Meditation is the silence of the mind, but in that silence, in that intensity, in that total alertness, the mind is no longer the seat of thought, because thought is time, thought is memory, thought is knowledge. And when it is completely quiet and highly sensitive, the mind can take a voyage which is timeless, limitless.
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
If there is a remedy when trouble strikes,
What reason is there for despondency?
And if there is no help for it,
What use is there in being sad?
"What if it doesn’t get any better than this? […] What if it were possible to hold the whole of it in awareness and allow it to be just as it already is. That would be an incredibly radical act and it would be an act of profound wisdom […] But actually investigate the way things actually are, and you might find that inside of the sadness, the grief, the despair lies something else too — lies some kind of beauty, some kind of humanity, some kind of human understanding, that understands that things are impermanent, that nothing stays the same […] even in the midst of utter darkness, there’s this other element of beauty, of symmetry, of the natural world."
Jon Kabat-Zinn briefly, poignantly, on the benefits of an awareness practice, from the Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY
thank you cipette
Upekkhā / Equanimity: May I ever be calm, serene, unruffled and peaceful. May I gain a balanced mind. May I have perfect equanimity.
The Buddha, to Pukkusāti:
“Then [after contemplating the six elements], there remains only equanimity, purified and bright, malleable, wieldy, and radiant…He understands thus: ‘If I were to direct this equanimity, so purified and bright, to the base of the infinity of space and to develop my mind accordingly, this would be conditioned. If I were to direct this equanimity, so purified and bright, to the base of the infinity of consciousness…to the base of nothingness…to the base of neither perception-nor-non-perception and to develop my mind accordingly, this would be conditioned.’ He does not construct or generate any volition tending toward either existence or non-existence. Since he does not construct or generate any volition tending toward either existence or nonexistence, he does not cling to anything in this world. Not clinging, he is not agitated. Not being agitated, he personally attains Nibbāna. He understands: ‘Birth is destroyed, the spiritual life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming back to any state of being.’”
-Majhima Nikaya 140 (Dhātuvibaṅa Sutta)
Such a person
Who, like the earth, is untroubled,
Who is well-practiced
Who is like a pillar of Indra,
Who is like a lake without mud,
Continues wandering no more.
- Dhammapada 95
In describing the jhanas:
This settling process of concentrated attention has four stages: first, the letting go of distracting inner objects—such as feelings, thoughts, attractions, and aversions—and all outer objects; second, the attainment of serene one-pointedness of focus; third, the refinement of this state of concentration into a subtler and purer awareness. The fourth and final stage is the attainment of a state of simple wakefulness and equanimity conducive to clear vision and profound comprehension, an awareness beyond subject and object.
- Lama Surya Das (“The Heart Essence of Buddhist Meditation”)
More Readings (Etc.) on Upekkha
Gil Fronsdal on Equanimity, adapted from a talk given May 2004 here
To Stand in the Middle of All Things, a talk from Myoshin Kelley here
Photo Credit: On a calm winter’s evening…via