10 Satipatthana Sutta

The Foundations of Mindfulness

  1. Thus have I heard.133 On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Kuru country at a town of the Kurus named Kammasadhamma.134 There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: «Bhikkhus.» — «Venerable sir,» they replied. The Blessed One said this:
  2. «Bhikkhus, this is the direct path135 for the purification of beings [56], for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for the realization of Nibbana — namely, the four foun­dations of mindfulness.136
  3. «What are the four? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu137 abides contemplating the body as a body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world.138 He abides contemplating feelings as feelings, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating mind as mind, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world.139

(CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY)

(1. Mindfulness of Breathing)

  1. «And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating the body as a body? Here a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, and established mindfulness in front of him, ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out. Breathing in long, he understands: “I breathe in long”; or breathing out long, he understands: “I breathe out long.” Breathing in short, he understands: “I breathe in short»; or breathing out short, he understands: “I breathe out short.”140 He trains thus: «I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body [of breath]»; he trains thus: «I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body [of breath].»141 He trains thus: «I shall breathe in tranquillizing the bodily formation»; he trains thus: «I shall breathe out tranquillizing the bodily formation.»142 Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice, when making a long turn, understands: 1 make a long turn»; or, when making a short turn, understands: «I make a short turn»; so too, breathing in long, a bhikkhu understands: «I breathe in long»…he trains thus: «I shall breathe out tranquillizing the bodily formation.»

(INSIGHT)

  1. «In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally, or he abides contemplating the body as a body exter­nally, or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally.143 Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors, or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors, or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.144 Or else mindfulness that «there is a body» is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.145 And he abides independent, not dinging to anything in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.

(2. The Four Postures)

  1. «Again, bhikkhus, when walking, a bhikkhu understands: «I am walking»; when standing, he understands: T am standing»; when sitting, [57] he understands: “I am sitting»; when lying down, he understands: T am lying down»; or he understands accordingly however his body is disposed.146
  2. «In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.

(3. Full Awareness)

  1. «Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is one who acts in full awareness when going forward and returning;147 who acts in full aware­ness when looking ahead and looking away; who acts in full awareness when flexing and extending his limbs; who acts in full awareness when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl; who acts in full awareness when eating, drink­ing, consuming food, and tasting; who acts in full awareness when defecating and urinating; who acts in full awareness when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and keeping silent.
  2. «In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally, externally, and both internally and externally.. .And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.

(4. Foulness — The Bodily Parts)

  1. «Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair, bounded by skin, as full of many kinds of impurity thus: «In this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil of the joints, and urine.»148 Just as though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of many sorts of grain, such as hill rice, red rice, beans, peas, millet, and white rice, and a man with good eyes were to open it and review it thus: «This is hill rice, this is red rice, these are beans, these are peas, this is millet, this is white rice»; so too, a bhikkhu reviews this same body…as full of many kinds of impurity thus: «In this body there are head-hairs…and urine.»
  2. «In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally, externally, and both internally and externally.. .And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.

(5. Elements)

  1. «Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu reviews this same body, how­ever it is placed, however disposed, as consisting of elements thus: «In this body there are the earth element, the water ele­ment, the fire element, and the air element.»149 [58] Just as though a skilled butcher or his apprentice had killed a cow and was seated at the crossroads with it cut up into pieces; so too, a bhikkhu reviews this same body…as consisting of elements thus: «In this body there are the earth element, the water ele­ment, the fire element, and the air element.»
  2. «In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally, externally, and both internally and externally.. .And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.

(6-14. The Nine Charnel Ground Contemplations)

  1. «Again, bhikkhus, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, one, two, or three days dead, bloated, livid, and oozing matter, a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: «This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.»150
  2. «In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally, externally, and both internally and externally.. .And he abides independent, not dlinging to anything in the world. That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.
  3. «Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals, or various kinds of worms, a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: «This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.»
  4. «…That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.

