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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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