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abhidhamma notes compiled at The Dharma Centre of Canada in 1976 after a three month study with Namgyal Rinpoché (unpublished) Vis – The Visuddhimagga - The Path of Purification (A greatly revered compilation of the Buddha's teachings, originally written by the Venerable Buddhaghosa.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