The real meaning of upekkha?

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starter
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The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby starter » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:14 am

Hello Teachers/Friends,

Just to share with you my new understanding of upekkha. I thought upekkha means being equanimous (equal) and neutral towards everything with no discrimination. But after reading the following teachings, I came to understand upekkha as the capacity of the mind to accommodate everything without being touched or influenced by /attached to them, like the all-embracing space. So I'm not going to try to make everything appear just equal to me, but instead to try to develop this all-embracing yet untouched mind.

"Develop the meditation in tune with space. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with space, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as space is not established anywhere [but embracing all things], in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with space, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind."
[-- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html]

"Learned Audience, the illimitable Void of the universe [space] is capable of holding [embracing] myriads of things of various shape and form, such as the sun, the moon, stars, mountains, rivers, men, Dharmas pertaining to goodness or badness, deva planes, hells, great oceans, and all the mountains of the Mahameru. Space takes in all of these, and so does the voidness of our [real] nature. We say that the Essence of Mind is great because it embraces all things, since all things are within our [real] nature. When we see the goodness or the badness of other people we are not attracted by it, nor repelled by it, nor attached to it; so that our attitude of mind is as void as space. In this way, we say our mind is great. Therefore we call it 'Maha'."
[--http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/huineng/huineng2.html]

What's your understanding of upekkha? Metta to all,

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Ben
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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby Ben » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:57 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby pegembara » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:26 am

Upekkhā & Upekhā
Upekkhā & Upekhā (f.) [fr. upa + īkṣ, cp. BSk. upekṣā Divy 483; Jtm 211. On spelling upekhā for upekkhā see Müller P. Gr. 16] "looking on", hedonic neutrality or indifference, zero point between joy & sorrow (Cpd. 66); disinterestedness, neutral feeling, equanimity. Sometimes equivalent to adukkham -- asukha -- vedanā "feeling which is neither pain nor pleasure". See detailed discussion of term at Cpd. 229 -- 232, & cp. Dhs trsln. 39. -- Ten kinds of upekkhā are enumd. at DhsA 172 (cp. Dhs trsln. 48; Hardy, Man. Buddhism 505). -- D 138 (˚sati -- parisuddhi purity of mindfulness which comes of disinterestedness cp. Vin iii.4; Dhs 165 & Dhs trslnn. 50), 251; ii.279 (twofold); iii.50, 78, 106, 224 sq., 239, 245 (six ˚upavicāras), 252, 282; M i.79, 364; iii 219; S iv.71, 114 sq., v.209 sq. (˚indriya); A i 42; 81 (˚sukha), 256 (˚nimitta); iii.185, 291 (˚cetovimutti); iv.47 sq., 70 sq., 300, 443; v.301, 360; Sn 67, 73, 972, 1107, (˚satisaŋsuddha); Nd1 501 = Nd2 166; Ps i.8, 36, 60, 167, 177; Pug 59 (˚sati); Nett 25, 97 (˚dhātu), 121 sq.; Vbh 12, 15 (˚indriya), 54 (id.), 69, 85 (˚dhātu), 228, 324, 326 (˚sambojjhanga), 381 (˚upavicāra); Dhs 150, 153, 165, 262, 556, 1001, 1278, 1582; Vism 134 (˚sambojjhanga, 5 conditions of), 148 (˚ânubrūhanā), 160 (def. & tenfold), 317 (˚bhāvanā), 319 (˚brahmavihāra), 325 (˚vihārin), 461; SnA 128; Sdhp 461.


Why is the lack of desire considered a mental illness?

Anhedonia: Loss of the capacity to experience pleasure. The inability to gain pleasure from normally pleasurable experiences. Anhedonia is a core clinical feature of depression, schizophrenia, and some other mental illnesses.

An anhedonic mother finds no joy from playing with her baby. An anhedonic football fan is not excited when his team wins. An anhedonic teenager feels no pleasure from passing the driving test.

