This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Satipa˛˛h›na Foundations of Mindfulness
A Manual for Meditators
compiled and annotated by
Karunakarma Series: Volume I Foundations of Mindfulness: A Manual for Meditators
© Tarchin Hearn 2000, 2007
Karunakarma means compassionate activity, the work of compassion, or compassion at work. The Karunakarma Series is a collection of coil bound notes and articles that can be used for study or as teaching aids. Some of the series is available in e-book form from the Wangapeka website. May these writings water the seeds of wisdom and compassion for the benefit of all beings.
Published by Wangapeka Books Available from: Wangapeka Educational Trust R.D. 2 Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand tel. 03 522 4221 e-mail <email@example.com> www.wangapeka.org
With Gratitude To
Ven. Namgyal Rinpoché
These notes were initially compiled while teaching a one month Satipa˛˛h›na retreat at the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre in New Zealand in the year 2000. At that time, I wanted to enter some of the essential definitions, lists of categories, correct spellings and references into my laptop in order to have them on hand as I travelled and taught. Gradually, with the encouragement of people studying with me, I have added some comments and fleshed out the grammar. The notes were never intended to be a thorough presentation of the subject. Nor are they aimed towards people brand new to meditation. Rather, they comprise a working manual for meditators who have come to the point in their investigations where a more detailed study of this essential path of awakening could enrich their practice. The following pages gather together a few key aspects of Satipa˛˛h›na along with some references that will allow a student to consult original sources, should that be of interest. My grateful appreciation goes to Bhikkhu Ñ›˚amoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi for their translation of the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta and to Maurice Walshe for his translation of the Mah›satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. Both of these suttas have been published by Wisdom Publications. May these efforts towards making available the Buddha Dharma, continue to flourish.
May your explorations bear fruit for the benefit of all beings.
Abbreviations MN – Majjhima Nik›ya, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha PTS – Pali Text Society, Pali-English Dictionary T-Abd notes – Tarchin's hand written abhidhamma notes compiled at The Dharma Centre of Canada in 1976 after a three month study with Namgyal Rinpoché (unpublished) Vis – The Visuddhimagga - The Path of Purification (A greatly revered compilation of the Buddha's teachings, originally written by the Venerable Buddhaghosa. It is one of the oldest and most complete 'manual for meditators' arising from the Theravadin tradition.)
Everything lives by eating. was driven to grapple with some of the great conundrums of life. Gradually we come to experience directly the interbeingness of the physical body. letting his immediate actual experience guide the search. This is the First Noble Truth. without shutting down. It then directs us to an exploration of the physical body through ﬁn›p›nasati or mindfulness of breathing. Abandoning religious and philosophical preconceptions. This is the Second Noble Truth. be they physical or mental. unpredictable. 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. he investigated the processes of body and mind in minute detail. This is the Third Noble Truth. he then clearly understood the path to the cessation of suffering. with tremendous clarity and attentiveness. The Buddha saw that wherever there are formations. responsive. he came to realise the cessation of suffering. This was intimate and direct exploration. Here. Here we investigate and make friends with the entire phenomena of breathing. there will be unavoidable unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha). in the process. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. On reflection. How can one live well in a world that is constantly changing. Collision produces friction. and impossible for any single being to control? How can one live with impermanence and death. The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta sketches out this very practical path of awakening. He described this as the Eight Fold Noble Path. He came to see the fundamental causes of dukkha. a man. embedded in a vast interconnected. awareness into the midst of activity. coupled with partial views. discovering profound and essential keys for living well. all physical bodies reveal themselves to be beginningless. he explored in a very pragmatic and factual way. Of course. clinging or grasping. All things wear out.Introduction Two thousand five hundred years ago. This is the Fourth Noble Truth. Through the very act of bringing a profound degree of friendly enquiry to every moment of experience. and. the fact that the body is a co-operative endeavour of many parts and processes. you still would have to do the journeying yourself. even if you had the best map in the world. His own body. 5 . The next step is to learn to carry this clear. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. Everything is eaten. He looked deeply into the moment by moment experience of living. or escaping into fantasy. The text begins with where to meditate and how to sit. speech. It is not a philosophical text but more a map with a few hints at the general landscapes we might encounter on the way. trying to understand the roots of dissatisfaction and suffering. Eventually. mind and activities became a laboratory for experimentation and observation. namely. who eventually became known to us as the Buddha. These studies can lead to the dropping of unhelpful attitudes and assumptions that we may have about the body. This is the birth of a deep ecological understanding of the physical world and the gateway to realising what is referred to in Buddhist texts as ⁄Ònyat› or emptiness. Eventually he came to understand what he later referred to as The Four Noble Truths. These contemplations and enquiries eventually lead to a place of deep stillness and calm. endless arisings. interdependent universe.
This is the way of the mystic scientist. the meditator then begins to explore the mystery of mind. he taught us Satipa˛˛h›na as well as the classical Vajray›na systems. 1 6 . many so called Vajray›na2 students have little. Simply by deepening one's understanding. This is the name of the form of Buddhism that was found in Tibet. It is considered to be the most ancient Buddhist tradition and has preserved the Pali sutras. or no time for this teaching of bare insight which. the very heart of Vajray›na. and learning to rest easefully and alertly with whatever is arising. the huge array of emotions and qualities of mind that so colour and sometimes dictate human experience. is implicit in this sutra. the process whereby likes and dislikes emerge. the complex phenomena of Nature unfolding. the Satipa˛˛h›na is often seen as belonging to the Therav›din1 tradition. equipped with a functional ongoing awareness of body. who is wrestling with what it means to live meaningfully in a world that is being shaped by blind grasping and widespread ignorance. by doing this again and again and acclimatising to this way of being. By bringing an unshakeable friendliness and a gentle but probing curiosity and interest to what is happening in and around you. begins to investigate the unimaginable vastness of dharmas. The realisation of the unity of compassion and emptiness. Thailand and Sri Lanka. Over the many years of studying and practising these two great treasuries of awakening. seems devoid of devotion and compassion! But is this really the case? Actually. It contains within it the Vajray›na traditions. 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. Namgyal Rinpoché underwent his early monastic training in Burma.Having investigated the miracle of form. to some. 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. Unfortunately. This is the name commonly given to the forms of Buddhism found in Myanmar (Burma). leads to realisation. The spirit of Mahayana rests in seed form within the Satipa˛˛h›na. It is not particularly a religious path. In the realm of what might be called sectarian Buddhism. the lover and explorer of life. At the same time. will surely find useful guidance and inspiration in this text. The sutra directs us to examine the feeling or evaluation function. Consequently. feelings and mindstates. 3 Mah›y›na => The Great Vehicle This is the form of Buddhism that is practised outside the Therav›din countries. Jesus once said that the truth alone shall set you free. I feel extremely fortunate that my root teacher/lama the Ven. these views won't stand up to close scrutiny. you will come to see the very ordinary things in life as extraordinary miracles. Mongolia and in the Shingon tradition of Japan. Any person with an open heart and passion for enquiry. one then. Therav›din => 'The way of the Elders'. 2 Vajray›na => 'The diamond vehicle'. 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. the extraordinary will reveal itself to be absolutely ordinary. it is a way that is as vital and precious today as it was back at the time of the Buddha. Finally.
Bhikkhu Bodhi defines it as 'attentiveness directed to the present'. I will use both terms interchangeably. in an unbiased. In the Abhidhamma. later called the Sutta-pi˛aka. Setting forth could indicate setting forth on a journey. Considering a more literal interpretation of Satipa˛˛h›na we might get . Gradually a rich sense of how they weave together and support each other in an unbroken. interrelatedness of things' or another possibility. narrational) part of the Buddhist Scriptures containing the suttas or dialogues. It was probably very close to the actual language that the Buddha spoke. it will be clear that they are continuously shaping and affecting each other. Pali is the language that the Buddhist Sutras were preserved in. the (discursive. Pa˛˛h›na => PTS. the rich interdependent weaving that is this present arising moment. both physical and mental. Try rearranging the various definitions and see what different flavours of meaning you can come up with. wakefulness of mind. It could also indicate setting forth in the sense of “laying out for examination". continuum will come to the fore. learned. cause. taught. states of mind. putting forward. conscience. They were originally memorised and passed down from teacher to student in an unbroken flow of oral transmission. In combination with sati. a thread or string 2. setting forth. "origin". sacred lore. 'setting up of mindfulness'. starting point. religious knowledge Sati => PTS. As one one's experience with each of these four deepens. 'an alert. inspired tradition. in special sense "received through inspiration or revelation". creative. 1. that support or contribute to the arising of any particular thing. learning. 'Pa˛˛h›na' is a study of causal or conditional relations. In order to bring increasing clarity and discrimination to this investigation of what is actually happening right now. self possession. alertness in the presence of the interdependent. the word for sutta is sutra and in this text. self-consciousness. It's a contemplation of all the causal factors. At this point the practice moves from being an effortful meditation to effortless contemplation arising in the midst of whatever is occurring. heard. mindfulness. Sutta => Pali Text Society Dictionary (PTS). again and again (anusati – remembering). Suta => PTS. feeling/evaluation. 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. consciousness. revelation. four basic areas of human experience. memory. the title of the 7th book of the Abhidhamma. 7 . recognition. 'a lucid. flowing. The experiential essence of Satipa˛˛h›na involves the process of knowingly entering. lucid and intimate way. intentness of mind. and objects of mind. alertness. one is encouraged to thoroughly explore. recognition of how a complex weaving of factors is comprising this present moment'. It was hundreds of years before any of them were written down.The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta In Buddhism the suttas or sutras generally refer to the collection of discourses given by the Buddha. body. lucidity of mind. wakeful. In later meaning. the seventh book. In Sanskrit.
mendicant. to investigate the universe. means to want. said to have been a town in the vicinity north of present day Delhi. 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.e. entry into the Order of monks was marked by a very simple ceremony compared to how it's done today. the only way. the Buddha. almsman. the four foundations of mindfulness direct path ek›yana magga sometimes translated the one way. or not. means virtuous. Are you actually free to ask question? Are you genuinely interested in life. whether you are ordained as a monk or nun. good or excellent. as it arises. if you are courageous enough to question deeply. there is little or no freedom. avoiding discomfort. would say. or achieving a 'correct' result. Whether you are male or female. hatred and delu8 . ask for. with silent s. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Kuru country at a town of the Kurus named Kamm›sadhamma. to Nibb›na purification of beings – Traditionally this means to free beings from greed. ones who are moved to investigate the universe. 2. This teaching was and still is. if you are interested in realising the cessation of suffering for yourself and all beings.' And that was it! In English the word wander is very close to wonder. The Blessed one said this: Kamm›sadhamma literally . 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. Then. 'Come. Question. this is the direct path for the purification of beings. Bhikkhu is often translated as 'homeless one' or wanderer. for the realisation of Nibb›na – namely. for the disappearance of pain and grief. however they find it. The Tibetan word for bhikkhu is gelong and stretching the derivation a bit. Thus have I heard. the sole way. Bhikkhu => PTS. In this unconscious. for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation. then you are Bhikkhu in spirit and this sutra is addressed to you.the activity of good dharma. Slong. with engaged passion. Most people are quite constrained in their questioning. for the attainment of the true way. that is naturally present in any well loved child. It's as if the curiosity.1. 'Ehi Bhikkhu' and snap his fingers. Try to read it as if the Buddha was here in your presence speaking personally to you and your friends.” – “Venerable sir. When we are unconscious or unaware of areas that shape our lives. “Bhikkhus. At the time of the Buddha. wander forth for the benefit of the many folk. Wonder forth for the benefit of the many folk. unawareness. wish. most people are often more concerned about finding an answer. explore the universe for the benefit of the many folk.” they replied. a Buddhist monk or priest. or pleasing the teacher or whoever is seen as the authority. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: “bhikkhus. Dge. the d is silent. one who asks for something. then you will be able to put this teaching to good use immediately. When it comes to question. addressed to ones who are free to ask question. we are not capable of investigating them as they simply don't exist for us. honesty and interest. you do get this sense of wondering. the path that goes only one way i. Namgyal Rinpoché once paraphrased gelong as "one who is free to ask question".
