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Satipa˛˛h›na Foundations of Mindfulness
A Manual for Meditators
compiled and annotated by
Karunakarma Series: Volume I Foundations of Mindfulness: A Manual for Meditators
© Tarchin Hearn 2000, 2007
Karunakarma means compassionate activity, the work of compassion, or compassion at work. The Karunakarma Series is a collection of coil bound notes and articles that can be used for study or as teaching aids. Some of the series is available in e-book form from the Wangapeka website. May these writings water the seeds of wisdom and compassion for the benefit of all beings.
Published by Wangapeka Books Available from: Wangapeka Educational Trust R.D. 2 Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand tel. 03 522 4221 e-mail <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.)
This is the Second Noble Truth. he explored in a very pragmatic and factual way. Everything lives by eating. Gradually we come to experience directly the interbeingness of the physical body. he then clearly understood the path to the cessation of suffering. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. Here. 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. responsive. awareness into the midst of activity. Through the very act of bringing a profound degree of friendly enquiry to every moment of experience. This is the Third Noble Truth. Abandoning religious and philosophical preconceptions. discovering profound and essential keys for living well. All things wear out. all physical bodies reveal themselves to be beginningless. These contemplations and enquiries eventually lead to a place of deep stillness and calm. and. and impossible for any single being to control? How can one live with impermanence and death. 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. the fact that the body is a co-operative endeavour of many parts and processes. mind and activities became a laboratory for experimentation and observation. embedded in a vast interconnected. Here we investigate and make friends with the entire phenomena of breathing. in the process. The next step is to learn to carry this clear. Of course. interdependent universe. It then directs us to an exploration of the physical body through ﬁn›p›nasati or mindfulness of breathing. who eventually became known to us as the Buddha. 5 . This is the Fourth Noble Truth. or escaping into fantasy. unpredictable. be they physical or mental. His own body. The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta sketches out this very practical path of awakening. On reflection. coupled with partial views. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. The text begins with where to meditate and how to sit. he investigated the processes of body and mind in minute detail. with tremendous clarity and attentiveness. These studies can lead to the dropping of unhelpful attitudes and assumptions that we may have about the body. This is the First Noble Truth. endless arisings. there will be unavoidable unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha). clinging or grasping. He described this as the Eight Fold Noble Path.Introduction Two thousand five hundred years ago. How can one live well in a world that is constantly changing. trying to understand the roots of dissatisfaction and suffering. He came to see the fundamental causes of dukkha. he came to realise the cessation of suffering. without shutting down. speech. Collision produces friction. namely. Everything is eaten. 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. Eventually. even if you had the best map in the world. was driven to grapple with some of the great conundrums of life. The Buddha saw that wherever there are formations. Eventually he came to understand what he later referred to as The Four Noble Truths. letting his immediate actual experience guide the search. He looked deeply into the moment by moment experience of living. a man. you still would have to do the journeying yourself.
you will come to see the very ordinary things in life as extraordinary miracles. 1 6 . the lover and explorer of life. he taught us Satipa˛˛h›na as well as the classical Vajray›na systems. will surely find useful guidance and inspiration in this text. The realisation of the unity of compassion and emptiness. Mongolia and in the Shingon tradition of Japan. the extraordinary will reveal itself to be absolutely ordinary. leads to realisation. This is the name of the form of Buddhism that was found in Tibet. The spirit of Mahayana rests in seed form within the Satipa˛˛h›na. It contains within it the Vajray›na traditions. the complex phenomena of Nature unfolding. Consequently. Blending the pragmatic analysis of the scientist with the ecstatic union of the mystic. these views won't stand up to close scrutiny. 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. Any person with an open heart and passion for enquiry. In the realm of what might be called sectarian Buddhism. 3 Mah›y›na => The Great Vehicle This is the form of Buddhism that is practised outside the Therav›din countries. nor is it necessarily divorced from the awe and wonder that arise when we meet with vast unfathomable mystery. one then. This is the name commonly given to the forms of Buddhism found in Myanmar (Burma). 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. feelings and mindstates. I feel extremely fortunate that my root teacher/lama the Ven. is implicit in this sutra. the meditator then begins to explore the mystery of mind. With a deepening wonder for the body and an increasing equanimity in the area of evaluation we are invited to meet the play of mindstates. the process whereby likes and dislikes emerge. many so called Vajray›na2 students have little. the huge array of emotions and qualities of mind that so colour and sometimes dictate human experience. who is wrestling with what it means to live meaningfully in a world that is being shaped by blind grasping and widespread ignorance. 2 Vajray›na => 'The diamond vehicle'. to some. It is not particularly a religious path. Simply by deepening one's understanding.Having investigated the miracle of form. begins to investigate the unimaginable vastness of dharmas. Thailand and Sri Lanka. Unfortunately. Jesus once said that the truth alone shall set you free. by doing this again and again and acclimatising to this way of being. This is the way of the mystic scientist. it is a way that is as vital and precious today as it was back at the time of the Buddha. seems devoid of devotion and compassion! But is this really the case? Actually. the very heart of Vajray›na. Therav›din => 'The way of the Elders'. Finally. Over the many years of studying and practising these two great treasuries of awakening. equipped with a functional ongoing awareness of body. It is considered to be the most ancient Buddhist tradition and has preserved the Pali sutras. The sutra directs us to examine the feeling or evaluation function. the Satipa˛˛h›na is often seen as belonging to the Therav›din1 tradition. and learning to rest easefully and alertly with whatever is arising. or no time for this teaching of bare insight which. Namgyal Rinpoché underwent his early monastic training in Burma.
sacred lore. flowing. "origin". alertness. in special sense "received through inspiration or revelation". wakefulness of mind. the rich interdependent weaving that is this present arising moment. As one one's experience with each of these four deepens. self possession.The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta In Buddhism the suttas or sutras generally refer to the collection of discourses given by the Buddha. memory. It was hundreds of years before any of them were written down. 'Pa˛˛h›na' is a study of causal or conditional relations. It was probably very close to the actual language that the Buddha spoke. At this point the practice moves from being an effortful meditation to effortless contemplation arising in the midst of whatever is occurring. They were originally memorised and passed down from teacher to student in an unbroken flow of oral transmission. Pali is the language that the Buddhist Sutras were preserved in. continuum will come to the fore. 'setting up of mindfulness'. 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. It could also indicate setting forth in the sense of “laying out for examination". Sutta => Pali Text Society Dictionary (PTS). four basic areas of human experience. conscience. learning. creative. states of mind. revelation. Suta => PTS. narrational) part of the Buddhist Scriptures containing the suttas or dialogues. it will be clear that they are continuously shaping and affecting each other. both physical and mental. feeling/evaluation. 1. and objects of mind. Gradually a rich sense of how they weave together and support each other in an unbroken. the title of the 7th book of the Abhidhamma. interrelatedness of things' or another possibility. I will use both terms interchangeably. 7 . Bhikkhu Bodhi defines it as 'attentiveness directed to the present'. one is encouraged to thoroughly explore. lucid and intimate way. cause. Considering a more literal interpretation of Satipa˛˛h›na we might get . inspired tradition. self-consciousness. later called the Sutta-pi˛aka. the word for sutta is sutra and in this text. taught. recognition. recognition of how a complex weaving of factors is comprising this present moment'. alertness in the presence of the interdependent. Setting forth could indicate setting forth on a journey. Pa˛˛h›na => PTS. It's a contemplation of all the causal factors. In later meaning. religious knowledge Sati => PTS. the (discursive. In order to bring increasing clarity and discrimination to this investigation of what is actually happening right now. 'an alert. a thread or string 2. intentness of mind. learned. In combination with sati. 'a lucid. In the Abhidhamma. mindfulness. heard. consciousness. In Sanskrit. setting forth. The experiential essence of Satipa˛˛h›na involves the process of knowingly entering. that support or contribute to the arising of any particular thing. wakeful. the seventh book. starting point. again and again (anusati – remembering). body. Try rearranging the various definitions and see what different flavours of meaning you can come up with. lucidity of mind. putting forward. in an unbiased.
It's as if the curiosity. the four foundations of mindfulness direct path ek›yana magga sometimes translated the one way. ones who are moved to investigate the universe. you do get this sense of wondering. When it comes to question. however they find it. to Nibb›na purification of beings – Traditionally this means to free beings from greed. Thus have I heard. for the attainment of the true way. the Buddha. then you are Bhikkhu in spirit and this sutra is addressed to you. Bhikkhu is often translated as 'homeless one' or wanderer. When we are unconscious or unaware of areas that shape our lives. that is naturally present in any well loved child. to investigate the universe. This teaching was and still is. 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. almsman. for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation. honesty and interest. Wonder forth for the benefit of the many folk.1. Try to read it as if the Buddha was here in your presence speaking personally to you and your friends. 'Ehi Bhikkhu' and snap his fingers.the activity of good dharma. or not. good or excellent. 'Come. Bhikkhu => PTS. a Buddhist monk or priest. with engaged passion. there is little or no freedom. wander forth for the benefit of the many folk. said to have been a town in the vicinity north of present day Delhi. hatred and delu8 . The Tibetan word for bhikkhu is gelong and stretching the derivation a bit. Whether you are male or female. Are you actually free to ask question? Are you genuinely interested in life. the only way. unawareness. “Bhikkhus. Dge. The Blessed one said this: Kamm›sadhamma literally . Most people are quite constrained in their questioning. 2. means virtuous. Slong. would say. one who asks for something. then you will be able to put this teaching to good use immediately. or achieving a 'correct' result. with silent s. Then. most people are often more concerned about finding an answer. mendicant. 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. avoiding discomfort. Question. as it arises. the d is silent.” they replied.' And that was it! In English the word wander is very close to wonder. we are not capable of investigating them as they simply don't exist for us. addressed to ones who are free to ask question. Namgyal Rinpoché once paraphrased gelong as "one who is free to ask question". for the realisation of Nibb›na – namely.e. ask for. entry into the Order of monks was marked by a very simple ceremony compared to how it's done today. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Kuru country at a town of the Kurus named Kamm›sadhamma. wish. for the disappearance of pain and grief. In this unconscious. the path that goes only one way i. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: “bhikkhus. whether you are ordained as a monk or nun.” – “Venerable sir. explore the universe for the benefit of the many folk. the sole way. means to want. At the time of the Buddha. or pleasing the teacher or whoever is seen as the authority. this is the direct path for the purification of beings. if you are courageous enough to question deeply. if you are interested in realising the cessation of suffering for yourself and all beings.
