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Satipa˛˛h›na Foundations of Mindfulness
A Manual for Meditators
compiled and annotated by
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 <email@example.com> www.wangapeka.org
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.
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.)
This is the Third Noble Truth. He looked deeply into the moment by moment experience of living. He came to see the fundamental causes of dukkha. Of course. or simply burying oneself in never ending reactivity and busyness? The Buddha's life demonstrated what I have come to think of as the path of the mystic scientist. His own body. 5 . Everything is eaten. All things wear out. embedded in a vast interconnected. clinging or grasping. and. in the process. This is the Second Noble Truth. he came to realise the cessation of suffering. you still would have to do the journeying yourself. 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. This was intimate and direct exploration. Eventually he came to understand what he later referred to as The Four Noble Truths. interdependent universe. there will be unavoidable unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha). discovering profound and essential keys for living well. he then clearly understood the path to the cessation of suffering. was driven to grapple with some of the great conundrums of life. It is not a philosophical text but more a map with a few hints at the general landscapes we might encounter on the way. The Buddha saw that wherever there are formations. the fact that the body is a co-operative endeavour of many parts and processes. Here we investigate and make friends with the entire phenomena of breathing. It then directs us to an exploration of the physical body through ﬁn›p›nasati or mindfulness of breathing. Eventually. all physical bodies reveal themselves to be beginningless. a man. mind and activities became a laboratory for experimentation and observation. This is the First Noble Truth. Here. coupled with partial views. responsive. These contemplations and enquiries eventually lead to a place of deep stillness and calm. letting his immediate actual experience guide the search. This is the Fourth Noble Truth. be they physical or mental. without shutting down. The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta sketches out this very practical path of awakening. or escaping into fantasy.Introduction Two thousand five hundred years ago. Abandoning religious and philosophical preconceptions. On reflection. trying to understand the roots of dissatisfaction and suffering. The text begins with where to meditate and how to sit. with tremendous clarity and attentiveness. Collision produces friction. he investigated the processes of body and mind in minute detail. How can one live well in a world that is constantly changing. and impossible for any single being to control? How can one live with impermanence and death. who eventually became known to us as the Buddha. awareness into the midst of activity. namely. These studies can lead to the dropping of unhelpful attitudes and assumptions that we may have about the body. He described this as the Eight Fold Noble Path. speech. he explored in a very pragmatic and factual way. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. unpredictable. Gradually we come to experience directly the interbeingness of the physical body. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. Through the very act of bringing a profound degree of friendly enquiry to every moment of experience. even if you had the best map in the world. endless arisings. The next step is to learn to carry this clear. Everything lives by eating.
In the realm of what might be called sectarian Buddhism. seems devoid of devotion and compassion! But is this really the case? Actually. I feel extremely fortunate that my root teacher/lama the Ven. you will come to see the very ordinary things in life as extraordinary miracles. Thailand and Sri Lanka. many so called Vajray›na2 students have little. The realisation of the unity of compassion and emptiness. It is not particularly a religious path. who is wrestling with what it means to live meaningfully in a world that is being shaped by blind grasping and widespread ignorance. By bringing an unshakeable friendliness and a gentle but probing curiosity and interest to what is happening in and around you. by doing this again and again and acclimatising to this way of being. Blending the pragmatic analysis of the scientist with the ecstatic union of the mystic. Therav›din => 'The way of the Elders'. At the same time. the Satipa˛˛h›na is often seen as belonging to the Therav›din1 tradition. 2 Vajray›na => 'The diamond vehicle'. This is the way of the mystic scientist. Mongolia and in the Shingon tradition of Japan. 3 Mah›y›na => The Great Vehicle This is the form of Buddhism that is practised outside the Therav›din countries. leads to realisation. Over the many years of studying and practising these two great treasuries of awakening. Finally. With a deepening wonder for the body and an increasing equanimity in the area of evaluation we are invited to meet the play of mindstates. This is the name of the form of Buddhism that was found in Tibet. It is considered to be the most ancient Buddhist tradition and has preserved the Pali sutras. begins to investigate the unimaginable vastness of dharmas. Unfortunately. and learning to rest easefully and alertly with whatever is arising. The sutra directs us to examine the feeling or evaluation function. the very heart of Vajray›na. It contains within it the Vajray›na traditions. nor is it necessarily divorced from the awe and wonder that arise when we meet with vast unfathomable mystery. will surely find useful guidance and inspiration in this text.Having investigated the miracle of form. he taught us Satipa˛˛h›na as well as the classical Vajray›na systems. feelings and mindstates. the lover and explorer of life. 1 6 . Consequently. or no time for this teaching of bare insight which. is implicit in this sutra. one then. Jesus once said that the truth alone shall set you free. 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. Any person with an open heart and passion for enquiry. the complex phenomena of Nature unfolding. The spirit of Mahayana rests in seed form within the Satipa˛˛h›na. This is the name commonly given to the forms of Buddhism found in Myanmar (Burma). these views won't stand up to close scrutiny. equipped with a functional ongoing awareness of body. Simply by deepening one's understanding. the meditator then begins to explore the mystery of mind. the huge array of emotions and qualities of mind that so colour and sometimes dictate human experience. Namgyal Rinpoché underwent his early monastic training in Burma. the process whereby likes and dislikes emerge. it is a way that is as vital and precious today as it was back at the time of the Buddha. the extraordinary will reveal itself to be absolutely ordinary. to some.
'setting up of mindfulness'. narrational) part of the Buddhist Scriptures containing the suttas or dialogues. 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. I will use both terms interchangeably. Try rearranging the various definitions and see what different flavours of meaning you can come up with. it will be clear that they are continuously shaping and affecting each other. interrelatedness of things' or another possibility. At this point the practice moves from being an effortful meditation to effortless contemplation arising in the midst of whatever is occurring. Setting forth could indicate setting forth on a journey. learning. feeling/evaluation. the (discursive. a thread or string 2. recognition of how a complex weaving of factors is comprising this present moment'. intentness of mind. self possession. heard. states of mind. memory. It could also indicate setting forth in the sense of “laying out for examination". the title of the 7th book of the Abhidhamma. lucidity of mind. They were originally memorised and passed down from teacher to student in an unbroken flow of oral transmission. taught. Pa˛˛h›na => PTS. setting forth. The experiential essence of Satipa˛˛h›na involves the process of knowingly entering. body. self-consciousness. "origin". revelation. sacred lore. cause. It was hundreds of years before any of them were written down. conscience. that support or contribute to the arising of any particular thing. 'a lucid. alertness. both physical and mental. In Sanskrit. Suta => PTS. consciousness. lucid and intimate way. Bhikkhu Bodhi defines it as 'attentiveness directed to the present'. starting point. one is encouraged to thoroughly explore. wakefulness of mind. in an unbiased. wakeful. the word for sutta is sutra and in this text. It was probably very close to the actual language that the Buddha spoke.The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta In Buddhism the suttas or sutras generally refer to the collection of discourses given by the Buddha. four basic areas of human experience. 'an alert. recognition. Sutta => Pali Text Society Dictionary (PTS). inspired tradition. In later meaning. 1. Pali is the language that the Buddhist Sutras were preserved in. alertness in the presence of the interdependent. In order to bring increasing clarity and discrimination to this investigation of what is actually happening right now. the rich interdependent weaving that is this present arising moment. later called the Sutta-pi˛aka. again and again (anusati – remembering). in special sense "received through inspiration or revelation". In combination with sati. flowing. 'Pa˛˛h›na' is a study of causal or conditional relations. creative. Gradually a rich sense of how they weave together and support each other in an unbroken. and objects of mind. It's a contemplation of all the causal factors. putting forward. continuum will come to the fore. Considering a more literal interpretation of Satipa˛˛h›na we might get . 7 . religious knowledge Sati => PTS. As one one's experience with each of these four deepens. learned. mindfulness. In the Abhidhamma. the seventh book.
then you are Bhikkhu in spirit and this sutra is addressed to you. Question. explore the universe for the benefit of the many folk.1. When it comes to question. Bhikkhu => PTS. Wonder forth for the benefit of the many folk. there is little or no freedom. Slong. a Buddhist monk or priest. the d is silent. 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. to investigate the universe. as it arises. ask for. most people are often more concerned about finding an answer. this is the direct path for the purification of beings. with silent s. or not. almsman. said to have been a town in the vicinity north of present day Delhi. for the realisation of Nibb›na – namely. This teaching was and still is. one who asks for something. or achieving a 'correct' result.' And that was it! In English the word wander is very close to wonder. “Bhikkhus. for the attainment of the true way. addressed to ones who are free to ask question. the path that goes only one way i. ones who are moved to investigate the universe. avoiding discomfort.the activity of good dharma. then you will be able to put this teaching to good use immediately. means virtuous. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: “bhikkhus. When we are unconscious or unaware of areas that shape our lives. Most people are quite constrained in their questioning. the only way. good or excellent. for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation. means to want. The Blessed one said this: Kamm›sadhamma literally . Bhikkhu is often translated as 'homeless one' or wanderer. you do get this sense of wondering. with engaged passion. Then. wander forth for the benefit of the many folk. unawareness. wish. Namgyal Rinpoché once paraphrased gelong as "one who is free to ask question". however they find it. that is naturally present in any well loved child. 'Ehi Bhikkhu' and snap his fingers. for the disappearance of pain and grief.e. or pleasing the teacher or whoever is seen as the authority. mendicant. The Tibetan word for bhikkhu is gelong and stretching the derivation a bit. would say. the sole way. 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. At the time of the Buddha. to Nibb›na purification of beings – Traditionally this means to free beings from greed. Try to read it as if the Buddha was here in your presence speaking personally to you and your friends. Whether you are male or female. the Buddha. the four foundations of mindfulness direct path ek›yana magga sometimes translated the one way. Are you actually free to ask question? Are you genuinely interested in life. we are not capable of investigating them as they simply don't exist for us. entry into the Order of monks was marked by a very simple ceremony compared to how it's done today.” they replied. hatred and delu8 . 'Come. honesty and interest. whether you are ordained as a monk or nun. It's as if the curiosity. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Kuru country at a town of the Kurus named Kamm›sadhamma.” – “Venerable sir. In this unconscious. 2. if you are interested in realising the cessation of suffering for yourself and all beings. Thus have I heard. if you are courageous enough to question deeply.
One realises nibb›na. the sense of spiritual well-being. painful. the flame of fire. 1. => PTS . bhikkhus. grief. right method Nibb›na is the Pali for the more widely recognised Sanskrit word. from suc. It is also do-able by anyone willing to make the effort. a feeling. distress. mourning lamentation parideva => PTS. lamentation. consider what it means to be pure in terms of the ingredients listed on a package of food. trouble. fully aware. => PTS. later in the sense of burning grief. ardent.sion. states of mind and objects of mind. hatred and delusion 4. the dying out in the heart of the threefold fire of greed. Peanut Butter 100% Pure – no additives. ardent. of security. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. victory. dukkha true way – also right path. grief. ill. In western cultures the understanding of purity is inevitably mixed up with ideas of impurity or defilement. ardent. "If you want peace. or a memory. It might say. Do you want peace? Have you become tired of the suffering. mental pain as opposed to physical pain. To be pure is to be willing and able to be totally present for another being. 2. He abides contemplating mind as mind. the sense of bodily well-being 3. body. feelings. fully aware. fear and confusion? 3. a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. melancholy. by saying that the direct path for the realisation of "Peace" is to be found through bringing awareness into these four areas of. dejectedness.bad and kha . peace is with you now. a sense of well-being and profound meaningfulness right here in the midst of life as one finds it. and mindful. => an unpleasant state of mind and body Walshe => pain and sadness dukkha => PTS. 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. or active ignoring. Nirv›na. a tree.space." 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. pain and grief dukkhadomanassa. “What are the four? Here. and mindful. hatred. and mindful. sorrow. peace. This path is very practical. from du . I'm reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh's statement. the madness of a human world that dedicates immense amounts of energy to making money from greed. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings. unpleasant. Pure in this sense means 100%. sorrow soka. hidden agendas. wailing Walshe translates this as sorrow and distress. unsatisfactoriness domanassa => PTS. salvation and bliss Nibb›na or nirv›na is often spoken of as if it were a transcendent state. health. whether a human being. causing misery. discomfort. and a huge amounts of value judgement. fully aware. To take it right out of this realm. suffering. having put 9 . the going out of a lamp or fire. transcendent elsewhere. to gleam. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. This paragraph hints at something much more immediate. emancipation. To be purified is to be 100% present with no additives of fantasy.
