Karunakarma Series: Volume I

Satipa˛˛h›na Foundations of Mindfulness
A Manual for Meditators

compiled and annotated by

Tarchin Hearn

Karunakarma Series: Volume I Foundations of Mindfulness: A Manual for Meditators
© Tarchin Hearn 2000, 2007

Karunakarma means compassionate activity, the work of compassion, or compassion at work. The Karunakarma Series is a collection of coil bound notes and articles that can be used for study or as teaching aids. Some of the series is available in e-book form from the Wangapeka website. May these writings water the seeds of wisdom and compassion for the benefit of all beings.
Published by Wangapeka Books Available from: Wangapeka Educational Trust R.D. 2 Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand tel. 03 522 4221 e-mail <retreatcentre@wangapeka.org> www.wangapeka.org
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With Gratitude To

Ven. Namgyal Rinpoché

These notes were initially compiled while teaching a one month Satipa˛˛h›na retreat at the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre in New Zealand in the year 2000. At that time, I wanted to enter some of the essential definitions, lists of categories, correct spellings and references into my laptop in order to have them on hand as I travelled and taught. Gradually, with the encouragement of people studying with me, I have added some comments and fleshed out the grammar. The notes were never intended to be a thorough presentation of the subject. Nor are they aimed towards people brand new to meditation. Rather, they comprise a working manual for meditators who have come to the point in their investigations where a more detailed study of this essential path of awakening could enrich their practice. The following pages gather together a few key aspects of Satipa˛˛h›na along with some references that will allow a student to consult original sources, should that be of interest. My grateful appreciation goes to Bhikkhu Ñ›˚amoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi for their translation of the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta and to Maurice Walshe for his translation of the Mah›satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. Both of these suttas have been published by Wisdom Publications. May these efforts towards making available the Buddha Dharma, continue to flourish.

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May your explorations bear fruit for the benefit of all beings.

Abbreviations MN – Majjhima Nik›ya, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha PTS – Pali Text Society, Pali-English Dictionary T-Abd notes – Tarchin's hand written abhidhamma notes compiled at The Dharma Centre of Canada in 1976 after a three month study with Namgyal Rinpoché (unpublished) Vis – The Visuddhimagga - The Path of Purification (A greatly revered compilation of the Buddha's teachings, originally written by the Venerable Buddhaghosa. It is one of the oldest and most complete 'manual for meditators' arising from the Theravadin tradition.)

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All things wear out. He looked deeply into the moment by moment experience of living. mind and activities became a laboratory for experimentation and observation. you still would have to do the journeying yourself. there will be unavoidable unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha). His own body. Everything is eaten. embedded in a vast interconnected.Introduction Two thousand five hundred years ago. This is the Fourth Noble Truth. interdependent universe. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. namely. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. he investigated the processes of body and mind in minute detail. all physical bodies reveal themselves to be beginningless. the fact that the body is a co-operative endeavour of many parts and processes. Eventually he came to understand what he later referred to as The Four Noble Truths. without shutting down. These contemplations and enquiries eventually lead to a place of deep stillness and calm. responsive. discovering profound and essential keys for living well. It is not a philosophical text but more a map with a few hints at the general landscapes we might encounter on the way. The Buddha saw that wherever there are formations. It then directs us to an exploration of the physical body through fin›p›nasati or mindfulness of breathing. letting his immediate actual experience guide the search. This is the First Noble Truth. clinging or grasping. This is the Third Noble Truth. Through the very act of bringing a profound degree of friendly enquiry to every moment of experience. Of course. or simply burying oneself in never ending reactivity and busyness? The Buddha's life demonstrated what I have come to think of as the path of the mystic scientist. Here we investigate and make friends with the entire phenomena of breathing. The next step is to learn to carry this clear. he then clearly understood the path to the cessation of suffering. The text begins with where to meditate and how to sit. The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta sketches out this very practical path of awakening. Here. with tremendous clarity and attentiveness. endless arisings. These studies can lead to the dropping of unhelpful attitudes and assumptions that we may have about the body. unpredictable. and. Eventually. coupled with partial views. This is the birth of a deep ecological understanding of the physical world and the gateway to realising what is referred to in Buddhist texts as ⁄Ònyat› or emptiness. in the process. Gradually we come to experience directly the interbeingness of the physical body. even if you had the best map in the world. and impossible for any single being to control? How can one live with impermanence and death. was driven to grapple with some of the great conundrums of life. or escaping into fantasy. speech. who eventually became known to us as the Buddha. a man. This is the Second Noble Truth. On reflection. be they physical or mental. he explored in a very pragmatic and factual way. He came to see the fundamental causes of dukkha. he came to realise the cessation of suffering. 5 . How can one live well in a world that is constantly changing. awareness into the midst of activity. Everything lives by eating. This was intimate and direct exploration. trying to understand the roots of dissatisfaction and suffering. Collision produces friction. He described this as the Eight Fold Noble Path. Abandoning religious and philosophical preconceptions.

it is a way that is as vital and precious today as it was back at the time of the Buddha. It contains within it the Vajray›na traditions. The spirit of Mahayana rests in seed form within the Satipa˛˛h›na. he taught us Satipa˛˛h›na as well as the classical Vajray›na systems. It is considered to be the most ancient Buddhist tradition and has preserved the Pali sutras. Unfortunately. In the realm of what might be called sectarian Buddhism. it has become ever more apparent that the seeds of all the Mah›y›na3 traditions are contained in this short sutra and the essence of Satipa˛˛h›na is carried within all Mah›y›na practice. The sutra directs us to examine the feeling or evaluation function. Therav›din => 'The way of the Elders'. At the same time. is implicit in this sutra. the Satipa˛˛h›na is often seen as belonging to the Therav›din1 tradition. Any person with an open heart and passion for enquiry. Jesus once said that the truth alone shall set you free. The realisation of the unity of compassion and emptiness. begins to investigate the unimaginable vastness of dharmas. you will come to see the very ordinary things in life as extraordinary miracles. or no time for this teaching of bare insight which. This is the name of the form of Buddhism that was found in Tibet. to some. the complex phenomena of Nature unfolding. many so called Vajray›na2 students have little. who is wrestling with what it means to live meaningfully in a world that is being shaped by blind grasping and widespread ignorance. these views won't stand up to close scrutiny. will surely find useful guidance and inspiration in this text. Finally. With a deepening wonder for the body and an increasing equanimity in the area of evaluation we are invited to meet the play of mindstates. leads to realisation. the huge array of emotions and qualities of mind that so colour and sometimes dictate human experience. This is the name commonly given to the forms of Buddhism found in Myanmar (Burma). the extraordinary will reveal itself to be absolutely ordinary. nor is it necessarily divorced from the awe and wonder that arise when we meet with vast unfathomable mystery. the meditator then begins to explore the mystery of mind. 3 Mah›y›na => The Great Vehicle This is the form of Buddhism that is practised outside the Therav›din countries. the lover and explorer of life. I feel extremely fortunate that my root teacher/lama the Ven. Mongolia and in the Shingon tradition of Japan. This is the way of the mystic scientist. seems devoid of devotion and compassion! But is this really the case? Actually. Simply by deepening one's understanding. and learning to rest easefully and alertly with whatever is arising. one then. Consequently. feelings and mindstates.Having investigated the miracle of form. 2 Vajray›na => 'The diamond vehicle'. the process whereby likes and dislikes emerge. It is not particularly a religious path. 1 6 . the very heart of Vajray›na. by doing this again and again and acclimatising to this way of being. Blending the pragmatic analysis of the scientist with the ecstatic union of the mystic. By bringing an unshakeable friendliness and a gentle but probing curiosity and interest to what is happening in and around you. Thailand and Sri Lanka. Namgyal Rinpoché underwent his early monastic training in Burma. equipped with a functional ongoing awareness of body. Over the many years of studying and practising these two great treasuries of awakening.

Suta => PTS. self possession. alertness. continuum will come to the fore. in an unbiased. putting forward. Sutta => Pali Text Society Dictionary (PTS). "origin". self-consciousness. revelation. starting point. four basic areas of human experience. that support or contribute to the arising of any particular thing. 'an alert. setting forth. a thread or string 2. again and again (anusati – remembering). 'Pa˛˛h›na' is a study of causal or conditional relations. the title of the 7th book of the Abhidhamma. At this point the practice moves from being an effortful meditation to effortless contemplation arising in the midst of whatever is occurring. 1. religious knowledge Sati => PTS. later called the Sutta-pi˛aka. the (discursive. feeling/evaluation. Gradually a rich sense of how they weave together and support each other in an unbroken. in special sense "received through inspiration or revelation". alertness in the presence of the interdependent. It was probably very close to the actual language that the Buddha spoke. one is encouraged to thoroughly explore. wakefulness of mind. In Sanskrit. taught. conscience. heard. Setting forth could indicate setting forth on a journey. learned. recognition. inspired tradition.The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta In Buddhism the suttas or sutras generally refer to the collection of discourses given by the Buddha. It was hundreds of years before any of them were written down. the seventh book. In combination with sati. As one one's experience with each of these four deepens. interrelatedness of things' or another possibility. lucidity of mind. narrational) part of the Buddhist Scriptures containing the suttas or dialogues. memory. intentness of mind. In order to bring increasing clarity and discrimination to this investigation of what is actually happening right now. consciousness. the word for sutta is sutra and in this text. mindfulness. learning. sacred lore. Pali is the language that the Buddhist Sutras were preserved in. it will be clear that they are continuously shaping and affecting each other. wakeful. both physical and mental. creative. Bhikkhu Bodhi defines it as 'attentiveness directed to the present'. Pa˛˛h›na => PTS. Try rearranging the various definitions and see what different flavours of meaning you can come up with. It could also indicate setting forth in the sense of “laying out for examination". The experiential essence of Satipa˛˛h›na involves the process of knowingly entering. They were originally memorised and passed down from teacher to student in an unbroken flow of oral transmission. 'a lucid. states of mind. 7 . Though often rendered "The Four Foundations of Mindfulness" it would be misleading to think of Satipa˛˛h›na as merely four separate objects that must be meditatively explored. and objects of mind. In later meaning. lucid and intimate way. the rich interdependent weaving that is this present arising moment. Considering a more literal interpretation of Satipa˛˛h›na we might get . 'setting up of mindfulness'. recognition of how a complex weaving of factors is comprising this present moment'. flowing. It's a contemplation of all the causal factors. body. I will use both terms interchangeably. cause. In the Abhidhamma.

the sole way. unawareness. there is little or no freedom.” – “Venerable sir. for the realisation of Nibb›na – namely. The Tibetan word for bhikkhu is gelong and stretching the derivation a bit. this is the direct path for the purification of beings. Are you actually free to ask question? Are you genuinely interested in life. Namgyal Rinpoché once paraphrased gelong as "one who is free to ask question". honesty and interest. At the time of the Buddha. Slong. hatred and delu8 . ask for. most people are often more concerned about finding an answer. When it comes to question. good or excellent. said to have been a town in the vicinity north of present day Delhi. you do get this sense of wondering. or achieving a 'correct' result. if you are courageous enough to question deeply. that is naturally present in any well loved child.” they replied. or pleasing the teacher or whoever is seen as the authority. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Kuru country at a town of the Kurus named Kamm›sadhamma. Then.' And that was it! In English the word wander is very close to wonder. wanting to understand and experience more deeply and profoundly? Or is your motivation to primarily get by with the least amount of pain? If the spirit of contemplative inquiry is still alive in you.1. or not. wander forth for the benefit of the many folk. Bhikkhu is often translated as 'homeless one' or wanderer. Whether you are male or female.the activity of good dharma. one who asks for something. It's as if the curiosity. however they find it. means to want. In this unconscious. mendicant. explore the universe for the benefit of the many folk. 'Come. the d is silent. This teaching was and still is. the only way. with silent s. the four foundations of mindfulness direct path ek›yana magga sometimes translated the one way. “Bhikkhus. for the disappearance of pain and grief. we are not capable of investigating them as they simply don't exist for us. 'Ehi Bhikkhu' and snap his fingers. to investigate the universe. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: “bhikkhus. Thus have I heard. Most people are quite constrained in their questioning. Question. as it arises. would say. Bhikkhu => PTS. whether you are ordained as a monk or nun. 2. if you are interested in realising the cessation of suffering for yourself and all beings. the path that goes only one way i. has been distorted if not largely obliterated through the process of growing up and learning to survive in the family myth and the general social delusion/confusion. almsman. Try to read it as if the Buddha was here in your presence speaking personally to you and your friends. a Buddhist monk or priest. ones who are moved to investigate the universe. wish. avoiding discomfort. the Buddha. Wonder forth for the benefit of the many folk. with engaged passion. addressed to ones who are free to ask question. means virtuous. then you will be able to put this teaching to good use immediately. When we are unconscious or unaware of areas that shape our lives. for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation.e. for the attainment of the true way. The Blessed one said this: Kamm›sadhamma literally . then you are Bhikkhu in spirit and this sutra is addressed to you. Dge. to Nibb›na purification of beings – Traditionally this means to free beings from greed. entry into the Order of monks was marked by a very simple ceremony compared to how it's done today.

