2020-08-14 Pāramīs (10 of 10) Equanimity
4:04PM Aug 14, 2020
So now we come to the 10th and last of the 10 pāramīs, the 10 perfections. And this is equanimity. The Pali word is upekkhā. And upekkhā literally, etymologically means to have an overview of something. So to have the ability to see the big picture. And so this ability of sitting on a boulder and watching the river below you walk, walk by, washed by or the Buddha gives the analogy of sitting on a hill, above the town and looking down at the hustle and bustle of the town. And having this overview that allows for certain non reactivity, non agitation imperturbability of the mind, peacefulness of the mind. That is what equanimity is. And equanimity is in many many perspectives, little bit like the one of the pinnacles of Buddhist practice. It's one of the sublime wonderful states that precious states that gets stronger and stronger through Buddhist meditation, especially mindfulness practice, but also concentration practice. And the I think, miss some people when they hear the word equanimity, he interpreted as being a kind of indifference or aloofness or a kind of being removed in some kind of way from life. And it's in some ways that that's true in some ways. It's not. It's certainly kind of removed from the ways in which we get attached to things or clinging or reactive to what's going on. So there is that sense of not being caught up or connected. And when people are used to human connectivity, being through the attachments through or needs and wants and clings can feel like the person who's equanimity is no longer doing that is now pulled back. So it can feel that way or in certain kind of way it is. But it is also the opposite is true that equanimity is a little bit like having glasses which are dirty and not knowing it, and then cleaning the glasses and wow, it's really clear now I can see clearly and how wonderful and or the windshield of a car that builds up does slowly over time long drive, and then someone cleans into Wow, that's really clear. And, and it's not so much that we focus on the clarity of the glass, but rather we see much more clearly through the glass through the glasses and his things. Send out much more in highlight or there's a delight and beauty even from seeing that clarity. So with equanimity, it's kind of like that. When the mind has a quantum estate, there's a kind of clarity and openness and even intimacy that's possible. When the opposite of an economists mind is an agitated mind, a mind, a reactive mind, a kind of habitual reactivity. And then actually kind of is more like the dirt on the windshield or the glasses where we can't quite see or we can't really connect so closely. When there's equanimity. The beautiful qualities of heart that we have have more space and room to come out because they're not dominated by the React reactivity. And so it is possible for greater love and greater connectedness than the connections that come from agitation which might feel or come from clinging or or attachment Whereas attachment might feel like we're connected. It's usually not very deep, through strong attachments to people don't really know each other can't know each other very well, except they know they're connected. And for some people that's, you know, pretty wonderful, pretty powerful and pretty reassuring. And once we settle in and feel maybe safe in that clinging relationship, there's deeper and deeper ways of being connected, if we can let go of the of the clinging, let go of the attachment and the equanimity or the openness, the imperturbability, non reactivity begins to settle in and then much more can transpire. Much more can be seen through the clear glasses or something like that.
So equanimity is kind of the pinnacle of Buddhist practice. And in the 10 pāramīs, it's the last one. The ancient texts to talk about these pāramīs say that When dimity perfects the other pāramīs, which I kind of like because the understanding is that you're not going to do the others perfectly, until you get to the end where the last one with equanimity. So good enough is good enough, that don't get don't get caught up in trying to do each of the previous parties perfectly just right. We kind of acknowledge except or realize that until the practice is really deep for us, of course, we're not going to do it perfectly. But we do it good enough. And good enough in terms of Buddhist practice, is good enough to continue developing along the path, continue to grow and move forward. And it's a lot of different ways that we grow on the Buddhist path. And I don't want to just say one way, but I do want to emphasize something which maybe is not emphasized enough and that is that with doing the Buddhist path Are do walking the path. If we walk a path and long enough, our legs get stronger, and becomes easier and easier to walk the path. As you walk the Buddhist path, then all the different practices we're doing requires some doing our part, even if the doing is only to relax and to open, that the muscle of relaxing the muscle of mindfulness that allows us to realize that we're not relaxed, that gets stronger and stronger. So as we do the Buddhist path, there are all these different strengths that develop over time. And, and departments represent some of those strengths. And those strengths, create the balance those strengths, create a support, to make that bold or stronger that we sit down in the river. That the the strength Create the stability that makes it easier to be economists that equanimity is not so some kind of mental capacity that we learn to develop kind of disembodied from everything else. It's really get strong. equanimity itself gets stronger and stronger from the other things are developing on the path. And even if all you're doing is mindfulness practice, a lot of these pāramīs are following along coming along with a practice. And because as we are practicing more in seeing more clearly, it's more and more difficult to want to be miserly or tight with things and more natural to be generous. It's more difficult to harm people through violating the precepts. And so we tend to live more ethically. The more mindful we are, the more we realize when things were hurt by our clinging and attachment. And the more natural it is to let go to renounce certain things. more mindful of who you are, the more wisdom we acquire. The more mindful we are, the more we love mindfulness and delight in the engagement, the effort, the doing of it. And as we do more mindfulness, patience, comes follows and suit, and patience and mindfulness supports patience. Mindfulness helps us to see what's really true. And our ability to connect to truth becomes stronger and stronger. As mindfulness gets stronger, there can be a sense of real understanding of what is important, where's the important places to base our life on. And, and so determination becomes stronger. And then as mindfulness gets stronger, of course, we'll have more loving kindness, the ninth perfection. Because the opposite of that being having a heart that's closed, we realized that limitations of that Pain of that, and so will relax the clothes adness the defensiveness of the around the heart, the armor. And of course, there'll be more sense of goodwill, their kindness there naturally.
And then with all these things supporting us with mindfulness, of course, we start being economists to attend to learn how not to be pick up or react to what's happening, but just to be present for it and see it. So equanimity is kind of the pinnacle of practice. And, and it tends to be strongest in meditation. But also, it's something we bring as a gift into the world and allows us to have greater intimacy greater connections greater, better relationships with people, and rather than keeping us aloof, the non reactivity allows for a greater intimacy, but an intimacy that doesn't interfere with polars over dominating with people or, or somehow a way in which we bring in our attachments into our connection to other people. There's a freedom that's possible. And in that freedom that has less needs, there can be greater intimacy and connection. Classically, the idea of equanimity that the feeling experience of equanimity is also a phenomenal in enabler of the deepest letting go that can happen, that the the letting go of self, the letting go of all our desires temporarily. They're letting go of all the ways in which we are constantly building and constructing this world of ours. That equanimity is sets the stage for things to be so calm and peaceful and quiet and an agitated that a lot because it's so agitated, something can just gave a giveaway, something can finally go to put to rest, something that we can't put to rest of We can't let go of we can't settle. But we bring the equanimity that allows our heart to finally let go release, settle back open up into awakening into freedom.
So that's the pāramīs so thank you so much for this time. And so next week, we'll have a guest teacher here for the 7am teaching. I'm going to be going up into this year as backpacking for a few days. And Nikki Mirghafori, who's a wonderful teacher here at IMC will accompany you and the 7am meditations and teachings and you're very fortunate that to have her I think and I think you'll, you'll enjoy it quite a bit. And and and then we can have our zoom meeting. And I'll try to put it in the bottom of the chat when I as I turn off the YouTube thing here, but it is I think it's at the top of the chat. And it's on insight meditationcenter.org on the what's new on the bottom right, and on the calendar on probably a topic top event in the calendar on the bottom left of that homepage, and there's a password, the password is meta, and METTA. And if you end up in a waiting room, that'll probably be disabled. And then I'll join you in a couple of minutes here. Thank you