am experimenting with different tools

I still stand by 'cutting' is a valid practice-------eg mu. Isnt mu a device for cutting thought?
I think what you seem to be missing is, you're not talking about equanimity. Not sure what you are talking about, but its not equanimity. At least as Buddhists understand it.

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:57 pm
by Simon E.
Ah...I think I see. You may be confusing the Buddhist idea of equanimity with the Behavioural technique of thought blocking. Thought blocking can be very useful in certain circumstances..often accompanied by physical prompts like flicking the wrist with an elastic band. This can over time cause a lessening of obsessive and highly charged thoughts.
But that is not what Buddhists are doing when they talk about equanimity.
My suggestion is that you read up on the Brahma Viharas...there is a lot of material online, and in particular on Upeksha.

Re: What exactly is equanimity?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:06 pm
by fullyunenlightened
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:45 pm
fullyunenlightened wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:20 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:54 pm


Sounds exhausting.
Its not as bad as you think (if its only for a few mins)
its worth it
you dont do this cutting/suppressing/strongly glaring at the source of malicious thought.......you
got to put up with 3 things going on:
hearing the guys insults
the burning feeling of anger
non stop malicious thinking

I am experimenting with different tools

I still stand by 'cutting' is a valid practice-------eg mu. Isnt mu a device for cutting thought?
I think what you seem to be missing is, you're not talking about equanimity. Not sure what you are talking about, but its not equanimity. At least as Buddhists understand it.
Been talking about cutting, stopping thoughts, glaring at the source of thoughts and non reaction.....
How close am I to equanimity when practicing any of the above?
I am still looking for a definition
One definition that was given was 'watching the arising and passing away of thoughts'------is that it?
I am not satisfied with that definition because malicious thoughts are heavy reactions
when you are heavily reacting you must be far from equanamous