One realises nibb›na. Pure in this sense means 100%. the dying out in the heart of the threefold fire of greed. pain and grief dukkhadomanassa. 1. by saying that the direct path for the realisation of "Peace" is to be found through bringing awareness into these four areas of. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings. ardent. the madness of a human world that dedicates immense amounts of energy to making money from greed. grief. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. hatred and delusion 4. the going out of a lamp or fire. The path is not about abandoning the body and mental processes in order to ascend into a place of the spirit which is an other worldly. peace. melancholy. This paragraph hints at something much more immediate. This path is very practical.bad and kha . from du . To be purified is to be 100% present with no additives of fantasy. a sense of well-being and profound meaningfulness right here in the midst of life as one finds it. and mindful. It is also do-able by anyone willing to make the effort. sorrow soka. I'm reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh's statement. hidden agendas. of security. hatred. dukkha true way – also right path. In western cultures the understanding of purity is inevitably mixed up with ideas of impurity or defilement. “What are the four? Here. "If you want peace. whether a human being. a tree. suffering. a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. Do you want peace? Have you become tired of the suffering. => an unpleasant state of mind and body Walshe => pain and sadness dukkha => PTS. a feeling. later in the sense of burning grief. to gleam. => PTS ." The key in this statement is not so much that peace is with you now but that first of all you have to want peace. 2. Peanut Butter 100% Pure – no additives. and mindful. right method Nibb›na is the Pali for the more widely recognised Sanskrit word. mental pain as opposed to physical pain. ardent. the sense of spiritual well-being. salvation and bliss Nibb›na or nirv›na is often spoken of as if it were a transcendent state. body. peace is with you now. dejectedness. fully aware. and mindful. Nirv›na. or a memory. bhikkhus. distress. mourning lamentation parideva => PTS. having put 9 . => PTS. unsatisfactoriness domanassa => PTS. ardent. health. consider what it means to be pure in terms of the ingredients listed on a package of food. To take it right out of this realm.space. and a huge amounts of value judgement. feelings.sion. causing misery. fear and confusion? 3. emancipation. trouble. discomfort. victory. unpleasant. He abides contemplating mind as mind. sorrow. fully aware. the sense of bodily well-being 3. painful. or active ignoring. ill. To be pure is to be willing and able to be totally present for another being. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. wailing Walshe translates this as sorrow and distress. transcendent elsewhere. states of mind and objects of mind. grief. lamentation. the flame of fire. from suc. fully aware. It might say.

to live. or breathing out long. (CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY) K›y›nupassan› 1. The same formula is applied to feelings. Fully aware is a translation of sampaj›na => PTS. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating. ever mindful he breathes in. Ajahn Chah would say 'contemplating the body within the body' In other words. ardent. Mindfulness of Breathing 4. sits down. one contemplates the body. thoughtful.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall 10 . “And how. engaged. Having put away covetousness and grief for the world. states of mind and phenomena. Essentially it is emphasising that one examines the body while dwelling in direct experience of the body rather than just thinking about it in a theoretical way as if one was a bystander. abide. attentive. however we are abiding. sojourn (in a certain place). not as an armchair theoretician thinking about how the body has been or how it could be. abides viharati => PTS. knowing. fully aware. He abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. he understands: ‘I breathe in short’.e. with a passionate interest and energy.’ Breathing in short. One who is "free to ask question" abides or leads their life. and so too. to behave. i. ardent.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body [of breath]’. contemplating these four themes. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. having folded his legs crosswise. he understands: ‘I breathe in long’. to stay. deliberate. In a similar fashion one contemplates the feelings from within the direct experience of feeling. Basically this is referring to the various expressions and flavours of desire along with the wide spectrum of ambiguity and worry that so often colour our interactions with others. he understands: ‘I breathe out long. moment by moment by moment. he understands: ‘I breathe out short. and understanding directly how the body is. gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut. the body as a body This phrase is sometimes rendered 'the body in the body' or 'the body within the body' or 'the body as body'. energetically. in general: to be. in a state of easeful. mindful. Rephrasing the passage: One who is free to ask question abides. dwell. It is not just referring to 'sitting' in one place but suggests that these meditations are to be explored in the midst of any and all activities. mindful he breathes out.away covetousness and grief for the world. or breathing out short. Thai teacher. Breathing in long. concentrated. bhikkhus. from within the body experience. in other words not distracted or dispersed but focussed and present. but through experiencing. presence. set his body erect. responsive. to lead a life This term 'abide' is used throughout the text. and established mindfulness in front of him. attentive. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body [of breath]. right in this very moment of contemplating. Sometimes translated as "hankering and fretting for the world" or "hankering and dejection common in the world". states of mind and objects of mind. Mindful sati is sometimes translated as selfcomposed. fully aware. and mindful. the body as a body? Here a bhikkhu.

leaves. A place that is spacious and empty in the sense of being a place that has room for new insights and understandings. but also a very dynamic place as nutriment of different kinds are simultaneously flowing upward and downward. Thoughts are influencing feelings. understands: ’I make a long turn’. and being eaten by other life forms. This parallels a place in our experience where the unconscious and the conscious meet and interact. the great forest of heart/mind. in order to significantly awaken.. giving birth to emotions. However these three are not just pleasant places to sit. This is pointing to a mental space that is uncluttered with 'shoulds' and 'oughts'. They are not readily available.’ First of all the Buddha tells us where to meditate. all mutually shaping each other. To live and practice in a real forest. light and air are feeding the roots. life forms eating other life forms. When we are lost in the underground of our being. When we are high up in the branches. breathing in long. moulding intentions. It is a fruitful place in which to meditate. things growing in and on other things. a bhikkhu understands: ‘I breathe in long'…. None of these places will be very useful for the many beings living in urban areas. birds. lianas. healthy ecosystem. this is another very fruitful physical place and metaphoric space in which to meditate. It helps to meditate in a physical place that 11 . ’I make a short turn’. promoting activity.breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’.he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation. there is little or no insight. However. The root of a tree is a very stable place. at this place that borders both light and dark. insects. like T›ne Mahuta the great kauri tree in northland New Zealand. that we are. This is a 'place' where we can come to recognise the fundamental ground of being. or when making a short turn. The root of a tree is another special place for insight. It has a huge trunk that supports massive branches in which live numerous other forms of life. where they can be experienced as not two but as a single interacting process. They also symbolise inner qualities and attitudes that can profoundly support the natural flow of awakening. when making a long turn. Its roots are anchored deep in the earth. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation. can deeply enhance our explorations. the ground of becoming. a mode of being in which there is an appreciation for the profound interconnectedness of all arisings. Earth and roots are feeding branches and leaves. myriad forms of experience continuously coming into being and passing away. a place where the conscious and unconscious are both available. in a forest. groping blindly in the dark. or at the root of a tree or in an empty hut or space. flowering plants. The ancient Buddhist texts often mention the "netted undergrowth" when referring to the intricate tangling of mental processes. going to a forest is to enter the forest of knowing. Branches. and everyone ultimately energised by transformed sunlight. This forest of knowing is a rich ecology of interdependent phenomena. whether we are in an actual forest or in a city jungle. It is the point where the visible tree disappears into the earth or where the invisible tree emerges into the light. we may feel we can see a long way but the roots of our being are often out of sight and we lose connection with the ground of being that we are rooted in. and so forth. we need to open to this forest of interbecoming. a vast interpenetration of bodies and consciousness -–– a well functioning. Imagine a 'tree of life'. the womb of becoming. Metaphorically. understands. In some texts the phrase is translated as 'an empty space'. so too. Think of a dense jungle with huge trees. outward and inward.' Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice. shaping physiology. large creatures and micro organisms. The forest symbolises the mind. To sit here. An empty hut is the third place that the Buddha suggests. knowing and not knowing.

hiney›na. There is only a vast unshakeable space of lovingkindness/clarity/understanding. In this sense it is a small or shrunken viewing of life. When you are a vajray›na meditator. In the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. I am not referring here to the Therav›din tradition. Zen. these explorations need to be done while sitting. in whatever way our body is 'disposed'. This third place is one that supports the arising of new possibilities. in fact. caught in continual self reference. meditate in the midst of spacious openness. or to the root of a tree. They simply refer to three common psychological attitudes found in the human experience. free from stuff that is repeatedly reminding us of things to do. any school of Buddhism. In this context. by hiney›na. set your body erect. All three mindsets can be found in practitioners of Therav›din. With this understanding. Hiney›na. from hina –– small and y›na –– vehicle. Pureland. A person who has this as their predominant attitude will do best to meditate in the forest. are really living out a hiney›na view. standing. and lying down.is free from clutter. A being who is living the way of mah›y›na has already recognised something of the interconnectedness of the forest of life. then go to the forest.' Here the text refers to your posture. Understanding that greed. When you are being a hiney›na meditator. When you are a mah›y›na meditator. You may recognise you have moments of all of them. in order to better understand and make peace with the myriad details and phenomena that comprise the forest of their experience. there is no negativity to escape and no dysfunction to fix. Having taken up a posture that supports a deep experiential investigation of the rich weaving of now. As we see in a later section. mah›y›na and vajray›na should be understood without value judgement. There are other ways we could understand these 3 places. refers to a mindset of being primarily concerned with one's own suffering and the possibility of getting free from it. They are beginning to realise that it is not really possible to find peace without bringing peace to others as well. They could refer to three levels of psychological/spiritual maturity. This really Just to be absolutely clear. Vajray›na is from vajra –– diamond. The meditator with this vajra view will best unfold by meditating in this 'spacious openness of interbeing'. or to an empty space. you may find that the cross legged part isn't applicable for you and that you can be more easeful and alert sitting in a chair or lying flat on your back. This may be an unusual interpretation but I know Therav›din monks who are living expressions of vajray›na and conversely. you 'sit down and having folded your legs crosswise. The prime motivation of this mah› mindset is compassion. hatred and confusion are the roots of the tree of suffering. creative awareness dancing in the vast space of infinite possibility. Mah›y›na. the Buddha is teaching skilful means. With this in mind. 1 12 . The unshakeable diamond vehicle is an attitude to life that knows everything to be inherently pure. go to the root of a tree. from mah› –– great.1 So. Tibetan. In essence though. the mah›y›na meditator brings compassion and clear seeing to these roots of the tree. they all encourage us to take up a posture that supports a sense of alertness and ease in both mind and body. There are many teachings on posture and meditation. the text then recommends that we 'establish mindfulness in front'. refers to a larger viewing of life. I have met 'vajray›na practicioners' who. unshakeable. in fact. This is a very fruitful way of practising. walking. obligations to fulfil and unfinished business to attend to. having gone to the forest.

In other translations. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. fin›p›nasati. At this initial stage. in this case. when you find tension in the body and breath. when breathing in smooth and short. Calming the body. the rate of breathing will gradually slow down and settle. 'He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’. not looking for a pre-conceived result. Gradually you begin to notice that your entire body is involved with breathing. this is the process of calming the body formations. the object of meditation. increasing calm 2. "up front" in the sense of honest and not hiding anything. At this point you might think. breathing in. For example. The Natural Way to Meditate by Tarchin Hearn and in The Path of Purification. At this stage when you discover a blissful flow in the body and breath. “In this way he abides. The rest of the section introduces the meditation on the body through investigating the process of breathing. increasing clarity of mind 3. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. Here.means that we are alert. 'I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body'. When we cease rejecting difficult states that are present and cease wishing for states that aren't present. Or as it says in this translation. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation'. 1. The two are not separate. Experiencing the bodily formations I shall breathe out'. Noting the breath means to directly and intimately feel/sense the textures and sensations of rhythmic physical movements that altogether we call breathing. you will probably just enjoy it and settle more deeply into it. this part says. When breathing out rough and shakily. contemplating the body as a body internally. Here you begin to study and explore all the different rhythms and textures of breathing. middle and end of both the inhalation and the exhalation. 5. The Vissudhi-magga. i. increasing absorption. 'Experiencing the bodily formations I shall breathe in. it becomes more and more apparent that the tensions of the body are shaping the breathing and vice-versa. one realises one is breathing in smooth and short. As you explore in this way. However. breathing out'. straight forward. To calm the body and breath means to make friends with the state of the body and breath just as you find them. one simply notes all the different types of breaths that can occur. and in Breathing. the breathing. Without controlling the breathing in any way one simply experiences and notes the shape and quality of the in–breath and out–breath. To calm or 'tranquillise the body doesn't mean to fix it or to change it in any way. the beginning.e. Long and short are just examples. 1 13 . we begin to feel more easeful with what we have and what we are. the whole body refers to the whole physical body and the whole body of the breath. (Verbalisation is the tendency to create stories or to speculate about what is happening.) 5. (less sense of separation between you the meditator and. you might think. As you practice this section on breathing. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. 'Calming the body. one realises one breathes out rough and shakily.1 The text speaks of breathing in long and short. You also begin to notice the entire body of the breath.) 4. five qualities will show you that you are on the right track. decreasing verbalisation. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the A complete description of the path of fin›p›nasati meditation can be found in The Breath of Awakening by Namgyal Rinpoché. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors.

