Hypnoape

Fragile Equanimity

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My spiritual practice lately has been consistent and enjoyable; I'm feeling peaceful, happy, and grateful.  The other day my dog came home from the groomer, and evidently she was very naughty and thrashed during her face trim and ended up getting a bit of an eye poke (and on the weekend so the vet was closed).  Nothing serious, it was back to normal the next day, but at first it was swollen and bloodshot and runny and she was keeping it closed mostly.  Seeing my little one like that, I was instantly thrust into anxiety.  Totally absorbed in my thoughts, imagining worst case scenarios, just allowing my mind to run away with me.  There was no gradual breaking down of my presence, no spiritual defense taking place, just in an instant all the togetherness I felt like I'd "acquired" was shattered (albeit only for a little while).

I'm not sure what exactly I'm asking, if anything.  I'm just thinking about the seeming unreasonableness of staying grounded in peace when confronted with the pain of a loved one that you feel powerless to address.  And I'm not even a parent.  It's bad enough with my dog, but I can't imagine someone getting a call from their daughter or something saying that they're in trouble and need help.  Maybe that level of equanimity is reserved only for a true master lol.  I suppose that's why so many spiritual seekers choose solitude.

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The simple answer is that what you developed wasn’t equanimity.

 

I know exactly this situation - and have had it happen many times myself.

 

What you developed is a deeper connection with your internal environment. A sort of inner mindfulness.

 

But mindfulness will add fuel to whatever inner ‘weather’ you may have. If something external sets off an emotional reaction, you’ll feel that emotion stronger than normal because of that enhanced inner connection.

 

Its not that your dog’s suffering is a special case. I’m sure you suffered more than your dog did. It’s that your practices amplified any emotional reaction you may have.

 

Its easy to feel equanimous when your circumstances are ideal. It’s very difficult when things are tough or your buttons are being pressed.

 

Thats why deep meditative practice was always reserved for monks or recluses.

 

This imo, is also the strength of the Daoist approach for the lay practitioner.
 

If you have a deep reserve of Qi and vitality, you become very resilient and quite unshakeable. 
 

My teachers always emphasise that you need a lot of Qi before you can truly meditate.

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9 hours ago, Hypnoape said:

My spiritual practice lately has been consistent and enjoyable; I'm feeling peaceful, happy, and grateful.  The other day my dog came home from the groomer, and evidently she was very naughty and thrashed during her face trim and ended up getting a bit of an eye poke (and on the weekend so the vet was closed).  Nothing serious, it was back to normal the next day, but at first it was swollen and bloodshot and runny and she was keeping it closed mostly.  Seeing my little one like that, I was instantly thrust into anxiety.  Totally absorbed in my thoughts, imagining worst case scenarios, just allowing my mind to run away with me.  There was no gradual breaking down of my presence, no spiritual defense taking place, just in an instant all the togetherness I felt like I'd "acquired" was shattered (albeit only for a little while).

The one who noticed the mental peace and then shattering of the mental peace, was it bothered or affected in any way? 

9 hours ago, Hypnoape said:



I'm not sure what exactly I'm asking, if anything.  I'm just thinking about the seeming unreasonableness of staying grounded in peace when confronted with the pain of a loved one that you feel powerless to address.  And I'm not even a parent.  It's bad enough with my dog, but I can't imagine someone getting a call from their daughter or something saying that they're in trouble and need help.  Maybe that level of equanimity is reserved only for a true master lol.  I suppose that's why so many spiritual seekers choose solitude

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1 hour ago, dwai said:

The one who noticed the mental peace and then shattering of the mental peace, was it bothered or affected in any way?

That's a very good point 🙏  I think I've even said something similar to other people before lol.  Easier for me to say than to practice I guess 😅

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11 hours ago, Hypnoape said:

Maybe that level of equanimity is reserved only for a true master lol.  I suppose that's why so many spiritual seekers choose solitude.

 

Hi Hypoape,

 

Not only for a master ~ but for you also. Why?

 

In between your words ~ there is equanimity.

 

For your best friend...

th?id=OIP.N7BNBGhA0Y26q22ap9tg3gAAAA&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

 

- Anand

 

 

(P.S. Are you a hypnotized ape? No offence ~ just curious.)

 

 

Edited by Limahong
Enhancement

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12 minutes ago, Hypnoape said:

That's a very good point 🙏  I think I've even said something similar to other people before lol.  Easier for me to say than to practice I guess 😅

It is easy to forget because we think of it as a fleeting thing, something to be clung to. But it not only is not fleeting, but rather ever-present. It doesn’t need to be practiced either. But it takes time to understand...

 

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6 hours ago, freeform said:

If you have a deep reserve of Qi and vitality, you become very resilient and quite unshakeable. 
 

My teachers always emphasise that you need a lot of Qi before you can truly meditate.

 

Hi freeform,

 

Better still if Qi can be transformed to Shen... and vice versa?

 

Don't forget about Jing.

 

th?id=OIP.7j7U4UVxubhg7hp6bSbLPAHaEK&pid=Api&P=0&w=280&h=158

 

 

- Anand

 

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12 hours ago, Hypnoape said:

My spiritual practice lately has been consistent and enjoyable; I'm feeling peaceful, happy, and grateful.  The other day my dog came home from the groomer, and evidently she was very naughty and thrashed during her face trim and ended up getting a bit of an eye poke (and on the weekend so the vet was closed).  Nothing serious, it was back to normal the next day, but at first it was swollen and bloodshot and runny and she was keeping it closed mostly.  Seeing my little one like that, I was instantly thrust into anxiety.  Totally absorbed in my thoughts, imagining worst case scenarios, just allowing my mind to run away with me.  There was no gradual breaking down of my presence, no spiritual defense taking place, just in an instant all the togetherness I felt like I'd "acquired" was shattered (albeit only for a little while).

