What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Pål 5/7/15 6:22 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Noah 5/7/15 7:32 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/7/15 10:14 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Pål 5/7/15 11:45 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/8/15 1:33 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Eva Nie 5/10/15 10:22 PM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/10/15 11:29 PM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? CJMacie 5/13/15 8:26 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Pål 5/12/15 3:39 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/12/15 4:20 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/12/15 2:03 PM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/12/15 3:18 PM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? CJMacie 5/13/15 8:50 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/11/15 7:34 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? CJMacie 5/13/15 8:45 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Not Tao 5/7/15 4:20 PM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Pål 5/8/15 9:39 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/8/15 11:06 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/8/15 9:07 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/8/15 7:27 PM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Psi 5/9/15 11:00 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? CJMacie 5/13/15 8:11 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? Pål 5/12/15 3:26 AM
RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided? CJMacie 5/13/15 8:35 AM
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 5/7/15 6:22 AM
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What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

Posts: 778 Join Date: 9/30/14 Recent Posts
Does anybody have an idea of what could be meant by this?

"[...] a disciple of the noble ones considers this point: 'The Blessed One has compared sensuality to a chain of bones, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.' Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness,[1] where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace."

What is bad equanimity and what is good equanimity?
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Noah, modified 7 Years ago at 5/7/15 7:32 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Perhaps he's talking about conventional methods of achieving calmness when he says 'equanimity coming from multiplicity': i.e., if one must counter a frightening thought with a calming solution to the potential problem, then one is locked in the dualistic mode.  In contrast, equanimity coming from singleness might refer to the mind which has unilaterally disembedded from all phenomenon, including consciousness itself, or the mind which is completely absorbed in a given object of samatha.
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/7/15 10:14 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Pål:
Does anybody have an idea of what could be meant by this?

"[...] a disciple of the noble ones considers this point: 'The Blessed One has compared sensuality to a chain of bones, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.' Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness,[1] where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace."

What is bad equanimity and what is good equanimity?
From my view, there is not a good equanimity or a bad equanimity, and there is not one to be avoided.

It looks as though what is being pointed to here is this:

Equanimity coming from multiplicity is when one abides with equnimity towards all sense contact.  One is balanced in regards to the multiplicity of what arises from the internal and external sensations, and one remains equanimous towards these phenomenon.

Develping Equanimity coming from singleness is Fourth Jhana, in Fourth Jhana, there is only one thing left in the mind, and that is Equanimity.  In other words there is no arising of the sense phenomenon to encounter, there is only left the phenomenon of Equanimity itself, and nothing else.

That is the way I see it, anyway.

Psi
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 5/7/15 11:45 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 5/7/15 11:45 AM

RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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@Everyone
Interesting. Although your opinions and ideas ate different about this it feels like you're kind of pointing in the same directions.

@Psi
But don't you think the Buddha is implying that Jhanic/non-dual equanimity is better? 

Btw, I think I read that according to Ajahn Brahm, Jhana (his hard-ass version at least) is a non-dual experience and Ekagatta=Non-duality.
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago at 5/7/15 4:20 PM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Did you see the footnote?  It answers your question. emoticon
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/8/15 1:33 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Pål:

@Psi
But don't you think the Buddha is implying that Jhanic/non-dual equanimity is better? 

No, at first glance, I do not think so, there are different situations requiring different states of consciousness.  
For, example, if you are walking on a busy street and wanted to maintain Equanimity, you can not be in Fourth Jhana.  Both modes of equanimity have their functions as Enlightenment Factors to purify the mind, in different situations.  But, one form of Equanimity supports the other.  You should develop both. In order to follow the Buddhas teachings, anyway.   Maybe you could think of one as Samma Sati, and one as Samma Samadhi.  But, then again, maybe I am getting in over my level of understanding, and maybe not.  I mean there is a lot to consider.  Samma Samadhi is more than just Equanimity, and so is Samma Sati.   I would have to read the entire Sutta, and probably other Suttas, to get into the full context of the situation and to try to unravel the whole of the Buddhas teaching to fully answer your question.  There is the whole path to consider, not just one sentence here and there. It is like trying to explain a rope by looking at a single thread.  But, we can try to learn together, perhaps, one strand at a time. Or, we could just grab the rope and start climbing.