Internally and externally. subjectively. or. subjective. One might have the experience of 'being' one's body rather than observing it. really means the activity of 'sighting into'.. Looking/experiencing more deeply into any phenomena. In each section of the sutta we are given an area to explore in a one-pointed. It has an interior feel. that are being pointed out here. in terms of vipassana. objective. Insight. The text suggest you do this. It is assumed that at least one of the seven suggestions will engage our attention. in other words as if from the inside. this interpretation perhaps leaves out some of the more subtle levels of meditation experience.. that which is personal. This is perhaps the most important paragraph in the Satipa˛˛h›na. It's a process. 14 . To contemplate the body internally means to feel. Then. Though there is much to be learned through practising in this way. It is not necessary to work with every aspect of the paragraph. is recognising the fact that a meditator can and will experience from different viewing points.. 'Both internally and externally' is to contemplate both. nudging us towards insight. To contemplate the body externally is to contemplate someone else's body. as if you were an observer or a bystander looking from the outside. experience. Insight meditation is often confused with looking for. inwardly.. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. This understanding of internally and externally can be applied to all the other sections of the sutta. It has an 'out there' quality. The introvert type finds their reality or place of identity in their private and personal subjective experience. or do this. a verb. Internally and Externally: Most of the commentaries explain that to contemplate the body internally is to contemplate one's own body. To contemplate the body 'externally' is to experience it 'objectively'.extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. not clinging to anything in the world. Ajjhatta is the word being translated as internally. The extravert type finds their reality and sense of identity in the world of objective experience that can be shared and discussed with others. this paragraph is repeated with virtually no changes. And he abides independent. focussed way. => PTS. arises within (in contrast to anything outside. interior. Internally and externally could be compared with Jung's concepts of introvert and extravert. will always reveal it to be an interdependent arising of many factors including the factors of our own perception and consciousness. or do this. that we could possess and preserve. sense oneself as one's body. personal. or 'being' the breathing rather than watching it. and 'self arising' work and then experiencing them both. This paragraph directs us towards insight or vipassana which essentially means looking deeply into what is presently arising. It solves a few problems such as how you would observe feelings or mental processes in another person without resorting to unverifiable 'psychic powers'. To contemplate the body both internally and externally is to be simultaneously observing the body and being the body with no paradox or contradiction. or impersonal). simultaneously without conflict. or getting insights as if an 'insight' was a special object or knowledge. this corresponds to 'front arising'. For those who are familiar with the arising yoga practices in the Tibetan schools.

or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. plants and animals. when standing. It is moulded by sun and gravity and the whole of the ecosphere. not involved with them. bhikkhus. to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors Rhys Davids translates this section: "He keeps on considering how the body is something that comes to be. Not clinging to anything in the world particularly means not identifying as "self" any of the five aggregates or skandhas (see p 29) 2. Wondrous. by thoughts and dreams. then one can simply focus on the fact that: "There is a body" or 'This is a body'. bacteria. he understands: ‘I am lying down’. by societies. recognising that every state of 'being' is a coming into being of something and a simultaneous passing away of something else. Or. or he understands accordingly however his body is disposed. To abide independent doesn't contradict the earlier contemplation of interdependent. 15 . in other words just holding the awareness without speculating or wandering. a bhikkhu understands: ‘I am walking’. The paragraph finishes by saying that the bhikkhu abides independent. when lying down. In this section one contemplates the interdependent nature of the physical body. “Again. karma (activity) and food. It is a union of uncountable viruses. not clinging to anything in the world. when sitting. fungi. (from Daily Puja – Wangapeka Books) Bare Attention Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness If the attention is not sufficiently engaged by the preceding themes of internal and external or the arising and passing away factors. he understands: ‘I am sitting’. craving.Arising and Vanishing Factors Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. when walking. In a modern scientific view one might see it as a co-dependent arising along the following lines: This body of mine is composed of atoms born in stars molecules. the meditator contemplates these two processes as one inseparable whole." Here the meditator contemplates the many factors that together support the arising of a body and or the factors that support its dissolving. or again he keeps on considering how the body is something that passes away. cells tissues and organs. It is conditioned by families. In the Abhidhamma system the main causal factors in its arising are listed as ignorance. Here it means independent of states of greed. hatred and delusion. he understands: ‘I am standing’. The Four Postures 6. or again he keeps on considering the coming into being with the passing away. It is an interbeing of all these processes from micro to macro. transient May it teach me wisdom.

7. falling asleep. not clinging to anything in the world. All sorts of muscular movements and adjustments are needed to rest in any particular position. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. distinguish. standing etc. The posture shifts in response to the breathing. as extraordinary. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. With this section the meditator brings awareness into all the activities of daily life. To "understand" you are sitting means to have a rich interior awareness of the physical sensations of sitting. bhikkhus. give all your attention to washing dishes. “In this way he abides. You need to be able to see the ordinary. One breath at a time. Even when lying down if you give your attention to the detail of what is happening. Because the ordinary is so habitual and familiar. i. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. new. contemplating the body as a body internally. consuming food. and tasting. 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. understand. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. really drink tea. “Again. It seems like such a simple thing but giving attention to the little activities will hugely enrich the pleasure and meaningfulness of each day. waking up. When washing dishes. Thich Nhat Hanh's book "The Miracle of Mindfulness" gives many excellent hints for supporting this section's explorations. who acts in full awareness when eating. When drinking tea. This paragraph touches on aspects of a monk's life but you can get the idea and apply it to the various activities of your own life. contemplating the body as a body internally. a bhikkhu is one who acts in full awareness when going forward and returning. Kum Nye. talking. a lot of awake. And he abides independent. who acts in full awareness when looking ahead and looking away. walking..Here one continues the exploration of breathing but now taking the practice into whatever posture you happen to be in. The word translated as understanding is paj›nati => PTS. To deepen this work it helps if you can remember to do one thing at a time and give it all of your attention. sensitive. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. standing. The body is never static. The breathing shifts in response to the posture. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. find out. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. 9. to know.e. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. This is an area in which many people find gathas or short memory verses to be useful. “In this way he abides. you will notice all kinds of shifts and changes. and keeping silent. come to know. One activity at a time. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. drinking. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing 16 . All Activities 8. revealing ways. attention to detail. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. sitting. 3. who acts in full awareness when walking. is needed in order to experience these familiar postures in fresh. a Tibetan form of body awareness work or Feldenkrais 'Awareness Through Movement' or any other body awareness practice can help to augment this section. The body is an interbeing of innumerable factors.

or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. blood. sweat. For it is through verbal recitation that the 17 . The text says: "The recitation should be done verbally in this way a hundred times. Lastly the 'urine sestad'. and urine. and urine. and urine. pus. faeces. many of them smelly. diaphragm. heart. red rice. section VIII 42 . bones. sweat. Here. skin. spleen. sinews. Originally it was for counteracting lust and excessive infatuation for the "bodybeautiful". contents of stomach. spleen. small intestines. millet. a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair. And he abides independent. even a hundred thousand times. the description of this meditation is very extensive. reciting it forward and back. While lavishing attention on the outer skin and the various adornments that clothe it. snot. contents of the stomach. large intestines. spittle. faeces. pus.177. large intestines. tears. as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head hairs. The essential method involves reciting the names of the 32 parts of the body again and again to help the mind become one-pointedly focused in awareness of these parts. Then add the 'brain pentad'. bounded by skin. as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head hairs. The classical method of practising this meditation is described in detail in 'The Visuddhimagga' The Path of Purification. often don't want to know about. snot. and a man with good eyes were to open it and review it thus. these are beans. flesh.’ Just as though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of many sorts of grain. fat. body hairs. oil of the joints. phlegm. When the mind stabilises in observing this pentad. oil of the joints. modern people often relate to their body in a very superficial way. blood. and white rice.factors. nails.144 and in 'The Vimuttimagga' The Path of Freedom. a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair. kidneys. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. nails. oil of the joints. lungs. liver. small intestines. sweat. lungs. It encourages the meditator to investigate the reality of a body made of parts. Then one adds the 'lights or lungs pentad'. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. teeth. not clinging to anything in the world. bounded by skin. blood. One goes forward to kidneys and then all the way back to head-hairs. grease. “Again. bones. small intestines. again going forward and then all the way back. tears. grease. head-hairs. spleen. One begins with the 'skin pentad'. such as hill rice. as if it were only what appears to them in a mirror. phlegm. then one begins to include the 'kidney pentad'. this is millet. teeth. a thousand times. this is white rice’. Foulness or Repulsiveness: The Parts of the Body 10. slimy and unmentionable in polite company! I have noticed that even well educated. bile. diaphragm.’ This section is traditionally referred to as the meditation on the foulness or repulsiveness of the body. diaphragm. spittle. body hairs. bhikkhus. grease. Then the 'fat sestad'. body-hairs. large intestine. this is red rice. ‘This is hill rice. The reality of the insides and the fact that all the parts of the body are themselves in a state of responsive change and transformation is something that many people don't know about and. peas. liver. faeces. so too. bone-marrow. these are peas. bile. phlegm. spittle. fat. liver. contents of the stomach. snot. bile. brain. teeth. lungs. p170 . fat. tears. pus. beans. bones. nails. they are squeamish about what's inside. 4.

My excretions the banquet of others." Once the verbal recitation has been well established. shaping their lives. Feldenkrais. this meditation could go in a very different direction: The ancients said. How vast and wondrous! And so they do. gases. Many people today have a lot of aversion. insects. shape. And looking in. I find the out. chemical cycles. And came to release all lustful selfish clinging to this walking breathing corpse. For deep healing. There is already too much of that in their being. urine and blood. symbiotic dancing of plants and animals. (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) If the classical form of this meditation doesn't engage you in a positive way. molecules. Today the teachers say. snot. They need to cultivate lovingkindness. both described in Natural Awakening can be very fruitful ways of working. Miraculous voyagings of stardust atoms. people need to get into wholesome contact with the wondrous miracle which is their body.meditation subject becomes familiar and. Foul. though I should say that it is potentially a very wonderful and rich practice. look at that body. fats and oils. discerning it clearly as to colour. and fear energy. often doesn't help people who are coming from these backgrounds. look at that body. location and delimitation (distinguishing it from other similar parts.) All this detailed attention to and investigation of grease. At this point. the mind being thus prevented from running here and there. They are frequently quite out of contact with their bodies and seem to spend much of their time in their 'heads'. not a sense of foulness and repulsion. fish and herbs on the way to being worms. My muscles and tissues. birds and trees. blood and bone are the temporary arrangement of carrots. cells and organs. emphasising foulness and repulsiveness. With modern medical knowledge and tools. it may then become internalised as a mental recitation. those mystic-scientists of today And come to release all selfish clinging to a separated "me" And take a few more steps on the way to home we never left. the meditator looks more carefully into each part. Water cycles. This meditation in its classical form. anger. those monks of old. spittle. 'Awareness Through Movement' work 18 . My breath is the breath of the rainforest. corrupt. Body-scan in four parts and the Inner Smile. then you could begin with the 32 parts of the body and extend it into any of the many body-scan meditations that are common today. Also. blood etc. full of filth. gradually establishes the body as something that is asubha "not-beautiful" and one experiences great detachment from it. the parts become evident. And so they did. A bag of faeces. direction. of vomit. hatred.

the water element. “In this way he abides.can greatly augment this meditation as can Kum Nye. Fire element tejo-dh›tu tejo => PTS from tij. the water element. dimension. contemplating the body as a body internally. so too. radiance T-Abd notes – Tejo is the heat element and applies to all temperature ranges. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. a bhikkhu reviews this same body. extension. light. Water element ›po-dh›tu ›po. to come in. however disposed. tejo => "sharpness" heat. And he abides independent. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. and the air element. however it is placed.’ This meditation is outlined in detail in the Visuddhimagga XI. i. fire. metabolic processes of catabolism and anabolism. These control the maturing and progression of the body. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. to pierce. Earth element pa˛havı-dh›tu. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. firm T-Abd notes – Pa˛h›vi => the degree to which space is occupied a – extension ie. a Tibetan system of body awareness work. solid. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. It's attributes are fluidity and contraction. 27 – 117 One begins by recognising the attributes of the four elements and then applying this way of viewing to each of the 32 parts of the body. Air element v›yo-dh›tu 19 . as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element. breadth. Ironically it's often only after we have an intimate and appreciative knowing of the body that we can practice the classical form of this meditation in a wholesome way. attraction. Elements 12. expansion.=> PTS from ap. to arrive. however it is placed. Eventually the meditator comes to experience their body not as his or her body in the conventional sense of "having a body" but as a dance of the four elements which arise dependent on many causes and conditions. the fire element. pa˛h›vi => PTS from puthu or prath – to expand. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. to be sharp. pa˛h›vi => the earth.e. flame. the fire element. thickness etc. It is the vitalising energy and determines the life span and degeneration of matter. b – density ie. 11. gravitational pull T-Abd notes – water element is the intangible cohesive or binding tendency which gives rise to the body of something.’ 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. 5. a bhikkhu reviews this same body. dh›tu => element. however disposed. softness These are the two relative conditions of this element. not clinging to anything in the world. “Again bhikkhus. as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element. and the air element. the broad one. hardness.

