53 You Are Me, I Am You: Cultivating Equanimity

31 Aug 2015

Alan stresses that cultivating or unveiling the immeasurable of Equanimity is indispensable from the beginning for our shamatha practice. The development of meditative equipoise is applied to practicing Equanimity in attending to people and all other sentient beings whilst maintaining recognition of their differences. This allows a cutting through of the veil of appearances to the view of the equal worthiness of all to have happiness and its causes and be free of suffering and its causes. The practice of Equanimity is applied to, and the culmination of, the other Immeasurables. Without this practice, one is not attending to reality. It is a prerequisite for one’s Vipashyana practice to be effective. There is no Mahayana path without Equanimity. The view of equal purity of all is necessary for one’s own liberation and consequently the liberation of all, as Equanimity makes understood the common nature and goals of all.

Alan returns to the ordinary view of appearances, noting the amazing thing that of all the faces we encounter in life no one looks like any other. The appearances of others are affected by the fruiting of one’s karmic kleshas from prior mental afflictions being seen through the filter of present mental afflictions. We need conceptualisation to ‘make sense’ of the world of objects and other people. However, Alan says the truly amazing thing is that these appearances are all me (i.e. Alan) like an artist painting each of us every moment from the colours of the mind’s palette. It is one’s own mind being personified or reified in the appearance of others with the consequent arising of attraction, aversion or indifference. The infinity of names designating others and all appearances are all my name. With this view, the notion of purifying and liberating all sentient beings individually takes on a different light. To achieve liberation quickly, then purify one’s mind, dissolving all appearances and take fruition as the path with Equanimity.

[A more personal note from this synopsis writer (as it probably cannot be fully captured listening to the podcast) is that while Alan was expressing his insight that we paint others in this way, the collective stillness in the room of nearly 50 people was palpable and poignant. Clearly these teachings are penetrating.]

Meditation is on Equanimity.

The meditation starts at 35:19.

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