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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Everything is eaten. It is not a philosophical text but more a map with a few hints at the general landscapes we might encounter on the way. awareness into the midst of activity. This is the Second Noble Truth. he then clearly understood the path to the cessation of suffering. and. was driven to grapple with some of the great conundrums of life. The Buddha saw that wherever there are formations. The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta sketches out this very practical path of awakening. embedded in a vast interconnected. who eventually became known to us as the Buddha. coupled with partial views. be they physical or mental. His own body. without shutting down. Of course. He looked deeply into the moment by moment experience of living. 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. or escaping into fantasy. he explored in a very pragmatic and factual way. you still would have to do the journeying yourself. trying to understand the roots of dissatisfaction and suffering. Abandoning religious and philosophical preconceptions. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. he investigated the processes of body and mind in minute detail. even if you had the best map in the world. Everything lives by eating. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. How can one live well in a world that is constantly changing. responsive. discovering profound and essential keys for living well. Here we investigate and make friends with the entire phenomena of breathing. It then directs us to an exploration of the physical body through fin›p›nasati or mindfulness of breathing.Introduction Two thousand five hundred years ago. Gradually we come to experience directly the interbeingness of the physical body. clinging or grasping. This was intimate and direct exploration. This is the First Noble Truth. This is the Fourth Noble Truth. letting his immediate actual experience guide the search. with tremendous clarity and attentiveness. mind and activities became a laboratory for experimentation and observation. 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. On reflection. all physical bodies reveal themselves to be beginningless. there will be unavoidable unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha). speech. he came to realise the cessation of suffering. Through the very act of bringing a profound degree of friendly enquiry to every moment of experience. Eventually he came to understand what he later referred to as The Four Noble Truths. Eventually. a man. endless arisings. in the process. interdependent universe. He described this as the Eight Fold Noble Path. namely. The text begins with where to meditate and how to sit. The next step is to learn to carry this clear. the fact that the body is a co-operative endeavour of many parts and processes. 5 . These studies can lead to the dropping of unhelpful attitudes and assumptions that we may have about the body. Collision produces friction. This is the Third Noble Truth. Here. unpredictable. These contemplations and enquiries eventually lead to a place of deep stillness and calm. and impossible for any single being to control? How can one live with impermanence and death. He came to see the fundamental causes of dukkha. All things wear out.

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

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

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

To be purified is to be 100% present with no additives of fantasy. the dying out in the heart of the threefold fire of greed.space. dukkha true way – also right path. => PTS. pain and grief dukkhadomanassa. => PTS . or active ignoring. bhikkhus. the madness of a human world that dedicates immense amounts of energy to making money from greed. from suc. from du . 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. later in the sense of burning grief. a feeling. hatred. salvation and bliss Nibb›na or nirv›na is often spoken of as if it were a transcendent state. fully aware. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. health. “What are the four? Here. 1. the going out of a lamp or fire. the sense of bodily well-being 3. ardent. to gleam. He abides contemplating mind as mind. This paragraph hints at something much more immediate. sorrow soka. whether a human being. by saying that the direct path for the realisation of "Peace" is to be found through bringing awareness into these four areas of. fully aware. distress. => an unpleasant state of mind and body Walshe => pain and sadness dukkha => PTS. ardent. states of mind and objects of mind. It is also do-able by anyone willing to make the effort. a tree. a sense of well-being and profound meaningfulness right here in the midst of life as one finds it. the flame of fire. and mindful.sion. It might say. and mindful. or a memory. hidden agendas. I'm reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh's statement. of security. "If you want peace. To take it right out of this realm. fear and confusion? 3. and a huge amounts of value judgement. 2. wailing Walshe translates this as sorrow and distress. feelings. grief. discomfort. transcendent elsewhere. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. To be pure is to be willing and able to be totally present for another being. Nirv›na. and mindful. dejectedness. causing misery. ardent. lamentation. mental pain as opposed to physical pain. peace. body. Do you want peace? Have you become tired of the suffering. grief. sorrow. peace is with you now. hatred and delusion 4. In western cultures the understanding of purity is inevitably mixed up with ideas of impurity or defilement. melancholy. One realises nibb›na. Peanut Butter 100% Pure – no additives. a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body." 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. suffering. Pure in this sense means 100%.bad and kha . unpleasant. ill. painful. victory. right method Nibb›na is the Pali for the more widely recognised Sanskrit word. unsatisfactoriness domanassa => PTS. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings. emancipation. consider what it means to be pure in terms of the ingredients listed on a package of food. mourning lamentation parideva => PTS. fully aware. the sense of spiritual well-being. This path is very practical. having put 9 . trouble.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

blood and bone are the temporary arrangement of carrots. and fear energy. anger. Foul. How vast and wondrous! And so they do. My breath is the breath of the rainforest. A bag of faeces. this meditation could go in a very different direction: The ancients said. spittle. Also. shape. snot. insects. the mind being thus prevented from running here and there. often doesn't help people who are coming from these backgrounds. 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. full of filth. direction. And came to release all lustful selfish clinging to this walking breathing corpse. Feldenkrais. emphasising foulness and repulsiveness. And so they did. though I should say that it is potentially a very wonderful and rich practice. At this point. fish and herbs on the way to being worms. They are frequently quite out of contact with their bodies and seem to spend much of their time in their 'heads'. This meditation in its classical form. My excretions the banquet of others. chemical cycles. Many people today have a lot of aversion. the meditator looks more carefully into each part. Water cycles. fats and oils. of vomit. For deep healing. Miraculous voyagings of stardust atoms. Today the teachers say. 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. shaping their lives. gradually establishes the body as something that is asubha "not-beautiful" and one experiences great detachment from it. not a sense of foulness and repulsion. birds and trees.) All this detailed attention to and investigation of grease. With modern medical knowledge and tools. both described in Natural Awakening can be very fruitful ways of working." Once the verbal recitation has been well established. They need to cultivate lovingkindness. discerning it clearly as to colour.meditation subject becomes familiar and. And looking in. people need to get into wholesome contact with the wondrous miracle which is their body. cells and organs. it may then become internalised as a mental recitation. location and delimitation (distinguishing it from other similar parts. Body-scan in four parts and the Inner Smile. There is already too much of that in their being. urine and blood. (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) If the classical form of this meditation doesn't engage you in a positive way. the parts become evident. My muscles and tissues. hatred. gases. blood etc. 'Awareness Through Movement' work 18 . I find the out. symbiotic dancing of plants and animals. look at that body. those monks of old. corrupt. look at that body. molecules.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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