Equanimity vs indiference

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Equanimity vs indiference

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:38 pm

Hello all, Ben

I'm writing a post that I should've written a long time ago.

I did a 10 day vipassana retreat in the SN Goenka system. It was the most profound experience of my life. However, I'm starting to question some of the insights I had. The main insight I had in that retreat was that suffering is realy optional, if you train your mind. This came from the insight that unpleasant sensations are not suffering; it's our attitude towards them that is suffering. However if one accepts this conclusion, the reverse conclusion also follows: pleasant sensations are not happiness. That was even more shocking to me, since I don't know how to deal with that conclusion, I don't know how to be happy.

One way to untie this knot is to distinguish sensations in two categories: physical and mental. In that case, my insight was that the unpleasant physical sensations are not suffering, it's the unpleasant mental sensations that are suffering. If that's the case, It's only the pleasant physical sensations that are not happiness; the pleasant mental sensations are happiness.

Maybe this is a oversimplification, but would you say that this is basicaly correct?
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby Coyote » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:47 pm

Pleasant mental sensations are conditioned, impermanent and non-self, just like anything else. They can be wholesome and factors of the path, and if this is what you mean, then yes, they can be a wholesome form of happiness.
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby IanAnd » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:05 pm

Hi Modus,
Modus.Ponens wrote:I did a 10 day vipassana retreat in the SN Goenka system. It was the most profound experience of my life. However, I'm starting to question some of the insights I had. The main insight I had in that retreat was that suffering is really optional, if you train your mind. This came from the insight that unpleasant sensations are not suffering; it's our attitude towards them that is suffering.

That was a very eye-opening and important insight for you to have had. But it is only the first step on the way to realizing a more complete insight. This is not to slight the insight that you had. Only to say that you need to use that insight to go deeper and look harder at your experience in order to uncover even greater insight.

Has it ever occurred to you that it is your identification with a feeling or sensation that opens the door to suffering (dukkha)? When you identify with the unpleasant feeling or sensation (or even the converse, a pleasant feeling or sensation) you make it a part of the "you" with which you identify. Suddenly, you create in your mind a subject ("me") who is experiencing the unpleasant (or pleasant) experience. It then becomes in your mind "this is me, this is mine, this is myself" as the suttas point out. When you practice equanimity toward all phenomena, you begin to take away that identification aspect of the experience, and, for instance, a painful bodily sensation suddenly becomes "the body is experiencing pain" rather than "I am experiencing pain; oh woe is me!"

This is a change in perspective, more than anything else. It says "I will endure whatever it is that I am experiencing at this moment, because all these phenomenon are impermanent, suffering, and not-self. Therefore it cannot affect how I view this experience when I let go of the identification with the experience. I must only become able to endure the experience (to let it be, without reacting to it) until it ends, and things become more pleasant and agreeable."

Practicing equanimity is only a stepping stone on the way to a larger realization and insight. While it can seem redundant to keep pointing out that things are anicca, dukkha, and anatta, when you fully realize this statement (in the same way that you had the insight you mentioned above), it will become a profound and life changing moment.

Modus.Ponens wrote:However if one accepts this conclusion, the reverse conclusion also follows: pleasant sensations are not happiness. That was even more shocking to me, since I don't know how to deal with that conclusion, I don't know how to be happy.

You don't necessarily need to strive to always be happy. Become satisfied with being content in the moment. Contentment can lead to overall happiness. Being content in the moment allows things to be as they are. Then, if there is a possibility that you can change the present moment to become more agreeable, you can contemplating making those changes that will allow that to occur. Being content takes into consideration equanimity toward all formations. While the formation may be either pleasant or unpleasant, equanimity reduces the effect that the moment has on your outlook and attitude until you realize more fully that the formation is anicca, dukkha, and anatta, and therefore not worthy of the importance the mind assigns to it.

A wise man once said: "The heart of a wise man is tranquil and still. Thus it is the mirror of heaven and earth."

And: "So is truth hard to understand. Accept that which cannot be spoken. Recognize that all words are part true and part false, limited by our imperfect understanding. Strive always for honesty within yourself."