energetically. mindful. In a similar fashion one contemplates the feelings from within the direct experience of feeling. mindful he breathes out.away covetousness and grief for the world. gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut. sits down. presence. he understands: ‘I breathe out long. Breathing in long. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body [of breath]. Mindful sati is sometimes translated as selfcomposed.e. ever mindful he breathes in. 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'. abides viharati => PTS. and so too. 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. knowing.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall 10 . in general: to be. to behave. bhikkhus. however we are abiding. 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. attentive. i. one contemplates the body. the body as a body? Here a bhikkhu. and established mindfulness in front of him.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body [of breath]’. he understands: ‘I breathe in short’. from within the body experience. Ajahn Chah would say 'contemplating the body within the body' In other words. “And how. or breathing out short. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. 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. deliberate. Thai teacher. He abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. having folded his legs crosswise. right in this very moment of contemplating. abide. (CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY) K›y›nupassan› 1. Sometimes translated as "hankering and fretting for the world" or "hankering and dejection common in the world". or breathing out long. ardent. contemplating these four themes. The same formula is applied to feelings. he understands: ‘I breathe out short. to live. fully aware. dwell. attentive.’ Breathing in short. ardent. to stay. Fully aware is a translation of sampaj›na => PTS. to lead a life This term 'abide' is used throughout the text. in other words not distracted or dispersed but focussed and present. states of mind and phenomena. not as an armchair theoretician thinking about how the body has been or how it could be. moment by moment by moment. set his body erect. Mindfulness of Breathing 4. Having put away covetousness and grief for the world. One who is "free to ask question" abides or leads their life. fully aware. in a state of easeful. Rephrasing the passage: One who is free to ask question abides. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating. and mindful. but through experiencing. thoughtful. states of mind and objects of mind. with a passionate interest and energy. engaged. concentrated. he understands: ‘I breathe in long’. sojourn (in a certain place). responsive. and understanding directly how the body is.
An empty hut is the third place that the Buddha suggests. This is a 'place' where we can come to recognise the fundamental ground of being. but also a very dynamic place as nutriment of different kinds are simultaneously flowing upward and downward. This forest of knowing is a rich ecology of interdependent phenomena. groping blindly in the dark. lianas. can deeply enhance our explorations. Earth and roots are feeding branches and leaves. ’I make a short turn’. a vast interpenetration of bodies and consciousness -–– a well functioning. They are not readily available. in a forest. flowering plants. understands.. It is the point where the visible tree disappears into the earth or where the invisible tree emerges into the light. understands: ’I make a long turn’. Thoughts are influencing feelings. at this place that borders both light and dark. the ground of becoming. or at the root of a tree or in an empty hut or space.he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation. When we are lost in the underground of our being. birds. leaves.breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’. A place that is spacious and empty in the sense of being a place that has room for new insights and understandings. all mutually shaping each other. moulding intentions.’ First of all the Buddha tells us where to meditate. In some texts the phrase is translated as 'an empty space'. breathing in long. the womb of becoming. where they can be experienced as not two but as a single interacting process. so too. 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. large creatures and micro organisms. things growing in and on other things. Its roots are anchored deep in the earth. outward and inward. in order to significantly awaken. we need to open to this forest of interbecoming. healthy ecosystem. insects. a place where the conscious and unconscious are both available. light and air are feeding the roots. like T›ne Mahuta the great kauri tree in northland New Zealand. It helps to meditate in a physical place that 11 . there is little or no insight. The root of a tree is another special place for insight. when making a long turn. whether we are in an actual forest or in a city jungle. Metaphorically. This is pointing to a mental space that is uncluttered with 'shoulds' and 'oughts'. a bhikkhu understands: ‘I breathe in long'…. a mode of being in which there is an appreciation for the profound interconnectedness of all arisings. It is a fruitful place in which to meditate. The root of a tree is a very stable place. and being eaten by other life forms. Imagine a 'tree of life'. or when making a short turn. the great forest of heart/mind. When we are high up in the branches. shaping physiology. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation. Think of a dense jungle with huge trees. None of these places will be very useful for the many beings living in urban areas. promoting activity. However these three are not just pleasant places to sit. The forest symbolises the mind. and everyone ultimately energised by transformed sunlight. giving birth to emotions. To sit here. myriad forms of experience continuously coming into being and passing away.' Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice. going to a forest is to enter the forest of knowing. This parallels a place in our experience where the unconscious and the conscious meet and interact. To live and practice in a real forest. and so forth. knowing and not knowing. this is another very fruitful physical place and metaphoric space in which to meditate. It has a huge trunk that supports massive branches in which live numerous other forms of life. They also symbolise inner qualities and attitudes that can profoundly support the natural flow of awakening. The ancient Buddhist texts often mention the "netted undergrowth" when referring to the intricate tangling of mental processes. that we are. However. Branches. life forms eating other life forms.
This really Just to be absolutely clear. caught in continual self reference. In this context. free from stuff that is repeatedly reminding us of things to do. When you are a mah›y›na meditator. the Buddha is teaching skilful means. A person who has this as their predominant attitude will do best to meditate in the forest. in order to better understand and make peace with the myriad details and phenomena that comprise the forest of their experience. The meditator with this vajra view will best unfold by meditating in this 'spacious openness of interbeing'. from hina –– small and y›na –– vehicle. go to the root of a tree. in fact. I am not referring here to the Therav›din tradition. or to the root of a tree. This third place is one that supports the arising of new possibilities. these explorations need to be done while sitting. 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. Pureland. walking. When you are being a hiney›na meditator. refers to a mindset of being primarily concerned with one's own suffering and the possibility of getting free from it. mah›y›na and vajray›na should be understood without value judgement. There is only a vast unshakeable space of lovingkindness/clarity/understanding. The unshakeable diamond vehicle is an attitude to life that knows everything to be inherently pure. Having taken up a posture that supports a deep experiential investigation of the rich weaving of now. All three mindsets can be found in practitioners of Therav›din. Tibetan. This is a very fruitful way of practising.1 So. 1 12 . there is no negativity to escape and no dysfunction to fix. or to an empty space. and lying down. unshakeable. hatred and confusion are the roots of the tree of suffering.' Here the text refers to your posture. Understanding that greed. standing. With this understanding. creative awareness dancing in the vast space of infinite possibility. in whatever way our body is 'disposed'. In the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. Vajray›na is from vajra –– diamond.is free from clutter. by hiney›na. having gone to the forest. they all encourage us to take up a posture that supports a sense of alertness and ease in both mind and body. There are other ways we could understand these 3 places. Mah›y›na. There are many teachings on posture and meditation. obligations to fulfil and unfinished business to attend to. Zen. You may recognise you have moments of all of them. are really living out a hiney›na view. Hiney›na. They simply refer to three common psychological attitudes found in the human experience. any school of Buddhism. then go to the forest. In this sense it is a small or shrunken viewing of life. refers to a larger viewing of life. in fact. 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. A being who is living the way of mah›y›na has already recognised something of the interconnectedness of the forest of life. When you are a vajray›na meditator. The prime motivation of this mah› mindset is compassion. I have met 'vajray›na practicioners' who. you 'sit down and having folded your legs crosswise. They are beginning to realise that it is not really possible to find peace without bringing peace to others as well. from mah› –– great. With this in mind. the mah›y›na meditator brings compassion and clear seeing to these roots of the tree. In essence though. They could refer to three levels of psychological/spiritual maturity. set your body erect. meditate in the midst of spacious openness. hiney›na. As we see in a later section.
i. ﬁn›p›nasati. 'He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’. 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. 1 13 . Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. Calming the body. the whole body refers to the whole physical body and the whole body of the breath.1 The text speaks of breathing in long and short. 1.e.means that we are alert. you might think. Gradually you begin to notice that your entire body is involved with breathing. increasing clarity of mind 3. Long and short are just examples. When breathing out rough and shakily. the rate of breathing will gradually slow down and settle. Without controlling the breathing in any way one simply experiences and notes the shape and quality of the in–breath and out–breath. As you explore in this way. this is the process of calming the body formations. (less sense of separation between you the meditator and. "up front" in the sense of honest and not hiding anything. you will probably just enjoy it and settle more deeply into it. 'Experiencing the bodily formations I shall breathe in. At this point you might think. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. To calm the body and breath means to make friends with the state of the body and breath just as you find them. this part says. when you find tension in the body and breath. 5. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. not looking for a pre-conceived result. breathing in. one realises one is breathing in smooth and short. Experiencing the bodily formations I shall breathe out'. increasing calm 2. You also begin to notice the entire body of the breath. contemplating the body as a body internally. one realises one breathes out rough and shakily. we begin to feel more easeful with what we have and what we are. Here you begin to study and explore all the different rhythms and textures of breathing. the breathing. Noting the breath means to directly and intimately feel/sense the textures and sensations of rhythmic physical movements that altogether we call breathing. The Natural Way to Meditate by Tarchin Hearn and in The Path of Purification.) 5. Here. when breathing in smooth and short. the object of meditation. in this case. five qualities will show you that you are on the right track. In other translations. To calm or 'tranquillise the body doesn't mean to fix it or to change it in any way. “In this way he abides. Or as it says in this translation. increasing absorption. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation'. At this stage when you discover a blissful flow in the body and breath. straight forward. However. the beginning. The rest of the section introduces the meditation on the body through investigating the process of breathing. The two are not separate. The Vissudhi-magga. middle and end of both the inhalation and the exhalation. one simply notes all the different types of breaths that can occur. For example. When we cease rejecting difficult states that are present and cease wishing for states that aren't present. it becomes more and more apparent that the tensions of the body are shaping the breathing and vice-versa. (Verbalisation is the tendency to create stories or to speculate about what is happening.) 4. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. decreasing verbalisation. and in Breathing. At this initial stage. As you practice this section on breathing. 'I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body'. breathing out'. 'Calming the body.
this paragraph is repeated with virtually no changes. Though there is much to be learned through practising in this way. that which is personal. this corresponds to 'front arising'. that we could possess and preserve. The extravert type finds their reality and sense of identity in the world of objective experience that can be shared and discussed with others. Internally and externally. really means the activity of 'sighting into'. simultaneously without conflict.. Internally and Externally: Most of the commentaries explain that to contemplate the body internally is to contemplate one's own body. is recognising the fact that a meditator can and will experience from different viewing points. or do this. This paragraph directs us towards insight or vipassana which essentially means looking deeply into what is presently arising. 14 . Internally and externally could be compared with Jung's concepts of introvert and extravert. or 'being' the breathing rather than watching it. a verb. Insight. in other words as if from the inside. as if you were an observer or a bystander looking from the outside. It's a process. and 'self arising' work and then experiencing them both. focussed way. or impersonal). personal. Insight meditation is often confused with looking for. nudging us towards insight. Then. To contemplate the body internally means to feel. will always reveal it to be an interdependent arising of many factors including the factors of our own perception and consciousness. arises within (in contrast to anything outside. or. To contemplate the body externally is to contemplate someone else's body. For those who are familiar with the arising yoga practices in the Tibetan schools. sense oneself as one's body. this interpretation perhaps leaves out some of the more subtle levels of meditation experience. Ajjhatta is the word being translated as internally. To contemplate the body both internally and externally is to be simultaneously observing the body and being the body with no paradox or contradiction. => PTS. It has an 'out there' quality.. One might have the experience of 'being' one's body rather than observing it. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. Looking/experiencing more deeply into any phenomena. or do this. In each section of the sutta we are given an area to explore in a one-pointed. It has an interior feel. It solves a few problems such as how you would observe feelings or mental processes in another person without resorting to unverifiable 'psychic powers'. in terms of vipassana.extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. interior. It is not necessary to work with every aspect of the paragraph. subjectively.. experience. 'Both internally and externally' is to contemplate both. This understanding of internally and externally can be applied to all the other sections of the sutta. not clinging to anything in the world. It is assumed that at least one of the seven suggestions will engage our attention. that are being pointed out here.. subjective. And he abides independent. or getting insights as if an 'insight' was a special object or knowledge. This is perhaps the most important paragraph in the Satipa˛˛h›na. inwardly. The text suggest you do this. To contemplate the body 'externally' is to experience it 'objectively'. objective. The introvert type finds their reality or place of identity in their private and personal subjective experience.