and from v›. Although it was not really the traditional approach. what has the characteristic of cohesion is the water element. to vibrate. consciously breathe in and out a few times while contemplating how this food or drink has come to be here. XI 39. dancing together in complex ways giving rise to the temporary appearance of bodies. "Again. it is not exempt from that fate. powering photosynthesis. which creates sugars which are released as heat and energy in our bodies through metabolism. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors." In the traditional meditation you could think of the elements as being inner qualities that together give shape and form to anything. Meditating in this way. one. The Nine Charnel Ground Contemplations 14. Eating and drinking is an obvious time for exploring this meditation. earth. The heat of the sun is the ultimate source of energy. Or else he abides contemplating in 20 . what has the characteristic of distending (supporting) is the air element.14. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. The story of potato. livid. a snow field. This is the vibratory aspect. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. bhikkhus. Air is composed of chemical elements and compounds which themselves are interbeing with other systems and processes. it can be very valuable to contemplate the four elements in an outer way. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. The liquids in one's body were once a cloud. bloated. the tears in another being's eyes. we understand the body to be a dynamic process of transformation. Allow yourself to open into an appreciation of the journey of the water in your tea as it comes to you and leaves from you. contemplating the body as a body internally. Vis. It is seen in the body as movement. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. or three days dead.' 15. to weave. it will be like that. and oozing matter. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. Before bringing the food to your mouth. a river flowing to the sea. 6 . "What has the characteristic of stiffness is the earth element. And he abides independent. move and oscillate. not clinging to anything in the world. All these elements are continuously flowing through the ecosphere. To do this one contemplates how one's body is literally made of earth through the medium of plants which were eaten as food.v›yo => PTS from v›y. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. contemplating the body as a body internally. water and air and the elements of these have all been born in stars! 13. two. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. what has the characteristic of ripening (maturing) is the fire element. “In this way he abides. We are literally a weaving of sunlight. These explorations require a very focussed and subtly discerning attentiveness otherwise they can drift into the realm of philosophical thinking and speculation. “In this way he abides. interdependent with everything else in the world.

more than a year old. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. here a hip-bone. jackals. dogs. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. not clinging to anything in the world. here a neck-bone. a skeleton with flesh and blood.. the first thing I saw was a beggar's corpse being thrown into the back of a garbage truck. contemplating the body as a body internally.a skeleton without flesh and blood. 21 . go I. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. there a shoulder-bone. here a tooth. vultures. held together with sinews. “In this way he abides.. In ancient days the meditator would go to a charnel ground where there were human bodies in various stages of decay and decomposition. “In this way he abides. it is not exempt from that fate. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. being devoured by crows.. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature.-24. there a breast-bone. or various kinds of worms. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.. it will be like that. not clinging to anything in the world. If you see the corpse of an animal you can use it as a stimulus for developing this meditation. here an arm-bone. And he abides independent. 16.' 17. there a thigh-bone. I remember many years ago when emerging from the train station in Calcutta. it is not exempt from that fate. held together with sinews. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. but for the grace of God. it will be like that.bones rotted and crumpled to dust.bones heaped up. not clinging to anything in the world. bones bleached white.the body its arising factors. there a jaw-bone."Again. This stimulated much contemplation. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature.. there a skull – a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. here a shin-bone. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. hawks.' The Charnel Ground Contemplations known as asubha (not beautiful) study the body as it disintegrates after death. contemplating the body as a body internally.. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.disconnected bones scattered in all directions – here a hand-bone. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. 18.a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors.. And he abides independent. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. "Again. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.. Today one has to practise in one's imagination. here a rib-bone.. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. And he abides independent. held together with sinews. the colour of shells. it will be like that. 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.' 25.. it is not exempt form that fate. 26-30 "Again. there a foot-bone. There. there a back-bone. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors.

he understands: 'I feel a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. The text refers to three types of vedan›. Experientially. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally.e. when feeling a neither-painful-nor pleasant feeling. The automatic moving towards something is experienced as pleasurable. to feel. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. It's what allows us to jerk our hand away from a hot stove element before it burns us. to experience i. from ved or vid. This response leads to the creature moving towards or away from the stimulus. vedan› is feeling but in the sense of evaluation. As one can see by the PTS derivations above. When you have a feeling it is going to rain 22 . or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. he understands: 'I feel a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling'. Moving away is unpleasurable and neither moving towards or away as neutral or indifferent. when feeling a painful feeling. the moment of vedan› seems to come before one is even consciously aware of the object. Pleasure furthers life. "to weigh it up" T–Abd notes – Vedan› is a conscious subjective impression prior to recognising or identifying an object.e. Pleasurable. to any stimulus whether internally or externally arising.' When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling. not clinging to anything in the world. when feeling an unworldly painful feeling. People often confuse feelings with emotions. You might think of it as an organism preservation mechanism. (CONTEMPLATION OF FEELING) Vedan›nupassan› 32. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly painful feeling'. he understands: 'I feel a worldly pleasant feeling'. when feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling.31. In the action of responding we belatedly recognise the vedan›. when feeling a worldly painful feeling. to know. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. he understands: 'I feel a painful feeling'. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly pleasant feeling'. contemplating the body as a body internally. It can modify the stream of consciousness either positively or negatively i. “In this way he abides. to sense. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. Pain shortens it. unpleasurable and neither pleasurable nor unpleasurable.' Vedan› => PTS. "And how bhikkhus. And he abides independent. a bhikkhu understands: 'I feel a pleasant feeling'. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. when feeling a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. of all the parts and systems making up the organism. Vedan› can be so fleeting and subtle that what we commonly perceive as vedan› is usually a stream of many similar vedan› moments. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating feelings as feelings? Here. A moment of vedan› emerges from the collective response. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. when feeling a pleasant feeling. he understands: 'I feel a worldly painful feeling'. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. when feeling an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.

Addictions to alcohol or to chronic activity or to junk food are examples of this. Or else he abides contemplating in feelings their arising factors. worldly and unworldly feelings Traditionally. The three types of vedan› of a householder refer to the common responses to sensory experience (liking. It sounds very straight forward but in practice. When this happens we can begin to make bad 'decisions'. 33. A poorly functioning vedan› can cause no end of suffering. For example. In vedan›nupassan› one simply notes the process of vedan›. or he abides contemplating in feelings both their arising and vanishing factors. experiencing it arise and pass without necessarily acting on it. many beings don't know. we can identify as pleasant. or he abides contemplating the feelings as feelings both internally and externally. And he abides independent. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating feelings as feelings. dukkha and anatt› through any of the six sense doors and then longing for liberation. or he abides contemplating in feelings their vanishing factors. Situations are then 'evaluated' on the basis of what will augment a relatively static and more or less defensive ego image. An organism is constantly monitoring the inner and outer environment. without any accompanying insight or understanding. According to the MN text. and the 'six kinds of equanimity'. Their wrong reading of vedan› leads to all sorts of unskilful actions. The Buddha once said that he knew the pleasant for the pleasant and the unpleasant for the unpleasant. contemplating the feelings as feelings internally.you don't usually mean you are having an emotion that it will rain. They have lost touch with this basic life support function. arising through any of the six sense doors. and neutrality) arising through any of the six doors. the renunciate will experience joy in discovering the truth of impermanence anicca. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is feeling’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. We can identify as unpleasant. The six refer to the six sense doors.15) under the 'six kinds of joy'. or he abides contemplating the feelings as feelings externally. rather than on the basis of what is good for the overall creative functioning of the organism. not clinging to anything in the world. and nonabidingness anatt›. worldly feelings are described as feeling/evaluations arising in the life of a householder. Unworldly feelings are feeling/evaluations arising in the life of a renunciate. suffering dukkha. something that is essentially bad for the organism and hence move towards it. the 'six kinds of grief'. There is equanimity on seeing that all sense objects are impermanent. They are described in (MN 137. It's as if it were asking: Is this situation or object life enhancing? Is it supportive? Is it dangerous to life? Is it neutral? Throughout life there is a constant stream of vedan› taking place. especially in this day of powerful advertising and media manipulation. “In this way he abides. Confusion and suffering can occur if the vedan› function becomes 'hijacked' by the ego. 9 . subject to change. There is grief when experiencing the anicca. the three types of vedan› for a person living the life of renunciation. 23 . are the feeling/evaluations that arise in response to insight into the nature of any of the six sense objects and the situations supporting their arising. fading away and cessation. The grief is actually in the longing. Similarly. disliking. something that is actually good for the organism and then back away from it.

blessed are the pure at heart. colours our perception and helps shape the sense of meaning arising in any given situation. Citta => PTS. the centre and focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations i. He understands mind affected by delusion as mind affected by delusion. He understands contracted mind as contracted mind. The text gives only a very limited range of examples of possible states of mind. open or closed. It may be focussed or diffused. perceive. States of mind are like this. bhikkhus. The meaning of citta is best understood when explaining it by expressions familiar to us such as: with all my heart. all of which emphasise the emotional and cognitive side of "thought" more than its mental and rational side. impulse. Citta may therefore be rendered by intention. He understands liberated mind as liberated mind. If you wear a pair of glasses for a long time you often forget that you have them on and don't realise that the glasses are affecting the way you see and experience the world. If you have green ones the world is tinted green and grey ones tint the world grey. Namgyal Rinpoché referred to citta in the context of Satipa˛˛h›na as 'state of mind'. to think. With the familiar 24 . It's as if you were wearing anger glasses or happiness glasses or glasses of any other emotional texture. I have not the heart to do it. disposition.CONTEMPLATION OF MIND Citt›nupassan› 34. He understands surpassed mind as surpassed mind. and unexalted mind as unexalted mind. It may be a more commonly named emotion. This mode or way of experiencing. could be thought of as the overall flavour or texture of mind. design. The state of mind roughly corresponds to what people consider their emotional state. and unsurpassed mind as unsurpassed mind. => PTS. Citta is difficult to translate in one word while preserving its full meaning. He understands mind affected by hate as mind affected by hate." In other words. without departing from it. and unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated mind. citta denotes both the agent and that which is enacted. and unliberated mind as unliberated mind. He understands exalted mind as exalted mind. "The bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind. the heart (psychologically) i. The translation we have here uses 'mind' for citta. It may be something rough or bouncy or bubbly or bright or smooth or still. mood. Other translations use 'consciousness' or 'thought'. thought. reaction to impressions. " And how. appear. cinteti. In this way. and mind unaffected by lust as mind unaffected by lust. That's why the PTS dictionary speaks of "man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations.e. you may feel an overall texture of knowing or experiencing. Imagine that you had a collection of different colour tinted sunglasses. the 'state of mind'. In the direct experience of meditation you may not be able to precisely name the citta. => PTS. and distracted mind as distracted mind. you the meditator understand that this particular 'state of mind' is present. heart and soul." Citta. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind as mind? Here a bhikkhu understands mind affected by lust as mind affected by lust. and mind unaffected by hate as mind unaffected by hate. state of mind.e. He understands concentrated mind as concentrated mind. and mind unaffected by delusion as mind unaffected by delusion. however. in the very presence of the mind state. Research into brain damaged people has shown that intellect without emotional content often loses its moral or value component. If you wear a pair of pink ones the whole world appears to be tinted pink. from cit.

When you are exploring citt›nupassan›. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is sensual desire in me'. and unconsciously projecting onto the object you are involved with. you will experience a greater and greater freedom from being blindly caught up in reaction. A contracted mind is referring to states of sloth and torpor. 'There is no sensual desire in me'. CONTEMPLATION OF MIND-OBJECTS Dhamm›nupassan› 1. “In this way he abides. You explore what factors contribute to their arising and what factors contribute to their passing. 35. And he abides independent. not clinging to anything in the world. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects? Here a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five hindrances. "And how. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen ill will. The liberated mind is referring to a degree of freedom from defilements either through jh›na or through insight. contemplating mind as mind internally. or he abides contemplating in mind both its arising and vanishing factors.' "Here. he understands. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sensual desire. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is ill will in me'. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sensual desire. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned ill will. This will encourage you to examine the state more closely. you begin to note the arising of mental states. along with outer circumstances and situations. An unexalted mind and a surpassed mind refer to the level of sense sphere consciousness k›mavacara. there being no ill will in him. there being sensual desire in him. Or else he abides contemplating in mind its arising factors. or. Your body and feeling function are some of these factors. The unsurpassed mind is referring to the levels of absorption on immaterial form ›rÒp›vacara. or emotional states. Through dwelling in a continuum of awareness of the arising and passing of states of mind. and that they arise dependent on many different factors. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is mind’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. or he abides contemplating in mind its vanishing factors. A distracted mind refers to states of restlessness and worry. there being no sensual desire in him. or he abides contemplating mind as mind externally. or.emotions it is valuable to notice the texture rather than simply rubber stamping them with a label. 'There is no ill will in me'. The Five Hindrances 36. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen ill will. he understands. there being ill will in him. or he abides contemplating mind as mind both internally and externally. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sensual desire. You investigate the entire interbeingness of arising mind states. bhikkhus. An exalted mind refers to states of absorption on fine material form rÒp›vacara. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five hindrances? "Here. seeing and knowing that they are transient.' 25 .