Psi
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/8/15 9:07 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Pål:


What is bad equanimity and what is good equanimity?
I guess a better reply to your answer, in my way of seeing it, is that there is no such thing as a good or bad equanimity.  I think one should develop all forms of equanimity.  But, one should be aware of Indifference, which can disguise itself as Equanimity.  So, one should be wary of developing Indifference, but that is not discussed in your excerpt provided.

Better?

Psi
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 5/8/15 9:39 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Not Tao:
Did you see the footnote?  It answers your question. emoticon


So it means one should always strive for fourth Jhana if one has the oppertunity? 

@Psi 
so you don't agree with the sutta? Or do you read it in anywhere?
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/8/15 11:06 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Pål:
Not Tao:
Did you see the footnote?  It answers your question. emoticon


So it means one should always strive for fourth Jhana if one has the oppertunity? 

@Psi 
so you don't agree with the sutta? Or do you read it in anywhere?
Well, I read the Sutta, and I guess all I can do is practice Equanimity coming from singleness, as I can when I can,  to the best of my ablilities, and see what becomes of it.  Do not know what else to do.??

Ahhh!!  Wait I think it has hit me, yes, Equanimity depending upon the six sense bases is to be abandoned, definitely!  That would indeed lead one round and round, and would be a fabrication of the mind, and thus not independent of conditions, and thus not lead to cessation of dukkha.

So, yes , I agree with the Sutta, one does has to develop Equanimity that is not fabricated and is not dependent upon the sense bases.

So, yes, that is how one should practice, the sutta is correct, in my humble view anyway.  emoticon

But, I am unsure of the translation in the Suttas as equanimity.  I would call it unfettered equanimity or Sunatta, Voidness, but I am not a Scholar or linguist, so I bow out and have to leave this one in the realm of language obscurities.

Perhaps, what is being described are different levels of Equanimity, one mundane and one supermundane, and all spectrums of Equanimity between.  An Unfettered Equanimous mind being the ideal, and the fettered equanimous mind being one to not become attatched to, or as put in sutta, to be  avoided, but we all have to start somewhere !?

That is all I got to say about that, for now, all thoughts subject to Anicca, I reserve the right to change my mind, tax and title not included, buyer beware, humility included, no warranty applicable, coupons not accepted, any and all shipping costs waived at Nibbana, thoughts will be subject to various views, criticisms, judgements, and interpretations.  Mammals need not apply.

Psi
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/8/15 7:27 PM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Pål:
Does anybody have an idea of what could be meant by this?

"[...] a disciple of the noble ones considers this point: 'The Blessed One has compared sensuality to a chain of bones, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.' Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness,[1] where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace."

What is bad equanimity and what is good equanimity?
Mn 137, okay here is  another translation, there is a householder equanimity and a renuciation equanimity.  The householder equanimity is to be avoided.

http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/majjhima/mn137.html



And what are the six kinds of household equanimity? The equanimity that arises when a foolish, deluded person — a run-of-the-mill, untaught person who has not conquered his limitations or the results of action{2} & who is blind to danger{3} — sees a form with the eye. Such equanimity does not go beyond forms, which is why it is called householdequanimity. The equanimity that arises when a foolish, deluded person — a run-of-the-mill,untaught person who has not conquered his limitations or the results of action & who is blind to danger — hears a sound with the ear. Such equanimity does not go beyond sounds, which is why it is called household equanimity. The equanimity that arises when a foolish, deluded person — a run-of-the-mill, untaught person who has not conquered his limitations or theresults of action & who is blind to danger — odors an aroma with the nose. Such equanimitydoes not go beyond aromas, which is why it is called household equanimity. The equanimitythat arises when a foolish, deluded person — a run-of-the-mill, untaught person who has not conquered his limitations or the results of action & who is blind to danger — tastes a flavor with the tongue. Such equanimity does not go beyond flavors, which is why it is called household equanimity. The equanimity that arises when a foolish, deluded person — a run-of-the-mill, untaught person who has not conquered his limitations or the results of action & who is blind to danger — feels a tactile sensation with the body. Such equanimity does not go beyond tactile sensations, which is why it is called household equanimity. The equanimitythat arises when a foolish, deluded person — a run-of-the-mill, untaught person who has not conquered his limitations or the results of action & who is blind to danger — cognizes an ideawith the intellect. Such equanimity does not go beyond ideas, which is why it is called household equanimity.

