Brahma-viharas, some easier/harder for you?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: Brahma-viharas, some easier/harder for you?

Postby Nibbida » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:17 pm

thereductor wrote:Passaddhi is often rendered as tranquility, as in `it is unmoving` or `still`: like water in an undisturbed glass. In the case of the 7 factors it means the making of the body and mind still, calm, like water in a said glass.

Upekkha is a perceptive mode where an object or event is striped of the normal values of `good` and `bad` (which were based on perceived self interest) and is instead seen in terms of its actual qualities. That is the same meaning it has in relation to the four abodes. We apply the other three mental states fairly to all beings, regardless of how that relates to our own perceived self interest. It can also mean that we ourselves do not go up and down in happiness based on the fortunes of others. Basically it amounts to being imperturbable in the face of any event, but willing to help whenever the opportunity presents itself regardless of the being the is to receive such help.

This is such a good point. This led me to ponder two points:

1. Passaddhi depends on creating stillness, mentally and physically. However, upekkha can happen during mental/physical stillness or in action. In fact, it has to happen while we are active in order to carry it into daily life. We can't stop the world every time we need some equanimity, nor would we want to leave our equanimity on the cushion. "See ya later!"

2. Also, passadhi does not respond to events, it persists despite them (noises, room temperature, etc.) Upekkha can only be in response to events, internal (thoughts, emotions) or external (other peoples' suffering, etc.) If nothing were happening in a given moment, then there would be nothing to maintain equanimity about.

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Re: Brahma-viharas, some easier/harder for you?

Postby christopher::: » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:54 am

This analogy could be off the mark, but passaddhi sounds like being a still tranquil lake, body and mind calm. Uppheka is how we deal with stress, problems- like having magnificent shock absorbers on your car. There may be all kinds of bumps and holes outside but inside the car remains much stiller (passaddhi is maintained) because by cultivating uppheka we are able to absorb/ignore the shocks?

As you are saying, uppheka is how we respond... but the two are related, the more we become skillful with uppheka the deeper (or more regularly) the passaddhi we shall experience?

Does that sound about right?
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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