Bhante Sanyatha was trying to explain this to me recently, but had some difficulty translating the Pali into english words that would properly convey the teaching.
So off I went in search of explanations via the web. I found a lot of sutta’s that “kind of” talked about this, but not one that actually clarified it for me.
Often I have been told by several of the Monks that it is all dhamma. Meaning that everything we do, say or think is the path of wisdom and potential Buddhahood.
But I think that seeing through the eyes of the dhamma is different than that. I think it is about completely changing ones view of all things. Without pervasions or distortions (vipallāsa), but with the heart of a Buddha.
I see equanimity (upekkha) as a key to obtaining this view, but I also know that this word equanimity is thrown around with careless abandon. I think that true equanimity comes from an egoless being. With acceptance, patience (khanti), and non-attachment, there is a place of peace, loving kindness (metta) and compassion (karuna).
I have not gained the skill or wisdom to see things in this way, but I practice for this purpose. Strong determination, tempered by acceptance of my human nature, will always bring me back to the middle path.
I have no idea which Jhana I have reached, nor am I concerned with it.
But to reach a place that is purity of equanimity and mindfulness, with neither-pleasure-nor-pain, is one which I believe to be Noble and wise.
“I declare a person endowed with four qualities to be one of great discernment, a great man. Which four?
“There is the case, brahman, where he practices for the welfare & happiness of many people and has established many people in the noble method, i.e., the rightness of what is admirable, the rightness of what is skillful.
“He thinks any thought he wants to think, and doesn’t think any thought he doesn’t want to think. He wills any resolve he wants to will, and doesn’t will any resolve he doesn’t want to will. He has attained mastery of the mind with regard to the pathways of thought.
“He attains — whenever he wants, without strain, without difficulty — the four jhanas that are heightened mental states, pleasant abidings in the here-&-now.
“With the ending of mental fermentations — he remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having directly known & realized them for himself right in the here-&-now.
“…I declare a person endowed with these four qualities to be one of great discernment, a great man.”
— Vassakara Sutta: With Vassakara AN 4.35
May you be well, happy and peaceful.