And what are the six kinds of renunciationequanimity? The equanimity that arises when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms, their change, fading, & cessation — one sees with right discernmentas it actually is that all forms, past or present, are inconstant,stressful, subject to change: This equanimity goes beyond forms, which is why it is calledrenunciationequanimity. The equanimity that arises when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very sounds, their change, fading, & cessation — one sees with right discernmentas it actually is that all sounds, past or present, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change: Thisequanimity goes beyond sounds, which is why it is called renunciationequanimity. Theequanimity that arises when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very aromas, their change, fading, & cessation — one sees with right discernmentas it actually is that all aromas, past or present, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change: This equanimity goes beyond aromas, which is why it is called renunciationequanimity. The equanimity that arises when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very flavors, their change, fading, & cessation— one sees with right discernmentas it actually is that all flavors, past or present, areinconstant, stressful, subject to change: This equanimity goes beyond flavors, which is why it is called renunciationequanimity. The equanimity that arises when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very tactile sensations, their change, fading, & cessation — one sees with right discernmentas it actually is that all tactile sensations, past or present, areinconstant, stressful, subject to change: This equanimity goes beyond tactile sensations, which is why it is called renunciationequanimity. The equanimity that arises when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very ideas, their change, fading, & cessation — one sees with right discernmentas it actually is that all ideas, past or present, are inconstant,stressful, subject to change: This equanimity goes beyond ideas, which is why it is calledrenunciationequanimity.

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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/9/15 11:00 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Pal, 

My current view today on this, haha.  Okay, here we go a little further, and hopefully a little clearer.  Household equanimity, daily , normal , wordly equanimity.  This equanimity is the sense of peace and contentment that everyone gets when the house, or room, is cleaned up, organized, chores are done.  Or when one simply comes home sits in a chair and relaxes.  One is at home, resting.  Therein lies the danger, the danger to be avoided, for this type of equanimity is based upon outer conditions, one is relaxed so much they are ignoring the reality of the mind, and do not feel compelled to train any further, for therein lies the danger.  What then happens when all of the equanimity based upon the wordly house life is shaken up?  Why the mind is also then shaken up.  What if there were robbers that took everything, the mind was depending upon all the house stuff to be equanimous.  What if there was a flood, a fire, a death in the family, termites, water pipe breaks, bills come due, the list goes on.  This type of equanimity is not to be rested upon, in other words.

The Buddha is pointing to not the resting upon the normal wordly equanimity, but suggesting that one train further than that, to train the mind to higher and deeper levels of equanimity, the type of Equanimity that one develops through Wisdom.  Then if there was a flood, a fire, termites, water pipe breaks, bills coming due, then one has an Equanimity that has not been built upon wordly things, and has an equanimity that will better withstand and hold up under the true nature of Reality, because the higher Equanimity comes from understanding the true nature of Reality, there will be no surprises, no shakings of the mind.

So, perhaps, that better explains the two types of equanimity, the type to be developed and the type to be abandoned, and some insight into why one should be developed and the other to be abandoned.

That should be fairly pragmatic and straight forward enough to give one reason to practice towards the higher form of Equanimity, agree? Yay or Nay?

How will we be when the Earthquake comes?

Psi
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CJMacie, modified 7 Years ago at 5/13/15 8:11 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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re: Pål (5/7/15 6:22 AM)" What is bad equanimity and what is good equanimity?"

1) Overall, short of extensive research into MN 54 (and MN 137), I'd chime in with Not Tao – that Than-Geof's footnote explains it. Noting also, that the sutta quotation mentions "avoiding" one for the other, in terms of arriving "at this purity of equanimity & mindfulness" in order to obtain the 3 knowledges. Superimposing "bad" and "good" might be distorting the issue in that context, as Psi suggests.

Psi
also mentions "…one should be aware of Indifference, which can disguise itself as Equanimity.  So, one should be wary of developing Indifference, but that is not discussed in your excerpt provided."

From the quotations Psi provides from MN 137, the 'householder equanimity' would seem to indicate a sort of indifference as lack of insight into, delusion as to the true nature of sensate experience, of not appreciating path-furthering discernment that comes with the 'renunciation equanimity'. The former being also well-argued (by Psi) as the transient, conditioned contentment with favorable conditions, which is inevitably blown away (by the '8 winds').

