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Old 15-02-2020, 04:36 AM
Gem Gem is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Australia
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Originally Posted by Phaelyn
In the above example, you obviously know about the things you are speaking about. You have understanding of these things. You are aware of aversion and desire and have had experience and so you have understanding of how it comes about and how it ceases. You know one to be better than the other. You prefer equanimity and non-reacting to aversion and desire and reacting.

The main problem is I can't really have equanimity because 'equanimity' is a word that describes the absence of reactivity, or 'craving'. The other issue is, if you are adverse toward craving, this, in itself, is craving... this is how the topic becomes complex, nuanced and phenomenological.

You know aversion and desire and reaction leads to conflict. You do have a preference or desire for equanimity! But yea you don't seek equanimity directly as it comes on its own. It is a side effect. The awareness or understanding of "I am reacting and I don't have to," or seeing the reaction and me are two different things in other words, results in equanimity or non-reaction.

Yes, I guess we can conceive of it in that way!

You have stepped outside "this" interpreted through a mental filter, as an idea, a preference for what "this" is or should be. Ironically, however, your preference and understanding of non-reacting made non-reacting possible. If you had no experience or insights into equanimity, so that you did not know of it to prefer it, you could not conjure it up through magical awareness slight of hand. Turning the brains habitual ego reactions into nothingness. Turning potential conflict and aversion into peace and acceptance.

It was mostly through the meditation practice that I realised how I reacted to the sensations I felt, and how that related to resistance etc, and impeded not only the quietude of the meditation, but the whole process of purification.

I don't have an aversion to saying I desire peace within and without. The conflict is not in that statement of fact. The conflict is in how one thinks they can achieve that thing. It is not a doing, it is a "not-doing." I am doing what prevents it. I need to become aware of what I am doing that prevents it. So it is a seeing, an understanding, more awareness of what is here now as an actuality and as a potential. Like in your tense shoulder example. Everything was done in the awareness the tension was there.

Yes, you become conscious of 'what you do' rather than 'know not what you do', so if you mean what I interpret you as saying, I think you hit the nail on the head.

Well it is a desire for a state of equanimity. That was the motivation to be more aware in the present.

I think we have to conceptualise will in 2 ways. The first way is how desire/aversion incites willfulness, i.e. try to make it the way you want it to be. The second aspect of will is willingness, which is the cessation of willfulness. It does not do away with intent, you see, willingness is also an intent in its own right, but it is only being ardent about the truth.

Without the memory and the corresponding preference of the equanimity experience, there would be no energy expelled to notice when it was not present. When you noticed the shoulder was tensed, you "knew" of the potential of experiencing it without tension. You were aware of the relaxed state. You had a memory/experience of it. Having a memory and preference for the relaxed not tensing state led to you ending the tensing. Seeing the tensing as a bad thing, a thing preventing the preferred experience.

In the meditation halls I would go over the body to feel what it is like, and I noticed I had a tendency to tense up my legs, as I observed that part of the body I know "this is tension" and in that moment also cease doing that. I'd go on to examine other parts of the body-feeling and later return to find I had unconsciously tensed up my legs again. On deeper inspection I realised I tense my legs due to an unconscious adverse reaction to discomfort in my hips, and by tensing up, relieve the discomfort (making it as I want it to be). Hence, I don't consider the tension to be bad, there is nothing wrong with it at all, but I do learn a deeper aspect through it, the reason I do it, and know more about myself in that process. After a time, once I had noticed this tendency, which was signifying a deeper, more pervasive tendency of 'craving', it became very apparent to me and no longer could get by me unawares, and it stopped as I came to peace with the discomfort in my hips. Indeed it was the cessation of desire/aversion, reactivity or craving with regard to the feelings that ended the tendency of tensing, but I did have to become conscious of the tension, then conscious of the reactive process behind it. Once I was clearly conscious of it, it stopped. Then I could experience the pain in my hips without any reactivity, or the activity of tensing (same thing), and because I was willing toward the discomfort, had no desire for it be other than it was... The impetus or urge or the volition to make it otherwise through tensing completely ceased to occur. Of course I can remember that it used to occur, but rather than prefer it doesn't, I lost the preference of comfortable hips, and thus has no reason to tense up my legs.

In that moment of noticing tensing is also a memory of how non-tensing experience is, so one chooses to end tensing. If one did not know non-tensing experience, there would be no motivation to end tensing or to even know it was possible. Using that metaphor, non-tensing the shoulder is like non-reaction, we have to "know" what equanimity experience or non-reacting experience is like. Maybe we had it as a child. Maybe it is there between thoughts. Maybe we got glimpses of it from teachers or practices or insights in this life time. However we begin to know it, eventually we do. Then over time we begin to seek it more and more, to have more interest in it, so our awareness increases because it is only in noticing what we are doing, that allows us to stop doing, and let the other experience and way of being come into existence. I think we are always chasing pleasure and happiness. This stuff is just seeking it in subtle ways. Every way we seek it has a down side, so we refine and refine, how to get pleasure and happiness with no downside. This is like end game stuff. How to be happy no matter what is happening externally or internally.
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