when sitting. In the Abhidhamma system the main causal factors in its arising are listed as ignorance. by societies. when standing." Here the meditator contemplates the many factors that together support the arising of a body and or the factors that support its dissolving. Or. karma (activity) and food. It is conditioned by families. or again he keeps on considering how the body is something that passes away. Not clinging to anything in the world particularly means not identifying as "self" any of the five aggregates or skandhas (see p 29) 2. cells tissues and organs. he understands: ‘I am lying down’. To abide independent doesn't contradict the earlier contemplation of interdependent.Arising and Vanishing Factors Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. The paragraph finishes by saying that the bhikkhu abides independent. (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. Wondrous. Here it means independent of states of greed. 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. It is an interbeing of all these processes from micro to macro. 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. In this section one contemplates the interdependent nature of the physical body. transient May it teach me wisdom. It is a union of uncountable viruses. by thoughts and dreams. bacteria. when walking. to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. not involved with them. when lying down. or again he keeps on considering the coming into being with the passing away. the meditator contemplates these two processes as one inseparable whole. “Again. The Four Postures 6. in other words just holding the awareness without speculating or wandering. he understands: ‘I am standing’. plants and animals. then one can simply focus on the fact that: "There is a body" or 'This is a body'. a bhikkhu understands: ‘I am walking’. fungi. hatred and delusion. It is moulded by sun and gravity and the whole of the ecosphere. recognising that every state of 'being' is a coming into being of something and a simultaneous passing away of something else. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. or he understands accordingly however his body is disposed. craving. 15 . bhikkhus. not clinging to anything in the world. he understands: ‘I am sitting’.
“In this way he abides. To "understand" you are sitting means to have a rich interior awareness of the physical sensations of sitting. You need to be able to see the ordinary. Even when lying down if you give your attention to the detail of what is happening.. waking up. a Tibetan form of body awareness work or Feldenkrais 'Awareness Through Movement' or any other body awareness practice can help to augment this section. consuming food. revealing ways. “In this way he abides. who acts in full awareness when looking ahead and looking away. The body is never static. All Activities 8. who acts in full awareness when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl. i. and keeping silent. standing etc.Here one continues the exploration of breathing but now taking the practice into whatever posture you happen to be in. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising 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. standing. drinking. It seems like such a simple thing but giving attention to the little activities will hugely enrich the pleasure and meaningfulness of each day. With this section the meditator brings awareness into all the activities of daily life. a bhikkhu is one who acts in full awareness when going forward and returning. to know. One activity at a time. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. Thich Nhat Hanh's book "The Miracle of Mindfulness" gives many excellent hints for supporting this section's explorations. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. Kum Nye. And he abides independent. who acts in full awareness when flexing and extending his limbs. 9. talking. sitting. The posture shifts in response to the breathing. The breathing shifts in response to the posture. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. contemplating the body as a body internally. give all your attention to washing dishes. new. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. When drinking tea. really drink tea. All sorts of muscular movements and adjustments are needed to rest in any particular position. sensitive. When washing dishes. falling asleep. 7. a lot of awake. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. bhikkhus. 3. come to know. One breath at a time. The body is an interbeing of innumerable factors. walking. attention to detail. To deepen this work it helps if you can remember to do one thing at a time and give it all of your attention. contemplating the body as a body internally. is needed in order to experience these familiar postures in fresh. and tasting. The word translated as understanding is paj›nati => PTS. who acts in full awareness when eating. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing 16 . This is an area in which many people find gathas or short memory verses to be useful. “Again. who acts in full awareness when walking. not clinging to anything in the world. as extraordinary.e. Because the ordinary is so habitual and familiar. distinguish. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. understand. you will notice all kinds of shifts and changes. find out.
these are peas. sweat. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. The essential method involves reciting the names of the 32 parts of the body again and again to help the mind become one-pointedly focused in awareness of these parts. lungs. teeth. small intestines. sinews. these are beans.’ This section is traditionally referred to as the meditation on the foulness or repulsiveness of the body. The text says: "The recitation should be done verbally in this way a hundred times. nails. grease. millet. such as hill rice. this is millet. section VIII 42 . Then one adds the 'lights or lungs pentad'. The classical method of practising this meditation is described in detail in 'The Visuddhimagga' The Path of Purification. grease. a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair. Here. snot. a thousand times. contents of the stomach. sweat. body-hairs. spittle. faeces. bile. bone-marrow. fat. Originally it was for counteracting lust and excessive infatuation for the "bodybeautiful". flesh. tears. blood. bones. heart. large intestines. and urine. When the mind stabilises in observing this pentad. they are squeamish about what's inside. spittle.’ Just as though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of many sorts of grain. contents of the stomach. small intestines. kidneys. bounded by skin. not clinging to anything in the world. and white rice. body hairs. phlegm. liver. oil of the joints. Foulness or Repulsiveness: The Parts of the Body 10. skin. For it is through verbal recitation that the 17 . pus. pus. Lastly the 'urine sestad'. small intestines. faeces. oil of the joints. then one begins to include the 'kidney pentad'. even a hundred thousand times. tears. and a man with good eyes were to open it and review it thus. blood. bones. reciting it forward and back. contents of stomach. bile. modern people often relate to their body in a very superficial way. beans. as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head hairs. red rice. grease. p170 . liver. snot. again going forward and then all the way back. so too.factors. phlegm.144 and in 'The Vimuttimagga' The Path of Freedom.177. And he abides independent. this is red rice. One begins with the 'skin pentad'. One goes forward to kidneys and then all the way back to head-hairs. sweat. nails. bones. While lavishing attention on the outer skin and the various adornments that clothe it. and urine. faeces. nails. diaphragm. liver. large intestine. slimy and unmentionable in polite company! I have noticed that even well educated. teeth. ‘This is hill rice. as if it were only what appears to them in a mirror. bhikkhus. bile. and urine. snot. “Again. fat. large intestines. the description of this meditation is very extensive. Then add the 'brain pentad'. Then the 'fat sestad'. oil of the joints. bounded by skin. tears. fat. brain. lungs. 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. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. phlegm. a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair. spleen. peas. pus. diaphragm. diaphragm. 4. this is white rice’. often don't want to know about. lungs. teeth. blood. body hairs. many of them smelly. spleen. as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head hairs. head-hairs. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. It encourages the meditator to investigate the reality of a body made of parts. spleen. spittle.
the mind being thus prevented from running here and there. full of filth. Also. insects. often doesn't help people who are coming from these backgrounds. shaping their lives. (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) If the classical form of this meditation doesn't engage you in a positive way. discerning it clearly as to colour. urine and blood.meditation subject becomes familiar and. How vast and wondrous! And so they do. direction. hatred. spittle. This meditation in its classical form. the meditator looks more carefully into each part. those monks of old. They are frequently quite out of contact with their bodies and seem to spend much of their time in their 'heads'. location and delimitation (distinguishing it from other similar parts. Today the teachers say. I find the out. look at that body. emphasising foulness and repulsiveness. Foul. birds and trees. 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. 'Awareness Through Movement' work 18 . both described in Natural Awakening can be very fruitful ways of working. Miraculous voyagings of stardust atoms. Body-scan in four parts and the Inner Smile. corrupt. gradually establishes the body as something that is asubha "not-beautiful" and one experiences great detachment from it. And so they did. My breath is the breath of the rainforest. gases. They need to cultivate lovingkindness. Many people today have a lot of aversion. My muscles and tissues. For deep healing. Water cycles. cells and organs. and fear energy. Feldenkrais. this meditation could go in a very different direction: The ancients said. blood etc. chemical cycles. A bag of faeces. it may then become internalised as a mental recitation. the parts become evident. anger. There is already too much of that in their being. At this point. look at that body. And looking in. of vomit. symbiotic dancing of plants and animals." Once the verbal recitation has been well established. not a sense of foulness and repulsion. people need to get into wholesome contact with the wondrous miracle which is their body. 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.) All this detailed attention to and investigation of grease. snot. With modern medical knowledge and tools. My excretions the banquet of others. fish and herbs on the way to being worms. blood and bone are the temporary arrangement of carrots. fats and oils. molecules. shape. though I should say that it is potentially a very wonderful and rich practice. And came to release all lustful selfish clinging to this walking breathing corpse.
to come in. pa˛h›vi => PTS from puthu or prath – to expand. It is the vitalising energy and determines the life span and degeneration of matter. softness These are the two relative conditions of this element. firm T-Abd notes – Pa˛h›vi => the degree to which space is occupied a – extension ie.e. light. and the air element. dimension. fire. as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element. Water element ›po-dh›tu ›po. 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. Fire element tejo-dh›tu tejo => PTS from tij.’ This meditation is outlined in detail in the Visuddhimagga XI. contemplating the body as a body internally. “In this way he abides. And he abides independent. 5. breadth. It's attributes are fluidity and contraction. flame. a bhikkhu reviews this same body. and the air element.can greatly augment this meditation as can Kum Nye. Air element v›yo-dh›tu 19 . a bhikkhu reviews this same body. the fire element. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. to be sharp. as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element. however disposed. Earth element pa˛havı-dh›tu. “Again bhikkhus. to arrive. 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. the fire element. a Tibetan system of body awareness work. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. radiance T-Abd notes – Tejo is the heat element and applies to all temperature ranges. the broad one. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. metabolic processes of catabolism and anabolism. Ironically it's often only after we have an intimate and appreciative knowing of the body that we can practice the classical form of this meditation in a wholesome way. attraction. 11. so too. i. the water element. tejo => "sharpness" heat.=> PTS from ap. extension. hardness. expansion. the water element. dh›tu => element. gravitational pull T-Abd notes – water element is the intangible cohesive or binding tendency which gives rise to the body of something. not clinging to anything in the world. 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. solid. however disposed. however it is placed.’ 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. pa˛h›vi => the earth. to pierce. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. however it is placed. Elements 12. thickness etc. b – density ie. These control the maturing and progression of the body.
“In this way he abides. and from v›. or three days dead. “In this way he abides. contemplating the body as a body internally. what has the characteristic of distending (supporting) is the air element. the tears in another being's eyes. one. move and oscillate. 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. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. it can be very valuable to contemplate the four elements in an outer way. Vis. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. to vibrate. The liquids in one's body were once a cloud. XI 39. earth. 6 . Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors." In the traditional meditation you could think of the elements as being inner qualities that together give shape and form to anything. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. water and air and the elements of these have all been born in stars! 13. which creates sugars which are released as heat and energy in our bodies through metabolism. two. The story of potato. It is seen in the body as movement. contemplating the body as a body internally. Air is composed of chemical elements and compounds which themselves are interbeing with other systems and processes. we understand the body to be a dynamic process of transformation. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. The Nine Charnel Ground Contemplations 14. not clinging to anything in the world. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. The heat of the sun is the ultimate source of energy. and oozing matter. And he abides independent. "Again. This is the vibratory aspect. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. bhikkhus.14. livid. what has the characteristic of cohesion is the water element. consciously breathe in and out a few times while contemplating how this food or drink has come to be here. Although it was not really the traditional approach. Before bringing the food to your mouth. We are literally a weaving of sunlight. bloated. to weave.' 15. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.v›yo => PTS from v›y. These explorations require a very focussed and subtly discerning attentiveness otherwise they can drift into the realm of philosophical thinking and speculation. Eating and drinking is an obvious time for exploring this meditation. To do this one contemplates how one's body is literally made of earth through the medium of plants which were eaten as food. Or else he abides contemplating in 20 . a snow field. what has the characteristic of ripening (maturing) is the fire element. interdependent with everything else in the world. a river flowing to the sea. Meditating in this way. "What has the characteristic of stiffness is the earth element. All these elements are continuously flowing through the ecosphere. it is not exempt from that fate. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. dancing together in complex ways giving rise to the temporary appearance of bodies. it will be like that. powering photosynthesis.