“What are the four? Here. trouble. fully aware. from suc. body. distress. a feeling. mourning lamentation parideva => PTS. => PTS. or active ignoring. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. and mindful. emancipation. painful. victory. peace. grief. having put 9 . having put away covetousness and grief for the world. salvation and bliss Nibb›na or nirv›na is often spoken of as if it were a transcendent state. and mindful. Pure in this sense means 100%.space. whether a human being. and mindful. unpleasant. It is also do-able by anyone willing to make the effort. I'm reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh's statement. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings. feelings. hatred and delusion 4. In western cultures the understanding of purity is inevitably mixed up with ideas of impurity or defilement. later in the sense of burning grief. Nirv›na. of security. wailing Walshe translates this as sorrow and distress. a tree. 1. Do you want peace? Have you become tired of the suffering. the sense of bodily well-being 3. => PTS .bad and kha . peace is with you now. lamentation. To be purified is to be 100% present with no additives of fantasy. from du . ardent. "If you want peace. health. mental pain as opposed to physical pain." 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. One realises nibb›na. the madness of a human world that dedicates immense amounts of energy to making money from greed. Peanut Butter 100% Pure – no additives. fully aware. melancholy. and a huge amounts of value judgement. fully aware. dukkha true way – also right path. a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. To be pure is to be willing and able to be totally present for another being. hatred. consider what it means to be pure in terms of the ingredients listed on a package of food. states of mind and objects of mind. 2. to gleam. a sense of well-being and profound meaningfulness right here in the midst of life as one finds it. sorrow soka. discomfort. the flame of fire. It might say. hidden agendas. 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. This paragraph hints at something much more immediate. He abides contemplating mind as mind. dejectedness. suffering.sion. right method Nibb›na is the Pali for the more widely recognised Sanskrit word. by saying that the direct path for the realisation of "Peace" is to be found through bringing awareness into these four areas of. causing misery. the dying out in the heart of the threefold fire of greed. grief. To take it right out of this realm. This path is very practical. the going out of a lamp or fire. the sense of spiritual well-being. transcendent elsewhere. pain and grief dukkhadomanassa. unsatisfactoriness domanassa => PTS. ardent. ill. ardent. => an unpleasant state of mind and body Walshe => pain and sadness dukkha => PTS. bhikkhus. or a memory. fear and confusion? 3. sorrow.
presence. to lead a life This term 'abide' is used throughout the text. Thai teacher. 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'. the body as a body? Here a bhikkhu. or breathing out long. One who is "free to ask question" abides or leads their life. i. fully aware. 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. Having put away covetousness and grief for the world.away covetousness and grief for the world. ardent. states of mind and objects of mind. in general: to be. deliberate. Sometimes translated as "hankering and fretting for the world" or "hankering and dejection common in the world". or breathing out short. Fully aware is a translation of sampaj›na => PTS. ardent. fully aware. he understands: ‘I breathe in short’. dwell. sojourn (in a certain place).’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body [of breath]’. knowing. gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut. set his body erect.e. states of mind and phenomena. Ajahn Chah would say 'contemplating the body within the body' In other words. to live. having folded his legs crosswise. Mindfulness of Breathing 4. In a similar fashion one contemplates the feelings from within the direct experience of feeling. 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. Rephrasing the passage: One who is free to ask question abides. energetically. and so too. in a state of easeful. contemplating these four themes. engaged. and mindful. 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. and established mindfulness in front of him. mindful.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall 10 . having put away covetousness and grief for the world. one contemplates the body. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating. responsive. right in this very moment of contemplating. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body [of breath]. “And how. (CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY) K›y›nupassan› 1. but through experiencing. in other words not distracted or dispersed but focussed and present. moment by moment by moment. concentrated. He abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. The same formula is applied to feelings. he understands: ‘I breathe in long’. from within the body experience. and understanding directly how the body is. he understands: ‘I breathe out short. he understands: ‘I breathe out long. to stay. mindful he breathes out. abides viharati => PTS. ever mindful he breathes in. to behave. attentive. Breathing in long. not as an armchair theoretician thinking about how the body has been or how it could be. however we are abiding. attentive.’ Breathing in short. bhikkhus. thoughtful. sits down. with a passionate interest and energy. Mindful sati is sometimes translated as selfcomposed. abide.
’ First of all the Buddha tells us where to meditate. However these three are not just pleasant places to sit. This parallels a place in our experience where the unconscious and the conscious meet and interact. Branches. When we are lost in the underground of our being. Metaphorically. lianas. we need to open to this forest of interbecoming. ’I make a short turn’. It is a fruitful place in which to meditate. this is another very fruitful physical place and metaphoric space in which to meditate. we may feel we can see a long way but the roots of our being are often out of sight and we lose connection with the ground of being that we are rooted in. flowering plants.' Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice. In some texts the phrase is translated as 'an empty space'. To live and practice in a real forest. a vast interpenetration of bodies and consciousness -–– a well functioning. When we are high up in the branches. None of these places will be very useful for the many beings living in urban areas. where they can be experienced as not two but as a single interacting process. and so forth. giving birth to emotions. all mutually shaping each other. the womb of becoming. when making a long turn. a bhikkhu understands: ‘I breathe in long'…. large creatures and micro organisms. This is a 'place' where we can come to recognise the fundamental ground of being. Imagine a 'tree of life'. myriad forms of experience continuously coming into being and passing away. in a forest. Earth and roots are feeding branches and leaves. in order to significantly awaken. and everyone ultimately energised by transformed sunlight. This is pointing to a mental space that is uncluttered with 'shoulds' and 'oughts'. that we are. knowing and not knowing. moulding intentions. It is the point where the visible tree disappears into the earth or where the invisible tree emerges into the light. The root of a tree is a very stable place. so too. light and air are feeding the roots. It helps to meditate in a physical place that 11 . The root of a tree is another special place for insight. An empty hut is the third place that the Buddha suggests. a place where the conscious and unconscious are both available. promoting activity. the great forest of heart/mind. like T›ne Mahuta the great kauri tree in northland New Zealand. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation. there is little or no insight.he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation. birds. healthy ecosystem. at this place that borders both light and dark.. To sit here. Its roots are anchored deep in the earth. A place that is spacious and empty in the sense of being a place that has room for new insights and understandings. the ground of becoming.breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’. insects. They are not readily available. things growing in and on other things. However. leaves. This forest of knowing is a rich ecology of interdependent phenomena. shaping physiology. The forest symbolises the mind. It has a huge trunk that supports massive branches in which live numerous other forms of life. and being eaten by other life forms. a mode of being in which there is an appreciation for the profound interconnectedness of all arisings. going to a forest is to enter the forest of knowing. life forms eating other life forms. whether we are in an actual forest or in a city jungle. Thoughts are influencing feelings. Think of a dense jungle with huge trees. The ancient Buddhist texts often mention the "netted undergrowth" when referring to the intricate tangling of mental processes. breathing in long. groping blindly in the dark. understands. or at the root of a tree or in an empty hut or space. understands: ’I make a long turn’. can deeply enhance our explorations. but also a very dynamic place as nutriment of different kinds are simultaneously flowing upward and downward. or when making a short turn. outward and inward. They also symbolise inner qualities and attitudes that can profoundly support the natural flow of awakening.
With this understanding. Pureland. 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.1 So. they all encourage us to take up a posture that supports a sense of alertness and ease in both mind and body. Vajray›na is from vajra –– diamond. There are many teachings on posture and meditation. They could refer to three levels of psychological/spiritual maturity. When you are a mah›y›na meditator. and lying down. You may recognise you have moments of all of them. refers to a larger viewing of life. set your body erect. A being who is living the way of mah›y›na has already recognised something of the interconnectedness of the forest of life. are really living out a hiney›na view. from hina –– small and y›na –– vehicle. The prime motivation of this mah› mindset is compassion. the mah›y›na meditator brings compassion and clear seeing to these roots of the tree. in fact. 1 12 . from mah› –– great. Tibetan. in fact. then go to the forest. All three mindsets can be found in practitioners of Therav›din. When you are a vajray›na meditator. meditate in the midst of spacious openness. the text then recommends that we 'establish mindfulness in front'. in whatever way our body is 'disposed'. creative awareness dancing in the vast space of infinite possibility. A person who has this as their predominant attitude will do best to meditate in the forest. There is only a vast unshakeable space of lovingkindness/clarity/understanding. walking. there is no negativity to escape and no dysfunction to fix. Hiney›na. This is a very fruitful way of practising. or to the root of a tree. any school of Buddhism. standing. They are beginning to realise that it is not really possible to find peace without bringing peace to others as well. hiney›na. caught in continual self reference. Mah›y›na. The meditator with this vajra view will best unfold by meditating in this 'spacious openness of interbeing'. unshakeable. I have met 'vajray›na practicioners' who. hatred and confusion are the roots of the tree of suffering. With this in mind. In this sense it is a small or shrunken viewing of life. When you are being a hiney›na meditator. by hiney›na. in order to better understand and make peace with the myriad details and phenomena that comprise the forest of their experience. There are other ways we could understand these 3 places.is free from clutter. or to an empty space. In the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. these explorations need to be done while sitting. Having taken up a posture that supports a deep experiential investigation of the rich weaving of now. you 'sit down and having folded your legs crosswise. I am not referring here to the Therav›din tradition.' Here the text refers to your posture. In essence though. This really Just to be absolutely clear. They simply refer to three common psychological attitudes found in the human experience. go to the root of a tree. As we see in a later section. The unshakeable diamond vehicle is an attitude to life that knows everything to be inherently pure. This may be an unusual interpretation but I know Therav›din monks who are living expressions of vajray›na and conversely. Zen. refers to a mindset of being primarily concerned with one's own suffering and the possibility of getting free from it. mah›y›na and vajray›na should be understood without value judgement. obligations to fulfil and unfinished business to attend to. having gone to the forest. the Buddha is teaching skilful means. In this context. Understanding that greed. free from stuff that is repeatedly reminding us of things to do. This third place is one that supports the arising of new possibilities.
In other translations. Experiencing the bodily formations I shall breathe out'. in this case. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. To calm the body and breath means to make friends with the state of the body and breath just as you find them. ﬁn›p›nasati. Long and short are just examples. breathing in. However. 5. Noting the breath means to directly and intimately feel/sense the textures and sensations of rhythmic physical movements that altogether we call breathing. one realises one breathes out rough and shakily. the beginning. Here you begin to study and explore all the different rhythms and textures of breathing. Or as it says in this translation. not looking for a pre-conceived result. 1 13 . decreasing verbalisation. For example. To calm or 'tranquillise the body doesn't mean to fix it or to change it in any way. when you find tension in the body and breath. As you explore in this way. increasing absorption. the whole body refers to the whole physical body and the whole body of the breath. Calming the body. At this stage when you discover a blissful flow in the body and breath. The Natural Way to Meditate by Tarchin Hearn and in The Path of Purification. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. Here. the object of meditation. At this initial stage. 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. increasing calm 2. 'He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’. straight forward. As you practice this section on breathing. The Vissudhi-magga. one simply notes all the different types of breaths that can occur. and in Breathing. middle and end of both the inhalation and the exhalation. increasing clarity of mind 3. the rate of breathing will gradually slow down and settle. the breathing. we begin to feel more easeful with what we have and what we are. 'Experiencing the bodily formations I shall breathe in. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. When we cease rejecting difficult states that are present and cease wishing for states that aren't present. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. breathing out'.1 The text speaks of breathing in long and short.means that we are alert. 'Calming the body. when breathing in smooth and short. you will probably just enjoy it and settle more deeply into it. (less sense of separation between you the meditator and. this part says. "up front" in the sense of honest and not hiding anything. Without controlling the breathing in any way one simply experiences and notes the shape and quality of the in–breath and out–breath. this is the process of calming the body formations. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation'. “In this way he abides. one realises one is breathing in smooth and short.) 4.) 5. i. (Verbalisation is the tendency to create stories or to speculate about what is happening. 'I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body'. it becomes more and more apparent that the tensions of the body are shaping the breathing and vice-versa. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. The rest of the section introduces the meditation on the body through investigating the process of breathing. Gradually you begin to notice that your entire body is involved with breathing.e. five qualities will show you that you are on the right track. At this point you might think. 1. When breathing out rough and shakily. contemplating the body as a body internally. you might think. You also begin to notice the entire body of the breath. The two are not separate.
This paragraph directs us towards insight or vipassana which essentially means looking deeply into what is presently arising. inwardly. experience. For those who are familiar with the arising yoga practices in the Tibetan schools. This understanding of internally and externally can be applied to all the other sections of the sutta. or 'being' the breathing rather than watching it. 'Both internally and externally' is to contemplate both. that we could possess and preserve. simultaneously without conflict. this paragraph is repeated with virtually no changes. this interpretation perhaps leaves out some of the more subtle levels of meditation experience. will always reveal it to be an interdependent arising of many factors including the factors of our own perception and consciousness. or do this. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. It is not necessary to work with every aspect of the paragraph. Ajjhatta is the word being translated as internally. really means the activity of 'sighting into'. To contemplate the body 'externally' is to experience it 'objectively'. In each section of the sutta we are given an area to explore in a one-pointed. in terms of vipassana. this corresponds to 'front arising'. Insight meditation is often confused with looking for. It has an 'out there' quality. objective.. Looking/experiencing more deeply into any phenomena. as if you were an observer or a bystander looking from the outside. And he abides independent. To contemplate the body externally is to contemplate someone else's body. It solves a few problems such as how you would observe feelings or mental processes in another person without resorting to unverifiable 'psychic powers'. arises within (in contrast to anything outside. subjectively. nudging us towards insight. a verb. 14 . Internally and Externally: Most of the commentaries explain that to contemplate the body internally is to contemplate one's own body. Internally and externally. 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 do this. The text suggest you do this. or impersonal). => PTS. is recognising the fact that a meditator can and will experience from different viewing points. The extravert type finds their reality and sense of identity in the world of objective experience that can be shared and discussed with others. personal. and 'self arising' work and then experiencing them both. Internally and externally could be compared with Jung's concepts of introvert and extravert. This is perhaps the most important paragraph in the Satipa˛˛h›na. subjective. that are being pointed out here. Then. interior. Insight. Though there is much to be learned through practising in this way.. It is assumed that at least one of the seven suggestions will engage our attention... that which is personal. in other words as if from the inside. focussed way. The introvert type finds their reality or place of identity in their private and personal subjective experience. One might have the experience of 'being' one's body rather than observing it. It has an interior feel. sense oneself as one's body. To contemplate the body internally means to feel. or.extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. not clinging to anything in the world. It's a process. or getting insights as if an 'insight' was a special object or knowledge.