2) Let me take this occasion to systemtize some thoughts as to the multiple levels of meaning that upekkha ('equanimity') can take in the Pali Canon, which can result in confusion when the term comes up.

a) At the most basic level (according to the PTS dictionary, p.150), upekkha means "looking on" [non-partisan, so to speak], 'hedonic neutrality or indifference, zero point between joy & sorrow'. That refers to a common usage of upekkha as synonym for the 3rd type of vedana (primal feeling tone of sensation). The 1st type is sukha (pleasant, appealing), the 2nd is dukkha (unpleasant, repelling), the 3rd then 'adukkham-asukha', that is 'neither-nor' the 1st and 2nd types, also known in some contexts as upekkha. Note that dukkha and sukha are also used here in a simpler, more primitive sense than we might be used to – not the Dukkha of the 1st Noble Truth, nor the Sukha as realized in the 3rd Noble Truth.

In the words of Caroline Rhys Davids, footnote 3 on p. 128 of her translation of the Dhammasangani (1st book of the Abdhidhamma): ”…upekkha is apparently used as a psychological term only, without ethical implication, and signifies simply neutral feeling" (emphasis added). Her translation was published in 1900, when 'psychological' meant something more like 'phenomenological' than how it's generally used today. In the Dhammasangani, the three main sections investigate:
I. "Katame dhammā kusalā? "'what are skilful states of mind' (she uses "Good States of Consciousness")
II. "Katame dhammā akusalā? "– 'what are unskilful states of mind' ("Bad States of Consciousness")
III. "Katame dhammā abyākatā?"'what are undesignated states of mind' ("Indeterminate States of Consciousness")
[Note, Mrs Rhys Davids colors kusala and akusala as "good" and "bad", as did Pål in his OP.]

In each of these 3 sections, the various dhamma-s ('states of mind') are broken down according to sub-characteristics on several axes, one of which is the primitive vedana dimension of sensation: sukha, dukkha or upekkha (which she translates as "disinterestedness").

This level of usage (analytical /Abhidhammic) is rarely mentioned in modern 'dharma-talks' or discussions, but it lurks in the background and can be considered when coming across the word in sutta-s or other canonical texts. We're much more familiar with more practice-related, developed meanings:

b)
Upekkha as the 4th Brahma-Vihara;
c)
Upekkha as a jhanic factor;
d) Upekkha as inperturbabilty in the face of the eight vicissitudes of life ("Winds").
These three refer to more complex, higher levels of development than (a).

e)
Upekkha as the last, culmination of the '10 Perfections' (paramitas).
f) Upekkha as the last, the culmination of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga).
These two refer to the highest levels of development.

The passage that Pål brought up in OP of this thread perhaps relates to a distinction between householder equanimity as disinterest due to ignorance vs equanimity as something more related to (c) above, and ultimately (f)"When the disciple of the noble ones has arrived at this purity of equanimity & mindfulness, he enters & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having directly known & realized them for himself right in the here & now."

[Edited corrected list labels -- a,b,c,d,e,f]
Eva Nie, modified 7 Years ago at 5/10/15 10:22 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 5/10/15 10:22 PM

RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Paweł K:

Anyhow, you do not avoid any kind of equanimity. Higher state is achieved by refining lower state.
Yeah, I also considered I might have a minor quibble with the terminology of 'avoid' that was chosen.  In one way, it could be considered a minor issue, but word choice does tend to reflect subtle differences in thought.  I think of it not as 'avoid' but more like perhaps there might be advice as to how to develop current stages faster.  But I think each state builds on another like floors in a building.  You can't avoid the 14th floor to get to the 15th, but there may be some advice that can be given that tells how the 14th is layed out and you might move through it more efficiently that way.  But I think an important point is that I think each stage will have to be explored and understand fairly well, its lessons learned and that foundation built, before the next stage can be reached in a stable fashion.
-Eva 
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/10/15 11:29 PM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Eva M Nie:
Paweł K:

Anyhow, you do not avoid any kind of equanimity. Higher state is achieved by refining lower state.
Yeah, I also considered I might have a minor quibble with the terminology of 'avoid' that was chosen.  In one way, it could be considered a minor issue, but word choice does tend to reflect subtle differences in thought.  I think of it not as 'avoid' but more like perhaps there might be advice as to how to develop current stages faster.  But I think each state builds on another like floors in a building.  You can't avoid the 14th floor to get to the 15th, but there may be some advice that can be given that tells how the 14th is layed out and you might move through it more efficiently that way.  But I think an important point is that I think each stage will have to be explored and understand fairly well, its lessons learned and that foundation built, before the next stage can be reached in a stable fashion.
-Eva 
Hi everyone,

This whole avoiding equanimity may just be a bad translation thing.  

