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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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