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. (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. then one can simply focus on the fact that: "There is a body" or 'This is a body'. To abide independent doesn't contradict the earlier contemplation of interdependent. In the Abhidhamma system the main causal factors in its arising are listed as ignorance. Wondrous. when standing. karma (activity) and food. Or. The paragraph finishes by saying that the bhikkhu abides independent. 15 . a bhikkhu understands: ‘I am walking’. or again he keeps on considering the coming into being with the passing away. or again he keeps on considering how the body is something that passes away. he understands: ‘I am standing’. in other words just holding the awareness without speculating or wandering. hatred and delusion. he understands: ‘I am lying down’. 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. In this section one contemplates the interdependent nature of the physical body. “Again.Arising and Vanishing Factors Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. fungi. when sitting. The Four Postures 6. the meditator contemplates these two processes as one inseparable whole. he understands: ‘I am sitting’. It is moulded by sun and gravity and the whole of the ecosphere. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. transient May it teach me wisdom." Here the meditator contemplates the many factors that together support the arising of a body and or the factors that support its dissolving. bacteria. or he understands accordingly however his body is disposed. craving. by thoughts and dreams. not clinging to anything in the world. when lying down. Not clinging to anything in the world particularly means not identifying as "self" any of the five aggregates or skandhas (see p 29) 2. when walking. It is a union of uncountable viruses. Here it means independent of states of greed. to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. It is conditioned by families. bhikkhus. not involved with them. cells tissues and organs. It is an interbeing of all these processes from micro to macro. plants and animals. by societies. recognising that every state of 'being' is a coming into being of something and a simultaneous passing away of something else.
waking up. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. standing etc. standing. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. consuming food.Here one continues the exploration of breathing but now taking the practice into whatever posture you happen to be in. contemplating the body as a body internally. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. who acts in full awareness when eating. revealing ways. 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.e. who acts in full awareness when flexing and extending his limbs. The body is never static. falling asleep. The body is an interbeing of innumerable factors. One activity at a time. 9. All sorts of muscular movements and adjustments are needed to rest in any particular position. understand. All Activities 8. One breath at a time. You need to be able to see the ordinary. distinguish. This is an area in which many people find gathas or short memory verses to be useful. you will notice all kinds of shifts and changes. Because the ordinary is so habitual and familiar. sensitive. “In this way he abides. Thich Nhat Hanh's book "The Miracle of Mindfulness" gives many excellent hints for supporting this section's explorations.. sitting. is needed in order to experience these familiar postures in fresh. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. To deepen this work it helps if you can remember to do one thing at a time and give it all of your attention. really drink tea. drinking. walking. With this section the meditator brings awareness into all the activities of daily life. contemplating the body as a body internally. To "understand" you are sitting means to have a rich interior awareness of the physical sensations of sitting. new. a lot of awake. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. give all your attention to washing dishes. and tasting. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. The posture shifts in response to the breathing. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing 16 . 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. come to know. who acts in full awareness when walking. to know. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. who acts in full awareness when looking ahead and looking away. “Again. When washing dishes. bhikkhus. “In this way he abides. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. The breathing shifts in response to the posture. The word translated as understanding is paj›nati => PTS. and keeping silent. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. as extraordinary. 7. Even when lying down if you give your attention to the detail of what is happening. i. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. Kum Nye. 3. not clinging to anything in the world. talking. who acts in full awareness when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl. a bhikkhu is one who acts in full awareness when going forward and returning. attention to detail. And he abides independent. find out. a Tibetan form of body awareness work or Feldenkrais 'Awareness Through Movement' or any other body awareness practice can help to augment this section.
grease. skin. phlegm. spittle. snot. and urine. tears. One begins with the 'skin pentad'. a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair. nails. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. When the mind stabilises in observing this pentad. tears. bones. 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. large intestines. teeth. bhikkhus. sinews. pus. bile. grease. so too.144 and in 'The Vimuttimagga' The Path of Freedom. spleen. bounded by skin. oil of the joints. bile. as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head hairs. millet. body hairs. red rice. contents of the stomach. oil of the joints. fat. large intestines. slimy and unmentionable in polite company! I have noticed that even well educated. brain. teeth. head-hairs. spleen. flesh. and a man with good eyes were to open it and review it thus. kidneys. p170 . then one begins to include the 'kidney pentad'. these are beans. not clinging to anything in the world. beans. and white rice. liver. grease. a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair. bile.177. The classical method of practising this meditation is described in detail in 'The Visuddhimagga' The Path of Purification. 4. faeces. Then add the 'brain pentad'. bone-marrow. faeces.’ This section is traditionally referred to as the meditation on the foulness or repulsiveness of the body. And he abides independent. diaphragm. Originally it was for counteracting lust and excessive infatuation for the "bodybeautiful". and urine. teeth. modern people often relate to their body in a very superficial way. this is red rice. diaphragm. liver. blood. this is millet. reciting it forward and back. sweat. again going forward and then all the way back. heart. nails. nails. bones. the description of this meditation is very extensive. blood. section VIII 42 . snot. contents of the stomach. pus. spittle. body hairs. such as hill rice. they are squeamish about what's inside. body-hairs. sweat. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. It encourages the meditator to investigate the reality of a body made of parts. as if it were only what appears to them in a mirror.’ Just as though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of many sorts of grain. bones. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. tears. these are peas. small intestines. spleen. phlegm. liver. oil of the joints. While lavishing attention on the outer skin and the various adornments that clothe it. spittle. even a hundred thousand times. small intestines. lungs. “Again. lungs. Lastly the 'urine sestad'. peas. blood. and urine. 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. this is white rice’. fat. pus. many of them smelly. ‘This is hill rice. For it is through verbal recitation that the 17 . Then the 'fat sestad'. Then one adds the 'lights or lungs pentad'. lungs. a thousand times. diaphragm. often don't want to know about. bounded by skin. phlegm. snot. Here. fat. The text says: "The recitation should be done verbally in this way a hundred times. sweat. contents of stomach. large intestine. as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head hairs. faeces. Foulness or Repulsiveness: The Parts of the Body 10. One goes forward to kidneys and then all the way back to head-hairs. small intestines.factors.
often doesn't help people who are coming from these backgrounds. Also. shaping their lives. Body-scan in four parts and the Inner Smile. I find the out. discerning it clearly as to colour. symbiotic dancing of plants and animals. This meditation in its classical form. the meditator looks more carefully into each part. 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. And came to release all lustful selfish clinging to this walking breathing corpse. And looking in. blood and bone are the temporary arrangement of carrots. the parts become evident. shape. direction. They need to cultivate lovingkindness.) All this detailed attention to and investigation of grease. not a sense of foulness and repulsion. Miraculous voyagings of stardust atoms. this meditation could go in a very different direction: The ancients said. 'Awareness Through Movement' work 18 . A bag of faeces. My muscles and tissues. blood etc. My breath is the breath of the rainforest. insects. spittle. Many people today have a lot of aversion." Once the verbal recitation has been well established. 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. of vomit. fats and oils. (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) If the classical form of this meditation doesn't engage you in a positive way. look at that body. molecules. They are frequently quite out of contact with their bodies and seem to spend much of their time in their 'heads'. those monks of old. it may then become internalised as a mental recitation. both described in Natural Awakening can be very fruitful ways of working. fish and herbs on the way to being worms. full of filth. My excretions the banquet of others. At this point. Water cycles. There is already too much of that in their being. Foul. Feldenkrais. gases. birds and trees. cells and organs.meditation subject becomes familiar and. though I should say that it is potentially a very wonderful and rich practice. urine and blood. corrupt. the mind being thus prevented from running here and there. And so they did. hatred. How vast and wondrous! And so they do. anger. Today the teachers say. look at that body. and fear energy. emphasising foulness and repulsiveness. gradually establishes the body as something that is asubha "not-beautiful" and one experiences great detachment from it. location and delimitation (distinguishing it from other similar parts. With modern medical knowledge and tools. people need to get into wholesome contact with the wondrous miracle which is their body. chemical cycles. For deep healing. snot.
solid. flame. the fire element. “In this way he abides. breadth. 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. These control the maturing and progression of the body. And he abides independent. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.can greatly augment this meditation as can Kum Nye. Air element v›yo-dh›tu 19 .’ This meditation is outlined in detail in the Visuddhimagga XI. contemplating the body as a body internally. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. 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. i. however it is placed. dh›tu => element. so too. as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element.=> PTS from ap. 5. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. 11. to come in. firm T-Abd notes – Pa˛h›vi => the degree to which space is occupied a – extension ie. not clinging to anything in the world. as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element. fire. a bhikkhu reviews this same body. “Again bhikkhus. a Tibetan system of body awareness work. thickness etc. b – density ie. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. however disposed. the water element. Water element ›po-dh›tu ›po. however disposed. and the air element. Elements 12. It's attributes are fluidity and contraction. expansion. hardness. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. extension. Eventually the meditator comes to experience their body not as his or her body in the conventional sense of "having a body" but as a dance of the four elements which arise dependent on many causes and conditions. Fire element tejo-dh›tu tejo => PTS from tij. to arrive. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. metabolic processes of catabolism and anabolism. dimension. to pierce. and the air element. a bhikkhu reviews this same body. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. attraction. however it is placed. pa˛h›vi => PTS from puthu or prath – to expand. to be sharp. Earth element pa˛havı-dh›tu. It is the vitalising energy and determines the life span and degeneration of matter. gravitational pull T-Abd notes – water element is the intangible cohesive or binding tendency which gives rise to the body of something. tejo => "sharpness" heat. light. the broad one.e. the water element. softness These are the two relative conditions of this 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. pa˛h›vi => the earth. the fire element. radiance T-Abd notes – Tejo is the heat element and applies to all temperature ranges.
" In the traditional meditation you could think of the elements as being inner qualities that together give shape and form to anything. one. It is seen in the body as movement. consciously breathe in and out a few times while contemplating how this food or drink has come to be here. and oozing matter. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. XI 39. The story of potato. dancing together in complex ways giving rise to the temporary appearance of bodies. contemplating the body as a body internally.14. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. "What has the characteristic of stiffness is the earth element. what has the characteristic of ripening (maturing) is the fire element. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. and from v›. what has the characteristic of distending (supporting) is the air element. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. Vis. two. livid.v›yo => PTS from v›y.' 15. The liquids in one's body were once a cloud. the tears in another being's eyes. water and air and the elements of these have all been born in stars! 13. 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. we understand the body to be a dynamic process of transformation. to weave. The heat of the sun is the ultimate source of energy. Before bringing the food to your mouth. “In this way he abides. it can be very valuable to contemplate the four elements in an outer way. Although it was not really the traditional approach. These explorations require a very focussed and subtly discerning attentiveness otherwise they can drift into the realm of philosophical thinking and speculation. move and oscillate. Or else he abides contemplating in 20 . "Again. “In this way he abides. All these elements are continuously flowing through the ecosphere. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. which creates sugars which are released as heat and energy in our bodies through metabolism. Air is composed of chemical elements and compounds which themselves are interbeing with other systems and processes. bhikkhus. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. bloated. a snow field. earth. not clinging to anything in the world. what has the characteristic of cohesion is the water element. to vibrate. This is the vibratory aspect. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. 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 not exempt from that fate. And he abides independent. Meditating in this way. Eating and drinking is an obvious time for exploring this meditation. it will be like that. or three days dead. powering photosynthesis. We are literally a weaving of sunlight. a river flowing to the sea. 6 . The Nine Charnel Ground Contemplations 14. interdependent with everything else in the world. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. contemplating the body as a body internally.
