Karunakarma Series: Volume I

Satipa˛˛h›na Foundations of Mindfulness
A Manual for Meditators

compiled and annotated by

Tarchin Hearn

Karunakarma Series: Volume I Foundations of Mindfulness: A Manual for Meditators
© Tarchin Hearn 2000, 2007

Karunakarma means compassionate activity, the work of compassion, or compassion at work. The Karunakarma Series is a collection of coil bound notes and articles that can be used for study or as teaching aids. Some of the series is available in e-book form from the Wangapeka website. May these writings water the seeds of wisdom and compassion for the benefit of all beings.
Published by Wangapeka Books Available from: Wangapeka Educational Trust R.D. 2 Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand tel. 03 522 4221 e-mail <retreatcentre@wangapeka.org> www.wangapeka.org
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With Gratitude To

Ven. Namgyal Rinpoché

These notes were initially compiled while teaching a one month Satipa˛˛h›na retreat at the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre in New Zealand in the year 2000. At that time, I wanted to enter some of the essential definitions, lists of categories, correct spellings and references into my laptop in order to have them on hand as I travelled and taught. Gradually, with the encouragement of people studying with me, I have added some comments and fleshed out the grammar. The notes were never intended to be a thorough presentation of the subject. Nor are they aimed towards people brand new to meditation. Rather, they comprise a working manual for meditators who have come to the point in their investigations where a more detailed study of this essential path of awakening could enrich their practice. The following pages gather together a few key aspects of Satipa˛˛h›na along with some references that will allow a student to consult original sources, should that be of interest. My grateful appreciation goes to Bhikkhu Ñ›˚amoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi for their translation of the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta and to Maurice Walshe for his translation of the Mah›satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. Both of these suttas have been published by Wisdom Publications. May these efforts towards making available the Buddha Dharma, continue to flourish.

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May your explorations bear fruit for the benefit of all beings.

Abbreviations MN – Majjhima Nik›ya, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha PTS – Pali Text Society, Pali-English Dictionary T-Abd notes – Tarchin's hand written abhidhamma notes compiled at The Dharma Centre of Canada in 1976 after a three month study with Namgyal Rinpoché (unpublished) Vis – The Visuddhimagga - The Path of Purification (A greatly revered compilation of the Buddha's teachings, originally written by the Venerable Buddhaghosa. It is one of the oldest and most complete 'manual for meditators' arising from the Theravadin tradition.)

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Collision produces friction. he came to realise the cessation of suffering. or simply burying oneself in never ending reactivity and busyness? The Buddha's life demonstrated what I have come to think of as the path of the mystic scientist. This was intimate and direct exploration. The text begins with where to meditate and how to sit. These contemplations and enquiries eventually lead to a place of deep stillness and calm. This is the Second Noble Truth. without shutting down. This is the First Noble Truth. Of course. 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. It is not a philosophical text but more a map with a few hints at the general landscapes we might encounter on the way. or escaping into fantasy. responsive. in the process. Eventually he came to understand what he later referred to as The Four Noble Truths. interdependent universe. The next step is to learn to carry this clear. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. His own body. a man. unpredictable. 5 . there will be unavoidable unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha). This is the Third Noble Truth. The Buddha saw that wherever there are formations. letting his immediate actual experience guide the search. he explored in a very pragmatic and factual way. and. Through the very act of bringing a profound degree of friendly enquiry to every moment of experience. he investigated the processes of body and mind in minute detail. even if you had the best map in the world. Here. with tremendous clarity and attentiveness. This is the Fourth Noble Truth. It then directs us to an exploration of the physical body through fin›p›nasati or mindfulness of breathing. trying to understand the roots of dissatisfaction and suffering. embedded in a vast interconnected. discovering profound and essential keys for living well. he then clearly understood the path to the cessation of suffering. All things wear out. Here we investigate and make friends with the entire phenomena of breathing. Everything lives by eating. you still would have to do the journeying yourself. Gradually we come to experience directly the interbeingness of the physical body. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. speech. be they physical or mental. He looked deeply into the moment by moment experience of living. endless arisings. and impossible for any single being to control? How can one live with impermanence and death. How can one live well in a world that is constantly changing. Everything is eaten. These studies can lead to the dropping of unhelpful attitudes and assumptions that we may have about the body. On reflection. who eventually became known to us as the Buddha. coupled with partial views. mind and activities became a laboratory for experimentation and observation. Abandoning religious and philosophical preconceptions. clinging or grasping. Eventually. He described this as the Eight Fold Noble Path.Introduction Two thousand five hundred years ago. was driven to grapple with some of the great conundrums of life. namely. The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta sketches out this very practical path of awakening. awareness into the midst of activity. He came to see the fundamental causes of dukkha. the fact that the body is a co-operative endeavour of many parts and processes. all physical bodies reveal themselves to be beginningless.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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