18-24. «Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together with sinews…a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, held together with sinews…a skeleton without flesh and blood, held together with sinews…disconnected bones scattered in all directions — here a hand-bone, there a foot-bone, here a shin-bone, there a thigh-bone, here a hip-bone, there a back-bone, here a rib-bone, there a breast-bone, here an arm-bone, there a shoul­der-bone, here a neck-bone, there a jaw-bone, here a tooth, there the skull — a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: «This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.»151

  1. «…That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.

26-30. «Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, bones bleached white, the colour of shells… bones heaped up, more than a year old…bones rotted and crum­bled to dust [59], a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: «This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.»

(INSIGHT)

  1. «In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally, or he abides contemplating the body as a body exter­nally, or he abides contemplating the body as a body both inter­nally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors, or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors, or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. Or else mindfulness that «there is a body» is simply established in him to the extent neces­sary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides inde­pendent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.

(CONTEMPLATION OF FEELING)

  1. «And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating feelings as feelings?152 Here, when feeling a pleasant feeling, a bhikkhu understands: T feel a pleasant feeling»; when feeling a painful feeling, he understands: «I feel a painful feeling»; when feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: «I feel a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.» When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling, he understands: «I feel a worldly pleasant feeling»; when feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling, he understands: «I feel an unworldly pleasant feeling»; when feeling a worldly painful feeling, he understands: «I feel a worldly painful feeling»; when feeling an unworldly painful feeling, he understands: «I feel an unworldly painful feeling»; when feeling a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: «I feel a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling»; when feeling an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: «I feel an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.»

(INSIGHT)

  1. «In this way he abides contemplating feelings as feelings inter­nally, or he abides contemplating feelings as feelings externally, or he abides contemplating feelings as feelings both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in feelings their arising factors, or he abides contemplating in feelings their van­ishing factors, or he abides contemplating in feelings both their arising and vanishing factors.153 Or else mindfulness that ‘there is feeling’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating feelings as feelings.

(CONTEMPLATION OF MIND)

  1. «And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind as mind?154 Here a bhikkhu understands mind affected by lust as mind affected by lust, and mind unaffected by lust as mind unaffected by lust. He understands mind affected by hate as mind affected by hate, and mind unaffected by hate as mind unaffected by hate. He understands mind affected by delusion as mind affected by delusion, and mind unaffected by delusion as mind unaffected by delusion. He understands contracted mind as contracted mind, and distracted mind as distracted mind. He understands exalted mind as exalted mind, and unexalted mind as unexalted mind. He understands surpassed mind as surpassed mind, and unsurpassed mind as unsurpassed mind. He understands concentrated mind as concentrated mind, and unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated mind. He understands liberated mind as liberated mind, and unliberated mind as unliberated mind.155

(INSIGHT)

  1. «In this way he abides contemplating mind as mind internally, or he abides contemplating mind as mind externally, or he abides contemplating mind as mind both internally and exter­nally. Or else he abides contemplating in mind its arising fac­tors, [60] or he abides contemplating in mind its vanishing fac­tors, or he abides contemplating in mind both its arising and vanishing factors.156 Or else mindfulness that «there is mind» is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind.

(CONTEMPLATION OF MIND-OBJECTS)

(1. The Five Hindrances)

  1. «And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects?157 Here a bhikkhu abides con­templating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five hindrances.158 And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five hindrances? Here, there being sensual desire in him, a bhikkhu understands: «There is sensual desire in me»; or there being no sensual desire in him, he understands: «There is no sensual desire in me»; and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sensual desire, and how there comes to be the aban­doning of arisen sensual desire, and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sensual desire.»

«There being ill will in him…There being sloth and torpor in him.. .There being restlessness and remorse in him.. .There being doubt in him, a bhikkhu understands: «There is doubt in me»; or there being no doubt in him, he understands: «There is no doubt hi me»; and he understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen doubt, and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen doubt, and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned doubt.