Or it could be that the Sutta is suggesting to not become complacent in the worldy equanimty, to not rest on laurels attained from having equanimity dependent upon the six sense bases, in other words worldy equanimity, or normal equanimity. If that is what the Suttas are pointing to I can understand it that way.  It is like depending upon the external world to arouse joy.  When one learns that joy arises from within, and learns how to arouse joy, independent from the external triggers, one is then far less fettered to the world.  So, in this way , the Sutta may also be pointing to Equanimity that is aroused independent of external triggers, and pointing to the development and understanding of Equanimity that is aroused independent of external triggers.

But, indeed, the Equanimity is probably the same Equanimity, as far as emotions go???  Just the difference being that one is dependent upon the world, and the other is independent of the world???
 
Why , again is there never a 13th Floor?

Or,  is Upekkha like the word Snow, where there is 17 or so different kinds of snow, and we just have one word for all of it, in English, Snow?

Sorry, I am rambling out loud.

But, I have come to a conclusion.  My view anyway.  Yes, it is best to avoid the equanimity dependent on the worldly conditions and develop the equanimity independent of worldy conditions.  In this way, one can arouse Equanimity no matter what is going on in the world around us.  

Like when a child is screaming and crying, I find this an excellent time to practice the arousal and maintaining of Equanimity.  I mean anyone can have Equanimity when a child is taking a nap!  But to maintain Equanimity when the child is either screaming and crying or taking a nap, that type of Equanimity is much more profitable, for everyone.  Maybe that better explains what the Sutta is pointing to??

And indeed, I wish I had been practicing when my daughters were youngsters, I could have been such a better Father for them.  But back then I thought the Buddha was a fat Chinese good luck statue....  Ignorance is not bliss.

Psi
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CJMacie, modified 7 Years ago at 5/13/15 8:26 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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(Edit: added section on further detailsin MN 137, below highlighted)

Paweł K:
"Anyhow, you do not avoid any kind of equanimity. Higher state is achieved by refining lower state."

Eva M Nie:

Yeah, I also considered I might have a minor quibble with the terminology of
'avoid' that was chosen.  In one way, it could be considered a minor issue, but word choice does tend to reflect subtle differences in thought.  I think of it not as 'avoid' but more like perhaps there might be advice as to how to develop current stages faster…"

(Long story, detailed investigation. If boring, just skip to the last paragraph.)

Good point, Eva, investigating the term 'avoid'. I checked out the Pali, but that is what it says: "abhinivajjetvā" – avoid, get rid of.

So I looked at the context more closely: Potaliya was asking how to "cut off affairs in the Noble One's Discipline." (These "affairs", presumably of the householder's life, are perhaps the "multiplicity," or diversity, variety, manifoldness.) The Buddha offers the metaphor of a butcher throwing bones with no meat left on them to a hungry dog. Would that satisfy the dog? No. So… (the passage quoted by Pål in the OP).

There the Buddha compares the bones, stress, despair, drawbacks (again, householder's palette of problems) to sensuality (as in seeking satisfaction in the normal day-to-daythings in the householder's life). Then comes the equanimity bit. The word upekkha (equanimity) appears here for the first time in this sutta, so there's no prior reference here for the sort of equanimity "coming from, dependent on multiplicity". But the statement begins "Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is…", i.e. a vipassana task emphasing the goal where "he develops the equanimity coming from singleness". That is, cutting off affairs means focusing single-mindedly on the path(s), indifferent to, or at least unperturbed by all else; avoiding anything that may distract.

As Than-Geof points out, MN 137 treats similar ideas, as seen in the quotations Psi listed. An important clue comes earlier (than what Psi quoted) in that sutta: (p.1067 in B.Bodhi's book)
(Under the heading "eighteen kinds of mental exploration")
"On seeing a form with the eye, one explores a form productive of joy, one explores a form productive of grief, one explores a form productive of equanimity. 1236"

Cakkhunā rūpaṃ disvā
somanassaṭṭhānīyaṃ rūpaṃ upavicarati, domanassaṭṭhānīyaṃ rūpaṃ upavicarati, upekkhāṭṭhānīyaṃ rūpaṃ upavicarati.

Footnote 1236 (p. 1348):
"MA [the commentary on the Majjhima Nikaya explains it thus]: Having seen a form with eye-consciousness, one explores a form which, as an object, is a cause of joy (grief, equanimity)."