at the beginning. he understands. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is sceptical doubt in me'. or. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen restlessness and worry. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sloth and torpor. there being both sloth and torpor in him. awakening. and by him made intelligible to mankind as bodhi: revelation."Here. there being restlessness and worry in him. uncreated. there being no restlessness and worry in him. the Dhamma or world wisdom/philosophy of the Buddha as contained in the Sutras. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is restlessness and worry in me'. thought. objective. he understands. idea. Because for most beings. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen restlessness and worry. much less invented or decreed by him. Once there is a lessening of these tendencies. immanent. The Buddha (like every great philosopher) is a discoverer of this order of the Dhamma. Then the meditator investigates the realm of sensing and the reactions of greed. This fourth foundation of mindfulness which has been translated here as awareness of 'mind-objects' could be thought of as awareness of phenomena. Dhamma in Pali is the same as Skt. subjective. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sceptical doubt. from dh¸ (dh›reti) to hold. This is a more hidden source of suffering. truth and its recognition by the Buddha. one moves on to investigate the five aggregates of clinging to a sense of self. the knower becomes the incorporation of the knowable. mental attitude. there being no sloth and torpor in him. 'There is no sceptical doubt in me'. anything that is not covered by k›ya. support: that which forms a foundation and upholds. looking into the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. "mentality" as the constitutive element of cognition which is presented as "object" to the imagination and as such has an effect of its own: – a presentation or idea. => PTS. hatred and delusion that commonly arise along with sensory experience. there being no sceptical doubt in him. the Dhamma was the order of law of the universe. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor. "rationality" any thing that is as it should be according to its reason and logicality i. psychologically. i. 'There is no restlessness and worry in me'. not as interpreted by him only. vedan› and citta would come in this category.' "Here. As this area becomes less of a problem the investigation turns to the positive. => PTS. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is both sloth and torpor in me'. That which the Buddha preached. there being sceptical doubt in him. natural law. In this sutta however. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sceptical doubt. In a sense. philosophy.' dhamma => PTS. he understands. or. Dhamm›nupassan› particularly refers to the dharmas of awakening. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sceptical doubt. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned restlessness and worry. this universal logic. => PTS. the difficulties or negativities are more obvious and more demanding. Thus by recognition of the truth. eternal. dharma. 'There is no sloth and torpor in me'. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sloth and torpor. the section on dhamm›nupassan› begins with an exploration of the five gross hindrances. Buddhadhamma. more in-your-face than the positive dharmas. philosophy or righteousness in which the rational and the ethical elements are fused into one.' "Here.e. a study of the qualities of being that are inseparable from the experience of 26 . but intelligible to a mind of his range. or purely mental phenomenon as distinguished from a psycho-physical phenomenon or sensation.e. or.

One understands how to let go of and abandon a hindrance. 27 . anger. one comes to know directly the Four Noble Truths. story making. At this point. If the desire is not fulfilled. vy›p›da => ill will => PTS. memories. the cycle begins with desire for something other than what is happening. it pushes against the dam of tension–frustration and everything begins to tremble. We want to see. plotting. At this point in the cycle it's as if the creative life energy has almost stopped flowing. one is directed to know when they are present and to know when they are not present. It's someone else's fault! This is the birth of the second hindrance. – essentially through friendly non-clinging awareness. lethargic. how they manifest in the body and what are the accompanying mental attitudes. It is a hindrance in that it is inevitably desire for something that is not currently present. it's not uncommon to look outside the body for the cause or source of tension with the idea of getting rid of it. It's hard work to maintain the tensions of anger and ill-will." This last section refers to realisation of various stages of Path in which specific hindrances cease to arise again. associations and so forth. In brief. what triggers them. planning. Finally one "understands how there comes to be the future non-arising of an abandoned hindrance. ill-will. P›da which means foot or base is symbolically referring to energy fields. ill-will. In the last section. see Breathing: The Natural Way to Meditate – p 56 1. If this goes on for too long it sucks up so much vital energy that we fall into the third hindrance. to understand clearly how they come into being. Verbalisation i. hatred. desire. With each of these five. aspiration. like a lotus padme. malevolence. a tired. or taste or touch or know. The vya is associated with the idea of gone astray. they also arise in the general activity of one's daily life. If we are unaware of this happening. exhaustion. It can be very useful however to think of them as five common divisions of a single cycle of energy. This yearning is not just mental but is also expressed physically in the body as a matrix of tensions. This first hindrance is desire for experience at any one of the six sense doors. we will find ourselves sinking towards the fifth hindrance. (see p 33) The five hindrances are often taught as if they were five completely separate types of experience. desire to injure.e. restlessness and worry. Although these five are usually taught in the context of meditation. a degree of frustration will augment the tension until it becomes physically unpleasant.dwelling in freedom. making bad. Now we experience the fourth hindrance. 2. k›macchanda => desire for sensing k›ma => sensing or sensual. Five Hindrances Pañca Nıvara˚a One begins to explore the realm of Dharma by investigating the five hindrances. in other words. Hence the sense that ill-will is an expression of energy fields gone astray. closed minded scepticism which is often accompanied by varying degrees of depression. Most people linger in this fifth state until another desire for sensing picks them up and they begin the cycle all over again. If there is still a spark of health in us. chanda => moon. A yearning or reaching out takes place through one or more of the six sense doors. The present moment isn't sufficiently engaging or satisfactory enough so one starts hankering or fantasising over things or activities that might make it better. if we can't let go and relax into what is actually present. doing harm. general chatter and so forth is usually a sure sign of k›macchanda. For a much more detailed description of the cycle of the five hindrances along with some hints at how to dissolve them. the culmination of the path.

2. Vicikicch› is the state of being incapable of deciding this is this and that is that. mania. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. “In this way he abides. such is feeling. agitated. It is an ambivalence that leads to mental paralysis 'can't do this. such is perception. 5. Vi expresses negation and ambivalence towards 'that which should be done'. doubt in existence or the possibility of awakening. It is called citta gellaññaª.. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. sleepiness. uddhacca-kukkucca => restlessness and worry T . The Five Aggregates 38.. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. "Again. Middha from middh => to be inactive. gathering. And he abides independent. trembly. sickness of mind. function. incapable of function. rigidity. not clinging to anything in the world. the psychic masochist.3. to become hard. such its origin. such their disappearance.' The Five Aggregates of Clinging Pañc'up›dd›nakkhandha Khandha (Pali) or skandha (Skt) => aggregate. such are the formations. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. or the point in continuing with the practice. Kicca => PTS. fidgeting. bhikkhus. a state of throwing up. over + dhu=> to waver. to congeal. overly scrupulous. such its origin. unwieldy. or the validity of the teaching or the integrity or value of the teacher. uncertainty. T. collection. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. tremble. Hence doubt. to shrink. heap 28 . 4. such its origin. Thına is very much an energy reference. like a flurry of grey snowflakes. such its disappearance. such their origin. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. Kukkucca => worry. Thına is the opposite of viriya energy. shake off. perplexity. middha is a sleeping of the senses i. uncertainty. to be distracted in thought. an unsettled state of mind. the shrinking mind. a stickiness of mind. 'Such is material form. such is consciousness.. Vicikicchati => to dis-reflect.Abd notes – Uddhacca => from U => up. from the. sticky mind.e.Abd notes – Thına => PTS.e. above. remorse. perplexity. conglomeration.. inert. mental self-sacrificing... such its origin. 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. that which should be done. sorrow. vicikicch› => sceptical doubt => PTS. This is the opposite of sukha. depression and is the opposite of cittakammaññat› adaptability of mind. Thına and middha are always in conjunction – a weak. such its disappearance. defensive state of mind. the psychic picker.can't do that. weak sañña. what's the point?' It is the fundamental life doubt i. an energyless unwieldyness resulting in a limp.. and saºkhar›. vedan›. 37. such its disappearance. essentially a state of tiredness. such its disappearance. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging. a grieving kind of worry. dullness. ˛hına-middha => sloth and torpor.

persist and perish. some with habit patterns and some with consciousness. all the grains of rice. sense. attatchment In the Heart Sutra. kamma. making known. to shine forth. The chief characteristic of sañña is identification or recognition. clinging. recognising. RÒpa is a living force. that which changes its colour due to elemental shifts. idea. from saª (together) + k¸ (to work). In a sense you don't actually see the object but rather the wavelengths of light that are not absorbed and are excluded by the object. RÒpa => form. publicity. perish. when the Buddha first taught the five skandhas.Pañca => five Up›dd›na => grasping. Some people identify more with their body. being the third khandha 2. and ›h›ra nutriment. All form perceived by mind has 28 textures. into the fullness of the present moment. explanation. RÒpa is that which breaks up or changes. material form This includes the physical body with its sense faculties as well as external material objects. RÒpa means both the fundamentals of matter and the laws and changes and processes of matter. containing) + jñ› (knowing. to break. independent. In the texts there is no universally applicable one meaning for rÒpa. corporeality. from saª (together. So rÒpapak›sane => a shining. a central text of Mahayana Buddhism. information. looks with profound understanding. hence 'five heaps'. PTS. matter. is a way of deepening our understanding of how each moment of life experience is dependent on uncountable other situations and circumstances. RÒpa is also derived from rÒppak›sane => PTS. citta. it will not perceive as wide a range of rÒpa. body. Together. the bodhisattva of compassion. to be visible. They are called 'aggregates of clinging' because each one can be a focus for clinging to the sense of a separate. Contemplating the five aggregates. a statement. consciousness. assimilation of sensations. from rup. discernment. a manifestation. 1.e. an announcement. Abhidhamma describes 28 species of rÒpa dealt with in terms of how they arise. destroy. five skandhas. some with their feelings. Pak›sane => explaining. Each pile. and "beheld but five heaps". sense. represented one of the skandhas and also indicated that the heap itself is comprised of a multitude of sub-factors. a related word is sankhata => put to29 . evidence. T-Abd notes – RÒpa actually means. in order to more clearly illustrate what he was talking about. he placed five piles of rice on the ground in front of him. It notes the qualities or characteristics of things. Vedan› => feeling/evaluation (see p 22) Sañña => perception. pigmentation. perception. some with perceptions. perception. For example if the organism has a low fuel energy. wavelengths. utu seasonal phenomena i. According to legend. with. having insight) sañña =>PTS. notion. RÒpa is that which manifests itself through different colours va˚˚›. Sankh›ra => PTS. RÒpa perception springs from four sources. Avalokitesvara. autonomous self or ego. RÒpa => PTS. the five categories hint at the myriad factors that weave together the human experience. recognition. awareness 3. a field or sphere of colour va˚˚›yatana. to become known. cycles and undulations. conception. consciousness of diversity 4. Some renderings are form. a declaration. It moulds to various changes of environment.

They are listed here to give you a sense of the one approach to exploring saºkh›ra.cetan› One-pointedness .ahirikaª Fearlessness . habit patterns and so forth.manasik›ra (There are two more cetasika usually listed in this section. dispositions.pıti Aspiration .gether.vicikicch› 30 .phassa Volition . This includes all volitional. conditioned.vic›ra Decision . Saºkh›ra has a feeling of bits and pieces being put together to make a particular formation. In Tantrayana this is represented by the fifty freshly severed human heads around Vajra Yogini's neck. Common to all states of consciousness .kukkuccaª Energyless-mind .ekaggat› Vital energy .chando Unwholsome . When contemplating saºkh›ra as one of the five khandha you will likely find your reflections extending beyond these 50 factors to consider things like subliminal memories.dosa Envy .uddhaccaª Desire-clinging .Sabbacittas›dh›ran› Contact . created.middhaª Sceptical doubt .thınaª Energyless-body .di˛˛hi Conceit .) Variables .lobha View .anottappaª Restlessness .Akusala Delusion .iss› Avarice . However when considering the five Skandhas. brought about as effect of actions in former births.viriya Interest-joy-ecstasy .macchariyaª Worry . these two stand on their own so there are only 50 cetasika listed in the category of sankh›ra.vitakka Scanning .adhimokkha Enthusiastic perseverance . compound.moha Shamelessness . produced by a combination of causes. 50 Mental Factors or Cetasika that are classified as sankharas in the abhidhamma system. saºkh›ra refers to the 50 mental factors or cetasikas. emotional and intellectual aspects of one's mental life. vedan› and sañña which would make the total number of cetasika come to 52.m›na Hatred .Paki˚˚ak› Focus . Sank›ra => habitual formations.jıvitindriyaª Attention . In abhidhamma.