In ancient days the meditator would go to a charnel ground where there were human bodies in various stages of decay and decomposition. And he abides independent. there a thigh-bone. it is not exempt from that fate. And he abides independent.. being devoured by crows. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. I remember many years ago when emerging from the train station in Calcutta. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. Today one has to practise in one's imagination. the colour of shells. And he abides independent.. held together with sinews. There. 16. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally.a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood. a skeleton with flesh and blood. or various kinds of worms. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. “In this way he abides. there a jaw-bone. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.. it will be like that. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. vultures. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature.the body its arising factors. 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. not clinging to anything in the world. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.bones heaped up.. 21 . go I.' The Charnel Ground Contemplations known as asubha (not beautiful) study the body as it disintegrates after death. bones bleached white. here an arm-bone.. held together with sinews. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. here a tooth. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. “In this way he abides. there a shoulder-bone.. hawks. here a neck-bone. it is not exempt form that fate. This stimulated much contemplation..bones rotted and crumpled to dust.. jackals. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.' 25. here a hip-bone. but for the grace of God.a skeleton without flesh and blood. 26-30 "Again. it will be like that. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. not clinging to anything in the world. "Again. there a foot-bone.. there a skull – a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature.. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. If you see the corpse of an animal you can use it as a stimulus for developing this meditation. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. dogs. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally."Again. it will be like that. held together with sinews. there a back-bone. it is not exempt from that fate.' 17. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally.disconnected bones scattered in all directions – here a hand-bone. contemplating the body as a body internally. there a breast-bone. not clinging to anything in the world. more than a year old. 18.-24. contemplating the body as a body internally. here a rib-bone. the first thing I saw was a beggar's corpse being thrown into the back of a garbage truck. here a shin-bone.
The text refers to three types of vedan›. "to weigh it up" T–Abd notes – Vedan› is a conscious subjective impression prior to recognising or identifying an object. he understands: 'I feel a worldly painful feeling'. "And how bhikkhus. When you have a feeling it is going to rain 22 . Vedan› can be so fleeting and subtle that what we commonly perceive as vedan› is usually a stream of many similar vedan› moments. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly pleasant feeling'. People often confuse feelings with emotions. In the action of responding we belatedly recognise the vedan›.e. when feeling a neither-painful-nor pleasant feeling.' Vedan› => PTS. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. to any stimulus whether internally or externally arising. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. from ved or vid. You might think of it as an organism preservation mechanism. he understands: 'I feel a painful feeling'. contemplating the body as a body internally. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. to know. when feeling an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. he understands: 'I feel a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.e. vedan› is feeling but in the sense of evaluation. when feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling. As one can see by the PTS derivations above. And he abides independent. unpleasurable and neither pleasurable nor unpleasurable. when feeling a painful feeling. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. not clinging to anything in the world.' When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling.31. when feeling a worldly painful feeling. Moving away is unpleasurable and neither moving towards or away as neutral or indifferent. Pleasure furthers life. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating feelings as feelings? Here. a bhikkhu understands: 'I feel a pleasant feeling'. “In this way he abides. of all the parts and systems making up the organism. the moment of vedan› seems to come before one is even consciously aware of the object. A moment of vedan› emerges from the collective response. when feeling an unworldly painful feeling. (CONTEMPLATION OF FEELING) Vedan›nupassan› 32. It's what allows us to jerk our hand away from a hot stove element before it burns us. to sense. to feel. This response leads to the creature moving towards or away from the stimulus. 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. Pleasurable. Experientially. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. 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. he understands: 'I feel a worldly pleasant feeling'. to experience i. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly painful feeling'. when feeling a pleasant feeling. he understands: 'I feel a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling'.
The grief is actually in the longing. Unworldly feelings are feeling/evaluations arising in the life of a renunciate. When this happens we can begin to make bad 'decisions'. dukkha and anatt› through any of the six sense doors and then longing for liberation. Situations are then 'evaluated' on the basis of what will augment a relatively static and more or less defensive ego image. contemplating the feelings as feelings internally. A poorly functioning vedan› can cause no end of suffering. For example. Addictions to alcohol or to chronic activity or to junk food are examples of this. or he abides contemplating in feelings both their arising and vanishing factors. or he abides contemplating in feelings their vanishing factors. the renunciate will experience joy in discovering the truth of impermanence anicca. They are described in (MN 137. It sounds very straight forward but in practice. In vedan›nupassan› one simply notes the process of vedan›. rather than on the basis of what is good for the overall creative functioning of the organism. the 'six kinds of grief'. Or else he abides contemplating in feelings their arising factors. or he abides contemplating the feelings as feelings both internally and externally. The three types of vedan› of a householder refer to the common responses to sensory experience (liking. arising through any of the six sense doors. we can identify as pleasant. 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. There is grief when experiencing the anicca. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is feeling’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. According to the MN text. disliking. 33. Confusion and suffering can occur if the vedan› function becomes 'hijacked' by the ego. suffering dukkha. worldly and unworldly feelings Traditionally. 9 . something that is actually good for the organism and then back away from it. Their wrong reading of vedan› leads to all sorts of unskilful actions. the three types of vedan› for a person living the life of renunciation. We can identify as unpleasant. worldly feelings are described as feeling/evaluations arising in the life of a householder.15) under the 'six kinds of joy'. and nonabidingness anatt›. The six refer to the six sense doors. many beings don't know. There is equanimity on seeing that all sense objects are impermanent. something that is essentially bad for the organism and hence move towards it. experiencing it arise and pass without necessarily acting on it. It's as if it were asking: Is this situation or object life enhancing? Is it supportive? Is it dangerous to life? Is it neutral? Throughout life there is a constant stream of vedan› taking place. not clinging to anything in the world. Similarly. 23 .you don't usually mean you are having an emotion that it will rain. without any accompanying insight or understanding. An organism is constantly monitoring the inner and outer environment. especially in this day of powerful advertising and media manipulation. fading away and cessation. And he abides independent. and neutrality) arising through any of the six doors. They have lost touch with this basic life support function. “In this way he abides. or he abides contemplating the feelings as feelings externally. The Buddha once said that he knew the pleasant for the pleasant and the unpleasant for the unpleasant. subject to change. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating feelings as feelings. and the 'six kinds of equanimity'.
This mode or way of experiencing. from cit. you may feel an overall texture of knowing or experiencing. to think. " And how. He understands liberated mind as liberated mind. in the very presence of the mind state. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind as mind? Here a bhikkhu understands mind affected by lust as mind affected by lust. citta denotes both the agent and that which is enacted. open or closed. He understands contracted mind as contracted mind. the heart (psychologically) i. He understands exalted mind as exalted mind. In the direct experience of meditation you may not be able to precisely name the citta.e.e." In other words. Research into brain damaged people has shown that intellect without emotional content often loses its moral or value component. and mind unaffected by hate as mind unaffected by hate. and unsurpassed mind as unsurpassed mind. It may be something rough or bouncy or bubbly or bright or smooth or still. impulse. In this way. reaction to impressions. It may be focussed or diffused. colours our perception and helps shape the sense of meaning arising in any given situation. The state of mind roughly corresponds to what people consider their emotional state. He understands surpassed mind as surpassed mind. design. mood. cinteti. The meaning of citta is best understood when explaining it by expressions familiar to us such as: with all my heart. States of mind are like this. => PTS. however. He understands concentrated mind as concentrated mind. and distracted mind as distracted mind. Citta may therefore be rendered by intention. bhikkhus. thought. blessed are the pure at heart.CONTEMPLATION OF MIND Citt›nupassan› 34. and mind unaffected by lust as mind unaffected by lust. all of which emphasise the emotional and cognitive side of "thought" more than its mental and rational side. the 'state of mind'. the centre and focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations i. without departing from it. 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. could be thought of as the overall flavour or texture of mind." Citta. and unexalted mind as unexalted mind. The text gives only a very limited range of examples of possible states of mind. He understands mind affected by hate as mind affected by hate. "The bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind. state of mind. => PTS. If you wear a pair of pink ones the whole world appears to be tinted pink. Namgyal Rinpoché referred to citta in the context of Satipa˛˛h›na as 'state of mind'. disposition. It may be a more commonly named emotion. Citta is difficult to translate in one word while preserving its full meaning. If you have green ones the world is tinted green and grey ones tint the world grey. you the meditator understand that this particular 'state of mind' is present. and unliberated mind as unliberated mind. Citta => PTS. It's as if you were wearing anger glasses or happiness glasses or glasses of any other emotional texture. and mind unaffected by delusion as mind unaffected by delusion. appear. That's why the PTS dictionary speaks of "man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations. heart and soul. perceive. With the familiar 24 . He understands mind affected by delusion as mind affected by delusion. The translation we have here uses 'mind' for citta. I have not the heart to do it. Other translations use 'consciousness' or 'thought'. and unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated mind. Imagine that you had a collection of different colour tinted sunglasses.
he understands. or he abides contemplating in mind its vanishing factors. you will experience a greater and greater freedom from being blindly caught up in reaction. 'There is no sensual desire in me'. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is sensual desire in me'. and that they arise dependent on many different factors. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sensual desire. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned ill will. or he abides contemplating mind as mind both internally and externally. he understands. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen ill will. 35. Your body and feeling function are some of these factors. The Five Hindrances 36. CONTEMPLATION OF MIND-OBJECTS Dhamm›nupassan› 1. 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. You investigate the entire interbeingness of arising mind states. An exalted mind refers to states of absorption on fine material form rÒp›vacara. seeing and knowing that they are transient. or. A distracted mind refers to states of restlessness and worry. not clinging to anything in the world. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen ill will. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is ill will in me'. there being no sensual desire in him. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sensual desire. "And how. or emotional states. there being sensual desire in him. And he abides independent. there being ill will in him. Through dwelling in a continuum of awareness of the arising and passing of states of mind.' 25 . contemplating mind as mind internally. When you are exploring citt›nupassan›.emotions it is valuable to notice the texture rather than simply rubber stamping them with a label. bhikkhus. The liberated mind is referring to a degree of freedom from defilements either through jh›na or through insight. A contracted mind is referring to states of sloth and torpor. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is mind’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. there being no ill will in him. Or else he abides contemplating in mind its arising factors. This will encourage you to examine the state more closely. 'There is no ill will in me'. you begin to note the arising of mental states. 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. along with outer circumstances and situations. or he abides contemplating in mind both its arising and vanishing factors. or. and unconsciously projecting onto the object you are involved with. “In this way he abides.' "Here. An unexalted mind and a surpassed mind refer to the level of sense sphere consciousness k›mavacara. The unsurpassed mind is referring to the levels of absorption on immaterial form ›rÒp›vacara. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind. or he abides contemplating mind as mind externally. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sensual desire.
he understands. support: that which forms a foundation and upholds.' "Here. the section on dhamm›nupassan› begins with an exploration of the five gross hindrances. there being restlessness and worry in him. Buddhadhamma. mental attitude. => PTS. This is a more hidden source of suffering. the Dhamma or world wisdom/philosophy of the Buddha as contained in the Sutras. Thus by recognition of the truth. "rationality" any thing that is as it should be according to its reason and logicality i. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen restlessness and worry. and by him made intelligible to mankind as bodhi: revelation. there being both sloth and torpor in him. That which the Buddha preached. there being no restlessness and worry in him. immanent. objective. => PTS.e. anything that is not covered by k›ya. the Dhamma was the order of law of the universe. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is both sloth and torpor in me'. 'There is no sceptical doubt in me'. there being no sceptical doubt in him. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is restlessness and worry in me'. subjective. => PTS. vedan› and citta would come in this category. Dhamm›nupassan› particularly refers to the dharmas of awakening. idea. one moves on to investigate the five aggregates of clinging to a sense of self. uncreated. "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. he understands. Dhamma in Pali is the same as Skt.e. a study of the qualities of being that are inseparable from the experience of 26 . and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen restlessness and worry. In a sense. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is sceptical doubt in me'. from dh¸ (dh›reti) to hold. or. he understands. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sceptical doubt. or. not as interpreted by him only. the knower becomes the incorporation of the knowable. As this area becomes less of a problem the investigation turns to the positive. much less invented or decreed by him. dharma.' dhamma => PTS. Once there is a lessening of these tendencies. or purely mental phenomenon as distinguished from a psycho-physical phenomenon or sensation. this universal logic. The Buddha (like every great philosopher) is a discoverer of this order of the Dhamma. eternal. philosophy or righteousness in which the rational and the ethical elements are fused into one. Because for most beings. the difficulties or negativities are more obvious and more demanding. 'There is no sloth and torpor in me'. or. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor. This fourth foundation of mindfulness which has been translated here as awareness of 'mind-objects' could be thought of as awareness of phenomena. psychologically. Then the meditator investigates the realm of sensing and the reactions of greed. 'There is no restlessness and worry in me'. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sloth and torpor. In this sutta however. philosophy. thought. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sceptical doubt. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sloth and torpor. at the beginning. natural law. awakening. there being no sloth and torpor in him. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sceptical doubt. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned restlessness and worry. more in-your-face than the positive dharmas. hatred and delusion that commonly arise along with sensory experience. there being sceptical doubt in him. looking into the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. but intelligible to a mind of his range.' "Here. i."Here. truth and its recognition by the Buddha.