right method Nibb›na is the Pali for the more widely recognised Sanskrit word. Nirv›na. fear and confusion? 3. ill. and mindful. Pure in this sense means 100%. body. This path is very practical. lamentation. a sense of well-being and profound meaningfulness right here in the midst of life as one finds it. transcendent elsewhere. consider what it means to be pure in terms of the ingredients listed on a package of food. the dying out in the heart of the threefold fire of greed. One realises nibb›na. whether a human being.bad and kha . “What are the four? Here. states of mind and objects of mind. => an unpleasant state of mind and body Walshe => pain and sadness dukkha => PTS. => PTS. of security. the madness of a human world that dedicates immense amounts of energy to making money from greed. distress. salvation and bliss Nibb›na or nirv›na is often spoken of as if it were a transcendent state. health. from suc. from du . grief. and mindful. later in the sense of burning grief. discomfort. dejectedness. grief.sion. and mindful. ardent. 1. hatred and delusion 4. I'm reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh's statement. a feeling. bhikkhus. the flame of fire. or active ignoring. To be pure is to be willing and able to be totally present for another being. causing misery. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. hidden agendas. unpleasant. emancipation. It might say. a tree. or a memory. He abides contemplating mind as mind. fully aware. having put 9 . the sense of spiritual well-being. pain and grief dukkhadomanassa. peace. unsatisfactoriness domanassa => PTS. ardent. painful. the going out of a lamp or fire. sorrow. In western cultures the understanding of purity is inevitably mixed up with ideas of impurity or defilement. To be purified is to be 100% present with no additives of fantasy. Do you want peace? Have you become tired of the suffering. mourning lamentation parideva => PTS. suffering. 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. a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. This paragraph hints at something much more immediate. melancholy. dukkha true way – also right path." 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. wailing Walshe translates this as sorrow and distress. sorrow soka.space. feelings. hatred. by saying that the direct path for the realisation of "Peace" is to be found through bringing awareness into these four areas of. It is also do-able by anyone willing to make the effort. trouble. Peanut Butter 100% Pure – no additives. => PTS . peace is with you now. to gleam. fully aware. To take it right out of this realm. mental pain as opposed to physical pain. 2. and a huge amounts of value judgement. ardent. victory. fully aware. the sense of bodily well-being 3. "If you want peace. having put away covetousness and grief for the world.
moment by moment by moment. Mindfulness of Breathing 4. knowing. fully aware. with a passionate interest and energy. to stay. Sometimes translated as "hankering and fretting for the world" or "hankering and dejection common in the world". Having put away covetousness and grief for the world. Thai teacher. in other words not distracted or dispersed but focussed and present. Rephrasing the passage: One who is free to ask question abides. dwell. ardent. ardent. He abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. contemplating these four themes. to live. gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut. “And how. he understands: ‘I breathe out long. to behave. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. and established mindfulness in front of him. however we are abiding. in general: to be. or breathing out long. and so too. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body [of breath]. from within the body experience. (CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY) K›y›nupassan› 1. presence.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall 10 . deliberate. concentrated. to lead a life This term 'abide' is used throughout the text. ever mindful he breathes in. and understanding directly how the body is. responsive. mindful he breathes out. i. abide. bhikkhus. 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. 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'. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating. set his body erect.e.away covetousness and grief for the world. energetically.’ Breathing in short. Fully aware is a translation of sampaj›na => PTS. abides viharati => PTS. engaged. states of mind and objects of mind. sits down. thoughtful. One who is "free to ask question" abides or leads their life. but through experiencing. he understands: ‘I breathe out short. right in this very moment of contemplating. Ajahn Chah would say 'contemplating the body within the body' In other words. fully aware. Basically this is referring to the various expressions and flavours of desire along with the wide spectrum of ambiguity and worry that so often colour our interactions with others. he understands: ‘I breathe in short’. or breathing out short. attentive. states of mind and phenomena. in a state of easeful.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body [of breath]’. not as an armchair theoretician thinking about how the body has been or how it could be. The same formula is applied to feelings. Mindful sati is sometimes translated as selfcomposed. attentive. the body as a body? Here a bhikkhu. and mindful. sojourn (in a certain place). one contemplates the body. mindful. In a similar fashion one contemplates the feelings from within the direct experience of feeling. he understands: ‘I breathe in long’. having folded his legs crosswise. Breathing in long. 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.
can deeply enhance our explorations. where they can be experienced as not two but as a single interacting process. knowing and not knowing. moulding intentions. 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. It has a huge trunk that supports massive branches in which live numerous other forms of life. They also symbolise inner qualities and attitudes that can profoundly support the natural flow of awakening. The root of a tree is another special place for insight. going to a forest is to enter the forest of knowing. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation. In some texts the phrase is translated as 'an empty space'. When we are lost in the underground of our being. in a forest. giving birth to emotions. To live and practice in a real forest. there is little or no insight. myriad forms of experience continuously coming into being and passing away. a bhikkhu understands: ‘I breathe in long'…. and being eaten by other life forms. the ground of becoming. a place where the conscious and unconscious are both available. However. However these three are not just pleasant places to sit. Thoughts are influencing feelings. Metaphorically. at this place that borders both light and dark. or when making a short turn. It is a fruitful place in which to meditate. this is another very fruitful physical place and metaphoric space in which to meditate. when making a long turn. and so forth. and everyone ultimately energised by transformed sunlight. When we are high up in the branches. understands. groping blindly in the dark. in order to significantly awaken. It helps to meditate in a physical place that 11 . all mutually shaping each other. like T›ne Mahuta the great kauri tree in northland New Zealand. large creatures and micro organisms.' Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice. They are not readily available. To sit here. Imagine a 'tree of life'. outward and inward. A place that is spacious and empty in the sense of being a place that has room for new insights and understandings. flowering plants. so too. Branches. shaping physiology. The root of a tree is a very stable place. promoting activity. Earth and roots are feeding branches and leaves. The ancient Buddhist texts often mention the "netted undergrowth" when referring to the intricate tangling of mental processes. but also a very dynamic place as nutriment of different kinds are simultaneously flowing upward and downward. things growing in and on other things. insects. healthy ecosystem.. This forest of knowing is a rich ecology of interdependent phenomena. leaves.’ First of all the Buddha tells us where to meditate. Think of a dense jungle with huge trees. It is the point where the visible tree disappears into the earth or where the invisible tree emerges into the light. Its roots are anchored deep in the earth. a vast interpenetration of bodies and consciousness -–– a well functioning. ’I make a short turn’. whether we are in an actual forest or in a city jungle.breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’. The forest symbolises the mind. a mode of being in which there is an appreciation for the profound interconnectedness of all arisings. understands: ’I make a long turn’. we need to open to this forest of interbecoming. that we are. lianas. This parallels a place in our experience where the unconscious and the conscious meet and interact. breathing in long. None of these places will be very useful for the many beings living in urban areas. birds. the great forest of heart/mind. we may feel we can see a long way but the roots of our being are often out of sight and we lose connection with the ground of being that we are rooted in. light and air are feeding the roots. the womb of becoming. or at the root of a tree or in an empty hut or space. life forms eating other life forms. This is pointing to a mental space that is uncluttered with 'shoulds' and 'oughts'. An empty hut is the third place that the Buddha suggests.
A being who is living the way of mah›y›na has already recognised something of the interconnectedness of the forest of life.is free from clutter. obligations to fulfil and unfinished business to attend to. Hiney›na. or to the root of a tree. in fact. This really Just to be absolutely clear. With this in mind. meditate in the midst of spacious openness. these explorations need to be done while sitting. from hina –– small and y›na –– vehicle. Zen. I am not referring here to the Therav›din tradition. are really living out a hiney›na view. hatred and confusion are the roots of the tree of suffering. unshakeable. This third place is one that supports the arising of new possibilities. As we see in a later section. They could refer to three levels of psychological/spiritual maturity. There are many teachings on posture and meditation. Understanding that greed. the Buddha is teaching skilful means. With this understanding. They are beginning to realise that it is not really possible to find peace without bringing peace to others as well. there is no negativity to escape and no dysfunction to fix. set your body erect. by hiney›na. The meditator with this vajra view will best unfold by meditating in this 'spacious openness of interbeing'. go to the root of a tree. in whatever way our body is 'disposed'. This is a very fruitful way of practising. 1 12 .' Here the text refers to your posture. free from stuff that is repeatedly reminding us of things to do. When you are a mah›y›na meditator. When you are a vajray›na meditator. standing. I have met 'vajray›na practicioners' who. This may be an unusual interpretation but I know Therav›din monks who are living expressions of vajray›na and conversely. the mah›y›na meditator brings compassion and clear seeing to these roots of the tree. A person who has this as their predominant attitude will do best to meditate in the forest. you 'sit down and having folded your legs crosswise. having gone to the forest. In essence though. There is only a vast unshakeable space of lovingkindness/clarity/understanding. In this context. The prime motivation of this mah› mindset is compassion. mah›y›na and vajray›na should be understood without value judgement. from mah› –– great. Having taken up a posture that supports a deep experiential investigation of the rich weaving of now. Vajray›na is from vajra –– diamond. 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. the text then recommends that we 'establish mindfulness in front'. in order to better understand and make peace with the myriad details and phenomena that comprise the forest of their experience. They simply refer to three common psychological attitudes found in the human experience. hiney›na. In this sense it is a small or shrunken viewing of life. or to an empty space. caught in continual self reference. There are other ways we could understand these 3 places. Tibetan. Mah›y›na. and lying down. walking. then go to the forest. All three mindsets can be found in practitioners of Therav›din.1 So. refers to a larger viewing of life. Pureland. creative awareness dancing in the vast space of infinite possibility. in fact. The unshakeable diamond vehicle is an attitude to life that knows everything to be inherently pure. You may recognise you have moments of all of them. In the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. any school of Buddhism. When you are being a hiney›na meditator. they all encourage us to take up a posture that supports a sense of alertness and ease in both mind and body. refers to a mindset of being primarily concerned with one's own suffering and the possibility of getting free from it.
Gradually you begin to notice that your entire body is involved with breathing. this is the process of calming the body formations. in this case. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. middle and end of both the inhalation and the exhalation. breathing out'. this part says.) 4. (less sense of separation between you the meditator and. The Natural Way to Meditate by Tarchin Hearn and in The Path of Purification. Experiencing the bodily formations I shall breathe out'. increasing clarity of mind 3. the object of meditation. In other translations. 'He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’. Calming the body. As you explore in this way. 'Calming the body. Here. "up front" in the sense of honest and not hiding anything. increasing absorption. not looking for a pre-conceived result.) 5. breathing in. one simply notes all the different types of breaths that can occur. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. “In this way he abides. contemplating the body as a body internally. i. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation'. 1 13 . five qualities will show you that you are on the right track.1 The text speaks of breathing in long and short. and in Breathing. we begin to feel more easeful with what we have and what we are. The two are not separate. Here you begin to study and explore all the different rhythms and textures of breathing. You also begin to notice the entire body of the breath. As you practice this section on breathing. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. the breathing. the beginning. At this point you might think. the rate of breathing will gradually slow down and settle.e. increasing calm 2. However. 1. Or as it says in this translation. one realises one breathes out rough and shakily. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. ﬁn›p›nasati. decreasing verbalisation. 5. Long and short are just examples. 'Experiencing the bodily formations I shall breathe in. 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. when breathing in smooth and short. For example. The rest of the section introduces the meditation on the body through investigating the process of breathing. when you find tension in the body and breath. When breathing out rough and shakily. At this stage when you discover a blissful flow in the body and breath. The Vissudhi-magga. Without controlling the breathing in any way one simply experiences and notes the shape and quality of the in–breath and out–breath. When we cease rejecting difficult states that are present and cease wishing for states that aren't present. straight forward. Noting the breath means to directly and intimately feel/sense the textures and sensations of rhythmic physical movements that altogether we call breathing. To calm or 'tranquillise the body doesn't mean to fix it or to change it in any way. At this initial stage. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. one realises one is breathing in smooth and short. the whole body refers to the whole physical body and the whole body of the breath. (Verbalisation is the tendency to create stories or to speculate about what is happening. you might think. 'I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body'. it becomes more and more apparent that the tensions of the body are shaping the breathing and vice-versa. To calm the body and breath means to make friends with the state of the body and breath just as you find them.means that we are alert. you will probably just enjoy it and settle more deeply into it.
