equanimity

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

equanimity

Postby siddhartha2010 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:31 am

Hi all,

I have been practising goyenka ji tradition for five years have sat few 10 day courses, satipatthana as well and have been meditating daily rougly 3, 4 hours. I understand we are suppose to remain equanimous to every experience. But when I read some of your comments I see nimitta, bhanga and other concentrative stages and so on. I am happy with the way it is going and am not expecting this or that stage. maintaining equanimity to every situation is the teaching. my question is that could it be something that has something to do with the instructions that I am not following.
thank you
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Re: equanimity

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:41 am

Hi siddhartha2010

If what you are doing is maintaining sati and sampajjano and remaining equanimous with regards to anything you are experiencing - then you are following the instructions. Keep in mind that different people progress at different rates. Craving a particular meditative experience actually creates a barrier to its development. So in those immortal words from the 1980s pop song, Don't worry - be happy!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: equanimity

Postby siddhartha2010 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:07 pm

Hi Ben

Thank you.. Your posts are inspring and motivating.
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Re: equanimity

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:18 pm

Thanks. I'm glad I can be of help.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: equanimity

Postby zavk » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:09 pm

Hi siddhartha2010

I'm a student of Goenkaji too. Ever since my first course I've always taken this advice by Goenkaji to heart: 'The only yardstick for measuring progress is how quickly we come out of misery or how much less misery we experience.' These may not be the exact words but I am very sure he said something like that in one of the discourses.

All the best.
With metta,
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Re: equanimity

Postby siddhartha2010 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:21 pm

yes.. he mentioned this on the 3 day course. I find "accept the nature as it is.. nature has manifested the reality as it..I have something to add to it that it "sati and sampajanno" (thanks Ben).
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Re: equanimity

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:38 pm

Hi Ben,

Is maintaining equanimity or being aware of impermanence of sensations, the objective of the practice?
With Metta

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Re: equanimity

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:48 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Ben,

Is maintaining equanimity or being aware of impermanence of sensations, the objective of the practice?


They are mutually dependant.
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Re: equanimity

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:55 pm

PeterB wrote:They are mutually dependant.

I agree. But the question was whether they are the objective. If we're going to talk about "objectives" then basically, I say no they are not. "Release" is the objective.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: equanimity

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:00 pm

Of course they are not the objective. I cant imagine that anyone would actually mistake the means for the end...unless they were politically motivated to ask the question.
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Re: equanimity

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:02 pm

PeterB wrote:Of course they are not the objective. I cant imagine that anyone would actually mistake the means for the end...unless they were politically motivated to ask the question.

So much for not assuming...
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: equanimity

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:09 pm

And the fact that RYB has a history going back to E Sangha of signalling to Ben his aversion to Goenka is of course mere coincidence... :lol:
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Re: equanimity

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:13 pm

:smile: I have become aware of the "history" but I think there's value in the question anyway.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: equanimity

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:24 pm

;)
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Re: equanimity

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:55 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Ben,

Is maintaining equanimity or being aware of impermanence of sensations, the objective of the practice?


What Peter said.
You can't really observe the rise and fall of vedanas without developing equanimity towards vedanas. But the ultimate objective of the practice is liberation. This is something that Goenkaji (and U Ba Khin) have stated over, and over and over again.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: equanimity

Postby fijiNut » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:03 am

*A Special Message From Mother Sayama And Saya U Chit Tin*


While in Sydney for the auspicious Water Festival course in April
1981, Mother Sayama and Saya U Chit Tin were requested to give a message
on Dhamma practise to the students in Australia. This is the message:

"Regarding the training in //Sila//, //Samadhi// and //Panna// our
message is to lay emphasis on Samadhi. Sayagyi U Ba Khin had said: "For a
good experience of Anicca (Impermanence), Samadhi must be good. If Samadhi
is excellent, awareness of Anicca will also be excellent." Sayagyi's
Teacher, Saya Thetgyi, recounted: "My Teacher, Ledi Sayadaw, frequently
reminded me, 'Maung Thet, work on your Samadhi diligently. If the Samadhi
Sasana (teachings of Tranquility) is well established, then the Panna
Sasana (teachings on Insight) will also become established.'"