-24.. not clinging to anything in the world. hawks. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. there a jaw-bone. or various kinds of worms. I remember many years ago when emerging from the train station in Calcutta.. And he abides independent. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. 16. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.. bones bleached white. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.. contemplating the body as a body internally.' 17. it will be like that. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally.. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors.the body its arising factors. held together with sinews. not clinging to anything in the world. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. here a tooth. held together with sinews. here a shin-bone.bones rotted and crumpled to dust. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. here a rib-bone.a skeleton without flesh and blood. And he abides independent. here a hip-bone. here an arm-bone. 18."Again.. the first thing I saw was a beggar's corpse being thrown into the back of a garbage truck.' 25. 21 ... a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature.bones heaped up. “In this way he abides. jackals. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. If you see the corpse of an animal you can use it as a stimulus for developing this meditation. “In this way he abides. This stimulated much contemplation. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. contemplating the body as a body internally. Today one has to practise in one's imagination. it will be like that. but for the grace of God. There. it is not exempt form that fate. vultures. more than a year old. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. held together with sinews. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. In ancient days the meditator would go to a charnel ground where there were human bodies in various stages of decay and decomposition. here a neck-bone.a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood. dogs. And he abides independent. it is not exempt from that fate. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. there a skull – 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 both internally and externally. a skeleton with flesh and blood. it will be like that. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground.disconnected bones scattered in all directions – here a hand-bone. the colour of shells. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. there a shoulder-bone. there a breast-bone. not clinging to anything in the world. there a back-bone. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. being devoured by crows. go I. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors.' The Charnel Ground Contemplations known as asubha (not beautiful) study the body as it disintegrates after death. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. it is not exempt from that fate.. 26-30 "Again. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. there a thigh-bone.. there a foot-bone. "Again. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.
he understands: 'I feel an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. when feeling a worldly painful feeling.31. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. When you have a feeling it is going to rain 22 . a bhikkhu understands: 'I feel a pleasant feeling'. As one can see by the PTS derivations above. to sense. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. It's what allows us to jerk our hand away from a hot stove element before it burns us.e. to any stimulus whether internally or externally arising. "to weigh it up" T–Abd notes – Vedan› is a conscious subjective impression prior to recognising or identifying an object. contemplating the body as a body internally. he understands: 'I feel a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. when feeling an unworldly painful feeling. Pleasure furthers life. when feeling a worldly neither-painful-nor-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. The text refers to three types of vedan›. Pain shortens it. "And how bhikkhus. to feel. he understands: 'I feel a painful feeling'. he understands: 'I feel a worldly pleasant feeling'. Experientially. of all the parts and systems making up the organism. he understands: 'I feel a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling'. (CONTEMPLATION OF FEELING) Vedan›nupassan› 32. A moment of vedan› emerges from the collective response. vedan› is feeling but in the sense of evaluation. Moving away is unpleasurable and neither moving towards or away as neutral or indifferent. “In this way he abides. to know. unpleasurable and neither pleasurable nor unpleasurable. You might think of it as an organism preservation mechanism. when feeling a pleasant feeling. Pleasurable. People often confuse feelings with emotions. This response leads to the creature moving towards or away from the stimulus. to experience i. when feeling a neither-painful-nor pleasant feeling. when feeling a painful feeling. And he abides independent. It can modify the stream of consciousness either positively or negatively i. In the action of responding we belatedly recognise the vedan›. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. The automatic moving towards something is experienced as pleasurable. when feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. he understands: 'I feel a worldly painful feeling'.' Vedan› => PTS.e. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly painful feeling'. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. not clinging to anything in the world. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly pleasant feeling'. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating feelings as feelings? Here.' When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling. the moment of vedan› seems to come before one is even consciously aware of the object. when feeling an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. from ved or vid. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally.
According to the MN text. 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. suffering dukkha. the 'six kinds of grief'. There is equanimity on seeing that all sense objects are impermanent. the three types of vedan› for a person living the life of renunciation.you don't usually mean you are having an emotion that it will rain. They have lost touch with this basic life support function. Their wrong reading of vedan› leads to all sorts of unskilful actions. There is grief when experiencing the anicca. They are described in (MN 137. For example. dukkha and anatt› through any of the six sense doors and then longing for liberation. subject to change. Unworldly feelings are feeling/evaluations arising in the life of a renunciate. or he abides contemplating in feelings both their arising and vanishing factors. And he abides independent. disliking. especially in this day of powerful advertising and media manipulation. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is feeling’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. 33. An organism is constantly monitoring the inner and outer environment. and the 'six kinds of equanimity'. the renunciate will experience joy in discovering the truth of impermanence anicca. not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating feelings as feelings. worldly feelings are described as feeling/evaluations arising in the life of a householder. something that is actually good for the organism and then back away from it. fading away and cessation. 9 . The six refer to the six sense doors. Similarly. A poorly functioning vedan› can cause no end of suffering. experiencing it arise and pass without necessarily acting on it. worldly and unworldly feelings Traditionally. The Buddha once said that he knew the pleasant for the pleasant and the unpleasant for the unpleasant. arising through any of the six sense doors. many beings don't know. or he abides contemplating the feelings as feelings both internally and externally. contemplating the feelings as feelings internally. When this happens we can begin to make bad 'decisions'. we can identify as pleasant. The three types of vedan› of a householder refer to the common responses to sensory experience (liking.15) under the 'six kinds of joy'. without any accompanying insight or understanding. Or else he abides contemplating in feelings their arising factors. rather than on the basis of what is good for the overall creative functioning of the organism. something that is essentially bad for the organism and hence move towards it. Addictions to alcohol or to chronic activity or to junk food are examples of this. or he abides contemplating the feelings as feelings externally. Situations are then 'evaluated' on the basis of what will augment a relatively static and more or less defensive ego image. In vedan›nupassan› one simply notes the process of vedan›. It sounds very straight forward but in practice. and neutrality) arising through any of the six doors. 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. and nonabidingness anatt›. We can identify as unpleasant. The grief is actually in the longing. Confusion and suffering can occur if the vedan› function becomes 'hijacked' by the ego. 23 . “In this way he abides. or he abides contemplating in feelings their vanishing factors.
you may feel an overall texture of knowing or experiencing. It's as if you were wearing anger glasses or happiness glasses or glasses of any other emotional texture. mood. impulse. all of which emphasise the emotional and cognitive side of "thought" more than its mental and rational side. He understands contracted mind as contracted mind.CONTEMPLATION OF MIND Citt›nupassan› 34. open or closed. Citta => PTS. The translation we have here uses 'mind' for citta. That's why the PTS dictionary speaks of "man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations. "The bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind. The meaning of citta is best understood when explaining it by expressions familiar to us such as: with all my heart. He understands surpassed mind as surpassed mind. blessed are the pure at heart. could be thought of as the overall flavour or texture of mind. If you wear a pair of pink ones the whole world appears to be tinted pink. however. He understands mind affected by hate as mind affected by hate. and mind unaffected by hate as mind unaffected by hate. The state of mind roughly corresponds to what people consider their emotional state. and unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated mind. bhikkhus. perceive. => PTS. He understands concentrated mind as concentrated mind.e. In this way. and unliberated mind as unliberated mind. He understands mind affected by delusion as mind affected by delusion. => PTS. Research into brain damaged people has shown that intellect without emotional content often loses its moral or value component. This mode or way of experiencing. 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. reaction to impressions." Citta. from cit. He understands exalted mind as exalted mind. Other translations use 'consciousness' or 'thought'. citta denotes both the agent and that which is enacted.e. Citta may therefore be rendered by intention. thought. you the meditator understand that this particular 'state of mind' is present. If you have green ones the world is tinted green and grey ones tint the world grey. It may be a more commonly named emotion. and unsurpassed mind as unsurpassed mind. Namgyal Rinpoché referred to citta in the context of Satipa˛˛h›na as 'state of mind'. " And how. and unexalted mind as unexalted mind. in the very presence of the mind state. With the familiar 24 . Imagine that you had a collection of different colour tinted sunglasses. design. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind as mind? Here a bhikkhu understands mind affected by lust as mind affected by lust. The text gives only a very limited range of examples of possible states of mind. He understands liberated mind as liberated mind. and mind unaffected by delusion as mind unaffected by delusion. colours our perception and helps shape the sense of meaning arising in any given situation. and distracted mind as distracted mind. heart and soul. I have not the heart to do it. the heart (psychologically) i. Citta is difficult to translate in one word while preserving its full meaning. It may be focussed or diffused." In other words. disposition. It may be something rough or bouncy or bubbly or bright or smooth or still. state of mind. to think. the 'state of mind'. the centre and focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations i. and mind unaffected by lust as mind unaffected by lust. In the direct experience of meditation you may not be able to precisely name the citta. cinteti. appear. States of mind are like this. without departing from it.
emotions it is valuable to notice the texture rather than simply rubber stamping them with a label. there being no ill will in him. or. 'There is no ill will in me'. "And how. or he abides contemplating mind as mind externally.' 25 . or he abides contemplating mind as mind both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in mind its arising factors. he understands. or he abides contemplating in mind its vanishing factors. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is sensual desire in me'. 'There is no sensual desire in me'. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is ill will in me'. CONTEMPLATION OF MIND-OBJECTS Dhamm›nupassan› 1. You investigate the entire interbeingness of arising mind states. seeing and knowing that they are transient. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five hindrances? "Here. and unconsciously projecting onto the object you are involved with. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sensual desire. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind. there being no sensual desire in him. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sensual desire. or he abides contemplating in mind both its arising and vanishing factors. and that they arise dependent on many different factors.' "Here. there being ill will in him. Through dwelling in a continuum of awareness of the arising and passing of states of mind. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is mind’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. “In this way he abides. The liberated mind is referring to a degree of freedom from defilements either through jh›na or through insight. An exalted mind refers to states of absorption on fine material form rÒp›vacara. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen ill will. Your body and feeling function are some of these factors. you will experience a greater and greater freedom from being blindly caught up in reaction. you begin to note the arising of mental states. or. along with outer circumstances and situations. or emotional states. he understands. contemplating mind as mind internally. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sensual desire. The Five Hindrances 36. A contracted mind is referring to states of sloth and torpor. A distracted mind refers to states of restlessness and worry. not clinging to anything in the world. bhikkhus. 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. You explore what factors contribute to their arising and what factors contribute to their passing. An unexalted mind and a surpassed mind refer to the level of sense sphere consciousness k›mavacara. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned ill will. The unsurpassed mind is referring to the levels of absorption on immaterial form ›rÒp›vacara. 35. When you are exploring citt›nupassan›. there being sensual desire in him. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen ill will. This will encourage you to examine the state more closely. And he abides independent.
support: that which forms a foundation and upholds. truth and its recognition by the Buddha. => PTS. from dh¸ (dh›reti) to hold.e. philosophy or righteousness in which the rational and the ethical elements are fused into one. Dhamm›nupassan› particularly refers to the dharmas of awakening. Dhamma in Pali is the same as Skt. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sceptical doubt. much less invented or decreed by him. thought. awakening. or. he understands. vedan› and citta would come in this category. he understands. subjective. philosophy. => PTS. Buddhadhamma. or. there being restlessness and worry in him. anything that is not covered by k›ya. the knower becomes the incorporation of the knowable. there being no sceptical doubt in him. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is both sloth and torpor in me'. "rationality" any thing that is as it should be according to its reason and logicality i. the section on dhamm›nupassan› begins with an exploration of the five gross hindrances. In this sutta however. Thus by recognition of the truth.' dhamma => PTS. there being no sloth and torpor in him. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sceptical doubt. This fourth foundation of mindfulness which has been translated here as awareness of 'mind-objects' could be thought of as awareness of phenomena. eternal. there being both sloth and torpor in him. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor. psychologically. or. one moves on to investigate the five aggregates of clinging to a sense of self. The Buddha (like every great philosopher) is a discoverer of this order of the Dhamma. i. As this area becomes less of a problem the investigation turns to the positive. 'There is no restlessness and worry in me'. this universal logic. => PTS. not as interpreted by him only. there being no restlessness and worry in him. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen restlessness and worry. Because for most beings. the Dhamma was the order of law of the universe."Here. That which the Buddha preached. he understands. "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. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned restlessness and worry. and by him made intelligible to mankind as bodhi: revelation.' "Here. idea. hatred and delusion that commonly arise along with sensory experience. objective. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen restlessness and worry. the difficulties or negativities are more obvious and more demanding. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is restlessness and worry in me'. at the beginning. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is sceptical doubt in me'. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sloth and torpor. but intelligible to a mind of his range. natural law. Then the meditator investigates the realm of sensing and the reactions of greed. 'There is no sceptical doubt in me'.e. 'There is no sloth and torpor in me'. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sceptical doubt. Once there is a lessening of these tendencies. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sloth and torpor. dharma. a study of the qualities of being that are inseparable from the experience of 26 .' "Here. mental attitude. In a sense. more in-your-face than the positive dharmas. immanent. the Dhamma or world wisdom/philosophy of the Buddha as contained in the Sutras. uncreated. looking into the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. there being sceptical doubt in him. or purely mental phenomenon as distinguished from a psycho-physical phenomenon or sensation. This is a more hidden source of suffering.