And: "Know when to let go of those things that do no serve you, but force you to serve them."

Modus.Ponens wrote:One way to untie this knot is to distinguish sensations in two categories: physical and mental. In that case, my insight was that the unpleasant physical sensations are not suffering, it's the unpleasant mental sensations that are suffering. If that's the case, It's only the pleasant physical sensations that are not happiness; the pleasant mental sensations are happiness.

Be careful not to over-think this. You may miss something in the process of over-thinking.

Unpleasant physical sensations, just as unpleasant mental sensations, can be viewed as suffering. It all depends on how one views these.

Pleasant physical sensations need not be viewed as either happiness or unhappiness, but rather agreeable or disagreeable. This does not mean that pleasant physical sensations cannot lead to a happy (or contented) feeling. They can. It is only in how one handles these two that makes the difference in how they may affect one.
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:03 pm

IanAnd wrote:Hi Modus,
Modus.Ponens wrote:I did a 10 day vipassana retreat in the SN Goenka system. It was the most profound experience of my life. However, I'm starting to question some of the insights I had. The main insight I had in that retreat was that suffering is really optional, if you train your mind. This came from the insight that unpleasant sensations are not suffering; it's our attitude towards them that is suffering.

That was a very eye-opening and important insight for you to have had. But it is only the first step on the way to realizing a more complete insight. This is not to slight the insight that you had. Only to say that you need to use that insight to go deeper and look harder at your experience in order to uncover even greater insight.

Has it ever occurred to you that it is your identification with a feeling or sensation that opens the door to suffering (dukkha)? When you identify with the unpleasant feeling or sensation (or even the converse, a pleasant feeling or sensation) you make it a part of the "you" with which you identify. Suddenly, you create in your mind a subject ("me") who is experiencing the unpleasant (or pleasant) experience. It then becomes in your mind "this is me, this is mine, this is myself" as the suttas point out. When you practice equanimity toward all phenomena, you begin to take away that identification aspect of the experience, and, for instance, a painful bodily sensation suddenly becomes "the body is experiencing pain" rather than "I am experiencing pain; oh woe is me!"

This is a change in perspective, more than anything else. It says "I will endure whatever it is that I am experiencing at this moment, because all these phenomenon are impermanent, suffering, and not-self. Therefore it cannot affect how I view this experience when I let go of the identification with the experience. I must only become able to endure the experience (to let it be, without reacting to it) until it ends, and things become more pleasant and agreeable."

Practicing equanimity is only a stepping stone on the way to a larger realization and insight. While it can seem redundant to keep pointing out that things are anicca, dukkha, and anatta, when you fully realize this statement (in the same way that you had the insight you mentioned above), it will become a profound and life changing moment.

Modus.Ponens wrote:However if one accepts this conclusion, the reverse conclusion also follows: pleasant sensations are not happiness. That was even more shocking to me, since I don't know how to deal with that conclusion, I don't know how to be happy.

You don't necessarily need to strive to always be happy. Become satisfied with being content in the moment. Contentment can lead to overall happiness. Being content in the moment allows things to be as they are. Then, if there is a possibility that you can change the present moment to become more agreeable, you can contemplating making those changes that will allow that to occur. Being content takes into consideration equanimity toward all formations. While the formation may be either pleasant or unpleasant, equanimity reduces the effect that the moment has on your outlook and attitude until you realize more fully that the formation is anicca, dukkha, and anatta, and therefore not worthy of the importance the mind assigns to it.

A wise man once said: "The heart of a wise man is tranquil and still. Thus it is the mirror of heaven and earth."

And: "So is truth hard to understand. Accept that which cannot be spoken. Recognize that all words are part true and part false, limited by our imperfect understanding. Strive always for honesty within yourself."

And: "Know when to let go of those things that do no serve you, but force you to serve them."

Modus.Ponens wrote:One way to untie this knot is to distinguish sensations in two categories: physical and mental. In that case, my insight was that the unpleasant physical sensations are not suffering, it's the unpleasant mental sensations that are suffering. If that's the case, It's only the pleasant physical sensations that are not happiness; the pleasant mental sensations are happiness.