Ledi Sayadaw was a Burmese monk and a Pali scholar who was known to
scholars of many western countries and perhaps one of the outstanding
Buddhist figures of this age. Saya Thetgyi, therefore, worked earnestly on
Anapana for 7 years and then Vipassana for another 7 years. Finally he was
praised by his Teacher, who authorised him to teach meditation beginning
with a course at the Ledi-Tawya-Taik Monastery of his Teacher. The monk
scholars of his Teacher were among the students of the first batch of his
disciples.

Buddha said, "Develop your Samadhi. If Samadhi is developed then you
see things in their true perspective."...

"The Path must be trodden by each individual; Buddhas do but point
the way".

*Keep Coming back to Anapana-Sati (watching over in- and out-
breathing)*, for, if developed and frequently practised, this will bring
you high reward and great advantage.

When Samadhi (concentration) is established and developed,
contemplation of sensation on the Body will be easy and almost
instantaneous. You will dwell with full energy, clearly conscious,
attentive and fully engrossed, with the understanding and awareness of
Anicca (impermanence), Dukkha (suffering or ill) and Anatta (egolessness
or soullessness).

Sayagyi U Ba Khin summed up thus: "This will give us the "Peace
within" and enable us to share it with all others. We will then radiate
such powerful and purified mental forces as will successfully counteract
the evil forces which are all around us. Just as the light of a single
candle has the power to dispel darkness in a room, so also the light
developed in one man can help dispel darkness in several others."

May all beings be happy

May they be liberated and win the Deathless.

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Re: equanimity

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:41 pm

Thanks Ben, indeed- having developed samadhi, with a mind of equanimity, watching the impermanence of bodily sensations is truly vipassana.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

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Re: equanimity

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:58 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Thanks Ben, indeed- having developed samadhi, with a mind of equanimity, watching the impermanence of bodily sensations is truly vipassana.

with metta

Matheesha


No problem Matheesha.


Hi FijiNut.
When I was in Myanmar recently, I visited U Ba Khin's centre (IMC) three times and I also trecked out to Saya Thetgyi's centre across the Yangon River. Interestingly, monks still take courses of insight meditation at Saya Thetgyi's centre. I'll post photos and a full travelogue one of these days when I get some time!!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: equanimity

Postby zavk » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:38 pm

Ben wrote:When I was in Myanmar recently, I visited U Ba Khin's centre (IMC) three times and I also trecked out to Saya Thetgyi's centre across the Yangon River. Interestingly, monks still take courses of insight meditation at Saya Thetgyi's centre. I'll post photos and a full travelogue one of these days when I get some time!!



Slightly off-topic, but yes, Ben, I'm curious to hear about public attitudes towards bhavana or 'mental culture' in the country. My understanding is that mental culture played a pivotal role in early to mid-twentieth century social and national reforms in Burma. One of the first figure to promote mental culture in the country was Thahkin Kodawhmaing, the highly esteemed 'grandfather' of Burmese postcolonial politics, who not only supported the teachings of Ledi Sayadaw and viewed it as a means for ‘re-establishing freedom from the British’ but also promoted it as a means for national liberation. And as you know, both Mahasi Sayadaw and U Ba Khin taught meditation to cabinet ministers, civil servants and the general laity. But I understand that some political tensions developed around the teaching of meditation with the 'nationalisation' of the country by the military faction. So I'm curious about public perceptions of meditation in Burma or Myanmar as the ruling faction calls it today.

OK, sorry about the disruption. :focus:
With metta,
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Re: equanimity

Postby fijiNut » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:24 am

Ben wrote:
Hi FijiNut.
When I was in Myanmar recently, I visited U Ba Khin's centre (IMC) three times and I also trecked out to Saya Thetgyi's centre across the Yangon River. Interestingly, monks still take courses of insight meditation at Saya Thetgyi's centre. I'll post photos and a full travelogue one of these days when I get some time!!

Please do Ben. I hope to visit Burma one day myself for intensive retreat. Perhaps I could get some travel tips from your travel journals!
:)

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