"Anhedonia" is derived from the Greek "a-" (without) "hedone" (pleasure, delight). Other words derived from "hedone" include hedonism (a philosophy that emphasizes pleasure as the main aim of life), hedonist (a pleasure-seeker), and hedonophobia (an excessive and persistent fear of pleasure).

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art ... ekey=17900
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby Dmytro » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:42 am



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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby KosaloBhikkhu » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:58 am

Hi Starter. This is another way to look at it (albeit worded a little differently) by Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo. I'm going to put in the other 3 'Divine Abidings' too, as they were what lead up to my present understanding of the word. From Craft of the Heart

Upekkhaa -- developing equanimity, keeping the mind unruffled when our activities or those of others go away or lead to trouble in ways which are beyond our power to help (it helps me understand even more when it's paired with one of the three types of right thought; not having ill-will towards those humans or other living beings whose actions are displeasing); keeping watch over the mind to keep it from being upset or affected in any way

Mettaa -- developing thoughts of love and goodwill, hoping for our own happiness and that of others ...
Karun.aa -- developing thoughts of compassion towards ourselves and others, aiming at helping ourselves and others gain release from all forms of suffering and pain ...
Muditaa -- developing thoughts of appreciation, taking delight in the happiness we experience and in that experienced by others ...

Hope this helps :-)

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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:46 am

Upekkha can be developed in two ways- one is through samatha- by developing the jhanas into the fourth jhana- which contain upekkha in abundance. The other is through vipassana- as in sankharaupekkha nana. This allows the insight into anicca let go of phenomena, so the mind remain undisturbed whatever happens.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby dhammapal » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:15 pm







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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby altar » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:41 pm

in the book Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English, Ven. Gunaratana discriminates between the equanimity based on diversification and that without diversification (possibly on unity...?) the difference being that with diversification is a more let everything happen kind of vipassana where one is constantly returning to an object or noticing this is impermament, that is, this is, this is, and just not going forth with them... whereas the other is, as he describes it, i believe, ill get the quote later if anyone is interested), is more samadhi bhavana where one is simply equanimous to all the world and there is no diversification or discrimination to impede it.
i think for me though, that a good kind of qualifier on the disinterested kind of equanimity is look for hatred beyond it to make sure its other than kind of disinterest out of aversion... but how to deal with this is hard b/c sometimes it seems, at least now, that one cannot turn to the world or some things in it without hatred... so equanimity is a kind of shelter or reason some how. i think it has to do with somehow understanding like and dislike, one might say sampajanna with sati of these repulsion and attraction, or whatever the qualifier or state may be, until, maybe, these qualifiers no longer apply. thats kind of getting far into it for reasoning though.

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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby starter » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:01 pm


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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby starter » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:58 pm

To my understanding, upekkha as an enlightenment factor means emotional neutrality -- no emotional feeling of "likes" and "dislikes", which eliminates greed and aversion.

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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby Freawaru » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:07 am


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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby Freawaru » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:20 am


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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby starter » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:28 pm

Hello Freawaru,
Do you mean one with upekkha doesn't react to mental emotions, just as s/he doesn't react to bodily sensations, so s/he doesn't have likes and dislikes? But when one still has emotions, one would still has joy and sorrow I suppose. The Buddha described the 3rd jhana as disappearance of [mental/emotional] joys & distresses, and the 4th jhana as neither pleasure nor pain (both mental and physical)

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the abandoning of pleasure & stress — as with the earlier disappearance of joys & distresses — enter & remain in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.
-- probably similar to the deep level of commentarial jhana [both mental and physical feelings/sensations have disappeared]?

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

"When one does not cling, one is not agitated! One becomes imperturbable... In complete absence of agitation [which is quenched by equanimity], one attains the state of Nibbana!" (MN 68 68: The shorter speech on the Lion's Roar)

The Buddha described the final delivery as imperturbable and undisturbable mind, which doesn't seem to have emotions (the "waves of lake" with conditioned becomings and cessations) to my imagination. Metta and Cheers!