Further in MN 137 (p. 1067 in B.Bodhi translation), the 6 sense-bases are each associated with the 3 vendanas (here as joy, grief, 'equanimity'), giving the "18 kinds of mental exploration"; then, multiplied by the two axes of 'householder' and 'renunciate', that yields "the 36 positions of beings." A very Abdhidhamma-like analytic systemization, which doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong, or doesn't go back, in some way, to G. Buddha, but, as we have discovered here, it's a less direct and vivid teaching, where interpretation can be problematic.

(MN 137 is the "
Salayatana
vibhanga Sutta - The Exposition…" 'Vibhanga' (distribution, division, classification) is also the name of the 2nd book of the Abhidhamma (aka "The Book of Analysis"), and in Ajahn Sujato's grand theory ("GIST") of the historical stratification of the Pali Canon (in "The History of Mindfulness") he makes a case that a proto-form of the Vibhanga book originates in the same time frame that the sutta-s were being formulated, and some material in the Vibhanga is actually relatively 'early'.)

Then (p. 1069) the "six kinds of
equanimity based on the household life" (one with each of the sense-bases) are explained, where B. Bodhi, in footnote 1241 (p.1348) quotes the commentary ("MA" – the Majjhima Nikaya Atthakatha): "This is the equanimity of unknowing that arises in one who has not conquered the limitations imposed by the defilements or the future results (of action). It "does not transcend form" because it is stuck, fastened to the object like flies to a ball of sugar."

So it does look like 'householder equanimity' here is an Abhidhammic mental
vendana quality ("unknowing", i.e. ignorance, disinterestedness that ignores insight) of the uncultivated mind, rather than any kind of practiced cultivation.

On p.1070-71, "
equanimity that is diversified" comes in, i.e. regarding the diverse forms, sounds, odors, flavors, tangibles… "depending and relying on equanimity that is unified… abandon and surmount equanimity that is diversified…" Abandon = avoid. It then does look like this sutta explains that reference in MN 54 that the OP cites. The uncultivated equanimity of multiplicity (Than-Geof) / diversity (B.Bodhi) is to be avoided, surmounted, with right discernment (cultivation) and the equanimity of singleness (Than-Geof) / unity (B.Bodhi).

In MN 137, with this group of 3: 'joy, grief, equanimity' is not exactly the primal vedana-s I referred to earlier, but related. In the Abhidhamma (and very likely also somewhere in the sutta-s) it's said there are actually 6 flavors of feeling-tone (vedana):
3 bodily: sukha, dukkha and upekkha, and
3 mental: somanassa, domanassa, and upekkka.

The 'bodily' ones are closer to the primal ones (or the neural 'emotions' in Antonio Damasio's sense), the relatively raw or bare sensations. The 'mental' ones (in MN 137) are more the mental reactions, fabrications that result. (On 'somanassa' and 'domanassa': 'Mano' is one of the Pali words for 'mind', and the 'so-' and 'do-' are variants of 'su-' and 'du-' as in 'sukha' and 'dukkha', meaning something like 'smooth' and 'rough'.)

It could also be that the text in MN 54 is incomplete, based on poor memory, mis-copied, or otherwise mangled. This stuff has had a long and patchy history. Looking closely, one begins to sense the difficulties, the need for close reading, breadth of knowledge of the suttas, and carefuly analysis, and sometimes simply a "don't know" attitude.

Anyway, it would appear that the 'multiplicity equanimity' (MN 54) isn't really a developmental level of practicing equanimity, but rather refers to an basic aspect of sensate experience minus any degree of awakening. So it's not saying 'avoid' developing practice-, path-type equanimity ( 1st floor and higher ), but rather 'avoid' unmindful, ignorance-based neutral states of mind (stuck in the basement, or
like flies to a ball of sugar).
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/11/15 7:34 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Eva M Nie:
Paweł K:

Anyhow, you do not avoid any kind of equanimity. Higher state is achieved by refining lower state.
Yeah, I also considered I might have a minor quibble with the terminology of 'avoid' that was chosen.  In one way, it could be considered a minor issue, but word choice does tend to reflect subtle differences in thought.  I think of it not as 'avoid' but more like perhaps there might be advice as to how to develop current stages faster.  But I think each state builds on another like floors in a building.  You can't avoid the 14th floor to get to the 15th, but there may be some advice that can be given that tells how the 14th is layed out and you might move through it more efficiently that way.  But I think an important point is that I think each stage will have to be explored and understand fairly well, its lessons learned and that foundation built, before the next stage can be reached in a stable fashion.
-Eva 