chanda => moon. making bad. the culmination of the path. anger. The vya is associated with the idea of gone astray. story making. If the desire is not fulfilled. This yearning is not just mental but is also expressed physically in the body as a matrix of tensions. A yearning or reaching out takes place through one or more of the six sense doors. It can be very useful however to think of them as five common divisions of a single cycle of energy. memories. We want to see.dwelling in freedom. desire to injure. a degree of frustration will augment the tension until it becomes physically unpleasant. Five Hindrances Pañca Nıvara˚a One begins to explore the realm of Dharma by investigating the five hindrances. in other words. planning. ill-will. hatred. In the last section. (see p 33) The five hindrances are often taught as if they were five completely separate types of experience. 27 . like a lotus padme. If there is still a spark of health in us. vy›p›da => ill will => PTS. they also arise in the general activity of one's daily life. one is directed to know when they are present and to know when they are not present. exhaustion. P›da which means foot or base is symbolically referring to energy fields. 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. malevolence. k›macchanda => desire for sensing k›ma => sensing or sensual. lethargic. desire. Verbalisation i. With each of these five. closed minded scepticism which is often accompanied by varying degrees of depression. or taste or touch or know. the cycle begins with desire for something other than what is happening. Now we experience the fourth hindrance. it's not uncommon to look outside the body for the cause or source of tension with the idea of getting rid of it. plotting. For a much more detailed description of the cycle of the five hindrances along with some hints at how to dissolve them. One understands how to let go of and abandon a hindrance. aspiration. Finally one "understands how there comes to be the future non-arising of an abandoned hindrance. it pushes against the dam of tension–frustration and everything begins to tremble. 2. doing harm. a tired. ill-will. In brief. – essentially through friendly non-clinging awareness." This last section refers to realisation of various stages of Path in which specific hindrances cease to arise again. to understand clearly how they come into being. It's someone else's fault! This is the birth of the second hindrance.e. If we are unaware of this happening. This first hindrance is desire for experience at any one of the six sense doors. we will find ourselves sinking towards the fifth hindrance. If this goes on for too long it sucks up so much vital energy that we fall into the third hindrance. Most people linger in this fifth state until another desire for sensing picks them up and they begin the cycle all over again. one comes to know directly the Four Noble Truths. restlessness and worry. how they manifest in the body and what are the accompanying mental attitudes. if we can't let go and relax into what is actually present. associations and so forth. At this point. At this point in the cycle it's as if the creative life energy has almost stopped flowing. Although these five are usually taught in the context of meditation. It is a hindrance in that it is inevitably desire for something that is not currently present. Hence the sense that ill-will is an expression of energy fields gone astray. see Breathing: The Natural Way to Meditate – p 56 1. what triggers them. general chatter and so forth is usually a sure sign of k›macchanda. It's hard work to maintain the tensions of anger and ill-will.
vicikicch› => sceptical doubt => PTS. Vicikicchati => to dis-reflect. gathering. mania. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. such its disappearance. unwieldy. This is the opposite of sukha. uncertainty. essentially a state of tiredness. sorrow. middha is a sleeping of the senses i. and saºkhar›. what's the point?' It is the fundamental life doubt i. such its disappearance. trembly. The Five Aggregates 38. Thına is very much an energy reference. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. doubt in existence or the possibility of awakening. such its origin. such are the formations. such their origin. such its origin. such is feeling. "Again. such its origin. Middha from middh => to be inactive. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. dullness.. 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.. It is an ambivalence that leads to mental paralysis 'can't do this. 'Such is material form.' The Five Aggregates of Clinging Pañc'up›dd›nakkhandha Khandha (Pali) or skandha (Skt) => aggregate. ˛hına-middha => sloth and torpor. bhikkhus.. agitated. 4. not clinging to anything in the world. such its origin. Vi expresses negation and ambivalence towards 'that which should be done'. conglomeration. And he abides independent. Hence doubt. a stickiness of mind. Thına and middha are always in conjunction – a weak. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. such its disappearance.Abd notes – Uddhacca => from U => up. the psychic picker. It is called citta gellaññaª. that which should be done. defensive state of mind. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging. 2. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. sickness of mind. remorse. such is perception. mental self-sacrificing. like a flurry of grey snowflakes. 37.e. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. weak sañña. sticky mind. a grieving kind of worry. tremble. inert. sleepiness. perplexity. heap 28 . uncertainty. the psychic masochist. incapable of function.. or the point in continuing with the practice. Kukkucca => worry. an energyless unwieldyness resulting in a limp. “In this way he abides. T. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. from the. the shrinking mind. to be distracted in thought. such its disappearance. fidgeting. above. Kicca => PTS. a state of throwing up. or the validity of the teaching or the integrity or value of the teacher.3. such is consciousness. 5. collection. over + dhu=> to waver.. shake off.. vedan›. such their disappearance. rigidity.. uddhacca-kukkucca => restlessness and worry T . perplexity. Thına is the opposite of viriya energy. overly scrupulous. Vicikicch› is the state of being incapable of deciding this is this and that is that.can't do that.Abd notes – Thına => PTS. to shrink. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. function. an unsettled state of mind.e. depression and is the opposite of cittakammaññat› adaptability of mind. to become hard. to congeal.
a related word is sankhata => put to29 . to become known. Contemplating the five aggregates. recognition. They are called 'aggregates of clinging' because each one can be a focus for clinging to the sense of a separate. assimilation of sensations. looks with profound understanding. Avalokitesvara. being the third khandha 2. when the Buddha first taught the five skandhas. 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. that which changes its colour due to elemental shifts. some with habit patterns and some with consciousness. a manifestation. five skandhas. T-Abd notes – RÒpa actually means. RÒpa => PTS. containing) + jñ› (knowing.Pañca => five Up›dd›na => grasping. hence 'five heaps'. RÒpa means both the fundamentals of matter and the laws and changes and processes of matter. a declaration. evidence. Each pile. making known. autonomous self or ego. persist and perish. perish. having insight) sañña =>PTS. Together. an announcement. kamma. publicity.e. consciousness. All form perceived by mind has 28 textures. to be visible. cycles and undulations. sense. explanation. perception. destroy. the bodhisattva of compassion. he placed five piles of rice on the ground in front of him. awareness 3. perception. utu seasonal phenomena i. It moulds to various changes of environment. body. RÒpa => form. from saª (together) + k¸ (to work). recognising. the five categories hint at the myriad factors that weave together the human experience. a central text of Mahayana Buddhism. wavelengths. to shine forth. it will not perceive as wide a range of rÒpa. RÒpa is also derived from rÒppak›sane => PTS. Pak›sane => explaining. In the texts there is no universally applicable one meaning for rÒpa. For example if the organism has a low fuel energy. material form This includes the physical body with its sense faculties as well as external material objects. Sankh›ra => PTS. sense. represented one of the skandhas and also indicated that the heap itself is comprised of a multitude of sub-factors. The chief characteristic of sañña is identification or recognition. RÒpa is that which breaks up or changes. independent. corporeality. 1. is a way of deepening our understanding of how each moment of life experience is dependent on uncountable other situations and circumstances. pigmentation. notion. RÒpa perception springs from four sources. in order to more clearly illustrate what he was talking about. It notes the qualities or characteristics of things. Abhidhamma describes 28 species of rÒpa dealt with in terms of how they arise. some with perceptions. discernment. Vedan› => feeling/evaluation (see p 22) Sañña => perception. matter. with. consciousness of diversity 4. attatchment In the Heart Sutra. into the fullness of the present moment. clinging. idea. a field or sphere of colour va˚˚›yatana. citta. Some people identify more with their body. information. to break. RÒpa is a living force. some with their feelings. all the grains of rice. a statement. and "beheld but five heaps". from rup. and ›h›ra nutriment. conception. from saª (together. According to legend. Some renderings are form. So rÒpapak›sane => a shining. PTS. RÒpa is that which manifests itself through different colours va˚˚›.
emotional and intellectual aspects of one's mental life.cetan› One-pointedness .Paki˚˚ak› Focus . these two stand on their own so there are only 50 cetasika listed in the category of sankh›ra.dosa Envy . conditioned. 50 Mental Factors or Cetasika that are classified as sankharas in the abhidhamma system.vic›ra Decision .jıvitindriyaª Attention .phassa Volition . brought about as effect of actions in former births. They are listed here to give you a sense of the one approach to exploring saºkh›ra.pıti Aspiration .moha Shamelessness . produced by a combination of causes.iss› Avarice .vicikicch› 30 .di˛˛hi Conceit .Akusala Delusion . compound. vedan› and sañña which would make the total number of cetasika come to 52.adhimokkha Enthusiastic perseverance .manasik›ra (There are two more cetasika usually listed in this section. In Tantrayana this is represented by the fifty freshly severed human heads around Vajra Yogini's neck.lobha View .anottappaª Restlessness . 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.chando Unwholsome .ekaggat› Vital energy . Sank›ra => habitual formations.kukkuccaª Energyless-mind .vitakka Scanning . Common to all states of consciousness .uddhaccaª Desire-clinging .macchariyaª Worry .middhaª Sceptical doubt . saºkh›ra refers to the 50 mental factors or cetasikas.ahirikaª Fearlessness . created. Saºkh›ra has a feeling of bits and pieces being put together to make a particular formation.) Variables .Sabbacittas›dh›ran› Contact .gether. However when considering the five Skandhas. In abhidhamma. habit patterns and so forth.thınaª Energyless-body .viriya Interest-joy-ecstasy . dispositions. This includes all volitional.m›na Hatred .
mental coefficients. 2.k›ya and cittap›guññat› Straightforwardness .k›ya and cittajjukat› Abstinences . speech and thought.k›ya and cittamudut› Adaptability . Here the vi means to divide hence it is a knowing that divides into subject and object.Sobhanas›dh›ran› Confidence . that it is almost impossible for Occidental terminology to get at the root of its meaning in a translation.k›yapassaddhi Tranquillity of citta . The existence of the object is helping to establish the sense of being a subject and simultaneously.g.cittalahut› Pliancy .Viratiyo Right Speech .k›ya and cittakammaññat› Proficiency . antecedents or synergy (co-ordinated activity). (i) the sum of the conditions or properties making up or resulting in life or existence.Common to the Beautiful . PTS from vi + jñ› (to produce. One of the five khandhas.sati Moral shame .paññindriya PTS says of sank›ra: 'One of the most difficult terms in Buddhist metaphysics.karu˚› 2 Sympathetic Joy . comprising all cetasikas. tendencies and concepts resonating from past experience that help shape and give meaning to the present moment. Viññ›na => consciousness. sank›ra could be thought of as the habitual patterns.hiri Moral caution . requisite for action. There are many words for consciousness. is so complete. or tend to come. or constitutional elements of physical life. 'I' am conscious of 'that'. attitudes. a purposive aspiring state of mind to induce a specific rebirth.k›yalahut›.ottappaª Generosity . think).saddh› Mindfulness .samm›v›ca Right Action .cittapassadhi Lightness of mental body. aggregate of the conditions or essential properties for a given process or result e. or adjuncts which come. of purposive intellection. In a simple way.Appamañña 1 Compassion .samm›-›jıvo Illimitable . the state of the subject is shaping the perception 31 .mudit› Wisdom Faculty .adosa Equanimity . Lightness of citta .tatramajjhattat› Tranquillity of mental body (cetasik›). (ii) Essential conditions.alobha Lovingkindness .samm›kammanto Right Livelihood . into consciousness at the uprising of a citta or unit of cognition. Sankh›r› tend to take on the implication of synergies. peculiar to the East. in which the blending of the subjective-objective view of the world and of happening. the mental concomitants. Various meanings: 1.
