|Glossary of Buddhism|
Upekkhā (in Pali: upekkhā उपेक्खा; Sanskrit: upekṣā 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.
Many passages in the Pali Canon and post-canonical commentary identify upekkha as an important aspect of spiritual development. 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). In the Theravada list of ten paramita (perfections), upekkha is the last-identified bodhisattva practice, and in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga), it is the ultimate characteristic to develop.
To practice upekkha is to be unwavering or to stay neutral in the face of the eight vicissitudes of life—which are otherwise known as the eight worldly winds or eight worldly conditions: loss and gain, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and censure, and sorrow and happiness (the Attha Loka Dhamma).
The "far enemy" of Upekkha is greed and resentment, mind-states in obvious opposition. The "near enemy" (the quality which superficially resembles upekkha but which subtly opposes it), is indifference or apathy.
|First jhāna||Second jhana||Third jhana||Fourth jhana|
|Kāma / Akusala dhamma
(sensuality / unskillful qualities)
|Does not occur||Does not occur||Does not occur|
|unification of awareness
free from vitakka and vicāra
|Does not occur||Does not occur|
(along with distress)
|Does not occur|
(no pleasure nor pain)
(pure, mindful equanimity)
|Does not occur||internal confidence||equanimous;
equanimity and mindfulness