Be careful not to over-think this. You may miss something in the process of over-thinking.

Unpleasant physical sensations, just as unpleasant mental sensations, can be viewed as suffering. It all depends on how one views these.

Pleasant physical sensations need not be viewed as either happiness or unhappiness, but rather agreeable or disagreeable. This does not mean that pleasant physical sensations cannot lead to a happy (or contented) feeling. They can. It is only in how one handles these two that makes the difference in how they may affect one.


Hello Ian

Thank you for your response. :)

The problem here is the logical circularity that is either on your argument or on my mind. I know no other true happiness than pleasant mental sensations. You say (simplifying your argument) that by being equanimnous towards both unpoleasant sensations and pleasant sensations, "I" will be happy. However, how can I be happy, if I'm being equanimous? Is it that my equanimity is more indifference than equanimity, so I can't experience happiness with an equanimous mind?

To use an example, the suttas say that the 3rd jhana is praised by the noble ones as a pleasant abiding. If it is nothing more than (pleasant) sensations, how can it constitute happiness?

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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:04 pm

Puting it in one sentence, what is happiness?
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby reflection » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:43 pm

In my experience it is the search for happiness in both body and mind that is a great cause for suffering. Because bodily or mental, pleasant sensations are not lasting. The most blissful high in the mind is just that, a perception of mind. It may be happiness in one way, but it is just a moment away from the next suffering, so it is not real happiness in that sense. So the Buddha advised not to try and find happiness in these things. It's their very inconstancy that is a cause for them to be suffering. Also, in the arrow sutta it says how the body will always be a source of suffering even if we're enlightened. Which is quite logical to me as sickness, old age and death in this life are not preventable for anyone, even by the Buddha.
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby pegembara » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:41 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:Hello all, Ben

One way to untie this knot is to distinguish sensations in two categories: physical and mental. In that case, my insight was that the unpleasant physical sensations are not suffering, it's the unpleasant mental sensations that are suffering. If that's the case, It's only the pleasant physical sensations that are not happiness; the pleasant mental sensations are happiness.

Maybe this is a oversimplification, but would you say that this is basicaly correct?



Physical sensations are just sensations. The mind then categorize them as pleasant or unpleasant feelings. Again feelings are just feelings that comes and goes. Suffering only comes from clinging to those feelings ie. wanting pleasantness and neutral feelings to stay and unpleasantness to go. Clinging to neutral feeling can lead to indifference which is the near enemy of equanimity.

"A pleasant feeling is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to vanishing, fading, ceasing. A painful feeling is also inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to vanishing, fading, ceasing. A neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling is also inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to vanishing, fading, ceasing.

"Seeing this, an instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with pleasant feeling, disenchanted with painful feeling, disenchanted with neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling. Disenchanted, he grows dispassionate. From dispassion, he is released.


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


Puting it in one sentence, what is "happiness"?


I have heard that on one occasion Ven. Sariputta was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Feeding Sanctuary. There he said to the monks, "This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."

When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"

"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby IanAnd » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:05 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:The problem here is the logical circularity that is either on your argument or on my mind. I know no other true happiness than pleasant mental sensations. You say (simplifying your argument) that by being equanimnous towards both unpleasant sensations and pleasant sensations, "I" will be happy. However, how can I be happy, if I'm being equanimous? Is it that my equanimity is more indifference than equanimity, so I can't experience happiness with an equanimous mind?

To use an example, the suttas say that the 3rd jhana is praised by the noble ones as a pleasant abiding. If it is nothing more than (pleasant) sensations, how can it constitute happiness?

We may have been talking past each other here, not understanding one another. Let's go back to the beginning.

Originally you said: "The main insight I had in that retreat was that suffering is really optional, if you train your mind. This came from the insight that unpleasant sensations are not suffering; it's our attitude towards them that is suffering. However if one accepts this conclusion, the reverse conclusion also follows: pleasant sensations are not happiness. That was even more shocking to me, since I don't know how to deal with that conclusion, I don't know how to be happy."