It can be very useful however to think of them as five common divisions of a single cycle of energy. lethargic. the culmination of the path. hatred. general chatter and so forth is usually a sure sign of k›macchanda. desire to injure. Although these five are usually taught in the context of meditation. k›macchanda => desire for sensing k›ma => sensing or sensual.e. We want to see. to understand clearly how they come into being. one comes to know directly the Four Noble Truths. It is a hindrance in that it is inevitably desire for something that is not currently present. If this goes on for too long it sucks up so much vital energy that we fall into the third hindrance. it's not uncommon to look outside the body for the cause or source of tension with the idea of getting rid of it. exhaustion. With each of these five. it pushes against the dam of tension–frustration and everything begins to tremble. At this point in the cycle it's as if the creative life energy has almost stopped flowing. Most people linger in this fifth state until another desire for sensing picks them up and they begin the cycle all over again. like a lotus padme. Hence the sense that ill-will is an expression of energy fields gone astray. Now we experience the fourth hindrance. One understands how to let go of and abandon a hindrance. desire. The vya is associated with the idea of gone astray. what triggers them. closed minded scepticism which is often accompanied by varying degrees of depression. If we are unaware of this happening. memories. malevolence. Five Hindrances Pañca Nıvara˚a One begins to explore the realm of Dharma by investigating the five hindrances. doing harm. 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. (see p 33) The five hindrances are often taught as if they were five completely separate types of experience. 27 . Finally one "understands how there comes to be the future non-arising of an abandoned hindrance. chanda => moon. plotting. see Breathing: The Natural Way to Meditate – p 56 1. in other words. how they manifest in the body and what are the accompanying mental attitudes. For a much more detailed description of the cycle of the five hindrances along with some hints at how to dissolve them. restlessness and worry. In the last section. P›da which means foot or base is symbolically referring to energy fields. making bad. the cycle begins with desire for something other than what is happening. associations and so forth." This last section refers to realisation of various stages of Path in which specific hindrances cease to arise again. planning. It's someone else's fault! This is the birth of the second hindrance. At this point. ill-will. a degree of frustration will augment the tension until it becomes physically unpleasant.dwelling in freedom. It's hard work to maintain the tensions of anger and ill-will. This yearning is not just mental but is also expressed physically in the body as a matrix of tensions. aspiration. one is directed to know when they are present and to know when they are not present. In brief. A yearning or reaching out takes place through one or more of the six sense doors. or taste or touch or know. If the desire is not fulfilled. a tired. – essentially through friendly non-clinging awareness. story making. This first hindrance is desire for experience at any one of the six sense doors. Verbalisation i. 2. ill-will. If there is still a spark of health in us. anger. they also arise in the general activity of one's daily life. we will find ourselves sinking towards the fifth hindrance. if we can't let go and relax into what is actually present. vy›p›da => ill will => PTS.
rigidity. It is an ambivalence that leads to mental paralysis 'can't do this. 5. bhikkhus. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. such its origin. such its disappearance. such their origin.. middha is a sleeping of the senses i. “In this way he abides. to become hard. depression and is the opposite of cittakammaññat› adaptability of mind. 37. conglomeration.can't do that. vedan›. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. incapable of function. agitated. and saºkhar›. Vicikicchati => to dis-reflect. Middha from middh => to be inactive. such its disappearance. not clinging to anything in the world.. shake off. 2. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging.' The Five Aggregates of Clinging Pañc'up›dd›nakkhandha Khandha (Pali) or skandha (Skt) => aggregate. an energyless unwieldyness resulting in a limp. Vicikicch› is the state of being incapable of deciding this is this and that is that. T. inert. the psychic picker. heap 28 . such its disappearance. the shrinking mind. such are the formations. And he abides independent. over + dhu=> to waver. fidgeting.... an unsettled state of mind. defensive state of mind. such their disappearance. what's the point?' It is the fundamental life doubt i. or the point in continuing with the practice. function. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. sickness of mind.. dullness. uddhacca-kukkucca => restlessness and worry T . or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. mental self-sacrificing.Abd notes – Thına => PTS. Vi expresses negation and ambivalence towards 'that which should be done'. trembly. perplexity. 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. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. such its disappearance. It is called citta gellaññaª. to be distracted in thought. Thına and middha are always in conjunction – a weak. doubt in existence or the possibility of awakening. such its origin. uncertainty. This is the opposite of sukha. ˛hına-middha => sloth and torpor. collection. Thına is very much an energy reference. Hence doubt. mania. tremble. above. a stickiness of mind. overly scrupulous. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. the psychic masochist. remorse.. essentially a state of tiredness. like a flurry of grey snowflakes. to congeal. sticky mind. to shrink. Kicca => PTS.3. 4.Abd notes – Uddhacca => from U => up. 'Such is material form. vicikicch› => sceptical doubt => PTS.e. a grieving kind of worry. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.e. such is feeling. a state of throwing up. perplexity. Kukkucca => worry. uncertainty. Thına is the opposite of viriya energy. that which should be done. such is consciousness. gathering. weak sañña. from the. sleepiness. such its origin. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. The Five Aggregates 38. or the validity of the teaching or the integrity or value of the teacher. such is perception. sorrow. unwieldy. "Again. such its origin.
persist and perish. sense. So rÒpapak›sane => a shining. recognition. RÒpa is also derived from rÒppak›sane => PTS. wavelengths. to shine forth. a statement. Avalokitesvara. a central text of Mahayana Buddhism. sense. 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. consciousness of diversity 4. RÒpa is that which breaks up or changes. explanation. a related word is sankhata => put to29 . The chief characteristic of sañña is identification or recognition. from saª (together. They are called 'aggregates of clinging' because each one can be a focus for clinging to the sense of a separate. to be visible. some with habit patterns and some with consciousness. five skandhas. attatchment In the Heart Sutra. clinging. According to legend. RÒpa perception springs from four sources. In the texts there is no universally applicable one meaning for rÒpa. with. and ›h›ra nutriment. a declaration.Pañca => five Up›dd›na => grasping. notion. RÒpa is a living force. the five categories hint at the myriad factors that weave together the human experience. RÒpa means both the fundamentals of matter and the laws and changes and processes of matter. independent. body. Vedan› => feeling/evaluation (see p 22) Sañña => perception. autonomous self or ego. Contemplating the five aggregates. Sankh›ra => PTS. citta. it will not perceive as wide a range of rÒpa. perception. perception. an announcement. conception. to break. utu seasonal phenomena i. into the fullness of the present moment. having insight) sañña =>PTS. he placed five piles of rice on the ground in front of him. making known. a field or sphere of colour va˚˚›yatana. It notes the qualities or characteristics of things. the bodhisattva of compassion. destroy. It moulds to various changes of environment. PTS. some with their feelings. some with perceptions. corporeality. RÒpa => form. looks with profound understanding. RÒpa => PTS. evidence. in order to more clearly illustrate what he was talking about. 1. discernment. perish. Abhidhamma describes 28 species of rÒpa dealt with in terms of how they arise. publicity. information. from saª (together) + k¸ (to work). containing) + jñ› (knowing. All form perceived by mind has 28 textures. all the grains of rice. awareness 3. material form This includes the physical body with its sense faculties as well as external material objects. matter. from rup. Some renderings are form. idea. recognising.e. is a way of deepening our understanding of how each moment of life experience is dependent on uncountable other situations and circumstances. hence 'five heaps'. For example if the organism has a low fuel energy. Together. Pak›sane => explaining. kamma. cycles and undulations. Some people identify more with their body. assimilation of sensations. a manifestation. consciousness. pigmentation. T-Abd notes – RÒpa actually means. when the Buddha first taught the five skandhas. and "beheld but five heaps". RÒpa is that which manifests itself through different colours va˚˚›. being the third khandha 2. represented one of the skandhas and also indicated that the heap itself is comprised of a multitude of sub-factors. to become known. Each pile. that which changes its colour due to elemental shifts.
produced by a combination of causes. Saºkh›ra has a feeling of bits and pieces being put together to make a particular formation.gether.jıvitindriyaª Attention .ahirikaª Fearlessness .manasik›ra (There are two more cetasika usually listed in this section. Common to all states of consciousness .phassa Volition .macchariyaª Worry .vicikicch› 30 . This includes all volitional.cetan› One-pointedness . 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.middhaª Sceptical doubt .chando Unwholsome . emotional and intellectual aspects of one's mental life.iss› Avarice . these two stand on their own so there are only 50 cetasika listed in the category of sankh›ra.Paki˚˚ak› Focus .anottappaª Restlessness .adhimokkha Enthusiastic perseverance .kukkuccaª Energyless-mind .vitakka Scanning . They are listed here to give you a sense of the one approach to exploring saºkh›ra.Akusala Delusion .m›na Hatred . created. In Tantrayana this is represented by the fifty freshly severed human heads around Vajra Yogini's neck.Sabbacittas›dh›ran› Contact .dosa Envy . saºkh›ra refers to the 50 mental factors or cetasikas.di˛˛hi Conceit .ekaggat› Vital energy . However when considering the five Skandhas. Sank›ra => habitual formations.vic›ra Decision . compound.thınaª Energyless-body . brought about as effect of actions in former births. In abhidhamma. habit patterns and so forth. vedan› and sañña which would make the total number of cetasika come to 52.pıti Aspiration . 50 Mental Factors or Cetasika that are classified as sankharas in the abhidhamma system.viriya Interest-joy-ecstasy . conditioned.lobha View .) Variables .moha Shamelessness . dispositions.uddhaccaª Desire-clinging .
antecedents or synergy (co-ordinated activity).sati Moral shame . speech and thought. mental coefficients.Appamañña 1 Compassion . There are many words for consciousness. tendencies and concepts resonating from past experience that help shape and give meaning to the present moment. think).alobha Lovingkindness . Sankh›r› tend to take on the implication of synergies. One of the five khandhas. peculiar to the East.adosa Equanimity .ottappaª Generosity .karu˚› 2 Sympathetic Joy . or adjuncts which come. or tend to come.hiri Moral caution . Lightness of citta . Viññ›na => consciousness. (i) the sum of the conditions or properties making up or resulting in life or existence.k›ya and cittamudut› Adaptability .cittalahut› Pliancy .Viratiyo Right Speech . a purposive aspiring state of mind to induce a specific rebirth.Sobhanas›dh›ran› Confidence . aggregate of the conditions or essential properties for a given process or result e.k›ya and cittajjukat› Abstinences . comprising all cetasikas. requisite for action. sank›ra could be thought of as the habitual patterns. the state of the subject is shaping the perception 31 .samm›kammanto Right Livelihood . in which the blending of the subjective-objective view of the world and of happening.samm›v›ca Right Action . PTS from vi + jñ› (to produce. is so complete. into consciousness at the uprising of a citta or unit of cognition.samm›-›jıvo Illimitable .mudit› Wisdom Faculty . 2.Common to the Beautiful . In a simple way. the mental concomitants.saddh› Mindfulness . (ii) Essential conditions. Various meanings: 1. Here the vi means to divide hence it is a knowing that divides into subject and object. that it is almost impossible for Occidental terminology to get at the root of its meaning in a translation.paññindriya PTS says of sank›ra: 'One of the most difficult terms in Buddhist metaphysics.g.k›yalahut›. The existence of the object is helping to establish the sense of being a subject and simultaneously. 'I' am conscious of 'that'. of purposive intellection.tatramajjhattat› Tranquillity of mental body (cetasik›).k›ya and cittap›guññat› Straightforwardness . attitudes.k›yapassaddhi Tranquillity of citta . or constitutional elements of physical life.cittapassadhi Lightness of mental body.k›ya and cittakammaññat› Proficiency .