k›ya and cittamudut› Adaptability .g. requisite for action.Viratiyo Right Speech .cittalahut› Pliancy .Sobhanas›dh›ran› Confidence .alobha Lovingkindness . PTS from vi + jñ› (to produce. (i) the sum of the conditions or properties making up or resulting in life or existence. Here the vi means to divide hence it is a knowing that divides into subject and object. is so complete.samm›kammanto Right Livelihood . In a simple way.samm›v›ca Right Action .hiri Moral caution . peculiar to the East.k›ya and cittap›guññat› Straightforwardness . Lightness of citta . tendencies and concepts resonating from past experience that help shape and give meaning to the present moment.tatramajjhattat› Tranquillity of mental body (cetasik›). 'I' am conscious of 'that'. that it is almost impossible for Occidental terminology to get at the root of its meaning in a translation. One of the five khandhas.k›yalahut›.k›yapassaddhi Tranquillity of citta .Appamañña 1 Compassion .samm›-›jıvo Illimitable . the mental concomitants. There are many words for consciousness. comprising all cetasikas.karu˚› 2 Sympathetic Joy . think). sank›ra could be thought of as the habitual patterns. Various meanings: 1. Viññ›na => consciousness.cittapassadhi Lightness of mental body. Sankh›r› tend to take on the implication of synergies. 2.k›ya and cittajjukat› Abstinences . of purposive intellection.mudit› Wisdom Faculty .adosa Equanimity .k›ya and cittakammaññat› Proficiency . aggregate of the conditions or essential properties for a given process or result e. or constitutional elements of physical life. antecedents or synergy (co-ordinated activity). attitudes.Common to the Beautiful . mental coefficients. into consciousness at the uprising of a citta or unit of cognition. in which the blending of the subjective-objective view of the world and of happening. the state of the subject is shaping the perception 31 .paññindriya PTS says of sank›ra: 'One of the most difficult terms in Buddhist metaphysics. (ii) Essential conditions. or adjuncts which come.sati Moral shame . a purposive aspiring state of mind to induce a specific rebirth. or tend to come.ottappaª Generosity . speech and thought. The existence of the object is helping to establish the sense of being a subject and simultaneously.saddh› Mindfulness .

you will find it useful to consider how each skandha is. habitual formations and consciousness. and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both. not clinging to anything in the world. This co-dependent process of knowing is Viññ›na. The Six Bases 40.. ›yatan› => PTS. He understands the nose. he understands flavours. He understands the tongue. Perception arises when there is a particular coming together of form. he understands forms.. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. he understands tangibles.. Evaluation is a combination of form. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter. if you enquire deeply into the nature of form or material and try to describe it. “In this way he abides. evaluation. you might say it arises when there is a particular configuration of perception. sphere of perception or sense in general. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter. In a similar way you can explore habitual formations and consciousness. He understands the body. The mind is consid32 .. He understands the mind. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the six internal and external bases. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging.of the object. 39. he understands odours. 3.. he understands mind-objects. composed of the other four. habitual patterns and consciousness. And he abides independent. As part of contemplating the arising factors and the vanishing factors. "He understands the ear. in a sense. habitual formations and consciousness.. sense organ and object. evaluation. he understands sounds. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors.. perception. and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter. Kalu Rinpoché defined Viññ›na as 'discursive consciousness'. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. 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. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter. "Again. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. The six bases refer to the six senses and their six objects hence 'twelve'. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter. and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both.. the ability of mind to recognise something other than itself as an object – to decide this is this and that is that. bhikkhus. object of thought. For example. The six bases or ›yatan› are sometimes referred to as the twelve sense spheres dv›das›yatan›.

m›na. memories and so forth as its objects. uddhacca and avijj› 33 An›g›mi 'Non returner' Arahat 'Fully purified' . arÒpar›ga. passion. vicikicch›. boundless consciousness. and 'neither perception nor nonperception'. 2. The fetters are basically greed. Sometimes they are extended out as the ten saªyojana or ten fetters. Dharma and Sangha. RÒpavacara is the realm of 'fine material form'. especially doubt about the Buddha. This refers to the subtle levels of absorption on form. nothingness. In the Abhidhamma system these ten fetters fall away permanently at specific stages of the path. craving. k›mar›ga rÒpar›ga arÒpar›ga pa˛igha m›na di˛˛hi silabbatap›r›m›ssa vicikicch› uddhacca avijj› attachment to sensuality k›mavacara attachment to the realm of form rÒpavacara attachment to the formless realms ›rÒpavacara hatred conceit partial view blind belief in rule and ritual sceptical doubt restlessness ignorance r›ga => PTS. The future non-arising of a fetter refers to a stage of path attainment. hatred and delusion. silabbatap›r›m›ssa. feelings. di˛˛hi. the belief that blind adherence to rule and ritual and to mere good works will be sufficient to bring awakening. 3. Stage of Path Sot›panna 'Stream entry' Fetters Dropping Away 1. lust. excitement. about the necessity of moral conduct and about the fact of cause and effect. K›mavacara is the realm of the five senses. specifically belief in a permanent or independent self or ego. firÒpavacara is the formless realm and refers to the very subtle meditative absorptions of: boundless space.ered the sixth sense which has concepts. Sakad›g›mi 'Once returner' halving the fetters of k›mar›ga (attachment to the realm of sensing) and pa˛igha (hatred) elimination of k›mar›ga and pa˛igha elimination of rÒpar›ga.

complete + bodhi enlightenment + anga factors These seven factors will all be present and harmoniously functioning together in a well rounded. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. "The greater the question. active enquiry or question present in your being. six and seven are considered to be passive. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors.. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. the greater the awakening –– no question. three and four are considered to be active. it is said. They reach their fullest flowering of expression in what is called the state of liberation or 'enlightenment'. examination: dhammavicaya => investigation of dhamma insight.. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is the mindfulness enlightenment factor in me'. no awakening. Number one is considered to be neutral.. There being the energy enlightenment factor in him. “In this way he abides. Mindfulness satisambojjhaºgo (see p 7) 2. It's what carries us into new territory. There being the rapture enlightenment factor in him. he understands: 'There is no mindfulness enlightenment factor in me'. and how the arisen equanimity enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development. mature human being. (from vi + ci to think) search. "Again bhikkhus. There being the concentration enlightenment factor in him. or there being no mindfulness enlightenment factor in him. 1. curiosity. or there being no equanimity enlightenment factor in him. direct seeing of reality This is the factor of question. The Seven Enlightenment Factors 42. 34 . investigation. There being the equanimity enlightenment factor in him. "There being the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor in him..." There needs to be curiosity. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors? Here. investigation. and how the arisen mindfulness enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. not clinging to anything in the world. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen mindfulness enlightenment factor. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors. he understands: 'There is no equanimity enlightenment factor in me'.. Investigation of dhamma dhammavicayasambojjhaºgo vicaya => PTS. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the six internal and external bases. Five. And he abides independent.. In Zen.41. 4. interest. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors.. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen equanimity enlightenment factor.. Numbers two. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. there being the mindfulness enlightenment factor in him. satta seven + sam good. The Seven Enlightenment Factors Sattasambojjhaºga.. There being the tranquillity enlightenment factor in him. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is the equanimity enlightenment factor in me'.

probing. appreciates and loves the largest segment of the Universe. quietude. Pıti is the experiential knowing of the thrill and pleasure of aliveness of the organism. 35 . like waves on a beach 4. Kuddaka Pıti – joy causing the flesh to creep 2. beloved. like a flood 5. receptive. It's very much a thrill or excitation felt in or throughout the body when it is functioning well. 1. Abhidhamma texts describe five major categories of pıti ranging from interest to ecstasy. To take steps to bring it to an end and to prevent the arising of such unwholesome states in the future. To take steps to encourage an arisen wholesome to flourish and continue. to know more broadly and profoundly. 4. The effort to recognise the unwholesome when it is present. calm. to wander about. intensification or thorough i. (from piya dear. pleasant. This factor is often allied with the what are called in Buddhist teaching the Four Great Efforts. Energy viriyasambojjhaºgo is also referred to as diligence and enthusiastic perseverance viriyaª => PTS. tranquillity.e. "An outstanding attribute of an awakened spirit is its expansiveness. Okkantika Pıti – flood of joy. methodical. to show a certain way of deportment i. uninterrupted strenuousness in conquering obstacles. Rapture pitisambojjhaºgo Pıti => This word is difficult to translate accurately with one English word. Tranquillity passadhisambojjhaºgo Passadhi => PTS. completely vıra => manly. Phara˚a Pıti – Overflowing joy. to move. serenity. 1. 3. 'Rapture' doesn't really do it justice. exuberance. its insatiable hunger to experience more widely.This factor is often the weakest in meditators who see meditation primarily as a technique for establishing calm or tranquillity. Ubbega Pıti – transporting joy. zest. (from vi + ır) iriyati => to set in motion. vi => is a prefix denoting expansion. It needs to sink into the bones of your being so that your very existence is an expression of question in action. one must have a tremendous degree of interest and curiosity about all arisings of life and particularly about what is currently taking place." (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) 3. an alert readiness to experience and know more broadly and profoundly. dhammavicaya must go beyond mere verbal question. the coursing of the energy of the body. For awakening one needs more than just calm. It is really a factor of open. 5. it suppresses feverishness and calms hysteria. I am reminded of the following quote by the biologist Alexander Skutch. delight. To recognise the wholesome when it is present. responsive. like a flash of lightning 3. that which is carried out methodically. repose. liked) => uplifting joy. floating like a dandelion seed in space.e. 2. 4. to stir. to cultivate friendly intercourse with the whole of Being. PTS. The noblest mind is that which understands. and to encourage unarisen wholesomes to arise in the future. Eventually. Kha˚ika Pıti – instantaneous joy. mighty heroic viriya => moving in an invincible way. like the cool shade of a tree.

5. not having our attention darting all over the lot. look. he understands as it actually is. Dukkhasamudayo aryasaccaª – the noble truth of the origin of suffering 3. Equanimity or true seeing is a balanced state of mind that embraces all opposite pairs.' The Four Noble Truths Ariyasacc›ni => ariya noble + sacc›ni truth 1. 43. a completely balanced state of mind. upa impartially. Usually translated as equanimity. (from sam complete + dhi which has a sense of firmness) => concentration. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally.6. he understands as it actually is: 'This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. “In this way he abides. The Four Noble Truths 44. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. A better understanding might be had if you pronounced it with the accent on the second syllable. bhikkhus. just + ikkhati to see. self-collected. not clinging to anything in the world. he understands as it actually is: 'This is the cessation of suffering'. con-CEN-tration in other words con (with) centrate (centre). or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. except for this section on the Four Noble Truths which is greatly expanded. not scattered. And he abides independent. a concentrated. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the Four Noble Truths. view. 7. Dukkhanirodhag›minipa˛ipad› aryasaccaª – the noble truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering In the Mah›satipa˛˛h›na Sutta (the longer version of the Satipa˛˛h›na found in the Dıgha Nik›ya – The Long Discourses of the Buddha) the text is identical to the one we have used thus far. We are concentrated when we are effortlessly centred in whatever we are doing or experiencing. Dukkhanirodho aryasaccaª – the noble truth of the cessation of suffering 4. or serenity. not dispersed. Equanimity upekkh›sambojjhaºgo Upekkha => PTS. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. Upa also carries the meaning of 'on top' or 'over' so upekkha hints at an equanimity that arises from having an overview or a complete viewing of all aspects of a situation. To many people. While not taking sides there is a continuum of calm clear seeing discernment. Dukkhaª aryasaccaª – the noble truth of suffering 2. 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'. "Again. not grasping after this or that. 36 . ' This is the origin of suffering'. intent state of mind and meditation. correctly or 'as it really is'. It means to see justly. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. it seems odd that concentration is considered a passive factor. Concentration sam›dhisambojjhaºgo Sam›dhi => PTS. It is the 'middle-way' between subject and object. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors.

painful or unpleasant sensation results from mental contact. of whatever group of beings. distress. 'And what. mental unpleasant feeling. shrinking with age.Below is a translation from the Mah›satipa˛˛h›na Sutta by Maurice Walshe. 5. inward woe. 'And what is death? In whatever beings. coming-to-be. "And what is pain? Whatever bodily painful feeling. there is ageing. being separated from the loved is suffering. monks. 'And what is lamentation? Whenever. is called sorrow. broken teeth. lamentation." First Noble Truth 'And what. a discarding of the body. that. mourning. is called sadness. great distress. monks. In short the five aggregates of grasping are suffering. making much noise for grief. affliction with distress. 'And what is distress? Whenever. a monk knows as it really is: "This is suffering". monks. that. grey hair. sadness and distress are suffering. a dying. making great lamentation. 'And what is sadness? Whatever mental painful feeling. a monk abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in respect of the Four Noble Truths. monks is birth? In whatever beings. a removal. is being attached to the unloved? Here. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature. "This is the cessation of suffering". sorrow. monks. painful or unpleasant feeling results from bodily contact. he knows as it really is. he knows as it really is. decrepitude. "This is the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. that. lamenting. Being attached to the unloved is suffering. 'And what is ageing? In whatever beings. a cutting off. he knows as it really is. the acquisition of the sense-bases. inward grief. "This is the origin of suffering". is called ageing. by any kind of misfortune. How does he do so? Here. of whatever group of beings. monks. death is suffering. by any kind of misfortune. that monks is called birth. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature and there is crying out. with great distress. not getting what one wants is suffering. a disappearance. decay of the sense faculties. that. 'And what. distress. an ending. monks is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering. monks. there is a passing-away. there is birth. bodily unpleasant feeling. wrinkled skin. monks. coming forth. is called distress. whoever has un37 . by any kind of misfortune. ageing is suffering. 'And what is sorrow? Whenever. that. monks is called lamentation. that. is called death. of whatever group of beings. a cutting off of the aggregates. pain. a death. The Four Noble Truths 'Again. that. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature. sorrow. monks is called pain. the appearance of the aggregate.