nudging us towards insight. It solves a few problems such as how you would observe feelings or mental processes in another person without resorting to unverifiable 'psychic powers'. Internally and externally could be compared with Jung's concepts of introvert and extravert. This is perhaps the most important paragraph in the Satipa˛˛h›na. this interpretation perhaps leaves out some of the more subtle levels of meditation experience. It is not necessary to work with every aspect of the paragraph. sense oneself as one's body. or getting insights as if an 'insight' was a special object or knowledge. This understanding of internally and externally can be applied to all the other sections of the sutta. Though there is much to be learned through practising in this way. => PTS. Internally and externally. or impersonal). simultaneously without conflict. that are being pointed out here. Insight. To contemplate the body internally means to feel. that which is personal. It is assumed that at least one of the seven suggestions will engage our attention. One might have the experience of 'being' one's body rather than observing it.extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. It's a process.. And he abides independent. For those who are familiar with the arising yoga practices in the Tibetan schools. as if you were an observer or a bystander looking from the outside. To contemplate the body 'externally' is to experience it 'objectively'. 14 . It has an 'out there' quality. will always reveal it to be an interdependent arising of many factors including the factors of our own perception and consciousness. or. personal.. focussed way. In each section of the sutta we are given an area to explore in a one-pointed. It has an interior feel. 'Both internally and externally' is to contemplate both.. arises within (in contrast to anything outside. To contemplate the body both internally and externally is to be simultaneously observing the body and being the body with no paradox or contradiction. really means the activity of 'sighting into'. Insight meditation is often confused with looking for. in terms of vipassana. or 'being' the breathing rather than watching it. this corresponds to 'front arising'. The text suggest you do this. a verb. This paragraph directs us towards insight or vipassana which essentially means looking deeply into what is presently arising. is recognising the fact that a meditator can and will experience from different viewing points. or do this. that we could possess and preserve. not clinging to anything in the world. interior. subjective. in other words as if from the inside. and 'self arising' work and then experiencing them both. Then.. or do this. The extravert type finds their reality and sense of identity in the world of objective experience that can be shared and discussed with others. Internally and Externally: Most of the commentaries explain that to contemplate the body internally is to contemplate one's own body. Ajjhatta is the word being translated as internally. this paragraph is repeated with virtually no changes. subjectively. objective. The introvert type finds their reality or place of identity in their private and personal subjective experience. To contemplate the body externally is to contemplate someone else's body. Looking/experiencing more deeply into any phenomena. experience. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. inwardly.
when standing. Or. craving. cells tissues and organs. recognising that every state of 'being' is a coming into being of something and a simultaneous passing away of something else. It is a union of uncountable viruses. Here it means independent of states of greed. he understands: ‘I am lying down’. he understands: ‘I am sitting’. by societies. It is an interbeing of all these processes from micro to macro. To abide independent doesn't contradict the earlier contemplation of interdependent. not involved with them. when sitting. hatred and delusion. plants and animals. when walking. or he understands accordingly however his body is disposed. then one can simply focus on the fact that: "There is a body" or 'This is a body'. The paragraph finishes by saying that the bhikkhu abides independent. “Again. It is conditioned by families. Not clinging to anything in the world particularly means not identifying as "self" any of the five aggregates or skandhas (see p 29) 2. the meditator contemplates these two processes as one inseparable whole. or again he keeps on considering how the body is something that passes away. when lying down. In a modern scientific view one might see it as a co-dependent arising along the following lines: This body of mine is composed of atoms born in stars molecules. by thoughts and dreams. to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. not clinging to anything in the world. 15 . a bhikkhu understands: ‘I am walking’. In this section one contemplates the interdependent nature of the physical body.Arising and Vanishing Factors Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. The Four Postures 6. transient May it teach me wisdom. Wondrous. (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. in other words just holding the awareness without speculating or wandering. bacteria. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors Rhys Davids translates this section: "He keeps on considering how the body is something that comes to be. In the Abhidhamma system the main causal factors in its arising are listed as ignorance. karma (activity) and food. fungi. bhikkhus. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. It is moulded by sun and gravity and the whole of the ecosphere. he understands: ‘I am standing’." Here the meditator contemplates the many factors that together support the arising of a body and or the factors that support its dissolving. or again he keeps on considering the coming into being with the passing away.
Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. is needed in order to experience these familiar postures in fresh. really drink tea. The body is an interbeing of innumerable factors. new. sensitive. falling asleep. to know. a Tibetan form of body awareness work or Feldenkrais 'Awareness Through Movement' or any other body awareness practice can help to augment this section. With this section the meditator brings awareness into all the activities of daily life. Thich Nhat Hanh's book "The Miracle of Mindfulness" gives many excellent hints for supporting this section's explorations. The breathing shifts in response to the posture. 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. When washing dishes. and tasting. bhikkhus. as extraordinary. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing 16 . All Activities 8. come to know. Because the ordinary is so habitual and familiar. give all your attention to washing dishes. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. One activity at a time. standing etc. and keeping silent. you will notice all kinds of shifts and changes. The body is never static. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. The posture shifts in response to the breathing. standing. i.. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. Kum Nye. “In this way he abides. a lot of awake.Here one continues the exploration of breathing but now taking the practice into whatever posture you happen to be in. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. 9. consuming food. a bhikkhu is one who acts in full awareness when going forward and returning. You need to be able to see the ordinary. who acts in full awareness when looking ahead and looking away.e. revealing ways. find out. And he abides independent. This is an area in which many people find gathas or short memory verses to be useful. One breath at a time. talking. drinking. who acts in full awareness when eating. who acts in full awareness when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl. walking. The word translated as understanding is paj›nati => PTS. understand. 3. 7. 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. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. sitting. When drinking tea. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. distinguish. who acts in full awareness when walking. To deepen this work it helps if you can remember to do one thing at a time and give it all of your attention. contemplating the body as a body internally. contemplating the body as a body internally. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. Even when lying down if you give your attention to the detail of what is happening. attention to detail. “Again. “In this way he abides. All sorts of muscular movements and adjustments are needed to rest in any particular position. waking up. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. who acts in full awareness when flexing and extending his limbs. To "understand" you are sitting means to have a rich interior awareness of the physical sensations of sitting.
teeth. bile. nails. contents of the stomach. section VIII 42 . For it is through verbal recitation that the 17 . and urine. bhikkhus. a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair. grease. 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. One begins with the 'skin pentad'. diaphragm. bounded by skin. diaphragm. they are squeamish about what's inside. sweat. bone-marrow. faeces. diaphragm. phlegm. and white rice. sweat.factors. flesh. peas. oil of the joints. teeth. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. blood. millet. small intestines. Lastly the 'urine sestad'.’ Just as though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of many sorts of grain. fat. body-hairs. blood. spleen. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. spittle. bones. head-hairs. 4. grease. pus. small intestines. this is millet. modern people often relate to their body in a very superficial way. heart. a thousand times. teeth. body hairs. slimy and unmentionable in polite company! I have noticed that even well educated. Then add the 'brain pentad'. as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head hairs. small intestines. kidneys. blood. so too. often don't want to know about. sweat. nails. and urine. snot. fat. contents of the stomach. lungs. “Again. liver. pus. large intestine. spleen. large intestines. tears. fat. beans. faeces. Then one adds the 'lights or lungs pentad'. bile. phlegm. p170 . brain. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. Then the 'fat sestad'. these are peas. nails. lungs. not clinging to anything in the world. large intestines. this is red rice. spleen.177. bounded by skin. skin. then one begins to include the 'kidney pentad'. this is white rice’. When the mind stabilises in observing this pentad. and a man with good eyes were to open it and review it thus. While lavishing attention on the outer skin and the various adornments that clothe it. ‘This is hill rice. faeces. pus. lungs. again going forward and then all the way back. body hairs. spittle. Originally it was for counteracting lust and excessive infatuation for the "bodybeautiful". Foulness or Repulsiveness: The Parts of the Body 10. bones. One goes forward to kidneys and then all the way back to head-hairs. red rice. 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. liver. the description of this meditation is very extensive. grease. snot. The text says: "The recitation should be done verbally in this way a hundred times. tears. these are beans. even a hundred thousand times. and urine. reciting it forward and back. snot. a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair. And he abides independent.’ This section is traditionally referred to as the meditation on the foulness or repulsiveness of the body.144 and in 'The Vimuttimagga' The Path of Freedom. oil of the joints. as if it were only what appears to them in a mirror. It encourages the meditator to investigate the reality of a body made of parts. liver. spittle. contents of stomach. oil of the joints. The classical method of practising this meditation is described in detail in 'The Visuddhimagga' The Path of Purification. bones. bile. Here. sinews. many of them smelly. as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head hairs. such as hill rice. phlegm. tears.
blood and bone are the temporary arrangement of carrots. And looking in. urine and blood. people need to get into wholesome contact with the wondrous miracle which is their body. They need to cultivate lovingkindness. And came to release all lustful selfish clinging to this walking breathing corpse. symbiotic dancing of plants and animals. My muscles and tissues. location and delimitation (distinguishing it from other similar parts. the parts become evident. chemical cycles. both described in Natural Awakening can be very fruitful ways of working. corrupt. gases. emphasising foulness and repulsiveness. With modern medical knowledge and tools. cells and organs. the meditator looks more carefully into each part. of vomit. direction. molecules. fats and oils. How vast and wondrous! And so they do.) All this detailed attention to and investigation of grease. A bag of faeces. birds and trees. full of filth. it may then become internalised as a mental recitation. My excretions the banquet of others. Today the teachers say. They are frequently quite out of contact with their bodies and seem to spend much of their time in their 'heads'." Once the verbal recitation has been well established. Feldenkrais. this meditation could go in a very different direction: The ancients said. I find the out. often doesn't help people who are coming from these backgrounds. spittle. those monks of old. the mind being thus prevented from running here and there. fish and herbs on the way to being worms. 'Awareness Through Movement' work 18 . look at that body. shape.meditation subject becomes familiar and. Also. anger. (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) If the classical form of this meditation doesn't engage you in a positive way. shaping their lives. Miraculous voyagings of stardust atoms. though I should say that it is potentially a very wonderful and rich practice. For deep healing. 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. snot. Water cycles. hatred. and fear energy. look at that body. This meditation in its classical form. 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. And so they did. discerning it clearly as to colour. There is already too much of that in their being. Foul. blood etc. insects. Body-scan in four parts and the Inner Smile. My breath is the breath of the rainforest. Many people today have a lot of aversion. not a sense of foulness and repulsion. gradually establishes the body as something that is asubha "not-beautiful" and one experiences great detachment from it. At this point.
And he abides independent. dh›tu => element. 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. light. gravitational pull T-Abd notes – water element is the intangible cohesive or binding tendency which gives rise to the body of something. thickness etc. Water element ›po-dh›tu ›po. Earth element pa˛havı-dh›tu. hardness.’ 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. tejo => "sharpness" heat. 5.can greatly augment this meditation as can Kum Nye. contemplating the body as a body internally. i. breadth. dimension. “Again bhikkhus.’ This meditation is outlined in detail in the Visuddhimagga XI. fire. so too. the water element. expansion. softness These are the two relative conditions of this element. however disposed. flame. however disposed. to arrive. Fire element tejo-dh›tu tejo => PTS from tij. pa˛h›vi => the earth. as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. however it is placed.e.=> PTS from ap. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. and the air element. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. to be sharp. extension. the fire element. a bhikkhu reviews this same body. 11. metabolic processes of catabolism and anabolism. the water element. however it is placed. Air element v›yo-dh›tu 19 . “In this way he abides. b – density ie. pa˛h›vi => PTS from puthu or prath – to expand. not clinging to anything in the world. as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element. firm T-Abd notes – Pa˛h›vi => the degree to which space is occupied a – extension ie. to come in. 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. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. and the air element. Elements 12. It is the vitalising energy and determines the life span and degeneration of matter. a bhikkhu reviews this same body. These control the maturing and progression of the body. the broad one. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. the fire element. 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. a Tibetan system of body awareness work. solid. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. attraction. It's attributes are fluidity and contraction. to pierce. radiance T-Abd notes – Tejo is the heat element and applies to all temperature ranges.