evaluation. In a similar way you can explore habitual formations and consciousness. 3. he understands odours. The mind is consid32 . He understands the nose. He understands the mind. He understands the body. and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter.. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter.. he understands tangibles. in a sense. The six bases or ›yatan› are sometimes referred to as the twelve sense spheres dv›das›yatan›. habitual formations and consciousness. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter.. 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. you will find it useful to consider how each skandha is. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter. not clinging to anything in the world. "Again. And he abides independent. habitual patterns and consciousness. and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging. For example.of the object. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the six internal and external bases. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors.. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. 39. ›yatan› => PTS. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. sense organ and object. habitual formations and consciousness. perception.. As part of contemplating the arising factors and the vanishing factors. he understands forms. the ability of mind to recognise something other than itself as an object – to decide this is this and that is that. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter. The Six Bases 40. bhikkhus. "He understands the ear. Kalu Rinpoché defined Viññ›na as 'discursive consciousness'. and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally.. Evaluation is a combination of form.. he understands sounds. “In this way he abides. He understands the tongue. Perception arises when there is a particular coming together of form.. you might say it arises when there is a particular configuration of perception. he understands mind-objects. composed of the other four. The six bases refer to the six senses and their six objects hence 'twelve'. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. he understands flavours. if you enquire deeply into the nature of form or material and try to describe it. evaluation. sphere of perception or sense in general. This co-dependent process of knowing is Viññ›na. object of thought.
passion. 3. memories and so forth as its objects. 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. 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. hatred and delusion. specifically belief in a permanent or independent self or ego. nothingness. about the necessity of moral conduct and about the fact of cause and effect. m›na. The future non-arising of a fetter refers to a stage of path attainment. silabbatap›r›m›ssa. especially doubt about the Buddha. K›mavacara is the realm of the five senses. lust. The fetters are basically greed. craving. boundless consciousness. uddhacca and avijj› 33 An›g›mi 'Non returner' Arahat 'Fully purified' . 2. feelings. vicikicch›. di˛˛hi. excitement. This refers to the subtle levels of absorption on form. RÒpavacara is the realm of 'fine material form'. Dharma and Sangha.ered the sixth sense which has concepts. the belief that blind adherence to rule and ritual and to mere good works will be sufficient to bring awakening. ﬁrÒpavacara is the formless realm and refers to the very subtle meditative absorptions of: boundless space. In the Abhidhamma system these ten fetters fall away permanently at specific stages of the path. arÒpar›ga. Sometimes they are extended out as the ten saªyojana or ten fetters. and 'neither perception nor nonperception'. Stage of Path Sot›panna 'Stream entry' Fetters Dropping Away 1.
Mindfulness satisambojjhaºgo (see p 7) 2. or there being no mindfulness enlightenment factor in him. and how the arisen mindfulness enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development.. not clinging to anything in the world. (from vi + ci to think) search. There being the energy enlightenment factor in him.. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. it is said. Investigation of dhamma dhammavicayasambojjhaºgo vicaya => PTS.41. There being the equanimity enlightenment factor in him. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. direct seeing of reality This is the factor of question. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is the mindfulness enlightenment factor in me'. 4. examination: dhammavicaya => investigation of dhamma insight. three and four are considered to be active.. “In this way he abides.. investigation. and how the arisen equanimity enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development. There being the tranquillity enlightenment factor in him. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the six internal and external bases. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors? Here." There needs to be curiosity. satta seven + sam good.. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. "There being the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor in him. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen mindfulness enlightenment factor. Numbers two. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. complete + bodhi enlightenment + anga factors These seven factors will all be present and harmoniously functioning together in a well rounded. the greater the awakening –– no question. he understands: 'There is no equanimity enlightenment factor in me'. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. 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. 34 . a bhikkhu understands: 'There is the equanimity enlightenment factor in me'. Number one is considered to be neutral. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. "Again bhikkhus. there being the mindfulness enlightenment factor in him.. "The greater the question. In Zen. curiosity. no awakening.. There being the concentration enlightenment factor in him. And he abides independent. It's what carries us into new territory. The Seven Enlightenment Factors 42. mature human being. or there being no equanimity enlightenment factor in him. investigation.. 1. active enquiry or question present in your being. he understands: 'There is no mindfulness enlightenment factor in me'. interest. They reach their fullest flowering of expression in what is called the state of liberation or 'enlightenment'. Five. The Seven Enlightenment Factors Sattasambojjhaºga.. There being the rapture enlightenment factor in him.
calm. It is really a factor of open. (from vi + ır) iriyati => to set in motion. its insatiable hunger to experience more widely. beloved. to show a certain way of deportment i. repose. "An outstanding attribute of an awakened spirit is its expansiveness. to stir. Kuddaka Pıti – joy causing the flesh to creep 2. (from piya dear. Ubbega Pıti – transporting joy. I am reminded of the following quote by the biologist Alexander Skutch. PTS. 1. 3. Tranquillity passadhisambojjhaºgo Passadhi => PTS. Eventually. tranquillity. to wander about. like a flash of lightning 3. For awakening one needs more than just calm. It needs to sink into the bones of your being so that your very existence is an expression of question in action. To recognise the wholesome when it is present. Kha˚ika Pıti – instantaneous joy. zest. Phara˚a Pıti – Overflowing joy. Pıti is the experiential knowing of the thrill and pleasure of aliveness of the organism. 2. like waves on a beach 4. pleasant. to cultivate friendly intercourse with the whole of Being. 35 . probing. like a flood 5. To take steps to encourage an arisen wholesome to flourish and continue. an alert readiness to experience and know more broadly and profoundly. and to encourage unarisen wholesomes to arise in the future. 4. like the cool shade of a tree. Abhidhamma texts describe five major categories of pıti ranging from interest to ecstasy. floating like a dandelion seed in space. This factor is often allied with the what are called in Buddhist teaching the Four Great Efforts. 5. the coursing of the energy of the body. Okkantika Pıti – flood of joy. one must have a tremendous degree of interest and curiosity about all arisings of life and particularly about what is currently taking place. it suppresses feverishness and calms hysteria. The effort to recognise the unwholesome when it is present. Rapture pitisambojjhaºgo Pıti => This word is difficult to translate accurately with one English word. exuberance.e. 'Rapture' doesn't really do it justice. uninterrupted strenuousness in conquering obstacles. dhammavicaya must go beyond mere verbal question. intensification or thorough i. Energy viriyasambojjhaºgo is also referred to as diligence and enthusiastic perseverance viriyaª => PTS. receptive. that which is carried out methodically. It's very much a thrill or excitation felt in or throughout the body when it is functioning well. mighty heroic viriya => moving in an invincible way. 4.e. The noblest mind is that which understands.This factor is often the weakest in meditators who see meditation primarily as a technique for establishing calm or tranquillity. delight. to move. serenity. to know more broadly and profoundly. completely vıra => manly. 1. methodical. quietude. responsive. To take steps to bring it to an end and to prevent the arising of such unwholesome states in the future." (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) 3. liked) => uplifting joy. vi => is a prefix denoting expansion. appreciates and loves the largest segment of the Universe.
5. except for this section on the Four Noble Truths which is greatly expanded. 43. Dukkhanirodho aryasaccaª – the noble truth of the cessation of suffering 4. We are concentrated when we are effortlessly centred in whatever we are doing or experiencing. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. It is the 'middle-way' between subject and object.6. 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. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the Four Noble Truths. Equanimity upekkh›sambojjhaºgo Upekkha => PTS. bhikkhus. Equanimity or true seeing is a balanced state of mind that embraces all opposite pairs. not dispersed. he understands as it actually is: 'This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. look. correctly or 'as it really is'. not grasping after this or that. or serenity. it seems odd that concentration is considered a passive factor. (from sam complete + dhi which has a sense of firmness) => concentration. he understands as it actually is: 'This is the cessation of suffering'. The Four Noble Truths 44. A better understanding might be had if you pronounced it with the accent on the second syllable. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. Dukkhasamudayo aryasaccaª – the noble truth of the origin of suffering 3. 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. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors. 36 . view. It means to see justly. ' This is the origin of suffering'. 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'. To many people. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. a completely balanced state of mind. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. Dukkhaª aryasaccaª – the noble truth of suffering 2. 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. just + ikkhati to see. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. not clinging to anything in the world. upa impartially. intent state of mind and meditation. self-collected. 7. "Again. Usually translated as equanimity. he understands as it actually is. not having our attention darting all over the lot. a concentrated. And he abides independent. not scattered. While not taking sides there is a continuum of calm clear seeing discernment. Concentration sam›dhisambojjhaºgo Sam›dhi => PTS.' The Four Noble Truths Ariyasacc›ni => ariya noble + sacc›ni truth 1. con-CEN-tration in other words con (with) centrate (centre).
is called sorrow. mental unpleasant feeling. there is ageing. painful or unpleasant feeling results from bodily contact. shrinking with age. monks is called lamentation. 'And what is death? In whatever beings. an ending. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature. is called ageing. that. grey hair. 'And what is ageing? In whatever beings. is being attached to the unloved? Here. whoever has un37 . coming forth. The Four Noble Truths 'Again. of whatever group of beings. "This is the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. distress. 'And what. monks. monks. inward woe. by any kind of misfortune. broken teeth. death is suffering. Being attached to the unloved is suffering. bodily unpleasant feeling. In short the five aggregates of grasping are suffering. sadness and distress are suffering. monks. that. there is birth. he knows as it really is. with great distress. a death. monks. he knows as it really is. sorrow. 'And what. of whatever group of beings." First Noble Truth 'And what. sorrow. 'And what is sadness? Whatever mental painful feeling. of whatever group of beings. 'And what is sorrow? Whenever. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature and there is crying out. a cutting off. making great lamentation. coming-to-be. a dying. wrinkled skin. there is a passing-away. decay of the sense faculties. a monk abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in respect of the Four Noble Truths. mourning. 'And what is distress? Whenever. monks. that monks is called birth. painful or unpleasant sensation results from mental contact. making much noise for grief. a removal. monks is birth? In whatever beings. that. monks. he knows as it really is. that. that. affliction with distress. a cutting off of the aggregates. lamenting. by any kind of misfortune. being separated from the loved is suffering. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature. is called distress. not getting what one wants is suffering. monks is called pain. that. is called death. pain. is called sadness. the appearance of the aggregate. by any kind of misfortune. 5. ageing is suffering. a discarding of the body. a disappearance. "And what is pain? Whatever bodily painful feeling. great distress. "This is the cessation of suffering". distress. decrepitude. the acquisition of the sense-bases. How does he do so? Here. "This is the origin of suffering". that. inward grief.Below is a translation from the Mah›satipa˛˛h›na Sutta by Maurice Walshe. a monk knows as it really is: "This is suffering". 'And what is lamentation? Whenever. monks. lamentation. monks is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering.