Perhaps I misunderstood the question you were asking. You were attempting to make sense of the seeming dichotomy presented by one's reaction to "unpleasant sensations are not suffering" and "pleasant sensations are not happiness."

The difficulty you are having is in bringing the conventional concept of "happiness" into the mix. You are viewing it as a positive state with perhaps a definite positive cause for its arising (such as when one receives something new, like a new car or something). Such a circumstance, in general, is the source for the arising of a feeling of happiness in a person.

When discussing this issue, Gotama was referring to it in what may be viewed as being a negative way, as the absence of something, dukkha in this instance. Or better yet (to use Thanissaro's favorite translation), it is the absence of stress that creates the space for the experience of peace and "happiness" — or to use my word, contentment — to arise.

It is just as in the sutta quotation just provided by pegembara at the end of the post.
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:31 am

IanAnd wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:The problem here is the logical circularity that is either on your argument or on my mind. I know no other true happiness than pleasant mental sensations. You say (simplifying your argument) that by being equanimnous towards both unpleasant sensations and pleasant sensations, "I" will be happy. However, how can I be happy, if I'm being equanimous? Is it that my equanimity is more indifference than equanimity, so I can't experience happiness with an equanimous mind?

To use an example, the suttas say that the 3rd jhana is praised by the noble ones as a pleasant abiding. If it is nothing more than (pleasant) sensations, how can it constitute happiness?

We may have been talking past each other here, not understanding one another. Let's go back to the beginning.

Originally you said: "The main insight I had in that retreat was that suffering is really optional, if you train your mind. This came from the insight that unpleasant sensations are not suffering; it's our attitude towards them that is suffering. However if one accepts this conclusion, the reverse conclusion also follows: pleasant sensations are not happiness. That was even more shocking to me, since I don't know how to deal with that conclusion, I don't know how to be happy."

Perhaps I misunderstood the question you were asking. You were attempting to make sense of the seeming dichotomy presented by one's reaction to "unpleasant sensations are not suffering" and "pleasant sensations are not happiness."

The difficulty you are having is in bringing the conventional concept of "happiness" into the mix. You are viewing it as a positive state with perhaps a definite positive cause for its arising (such as when one receives something new, like a new car or something). Such a circumstance, in general, is the source for the arising of a feeling of happiness in a person.

When discussing this issue, Gotama was referring to it in what may be viewed as being a negative way, as the absence of something, dukkha in this instance. Or better yet (to use Thanissaro's favorite translation), it is the absence of stress that creates the space for the experience of peace and "happiness" — or to use my word, contentment — to arise.

It is just as in the sutta quotation just provided by pegembara at the end of the post.


Puting it in one sentence, what is "happiness"?


I have heard that on one occasion Ven. Sariputta was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Feeding Sanctuary. There he said to the monks, "This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."

When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"

"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.

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


Well, that's probably the problem, although I'm trying to discuss happiness having the feeling of metta as an example of what an arahat would find happiness in.

Pegembara's quote (thank you Pegembara) does not satisfy my question. If pleasant sensations are not happiness, why would the pleasure Ven. Sariputta speaks of, be happiness? The same with peace and contentment: you only feel these things because they are sensations and we're back to sensations not being happiness.
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:57 am

Greetings MP for the delay.
Hopefully I will be able to provide you my own perspective.

Modus.Ponens wrote:Hello all, Ben

I'm writing a post that I should've written a long time ago.

I did a 10 day vipassana retreat in the SN Goenka system. It was the most profound experience of my life. However, I'm starting to question some of the insights I had. The main insight I had in that retreat was that suffering is realy optional, if you train your mind. This came from the insight that unpleasant sensations are not suffering; it's our attitude towards them that is suffering. However if one accepts this conclusion, the reverse conclusion also follows: pleasant sensations are not happiness. That was even more shocking to me, since I don't know how to deal with that conclusion, I don't know how to be happy.

Quite right, all vedana, pleasant, unpleasant and neither pleasant nor unpleasant (neutral) vedanas are anicca, anatta and dukkha.

One way to untie this knot is to distinguish sensations in two categories: physical and mental. In that case, my insight was that the unpleasant physical sensations are not suffering, it's the unpleasant mental sensations that are suffering. If that's the case, It's only the pleasant physical sensations that are not happiness; the pleasant mental sensations are happiness.

