58 Emotional Equilibrium and Mental Imperturbability

13 May 2011

Alan Wallace begins this afternoon’s session with the question, “When a desire arises, how does one know whether it is desire (wholesome) or craving (unwholesome)?” He explores practical answers to this question, then proceeds to a guided meditation on the immeasurable of uppekha, or equanimity, focusing on a Theravaden approach, cultivating an evenness of mental imperturbability, a mind unaffected by mental afflictions.

The guided meditation begins at 14:37 in the recording.

Afterwards, Alan gives an interesting and engaging answer to this question from the group:

1. Any time I’ve heard the question, “How or why did ignorance-marigpa begin?” the answer given is that, “It never began; time is beginningless, and the dharmakaya and ignorance have just always existed, neither came first.” And then, from the teacher, “And why do you want a beginning or first moment anyway?!”

I can accept the notion of beginningless time - ie: present moment arising from the previous ad infinitum, and that from the perspective of Rigpa, its not really happening anyway - at least, that it IS a dream, but I still have difficulty with how marigpa ever happened at all, and if self-grasping is “prior” to the objectification of appearances, how did “karma’s stirring” give rise to Substrate Consciousness?

Do you have any insight, or is there insight from psychology perhaps as to why we “want” a beginning?

PS: Do these questions really matter, or should I just sit down, shut up, and watch my breath?

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