Author Topic: awareness and equanimity  (Read 3624 times)

awareness and equanimity
« on: December 05, 2012, 03:46:18 AM »
hi all,

from my experience , awareness of the sensations increases with more removal of sangaras and increased equanimity.

but if this statement is true how does other meditation techniques develop awareness alone to such great lengths without equanimity? is the above statement only true for vipassana? or am i mistaken somewhere?

also i have found that concentration has little to do with awareness and developing the first will not help increase the later. so developing concentration is of very little concern in vipassana? only beginning stages? if not how can i use concentration in practice?

also when i practice concentration there is a "auto removal process" (i dont know what else to call it  ;D) that takes place in my mind that tries to take the object of concentration. i.e., sensation in very small area.(smaller than 1 mm i guess) so if i try to observe this process as well as keep concetration on the object then i dived in to the field of vipassana of being equanimus. so my question is how to develop concentration alone? how to solve this auto removal process without observing it.

Renze

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Re: awareness and equanimity
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 10:54:12 AM »
Hi siddharthgode,

First of all in my experience equanimity is a mental state that requires (a great deal of) awareness and concentration. Upekkha (equanimity) is one of the Jhana factors after all, so that leads me to think that it's actually a result of strong awareness and concentration. You seem to be experiencing it the other way around, that by being equanimous you will develop awareness. Be careful with this, because you might be suppressing emotions and thoughts in this way.

I don't understand your explanation of this 'auto removal process', but I'm guessing you are struggling with focused attention to the meditation object? I think it's actually not a bad idea to incorporate vipassana techniques into your concentration practice. Whenever you are distracted by a thought or emotion, label it, observe it for a few seconds and move back to your object of meditation.

I hope this is of help!

Regards,

Renze

Falkov

Re: awareness and equanimity
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 03:44:27 PM »
Quote
also i have found that concentration has little to do with awareness and developing the first will not help increase the later. so developing concentration is of very little concern in vipassana? only beginning stages? if not how can i use concentration in practice?

  In general, people have some awareness "some" of the time.  But it's better to have more awareness most of the time, which is the reason of  Vipassana.   Awareness and concentration goes together.  As Samadhi helps Sati to see clearer and sharper- in "super high Definition mode" .  Also, sitting and concentrating on breathing, your mind becomes more relaxed yet focused- more useful than scattered mind full of fear, hatred, self-doubt.   Sati/ awareness is still the big boss however.   

 Although, it is nice to feel peaceful and calm -sitting in quiet protected environment.  Real life is full of noise, people, chaotic situation.    Hopefully one has practiced enough to maintain calmness / stilllness  in the busy, noisy, full of suffering and frustration world we still live in. And to know enough that  even when the mind is racing, raging for whatever reason- example of the impermanent- still go on like normal "calmly"  -like it's nothing much to it. 

Re: awareness and equanimity
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 04:08:04 PM »
You seem to be experiencing it the other way around, that by being equanimous you will develop awareness. Be careful with this, because you might be suppressing emotions and thoughts in this way.

well for now i m letting both emotions and thoughts come n go without friction or much attention to them. i have spent a lot of time during my beginning year of vipassana on these two, i think i have a basic layout for what they are, nothing more. i think im still in lower primary and those two are a high school subjects. il take them up once when ready. i am only working with sensations now. developing full body awareness. im almost there, i just need to add few more body parts to the main awareness.

well suppressing is essential in the begining days as mind wont do multi tasking. not anymore. now i can watch multiple channels at a time   :D

Re: awareness and equanimity
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 02:47:08 PM »
i am waiting for matthew to answer my first post  ::)

Masauwu

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Re: awareness and equanimity
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 04:53:12 PM »
I`ve found the following advice helpful. At first it seemed obvious, something i already knew, but then i realized i was rushing / fast-forwarding past the thoughts and distractions to get back to the breath.
Quote
People tend to dichotomize meditation between 2 types, insight, and concentration. Only now have I realized that this is unnecessary. The meditation that I used to obtain such a rock solid Jhana my first time meditating, was a combination of the 2 practices.

People when doing insight meditations often just note every sensation that arises, without concentrating on anything in particular. When people do concentration meditations, they often just continually bringing the awareness back to the object of meditation, and don't pay much attention to arising thoughts. When doing this, the result is thoughts/emotions will still arise, but they are just being ignored while you are focusing singularly on the object of meditation. This can lead some to get distracted easily.

Now, it's very simple. Simply combine the 2. Focus on your breath, keep bringing your attention back to your breath, but when a thought, emotion, or distraction arises, LABEL IT, become aware of it, do an insight practice towards it. Hold the distraction in your attention for a brief moment until you feel you have it, no more than a second or 2, then let go of it and focus back on the breath.

That's it. Repeatedly doing this will result in a number of things:
-Concentration will increase, leading to a growing absorption.
-Mindfulness and insight will also increase due to the power of concentration. This will allow you catch thoughts or emotions as they arising before they can have any effect on you. You will be able to catch arising sensations and stop them in their tracks.
-The more absorbed you get, the less frequently sensations/thoughts/emotions will arise as you will become increasingly aware of that region of your mind.
(source)
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Re: awareness and equanimity
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 05:07:01 PM »
very helpful. ty
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 06:13:34 PM by siddharthgode »

Masauwu

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Re: awareness and equanimity
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 05:32:51 PM »
I can`t comment on other people`s experiences but that post was a reminder for me that practicing concentration without a firmly established mindfulness isn`t good practice.
Quote
There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.
Anapanasati Sutta
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 05:37:37 PM by Masauwu »
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

 

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