livid. powering photosynthesis.14. “In this way he abides. 6 . That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. contemplating the body as a body internally. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. Air is composed of chemical elements and compounds which themselves are interbeing with other systems and processes. consciously breathe in and out a few times while contemplating how this food or drink has come to be here. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. to weave.' 15. Or else he abides contemplating in 20 . or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. The story of potato. Although it was not really the traditional approach. two. We are literally a weaving of sunlight. 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. "Again. what has the characteristic of cohesion is the water element. Meditating in this way. And he abides independent. Before bringing the food to your mouth. the tears in another being's eyes. dancing together in complex ways giving rise to the temporary appearance of bodies. The heat of the sun is the ultimate source of energy. "What has the characteristic of stiffness is the earth element. one.v›yo => PTS from v›y. 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. to vibrate. bloated. To do this one contemplates how one's body is literally made of earth through the medium of plants which were eaten as food. it will be like that. The Nine Charnel Ground Contemplations 14. XI 39. a snow field. which creates sugars which are released as heat and energy in our bodies through metabolism." In the traditional meditation you could think of the elements as being inner qualities that together give shape and form to anything. a river flowing to the sea. bhikkhus. “In this way he abides. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. earth. or three days dead. All these elements are continuously flowing through the ecosphere. It is seen in the body as movement. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. we understand the body to be a dynamic process of transformation. Eating and drinking is an obvious time for exploring this meditation. and oozing matter. These explorations require a very focussed and subtly discerning attentiveness otherwise they can drift into the realm of philosophical thinking and speculation. not clinging to anything in the world. Vis. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. move and oscillate. This is the vibratory aspect. The liquids in one's body were once a cloud. what has the characteristic of ripening (maturing) is the fire element. what has the characteristic of distending (supporting) is the air element. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. water and air and the elements of these have all been born in stars! 13. it is not exempt from that fate. and from v›. it can be very valuable to contemplate the four elements in an outer way. interdependent with everything else in the world.
dogs. And he abides independent. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.bones rotted and crumpled to dust. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.. here a shin-bone. it is not exempt from that fate. jackals. "Again. the colour of shells. In ancient days the meditator would go to a charnel ground where there were human bodies in various stages of decay and decomposition. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. there a shoulder-bone.-24.. here a hip-bone.a skeleton without flesh and blood. it will be like that. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. there a foot-bone. “In this way he abides. there a skull – a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. it is not exempt form that fate. there a thigh-bone. there a breast-bone. here a tooth. And he abides independent. more than a year old. not clinging to anything in the world. a skeleton with flesh and blood.. 21 . 16. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. held together with sinews. contemplating the body as a body internally. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. “In this way he abides. go I. hawks.. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. but for the grace of God.. held together with sinews.. or various kinds of worms. There. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. it will be like that..a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood."Again.' 17. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature.. the first thing I saw was a beggar's corpse being thrown into the back of a garbage truck. being devoured by crows.' 25. vultures. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.' The Charnel Ground Contemplations known as asubha (not beautiful) study the body as it disintegrates after death. Today one has to practise in one's imagination..bones heaped up.the body its arising factors. not clinging to anything in the world. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. there a jaw-bone. it will be like that. here an arm-bone. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. This stimulated much contemplation. If you see the corpse of an animal you can use it as a stimulus for developing this meditation. there a back-bone. contemplating the body as a body internally. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. 18. here a rib-bone. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. held together with sinews. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. bones bleached white. I remember many years ago when emerging from the train station in Calcutta. And he abides independent. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. here a neck-bone. it is not exempt from that fate. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. 26-30 "Again..disconnected bones scattered in all directions – here a hand-bone. not clinging to anything in the world.
People often confuse feelings with emotions. Experientially. (CONTEMPLATION OF FEELING) Vedan›nupassan› 32. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. to experience i.e. “In this way he abides. from ved or vid. the moment of vedan› seems to come before one is even consciously aware of the object. The text refers to three types of vedan›. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly painful feeling'. A moment of vedan› emerges from the collective response. when feeling a painful feeling.31. when feeling a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. to feel. he understands: 'I feel a worldly pleasant feeling'. to know. when feeling an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. to sense. Pain shortens it. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating feelings as feelings? Here. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. This response leads to the creature moving towards or away from the stimulus.' Vedan› => PTS. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. The automatic moving towards something is experienced as pleasurable. Pleasurable.e. when feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling. unpleasurable and neither pleasurable nor unpleasurable. when feeling a pleasant feeling. of all the parts and systems making up the organism. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. As one can see by the PTS derivations above. When you have a feeling it is going to rain 22 . to any stimulus whether internally or externally arising. a bhikkhu understands: 'I feel a pleasant feeling'. he understands: 'I feel a painful feeling'. In the action of responding we belatedly recognise the vedan›. "And how bhikkhus. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. Pleasure furthers life. when feeling a worldly painful feeling. he understands: 'I feel a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling'. he understands: 'I feel a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. he understands: 'I feel a worldly painful feeling'. Moving away is unpleasurable and neither moving towards or away as neutral or indifferent. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. You might think of it as an organism preservation mechanism. It's what allows us to jerk our hand away from a hot stove element before it burns us. Vedan› can be so fleeting and subtle that what we commonly perceive as vedan› is usually a stream of many similar vedan› moments. And he abides independent. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly pleasant feeling'. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. not clinging to anything in the world. contemplating the body as a body internally. vedan› is feeling but in the sense of evaluation. when feeling a neither-painful-nor pleasant feeling. "to weigh it up" T–Abd notes – Vedan› is a conscious subjective impression prior to recognising or identifying an object.' When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling. when feeling an unworldly painful feeling. It can modify the stream of consciousness either positively or negatively i.
23 . or he abides contemplating in feelings both their arising and vanishing factors. contemplating the feelings as feelings internally. The Buddha once said that he knew the pleasant for the pleasant and the unpleasant for the unpleasant. worldly and unworldly feelings Traditionally. experiencing it arise and pass without necessarily acting on it. A poorly functioning vedan› can cause no end of suffering. Situations are then 'evaluated' on the basis of what will augment a relatively static and more or less defensive ego image.15) under the 'six kinds of joy'. especially in this day of powerful advertising and media manipulation. or he abides contemplating in feelings their vanishing factors. We can identify as unpleasant. The six refer to the six sense doors. They are described in (MN 137. Their wrong reading of vedan› leads to all sorts of unskilful actions. It sounds very straight forward but in practice. 9 . Or else mindfulness that ‘there is feeling’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. 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.you don't usually mean you are having an emotion that it will rain. “In this way he abides. Addictions to alcohol or to chronic activity or to junk food are examples of this. something that is actually good for the organism and then back away from it. arising through any of the six sense doors. dukkha and anatt› through any of the six sense doors and then longing for liberation. And he abides independent. worldly feelings are described as feeling/evaluations arising in the life of a householder. suffering dukkha. 33. According to the MN text. not clinging to anything in the world. and nonabidingness anatt›. and the 'six kinds of equanimity'. Or else he abides contemplating in feelings their arising factors. the 'six kinds of grief'. Confusion and suffering can occur if the vedan› function becomes 'hijacked' by the ego. and neutrality) arising through any of the six doors. something that is essentially bad for the organism and hence move towards it. The grief is actually in the longing. or he abides contemplating the feelings as feelings both internally and externally. many beings don't know. subject to change. Similarly. or he abides contemplating the feelings as feelings externally. fading away and cessation. When this happens we can begin to make bad 'decisions'. disliking. They have lost touch with this basic life support function. without any accompanying insight or understanding. rather than on the basis of what is good for the overall creative functioning of the organism. There is equanimity on seeing that all sense objects are impermanent. we can identify as pleasant. 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. the three types of vedan› for a person living the life of renunciation. There is grief when experiencing the anicca. For example. The three types of vedan› of a householder refer to the common responses to sensory experience (liking. In vedan›nupassan› one simply notes the process of vedan›. An organism is constantly monitoring the inner and outer environment. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating feelings as feelings. the renunciate will experience joy in discovering the truth of impermanence anicca. Unworldly feelings are feeling/evaluations arising in the life of a renunciate.
Research into brain damaged people has shown that intellect without emotional content often loses its moral or value component. and mind unaffected by lust as mind unaffected by lust. and mind unaffected by hate as mind unaffected by hate.CONTEMPLATION OF MIND Citt›nupassan› 34. It may be a more commonly named emotion. design.e. however. appear. citta denotes both the agent and that which is enacted. to think. Imagine that you had a collection of different colour tinted sunglasses. state of mind. If you wear a pair of pink ones the whole world appears to be tinted pink. He understands mind affected by delusion as mind affected by delusion. and unliberated mind as unliberated mind. He understands exalted mind as exalted mind." Citta. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind as mind? Here a bhikkhu understands mind affected by lust as mind affected by lust. In the direct experience of meditation you may not be able to precisely name the citta. I have not the heart to do it.e. thought. With the familiar 24 . bhikkhus. the heart (psychologically) i. He understands contracted mind as contracted mind. the centre and focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations i. He understands surpassed mind as surpassed mind. Other translations use 'consciousness' or 'thought'. reaction to impressions. blessed are the pure at heart. He understands liberated mind as liberated mind. It may be something rough or bouncy or bubbly or bright or smooth or still. you the meditator understand that this particular 'state of mind' is present. colours our perception and helps shape the sense of meaning arising in any given situation. all of which emphasise the emotional and cognitive side of "thought" more than its mental and rational side. "The bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind. If you have green ones the world is tinted green and grey ones tint the world grey." In other words. In this way. in the very presence of the mind state. Citta is difficult to translate in one word while preserving its full meaning. from cit. and unsurpassed mind as unsurpassed mind. He understands concentrated mind as concentrated mind. He understands mind affected by hate as mind affected by hate. Citta => PTS. you may feel an overall texture of knowing or experiencing. disposition. heart and soul. and mind unaffected by delusion as mind unaffected by delusion. This mode or way of experiencing. without departing from it. States of mind are like this. Namgyal Rinpoché referred to citta in the context of Satipa˛˛h›na as 'state of mind'. It's as if you were wearing anger glasses or happiness glasses or glasses of any other emotional texture. open or closed. The text gives only a very limited range of examples of possible states of mind. The meaning of citta is best understood when explaining it by expressions familiar to us such as: with all my heart. The state of mind roughly corresponds to what people consider their emotional state. and distracted mind as distracted mind. Citta may therefore be rendered by intention. " And how. and unexalted mind as unexalted mind. and unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated mind. The translation we have here uses 'mind' for citta. the 'state of mind'. That's why the PTS dictionary speaks of "man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations. => PTS. perceive. cinteti. mood. => PTS. If you wear a pair of glasses for a long time you often forget that you have them on and don't realise that the glasses are affecting the way you see and experience the world. could be thought of as the overall flavour or texture of mind. It may be focussed or diffused. impulse.
or he abides contemplating mind as mind externally. You investigate the entire interbeingness of arising mind states. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen ill will. contemplating mind as mind internally. And he abides independent. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five hindrances? "Here. and that they arise dependent on many different factors. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen ill will. 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. An unexalted mind and a surpassed mind refer to the level of sense sphere consciousness k›mavacara. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned ill will. The Five Hindrances 36. or he abides contemplating in mind both its arising and vanishing factors. CONTEMPLATION OF MIND-OBJECTS Dhamm›nupassan› 1. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sensual desire. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sensual desire. Your body and feeling function are some of these factors. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is sensual desire in me'. or emotional states. A contracted mind is referring to states of sloth and torpor. there being ill will in him.emotions it is valuable to notice the texture rather than simply rubber stamping them with a label. he understands. seeing and knowing that they are transient. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is ill will in me'. there being sensual desire in him. or. there being no ill will in him. 'There is no sensual desire in me'. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind. not clinging to anything in the world. 'There is no ill will in me'. he understands. "And how. you will experience a greater and greater freedom from being blindly caught up in reaction. or he abides contemplating in mind its vanishing factors. Or else he abides contemplating in mind its arising factors. you begin to note the arising of mental states. A distracted mind refers to states of restlessness and worry. or.' 25 . An exalted mind refers to states of absorption on fine material form rÒp›vacara. You explore what factors contribute to their arising and what factors contribute to their passing. The liberated mind is referring to a degree of freedom from defilements either through jh›na or through insight.' "Here. bhikkhus. “In this way he abides. along with outer circumstances and situations. there being no sensual desire in him. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is mind’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sensual desire. Through dwelling in a continuum of awareness of the arising and passing of states of mind. or he abides contemplating mind as mind both internally and externally. This will encourage you to examine the state more closely. The unsurpassed mind is referring to the levels of absorption on immaterial form ›rÒp›vacara. 35. and unconsciously projecting onto the object you are involved with. When you are exploring citt›nupassan›.