(INSIGHT)

  1. «In this way he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally, or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally, or be abides contemplating mind- objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors, or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors, or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. Or else mindfulness that «there are mind-objects» is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five hindrances.

(2. The Five Aggregates)

  1. «Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind- objects as mind-objects [61] in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging.159 And how does a bhikkhu abide con­templating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging? Here a bhikkhu understands: «Such is material form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception, such its origin, such its disappearance; such are the formations, such their origin, such their disappearance; such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.»
  2. «In this way he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides independent, not clinging to any­thing in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging.

(3. The Six Bases)

  1. «Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind- objects as mind-objects in terms of the six internal and exter­nal bases.160 And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the six internal and external bases? Here a bhikkhu understands the eye, he under­stands forms, and he understands the fetter that arises depen­dent on both; and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter, and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter, and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter.

«He understands the ear, he understands sounds…He under­stands the nose, he understands odours…He understands the tongue, he understands flavours… He under stands the body, he understands tangibles…He understands the mind, he under­stands mind-objects, and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both; and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter, and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter, and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter.

  1. «In this way he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides independent, not clinging to any­thing in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the six internal and external bases.

(4. The Seven Enlightenment Factors)

  1. «Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors.161 And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlighten­ment factors? Here, there being the mindfulness enlighten­ment factor in him, a bhikkhu understands: «There is the mindfulness enlightenment factor in me»; or there being no mindfulness enlightenment factor in him, he understands: [62] «There is no mindfulness enlightenment factor in me»; and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen mindfulness enlightenment factor, and how the arisen mindfulness enlightenment factor comes to fulfillment by development.

«There being the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor in him162…There being the energy enlightenment factor of him…There being the rapture enlightenment factor in him…There being the tranquillity enlightenment factor in him…There being the concentration enlightenment factor in him.. .There being the equanimity enlightenment factor in him, a bhikkhu understands: «There is the equanimity enlightenment factor in me»; or there being no equanimity enlightenment factor in him, he understands: «There is no equanimity enlightenment factor in me»; and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen equanimity enlightenment factor, and how the arisen equanimity enlightenment factor comes to fulfillment by development.163

  1. «In this way he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides independent, not clinging to any­thing in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlighten­ment factors.

(5. The Four Noble Truths)

  1. «Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind- objects as mind-objects in terms of the Four Noble Truths.164 And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the Four Noble Truths? Here a bhikkhu understands as it actually is: «This is suffering»; he understands as it actually is: «This is the origin of suffering»; he understands as it actually is: «This is the cessation of suffering»; he under­stands as it actually is: «This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.»

(INSIGHT)

  1. «In this way he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind- objects internally, or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally, or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors, or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors, or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and unarising factors. Or else mindfulness that «there are mind-objects» is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the Four Noble Truths.

(CONCLUSION)

  1. «Bhikkhus, if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven years, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return.165

«Let alone seven years, bhikkhus. [63] If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for six years…for five years…for four years…for three years…for two years.. .for one year, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return.

«Let alone one year, bhikkhus. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven months.. .for six months.. .for five months.. .for four months.. .for three months…for two months…for one month…for half a month, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return.

«Let alone half a month, bhikkhus. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven days, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return.

  1. «So it was with reference to this that it was said: «Bhikkhus, this is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disap­pearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for the realisation of Nibbana — namely, the four foundations of nundfulness.»»

That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One»s words.


NOTES

133 This is one of the most important suttas in the Pali Canon, containing the most comprehensive statement of the most direct way to the attainment of the Buddhist goal. Virtually the identical sutta is found as well at DN 22, though with an expanded analysis of the Four Noble Truths attached, which accounts for its greater length. The sutta, its commentary, and copious extracts from its difficult but illuminating subcommentary have been presented together in translation by Soma Thera in The Way of Mindfulness. A very readable translation of the sutta, with a modem commentary excelling in clarity and depth, will be found in Nyanaponika Thera, The Heart of Buddhist Meditation.