Maybe this is a oversimplification, but would you say that this is basicaly correct?

I think its great that you are able to perceive that what is going on is the tangible experience of vedana and the mental reaction we have to it. It corresponds with my own experience both on retreat and at home The pleasantness, unpleasantness or neutrality of the sensation is actually a characteristic of the experience of sensation and not our subsequent tanha-based reaction to that sensation. What I can tell you is that as you continue to practice and your field of awareness slowly changes from unpleasant and neutral sensations to pleasant sensations, you will know for yourself that pleasant sensations are dukkha as well. They are much harder to observe with real equanimity than unpleasant sensations.
I hope this has somewhat answered your question and I am happy to discuss further should you wish.
with metta,

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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby barcsimalsi » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:58 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote: If pleasant sensations are not happiness, why would the pleasure Ven. Sariputta speaks of, be happiness? The same with peace and contentment: you only feel these things because they are sensations and we're back to sensations not being happiness.

In buddhism, pleasant feeling can be regarded as temporary enjoyment or excitement but it does not qualify as true happiness because it is conditioned and subject to change. True happiness is nibbana, the cessation of the 5 aggregates hence it is understood that a person who attains nibbana does not rely on sensation to be happy.

The mind is peace and contented when a person stop asking for more. In short, when a person craves he will define happiness as pleasant feeling but on the other hand for a person who is contented he will see happiness as being free from craving and clinging.
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby IanAnd » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:02 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Puting it in one sentence, what is "happiness"?


I have heard that on one occasion Ven. Sariputta was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Feeding Sanctuary. There he said to the monks, "This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."

When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"

"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.


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

Well, that's probably the problem, although I'm trying to discuss happiness having the feeling of metta as an example of what an arahat would find happiness in.

Pegembara's quote (thank you Pegembara) does not satisfy my question.

If pleasant sensations are not happiness, why would the pleasure Ven. Sariputta speaks of, be happiness?
The same with peace and contentment: you only feel these things because they are sensations and we're back to sensations not being happiness.

This is one you're just going to have to work on for yourself. No one here can help you with it. You are the one who has to REALIZE it. We cannot do that for you.

It is just as the quotation states:

Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"

"Just that . . . is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt."

The pleasure is in the fact, as I stated above, of the absence of dukkha. Udayin is asking the same question you are asking. But you're not understanding the answer provided.

You are trying to conflate (associate) an idea you have of "happiness" with an affective state. And then somehow connect that with your idea of "what an arahat would find happiness in." However, this in not the way to look at this. Yet, like a petulant child, you insist on continuing to look at it in this way.

What Sariputta is saying in the quotation is that it is just that (meaning the absence of dukkha) that "is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt." In other words where there is no stress being felt. Isn't that a close cousin of nibbana?

Sorry, but that is the best that anyone can do to explain this to you. You're just going to have to work this out in your own mind until the realization of what is being told you dawns on you.

Barcsimalsi has also stated it correctly:

    In buddhism, pleasant feeling can be regarded as temporary enjoyment or excitement but it does not qualify as true happiness because it is conditioned and subject to change. True happiness is nibbana, the cessation of the 5 aggregates hence it is understood that a person who attains nibbana does not rely on sensation to be happy.

    The mind is [at] peace and contented when a person stop[s] asking for more. In short, when a person craves he will define happiness as pleasant feeling but on the other hand for a person who is contented he will see happiness as being free from craving and clinging.
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:37 pm

I still don't get it. But I have enough faith to try to find out for myself.

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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:16 pm

There are a number of ways to speak about feeling. At SN 36.22 we find, among them:

“And what, bhikkhus, are the eighteen kinds of feelings? Six examinations accompanied by joy, six examinations accompanied by displeasure, six examinations accompanied by equanimity. These are called the eighteen kinds of feelings.

“And what, bhikkhus, are the thirty-six kinds of feelings? Six types of joy based on the household life, six types of joy based on renunciation; six types of displeasure based on the household life, six types of displeasure based on renunciation; six types of equanimity based on the household life, six types of equanimity based on renunciation. These are called the thirty-six kinds of feelings.