Essentially. monks. 'And how. these are in short.wanted. monks. thirst. intercourse. mother or father or brother or sister or younger kinsmen or friends or colleagues or blood-relations. thirst and ters. of insecurity. the aggregate of grasping that is feeling. is called the Noble Truth of Suffering. conceit (belief that one has something) and defence (wanting to protect the wealth one thinks one can lose. finding fresh delight now here. this is craving for more. the aggregate of grasping that is perception. of security. 'And what is being separated from the loved? Here. to be or to make dry) =>drought. is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering? It is that craving which gives rise to rebirth. to death. They feel more secure with written 38 . the aggregate of grasping that is consciousness. that. They want to know exactly when something is going to happen and when it will end. liked. tastes.. or whoever encounters well-wishers. craving for existence and craving for non-existence. in short. that we might not come to birth!" But this cannot be gained by wishing. with whom they have concourse. now there: that is to say sensual craving. connection. It is narcissism. lamentation. that we might not come to these things!" But this cannot be gained by wishing. That is not getting what one wants. to disease. of discomfort. unpleasant. wishers of harm. to sorrow. are the five aggregates of grasping suffering? They are as follows: the aggregate of grasping that is form.. is called being separated from the loved. connection or union. sadness. a craving for walling off. craving for non-existence vibh›vata˚h› => T-Abd-notes. sight-objects. disliked. and then is deprived of such concourse. sensual craving k›mata˚h› => craving for sensual experience craving for existence bh›vata˚h› => T-Abd-notes. craving for being. is called being attached to the unloved. craving for not being. craving that which one thinks will extend the being. extend life. and distress. monks. for form rÒpa.) Bh›va and vibh›vata˚h› can be caricatured in common types of behaviour or attitudes to life. sounds. or whoever encounters ill-wishers. that. That is not getting what one wants. that wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to ageing. wishers of good. of comfort. sight-objects. for arÒpa. In beings subject to ageing. bound up with pleasure and lust. the aggregate of grasping that is mental formations. intercourse. 'the fever of unsatisfied longing' Ta˚h› is driven by trying to make permanent. hunger for. craving. monks. (from tarŸna. this wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to birth.distress. And that. 'And what is not getting what one wants? In beings subject to birth. Second Noble Truth 'And what. the five aggregates of grasping that are suffering. whoever has what is wanted. monks. craving ta˚h› => PTS. pain. tangibles or mind-objects. The bh›vata˚h› type is the person who likes certainty. monks. pleasant. smells. that which is impermanent. union. This is security oriented.
... of tastes. smells.. of sounds. In extreme cases they can be very narcissistic. They like to own their house. mind-objects in the world are agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. Perception sañña:'The perception of sights. tangibles. tangibles. the ear. the nose. Craving tanha: 'The craving for sights. A more useful translation might be 'focus'. of smells. body-contact. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself.. ear-contact. sounds.. Thinking vitakka: 'Thinking of sights. smells. They don't like to be saddled with commitments. ear-contact. of tangibles. tangibles. Vitakka is often translated as initial application. They like definition and walls. nose-contact. have a well filled appointment diary. of mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. tastes. They want to be spontaneous. the mind in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. mind-contact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. 39 .. Feeling vedan›: 'Feeling born of eye-contact. smells.. The vibh›vata˚h› type.contracts. In extremis they can be a bit obsessive. tongue-consciousness. likes to hang loose. Contact phassa: 'Eye-contact. nose-contact. They feel uncomfortable when constrained by timetables or formal contracts. 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.. They prefer to rent. They like space and value their freedom. tastes. sounds. tonguecontact. tastes. the tongue. sounds. Commitment and responsibility are important to them. tangibles. Sense objects: 'Sights. tastes.. body-consciousness. the body.. on the other hand. bodycontact. there this craving arises and establishes itself. nose-consciousness. mind-contact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. smells. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. 'And where does this craving arise and establish itself? Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. Sense organs: 'And what is there in the world that is agreeable and pleasurable? The eye in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. Volition cetan›: 'Volition in regards to sights.. sounds. ear-consciousness. tongue-contact. Sense consciousness: 'Eye-consciousness. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself.
When one focuses one's attention on a meditation object and does not wander to any other object. Pondering vic›ra: 'Pondering on sights. 'Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. Vijja denotes seeing so avijja means not seeing or not understanding. supports the sense of an autonomous 'craver' that can crave a desired thing. there is no craving."1 In other words. Ignorance of. It is closer than hands and feet. Vic›ra is frequently translated as sustained application. detachment from it. a simple metaphor is used in many of the Mahamudra/Dzogchen texts. or not seeing/understanding the interdependent nature of everything. And how does this craving come to be abandoned. the cessation of suffering becomes realizable in any situation without necessarily changing a thing. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. In a sense. monks. Each moment is inherently complete. The great philosopher N›g›rjuna wrote in his famous treatise MÒlamadhyamakak›rika: "Whatever that comes to be dependently. Peace is the fading away of craving. sounds. All that's needed is a profound degree of clear seeing. that is inherently peaceful. Imagine using your finger to draw a picture on the surface of a calm pool of water. And what is there in the world that is agreeable and pleasurable? To illustrate the spontaneous naturalness of cessation. The image that you draw vanishes as fast as you draw it. Ta˚h› is rooted in ignorance. Third Noble Truth 'And what. that it is an dynamic interbeing of everything. It's not going anywhere. 'A' at the beginning of a Pali or Sanskrit word indicates negation. Having 'tacked' vitakka-ed the mind onto the meditation object. the experiential knowing that this moment is not lacking in any way. "Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. one then scans the details of the object without departing from the object. avijja. monks is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering? It is the complete fading-away and extinction of this craving. liberation from it. smells. there its ces1 MÒlamadhyamakak›rika of N›g›rjuna translated by David Kalupahana p 168 40 . A perhaps more useful term would be scanning. And that. is called the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering. there is no single separate part that can be isolated out to praise or blame or be held responsible. In this way it is sustained application and perhaps pondering. and vis-versa. It is not really 'thinking" in the sense of verbalising or conceptualising about the object. it self-liberates. One can remember the meaning by thinking of 'tacking' the mind to an object. tastes. in the experiential knowing of interdependence. With this understanding. this is the initial application of mind. there its cessation comes about. tangibles. how does its cessation come about? The 'cessation of suffering' is synonymous with realisation of nibb›na – peace. its forsaking and abandonment. Where there are no separate cravers and craven objects. It is more the application of attention or interest to an object. No one else needs to liberate it. It rests in itself. though it would be a pondering without verbalising. All arisings are mutually shaping. ta˚h›. This cessation or self-liberation is automatic and instantaneous. Peace or nibb›na comes with the deep knowing of completeness.
and there this craving comes to be abandoned. the tongue.. ear-contact.. body-consciousness. tongue-consciousness. Right Thought.. the ear. Right Action. Right Mindfulness. sounds.. is the Noble Truth of the Way of Practice Leading to the Cessation of Suffering? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path.. sounds.. Right Speech. sounds. tangibles. there its cessation comes about. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. ear-consciousness. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. the body. tangibles. monks. way a˛˛hangika => eight 41 . 'Volition in regard to sights. 'Sights. nose-contact. Right Livelihood. tangibles. Right Concentration. there its cessation comes about.sation comes about. smells. tongue-contact. The eye in the world is agreeable and pleasurable.. And that. sounds. path. there its cessation comes about. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. 'The perception of sights. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. body-contact. tangibles.. 'Thinking of sights. namely: – Right View. 'Pondering on sights. Fourth Noble Truth 'And what. tangibles. smells. there its cessation comes about. smells. smells.. tastes. tangibles. tastes. Craving for sights. sounds.. smells. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. If you look into them with careful discernment. tastes. mind-consciousness in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. you will see that they spontaneously vanish as soon as they appear. 'Eye-consciousness. there its cessation comes about. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. there its cessation comes about." Each of the following pleasurable or agreeable dharmas are like pictures drawn in water. monks. tastes. the mind in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. there its cessation comes about. mindcontact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. the nose. smells. nose-consciousness. Right Effort... tastes. Noble Eightfold Path ariya-a˛˛hangika-magga magga => avenue. there its cessation comes about.. is called the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering. tastes. 'Eye-contact. there its cessation comes about. sounds.
completely engaged. it vanishes into a matrix of 42 . This is called Right View. (see Body. as if we should try to convince ourselves that nothing exists. Totality is thinking. properly. Right View samm›-di˛˛i 'And what. Emptiness is the usual attempt. is what is doing the viewing. Totality is speaking. As part of the eight fold noble path. using emptiness as an equivalent for ŸÒnyat› is quite misleading as it can conjure a nihilistic view of things. is Right View? It is. Speech and Mind p29) Di˛˛i means view. reveals the Eightfold Noble Path as a means for directly realising ŸÒnyat›. as it ought to be. Unfortunately. As Namgyal Rinpoché often pointed out. (ultimately everything else in the universe) then the totality of being which makes up this present moment of one's unique knowing. in the right way. This is so far away from the intention of teachings on ŸÒnyat› that it might be better to think of fullness rather than emptiness. seeing/understanding all contributing aspects of an arising rather than falling into bias based on conditioned hopes.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. or 'summing up'. Everything reveals itself to be spacious and open. best. On one hand it is there. presence in the midst of whatever is occurring. Every moment of experience reveals itself to be spacious. samm›-di˛˛I points to complete or total or thorough viewing. it would be more helpful to think of ditti as a verb. and the knowledge of the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. on the other hand when we examine it analytically. responsive. ŸÒnyat› => It is difficult to accurately translate ŸÒnyat› with a single word. rather than as a noun. If you look deeply and discerningly into anything you will see that it is composed of a vast array of transient factors. for many people today. "connected in one". though when used alone it usually implies partial view. Translating samm› as 'right' in the context of the Eightfold Noble Path doesn't really do it justice. thoroughly. open and fundamentally un-pin-downable. doing the understanding or doing the knowing? Since everything is interdependent with everything else. and so forth. the activity of viewing. Totality is acting. Psychologically. What is it that is doing the viewing. it appears. perfectly. A more useful and descriptive phrase might be 'the spacious openness of interbeing'. the heart understanding of Mahamudra. monks. Instead of 'right view' as opposed to 'wrong view'. samm› derives from sam which has the sense of 'complete' or 'total' as in the English phrases. a static view. the knowledge of the cessation of suffering. The positive expression of this would be total lovingkindness. 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. monks. the knowledge of the origin of suffering. emptiness is often associated with feelings of meaninglessness and isolation. 'doing your sums'. rightly. fears and fantasies. Contemplating 'samma' in these many ways. the knowledge of suffering.
one should skilfully use the senses to explore dharma. Total or complete activity in terms of bringing forth what is wholesome and what is supporting the awakening of beings. Total or complete communication. is Right Speech? Refraining from lying. Beyond refraining from taking life. 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. refraining from frivolous speech. Right Speech samm›-v›c› 'And what. 4. one's intention and one's expression are all in harmony and supporting the unfolding of the wholesome. intention. monks. This is Right Action. This is called Right Speech. thought. refraining from slander. one should practice generosity and give unstintingly to beings. Right Thought samm›-sankappa 'And what. one's inner feelings. complete thinking/intending. monks. monks. Right speech and action touch on the aspect of the path that is covered by studying and practising the precepts. All one's actions spring from this (the rest of the Eightfold Path) May the Nirmanakaya bring blessings. hearing what is actually being said and empathically sensing the meaning and intent behind the words. there is an expression of the precepts in a positive form that hints at a much broader practice than simply avoiding certain activities. One might even consider 'total aspiration' or totality aspiring. refraining from sexual misconduct. 1. is called Right Action? Refraining from taking life. This is the essence of Bodhicitta. One's thoughts are in tune with every situation (samm›-sanakappa) May the Sambhogakaya bring blessings. plan. one should strive to support and nurture life. 3. Samm›-v›c› also implies profound listening. Total thinking/intending. is Right Thought? The thought of renunciation. I will train myself to support and appreciate the life of all living beings.contributing factors. In Daily Puja. This is called Right Thought. These three become one in the vision of the ground of being May the union of these three bring blessings. Beyond refraining from sexual or sensual misconduct. 43 . the whole of one's mental processes going in the direction of awakening. Here sankappa has more to do with intention than thinking. Right Action samm›-kammanta 'And what. refraining from taking what is not given. the thought of non-ill-will. refraining from harsh speech. 2. purpose. Not just avoiding these unwholesome forms of expression but considering all aspects of communication so that one's body language. the thought of harmlessness. Beyond not taking that which is not given. sankappa => PTS.