mother or father or brother or sister or younger kinsmen or friends or colleagues or blood-relations. pleasant. that which is impermanent. hunger for. sadness. intercourse. to sorrow. tangibles or mind-objects. thirst. are the five aggregates of grasping suffering? They are as follows: the aggregate of grasping that is form. now there: that is to say sensual craving. craving for not being. 'And how. for arÒpa. the aggregate of grasping that is consciousness. of security.wanted. or whoever encounters well-wishers. Essentially. 'And what is not getting what one wants? In beings subject to birth. (from tarŸna. of insecurity. intercourse. and then is deprived of such concourse. and distress. pain. extend life. is called being attached to the unloved.. monks.distress. In beings subject to ageing. the aggregate of grasping that is mental formations. liked. That is not getting what one wants. monks. is called being separated from the loved. these are in short. whoever has what is wanted. for form rÒpa. bound up with pleasure and lust. 'the fever of unsatisfied longing' Ta˚h› is driven by trying to make permanent. wishers of harm. that wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to ageing. sight-objects. tastes. union. the aggregate of grasping that is feeling. of discomfort. in short. the aggregate of grasping that is perception. that we might not come to birth!" But this cannot be gained by wishing. This is security oriented. to disease. connection or union.) Bh›va and vibh›vata˚h› can be caricatured in common types of behaviour or attitudes to life. monks. craving for non-existence vibh›vata˚h› => T-Abd-notes. a craving for walling off. craving for existence and craving for non-existence. thirst and ters. craving ta˚h› => PTS. is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering? It is that craving which gives rise to rebirth. that. of comfort. or whoever encounters ill-wishers. this wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to birth. They feel more secure with written 38 . craving for being. conceit (belief that one has something) and defence (wanting to protect the wealth one thinks one can lose. that we might not come to these things!" But this cannot be gained by wishing. lamentation. They want to know exactly when something is going to happen and when it will end. disliked.. connection. the five aggregates of grasping that are suffering. The bh›vata˚h› type is the person who likes certainty. that. And that. is called the Noble Truth of Suffering. Second Noble Truth 'And what. monks. finding fresh delight now here. to death. monks. It is narcissism. to be or to make dry) =>drought. this is craving for more. 'And what is being separated from the loved? Here. wishers of good. monks. sounds. craving that which one thinks will extend the being. unpleasant. That is not getting what one wants. sight-objects. with whom they have concourse. sensual craving k›mata˚h› => craving for sensual experience craving for existence bh›vata˚h› => T-Abd-notes. smells. craving.

Sense consciousness: 'Eye-consciousness. Feeling vedan›: 'Feeling born of eye-contact. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. tastes. Sense organs: 'And what is there in the world that is agreeable and pleasurable? The eye in the world is agreeable and pleasurable.contracts. of mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. smells. ear-contact. have a well filled appointment diary. nose-consciousness. nose-contact. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself.. They like to own their house. ear-consciousness. They want to be spontaneous. tangibles. In extremis they can be a bit obsessive. the ear. Commitment and responsibility are important to them.. Contact phassa: 'Eye-contact. of smells. likes to hang loose. bodycontact. tastes. the nose. ear-contact. nose-contact.. Thinking vitakka: 'Thinking of sights. tongue-contact. of sounds. smells. Volition cetan›: 'Volition in regards to sights. 'And where does this craving arise and establish itself? Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable.. tastes. They like definition and walls.. there this craving arises and establishes itself.. Craving tanha: 'The craving for sights. body-consciousness. In extreme cases they can be very narcissistic. They prefer to rent.. Vitakka is often translated as initial application. They like space and value their freedom. tangibles.. They don't like to be saddled with commitments. mind-consciousness in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. and there this craving arises and establishes itself. They feel uncomfortable when constrained by timetables or formal contracts. smells.. Sense objects: 'Sights. sounds. The vibh›vata˚h› type. sounds. sounds. body-contact. mind-objects in the world are agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. A more useful translation might be 'focus'. the body. tongue-consciousness. mind-contact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself.. tangibles. sounds. on the other hand. tangibles. the tongue.. mind-contact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. of tangibles. Perception sañña:'The perception of sights. the mind in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. tastes. tonguecontact. 39 .. of tastes. smells.

there is no craving. With this understanding. The great philosopher N›g›rjuna wrote in his famous treatise MÒlamadhyamakak›rika: "Whatever that comes to be dependently. that is inherently peaceful. All arisings are mutually shaping. And what is there in the world that is agreeable and pleasurable? To illustrate the spontaneous naturalness of cessation. It is not really 'thinking" in the sense of verbalising or conceptualising about the object. though it would be a pondering without verbalising. Peace is the fading away of craving. there its cessation comes about. smells. it self-liberates. avijja. It is closer than hands and feet. and vis-versa. It's not going anywhere. 'A' at the beginning of a Pali or Sanskrit word indicates negation. "Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. the experiential knowing that this moment is not lacking in any way. And that. one then scans the details of the object without departing from the object. there is no single separate part that can be isolated out to praise or blame or be held responsible. a simple metaphor is used in many of the Mahamudra/Dzogchen texts. the cessation of suffering becomes realizable in any situation without necessarily changing a thing. supports the sense of an autonomous 'craver' that can crave a desired thing. tastes. Having 'tacked' vitakka-ed the mind onto the meditation object. This cessation or self-liberation is automatic and instantaneous. Ta˚h› is rooted in ignorance. Pondering vic›ra: 'Pondering on sights. No one else needs to liberate it. And how does this craving come to be abandoned. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. Vijja denotes seeing so avijja means not seeing or not understanding. detachment from it. sounds. Ignorance of. Third Noble Truth 'And what. It rests in itself. this is the initial application of mind.When one focuses one's attention on a meditation object and does not wander to any other object. is called the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering. that it is an dynamic interbeing of everything. A perhaps more useful term would be scanning. in the experiential knowing of interdependence. tangibles. its forsaking and abandonment."1 In other words. One can remember the meaning by thinking of 'tacking' the mind to an object. In this way it is sustained application and perhaps pondering. ta˚h›. there its ces1 MÒlamadhyamakak›rika of N›g›rjuna translated by David Kalupahana p 168 40 . monks. or not seeing/understanding the interdependent nature of everything. Vic›ra is frequently translated as sustained application. Where there are no separate cravers and craven objects. monks is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering? It is the complete fading-away and extinction of this craving. In a sense. Peace or nibb›na comes with the deep knowing of completeness. how does its cessation come about? The 'cessation of suffering' is synonymous with realisation of nibb›na – peace. liberation from it. 'Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. The image that you draw vanishes as fast as you draw it. All that's needed is a profound degree of clear seeing. Imagine using your finger to draw a picture on the surface of a calm pool of water. It is more the application of attention or interest to an object. Each moment is inherently complete.

nose-consciousness.. there its cessation comes about. Right Effort. there its cessation comes about. is the Noble Truth of the Way of Practice Leading to the Cessation of Suffering? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path. and there this craving comes to be abandoned. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned.. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. there its cessation comes about. tastes. If you look into them with careful discernment.. Right Speech. And that. mindcontact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. Right Livelihood. smells. path. tongue-contact. smells. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. Right Mindfulness. the ear. tastes. smells.. smells. there its cessation comes about.. 'Eye-consciousness. tangibles. tastes. tastes. 'Thinking of sights. there its cessation comes about. tangibles. tangibles. sounds. tangibles. Noble Eightfold Path ariya-a˛˛hangika-magga magga => avenue. tastes.sation comes about. 'The perception of sights. monks.. the tongue.. ear-consciousness." Each of the following pleasurable or agreeable dharmas are like pictures drawn in water. tongue-consciousness. body-consciousness. there its cessation comes about. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. is called the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering. smells. tangibles. namely: – Right View. The eye in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. sounds. sounds. the body. there its cessation comes about. the nose. Craving for sights.. smells. tangibles. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned.. Right Thought. nose-contact. 'Volition in regard to sights.. Right Concentration. monks. sounds.. 'Pondering on sights. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. way a˛˛hangika => eight 41 .. 'Sights. there its cessation comes about. the mind in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. you will see that they spontaneously vanish as soon as they appear.. sounds. tastes. 'Eye-contact. ear-contact. body-contact. Fourth Noble Truth 'And what. sounds. Right Action. mind-consciousness in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. there its cessation comes about.

ŸÒnyat› => It is difficult to accurately translate ŸÒnyat› with a single word. Instead of 'right view' as opposed to 'wrong view'. Another way of contemplating samm› that can be applied to each section of the Eightfold Noble Path is suggested by the following question. monks. in the right way. Contemplating 'samma' in these many ways. As Namgyal Rinpoché often pointed out. fears and fantasies. for many people today. perfectly. as if we should try to convince ourselves that nothing exists. On one hand it is there. Totality is acting. the heart understanding of Mahamudra. it vanishes into a matrix of 42 . the knowledge of suffering. samm› derives from sam which has the sense of 'complete' or 'total' as in the English phrases. it appears. A more useful and descriptive phrase might be 'the spacious openness of interbeing'. (see Body. reveals the Eightfold Noble Path as a means for directly realising ŸÒnyat›. Every moment of experience reveals itself to be spacious. What is it that is doing the viewing. the knowledge of the cessation of suffering.1 Right View samm›-di˛˛i 2 Right Thought samm›-sankappa 3 Right Speech samm›-v›c› 4 Right Action samm›-kammanta 5 Right Livelihood samm›-›jıva 6 Right Effort samm›-v›y›ma 7 Right Mindfulness samm›-sati 8 Right Concentration samm›-sam›dhi 1. Totality is thinking. as it ought to be. though when used alone it usually implies partial view. samm›-di˛˛I points to complete or total or thorough viewing. Everything reveals itself to be spacious and open. Psychologically. is Right View? It is. is what is doing the viewing. and so forth. doing the understanding or doing the knowing? Since everything is interdependent with everything else. Totality is speaking. the knowledge of the origin of suffering. Right View samm›-di˛˛i 'And what. rather than as a noun. Samm› => PTS. properly. completely engaged. (ultimately everything else in the universe) then the totality of being which makes up this present moment of one's unique knowing. responsive. As part of the eight fold noble path. or 'summing up'. the activity of viewing. thoroughly. seeing/understanding all contributing aspects of an arising rather than falling into bias based on conditioned hopes. Translating samm› as 'right' in the context of the Eightfold Noble Path doesn't really do it justice. Speech and Mind p29) Di˛˛i means view. "connected in one". best. rightly. emptiness is often associated with feelings of meaninglessness and isolation. using emptiness as an equivalent for ŸÒnyat› is quite misleading as it can conjure a nihilistic view of things. a static view. The positive expression of this would be total lovingkindness. it would be more helpful to think of ditti as a verb. on the other hand when we examine it analytically. open and fundamentally un-pin-downable. This is so far away from the intention of teachings on ŸÒnyat› that it might be better to think of fullness rather than emptiness. This is called Right View. If you look deeply and discerningly into anything you will see that it is composed of a vast array of transient factors. monks. Unfortunately. and the knowledge of the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. presence in the midst of whatever is occurring. 'doing your sums'. Emptiness is the usual attempt.

I will train myself to support and appreciate the life of all living beings. one should practice generosity and give unstintingly to beings. the thought of harmlessness. Total or complete activity in terms of bringing forth what is wholesome and what is supporting the awakening of beings. One's thoughts are in tune with every situation (samm›-sanakappa) May the Sambhogakaya bring blessings. Total thinking/intending. In Daily Puja. one's intention and one's expression are all in harmony and supporting the unfolding of the wholesome. the thought of non-ill-will. Total or complete communication.contributing factors. Right Speech samm›-v›c› 'And what. Right Action samm›-kammanta 'And what. I'm reminded of a prayer in the Meditation of Guru Rinpoché: One's view of things is all embracing (samm›-di˛˛hi) May the Dharmakaya bring blessings. Beyond refraining from sexual or sensual misconduct. One might even consider 'total aspiration' or totality aspiring. Not just avoiding these unwholesome forms of expression but considering all aspects of communication so that one's body language. refraining from harsh speech. 3. plan. refraining from frivolous speech. 2. Right speech and action touch on the aspect of the path that is covered by studying and practising the precepts. This is Right Action. monks. Beyond not taking that which is not given. the whole of one's mental processes going in the direction of awakening. one should skilfully use the senses to explore dharma. is Right Thought? The thought of renunciation. complete thinking/intending. purpose. is called Right Action? Refraining from taking life. there is an expression of the precepts in a positive form that hints at a much broader practice than simply avoiding certain activities. 1. These three become one in the vision of the ground of being May the union of these three bring blessings. This is called Right Speech. refraining from taking what is not given. thought. This is called Right Thought. sankappa => PTS. This is the essence of Bodhicitta. Samm›-v›c› also implies profound listening. Here sankappa has more to do with intention than thinking. monks. Right Thought samm›-sankappa 'And what. 4. 43 . Beyond refraining from taking life. refraining from sexual misconduct. monks. one's inner feelings. refraining from slander. intention. one should strive to support and nurture life. All one's actions spring from this (the rest of the Eightfold Path) May the Nirmanakaya bring blessings. hearing what is actually being said and empathically sensing the meaning and intent behind the words. is Right Speech? Refraining from lying.