Buddhadhamma. he understands. In this sutta however. i. at the beginning. Dhamm›nupassan› particularly refers to the dharmas of awakening. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sceptical doubt. uncreated. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor. this universal logic. objective. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is both sloth and torpor in me'. one moves on to investigate the five aggregates of clinging to a sense of self. The Buddha (like every great philosopher) is a discoverer of this order of the Dhamma. the difficulties or negativities are more obvious and more demanding.e. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen restlessness and worry. the knower becomes the incorporation of the knowable. subjective. "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. idea. philosophy or righteousness in which the rational and the ethical elements are fused into one. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen restlessness and worry. dharma. or purely mental phenomenon as distinguished from a psycho-physical phenomenon or sensation. psychologically. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is restlessness and worry in me'. there being sceptical doubt in him. or. there being both sloth and torpor in him. "rationality" any thing that is as it should be according to its reason and logicality i. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is sceptical doubt in me'. vedan› and citta would come in this category. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sceptical doubt. but intelligible to a mind of his range. truth and its recognition by the Buddha. hatred and delusion that commonly arise along with sensory experience. Once there is a lessening of these tendencies. immanent. he understands. => PTS. he understands. That which the Buddha preached. mental attitude. support: that which forms a foundation and upholds. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned restlessness and worry. natural law. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sceptical doubt. This is a more hidden source of suffering. and by him made intelligible to mankind as bodhi: revelation.e. philosophy. looking into the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. there being restlessness and worry in him. This fourth foundation of mindfulness which has been translated here as awareness of 'mind-objects' could be thought of as awareness of phenomena. or. Thus by recognition of the truth. => PTS. from dh¸ (dh›reti) to hold. thought."Here. or. Because for most beings. not as interpreted by him only. 'There is no sloth and torpor in me'. 'There is no sceptical doubt in me'. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sloth and torpor. 'There is no restlessness and worry in me'. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sloth and torpor.' "Here. much less invented or decreed by him. there being no sceptical doubt in him. awakening. anything that is not covered by k›ya. more in-your-face than the positive dharmas. Then the meditator investigates the realm of sensing and the reactions of greed. the section on dhamm›nupassan› begins with an exploration of the five gross hindrances. the Dhamma was the order of law of the universe. => PTS. In a sense.' "Here.' dhamma => PTS. the Dhamma or world wisdom/philosophy of the Buddha as contained in the Sutras. As this area becomes less of a problem the investigation turns to the positive. there being no sloth and torpor in him. eternal. a study of the qualities of being that are inseparable from the experience of 26 . there being no restlessness and worry in him. Dhamma in Pali is the same as Skt.
This yearning is not just mental but is also expressed physically in the body as a matrix of tensions. vy›p›da => ill will => PTS. one comes to know directly the Four Noble Truths. We want to see. chanda => moon.dwelling in freedom. Finally one "understands how there comes to be the future non-arising of an abandoned hindrance. the culmination of the path. Most people linger in this fifth state until another desire for sensing picks them up and they begin the cycle all over again. Now we experience the fourth hindrance. It's hard work to maintain the tensions of anger and ill-will. the cycle begins with desire for something other than what is happening. Verbalisation i. With each of these five. P›da which means foot or base is symbolically referring to energy fields. In brief. In the last section.e. 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. or taste or touch or know. It is a hindrance in that it is inevitably desire for something that is not currently present. if we can't let go and relax into what is actually present. – essentially through friendly non-clinging awareness. like a lotus padme. story making. At this point in the cycle it's as if the creative life energy has almost stopped flowing. If this goes on for too long it sucks up so much vital energy that we fall into the third hindrance. it pushes against the dam of tension–frustration and everything begins to tremble. it's not uncommon to look outside the body for the cause or source of tension with the idea of getting rid of it. ill-will. k›macchanda => desire for sensing k›ma => sensing or sensual. memories. aspiration. 27 . This first hindrance is desire for experience at any one of the six sense doors. general chatter and so forth is usually a sure sign of k›macchanda. how they manifest in the body and what are the accompanying mental attitudes." This last section refers to realisation of various stages of Path in which specific hindrances cease to arise again. a degree of frustration will augment the tension until it becomes physically unpleasant. Hence the sense that ill-will is an expression of energy fields gone astray. It's someone else's fault! This is the birth of the second hindrance. exhaustion. Although these five are usually taught in the context of meditation. lethargic. what triggers them. 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. see Breathing: The Natural Way to Meditate – p 56 1. planning. in other words. we will find ourselves sinking towards the fifth hindrance. hatred. a tired. It can be very useful however to think of them as five common divisions of a single cycle of energy. associations and so forth. closed minded scepticism which is often accompanied by varying degrees of depression. (see p 33) The five hindrances are often taught as if they were five completely separate types of experience. making bad. For a much more detailed description of the cycle of the five hindrances along with some hints at how to dissolve them. desire. The vya is associated with the idea of gone astray. desire to injure. One understands how to let go of and abandon a hindrance. A yearning or reaching out takes place through one or more of the six sense doors. ill-will. restlessness and worry. they also arise in the general activity of one's daily life. to understand clearly how they come into being. malevolence. plotting. anger. doing harm. Five Hindrances Pañca Nıvara˚a One begins to explore the realm of Dharma by investigating the five hindrances. If the desire is not fulfilled. 2. If we are unaware of this happening. At this point.
essentially a state of tiredness. from the.. such its origin. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. that which should be done. not clinging to anything in the world.. tremble. shake off. a state of throwing up. inert. Kukkucca => worry. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. or the point in continuing with the practice. mental self-sacrificing. 2. gathering.e. a stickiness of mind. collection. middha is a sleeping of the senses i. Middha from middh => to be inactive. fidgeting. such is perception. a grieving kind of worry. such its disappearance. remorse. defensive state of mind. such are the formations. to become hard. conglomeration. 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. Thına and middha are always in conjunction – a weak. such their origin. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors.Abd notes – Thına => PTS. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. an energyless unwieldyness resulting in a limp. agitated.. weak sañña. such its disappearance. sleepiness. sticky mind. unwieldy. such is feeling.. It is called citta gellaññaª. uncertainty.Abd notes – Uddhacca => from U => up. perplexity. such its origin. heap 28 . vicikicch› => sceptical doubt => PTS. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. trembly. This is the opposite of sukha. an unsettled state of mind. the psychic picker. Kicca => PTS. “In this way he abides. what's the point?' It is the fundamental life doubt i. Thına is very much an energy reference. or the validity of the teaching or the integrity or value of the teacher. such its disappearance. mania. Vi expresses negation and ambivalence towards 'that which should be done'. the psychic masochist. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. such their disappearance. to be distracted in thought. to congeal. It is an ambivalence that leads to mental paralysis 'can't do this. ˛hına-middha => sloth and torpor. doubt in existence or the possibility of awakening. above. vedan›.. such its origin. 4. And he abides independent. T. Vicikicch› is the state of being incapable of deciding this is this and that is that.' The Five Aggregates of Clinging Pañc'up›dd›nakkhandha Khandha (Pali) or skandha (Skt) => aggregate. rigidity. dullness. uncertainty..can't do that. and saºkhar›.. 37. such its disappearance. 'Such is material form. overly scrupulous. such is consciousness. sickness of mind. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. the shrinking mind. sorrow. such its origin. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. bhikkhus. Vicikicchati => to dis-reflect. The Five Aggregates 38. 5. like a flurry of grey snowflakes. Hence doubt. over + dhu=> to waver.e. incapable of function. function.3. "Again. uddhacca-kukkucca => restlessness and worry T . to shrink. Thına is the opposite of viriya energy. depression and is the opposite of cittakammaññat› adaptability of mind. perplexity.
recognition. in order to more clearly illustrate what he was talking about. idea. cycles and undulations. attatchment In the Heart Sutra. In the texts there is no universally applicable one meaning for rÒpa. awareness 3. to shine forth. RÒpa is that which breaks up or changes. an announcement. For example if the organism has a low fuel energy. looks with profound understanding. to be visible. It moulds to various changes of environment. Together. Pak›sane => explaining. to become known. Contemplating the five aggregates. All form perceived by mind has 28 textures. containing) + jñ› (knowing. Abhidhamma describes 28 species of rÒpa dealt with in terms of how they arise. publicity. RÒpa => form. 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. a manifestation. T-Abd notes – RÒpa actually means. Some renderings are form. notion. 1. a field or sphere of colour va˚˚›yatana. a central text of Mahayana Buddhism. RÒpa => PTS. a related word is sankhata => put to29 . PTS. sense. from rup. he placed five piles of rice on the ground in front of him. making known. RÒpa is a living force. utu seasonal phenomena i. the five categories hint at the myriad factors that weave together the human experience. some with perceptions. perish. evidence. Vedan› => feeling/evaluation (see p 22) Sañña => perception. having insight) sañña =>PTS. citta. According to legend. wavelengths. information. when the Buddha first taught the five skandhas. Some people identify more with their body. the bodhisattva of compassion. So rÒpapak›sane => a shining. into the fullness of the present moment. matter. Sankh›ra => PTS. autonomous self or ego. corporeality. Each pile. RÒpa means both the fundamentals of matter and the laws and changes and processes of matter.Pañca => five Up›dd›na => grasping. being the third khandha 2. It notes the qualities or characteristics of things. some with habit patterns and some with consciousness. independent. to break. body. sense. perception. with. and ›h›ra nutriment. a statement. They are called 'aggregates of clinging' because each one can be a focus for clinging to the sense of a separate. conception. assimilation of sensations. perception. RÒpa perception springs from four sources. consciousness. is a way of deepening our understanding of how each moment of life experience is dependent on uncountable other situations and circumstances. material form This includes the physical body with its sense faculties as well as external material objects. it will not perceive as wide a range of rÒpa. all the grains of rice. some with their feelings. consciousness of diversity 4. hence 'five heaps'.e. RÒpa is also derived from rÒppak›sane => PTS. and "beheld but five heaps". pigmentation. kamma. a declaration. represented one of the skandhas and also indicated that the heap itself is comprised of a multitude of sub-factors. that which changes its colour due to elemental shifts. persist and perish. from saª (together. recognising. Avalokitesvara. from saª (together) + k¸ (to work). explanation. The chief characteristic of sañña is identification or recognition. destroy. RÒpa is that which manifests itself through different colours va˚˚›. discernment. five skandhas. clinging.
dispositions.vicikicch› 30 .chando Unwholsome .ekaggat› Vital energy . They are listed here to give you a sense of the one approach to exploring saºkh›ra.Akusala Delusion . brought about as effect of actions in former births. In Tantrayana this is represented by the fifty freshly severed human heads around Vajra Yogini's neck.m›na Hatred . However when considering the five Skandhas.middhaª Sceptical doubt . emotional and intellectual aspects of one's mental life. Saºkh›ra has a feeling of bits and pieces being put together to make a particular formation.adhimokkha Enthusiastic perseverance .viriya Interest-joy-ecstasy .thınaª Energyless-body .manasik›ra (There are two more cetasika usually listed in this section.phassa Volition . In abhidhamma.dosa Envy . conditioned.lobha View . 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.iss› Avarice . produced by a combination of causes.di˛˛hi Conceit .anottappaª Restlessness . This includes all volitional.jıvitindriyaª Attention . vedan› and sañña which would make the total number of cetasika come to 52.macchariyaª Worry .Paki˚˚ak› Focus .vic›ra Decision .moha Shamelessness . 50 Mental Factors or Cetasika that are classified as sankharas in the abhidhamma system.uddhaccaª Desire-clinging .) Variables .gether. saºkh›ra refers to the 50 mental factors or cetasikas.pıti Aspiration . habit patterns and so forth. compound.cetan› One-pointedness . these two stand on their own so there are only 50 cetasika listed in the category of sankh›ra.vitakka Scanning . created. Common to all states of consciousness . Sank›ra => habitual formations.ahirikaª Fearlessness .Sabbacittas›dh›ran› Contact .kukkuccaª Energyless-mind .
