Author Topic: Staying with the Equanimous Mind  (Read 2149 times)

chin

  • Member
    • Goenka
Staying with the Equanimous Mind
« on: July 18, 2016, 08:50:42 AM »
Hi all,

I recently (about 45 days ago) concluded my first 10-day Goenka course. At the end of the course, and for about 3 weeks after it, I found myself in a very peaceful, unattached, compassionate state of mind - definitely felt like I had successfully re-wired my brain.

But after that, I've been finding myself moving in and out of that state - sometimes getting really caught up in self-centred thoughts (my old ways of thinking) and unable to switch back. The self-centred state is even more troublesome now (as opposed to pre-Vipassana times) because now I know that I'm capable of being a better person but am somehow failing at it.

Even when I do switch back into equanimous mind, it feels very fragile, in the sense that I'm constantly afraid of losing it. I know that I'm basically generating more craving, in this case - craving for equanimity - but not sure how to break out of this cycle. Has anyone else struggled with this and can offer some guidance?

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: Staying with the Equanimous Mind
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2016, 08:54:09 AM »
I'd say most Vipassana practitioners encounter this phenomenon. Equanimity is something you need to work with continually, unless you reach a state of enlightenment, it's not something you can just set and forget. Take comfort in your experience during and after your course, take your time, and don't expect too much.

stillpointdancer

  • stillpointdancer
  • Member
  • Retired teacher, deepening understanding of Dharma
    • Insight meditation
    • Exploring the results of 30 years of meditating
Re: Staying with the Equanimous Mind
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2016, 09:49:20 AM »

I recently (about 45 days ago) concluded my first 10-day Goenka course. At the end of the course, and for about 3 weeks after it, I found myself in a very peaceful, unattached, compassionate state of mind - definitely felt like I had successfully re-wired my brain.

I think the evidence is that rewiring does take place, even after ten days. Unfortunately, the brain is so plastic that it can easily rewire itself once again, depending on what you do. You don't have to be on a course, just follow regular meditation practice. This will ultimately bring about the permanent rewiring that comes with being a stream entrant.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Staying with the Equanimous Mind
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2016, 03:47:36 PM »

I think the evidence is that rewiring does take place, even after ten days.

 This will ultimately bring about the permanent rewiring that comes with being a stream entrant.

This is a fascinating subject. Please can you give references to these statements. Thanks in advance.

Warm regards,

Middleway
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

chin

  • Member
    • Goenka
Re: Staying with the Equanimous Mind
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2016, 06:25:02 AM »
Thanks @Dharmic Tui and @stillpointdancer. At this point, I'm feeling schizophrenic - one moment perfectly calm and equanimous and the next consumed by the same obsessions that drove me nuts before.  :-\

I'm tempted to go on another 10-day course to resolve this since my daily practice (30 minutes, twice a day) doesn't seem to be doing much.

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: Staying with the Equanimous Mind
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2016, 08:50:29 AM »
Like a lot of things time is needed. 10 days has been mentioned here, however my understanding is up to 3 months is needed to rewire a basic habit. For the human mind, which has been going in one direction for decades, even more time is needed. Your ego is going to fight this, and try and convince you youre schizophrenic.

VipassanaXYZ

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Goenka
Re: Staying with the Equanimous Mind
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2016, 06:55:20 AM »
Namaste Aashish

Going again for a ten-day retreat is a good idea. Especially since this was your first retreat.

Go without expectations though regarding calm states, your only priority is awareness and equanimity.

Mind is raking up old sankharas, and the parade of all colors and creed is going to come up. With awareness, breath and equanimity towards sensations you are working through the stuff. Initial years of training the mind are usually the most difficult.

Goenkaji keeps repeating at least one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening.
For me, like most people, it takes some 15 -20 minutes of anapana and then around 45 minutes of Vipassana especially if the mind has been engaged in routine stuff.

I also keep Uposatha (meditating all day and with eight precepts) on no moon, half moon and full moon days - this strengthens the practise. I have retired to a farm for a few months and trying to meditate as much as I can in the night too. Some meditators practise the whole night.

Please dont be boggled by this information. There is no race, do as much as you can, happily.
(I am only recently trying to meditate all night, after 14 years of regular practice.)

Aware and equanimous.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Staying with the Equanimous Mind
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2016, 10:00:22 AM »
Namaste Aashish
Go without expectations though regarding calm states, your only priority is awareness and equanimity.

Mind is raking up old sankharas, and the parade of all colors and creed is going to come up. With awareness, breath and equanimity towards sensations you are working through the stuff. Initial years of training the mind are usually the most difficult.

This is very good advice, especially as you say you are feeling "schizophrenic" ... don't feed that demon; equanimity, calm, acceptance, careful nurtured development of concentration: these are the things that will assist you. And as Pooja says:

Quote
...There is no race, do as much as you can, happily.
...
Aware and equanimous.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

chin

  • Member
    • Goenka
Re: Staying with the Equanimous Mind
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2016, 10:33:17 AM »
Thanks so much, everyone. I deeply appreciate the helpful advice - it's already helping.

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
3 Replies
2014 Views
Last post April 12, 2011, 02:44:44 AM
by Andrew
2 Replies
2067 Views
Last post September 09, 2012, 05:11:46 PM
by goodlife
3 Replies
1438 Views
Last post August 03, 2015, 07:44:53 PM
by Trkstr67
2 Replies
1475 Views
Last post August 03, 2015, 08:20:13 AM
by Vivek
1 Replies
981 Views
Last post February 06, 2016, 06:48:13 PM
by greenfly
10 Replies
3828 Views
Last post September 28, 2016, 04:00:05 PM
by TheJourney
30 Replies
3722 Views
Last post December 21, 2016, 03:25:04 PM
by Ja192827