He rouses his will. stirs up energy. stirs up energy. He rouses his will. complete livelihood involves living in a way that values and supports the living matrix that is this planet. monks.and strives to overcome evil unwholesome mental states that have arisen. there probably needs to be a bit more guidance. to the full perfection of development. explore Dharma. monks is called Right Effort? Here. I will train myself to be ever more directly aware of how nutriment affects the mind and body. living with minimal needs and appetites and avoiding the harming of others. makes an effort. Wrong livelihood is any form of livelihood that disrupts life. the Ariyan disciple. in ways that support their wholesome unfolding of body. For a lay person living in the modern world. 6. having given up wrong livelihood. exerts his mind and strives to prevent the arising of unarisen evil unwholesome mental states. but animals. This includes not just other people. 2. and an example to others of awakening in action. in a way that supports awakening. I will train myself to communicate in a skilful and compassionate manner.. 4. emotional support. not to let them fade away. 3. monks. Right Effort samm›-v›y›ma 'And what. to bring them to greater growth. It is complete or total in the sense that it is a way of earning your living while supporting the health and well being of your body..I will live with a sensitive and responsible awareness for the whole ecology of life. causing harm to oneself or others. 5. At the same time it also supports the well being of all the other beings whom your livelihood brings you into contact with. Essentially. it was understood that their livelihood was already one of living lightly on the earth. energies and mind. This is called Right Effort. 5. plants and entire ecosystems. a monk rouses his will. is called Right Livelihood? Here. I will train myself to dwell more and more in the mind of spontaneous generosity. monks. makes an effort. I will eat and drink and nurture myself and others. He rouses his will. and to come to know the world more profoundly and more compassionately.. energies and mind.and strives to produce unarisen wholesome mental states. Since this sutra was originally taught to fully ordained monks.. exerts his mind and strives to maintain wholesome mental states that have arisen. keeps himself by right livelihood. Right Livelihood samm›-›jıva 'And what. 44 . Complete or total livelihood: a livelihood or way of earning a living that supports all of life. Daily I will give material support. I will train myself to use the senses to further awakening. This section is a major challenge to how we humans today do business and how we relate to the non-human world.

If you examine this peaceful mind. And with the subsiding of thinking and pondering. This is called Right Concentration. which is without thinking and pondering. and mindful. which is beyond pleasure and pain. It would probably be more helpful to think of jh›nas in terms of increasing degrees of peace. This is called Right Mindfulness.. he enters and remains in the fourth jh›na. And that. is Right Concentration? Here. monks.34) It is often taught separately as a complete path of practice in itself. ardent. think about. and with the disappearance of former gladness and sadness. detached from unwholesome mental states. monks. is Right Mindfulness? Here. enters and remains in the first jh›na. The stages of jh›na are differentiated by the presence of these factors. by gaining inner tranquillity and oneness of mind. he experiences in himself the joy of which the Noble Ones say: "Happy is he who dwells with equanimity and mindfulness". to meditate. to burn. clearly aware. Sukha. In it's widest sense jh›na means absorption including even very momentary experiences of one-pointedness. remaining imperturbable. jh›yati => to shine. you will find five main positive factors: vitakka. perceive. then the five hindrances. contemplate. a monk. at that moment. dry up... And. sukha and ekaggat› or upekkha. And with the fading away of delight. monks. brood over. Complete mindfulness. born of detachment.. born of concentration. having put aside hankering and fretting for the world. he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. having put aside hankering and fretting for the world. monks. when it is completely. => PTS . 7. he abides contemplating feelings as feelings. the sense of mental well being is present and there is an overarching 45 .. be on fire. When the mind is well concentrated. vic›ra. from j›yati and Skt dhy›na. he enters and remains in the second jh›na.. filled with delight and joy. Jh›na burns up the hindrances. clearly aware and mindful. filled with delight and joy. pıti. Jh›nas are often seen by inexperienced meditators as exotic states of concentration where there are no thoughts and no mental activity. ardent. mindful and clearly aware. This is a rather static view. which is with thinking and pondering. he abides contemplating states of mind as states of mind. he enters the third jh›na. it is called 'The Four Great Efforts'. Right Mindfulness samm›-sati 'And what. 8. Right Concentration samm›-sam›dhi 'And what. detached from sensedesires. and purified by equanimity and mindfulness. a monk abides contemplating body as body. This section speaks of total concentration in terms of the factors of absorption or Jh›na. In the first jh›na all five are present. There is some degree of pıti. is called the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. When it is.This is explained quite clearly above and also in the section on viriyasambojjhaºga in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (p. wholesomely absorbed to a point where there is no sense of separation between the subject and object. This section is a recapitulation of the entire Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. having given up pleasure and pain. will not be active. The mind is focused and investigating or scanning the object.

clear. The Four Noble Truths could be thought of as four truths or aspects of life experience that can potentially ennoble us. Having tasted the nectar of letting go. and generally becoming lost in all the other common reactions of irritation. A very important state to develop in terms of Samm›–sam›dhi is called upac›ra sam›dhi => PTS. into life. habit. In this way. practice. or letting be. entrance. love. living mystery. Our faculties of empathy and appreciative understanding nourish a sense of well-being in the midst of an increasing range of situations and circumstances. Deepening further. As the meditator acclimatizes to this peaceful. means. qualities such as openness. application. However all the factors of jh›na are present and the five hindrances are not manifesting. discrimination. and empathy. even the pıti seems to be crude and it dissolves in the increasing subtlety leaving just sukha and upekkha. In the Abhidhamma traditions there seem to be very technical definitions as to what is jh›na and what is not. access. However. way. presence is the optimal state in which to deepen insight. leaving just upekkha. the sukha drops away. compassion. we might have the courage to explore the states of suffering that arise in the course of our lives rather than running from them. endless. Here is the second great ennobling of our being. forgiveness. There is nothing inherently noble about suffering. presence. investigating the 'causes' of suffering. the mind. Looking into the causes of suffering will lead us to a deepening experience of the interconnectedness of everything. neighbourhood. This is a state where one has almost entered into a state of complete absorption but there is still a sense of being the meditator meditating on an object. understanding. We might meet them with wide open curiosity and interest instead of being afraid of them. The Buddha enunciated this in eight steps calling it The Eightfold Noble Path. This calm. use of. approach. and avoidance coupled with feelings of victimization and helplessness. yet engaged state. just as it is. the vitakkha and vic›ra can begin to feel a bit gross and unnecessary and they begin to drop away. Clarity about what truly supports life gives us the confidence to continue to engage with what we need to do in order to deepen and enrich our own living experience and. sukha and upekkha. access. leads to a deepening sense of embeddedness in a beginingless. This potential that is in each and every being to be utterly present and engaged is the heart of the 'cessation of suffering' and is the third great ennobling of our being. In the Mahayana traditions. conduct. trying to ignore them. we might look back on how this process became stable and functional in our experience and discern various factors that a human being can consciously encourage in order to live their own life to the fullest. it gives us 46 . anger. and responsiveness –– a sense of profound unavoidable engagement in the creative weaving that is the fabric of all life –– will become more and more apparent. Our very investigation of the first two noble truths supports a deepening sense of engagement and profound connectedness. Eventually. As this understanding flowers in our actual experience. In this way the experience of suffering can ennoble us. upac›ra. like a rainbow vanishing. awakeness. Without needing to emphasise vitakkha or vic›ra. This gentle grappling with suffering will gradually lead to a flowering of many qualities such as patience.presence of equanimity or oneness. the word sam›dhi is often used interchangeably with jh›na and there are uncountable numbers of sam›dhis. goes quickly to a peaceful alive state where there is pıti.

47.. if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven years..for six months. one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now.. Here it is explained that there are many different world systems or modes of experience. “In this way he abides. "Let alone seven years.knowledge to be able to meaningfully help others. "Let alone half a month.. (Continuing with the Majjhima Nik›ya version) 45. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven months. (Conclusion) 46.. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.for two months. moving to other countries and cultures. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. In the Tibetan teaching it is said that one should focus not on the words but on the meaning behind the words.. This is the fourth great enrichment or ennoblement of our being.for five months. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven days. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors.. the four foundations of mindfulness. one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now. for the realisation of Nibb›na – namely. non-return. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the four Noble Truths.... contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally.for half a month. The Four Noble Truths are taught in each of these realms but illustrated and explained in different ways depending of the understandings and experiences of sentient beings living there. The Four Noble Truths are the heart teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha and are revered by every school of Buddhism. universal vision you find in Chapter 8 of the Avatamsaka or Flower Ornament Sutra. non-return. 47 . non-return. one or two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now. It is well worth studying in order to open one's understanding of the Four Noble Truths in a vast and universal way.. or if there is a trace of clinging left.. bhikkhus." That is what the Blessed One said. or if there is a trace of clinging left. And he abides independent. for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed Ones words.for four months.for one month.for three months. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors.. bhikkhus. "Bhikkhus. This section of the Avatamsaka hints at the meaning behind the words. or if there is a trace of clinging left. this rather barebones expression was elaborated into the vast.. for the disappearance of pain and grief. not clinging to anything in the world. for the attainment of the true way. "So it was with reference to this that it was said: 'Bhikkhus. this is the direct path for the purification of beings. As his teachings flourished and evolved. The expression of the Four Noble Truths given in the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta is probably very close to how the Buddha himself explained them. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally.

Some people. If there is a trace of clinging left. they would realise either final knowledge here and now. If you are just beginning your explorations of Buddha Dharma.The Pali Cannon. or if there is a trace of clinging left. The text concludes with what today might be considered as a product guarantee. we would eventually come to experience what the Buddha was trying to point to throughout his forty years of teaching. or simply burying oneself in never ending reactivity and busyness. I pray that this manual will be a support to your ongoing study and meditations. yet again. SARVAMANGALAM 48 . by the clarity. the collected teachings of the Buddha is quite vast occupying thousands of pages of print. In Buddhist terms. Full realisation of this practice will enable one to live well in the midst of a world that is constantly changing. One can live with impermanence and death. It is fresh and available to any who are free to ask question. I do hope they will encourage you to investigate further. or escaping into fantasy. monks and nuns in particular. unpredictable. This is referring to the state of An›g›mi. Final knowledge here and now indicates that there is no higher teaching. reading and putting into practice these notes on the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. I hope these notes will enrich your contemplations. spend significant amounts of their adult lives studying these texts yet if we were to lose all of them but one. then full realisation will come at the moment of dying. Seven years is a long time and hints at the degree of thoroughness and dedication that is necessary to realize the intent of these teachings. Afterthought Reading through these notes. this is referring to the state of nibb›na or the state of Arahat. I am struck. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. if we then put the teachings of this sutta into practice in a thorough and ongoing way. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. without shutting down. support the flowering of wisdom and compassion in all beings. non-return. The Buddha states that if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness for seven years. and impossible for any single being to control. If you already have a background of meditative experience. The seven days is a short time and indicates how realisation is to be experienced in the here and now. richness and pragmatic straightforwardness of the Buddha's teaching. the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. seven months … seven days. with best wishes Tarchin May any merit arising through writing.

Dharma Publishing. 1992 Namgyal Rinpoché. Boston. 1976 Originally published in 1956 and 1964 in Sri Lanka Thomas Cleary. Daily Puja Fourth Edition. 1977 Maurice Walshe. Mindfulness of Breathing (fin›p›nasati) Buddhist Publication Society. Kum Nye Relaxation. Shambhala. MÒlamadhyamakak›rika of N›g›rjuna. Part 1 and 2. California. Kinmount Ontario. Wangapeka Books. 2005 Tarchin Hearn. A Manual of Abhidhamma. W. Wangapeka Books. Boston.Bibliography Bhikkhu Bodhi and Bhikkhu Ñ›˚amoli. The Flower Ornament Scripture (Avatamsaka Sutra) Shambhala. Berkeley & London. Growth and Unfolding Revised Edition. Sri Lanka. Speech and Mind Bodhi Publishing. 1995 Bhadant›cariya Buddhaghosa. Wangapeka Books. The Path of Purification (Visuddhi-magga). The Path of Freedom (Vimuttimagga). Sri Lanka. Natural Awakening Wangapeka Books Nelson. NZ. Buddhist Publication Society. The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nik›ya) Wisdom Publications. NZ. 2004 Tarchin Hearn.R. Berkeley. Motilal. 1987 Tarchin Hearn. Banarsidass Pub. & Stede. The Breath of Awakening Bodhi Publishing. NZ. T. Pali Text Society. The Miracle of Mindfulness Beacon Press. 2004 Ñ›namoli Thera. 1975 Tarthang Tulku. Breathing: The Natural Way to Meditate Revised Edition. Nelson. 1991 Namgyal Rinpoché. 1995 David Kalupahana. 1993 Davids. The Long Discourses of the Buddha (Dıgha Nik›ya) Wisdom Publications. 1978 Arahant Upatissa. 1979 Thich Nhat Hanh.W. 1981 N›rada Mah› Thera. 1995 49 . Nelson. Kandy. Delhi. The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary. 2000 Tarchin Hearn. London. Vols one and two. Body. Kandy. Boston & London. Boston. Kinmount Ontario. Kandy Sri Lanka. Buddhist Publication Society.

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