By contrast, if I've managed to reach a state of equanimity, managing and dissolving negative feelings is something that happens almost on its own. While I'm not immune to emotional hurt, say, it's much easier to take care of. Things like practicing mindfulness on any sort of discomfort becomes almost automatic when in equanimious.
Getting into equanimity isn't always easy, even when I want to. Exercise and cold showers help in making me feel physically good, which helps. Ultimately, though, I need to think the right way.
There are a number of thoughts that I've noticed help me get into a state of equanimity. Not every one always works, which is why I've developed a number of them. If I have access to them all, usually at least one will work.
During the last month or two, my Enlightenment progress has stalled, and on most days I haven't been equanimious at all. Part of this, I think, has been because I forgot pretty much all of these thoughts. Every now and then some of them has come back to me, and sometimes it has helped for a day or two before it stopped working again. I finally realized I needed to compile a list of all such thoughts that I've used. This should help me to always have available *some* thought that might work in that state of mind.
I've divided these in three categories.
No self: Negative emotions arise from drawing a boundary between self and non-self. When one abandons the thought of a separate self that has to be defended from a hostile external world, emotions such as fear or uncertainty vanish.
No time: The need to defend yourself only exists if there is a chance that things will get worse in the future. Likewise, being impatient about something, or wanting desperately to experience something, only makes sense if it is combined with a notion of time passing. When one abandons a time-centered perspective and concentrates on the present, emotions such as fear or impatience vanish. When the present is the only moment that exists, my thought often goes, I should take heed and enjoy it.
No care: Suffering arises from identifying so strongly with your emotions that you cannot resolve attention-allocation conflicts. If you have a strong emotional attachment to eating expensive chocolate bananas on one hand, and on principle avoiding all chocolate on the other, you cannot reason your way out of such a conflict. When one stops identifying with their emotions but instead embraces them as useful feedback, the suffering related to negative emotions vanishes.
And here are the actual thoughts. Although listed as separate, some of these are overlapping and some build on each other. In particular, several of the "no time" theories presume parts of the "no self" theories. Some might also seem to somewhat contradict each other, but I don't think they ultimately do: they're simply based on different levels of analysis.
I don't really have the space or energy to comprehensively explain these all, so I'm not sure how much sense they will make to people. Still, maybe someone will find something useful here nonetheless.
- No self, psychological: There is no Cartesian Theater or homonculus, sitting in the center of the brain and running things. To take some specific part of the brain and call it "THE self" is not scientifically justified. Instead, there is only a vast collection of different subsystems, producing quite a variety of selves.
- No self, Occam's Razorical: It makes little sense to talk of an observer in the brain that is the one that observes everything. What would the positing of such an observer add to any theories? It makes more sense to say that there are various cognitive algorithms, which produce qualia as a side-effect of being run. Instead of there existing somebody who observes all the qualia produced by the brain, there are only the qualia which observe themselves and then cease to exist. If so, it makes little sense to identify with the qualia produced by my brain in particular. Instead I can identify with the qualia of all life everywhere. (I previously wrote about this view here, under "the self as how the algorithm feels from the inside".)
- No self, system-theoretical: To speak of a 'self' as separate from the environment makes little sense. My identity is defined by my environment. If all of my physical properties were held constant, you could make me think or do anything by choosing an appropriate environment to match. I'm part of a vast distributed cognitive system, and drawing the boundaries of self strictly around the physical shell housing my body makes little sense. (I previously wrote about this view here, under "the self as lack of personal boundaries".)
- No time, psychological: My mind can only act in the present. I can imagine the future, or remember the past, but both of these involve thought processes that operate in the now. I live in an eternal present.
- No time, physical multiverse: Depending on which Tegmarkian multiverses are real, all physically possible worlds exist or all logically possible worlds exist. Then, no matter what I wish to experience or what I fear, in some part of the multiverse I am already experiencing it. If I identify not with a specific observer but with qualia, then I'll know that I already have everything I could ever wish for, as well as already suffering from everything I could ever dread.
- No time, physical block: In a block universe conception of time, the whole universe already exists as an unmoving four-dimensional block. Time does not pass in the sense of the current me ceasing to exist and being replaced with another me after a moment passes: instead, this me, and all the other mes, exist eternally.
- No time, logical: If I identify with specific qualia instead of specific observers, then the qualia that "I am experiencing" (rather, the qualia which I am) at this very moment is the only qualia which I can be. Anything else would be a different qualia. Therefore, the me that exists at this very moment is the only logically possible one that I can be.
- No care, psychological: Our emotional reactions to anything are just an interpretative layer imposed by our brain, our emotions in general a mechanism to guide our action. They do not exist outside our brain. There is no inherent reason for why I should react to something with anger, and to something else with fear, and to something else with joy. In principle, I can choose to feel any emotion in conjunction with anything that I do or experience. (I previously discussed this view here.)
- No care, projective: All emotions exist within me. To think that somebody external pressures me, say, is incorrect to the extent that it assumes an external force. What is happening that others are activating processes that reside within me, and to ascribe them as pressuring me is projection.
- No care, philosophical: I can dis-identify with any thoughts or emotions that come into my mind. Instead of saying "I am angry", I can say "I'm hosting a feeling of anger as a visitor in my mind right now". I have desires, emotions and thoughts, but I am not my desires, emotions or thoughts. (This is the basis of at least some sort of mindfulness practice, which I previously discussed here.)
These might give you the impression that nothing matters and you might as well lay in bed until you die. Not so. Even if every possible experience exists, not all of them exist in the same proportion. If it did, we would not observe the kind of a regular, ordered universe that we do, but instead a chaotic, unpredictable universe . Therefore our actions still matter and have consequences - it all adds up to normality.
It is still meaningful for me to have goals which I seek to accomplish - even if were logically, psychologically and physically impossible for "this" particular entity to experience their completion, some "other" entity will still reap their benefits. (Our language is not very well designed to handle self-lessness.) And of course, if I identify with all the qualia experienced with all sentient life everywhere in the world, the fact that this particular set of qualia will only be this set forever doesn't matter. I want my efforts to be happy and free of suffering to have as big of an effect as possible.
I think I'll stop here, in case I still have the occasional reader or two who considers me somehow sane.
 I should be more specific here. Yes, if all possible experiences exist, then it is logically necessary that *some* of those experiences would still be about a regular, predictable universe, regardless of whether the universe actually was chaotic or not. But there would only exist a small number of such experiences, while far more of them would exist if there was a more regular weighting. Therefore, given that "I" observe a regular universe, the subjective probability that I exist in one is higher.
Regardless of what kind of a theory we select, it has to be one that still allows probability theory to be meaningful. If it didn't, then nothing we did mattered, and we don't want that, now do we? Again, it should still add up to normality.
See e.g. here or here for views on how to make probability theory function even in a Big universe.