So we can't easily say that "happiness" covers all the cases of pleasure here, because some are based on the household life and some are based on renunciation. So, the word "happiness" is in want of precision, to say nothing of the fact that equanimity is a positive goal while also being different from pleasantness in and of itself.

Notice that in MN 137, we are tasked with the following:

“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. On hearing a sound with the ear…On smelling an odour with the nose…On tasting a flavour with the tongue… On touching a tangible with the body… On cognizing a mind-object with the mind, one explores a mind-object productive of joy, one explores a mind-object productive of grief, one explores a mind-object productive of equanimity. Thus there are six kinds of exploration with joy, six kinds of exploration with grief, and six kinds of exploration with equanimity. So it was with reference to this that it was said: ‘The eighteen kinds of mental exploration should be understood.’


So, we are to understand all these feelings, make an examination of them. Now we can approach the question "what is happiness?" by reading further:

“Herein, what are the six kinds of joy based on the household life? When one regards as a gain the gain of forms cognizable by the eye that are wished for, desired, agreeable, gratifying, and associated with worldliness—or when one recalls what was formerly obtained that has passed, ceased, and changed—joy arises. Such joy as this is called joy based on the household life.

“Herein, what are the six kinds of joy based on renunciation? When, by knowing the impermanence, change, fading away, and cessation of forms, one sees as it actually is with proper wisdom that forms both formerly and now are all impermanent, suffering, and subject to change, joy arises. Such joy as this is called joy based on renunciation.


So:

Modus.Ponens wrote:If pleasant sensations are not happiness, why would the pleasure Ven. Sariputta speaks of, be happiness? The same with peace and contentment: you only feel these things because they are sensations and we're back to sensations not being happiness.


Pleasant sensations, if regarded as gains, are a householder type of happiness. In fact, householder grief is just the lack of such gains. In any case, whether physical or mental, seeing sensations as gain or loss is householder-style. Crowded & dusty, that.

The renunciate type of happiness is seeing all sensations with wisdom. This has been stated in a number of different ways already, but perhaps having "happiness" clearly contrasted per MN 137 helps to clarify the matter.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby kirk5a » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:18 pm

Awaken to non-grasping at sensations.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby reflection » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:12 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote: If pleasant sensations are not happiness, why would the pleasure Ven. Sariputta speaks of, be happiness?

As I see it, nibbana as in the cessation of the aggregates, includes the cessation of feeling. So "where there is nothing felt" means where there is no feeling. And since consciousness can't exist without feeling (MN43), the pleasure he speaks of is not a sensation, but the absence of sensations.

If we look at SN 38.14 we see three types of dukkha. I think we can say that normally we speak about happiness if we can be free of the dukkha of pain. However, there is still the more subtle types of dukkha of fabricating and impermanence which are intertwined in the aggregates, intertwined in feeling.

And also:
Be it a pleasant feeling, be it a painful feeling, be it neutral,
one's own or others', feelings of all kinds[1] —
he knows them all as ill, deceitful, evanescent.
Seeing how they impinge again, again, and disappear,[2]
he wins detachment from the feelings, passion-free.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html


But if we want to understand this and realize this, I think reading suttas and intellectual pursuit is not the best. If we follow Sariputta's advice, it's best to investigate the process of cessation in the jhanas.

:anjali:
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Re: Equanimity vs indiference

Postby Zenainder » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:42 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:I still don't get it. But I have enough faith to try to find out for myself.

:anjali:


If you have not already, I recommend practicing samatha (tranquility) meditation. As the wisdom of the insights dawn and the mind and body are stilled, so is it like a tranquil morning as the sun dawns upon a still pond in a secluded forrest. According to the Upanisa Sutta (SN 12.23) it states that sukha arises from tranquillity of the body and mind. It is a formation aggregate and has its causes and condtions (in this case tranquility and the effort of samatha meditation).

Happiness is the stilling of the hindrances.

It is but a grain of salt compared to liberation.

Metta,

Zen
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