I’ll start today with Kamala’s next talk in the retreat, on the topic of The Five Spiritual Faculties’ relationship to Equanimity.
Kamala starts the talk by sharing a teaching she received from Sayadaw U Pandita:
Equanimity is like a chariot being pulled by five horses. In the lead is Mindful Awareness. Behind that are a pair of horses, Faith and Wisdom. Behind that is a second pair of horses, Concentration and Energy.
When Faith and Wisdom are in balance, and when Concentration and Energy are in balance, then the lead horse (Mindful Awareness) has little work.~ Sayadaw U Pandita, as told by Kamala Masters
I like this example for the way it gives me a visceral sense of the balancing of these five factors. I can relate to times when I’ve felt I’ve been teetering too much in one direction or another, and to other times when there has been an ease in my practice because that balance is there.
Kamala also shares a passage from Bhikkhu Bodhi:
Left to itself without the guidance of a superior source of instruction, the mind is a prey to forces that swell up from within itself, habitual forces which hold us in subjection and prevent us from attaining our own highest welfare and genuine good. … True freedom necessarily involves the attainment of inner autonomy, the strength to withstand the pushes and pulls of our negative habit patterns, and this is accomplished precisely by the development and balance of the five spiritual faculties.~ The Five Spiritual Faculties by Bhikkhu Bodhi
We’ll visit each of these qualities over the next few days.
Guided Meditation: Ayya Santacitta recently led a meditation on the “Five Indriya”, another name for the five faculties. In the meditation, she encourages us to realize these five factors are already present in us. The meditation is about 17 minutes, although you can continue.
Feel free to share your reflections or comments below, or by email.
With warm wishes,