k›ya and cittakammaññat› Proficiency .k›ya and cittamudut› Adaptability . the mental concomitants. mental coefficients.cittalahut› Pliancy . or tend to come. 2. is so complete.k›yapassaddhi Tranquillity of citta . of purposive intellection.Common to the Beautiful . peculiar to the East. in which the blending of the subjective-objective view of the world and of happening.k›ya and cittajjukat› Abstinences .cittapassadhi Lightness of mental body.samm›v›ca Right Action .tatramajjhattat› Tranquillity of mental body (cetasik›). Here the vi means to divide hence it is a knowing that divides into subject and object. 'I' am conscious of 'that'. requisite for action. In a simple way.alobha Lovingkindness .ottappaª Generosity . speech and thought.samm›kammanto Right Livelihood .hiri Moral caution . or constitutional elements of physical life. Viññ›na => consciousness. sank›ra could be thought of as the habitual patterns. There are many words for consciousness.saddh› Mindfulness . (ii) Essential conditions.samm›-›jıvo Illimitable .karu˚› 2 Sympathetic Joy . comprising all cetasikas. attitudes. or adjuncts which come. antecedents or synergy (co-ordinated activity). (i) the sum of the conditions or properties making up or resulting in life or existence.sati Moral shame .Sobhanas›dh›ran› Confidence . Sankh›r› tend to take on the implication of synergies. The existence of the object is helping to establish the sense of being a subject and simultaneously. think). Lightness of citta .adosa Equanimity .paññindriya PTS says of sank›ra: 'One of the most difficult terms in Buddhist metaphysics. PTS from vi + jñ› (to produce. One of the five khandhas.Viratiyo Right Speech . tendencies and concepts resonating from past experience that help shape and give meaning to the present moment. that it is almost impossible for Occidental terminology to get at the root of its meaning in a translation.g.mudit› Wisdom Faculty .k›yalahut›. a purposive aspiring state of mind to induce a specific rebirth. Various meanings: 1.k›ya and cittap›guññat› Straightforwardness .Appamañña 1 Compassion . into consciousness at the uprising of a citta or unit of cognition. aggregate of the conditions or essential properties for a given process or result e. the state of the subject is shaping the perception 31 .
perception. composed of the other four. if you enquire deeply into the nature of form or material and try to describe it. sense organ and object. He understands the nose.. and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter. Perception arises when there is a particular coming together of form. Evaluation is a combination of form. sphere of perception or sense in general. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. habitual patterns and consciousness. “In this way he abides.. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter. "He understands the ear. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging. "Again. bhikkhus. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the six internal and external bases. he understands odours. 39... He understands the tongue.. habitual formations and consciousness. he understands sounds. Kalu Rinpoché defined Viññ›na as 'discursive consciousness'. and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter. he understands flavours. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors.. In a similar way you can explore habitual formations and consciousness. The Six Bases 40. The six bases or ›yatan› are sometimes referred to as the twelve sense spheres dv›das›yatan›. He understands the body. 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 ability of mind to recognise something other than itself as an object – to decide this is this and that is that. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. He understands the mind. in a sense. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. The mind is consid32 . And he abides independent. he understands tangibles. not clinging to anything in the world. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter.. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. As part of contemplating the arising factors and the vanishing factors. he understands mind-objects. evaluation. and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both. habitual formations and consciousness. The six bases refer to the six senses and their six objects hence 'twelve'. 3.of the object. object of thought.. and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both. he understands forms. For example. evaluation. you might say it arises when there is a particular configuration of perception. This co-dependent process of knowing is Viññ›na. ›yatan› => PTS. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter. you will find it useful to consider how each skandha is.
hatred and delusion. 3. excitement.ered the sixth sense which has concepts. especially doubt about the Buddha. uddhacca and avijj› 33 An›g›mi 'Non returner' Arahat 'Fully purified' . 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. memories and so forth as its objects. specifically belief in a permanent or independent self or ego. craving. lust. 2. arÒpar›ga. about the necessity of moral conduct and about the fact of cause and effect. di˛˛hi. Sometimes they are extended out as the ten saªyojana or ten fetters. m›na. The fetters are basically greed. ﬁrÒpavacara is the formless realm and refers to the very subtle meditative absorptions of: boundless space. silabbatap›r›m›ssa. the belief that blind adherence to rule and ritual and to mere good works will be sufficient to bring awakening. 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. Stage of Path Sot›panna 'Stream entry' Fetters Dropping Away 1. In the Abhidhamma system these ten fetters fall away permanently at specific stages of the path. Dharma and Sangha. boundless consciousness. feelings. vicikicch›. passion. The future non-arising of a fetter refers to a stage of path attainment. This refers to the subtle levels of absorption on form. nothingness. and 'neither perception nor nonperception'. RÒpavacara is the realm of 'fine material form'.
three and four are considered to be active. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.. Number one is considered to be neutral. investigation. active enquiry or question present in your being. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. 1. or there being no equanimity enlightenment factor in him. he understands: 'There is no mindfulness enlightenment factor in me'. There being the rapture enlightenment factor in him. The Seven Enlightenment Factors Sattasambojjhaºga. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. six and seven are considered to be passive. or there being no mindfulness enlightenment factor in him. And he abides independent... "Again bhikkhus. mature human being. it is said. 34 . examination: dhammavicaya => investigation of dhamma insight. and how the arisen equanimity enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development. there being the mindfulness enlightenment factor in him." There needs to be curiosity. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen equanimity enlightenment factor. "The greater the question. he understands: 'There is no equanimity enlightenment factor in me'. There being the energy enlightenment factor in him. the greater the awakening –– no question.. 4. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. interest. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors? Here. The Seven Enlightenment Factors 42. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is the mindfulness enlightenment factor in me'. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. In Zen. “In this way he abides. not clinging to anything in the world. satta seven + sam good. Five. direct seeing of reality This is the factor of question. It's what carries us into new territory. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen mindfulness enlightenment factor.. There being the equanimity enlightenment factor in him. 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.41. "There being the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor in him. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. curiosity.. There being the concentration enlightenment factor in him. complete + bodhi enlightenment + anga factors These seven factors will all be present and harmoniously functioning together in a well rounded.. (from vi + ci to think) search.. investigation.. Mindfulness satisambojjhaºgo (see p 7) 2. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is the equanimity enlightenment factor in me'. Investigation of dhamma dhammavicayasambojjhaºgo vicaya => PTS. Numbers two. no awakening. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors. They reach their fullest flowering of expression in what is called the state of liberation or 'enlightenment'.. and how the arisen mindfulness enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development.
liked) => uplifting joy. 1. like waves on a beach 4. It's very much a thrill or excitation felt in or throughout the body when it is functioning well. The effort to recognise the unwholesome when it is present. like a flood 5. PTS. Kha˚ika Pıti – instantaneous joy. To take steps to encourage an arisen wholesome to flourish and continue." (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) 3. quietude. Ubbega Pıti – transporting joy. Energy viriyasambojjhaºgo is also referred to as diligence and enthusiastic perseverance viriyaª => PTS. It is really a factor of open. calm. Okkantika Pıti – flood of joy.e. 3. The noblest mind is that which understands. appreciates and loves the largest segment of the Universe. completely vıra => manly. an alert readiness to experience and know more broadly and profoundly. 4. repose. receptive.This factor is often the weakest in meditators who see meditation primarily as a technique for establishing calm or tranquillity. Kuddaka Pıti – joy causing the flesh to creep 2. responsive. It needs to sink into the bones of your being so that your very existence is an expression of question in action. 5. To recognise the wholesome when it is present. To take steps to bring it to an end and to prevent the arising of such unwholesome states in the future. it suppresses feverishness and calms hysteria. tranquillity. beloved. Tranquillity passadhisambojjhaºgo Passadhi => PTS. to cultivate friendly intercourse with the whole of Being. Eventually. to show a certain way of deportment i. This factor is often allied with the what are called in Buddhist teaching the Four Great Efforts. Abhidhamma texts describe five major categories of pıti ranging from interest to ecstasy. (from vi + ır) iriyati => to set in motion. 4. (from piya dear. and to encourage unarisen wholesomes to arise in the future. exuberance. the coursing of the energy of the body. serenity. that which is carried out methodically.e. uninterrupted strenuousness in conquering obstacles. dhammavicaya must go beyond mere verbal question. 'Rapture' doesn't really do it justice. its insatiable hunger to experience more widely. Pıti is the experiential knowing of the thrill and pleasure of aliveness of the organism. delight. to stir. floating like a dandelion seed in space. one must have a tremendous degree of interest and curiosity about all arisings of life and particularly about what is currently taking place. zest. probing. intensification or thorough i. Phara˚a Pıti – Overflowing joy. 35 . to wander about. to move. 1. like the cool shade of a tree. For awakening one needs more than just calm. to know more broadly and profoundly. "An outstanding attribute of an awakened spirit is its expansiveness. 2. I am reminded of the following quote by the biologist Alexander Skutch. like a flash of lightning 3. Rapture pitisambojjhaºgo Pıti => This word is difficult to translate accurately with one English word. pleasant. mighty heroic viriya => moving in an invincible way. methodical. vi => is a prefix denoting expansion.
look. correctly or 'as it really is'. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the Four Noble Truths. Equanimity or true seeing is a balanced state of mind that embraces all opposite pairs. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. 36 . con-CEN-tration in other words con (with) centrate (centre). The Four Noble Truths 44. While not taking sides there is a continuum of calm clear seeing discernment. not having our attention darting all over the lot. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors. upa impartially. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. a completely balanced state of mind. "Again. Dukkhanirodho aryasaccaª – the noble truth of the cessation of suffering 4. not scattered. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. or serenity. a concentrated. except for this section on the Four Noble Truths which is greatly expanded. And he abides independent. not clinging to anything in the world. not dispersed. 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. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. It is the 'middle-way' between subject and object. not grasping after this or that. A better understanding might be had if you pronounced it with the accent on the second syllable. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. he understands as it actually is: 'This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. it seems odd that concentration is considered a passive factor. 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.' The Four Noble Truths Ariyasacc›ni => ariya noble + sacc›ni truth 1. Concentration sam›dhisambojjhaºgo Sam›dhi => PTS. just + ikkhati to see. “In this way he abides. intent state of mind and meditation. 7. It means to see justly. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the Four Noble Truths? Here a bhikkhu understands as it actually is: 'This is suffering'. 43. Equanimity upekkh›sambojjhaºgo Upekkha => PTS. he understands as it actually is. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. self-collected. To many people. view. bhikkhus. 5. We are concentrated when we are effortlessly centred in whatever we are doing or experiencing. Usually translated as equanimity. Dukkhaª aryasaccaª – the noble truth of suffering 2. Dukkhasamudayo aryasaccaª – the noble truth of the origin of suffering 3.6. ' This is the origin of suffering'. he understands as it actually is: 'This is the cessation of suffering'. (from sam complete + dhi which has a sense of firmness) => concentration.
'And what is sadness? Whatever mental painful feeling. mental unpleasant feeling. that. the appearance of the aggregate. 'And what is distress? Whenever. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature and there is crying out. of whatever group of beings. "This is the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. that. is called sadness. grey hair. lamentation. How does he do so? Here. bodily unpleasant feeling. a dying. In short the five aggregates of grasping are suffering. "And what is pain? Whatever bodily painful feeling. "This is the cessation of suffering". broken teeth. he knows as it really is. is called death. monks is birth? In whatever beings. making much noise for grief. monks. monks.Below is a translation from the Mah›satipa˛˛h›na Sutta by Maurice Walshe. 'And what. inward woe. being separated from the loved is suffering. an ending. there is birth. 'And what is ageing? In whatever beings. mourning. is called sorrow. painful or unpleasant sensation results from mental contact. coming-to-be. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature. Being attached to the unloved is suffering. that monks is called birth. a removal. 'And what is lamentation? Whenever. sorrow. sorrow. monks is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering. 5. ageing is suffering. that. a monk knows as it really is: "This is suffering". a monk abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in respect of the Four Noble Truths. monks. whoever has un37 . 'And what is death? In whatever beings. is being attached to the unloved? Here. making great lamentation. decrepitude. The Four Noble Truths 'Again. he knows as it really is. the acquisition of the sense-bases. "This is the origin of suffering". with great distress. inward grief. decay of the sense faculties. great distress. a death. he knows as it really is. of whatever group of beings. a discarding of the body. affliction with distress. sadness and distress are suffering. 'And what. by any kind of misfortune. there is ageing. distress. shrinking with age. there is a passing-away. is called ageing. pain. not getting what one wants is suffering. that. that. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature. a cutting off. monks. painful or unpleasant feeling results from bodily contact. distress. by any kind of misfortune. that. coming forth. lamenting. monks. monks is called pain. wrinkled skin. monks is called lamentation. death is suffering. a disappearance. a cutting off of the aggregates. 'And what is sorrow? Whenever. by any kind of misfortune. of whatever group of beings. that. monks." First Noble Truth 'And what. monks. is called distress.
