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Upekkhā (in devanagari: ऊपेक्खा; Sanskrit: उपेक्षा), is the Buddhist concept of equanimity. As one of the Brahma Vihara (meditative states), it is a pure mental state cultivated on the Buddhist path to nirvāna.
Pali literary contexts
|Table: Jhāna-related factors.|
- It is one of the Four Sublime States (brahmavihara), which are purifying mental states capable of counteracting the defilements of lust, aversion and ignorance. As a brahmavihara, it is also one of the forty traditionally identified subjects of Buddhist meditation (kammatthana).
- To be unwavering or staying neutral in the face of the eight vicissitudes of life, loss and gain, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and censure, and sorrow and happiness (Attha Loka Dhamma), is to practice true upekkha.
- In the development of meditative concentration, upekkha arises as the quintessential factor of material absorption, present in the third and fourth jhana states.
- In the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga), upekkha is the ultimate factor to be developed.
- In the Theravada list of ten paramita (perfections), upekkha is the last-identified bodhisattva practice.
Similarity with non-Buddhist Concepts
- “The real meaning of upekkha is equanimity, not indifference in the sense of unconcern for others. As a spiritual virtue, upekkha means stability in the face of the fluctuations of worldly fortune. It is evenness of mind, unshakeable freedom of mind, a state of inner equipoise that cannot be upset by gain and loss, honor and dishonor, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. Upekkha is freedom from all points of self-reference; it is indifference only to the demands of the ego-self with its craving for pleasure and position, not to the well-being of one's fellow human beings. True equanimity is the pinnacle of the four social attitudes that the Buddhist texts call the 'divine abodes': boundless loving-kindness, compassion, altruistic joy, and equanimity. The last does not override and negate the preceding three, but perfects and consummates them.”
- Ataraxia (Greek concept of mental equanimity)
- Brahma-viharas (divine abodes)
- Jhana (mental absorption)
- Paramita (practices of perfections)
- "The Seven Factors of Enlightenment". Accesstoinsight.org. 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- "Bodhi (1998)". Accesstoinsight.org. 2010-06-05. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- Bodhi, Bhikkhu (1995, 1998). Toward a Threshold of Understanding (BPS Newsletter cover essays nos. 30 & 31). Retrieved January 15, 2007 from "Access to Insight"
- Equanimity (upekkha) by the Venerable Nyanaponika Thera.
- Equanimity by Gil Fronsdal
- Dharma Dictionary - RangjungYesheWiki - Btang Snyoms/Upeksa
- Equanimity practiced as a part of a Ten day Vipassana course.
- Writings on equanimity in yoga by Shy Sayar.