Good and Bad Equanimity

“Upekkhaṃpāhaṃ, devānaminda, duvidhena vadāmi sevitabbampi, asevitabbampīti iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ, kiñcetaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ? Tattha yaṃ jaññā upekkhaṃ ‘Imaṃ kho me upekkhaṃ sevato akusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, kusalā dhammā parihāyantī’ti, evarūpā upekkhā na sevitabbā. Tattha yaṃ jaññā upekkhaṃ ‘Imaṃ kho me upekkhaṃ sevato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhantī’ti, evarūpā upekkhā sevitabbā. Tattha yaṃ ce savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ, yaṃ ce avitakkaṃ avicāraṃ, ye avitakke avicāre, te paṇītatare. Upekkhaṃpāhaṃ, devānaminda, duvidhena vadāmi sevitabbampi, asevitabbampīti iti yaṃ taṃ vuttaṃ, idametaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ.

Lord of the devas, it is said that there are two kinds of equanimity – one to be practiced, and one not to be practiced, but why is this said? When one knows of equanimity, “When I practice equanimity in this way, unskillful mind states increase and skillful mind states decrease,” that kind of equanimity is not to be practiced. When one knows of equanimity, “When I practice equanimity in this way, unskillful mind states decrease and skillful mind states increase,” that kind of equanimity is to be practiced.  And this may be accompanied by reasoning and investigation, or free of reasoning and investigation;  when free of reasoning and investigation,  you cross over into the most excellent.  Thus it is said, Lord of the devas, that there are two kinds of equanimity – one to be practiced, and one not to be practiced, and this is why it is said.

Sakkapañha Sutta, DN 21.5

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