to bring them to greater growth. I will train myself to use the senses to further awakening. in a way that supports awakening. monks. having given up wrong livelihood.I will live with a sensitive and responsible awareness for the whole ecology of life. energies and mind. He rouses his will. and to come to know the world more profoundly and more compassionately. causing harm to oneself or others. monks. At the same time it also supports the well being of all the other beings whom your livelihood brings you into contact with. living with minimal needs and appetites and avoiding the harming of others. He rouses his will. I will train myself to communicate in a skilful and compassionate manner. 6. keeps himself by right livelihood.and strives to overcome evil unwholesome mental states that have arisen. the Ariyan disciple. This is called Right Effort.and strives to produce unarisen wholesome mental states. complete livelihood involves living in a way that values and supports the living matrix that is this planet. monks. Since this sutra was originally taught to fully ordained monks. makes an effort. Wrong livelihood is any form of livelihood that disrupts life. explore Dharma. plants and entire ecosystems. to the full perfection of development. I will eat and drink and nurture myself and others. in ways that support their wholesome unfolding of body.. stirs up energy. a monk rouses his will. it was understood that their livelihood was already one of living lightly on the earth. Essentially. exerts his mind and strives to prevent the arising of unarisen evil unwholesome mental states. Daily I will give material support. and an example to others of awakening in action. I will train myself to dwell more and more in the mind of spontaneous generosity. not to let them fade away.. 4. For a lay person living in the modern world. monks is called Right Effort? Here. This section is a major challenge to how we humans today do business and how we relate to the non-human world. 3. makes an effort. Complete or total livelihood: a livelihood or way of earning a living that supports all of life. 5. energies and mind.. 5. 44 . He rouses his will.. stirs up energy. is called Right Livelihood? Here. exerts his mind and strives to maintain wholesome mental states that have arisen. but animals. Right Effort samm›-v›y›ma 'And what. emotional support. 2. 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. Right Livelihood samm›-›jıva 'And what. there probably needs to be a bit more guidance. I will train myself to be ever more directly aware of how nutriment affects the mind and body. This includes not just other people.
detached from unwholesome mental states. sukha and ekaggat› or upekkha. clearly aware and mindful. Sukha. and mindful. In the first jh›na all five are present. When the mind is well concentrated. brood over. The mind is focused and investigating or scanning the object. And with the fading away of delight.. clearly aware. pıti. It would probably be more helpful to think of jh›nas in terms of increasing degrees of peace. will not be active. monks. This is a rather static view. ardent. If you examine this peaceful mind.This is explained quite clearly above and also in the section on viriyasambojjhaºga in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (p. contemplate.34) It is often taught separately as a complete path of practice in itself. wholesomely absorbed to a point where there is no sense of separation between the subject and object. he enters the third jh›na. is called the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. When it is. he experiences in himself the joy of which the Noble Ones say: "Happy is he who dwells with equanimity and mindfulness". enters and remains in the first jh›na. is Right Concentration? Here. born of detachment. is Right Mindfulness? Here. which is without thinking and pondering. monks. Jh›nas are often seen by inexperienced meditators as exotic states of concentration where there are no thoughts and no mental activity. => PTS . detached from sensedesires. and purified by equanimity and mindfulness. think about. This section speaks of total concentration in terms of the factors of absorption or Jh›na. a monk abides contemplating body as body. Right Mindfulness samm›-sati 'And what. born of concentration. having given up pleasure and pain. vic›ra. it is called 'The Four Great Efforts'. filled with delight and joy. dry up. This section is a recapitulation of the entire Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. monks. There is some degree of pıti. 8. having put aside hankering and fretting for the world. be on fire. jh›yati => to shine. mindful and clearly aware. Right Concentration samm›-sam›dhi 'And what. and with the disappearance of former gladness and sadness. which is with thinking and pondering. remaining imperturbable. he enters and remains in the fourth jh›na. Jh›na burns up the hindrances.. The stages of jh›na are differentiated by the presence of these factors. having put aside hankering and fretting for the world. 7. the sense of mental well being is present and there is an overarching 45 . when it is completely. which is beyond pleasure and pain. to burn. he abides contemplating feelings as feelings. he enters and remains in the second jh›na. Complete mindfulness. And. at that moment. a monk. And that. by gaining inner tranquillity and oneness of mind. In it's widest sense jh›na means absorption including even very momentary experiences of one-pointedness. ardent. This is called Right Concentration. And with the subsiding of thinking and pondering.. monks. he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. then the five hindrances. you will find five main positive factors: vitakka. to meditate... he abides contemplating states of mind as states of mind. from j›yati and Skt dhy›na.. This is called Right Mindfulness. perceive. filled with delight and joy.
way. investigating the 'causes' of suffering. approach. forgiveness. 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. access. or letting be. neighbourhood. endless. A very important state to develop in terms of Samm›–sam›dhi is called upac›ra sam›dhi => PTS. goes quickly to a peaceful alive state where there is pıti. 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. sukha and upekkha. clear. Eventually. the word sam›dhi is often used interchangeably with jh›na and there are uncountable numbers of sam›dhis. access. discrimination. In this way the experience of suffering can ennoble us. and generally becoming lost in all the other common reactions of irritation. compassion. Our very investigation of the first two noble truths supports a deepening sense of engagement and profound connectedness. into life. application. and empathy. leads to a deepening sense of embeddedness in a beginingless. The Four Noble Truths could be thought of as four truths or aspects of life experience that can potentially ennoble us. This gentle grappling with suffering will gradually lead to a flowering of many qualities such as patience. In the Mahayana traditions. Having tasted the nectar of letting go. We might meet them with wide open curiosity and interest instead of being afraid of them. and avoidance coupled with feelings of victimization and helplessness. we might have the courage to explore the states of suffering that arise in the course of our lives rather than running from them. presence is the optimal state in which to deepen insight. Looking into the causes of suffering will lead us to a deepening experience of the interconnectedness of everything. the mind. upac›ra. However all the factors of jh›na are present and the five hindrances are not manifesting. understanding. trying to ignore them. 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. As the meditator acclimatizes to this peaceful. use of. like a rainbow vanishing. In this way. As this understanding flowers in our actual experience. the sukha drops away. Here is the second great ennobling of our being. love. Deepening further. it gives us 46 . 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. even the pıti seems to be crude and it dissolves in the increasing subtlety leaving just sukha and upekkha.presence of equanimity or oneness. practice. anger. presence. just as it is. Without needing to emphasise vitakkha or vic›ra. In the Abhidhamma traditions there seem to be very technical definitions as to what is jh›na and what is not. The Buddha enunciated this in eight steps calling it The Eightfold Noble Path. There is nothing inherently noble about suffering. habit. This calm. and responsiveness –– a sense of profound unavoidable engagement in the creative weaving that is the fabric of all life –– will become more and more apparent. leaving just upekkha. conduct. Our faculties of empathy and appreciative understanding nourish a sense of well-being in the midst of an increasing range of situations and circumstances. awakeness. entrance. yet engaged state. However. living mystery. the vitakkha and vic›ra can begin to feel a bit gross and unnecessary and they begin to drop away. qualities such as openness. means.
or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors.for six months. moving to other countries and cultures. 47. one or two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now... "Let alone half a month. (Conclusion) 46. The Four Noble Truths are taught in each of these realms but illustrated and explained in different ways depending of the understandings and experiences of sentient beings living there.. not clinging to anything in the world. The Four Noble Truths are the heart teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha and are revered by every school of Buddhism. And he abides independent. for the realisation of Nibb›na – namely... non-return.. the four foundations of mindfulness. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. bhikkhus. "So it was with reference to this that it was said: 'Bhikkhus. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven days. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally.for three months. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the four Noble Truths..for one month. non-return. It is well worth studying in order to open one's understanding of the Four Noble Truths in a vast and universal way. if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven years. or if there is a trace of clinging left. bhikkhus. 47 .. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed Ones words." That is what the Blessed One said.for four months. In the Tibetan teaching it is said that one should focus not on the words but on the meaning behind the words. This is the fourth great enrichment or ennoblement of our being.. or if there is a trace of clinging left..for five months... for the disappearance of pain and grief. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. or if there is a trace of clinging left. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. "Bhikkhus. Here it is explained that there are many different world systems or modes of experience. one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally..knowledge to be able to meaningfully help others.. one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now. non-return. As his teachings flourished and evolved.for half a month. "Let alone seven years. for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation. This section of the Avatamsaka hints at the meaning behind the words. this rather barebones expression was elaborated into the vast.for two months. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven months. for the attainment of the true way. (Continuing with the Majjhima Nik›ya version) 45. this is the direct path for the purification of beings. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. 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. universal vision you find in Chapter 8 of the Avatamsaka or Flower Ornament Sutra. “In this way he abides.
I am struck. Full realisation of this practice will enable one to live well in the midst of a world that is constantly changing. yet again. I pray that this manual will be a support to your ongoing study and meditations. seven months … seven days. this is referring to the state of nibb›na or the state of Arahat. One can live with impermanence and death. monks and nuns in particular. If you are just beginning your explorations of Buddha Dharma. or if there is a trace of clinging left. SARVAMANGALAM 48 . I do hope they will encourage you to investigate further. The Buddha states that if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness for seven years. Afterthought Reading through these notes. by the clarity. or simply burying oneself in never ending reactivity and busyness. The seven days is a short time and indicates how realisation is to be experienced in the here and now. I hope these notes will enrich your contemplations. or escaping into fantasy. without shutting down. If there is a trace of clinging left. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. reading and putting into practice these notes on the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. In Buddhist terms. The text concludes with what today might be considered as a product guarantee. and impossible for any single being to control. spend significant amounts of their adult lives studying these texts yet if we were to lose all of them but one. It is fresh and available to any who are free to ask question. then full realisation will come at the moment of dying. non-return. the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. they would realise either final knowledge here and now. we would eventually come to experience what the Buddha was trying to point to throughout his forty years of teaching. Final knowledge here and now indicates that there is no higher teaching. Some people. if we then put the teachings of this sutta into practice in a thorough and ongoing way.The Pali Cannon. unpredictable. support the flowering of wisdom and compassion in all beings. with best wishes Tarchin May any merit arising through writing. This is referring to the state of An›g›mi. richness and pragmatic straightforwardness of the Buddha's teaching. Seven years is a long time and hints at the degree of thoroughness and dedication that is necessary to realize the intent of these teachings. If you already have a background of meditative experience. the collected teachings of the Buddha is quite vast occupying thousands of pages of print.
Nelson. 1975 Tarthang Tulku. The Breath of Awakening Bodhi Publishing. 1992 Namgyal Rinpoché. 1981 N›rada Mah› Thera. Banarsidass Pub. Wangapeka Books. MÒlamadhyamakak›rika of N›g›rjuna. Kandy. NZ. Sri Lanka. The Path of Freedom (Vimuttimagga). Boston. W. 2004 Ñ›namoli Thera. 1979 Thich Nhat Hanh. 1976 Originally published in 1956 and 1964 in Sri Lanka Thomas Cleary. The Flower Ornament Scripture (Avatamsaka Sutra) Shambhala. The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary. A Manual of Abhidhamma. Daily Puja Fourth Edition. Buddhist Publication Society. Shambhala. Vols one and two. T. Mindfulness of Breathing (ﬁn›p›nasati) Buddhist Publication Society.R. Kinmount Ontario. The Long Discourses of the Buddha (Dıgha Nik›ya) Wisdom Publications. 2004 Tarchin Hearn. Dharma Publishing. 1995 49 . Wangapeka Books. 2005 Tarchin Hearn. The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nik›ya) Wisdom Publications. Pali Text Society. London. Kandy Sri Lanka. Part 1 and 2. Natural Awakening Wangapeka Books Nelson. 1978 Arahant Upatissa. Speech and Mind Bodhi Publishing. NZ. 1995 David Kalupahana. Breathing: The Natural Way to Meditate Revised Edition. California. 1987 Tarchin Hearn. Sri Lanka. Buddhist Publication Society. 1995 Bhadant›cariya Buddhaghosa.W. Motilal. Berkeley & London. & Stede. Growth and Unfolding Revised Edition. The Miracle of Mindfulness Beacon Press. 1977 Maurice Walshe. Nelson. 1991 Namgyal Rinpoché.Bibliography Bhikkhu Bodhi and Bhikkhu Ñ›˚amoli. Body. Kum Nye Relaxation. Delhi. 2000 Tarchin Hearn. Boston. Kinmount Ontario. Boston & London. Berkeley. 1993 Davids. NZ. Boston. Kandy. The Path of Purification (Visuddhi-magga). Wangapeka Books.
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