I'm not sure what exactly I'm asking, if anything.  I'm just thinking about the seeming unreasonableness of staying grounded in peace when confronted with the pain of a loved one that you feel powerless to address.  And I'm not even a parent.  It's bad enough with my dog, but I can't imagine someone getting a call from their daughter or something saying that they're in trouble and need help.  Maybe that level of equanimity is reserved only for a true master lol.  I suppose that's why so many spiritual seekers choose solitude.

I would call this a beautiful human experience of empathy and compassion. This is a measure of success in your practice, not failure. It is a sign of opening of the heart.

 

Equanimity is being with this fully, to honor it, to give yourself the space and support you need to do just that, nothing else, as it is your authentic experience. Equanimity is not unfeeling or distance. It is being with it, hosting it. Embracing it and embracing the Hypnoape who is suffering. With much mastery everything may have that single taste but that is theory for most. We need to work with where we’re at not where we think we should be or want to be.

 

My teacher would remind you that when our flames are small, they need protection and are easily extinguished. So we don’t push ourselves too hard. We’re gentle with ourselves. With practice and devotion, the flame grows and we are less disturbed by events. When strong, like a bonfire it is fed by even a strong wind. 

 

So I suggest you keep doing what you’re doing. When the reactivity settles there is the possibility of powerful qualities coming up (like equanimity, like love, generosity...). Notice these, they can be subtle at first. Act on these if you’re so inspired. Trust it. 

 

🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

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9 hours ago, steve said:

We need to work with where we’re at not where we think we should be or want to be.

 

My teacher would remind you that when our flames are small, they need protection and are easily extinguished. So we don’t push ourselves too hard. We’re gentle with ourselves. With practice and devotion, the flame grows and we are less disturbed by events. When strong, like a bonfire it is fed by even a strong wind. 

 

So I suggest you keep doing what you’re doing. When the reactivity settles there is the possibility of powerful qualities coming up (like equanimity, like love, generosity...). Notice these, they can be subtle at first. Act on these if you’re so inspired. Trust it.

Thank you so much for your words Steve 🙏  I do struggle with trying to be somewhere other than where I am in spiritual practice.  It's getting better for sure, but I can definitely hold on to expectations about how I ought to be.

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One should be cognizant throughout one's practice of indicators which imply one is:

 

1) not as "far along the path" as one may have imagined.

 

&

2) "much further along" than one truly is.

 

The pendulum only seems to swing both ways... it is its very own center which anchors the momentum in either direction.

 

These are nuanced milestones, and nothing to neither beat oneself up about nor engage in self-aggrandizement. On the contrary, such impressions, once treated with the correct degree of... egoic separation so to speak, are as tools of revelation exposing the equanimity inherent to one's path itself.

Edited by neti neti
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On 8/25/2020 at 7:50 PM, freeform said:

This imo, is also the strength of the Daoist approach for the lay practitioner.
 

If you have a deep reserve of Qi and vitality, you become very resilient and quite unshakeable. 
 

My teachers always emphasise that you need a lot of Qi before you can truly meditate.

 

Actually -- one of the things I thought being the case was that the more you build Qi and vitality (and yang Qi runs in your system) the more power your emotions also have a hold over you -- since there's more power behind them. How do you reconcile those two opposing views -- one, where having more Qi means being more resilient and unshakeable, and another where having more Qi means your emotions, tendencies and habits can get worse -- fed by this extra layer of Qi?

 

Thanks for sharing. Great discussion. :) 

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1 hour ago, anshino23 said:

 

Actually -- one of the things I thought being the case was that the more you build Qi and vitality (and yang Qi runs in your system) the more power your emotions also have a hold over you -- since there's more power behind them. How do you reconcile those two opposing views -- one, where having more Qi means being more resilient and unshakeable, and another where having more Qi means your emotions, tendencies and habits can get worse -- fed by this extra layer of Qi?

 

Thanks for sharing. Great discussion. :) 


Good question :)

 

Think of it this way. When you’re back from a long holiday, feeling replenished, relaxed, unstressed - and on your drive home someone cuts you off in traffic... your reaction would likely be very different than if you were driving home from a long day at work, where you’re failing to meet deadlines, you’re stressed and run-down.

 

Having a lot of Qi is very much like having come back from a long holiday - but constant.

 

Now it’s true that in the early stages, if you’re practicing incorrectly - as your Qi builds and you still have an erratic inner environment (rather than sinking and song), your Qi may fuel this erraticness  - and the result can be strong emotions - but that’s an early stage issue and in most people passes quite quickly once they get back on track. This is an error in practice and not an expected result. Most people practicing a genuine system don’t go through this at all.

 

More of an intermediate issue that is recognised to be one of the major pitfalls - (particularly for men) is the fuelling of unconscious base desires. But these things come to the fore partly because you feel strong and resilient.


Think of the stressed, hardworking middle manager suddenly being promoted to a high position in the company - they suddenly feel powerful and secure - and slowly the unpleasant, base parts of their personalities start to come out. they become more self-important, more domineering, maybe more inappropriate with assistants they find attractive etc. 
 

This is an ‘expected’ issue in Neigong development - and it’s handled differently by different systems.

 

It is taught that the main hurdle for women comes a later where the emotions start to convert to actual equanimity. It’s very difficult to let go of one’s reliance on emotion. 

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