sight-objects. that. In beings subject to ageing. is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering? It is that craving which gives rise to rebirth. thirst and ters. monks. thirst.distress. extend life. that we might not come to these things!" But this cannot be gained by wishing. in short. They want to know exactly when something is going to happen and when it will end. craving for non-existence vibh›vata˚h› => T-Abd-notes. pleasant. the five aggregates of grasping that are suffering. And that. of discomfort. bound up with pleasure and lust. wishers of harm. monks. is called the Noble Truth of Suffering. sight-objects. craving. This is security oriented. unpleasant. are the five aggregates of grasping suffering? They are as follows: the aggregate of grasping that is form. liked. or whoever encounters ill-wishers. craving for being. finding fresh delight now here. the aggregate of grasping that is consciousness. That is not getting what one wants. monks. the aggregate of grasping that is mental formations. (from tarŸna. with whom they have concourse. hunger for. to disease. or whoever encounters well-wishers. the aggregate of grasping that is feeling. craving for not being. monks. It is narcissism. this wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to birth. to sorrow. is called being attached to the unloved. union. That is not getting what one wants. and distress. and then is deprived of such concourse. whoever has what is wanted. tangibles or mind-objects. to be or to make dry) =>drought. conceit (belief that one has something) and defence (wanting to protect the wealth one thinks one can lose. Essentially. this is craving for more. the aggregate of grasping that is perception. 'And how. that we might not come to birth!" But this cannot be gained by wishing. 'the fever of unsatisfied longing' Ta˚h› is driven by trying to make permanent. tastes. that wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to ageing. sadness. for arÒpa. intercourse.) Bh›va and vibh›vata˚h› can be caricatured in common types of behaviour or attitudes to life. craving that which one thinks will extend the being. intercourse. The bh›vata˚h› type is the person who likes certainty. wishers of good.wanted. lamentation. 'And what is not getting what one wants? In beings subject to birth. of security. for form rÒpa. these are in short. smells. that. is called being separated from the loved. mother or father or brother or sister or younger kinsmen or friends or colleagues or blood-relations. connection. craving ta˚h› => PTS. monks. to death.. sensual craving k›mata˚h› => craving for sensual experience craving for existence bh›vata˚h› => T-Abd-notes. a craving for walling off. Second Noble Truth 'And what. 'And what is being separated from the loved? Here.. now there: that is to say sensual craving. connection or union. monks. that which is impermanent. They feel more secure with written 38 . of comfort. sounds. craving for existence and craving for non-existence. disliked. of insecurity. pain.
mind-contact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. mind-objects in the world are agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. ear-contact.. Commitment and responsibility are important to them. of sounds. body-contact. In extreme cases they can be very narcissistic. have a well filled appointment diary. Sense consciousness: 'Eye-consciousness. They like to own their house. the ear. They prefer to rent.. tastes. of smells. of mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. They want to be spontaneous. the tongue.. Contact phassa: 'Eye-contact. They like space and value their freedom. Sense organs: 'And what is there in the world that is agreeable and pleasurable? The eye in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. tongue-contact. of tastes. 39 . Perception sañña:'The perception of sights. tonguecontact.. the mind in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. smells. ear-consciousness. sounds. They don't like to be saddled with commitments. mind-consciousness in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. The vibh›vata˚h› type. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. sounds.. there this craving arises and establishes itself. tastes. They like definition and walls. tangibles. and there this craving arises and establishes itself. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. nose-contact. on the other hand. the nose. 'And where does this craving arise and establish itself? Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. Sense objects: 'Sights. nose-contact. the body. of tangibles. sounds. Craving tanha: 'The craving for sights. mind-contact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. tangibles.. Feeling vedan›: 'Feeling born of eye-contact. smells. smells. They feel uncomfortable when constrained by timetables or formal contracts. body-consciousness. tongue-consciousness. A more useful translation might be 'focus'. nose-consciousness. Vitakka is often translated as initial application.. Volition cetan›: 'Volition in regards to sights... tastes. tangibles. tastes. sounds. ear-contact.contracts.. bodycontact. tangibles. Thinking vitakka: 'Thinking of sights.. In extremis they can be a bit obsessive.. likes to hang loose. smells. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself.
there its ces1 MÒlamadhyamakak›rika of N›g›rjuna translated by David Kalupahana p 168 40 . tangibles.When one focuses one's attention on a meditation object and does not wander to any other object. Pondering vic›ra: 'Pondering on sights. One can remember the meaning by thinking of 'tacking' the mind to an object. one then scans the details of the object without departing from the object. All arisings are mutually shaping."1 In other words. With this understanding. All that's needed is a profound degree of clear seeing. and vis-versa. liberation from it. It rests in itself. The great philosopher N›g›rjuna wrote in his famous treatise MÒlamadhyamakak›rika: "Whatever that comes to be dependently. its forsaking and abandonment. 'A' at the beginning of a Pali or Sanskrit word indicates negation. In a sense. A perhaps more useful term would be scanning. It is not really 'thinking" in the sense of verbalising or conceptualising about the object. tastes. supports the sense of an autonomous 'craver' that can crave a desired thing. The image that you draw vanishes as fast as you draw it. Third Noble Truth 'And what. It is more the application of attention or interest to an object. there is no craving. Where there are no separate cravers and craven objects. detachment from it. avijja. This cessation or self-liberation is automatic and instantaneous. It is closer than hands and feet. Vic›ra is frequently translated as sustained application. 'Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. It's not going anywhere. And that. "Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. Each moment is inherently complete. In this way it is sustained application and perhaps pondering. And how does this craving come to be abandoned. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. No one else needs to liberate it. And what is there in the world that is agreeable and pleasurable? To illustrate the spontaneous naturalness of cessation. there its cessation comes about. monks is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering? It is the complete fading-away and extinction of this craving. ta˚h›. that it is an dynamic interbeing of everything. this is the initial application of mind. smells. though it would be a pondering without verbalising. a simple metaphor is used in many of the Mahamudra/Dzogchen texts. that is inherently peaceful. sounds. Peace is the fading away of craving. there is no single separate part that can be isolated out to praise or blame or be held responsible. Ignorance of. how does its cessation come about? The 'cessation of suffering' is synonymous with realisation of nibb›na – peace. is called the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering. it self-liberates. Imagine using your finger to draw a picture on the surface of a calm pool of water. the experiential knowing that this moment is not lacking in any way. the cessation of suffering becomes realizable in any situation without necessarily changing a thing. Ta˚h› is rooted in ignorance. Having 'tacked' vitakka-ed the mind onto the meditation object. Peace or nibb›na comes with the deep knowing of completeness. in the experiential knowing of interdependence. monks. or not seeing/understanding the interdependent nature of everything. Vijja denotes seeing so avijja means not seeing or not understanding.
mind-consciousness in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. Right Thought. sounds. 'The perception of sights. tastes. Craving for sights. the body. tastes.... Right Speech.. there its cessation comes about. smells. sounds. body-contact. Right Mindfulness. namely: – Right View. the mind in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. sounds. body-consciousness. tastes.. smells. there its cessation comes about. tangibles. there its cessation comes about. sounds. Fourth Noble Truth 'And what." Each of the following pleasurable or agreeable dharmas are like pictures drawn in water. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. 'Volition in regard to sights.. ear-contact. smells. tangibles.. And that. the ear. tangibles.. is the Noble Truth of the Way of Practice Leading to the Cessation of Suffering? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path. Right Livelihood. tangibles. monks. smells. smells. If you look into them with careful discernment. Noble Eightfold Path ariya-a˛˛hangika-magga magga => avenue. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. there its cessation comes about. The eye in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned..sation comes about. 'Eye-consciousness.. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. tongue-consciousness. the nose. monks. 'Thinking of sights. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. Right Effort. ear-consciousness. path. nose-consciousness. smells. Right Action. Right Concentration. the tongue. there its cessation comes about.. way a˛˛hangika => eight 41 . you will see that they spontaneously vanish as soon as they appear. tastes. there its cessation comes about. there its cessation comes about. is called the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering. nose-contact. mindcontact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. 'Eye-contact. sounds.. tastes. 'Sights. sounds. tongue-contact. tastes. and there this craving comes to be abandoned. there its cessation comes about. there its cessation comes about. 'Pondering on sights.. tangibles. tangibles.
Totality is acting. Emptiness is the usual attempt. monks. Translating samm› as 'right' in the context of the Eightfold Noble Path doesn't really do it justice. emptiness is often associated with feelings of meaninglessness and isolation. Totality is thinking. the knowledge of suffering. Everything reveals itself to be spacious and open. This is so far away from the intention of teachings on ŸÒnyat› that it might be better to think of fullness rather than emptiness. Unfortunately. Samm› => PTS. What is it that is doing the viewing. and so forth. Right View samm›-di˛˛i 'And what. On one hand it is there. reveals the Eightfold Noble Path as a means for directly realising ŸÒnyat›. 'doing your sums'. A more useful and descriptive phrase might be 'the spacious openness of interbeing'. rightly.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. responsive. fears and fantasies. using emptiness as an equivalent for ŸÒnyat› is quite misleading as it can conjure a nihilistic view of things. Speech and Mind p29) Di˛˛i means view. rather than as a noun. and the knowledge of the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. Psychologically. a static view. the heart understanding of Mahamudra. (ultimately everything else in the universe) then the totality of being which makes up this present moment of one's unique knowing. This is called Right View. As Namgyal Rinpoché often pointed out. doing the understanding or doing the knowing? Since everything is interdependent with everything else. it vanishes into a matrix of 42 . as if we should try to convince ourselves that nothing exists. the knowledge of the cessation of suffering. it appears. The positive expression of this would be total lovingkindness. it would be more helpful to think of ditti as a verb. Contemplating 'samma' in these many ways. (see Body. on the other hand when we examine it analytically. As part of the eight fold noble path. properly. open and fundamentally un-pin-downable. though when used alone it usually implies partial view. the knowledge of the origin of suffering. in the right way. seeing/understanding all contributing aspects of an arising rather than falling into bias based on conditioned hopes. ŸÒnyat› => It is difficult to accurately translate ŸÒnyat› with a single word. best. completely engaged. is what is doing the viewing. as it ought to be. Totality is speaking. monks. perfectly. samm›-di˛˛I points to complete or total or thorough viewing. for many people today. Another way of contemplating samm› that can be applied to each section of the Eightfold Noble Path is suggested by the following question. thoroughly. Every moment of experience reveals itself to be spacious. is Right View? It is. presence in the midst of whatever is occurring. If you look deeply and discerningly into anything you will see that it is composed of a vast array of transient factors. samm› derives from sam which has the sense of 'complete' or 'total' as in the English phrases. or 'summing up'. "connected in one". Instead of 'right view' as opposed to 'wrong view'. the activity of viewing.
Total or complete communication. I will train myself to support and appreciate the life of all living beings. One's thoughts are in tune with every situation (samm›-sanakappa) May the Sambhogakaya bring blessings. complete thinking/intending. 3. Total or complete activity in terms of bringing forth what is wholesome and what is supporting the awakening of beings. This is Right Action. there is an expression of the precepts in a positive form that hints at a much broader practice than simply avoiding certain activities. monks. Beyond not taking that which is not given. Samm›-v›c› also implies profound listening. the thought of non-ill-will. the thought of harmlessness. one should strive to support and nurture life. This is called Right Speech. the whole of one's mental processes going in the direction of awakening. Right speech and action touch on the aspect of the path that is covered by studying and practising the precepts. is Right Speech? Refraining from lying. purpose. one should practice generosity and give unstintingly to beings. Beyond refraining from sexual or sensual misconduct.contributing factors. refraining from frivolous speech. is called Right Action? Refraining from taking life. monks. monks. This is called Right Thought. Not just avoiding these unwholesome forms of expression but considering all aspects of communication so that one's body language. These three become one in the vision of the ground of being May the union of these three bring blessings. 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. sankappa => PTS. refraining from slander. 4. Right Action samm›-kammanta 'And what. Right Thought samm›-sankappa 'And what. 2. plan. This is the essence of Bodhicitta. Right Speech samm›-v›c› 'And what. intention. In Daily Puja. One might even consider 'total aspiration' or totality aspiring. Beyond refraining from taking life. All one's actions spring from this (the rest of the Eightfold Path) May the Nirmanakaya bring blessings. Total thinking/intending. refraining from taking what is not given. is Right Thought? The thought of renunciation. Here sankappa has more to do with intention than thinking. one should skilfully use the senses to explore dharma. one's inner feelings. 1. 43 . hearing what is actually being said and empathically sensing the meaning and intent behind the words. one's intention and one's expression are all in harmony and supporting the unfolding of the wholesome. thought. refraining from sexual misconduct. refraining from harsh speech.