That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the six internal and external bases. evaluation. he understands mind-objects. the ability of mind to recognise something other than itself as an object – to decide this is this and that is that.. in a sense. he understands odours. Evaluation is a combination of form... he understands forms. He understands the mind. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter. As part of contemplating the arising factors and the vanishing factors. and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both. object of thought. sphere of perception or sense in general. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. not clinging to anything in the world. he understands flavours.. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter. 39.of the object. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both.. if you enquire deeply into the nature of form or material and try to describe it. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. The mind is consid32 . and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter. he understands tangibles. and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter. "He understands the ear. "Again. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter. you might say it arises when there is a particular configuration of perception. The Six Bases 40. habitual patterns and consciousness. and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter. composed of the other four. This co-dependent process of knowing is Viññ›na. The six bases refer to the six senses and their six objects hence 'twelve'. habitual formations and consciousness.. bhikkhus. 3. evaluation. For example.. And he abides independent. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. He understands the nose. he understands sounds. you will find it useful to consider how each skandha is. 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. Kalu Rinpoché defined Viññ›na as 'discursive consciousness'. He understands the body. sense organ and object. The six bases or ›yatan› are sometimes referred to as the twelve sense spheres dv›das›yatan›. In a similar way you can explore habitual formations and consciousness. He understands the tongue. perception. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. habitual formations and consciousness. ›yatan› => PTS. Perception arises when there is a particular coming together of form. “In this way he abides. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally..
3. feelings. about the necessity of moral conduct and about the fact of cause and effect. especially doubt about the Buddha. craving. k›mar›ga rÒpar›ga arÒpar›ga pa˛igha m›na di˛˛hi silabbatap›r›m›ssa vicikicch› uddhacca avijj› attachment to sensuality k›mavacara attachment to the realm of form rÒpavacara attachment to the formless realms ›rÒpavacara hatred conceit partial view blind belief in rule and ritual sceptical doubt restlessness ignorance r›ga => PTS. memories and so forth as its objects. silabbatap›r›m›ssa. boundless consciousness. nothingness. Sometimes they are extended out as the ten saªyojana or ten fetters. passion. 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. 2. The fetters are basically greed. and 'neither perception nor nonperception'. specifically belief in a permanent or independent self or ego. vicikicch›. hatred and delusion. di˛˛hi. m›na. Stage of Path Sot›panna 'Stream entry' Fetters Dropping Away 1. uddhacca and avijj› 33 An›g›mi 'Non returner' Arahat 'Fully purified' . arÒpar›ga. the belief that blind adherence to rule and ritual and to mere good works will be sufficient to bring awakening. In the Abhidhamma system these ten fetters fall away permanently at specific stages of the path. This refers to the subtle levels of absorption on form. RÒpavacara is the realm of 'fine material form'. ﬁrÒpavacara is the formless realm and refers to the very subtle meditative absorptions of: boundless space. excitement.ered the sixth sense which has concepts. K›mavacara is the realm of the five senses. The future non-arising of a fetter refers to a stage of path attainment. Dharma and Sangha. lust.
or there being no equanimity enlightenment factor in him. no awakening. there being the mindfulness enlightenment factor in him. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors? Here. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the six internal and external bases.. mature human being. "There being the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor in him.. The Seven Enlightenment Factors 42.. six and seven are considered to be passive. direct seeing of reality This is the factor of question. Numbers two. interest. the greater the awakening –– no question. 4. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen equanimity enlightenment factor. In Zen. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen mindfulness enlightenment factor. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. active enquiry or question present in your being. Number one is considered to be neutral. he understands: 'There is no mindfulness enlightenment factor in me'. There being the concentration enlightenment factor in him. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is the mindfulness enlightenment factor in me'.. three and four are considered to be active. And he abides independent." There needs to be curiosity. it is said. 34 .. and how the arisen equanimity enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development. "The greater the question. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. The Seven Enlightenment Factors Sattasambojjhaºga.. There being the rapture enlightenment factor in him. It's what carries us into new territory. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. investigation. Mindfulness satisambojjhaºgo (see p 7) 2. Five. curiosity. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is the equanimity enlightenment factor in me'.. not clinging to anything in the world. 1. investigation... (from vi + ci to think) search. “In this way he abides.41. There being the energy enlightenment factor in him. There being the tranquillity enlightenment factor in him. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors. and how the arisen mindfulness enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development.. "Again bhikkhus. They reach their fullest flowering of expression in what is called the state of liberation or 'enlightenment'. complete + bodhi enlightenment + anga factors These seven factors will all be present and harmoniously functioning together in a well rounded. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. Investigation of dhamma dhammavicayasambojjhaºgo vicaya => PTS. or there being no mindfulness enlightenment factor in him. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. he understands: 'There is no equanimity enlightenment factor in me'. examination: dhammavicaya => investigation of dhamma insight. There being the equanimity enlightenment factor in him. satta seven + sam good.
For awakening one needs more than just calm. calm. like a flood 5. an alert readiness to experience and know more broadly and profoundly.e. it suppresses feverishness and calms hysteria. to move. 4. I am reminded of the following quote by the biologist Alexander Skutch. Phara˚a Pıti – Overflowing joy. Abhidhamma texts describe five major categories of pıti ranging from interest to ecstasy. to know more broadly and profoundly. 3. exuberance. floating like a dandelion seed in space. quietude. zest. It is really a factor of open. Rapture pitisambojjhaºgo Pıti => This word is difficult to translate accurately with one English word. mighty heroic viriya => moving in an invincible way. To take steps to encourage an arisen wholesome to flourish and continue. beloved. completely vıra => manly. its insatiable hunger to experience more widely. Okkantika Pıti – flood of joy." (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) 3. serenity. and to encourage unarisen wholesomes to arise in the future. It needs to sink into the bones of your being so that your very existence is an expression of question in action. vi => is a prefix denoting expansion. dhammavicaya must go beyond mere verbal question. intensification or thorough i. To recognise the wholesome when it is present. (from vi + ır) iriyati => to set in motion. like a flash of lightning 3. 'Rapture' doesn't really do it justice. Energy viriyasambojjhaºgo is also referred to as diligence and enthusiastic perseverance viriyaª => PTS. to stir. receptive. The noblest mind is that which understands. Pıti is the experiential knowing of the thrill and pleasure of aliveness of the organism. "An outstanding attribute of an awakened spirit is its expansiveness. The effort to recognise the unwholesome when it is present. To take steps to bring it to an end and to prevent the arising of such unwholesome states in the future. tranquillity. uninterrupted strenuousness in conquering obstacles. 35 .e. (from piya dear. to cultivate friendly intercourse with the whole of Being. the coursing of the energy of the body. to show a certain way of deportment i. 4. methodical. Kha˚ika Pıti – instantaneous joy. appreciates and loves the largest segment of the Universe. Eventually. to wander about. repose. like waves on a beach 4. Ubbega Pıti – transporting joy. 1. delight. 1. Kuddaka Pıti – joy causing the flesh to creep 2. one must have a tremendous degree of interest and curiosity about all arisings of life and particularly about what is currently taking place. 2. This factor is often allied with the what are called in Buddhist teaching the Four Great Efforts.This factor is often the weakest in meditators who see meditation primarily as a technique for establishing calm or tranquillity. that which is carried out methodically. pleasant. liked) => uplifting joy. 5. It's very much a thrill or excitation felt in or throughout the body when it is functioning well. Tranquillity passadhisambojjhaºgo Passadhi => PTS. probing. like the cool shade of a tree. responsive. PTS.
Concentration sam›dhisambojjhaºgo Sam›dhi => PTS. Equanimity or true seeing is a balanced state of mind that embraces all opposite pairs. It is the 'middle-way' between subject and object. a concentrated. bhikkhus. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the Four Noble Truths. intent state of mind and meditation. not clinging to anything in the world. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. or serenity. self-collected. The Four Noble Truths 44. While not taking sides there is a continuum of calm clear seeing discernment. not dispersed. view. A better understanding might be had if you pronounced it with the accent on the second syllable. (from sam complete + dhi which has a sense of firmness) => concentration. a completely balanced state of mind. 5. he understands as it actually is: 'This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. upa impartially. correctly or 'as it really is'. ' This is the origin of suffering'. It means to see justly. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. except for this section on the Four Noble Truths which is greatly expanded. not having our attention darting all over the lot. 43.6. Usually translated as equanimity. it seems odd that concentration is considered a passive factor. Dukkhasamudayo aryasaccaª – the noble truth of the origin of suffering 3. look. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. To many people. And he abides independent. not grasping after this or that. he understands as it actually is. not scattered. he understands as it actually is: 'This is the cessation of suffering'. Equanimity upekkh›sambojjhaºgo Upekkha => PTS. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. Dukkhaª aryasaccaª – the noble truth of suffering 2. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the Four Noble Truths? Here a bhikkhu understands as it actually is: 'This is suffering'. “In this way he abides. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. 7. 36 . con-CEN-tration in other words con (with) centrate (centre). "Again. 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. We are concentrated when we are effortlessly centred in whatever we are doing or experiencing. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. just + ikkhati to see. 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.' The Four Noble Truths Ariyasacc›ni => ariya noble + sacc›ni truth 1. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors.
is called distress. 'And what is ageing? In whatever beings. a monk knows as it really is: "This is suffering". of whatever group of beings. 'And what is lamentation? Whenever. In short the five aggregates of grasping are suffering. monks. "This is the cessation of suffering". making much noise for grief. monks is called pain. "This is the origin of suffering". with great distress. a discarding of the body. 'And what. pain. sorrow. inward grief. monks. mourning. a disappearance. is called ageing. being separated from the loved is suffering. wrinkled skin.Below is a translation from the Mah›satipa˛˛h›na Sutta by Maurice Walshe. a cutting off of the aggregates. a cutting off. that. lamenting. distress. he knows as it really is. a monk abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in respect of the Four Noble Truths. monks is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering. is called sadness. a death. there is birth. distress. sorrow." First Noble Truth 'And what. the acquisition of the sense-bases. whoever has un37 . broken teeth. that. 'And what. monks is called lamentation. grey hair. bodily unpleasant feeling. sadness and distress are suffering. of whatever group of beings. is called sorrow. monks. "This is the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. monks. decay of the sense faculties. there is a passing-away. 'And what is distress? Whenever. death is suffering. that monks is called birth. is called death. not getting what one wants is suffering. the appearance of the aggregate. he knows as it really is. ageing is suffering. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature. monks is birth? In whatever beings. mental unpleasant feeling. 'And what is sorrow? Whenever. 'And what is sadness? Whatever mental painful feeling. How does he do so? Here. that. painful or unpleasant feeling results from bodily contact. a dying. monks. monks. 5. lamentation. "And what is pain? Whatever bodily painful feeling. an ending. coming forth. monks. of whatever group of beings. by any kind of misfortune. decrepitude. that. he knows as it really is. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature and there is crying out. Being attached to the unloved is suffering. affliction with distress. is being attached to the unloved? Here. The Four Noble Truths 'Again. making great lamentation. 'And what is death? In whatever beings. a removal. by any kind of misfortune. that. that. there is ageing. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature. painful or unpleasant sensation results from mental contact. coming-to-be. great distress. inward woe. that. shrinking with age. by any kind of misfortune.
of discomfort. thirst. to death. sight-objects. craving for non-existence vibh›vata˚h› => T-Abd-notes. 'And how. or whoever encounters well-wishers. is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering? It is that craving which gives rise to rebirth. to sorrow. craving that which one thinks will extend the being. the aggregate of grasping that is mental formations. sadness. craving for not being. craving. sensual craving k›mata˚h› => craving for sensual experience craving for existence bh›vata˚h› => T-Abd-notes. that we might not come to these things!" But this cannot be gained by wishing. now there: that is to say sensual craving. pleasant. The bh›vata˚h› type is the person who likes certainty. to be or to make dry) =>drought. craving for existence and craving for non-existence. extend life. thirst and ters. unpleasant. are the five aggregates of grasping suffering? They are as follows: the aggregate of grasping that is form. tangibles or mind-objects. that we might not come to birth!" But this cannot be gained by wishing. this wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to birth. for arÒpa. In beings subject to ageing. is called the Noble Truth of Suffering. liked. That is not getting what one wants. the five aggregates of grasping that are suffering. whoever has what is wanted. conceit (belief that one has something) and defence (wanting to protect the wealth one thinks one can lose. the aggregate of grasping that is perception. (from tarŸna. monks. bound up with pleasure and lust. craving for being. intercourse. monks. monks. union. connection. that which is impermanent. the aggregate of grasping that is consciousness. to disease. a craving for walling off. It is narcissism. of security. That is not getting what one wants. disliked. monks. tastes. 'And what is not getting what one wants? In beings subject to birth. for form rÒpa. monks. hunger for. that. finding fresh delight now here.distress. smells. is called being attached to the unloved. sounds. the aggregate of grasping that is feeling. lamentation.. And that. of insecurity. with whom they have concourse. connection or union. They feel more secure with written 38 . of comfort. this is craving for more.) Bh›va and vibh›vata˚h› can be caricatured in common types of behaviour or attitudes to life. pain. This is security oriented. 'the fever of unsatisfied longing' Ta˚h› is driven by trying to make permanent. is called being separated from the loved. mother or father or brother or sister or younger kinsmen or friends or colleagues or blood-relations. that wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to ageing. in short. and then is deprived of such concourse. Essentially.wanted. intercourse. wishers of harm.. Second Noble Truth 'And what. that. They want to know exactly when something is going to happen and when it will end. sight-objects. wishers of good. craving ta˚h› => PTS. and distress. monks. these are in short. or whoever encounters ill-wishers. 'And what is being separated from the loved? Here.