I do want to also add that the above views do also seem to be correct.  There seems to be different levels of Equanimity, and there really is not a bad Equanimity or one really to be avoided in the sense of true Equanimity.  I think the Sutta would have better to be defined as saying, A Practioner should avoid becoming attached to being content with the world, and practice Equanimity that is independent of the world.  Using the word Equanimity to explain both states of consciousness is just confusing.  Again, maybe not translated well, maybe there was a word mix up over the last couple of thousand years, or maybe Pali does not have a different word for this.  emoticon

Psi
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 5/12/15 3:26 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 5/12/15 3:26 AM

RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

Posts: 778 Join Date: 9/30/14 Recent Posts
I thought b), c), d) and e) was the same thing, which explains why fourth Jhana is so important for suttaic enlightenment. 
But through focusing on a),we can cultivate the rest, right? 
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 5/12/15 3:39 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 5/12/15 3:39 AM

RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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this makes sense! So the "worldy" equanimity is actually to be avoided through meditative equanimity.
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/12/15 4:20 AM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Pål:
this makes sense! So the "worldy" equanimity is actually to be avoided through meditative equanimity.
I think it is more than just during meditation, it seems to me, to be referring to a 24/7 Equanimity.  I have to review Sutta again though.

Psi
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/12/15 2:03 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 5/12/15 1:21 PM

RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Psi:
Pål:
this makes sense! So the "worldy" equanimity is actually to be avoided through meditative equanimity.
I think it is more than just during meditation, it seems to me, to be referring to a 24/7 Equanimity.  I have to review Sutta again though.

Psi
Pal

First we should identify the Sutta, so this small passage you, we, us are referring to is not taken out of context.

MN 137  

Salayatana-vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Six Sense-media



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.137.than.html


http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/majjhima/mn137.html

http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=171

http://www.yellowrobe.com/component/content/article/120-majjhima-nikaya/279-salyatanavibhanga-sutta-the-exposition-of-the-sixfold-base.html

Psi

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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 5/12/15 3:18 PM
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RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Just a couple of interesting points to add to discussion, 

“Bhikkhus, by depending and relying on non-identification, abandon and surmount equanimity that is unified, based on unity. It is thus this is abandoned; it is thus this is surmounted.“So it was in reference to this that it was said: ‘Therein, by depending on this, abandon, that.’

Above we have reference to Atammayatta.  Basically, even the Equanimity of unity is abandoned and surmounted. Going back to the analogy of levels upthread by Pawel, Eva , and Chris.   But, my point, is that Equanimity of unity, while even this must be abandoned later, must first be practiced and developed.  For instance, one can not let go of that with which they do not have in their hand.

Which can be studied further here, 

http://www.suanmokkh.org/archive/sk/atm_lostword.htm


Also of note, 

 To one who knows as it really is that all forms are impermanent, changing, unpleasant things, in the past as well as now with right wisdom, arises equanimity, that equanimity leaps beyond that form, therefore it is said clinging to non-sensual equanimity. 

That section above is Insight Wisdom, all forms are Anicca, Dukkha, and implication would be Anatta, and from this arises Equanimity based upon Wisdom.  In context, this type of Equanimty is also a higher level of equanimity than even the unity equanimity, from what I can tell, anyway.  And indeed, this fits in very nicely with what Daniel is trying to explain with his book, MCTB and being aware of the Three Characteristics.

Really just wanted to note those couple of things for now, and perhaps, that the Sutta also shows that the unity Equanimity is also transcended through the higher jhanas.  It is really showing that Equanimity should be practiced, but that, while comfortable, is not the end game.  Again, in my view as a layperson practioner.

And actually, Householder Equanimity would be pretty good right now, as House Payment is due, Truck Broke down, and if I had a dog, I could write a song...  emoticon

What else can I do? but fix stuff, and practice, practice while fixing stuff.  Mindfully I am aware of breathing in while replacing the serpentine belt, Mindfully I am aware of breathing out while replacing the serpentine belt.  And actually that was Sunday , in the rain, and it broke anyway, the second time I turned over the engine.  Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta, It is true!!!  Gotta laugh at it!

Sorry for the ramble, just keeping it real...

Psi
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CJMacie, modified 7 Years ago at 5/13/15 8:35 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 5/13/15 8:29 AM

RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

Posts: 856 Join Date: 8/17/14 Recent Posts
re: l (5/12/15 3:26 AM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)
"I thought b), c), d) and e) was the same thing, which explains why fourth Jhana is so important for suttaic enlightenment."

