Moggalana wrote:No Sutta reference, but my understanding is that equanimity is supported by mindfulness while apathy is accompanied by dullness.
"Imagine a bowl of water covered over with slimy moss and water-plants. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was...
"Just so, when the mind is sluggish it is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration and equanimity, because a sluggish mind is hard to arouse through these factors.
"But, monks, when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor of investigation-of-states, the enlightenment-factor of energy, the enlightenment-factor of rapture. What is the reason? A sluggish mind is easy to arouse by these factors.
Love [i.e. metta] imparts to equanimity its selflessness, its boundless nature and even its fervor. For fervor, too, transformed and controlled, is part of perfect equanimity, strengthening its power of keen penetration and wise restraint.
Compassion guards equanimity from falling into a cold indifference, and keeps it from indolent or selfish isolation. Until equanimity has reached perfection, compassion urges it to enter again and again the battle of the world, in order to be able to stand the test, by hardening and strengthening itself.
Sympathetic joy gives to equanimity the mild serenity that softens its stern appearance. It is the divine smile on the face of the Enlightened One, a smile that persists in spite of his deep knowledge of the world's suffering, a smile that gives solace and hope, fearlessness and confidence: "Wide open are the doors to deliverance," thus it speaks.
Equanimity rooted in insight is the guiding and restraining power for the other three sublime states. It points out to them the direction they have to take, and sees to it that this direction is followed. Equanimity guards love and compassion from being dissipated in vain quests and from going astray in the labyrinths of uncontrolled emotion. Equanimity, being a vigilant self-control for the sake of the final goal, does not allow sympathetic joy to rest content with humble results, forgetting the real aims we have to strive for.
Equanimity, which means "even-mindedness," gives to love an even, unchanging firmness and loyalty. It endows it with the great virtue of patience. Equanimity furnishes compassion with an even, unwavering courage and fearlessness, enabling it to face the awesome abyss of misery and despair which confront boundless compassion again and again. To the active side of compassion, equanimity is the calm and firm hand led by wisdom — indispensable to those who want to practice the difficult art of helping others. And here again equanimity means patience, the patient devotion to the work of compassion.
In these and other ways equanimity may be said to be the crown and culmination of the other three sublime states. The first three, if unconnected with equanimity and insight, may dwindle away due to the lack of a stabilizing factor. Isolated virtues, if unsupported by other qualities which give them either the needed firmness or pliancy, often deteriorate into their own characteristic defects. For instance, loving-kindness, without energy and insight, may easily decline to a mere sentimental goodness of weak and unreliable nature. Moreover, such isolated virtues may often carry us in a direction contrary to our original aims and contrary to the welfare of others, too. It is the firm and balanced character of a person that knits isolated virtues into an organic and harmonious whole, within which the single qualities exhibit their best manifestations and avoid the pitfalls of their respective weaknesses. And this is the very function of equanimity, the way it contributes to an ideal relationship between all four sublime states.
Equanimity is a perfect, unshakable balance of mind, rooted in insight. But in its perfection and unshakable nature equanimity is not dull, heartless and frigid. Its perfection is not due to an emotional "emptiness," but to a "fullness" of understanding, to its being complete in itself. Its unshakable nature is not the immovability of a dead, cold stone, but the manifestation of the highest strength.
nathan wrote:in brief, one could care more and another could care less.
Wizard in the Forest wrote:I have heard the difference is marked by compassion, but I doubt this is really the complete difference. Can anyone possibly describe the difference, if possible, with Suttas as a reference?
01. I heard thus. At one time The Blessed One was living in the monastery offered by Anāthapiṇḍika in Jeta's grove in Sāvatthi. The Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus:
Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu endowed with these six things is worshipful, suitable for hospitality, gifts and to honour with clasped hands the incomparable field of merit for the world. What six?
Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu seeing a form is neither pleased or displeased abides mindful and aware with equanimity. Hearing a sound, ... re ... scenting a smell, ... re ... tasting a taste, ... re ... cognizing a touch with the body, ... re ... and cognizing an idea, is neither pleased nor displeased, abides mindful and aware with equanimity.
Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu endowed with these six things is worshipful, suitable for hospitality, gifts and to honour with clasped hands, the incomparable field of merit for the world. The Blessed One said thus and those bhikkhus delighted in the words of The Blessed One.
pt1 wrote:Apathy is in essence a state of consciousness that arises accompanied with unwholesome mental factors of ignorance and aversion (also called unwholesome roots). Since aversion arises, then the consciousness is also bound to be accompanied with unpleasant feeling (feeling is also a mental factor). So, one way to recognise apathy is by the unpleasant feeling that accompanies it. I think the same combination of mental factors (though of different strengths) applies in case of boredom, depression, etc.
Nibbida wrote:Equanimity accompanies appreciative joy and compassion, maintaining the stability, but also in light of not being a separate self.
So this naturally happens when equanimity accompanies compassion (karuna), appreciative joy (mudita), etc, as you mention.It has the characteristic of conveying citta and cetasikas evenly. Its function is to prevent deficiency and excess.
It [equanimity] succeeds when it makes resentment and approval subside, and it fails when it produces the equanimity of unknowing, which is that (worldly-minded indifference of ignorance) based on the home-life.
villkorkarma wrote:Do you mean that one dont feel very good (very very comn) before enligtenment?
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