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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby Freawaru » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:35 pm


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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby Nibbida » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:26 am


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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby starter » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:51 pm

Hi Nibbida and other friends,

Many thanks for your helpful input. I read "Noticing Space" by Ajahn Sumedho [http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebmed040.htm], and am wondering if the following open, non-absorptive concentration can lead to jhana with piti/sukha or not? Would it be classified as "right concentration" by the Buddha?

"With meditation we have the opportunity to contemplate the mind. The silence of the mind is like the space in the room; it is always there, but it is subtle. It doesn't stand out, it doesn't grab your attention. It has no extreme quality which would stimulate and grasp your attention, so you have to pay attention, you have to be attentive. Now one can use the sound of silence (or the primordial sound, sound of the mind, or whatever you want to call it) very skilfully, by bringing it up, paying attention to it. By concentrating your attention on that for a while, it becomes something that you can really begin to know. It is the mode of knowing in which one can reflect. It's not a concentrated state you absorb into, it's not a suppressive kind of concentration. The mind is concentrated in a state of balance and openness, rather than absorbed into an object, so that one can actually think and use that as a way of seeing things in perspective -- letting things go [[let our attachment to things go]]."

"If you are still concentrated on the curtains, or the window or the people, you don't notice the space. But actually you don't have to get rid of all those things to notice the space; instead you begin just to open to the space, to notice it. Rather than focusing your attention on one thing, you are opening the mind completely; you are not choosing an object -- a conditioned object -- but the space where the conditioned objects are."

It's probably better to start a new thread for this topic:

Can open, non-absorptive concentration lead to jhana?

Metta to all,

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Last edited by starter on Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby starter » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:08 pm

Hm... some more thoughts to share with you about "Noticing Space":

"It's the same with the mind, you can apply that [contemplation of space] inwardly. When your eyes are closed, you are not looking at something, but it is like listening to the inner voices that go on -- those things that say, 'I am this, I should not be like that'... you use those for taking you to the space, rather than making a big problem about the obsessions and fears that go on in your mind. In this way, even the devil, or an evil thought, can take you to emptiness. This is very skillful, because it is no longer a battle where we are trying to get rid of evil and kill off the devil. It is letting the devil have his due. The devil is an impermanent thing it rises and ceases in the mind -- so you don't have to make anything out of it. Devil or angels -- they are all the same really. Before, you'd think, 'devil!'. Now trying to get rid of the devil, or trying to grasp hold of the angels is dukkha. But if we take up this cool position of Buddha-knowing -- knowing the ways things are -- then everything becomes the truth of the way it is. So we see that the good, the bad, the skillful, unskillful, or neither skillful or unskillful dhammas are all qualities that arise and cease [[all are conditioned phenomena empty of "self" anyway]].

This is what we mean by reflections, beginning to notice the way it is. Rather than assuming that it should be any way at all, you are simply noticing [[bare attention model?]]."

-- To my understanding, by doing such reflections we don't really need to fight with/remove the incoming defilements and try to cultivate the wholesomeness. We can reach upekkha directly by treating the two equally. Did the Buddha teach this method? It seems to me what the Buddha taught Bahiya is about breaking the fetter of conceit [no you there, no you here, no you inbetween] instead of only noticing the way things are. Or probably he did teach such a bare attention model in some other discouse which I don't know?

Metta,

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Re: The real meaning of upekkha?

Postby mirco » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:20 am

It should not be forgotten to look at the etymological meaning of the words the words.

Upekha consists of upa + īkṣ


उप upa - a prefix to verbs: towards, near to, by the side of, with
ईक्ष् īkṣ - to see, behold, view, perceive, observe, look or gaze


From this perspective and with the knowledge upekha beeing fourth of brahmavihāras,
I would say, pure uppekkha is
the state of beeing in unsecluded observance of the object of meditation in fourth jhana.


Be Well :) _()_
"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." -


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