134 This town is said by some scholars to have been in the vicinity of modern Delhi.

135 The Pali reads екйуапо ayarh bhikkhave maggo, and virtually all translators understand this as a statement upholding satipatthana as an exclusive path. Thus Ven. Soma renders it: «This is the only way, О bhikkhus/’ and Ven. Nyanaponika: «This is the sole way, monks.» Nm, how­ever, points out that ekayana magga at MN 12.37-42 has the unambiguous contextual meaning of «a path that goes in one way only,» and so he rendered the phrase in this passage, too. The expression used here, «the direct path,» is an attempt to preserve this meaning in a more streamlined phrasing. MA explains ekayana magga as a single path, not a divided path; as a way that has to be walked by oneself alone, without a companion; and as a way that goes to one goal, Nibbana. Though there is nei­ther canonical nor commentarial basis for this view, it might be maintained that satipatthana is called ekayana magga, the direct path, to distinguish it from the approach to meditative attainment that proceeds through the jhanas or brahmaviharas. While the latter can lead to Nibbana, they dp not do so necessarily but can lead to sidetracks, whereas satipatthana leads invariably to the final goal.

136 The word satipatthana is a compound term. The first part, sati, originally meant «memory,» but in Pali Buddhist usage it far more frequently bears the meaning of atten­tiveness directed to the present — hence the makeshift rendering «mindfulness.» The second part is exp lamed in two ways: either as a shortened form of upatthana, mean­ing «setting up» or «establishing» — here, of mindfulness; or as patthana, meaning «domain» or «foundation» — again, of mindfulness. Thus the four satipatthanas may be understood as either the four ways of setting up mindful­ness or as the four objective domains of mindfulness, to be amplified in the rest of the sutta. The former seems to be the etymologically correct derivation (confirmed by the Sanskrit smjyupasthana), but the Pali commentators, while admitting both explanations, have a predilection for the latter.

137 MA says that in this context, «bhikkhu» is a term indicat­ing a person who earnestly endeavours to accomplish the practice of the teaching: «Whoever undertakes that prac­tice.. .is here comprised under the term ‘bhikkhu.'»

138 The repetition in the phrase “contemplating the body as a body» (kaye kayanupassT), according to MA, has the pur­pose of precisely determining the object of contemplation and of isolating that object from others with which it might be confused. Thus, in this practice, the body should be contemplated as such, and not one’s feelings, ideas, and emotions concerning it. The phrase also means that the body should be contemplated simply as a body and not as a man, a woman, a self, or a living being. Similar considerations apply to the repetitions in the case of each of the other three foundations of mindfulness. «Covetousness and grief,» MA says, stands for sensual desire and ill will, the principal hindrances that must be overcome for the practice to succeed, enumerated sepa­rately below in §36.

139 The structure of this sutta is fairly simple. Following the preamble, the body of the discourse falls into four parts by way of the four foundations of mindfulness:

  1. Contemplation of the body, which comprises fourteen exercises: mindfulness of breathing; contemplation of the four postures; full awareness; attention to foulness; attention to the elements; and nine «char­nel ground contemplations» — reflection on corpses in different stages of decomposition. *
  2. Contemplation of feeling, considered one exercise.
  3. Contemplation of mind, also one exercise.
  4. Contemplation of mind-objects, which has five subdivi­sions — the five hindrances; the five aggregates; the six sense bases; the seven enlightenment factors; and the Four Noble Truths.

Thus the sutta expounds altogether twenty-one exer­cises in contemplation. Each exercise in turn has two aspects: the basic exercise, explained first, and a supplementary section on insight (essentially the same for all the exercises), which indicates how the contemplation is to be developed to deepen understanding of the phe­nomenon under investigation.

Finally the sutta concludes with a statement of assur­ance in which the Buddha personally vouches for the effectiveness of the method by declaring the fruits of con­tinuous practice to be either arahantship or non-returning.