Craving tanha: 'The craving for sights. 39 . Sense consciousness: 'Eye-consciousness. Contact phassa: 'Eye-contact. They want to be spontaneous. They like to own their house. tastes. They like space and value their freedom. nose-contact. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. ear-contact. the ear. mind-consciousness in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. tangibles. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. the tongue. mind-contact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. on the other hand. of tastes.. They like definition and walls. smells... tangibles. They don't like to be saddled with commitments. Sense organs: 'And what is there in the world that is agreeable and pleasurable? The eye in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. there this craving arises and establishes itself. Feeling vedan›: 'Feeling born of eye-contact. tongue-consciousness. bodycontact. nose-contact. tongue-contact. tastes. In extreme cases they can be very narcissistic. Sense objects: 'Sights. and there this craving arises and establishes itself. tastes. mind-contact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. the body. the mind in the world is agreeable and pleasurable.. The vibh›vata˚h› type. Perception sañña:'The perception of sights. smells. Volition cetan›: 'Volition in regards to sights. tonguecontact.. mind-objects in the world are agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. Vitakka is often translated as initial application. sounds. body-contact. smells. likes to hang loose. of tangibles. They prefer to rent. tangibles. smells. In extremis they can be a bit obsessive. sounds. have a well filled appointment diary. Thinking vitakka: 'Thinking of sights. A more useful translation might be 'focus'.. of smells. the nose.contracts. body-consciousness. ear-consciousness. nose-consciousness. They feel uncomfortable when constrained by timetables or formal contracts. tastes. 'And where does this craving arise and establish itself? Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable.. Commitment and responsibility are important to them.. tangibles.. sounds. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself... sounds. of mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself.. of sounds. ear-contact.
a simple metaphor is used in many of the Mahamudra/Dzogchen texts. And how does this craving come to be abandoned. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. One can remember the meaning by thinking of 'tacking' the mind to an object. Each moment is inherently complete. It is closer than hands and feet. it self-liberates. All that's needed is a profound degree of clear seeing. that it is an dynamic interbeing of everything. in the experiential knowing of interdependence. this is the initial application of mind. smells. This cessation or self-liberation is automatic and instantaneous. the cessation of suffering becomes realizable in any situation without necessarily changing a thing. ta˚h›. there its cessation comes about. All arisings are mutually shaping. how does its cessation come about? The 'cessation of suffering' is synonymous with realisation of nibb›na – peace. Vic›ra is frequently translated as sustained application. Having 'tacked' vitakka-ed the mind onto the meditation object. And what is there in the world that is agreeable and pleasurable? To illustrate the spontaneous naturalness of cessation. It's not going anywhere. its forsaking and abandonment. is called the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering. In this way it is sustained application and perhaps pondering. Imagine using your finger to draw a picture on the surface of a calm pool of water. Pondering vic›ra: 'Pondering on sights. Third Noble Truth 'And what. "Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. In a sense. Peace is the fading away of craving. and vis-versa. Where there are no separate cravers and craven objects. 'Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. Ignorance of. sounds. monks. avijja. It rests in itself. that is inherently peaceful.When one focuses one's attention on a meditation object and does not wander to any other object. tastes. And that. tangibles. It is more the application of attention or interest to an object. there is no craving. With this understanding. one then scans the details of the object without departing from the object. It is not really 'thinking" in the sense of verbalising or conceptualising about the object. Peace or nibb›na comes with the deep knowing of completeness. Vijja denotes seeing so avijja means not seeing or not understanding. A perhaps more useful term would be scanning. detachment from it. No one else needs to liberate it. supports the sense of an autonomous 'craver' that can crave a desired thing. or not seeing/understanding the interdependent nature of everything. the experiential knowing that this moment is not lacking in any way. there its ces1 MÒlamadhyamakak›rika of N›g›rjuna translated by David Kalupahana p 168 40 . Ta˚h› is rooted in ignorance. there is no single separate part that can be isolated out to praise or blame or be held responsible. 'A' at the beginning of a Pali or Sanskrit word indicates negation. The image that you draw vanishes as fast as you draw it. The great philosopher N›g›rjuna wrote in his famous treatise MÒlamadhyamakak›rika: "Whatever that comes to be dependently. liberation from it."1 In other words. though it would be a pondering without verbalising. monks is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering? It is the complete fading-away and extinction of this craving.
Right Concentration. tastes. there its cessation comes about. monks. tangibles. the body. monks. 'Eye-consciousness.. the tongue. tastes. there its cessation comes about. ear-consciousness. body-consciousness. there its cessation comes about. tastes. the mind in the world is agreeable and pleasurable." Each of the following pleasurable or agreeable dharmas are like pictures drawn in water. path. tastes. is the Noble Truth of the Way of Practice Leading to the Cessation of Suffering? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path. there its cessation comes about. tangibles. there its cessation comes about. mind-consciousness in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned... Right Livelihood. Noble Eightfold Path ariya-a˛˛hangika-magga magga => avenue. sounds. 'The perception of sights. mindcontact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. there its cessation comes about. body-contact. The eye in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. 'Volition in regard to sights. there its cessation comes about. 'Eye-contact. And that. tangibles... the ear.. you will see that they spontaneously vanish as soon as they appear. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. smells. sounds. tongue-consciousness. 'Sights. tangibles.. smells. smells.. Fourth Noble Truth 'And what. is called the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering. Craving for sights. tongue-contact. tastes. way a˛˛hangika => eight 41 . nose-contact. Right Thought. namely: – Right View. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. there its cessation comes about. tastes. smells. and there this craving comes to be abandoned.... Right Effort.. sounds. Right Mindfulness. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. tangibles. sounds. nose-consciousness. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned.sation comes about. 'Thinking of sights. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. tangibles. smells.. Right Action. ear-contact. sounds. If you look into them with careful discernment. sounds. smells. there its cessation comes about. 'Pondering on sights. Right Speech. the nose.
monks. ŸÒnyat› => It is difficult to accurately translate ŸÒnyat› with a single word. it would be more helpful to think of ditti as a verb. the heart understanding of Mahamudra. it appears. the knowledge of the origin of suffering.1 Right View samm›-di˛˛i 2 Right Thought samm›-sankappa 3 Right Speech samm›-v›c› 4 Right Action samm›-kammanta 5 Right Livelihood samm›-›jıva 6 Right Effort samm›-v›y›ma 7 Right Mindfulness samm›-sati 8 Right Concentration samm›-sam›dhi 1. Every moment of experience reveals itself to be spacious. emptiness is often associated with feelings of meaninglessness and isolation. The positive expression of this would be total lovingkindness. or 'summing up'. This is called Right View. Totality is thinking. "connected in one". Unfortunately. as it ought to be. Totality is speaking. doing the understanding or doing the knowing? Since everything is interdependent with everything else. thoroughly. a static view. Speech and Mind p29) Di˛˛i means view. seeing/understanding all contributing aspects of an arising rather than falling into bias based on conditioned hopes. completely engaged. using emptiness as an equivalent for ŸÒnyat› is quite misleading as it can conjure a nihilistic view of things. (ultimately everything else in the universe) then the totality of being which makes up this present moment of one's unique knowing. the knowledge of suffering. On one hand it is there. it vanishes into a matrix of 42 . Another way of contemplating samm› that can be applied to each section of the Eightfold Noble Path is suggested by the following question. and so forth. If you look deeply and discerningly into anything you will see that it is composed of a vast array of transient factors. 'doing your sums'. for many people today. is what is doing the viewing. open and fundamentally un-pin-downable. What is it that is doing the viewing. rightly. As part of the eight fold noble path. presence in the midst of whatever is occurring. on the other hand when we examine it analytically. though when used alone it usually implies partial view. properly. responsive. in the right way. As Namgyal Rinpoché often pointed out. perfectly. Contemplating 'samma' in these many ways. Samm› => PTS. is Right View? It is. and the knowledge of the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. best. Emptiness is the usual attempt. (see Body. rather than as a noun. the activity of viewing. A more useful and descriptive phrase might be 'the spacious openness of interbeing'. Translating samm› as 'right' in the context of the Eightfold Noble Path doesn't really do it justice. This is so far away from the intention of teachings on ŸÒnyat› that it might be better to think of fullness rather than emptiness. Right View samm›-di˛˛i 'And what. Totality is acting. as if we should try to convince ourselves that nothing exists. monks. samm› derives from sam which has the sense of 'complete' or 'total' as in the English phrases. the knowledge of the cessation of suffering. samm›-di˛˛I points to complete or total or thorough viewing. reveals the Eightfold Noble Path as a means for directly realising ŸÒnyat›. Everything reveals itself to be spacious and open. Instead of 'right view' as opposed to 'wrong view'. Psychologically. fears and fantasies.
the thought of harmlessness. Here sankappa has more to do with intention than thinking. This is the essence of Bodhicitta. refraining from frivolous speech. 2. purpose. This is Right Action. This is called Right Thought. refraining from slander. In Daily Puja. complete thinking/intending. Right Action samm›-kammanta 'And what. monks. the whole of one's mental processes going in the direction of awakening. Total thinking/intending. hearing what is actually being said and empathically sensing the meaning and intent behind the words. Total or complete activity in terms of bringing forth what is wholesome and what is supporting the awakening of beings. one should skilfully use the senses to explore dharma. plan.contributing factors. one's inner feelings. Beyond not taking that which is not given. This is called Right Speech. All one's actions spring from this (the rest of the Eightfold Path) May the Nirmanakaya bring blessings. one should strive to support and nurture life. These three become one in the vision of the ground of being May the union of these three bring blessings. I will train myself to support and appreciate the life of all living beings. refraining from harsh speech. one's intention and one's expression are all in harmony and supporting the unfolding of the wholesome. Not just avoiding these unwholesome forms of expression but considering all aspects of communication so that one's body language. 3. sankappa => PTS. is Right Speech? Refraining from lying. Samm›-v›c› also implies profound listening. the thought of non-ill-will. Right Thought samm›-sankappa 'And what. Right Speech samm›-v›c› 'And what. thought. 43 . one should practice generosity and give unstintingly to beings. refraining from taking what is not given. 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. 4. monks. is called Right Action? Refraining from taking life. intention. monks. is Right Thought? The thought of renunciation. refraining from sexual misconduct. there is an expression of the precepts in a positive form that hints at a much broader practice than simply avoiding certain activities. 1. One might even consider 'total aspiration' or totality aspiring. Beyond refraining from sexual or sensual misconduct. Beyond refraining from taking life. Right speech and action touch on the aspect of the path that is covered by studying and practising the precepts. Total or complete communication. One's thoughts are in tune with every situation (samm›-sanakappa) May the Sambhogakaya bring blessings.
