Equanimity (Upekkhā) - Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature


Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature

The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering. The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are: The Three Universal Truths; The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Equanimity (Upekkhā)

          The last seventh factor is “equanimity, upekkhā”. Its characteristic is conveying consciousness and its concomitants evenly. Because of this factor, consciousness and other mental factors do their respective functions properly without being deficient or excessive. It manifests as neutrality.
          There are ten kinds of “equanimity” mentioned in the commentaries. So it is important to know which upekkhā is meant. This enlightenment factor of equanimity / upekkhā is not the same with a neutral feeling (upekkhā) and so on.
          There are five practices which lead to the arising of Upekkhā.
1-    Detached attitude toward beings: To develop equanimity, you need to have a detached attitude toward all beings, thinking” I am reborn here and will depart from here on account of my own Kamma. Whom I am attached to? Or “In reality no living being exists. To whom can I be attached?”
2-    Detached attitude towards things: You can develop equanimity by reflecting on the ownerless-ness and emptiness of things, thinking, “This thing will get old, decay and one day is thrown away …so on.”
3-    Avoiding people who are egotistical towards other living beings.
4-    Avoiding people who are egotistical with regard to things.
5-    Inclining towards equanimity: Inclining and bending your mind towards having equanimity in all postures will help to achieve these qualities.
          When these Seven Factors of Enlightenment are present, meditators will know that they are present and when they are absent, will know they are absent. When meditators have attained Arahant-hood, all these seven factors reached perfection. So Arahants dwell contemplating on these factors when they arise, internally in their mind as well as externally in other persons and sometimes both internally and externally. They will come to see that there are these factors only, not a being, not a person. Meditators, seeing this way, live independently and do not cling to anything in the world.

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