140 The practice of mindfulness of breathing (anayanasati) involves no deliberate attempt to regulate the breath, as in hatha yoga, but a sustained effort to fix awareness on the breath as it moves in and out in its natural rhythm. Mindfulness is set up at the nostrils or the upper lip, wherever the impact of the breath is felt most distinctly; the length of the breath is noted but not consciously con­trolled. The complete development of this meditation method is expounded in MN 118. For an organised col­lection of texts on this subject, see Bhikkhu Nanamoli, Mindfulness of Breathing. See too Vsm VIII, 145-244.

141 MA: The phrase «experiencing the whole body» (sabba- kayapatisamvedt) means that the meditator becomes aware of each in-and-out breath through the three phases of its beginning, middle, and end.

142 The «bodily formation» (kayasankhara) is defined at MN 44.13 as in-and-out breathing itself. Thus, as MA explains, with the successful development of the practice, the meditator’s breathing becomes increasingly quiet, tranquil, and peaceful.

143 MA: «Internally»: contemplating the breathing in his own body. «Externally»: contemplating the breathing occurring in the body of another. «Internally and exter­nally»: contemplating the breathing in his own body and in the body of another alternately, with uninterrupted attention. A similar explanation applies to the refrain that follows each of the other sections, except that under the contemplation of feeling, mind, and mind-objects, the contemplation externally, apart from those possessing telepathic powers, must be inferential.

144 MA: The «arising factors» (samudayadhamma) for the body are the conditions on account of which the body has arisen — namely, ignorance, craving, kamma, and food — together with the concrete fact of the moment-by-­moment origination of material phenomena in the body. In the case of mindfulness of breathing, an additional arising factor mentioned by the commentaries is the physiological apparatus of respiration. The «vanishing factors» (vayadhamma) for the body are the cessation of the causal conditions and the momentary dissolution of material phenomena in the body.

145 MA: For the sake of a wider and wider and higher and higher measure of knowledge and mindfulness.

146 The understanding of the bodily postures referred to in this exercise is not our ordinary natural knowledge of our bodily activity, but a close, constant, and careful awareness of the body in every position, coupled with an analytical examination intended to dispel the delusion of a self as the agent of bodily movement.

147 Sampajanna, also translated as «clear comprehension» (Soma, Nyanaponika), is analysed in the commentaries into four types: full awareness of the purpose of one’s action; full awareness of the suitability of one’s means; full awareness of the domain, that is, not abandoning the sub­ject of meditation during one’s daily routine; and full awareness of reality, the knowledge that behind one’s activities there is no abiding self. See The Way of Mindful­ness, pp. 60-100; The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, pp. 46-55.

148 In later Pali works the brain is added to the above list to form thirty-two parts. The details of this meditation prac­tice are explained at Vsm VIII, 42-144.

149 These four elements are explained by Buddhist tradition as the primary attributes of matter — solidity, cohesion, heat, and distension. The detailed explanation is found at Vsm XI, 27-117.

150 The phrase «as though» (seyyathdpi) suggests that this meditation, and those to follow, need not be based upon an actual encounter with a corpse in the state of decay described, but can be performed as an imaginative exer­cise. «This same body» is, of course, the meditator’s own body.

151 Each of the four types of corpse mentioned here, and the three types below, may be taken as a separate and self­sufficient subject of meditation; or the entire set may be used as a progressive series for impressing on the mind the idea of the body’s transience and insubstantiality. The progression continues in §§26-30.

152 Feeling (vedana) signifies the affective quality of experi­ence, bodily and mental, either pleasant, painful, or nei­ther, i.e., neutral feeling. Examples of the «worldly» and «unworldly» forms of these feelings are given at MN 137.9-15 under the rubric of the six kinds of joy, grief, and equanimity based respectively on the house­hold life and renunciation.

153 The arising and vanishing factors for feeling are the same as those for the body (see n.144) except that food is replaced by contact, since contact is the condition for feeling (see MN 9.42).