exerts his mind and strives to prevent the arising of unarisen evil unwholesome mental states. 6. For a lay person living in the modern world. exerts his mind and strives to maintain wholesome mental states that have arisen. energies and mind. 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. in ways that support their wholesome unfolding of body.and strives to produce unarisen wholesome mental states. 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. I will eat and drink and nurture myself and others. emotional support.. I will train myself to communicate in a skilful and compassionate manner. I will train myself to be ever more directly aware of how nutriment affects the mind and body. This is called Right Effort. having given up wrong livelihood. 5. Daily I will give material support.I will live with a sensitive and responsible awareness for the whole ecology of life. but animals. Right Effort samm›-v›y›ma 'And what. He rouses his will. 4. is called Right Livelihood? Here. He rouses his will. and an example to others of awakening in action. the Ariyan disciple. plants and entire ecosystems.. it was understood that their livelihood was already one of living lightly on the earth. This section is a major challenge to how we humans today do business and how we relate to the non-human world. causing harm to oneself or others. and to come to know the world more profoundly and more compassionately. monks is called Right Effort? Here. I will train myself to use the senses to further awakening. complete livelihood involves living in a way that values and supports the living matrix that is this planet. monks. 5. 44 . there probably needs to be a bit more guidance. energies and mind. to bring them to greater growth. He rouses his will. to the full perfection of development. At the same time it also supports the well being of all the other beings whom your livelihood brings you into contact with. a monk rouses his will..and strives to overcome evil unwholesome mental states that have arisen. not to let them fade away. Complete or total livelihood: a livelihood or way of earning a living that supports all of life. monks. 2.. This includes not just other people. makes an effort. Essentially. Wrong livelihood is any form of livelihood that disrupts life. makes an effort. 3. keeps himself by right livelihood. stirs up energy. Right Livelihood samm›-›jıva 'And what. living with minimal needs and appetites and avoiding the harming of others. stirs up energy. explore Dharma. in a way that supports awakening. monks.
by gaining inner tranquillity and oneness of mind. the sense of mental well being is present and there is an overarching 45 . and purified by equanimity and mindfulness. => PTS . which is with thinking and pondering. having given up pleasure and pain. and mindful. and with the disappearance of former gladness and sadness. dry up. which is without thinking and pondering. ardent. In the first jh›na all five are present. clearly aware and mindful. monks.. jh›yati => to shine. will not be active. Jh›na burns up the hindrances. And. The mind is focused and investigating or scanning the object. detached from sensedesires. 7. brood over. This is a rather static view.. Right Mindfulness samm›-sati 'And what. vic›ra. think about. There is some degree of pıti. This is called Right Concentration. Sukha. Complete mindfulness. ardent. he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. is Right Mindfulness? Here. then the five hindrances. having put aside hankering and fretting for the world. pıti. Jh›nas are often seen by inexperienced meditators as exotic states of concentration where there are no thoughts and no mental activity. sukha and ekaggat› or upekkha. This is called Right Mindfulness.. be on fire. detached from unwholesome mental states. he experiences in himself the joy of which the Noble Ones say: "Happy is he who dwells with equanimity and mindfulness". wholesomely absorbed to a point where there is no sense of separation between the subject and object. he abides contemplating feelings as feelings. is Right Concentration? Here.. you will find five main positive factors: vitakka. it is called 'The Four Great Efforts'. And with the fading away of delight. to burn. monks. monks. monks. When it is. which is beyond pleasure and pain. when it is completely. contemplate. This section speaks of total concentration in terms of the factors of absorption or Jh›na. is called the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering.This is explained quite clearly above and also in the section on viriyasambojjhaºga in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (p. And with the subsiding of thinking and pondering. filled with delight and joy.. clearly aware. If you examine this peaceful mind.34) It is often taught separately as a complete path of practice in itself. a monk. from j›yati and Skt dhy›na. Right Concentration samm›-sam›dhi 'And what. born of concentration. at that moment. he enters and remains in the fourth jh›na. he enters and remains in the second jh›na. filled with delight and joy. remaining imperturbable. he enters the third jh›na. When the mind is well concentrated. perceive. enters and remains in the first jh›na. to meditate. The stages of jh›na are differentiated by the presence of these factors. It would probably be more helpful to think of jh›nas in terms of increasing degrees of peace. having put aside hankering and fretting for the world. 8.. born of detachment. mindful and clearly aware. This section is a recapitulation of the entire Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. In it's widest sense jh›na means absorption including even very momentary experiences of one-pointedness. a monk abides contemplating body as body. he abides contemplating states of mind as states of mind. And that.
As the meditator acclimatizes to this peaceful. living mystery. and empathy. 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. investigating the 'causes' of suffering. A very important state to develop in terms of Samm›–sam›dhi is called upac›ra sam›dhi => PTS. understanding. However. trying to ignore them. entrance. compassion. yet engaged state. the word sam›dhi is often used interchangeably with jh›na and there are uncountable numbers of sam›dhis. Our very investigation of the first two noble truths supports a deepening sense of engagement and profound connectedness. presence is the optimal state in which to deepen insight. just as it is. In the Mahayana traditions. or letting be. the sukha drops away. discrimination. access. Without needing to emphasise vitakkha or vic›ra. Eventually. neighbourhood. 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. forgiveness. the vitakkha and vic›ra can begin to feel a bit gross and unnecessary and they begin to drop away. and generally becoming lost in all the other common reactions of irritation. presence. In this way the experience of suffering can ennoble us. 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. it gives us 46 . In the Abhidhamma traditions there seem to be very technical definitions as to what is jh›na and what is not. practice. goes quickly to a peaceful alive state where there is pıti. upac›ra. As this understanding flowers in our actual experience. The Buddha enunciated this in eight steps calling it The Eightfold Noble Path. use of. like a rainbow vanishing. means. qualities such as openness. endless. However all the factors of jh›na are present and the five hindrances are not manifesting. Deepening further. even the pıti seems to be crude and it dissolves in the increasing subtlety leaving just sukha and upekkha. the mind. love. leads to a deepening sense of embeddedness in a beginingless. habit. leaving just upekkha. and avoidance coupled with feelings of victimization and helplessness. clear. anger. In this way. Having tasted the nectar of letting go. 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. There is nothing inherently noble about suffering. Here is the second great ennobling of our being. The Four Noble Truths could be thought of as four truths or aspects of life experience that can potentially ennoble us. way. We might meet them with wide open curiosity and interest instead of being afraid of them. sukha and upekkha. application. conduct. This gentle grappling with suffering will gradually lead to a flowering of many qualities such as patience. approach. 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. Our faculties of empathy and appreciative understanding nourish a sense of well-being in the midst of an increasing range of situations and circumstances. This calm. into life. we might have the courage to explore the states of suffering that arise in the course of our lives rather than running from them. access. awakeness.presence of equanimity or oneness. Looking into the causes of suffering will lead us to a deepening experience of the interconnectedness of everything.
contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally.for three months. (Conclusion) 46. It is well worth studying in order to open one's understanding of the Four Noble Truths in a vast and universal way.for five months. 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. this is the direct path for the purification of beings.. one or two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now.. or if there is a trace of clinging left. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors.. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. for the realisation of Nibb›na – namely. for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation. "Let alone seven years. This is the fourth great enrichment or ennoblement of our being. “In this way he abides. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the four Noble Truths. (Continuing with the Majjhima Nik›ya version) 45. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. non-return. moving to other countries and cultures. And he abides independent. The Four Noble Truths are the heart teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha and are revered by every school of Buddhism.. for the attainment of the true way. "So it was with reference to this that it was said: 'Bhikkhus. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. Here it is explained that there are many different world systems or modes of experience. In the Tibetan teaching it is said that one should focus not on the words but on the meaning behind the words... If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven months..for half a month.for one month. bhikkhus. "Bhikkhus. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven days. for the disappearance of pain and grief.. As his teachings flourished and evolved.. one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now. non-return. if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven years. or if there is a trace of clinging left... universal vision you find in Chapter 8 of the Avatamsaka or Flower Ornament Sutra. This section of the Avatamsaka hints at the meaning behind the words. this rather barebones expression was elaborated into the vast. or if there is a trace of clinging left. 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. not clinging to anything in the world.knowledge to be able to meaningfully help others..for six months. bhikkhus. "Let alone half a month. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally..for four months. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed Ones words. the four foundations of mindfulness..for two months. 47 . one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now." That is what the Blessed One said. 47.
I do hope they will encourage you to investigate further. Final knowledge here and now indicates that there is no higher teaching. The seven days is a short time and indicates how realisation is to be experienced in the here and now. Full realisation of this practice will enable one to live well in the midst of a world that is constantly changing. One can live with impermanence and death. richness and pragmatic straightforwardness of the Buddha's teaching. I pray that this manual will be a support to your ongoing study and meditations. seven months … seven days. It is fresh and available to any who are free to ask question. we would eventually come to experience what the Buddha was trying to point to throughout his forty years of teaching. monks and nuns in particular. reading and putting into practice these notes on the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. This is referring to the state of An›g›mi. they would realise either final knowledge here and now. Some people. If there is a trace of clinging left. If you are just beginning your explorations of Buddha Dharma. support the flowering of wisdom and compassion in all beings. I hope these notes will enrich your contemplations. In Buddhist terms. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. with best wishes Tarchin May any merit arising through writing. SARVAMANGALAM 48 . or simply burying oneself in never ending reactivity and busyness. without shutting down. and impossible for any single being to control. yet again. or escaping into fantasy. the collected teachings of the Buddha is quite vast occupying thousands of pages of print. 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. If you already have a background of meditative experience. this is referring to the state of nibb›na or the state of Arahat. I am struck. spend significant amounts of their adult lives studying these texts yet if we were to lose all of them but one. by the clarity. if we then put the teachings of this sutta into practice in a thorough and ongoing way. then full realisation will come at the moment of dying. The text concludes with what today might be considered as a product guarantee. or if there is a trace of clinging left. the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta.The Pali Cannon. unpredictable. non-return. The Buddha states that if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness for seven years. Afterthought Reading through these notes.
1993 Davids. NZ. 1995 49 . Sri Lanka. 1976 Originally published in 1956 and 1964 in Sri Lanka Thomas Cleary. Natural Awakening Wangapeka Books Nelson. Kinmount Ontario. MÒlamadhyamakak›rika of N›g›rjuna. Motilal. The Path of Freedom (Vimuttimagga). Banarsidass Pub. Berkeley. California. 2000 Tarchin Hearn. The Flower Ornament Scripture (Avatamsaka Sutra) Shambhala. Buddhist Publication Society. NZ. Wangapeka Books. Sri Lanka. Nelson. 1995 Bhadant›cariya Buddhaghosa. 2004 Tarchin Hearn. The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nik›ya) Wisdom Publications. Berkeley & London. Kandy. 1975 Tarthang Tulku. Wangapeka Books. The Path of Purification (Visuddhi-magga). Delhi. Part 1 and 2. Pali Text Society. Boston & London. 1987 Tarchin Hearn. Daily Puja Fourth Edition. Body. The Breath of Awakening Bodhi Publishing. The Miracle of Mindfulness Beacon Press.Bibliography Bhikkhu Bodhi and Bhikkhu Ñ›˚amoli. Shambhala.W. London. NZ.R. 2005 Tarchin Hearn. Boston. Speech and Mind Bodhi Publishing. 2004 Ñ›namoli Thera. Boston. 1991 Namgyal Rinpoché. Dharma Publishing. 1981 N›rada Mah› Thera. 1992 Namgyal Rinpoché. 1978 Arahant Upatissa. The Long Discourses of the Buddha (Dıgha Nik›ya) Wisdom Publications. Wangapeka Books. Kandy Sri Lanka. 1979 Thich Nhat Hanh. Breathing: The Natural Way to Meditate Revised Edition. T. & Stede. Buddhist Publication Society. Growth and Unfolding Revised Edition. Kum Nye Relaxation. Vols one and two. 1977 Maurice Walshe. Kandy. Boston. W. A Manual of Abhidhamma. Kinmount Ontario. Nelson. Mindfulness of Breathing (ﬁn›p›nasati) Buddhist Publication Society. 1995 David Kalupahana. The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary.
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