(Oops – found erroneous numbering in my post – b,c,
d,d,e – have edited to b,c,d,e,f)
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5724988#_19_message_5726107

Yes and no, IMO. Yes, all equanimity is a sense of mental even-handedness, detachment. But in each of (b)-(e) the context, the object field is different. (f) is consumate.

In the 4th Brahma-Vihara (b)  detaching from the focusing (BV 1-3) on other beings.
In the 4th jhana (c),detaching from experiencial pleasure and pain (bodily), and joy and grief (mentally).
In (d) detachment from reactivity tothe 'winds of change' in life situations.
(I don't know that much about (e) the10th paramita; I think it's more a Mahayana thing.)
In (f) the culminating bojjhanga/ Factor of Enlighenment, equanimity is absolutely fully 'established' in the mind (as arahat), applying to everything, encompassing all the above.

"But through focusing on a), we can cultivate the rest, right?"
In a sense, but there's more to it. (a) explains the basic tri-partite distinction among feeling-tones in sensations. In a Mahasi/MTCB approach starting with sensation, sensation, sensation,… the path will lead to the higher cultivations, as least to (f), the others as side-effects when one practices them specifically.

BUT in other flavors of Theravadan practice, just the Brahma-Vihara-s, or just the jhana-s can be the focus of practice, and can (in necessary conjunction with, culminating in insight / vipassana and wisdom /panna.) lead to release, as I understand it (a POV).
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CJMacie, modified 7 Years ago at 5/13/15 8:45 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 5/13/15 8:43 AM

RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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Psi (5/11/15 5:34 AM as a reply to Eva M Nie.)
Chris J Macie (5/11/15 5:53 AM as a reply to Eva M Nie.)

It appears Psi and Chris J Macie (myself) were posting similar conclusions at about the same time early morning of May 11.

To summarize my findings:

'Upekkha'
has (at least) two quite disparate meanings, both of which have, confusingly, gotten translated as 'equanimity' (in sutta–s MN 54 and MN 137).

1) 'Upekkha' as the 3rd of the primal qualities (vedana) of sensation, translated elsewhere in the Pali Canon as 'disinterestedness', 'indifference', 'neutrality'. This quality is described in the phenomenology of basic perception, but the quality itself is not a form of mindfulness or practice (mental development), though it may taken as an object in such practices.

(Note: I've (edited) added to my previous post further evidence from analysing MN 137 more closely, showing that 'householder-equanimity' is, according to the commentary, "the equanimity of unknowing", i.e. of lack of wisdom, and the 'diversity-equanimity' (in MN 137) is most likely the same as the 'multiplicity-equanimity' in MN 54 – the difference being Than-Geof's and B.Bodhi's choice of English terms.)
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5724988#_19_message_5726462

2) 'Upekkha' is any of a number of Buddhist (or other) practices of higher mental development – as BrahmaVihara, jhanic factor, paramita, Factor of Enlightenment, etc.

The first meaning refers to how primal awareness naturally tends to not notice, be bored by, ignore sensations that are not particularly stimulating (positively or negatively).

The second meaning has more to do with intentionally-cultivated disabling of higher-level mental reactivity to such stimulation.

The problem – Pali words with a range of meanings being translated by English words that also have ranges of meaning – is common in 'dharma' circles; in fact stimulates a lot of discussion rooted in misunderstanding (of texts and of what others comment).

For the curious, here's a link to an in-depth exposition of the many meanings of the word 'dhamma'('dharma') itself:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5722903#_19_message_5726402
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CJMacie, modified 7 Years ago at 5/13/15 8:50 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 5/13/15 8:47 AM

RE: What kind of equanimity is to be avoided?

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5/12/15 3:18 PM as a reply to Psi.
"…the Sutta also shows that the unity Equanimity is also transcended through the higher jhanas."  

Later sections in MN 137 deal with jhana-s, and MN 140 goes further into presence and abandoning of equanimity in the jhana proggression (as I found when checking all uses of the word equanimity in MN 137).

This could go on and on. Is there a good book on Equanimity/upekkha in the Suttanta? If not, in another lifetime we could all perhaps collaborate on one. For now (reality check), there's a tall stack of must-read books by my elbow here, and one, maybe two major retreats on my schedule in June-July, oh, and have to earn a living / work too.

"It is really showing that Equanimity should be practiced, but that, while comfortable, is not the end game."
As last of the bojjhanga (Factors of Enlightenment), that flavor of upekkha is apparently in a factor in the end game.

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