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. living with minimal needs and appetites and avoiding the harming of others. the Ariyan disciple. 3.. 5. not to let them fade away. Essentially. plants and entire ecosystems. 6. emotional support. stirs up energy. exerts his mind and strives to prevent the arising of unarisen evil unwholesome mental states.and strives to overcome evil unwholesome mental states that have arisen. Complete or total livelihood: a livelihood or way of earning a living that supports all of life. makes an effort. Right Livelihood samm›-›jıva 'And what. but animals. exerts his mind and strives to maintain wholesome mental states that have arisen. This includes not just other people. For a lay person living in the modern world. and an example to others of awakening in action. Right Effort samm›-v›y›ma 'And what. I will train myself to use the senses to further awakening. He rouses his will. monks is called Right Effort? Here. This section is a major challenge to how we humans today do business and how we relate to the non-human world. keeps himself by right livelihood. 2. At the same time it also supports the well being of all the other beings whom your livelihood brings you into contact with. He rouses his will.. I will train myself to be ever more directly aware of how nutriment affects the mind and body. explore Dharma. monks. Wrong livelihood is any form of livelihood that disrupts life. in ways that support their wholesome unfolding of body. it was understood that their livelihood was already one of living lightly on the earth. 4. to bring them to greater growth. there probably needs to be a bit more guidance. is called Right Livelihood? Here.. to the full perfection of development.and strives to produce unarisen wholesome mental states. a monk rouses his will. I will train myself to dwell more and more in the mind of spontaneous generosity.. stirs up energy. complete livelihood involves living in a way that values and supports the living matrix that is this planet. 44 . having given up wrong livelihood. in a way that supports awakening. monks. Since this sutra was originally taught to fully ordained monks. causing harm to oneself or others. Daily I will give material support. makes an effort. This is called Right Effort. energies and mind. I will eat and drink and nurture myself and others.I will live with a sensitive and responsible awareness for the whole ecology of life. and to come to know the world more profoundly and more compassionately. I will train myself to communicate in a skilful and compassionate manner. He rouses his will. energies and mind. monks. 5.
When the mind is well concentrated. 8. Jh›nas are often seen by inexperienced meditators as exotic states of concentration where there are no thoughts and no mental activity. you will find five main positive factors: vitakka. is called the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. and mindful. monks. sukha and ekaggat› or upekkha. he enters and remains in the second jh›na. by gaining inner tranquillity and oneness of mind.. born of concentration. Right Mindfulness samm›-sati 'And what. And with the subsiding of thinking and pondering. perceive. to burn. which is with thinking and pondering. contemplate. wholesomely absorbed to a point where there is no sense of separation between the subject and object. brood over. Right Concentration samm›-sam›dhi 'And what. filled with delight and joy. monks. monks. and purified by equanimity and mindfulness. a monk abides contemplating body as body. dry up. In the first jh›na all five are present. mindful and clearly aware. when it is completely. be on fire. clearly aware and mindful.. This is a rather static view. pıti. This is called Right Mindfulness. This section speaks of total concentration in terms of the factors of absorption or Jh›na.This is explained quite clearly above and also in the section on viriyasambojjhaºga in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (p. In it's widest sense jh›na means absorption including even very momentary experiences of one-pointedness. he experiences in himself the joy of which the Noble Ones say: "Happy is he who dwells with equanimity and mindfulness". will not be active. 7. ardent. filled with delight and joy. Jh›na burns up the hindrances.34) It is often taught separately as a complete path of practice in itself. is Right Concentration? Here. Sukha. enters and remains in the first jh›na. is Right Mindfulness? Here.. And with the fading away of delight. he enters the third jh›na. he abides contemplating feelings as feelings. There is some degree of pıti.. from j›yati and Skt dhy›na. a monk. jh›yati => to shine. This section is a recapitulation of the entire Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. detached from unwholesome mental states. it is called 'The Four Great Efforts'. ardent. And that. to meditate. born of detachment.. having put aside hankering and fretting for the world. The stages of jh›na are differentiated by the presence of these factors. he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. and with the disappearance of former gladness and sadness. And. having given up pleasure and pain. The mind is focused and investigating or scanning the object. which is without thinking and pondering. he abides contemplating states of mind as states of mind. the sense of mental well being is present and there is an overarching 45 . => PTS . which is beyond pleasure and pain.. When it is. If you examine this peaceful mind. he enters and remains in the fourth jh›na. This is called Right Concentration. at that moment. clearly aware. then the five hindrances. monks. having put aside hankering and fretting for the world. It would probably be more helpful to think of jh›nas in terms of increasing degrees of peace. detached from sensedesires. Complete mindfulness. vic›ra. remaining imperturbable. think about.
investigating the 'causes' of suffering. like a rainbow vanishing. access. application. presence is the optimal state in which to deepen insight. clear. Without needing to emphasise vitakkha or vic›ra. Eventually. discrimination. and avoidance coupled with feelings of victimization and helplessness. love.presence of equanimity or oneness. In the Abhidhamma traditions there seem to be very technical definitions as to what is jh›na and what is not. We might meet them with wide open curiosity and interest instead of being afraid of them. awakeness. or letting be. qualities such as openness. just as it is. upac›ra. understanding. it gives us 46 . The Four Noble Truths could be thought of as four truths or aspects of life experience that can potentially ennoble us. anger. conduct. 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. 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. means. forgiveness. As the meditator acclimatizes to this peaceful. entrance. living mystery. In the Mahayana traditions. habit. the vitakkha and vic›ra can begin to feel a bit gross and unnecessary and they begin to drop away. practice. However. In this way. we might have the courage to explore the states of suffering that arise in the course of our lives rather than running from them. Having tasted the nectar of letting go. Our very investigation of the first two noble truths supports a deepening sense of engagement and profound connectedness. yet engaged state. Our faculties of empathy and appreciative understanding nourish a sense of well-being in the midst of an increasing range of situations and circumstances. use of. the word sam›dhi is often used interchangeably with jh›na and there are uncountable numbers of sam›dhis. This calm. neighbourhood. However all the factors of jh›na are present and the five hindrances are not manifesting. way. the sukha drops away. A very important state to develop in terms of Samm›–sam›dhi is called upac›ra sam›dhi => PTS. approach. and empathy. leads to a deepening sense of embeddedness in a beginingless. the mind. and generally becoming lost in all the other common reactions of irritation. access. In this way the experience of suffering can ennoble us. Here is the second great ennobling of our being. sukha and upekkha. 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. Clarity about what truly supports life gives us the confidence to continue to engage with what we need to do in order to deepen and enrich our own living experience and. even the pıti seems to be crude and it dissolves in the increasing subtlety leaving just sukha and upekkha. Deepening further. There is nothing inherently noble about suffering. As this understanding flowers in our actual experience. compassion. goes quickly to a peaceful alive state where there is pıti. presence. 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. trying to ignore them. This gentle grappling with suffering will gradually lead to a flowering of many qualities such as patience. The Buddha enunciated this in eight steps calling it The Eightfold Noble Path. leaving just upekkha. Looking into the causes of suffering will lead us to a deepening experience of the interconnectedness of everything. into life. endless.
That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the four Noble Truths..for four months. 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. "So it was with reference to this that it was said: 'Bhikkhus.. The Four Noble Truths are the heart teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha and are revered by every school of Buddhism. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven days. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven months. the four foundations of mindfulness. Here it is explained that there are many different world systems or modes of experience. if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven years. or if there is a trace of clinging left. bhikkhus... Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. moving to other countries and cultures. for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation.. one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now.for half a month. In the Tibetan teaching it is said that one should focus not on the words but on the meaning behind the words... And he abides independent. “In this way he abides.knowledge to be able to meaningfully help others.. (Conclusion) 46. (Continuing with the Majjhima Nik›ya version) 45.. this rather barebones expression was elaborated into the vast.. "Let alone seven years. or if there is a trace of clinging left. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. non-return. one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now. this is the direct path for the purification of beings. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.. 47 . universal vision you find in Chapter 8 of the Avatamsaka or Flower Ornament Sutra. "Let alone half a month. The expression of the Four Noble Truths given in the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta is probably very close to how the Buddha himself explained them. This section of the Avatamsaka hints at the meaning behind the words. for the realisation of Nibb›na – namely.for five months. non-return. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors.for three months. This is the fourth great enrichment or ennoblement of our being. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. 47.. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally." That is what the Blessed One said. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. one or two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now. non-return.for two months.for one month.. or if there is a trace of clinging left.for six months. not clinging to anything in the world. for the disappearance of pain and grief. for the attainment of the true way.. bhikkhus. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed Ones words. It is well worth studying in order to open one's understanding of the Four Noble Truths in a vast and universal way. "Bhikkhus. As his teachings flourished and evolved.
Full realisation of this practice will enable one to live well in the midst of a world that is constantly changing. The seven days is a short time and indicates how realisation is to be experienced in the here and now. the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. or simply burying oneself in never ending reactivity and busyness. yet again. richness and pragmatic straightforwardness of the Buddha's teaching. In Buddhist terms. Some people. non-return. and impossible for any single being to control. If you are just beginning your explorations of Buddha Dharma. this is referring to the state of nibb›na or the state of Arahat. or escaping into fantasy. with best wishes Tarchin May any merit arising through writing. unpredictable. Seven years is a long time and hints at the degree of thoroughness and dedication that is necessary to realize the intent of these teachings. If you already have a background of meditative experience. It is fresh and available to any who are free to ask question. Afterthought Reading through these notes. seven months … seven days. reading and putting into practice these notes on the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. I am struck. I pray that this manual will be a support to your ongoing study and meditations. The Buddha states that if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness for seven years. If there is a trace of clinging left. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. monks and nuns in particular. they would realise either final knowledge here and now. SARVAMANGALAM 48 . spend significant amounts of their adult lives studying these texts yet if we were to lose all of them but one. by the clarity. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. if we then put the teachings of this sutta into practice in a thorough and ongoing way. Final knowledge here and now indicates that there is no higher teaching. support the flowering of wisdom and compassion in all beings. without shutting down. then full realisation will come at the moment of dying. I do hope they will encourage you to investigate further. or if there is a trace of clinging left. One can live with impermanence and death. the collected teachings of the Buddha is quite vast occupying thousands of pages of print. we would eventually come to experience what the Buddha was trying to point to throughout his forty years of teaching. This is referring to the state of An›g›mi.The Pali Cannon. The text concludes with what today might be considered as a product guarantee. I hope these notes will enrich your contemplations.
London. W. A Manual of Abhidhamma. Daily Puja Fourth Edition. 1992 Namgyal Rinpoché. 1979 Thich Nhat Hanh. 1975 Tarthang Tulku. The Path of Freedom (Vimuttimagga). Wangapeka Books. Nelson. 2005 Tarchin Hearn. Dharma Publishing. 1993 Davids. 1977 Maurice Walshe. Growth and Unfolding Revised Edition. The Long Discourses of the Buddha (Dıgha Nik›ya) Wisdom Publications. Part 1 and 2. Boston. Kinmount Ontario. Shambhala. The Breath of Awakening Bodhi Publishing.W. The Miracle of Mindfulness Beacon Press. 1978 Arahant Upatissa. Kandy Sri Lanka. Buddhist Publication Society. Boston & London. Wangapeka Books. 1995 Bhadant›cariya Buddhaghosa. MÒlamadhyamakak›rika of N›g›rjuna. Nelson. Boston. 2004 Tarchin Hearn. 1981 N›rada Mah› Thera. The Path of Purification (Visuddhi-magga).Bibliography Bhikkhu Bodhi and Bhikkhu Ñ›˚amoli. 1995 David Kalupahana. NZ.R. The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nik›ya) Wisdom Publications. Pali Text Society. NZ. Kinmount Ontario. Mindfulness of Breathing (ﬁn›p›nasati) Buddhist Publication Society. Delhi. 1991 Namgyal Rinpoché. 2004 Ñ›namoli Thera. 1987 Tarchin Hearn. 1976 Originally published in 1956 and 1964 in Sri Lanka Thomas Cleary. Sri Lanka. Wangapeka Books. The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary. Boston. Banarsidass Pub. T. Kum Nye Relaxation. 2000 Tarchin Hearn. Natural Awakening Wangapeka Books Nelson. Vols one and two. Sri Lanka. Speech and Mind Bodhi Publishing. The Flower Ornament Scripture (Avatamsaka Sutra) Shambhala. California. & Stede. NZ. Kandy. Buddhist Publication Society. Body. 1995 49 . Berkeley. Kandy. Berkeley & London. Motilal. Breathing: The Natural Way to Meditate Revised Edition.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.