State Changes, Equanimity & Insight Practices
Explanation Of The Wisdom
All we have access to in life, are various mental and physical states our unconscious mind projects to as the conscious experience. Sights, sounds, feelings, thoughts and taste are binded in each moment by deeper aspects of your mind to give the illlusory perception of a world, self and suffering. This is your life in a nutshell.
In any style of spiritual practice, the method is always to:
1- Experience a specific ‘state change’ which will enable you to more easily experience something directly without pre-conscious processing through your unconscious mind. One uses methods like Psychedelics, Samatha annd dry contemplation to facilitate tranquility, joy, contentment and/or move directly to step 2.
Even when you do dry insight, you tend to experience a profound state change for a second before the insights arise in the mind.
2- This is the crux of the work. You use the mind faculties you’ve developed like equanimity, concentration and introspective awareness in this higher state of consciousness which becomes an easier access point for a profound insight into the nature of reality and so forth.
State changes are important in so far as they enable you to practice consistently and help your mind to investigate reality. Feeling deeply fulfilled and happy is also an incredible perk to state changes as well. You are also doing deep emotional work too.
This means that you are never wasting your time. (After a certain level of meditation mastery, of course)
Yes, you are churning away at this ‘Who am I?‘ or ‘What is love?’ insight problem but also develop dopaminergic circuits in your brain. Actual physical pathways that will produce contentment, equanimity, reduce self-clinging and increase joy in the future.
However, as time goes on, you’ll start to see that one can glean insights from ‘any state’ IF you are skilled enough to do it. This is a rather bitter pill to swallow.
The key is actually having these skills. To develop them first through state changes which will make your job easier.
Pleasant states will make your job significantly easier than painful states. That is why people tend to practice Samatha-vipassana and jhanas before they do insight practices.
But see, this is a bitter pill to swallow which only becomes apparent after insights mature. You don’t need to experience a certain state to glean insights. These insights are so profound that they exist in each moment regardless of your state and if you have enough introspective investigation skills, you can momentarily taste them.
States are still important but are now recontextualized into a more equanimous worldview.
The reason is that even for a monstrously enlightened person, dealing with physical torture continuously everyday will drain their energy after awhile. Yes, they will momentarily see through the emptiness of each sensation devoid of self-clinging, suffering and permanence. But that is a lot of work. It makes your job harder to investigate deeper parts of reality.
Pleasant states will give you a breathing room. Help you lay down your options and see what avenues can be explored. It will make your life sweet and provide you ample opportunities to go deeper.
Keep this 2 step model to spirituality I’ve simplified in the beginning. It will help you to see your practice more clearly.
You can never escape states but can go beyond them. They will remain important. But in a contextualized paradigm.
Hope this was useful. Let me know your comments below.
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