154 Mind (citta) as an object of contemplation refers to the gen­eral state and level of consciousness. Since consciousness itself, in its own nature, is the bare knowing or cognizing of an object, the quality of any state of mind is determined by its associated mental factors, such as lust, hate, and delusion or their opposites, as mentioned by the sutta.

155 The paired examples of citta given in this passage contrast states of mind of wholesome and unwholesome, or devel­oped and undeveloped character. An exception, however, is the pair «contracted» and «distracted,» which are both unwholesome, the former due to sloth and torpor, the lat­ter due to restlessness and remorse. MA explains «exalted mind» and «unsurpassed mind» as the mind pertaining to the level of the jhanas and immaterial meditative attain­ments, and «unexalted mind» and «surpassed mind» as the mind pertaining to the level of sense-sphere conscious­ness. «Liberated mind» must be understood as a mind temporarily and partly freed from defilements through insight or the jhanas. Since the practice of satipatthana pertains to the preliminary phase of the path aimed at the supramundane paths of deliverance, this last catego­ry should not be understood as a mind liberated through attainment of the supramundane paths.

156 The arising and vanishing factors of mind are the same as those for the body except that food is replaced by mentality-materiality, since the latter is the condition for consciousness (see DN 15.22/U.63).

157 The word rendered here as «mind-objects» is the poly­morphous dhamma. In this context dhamma can be under­stood as comprising all phenomena classified by way of the categories of the Dhamma, the Buddha’s teaching of actuality. This contemplation reaches its climax in the penetration of the teaching at the heart of the Dhamma — the Four Noble Truths.

158 The five hindrances (pancanivarand) are the main inner impediments to the development of concentration and insight. Sensual desire arises through attending unwisely to a sensually attractive object and is abandoned by med­itation on a foul object (as in §10 and §§14-30); ill will arises through attending unwisely to a repugnant object and is abandoned by developing loving-kindness; sloth and torpor arise by submitting to boredom and laziness and are abandoned by arousing energy; restlessness and remorse arise through unwisely reflecting on disturbing thoughts and are abandoned by wisely reflecting on tran­quillity; doubt arises through unwisely reflecting on dubious matters and is abandoned by study, investiga­tion, and inquiry. The hindrances are fully eradicated only by the supramundane paths. For a fuller treatment, see The Way of Mindfulness, pp. 119-130; Nyanaponika Thera, The Five Mental Hindrances; and also below, MN 27.18 and MN 39.13-14.

159 The five aggregates affected by clinging (panc’upadana- kkhandha) are the five groups of factors comprising the individual personality. The aggregates are discussed in the Introduction, p. 26, and are analysed and explained in terms of their origin and disappearance at MN 109.9.

160 The internal bases are, as shown, the six sense faculties; the external bases, their respective objects. The fetter that arises dependent upon the pairs may be understood by way of the ten fetters explained in the Introduction, pp. 42-43, or more simply as attraction (greed), aversion (hatred), and the underlying delusion.

161 How the seven enlightenment factors unfold in progressive sequence is explained at MN 118.29—40. For a more detailed discussion, see Piyadassi Thera, The Seven Fac­tors of Enlightenment.

162 “Investigation of states» (dhammavicaya) means the scru­tiny of the mental and physical phenomena presented to the meditator’s mind by mindfulness.

163 The commentaries explain in detail the conditions that conduce to the maturation of the enlightenment factors. See The Way of Mindfulness, pp. 134-149.

164 With this section, the contemplation of dhamma as mind- objects culminates in the understanding of the Dhamma in its core formulation as the Four Noble Truths. The longer Mahasatipatthana Sutta of the Digha Nikaya gives extend­ed definitions and elaborations of each of the truths.

165 Final knowledge, anna, is the arahant’s knowledge of final deliverance. Non-return (anagamita) is, of course, the state of a non-returner, who is reborn in a higher world where he attains final Nibbana without ever returning to the human world.

Pin It on Pinterest

X
Поделиться