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Satipa˛˛h›na Foundations of Mindfulness
A Manual for Meditators
compiled and annotated by
Karunakarma Series: Volume I Foundations of Mindfulness: A Manual for Meditators
© Tarchin Hearn 2000, 2007
Karunakarma means compassionate activity, the work of compassion, or compassion at work. The Karunakarma Series is a collection of coil bound notes and articles that can be used for study or as teaching aids. Some of the series is available in e-book form from the Wangapeka website. May these writings water the seeds of wisdom and compassion for the benefit of all beings.
Published by Wangapeka Books Available from: Wangapeka Educational Trust R.D. 2 Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand tel. 03 522 4221 e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> www.wangapeka.org
With Gratitude To
Ven. Namgyal Rinpoché
These notes were initially compiled while teaching a one month Satipa˛˛h›na retreat at the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre in New Zealand in the year 2000. At that time, I wanted to enter some of the essential definitions, lists of categories, correct spellings and references into my laptop in order to have them on hand as I travelled and taught. Gradually, with the encouragement of people studying with me, I have added some comments and fleshed out the grammar. The notes were never intended to be a thorough presentation of the subject. Nor are they aimed towards people brand new to meditation. Rather, they comprise a working manual for meditators who have come to the point in their investigations where a more detailed study of this essential path of awakening could enrich their practice. The following pages gather together a few key aspects of Satipa˛˛h›na along with some references that will allow a student to consult original sources, should that be of interest. My grateful appreciation goes to Bhikkhu Ñ›˚amoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi for their translation of the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta and to Maurice Walshe for his translation of the Mah›satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. Both of these suttas have been published by Wisdom Publications. May these efforts towards making available the Buddha Dharma, continue to flourish.
May your explorations bear fruit for the benefit of all beings.
Abbreviations MN – Majjhima Nik›ya, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha PTS – Pali Text Society, Pali-English Dictionary T-Abd notes – Tarchin's hand written abhidhamma notes compiled at The Dharma Centre of Canada in 1976 after a three month study with Namgyal Rinpoché (unpublished) Vis – The Visuddhimagga - The Path of Purification (A greatly revered compilation of the Buddha's teachings, originally written by the Venerable Buddhaghosa. It is one of the oldest and most complete 'manual for meditators' arising from the Theravadin tradition.)
and. unpredictable. It then directs us to an exploration of the physical body through ﬁn›p›nasati or mindfulness of breathing. trying to understand the roots of dissatisfaction and suffering.Introduction Two thousand five hundred years ago. This is the Third Noble Truth. This is the birth of a deep ecological understanding of the physical world and the gateway to realising what is referred to in Buddhist texts as ⁄Ònyat› or emptiness. Eventually. mind and activities became a laboratory for experimentation and observation. He described this as the Eight Fold Noble Path. be they physical or mental. Eventually he came to understand what he later referred to as The Four Noble Truths. The text begins with where to meditate and how to sit. in the process. he came to realise the cessation of suffering. or escaping into fantasy. These studies can lead to the dropping of unhelpful attitudes and assumptions that we may have about the body. Everything lives by eating. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. a man. and impossible for any single being to control? How can one live with impermanence and death. responsive. there will be unavoidable unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha). Gradually we come to experience directly the interbeingness of the physical body. interdependent universe. 5 . endless arisings. Collision produces friction. His own body. On reflection. This was intimate and direct exploration. This is the Second Noble Truth. Abandoning religious and philosophical preconceptions. who eventually became known to us as the Buddha. How can one live well in a world that is constantly changing. with tremendous clarity and attentiveness. He came to see the fundamental causes of dukkha. the fact that the body is a co-operative endeavour of many parts and processes. Of course. without shutting down. Here. he then clearly understood the path to the cessation of suffering. This is the Fourth Noble Truth. These contemplations and enquiries eventually lead to a place of deep stillness and calm. 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. letting his immediate actual experience guide the search. all physical bodies reveal themselves to be beginningless. awareness into the midst of activity. discovering profound and essential keys for living well. He looked deeply into the moment by moment experience of living. Everything is eaten. The Buddha saw that wherever there are formations. 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. he explored in a very pragmatic and factual way. coupled with partial views. was driven to grapple with some of the great conundrums of life. namely. clinging or grasping. This is the First Noble Truth. you still would have to do the journeying yourself. even if you had the best map in the world. The next step is to learn to carry this clear. All things wear out. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta sketches out this very practical path of awakening. embedded in a vast interconnected. Through the very act of bringing a profound degree of friendly enquiry to every moment of experience. Here we investigate and make friends with the entire phenomena of breathing. he investigated the processes of body and mind in minute detail.
By bringing an unshakeable friendliness and a gentle but probing curiosity and interest to what is happening in and around you. Therav›din => 'The way of the Elders'. is implicit in this sutra. leads to realisation. Any person with an open heart and passion for enquiry. 3 Mah›y›na => The Great Vehicle This is the form of Buddhism that is practised outside the Therav›din countries. It contains within it the Vajray›na traditions. At the same time. It is considered to be the most ancient Buddhist tradition and has preserved the Pali sutras. the huge array of emotions and qualities of mind that so colour and sometimes dictate human experience. equipped with a functional ongoing awareness of body. Jesus once said that the truth alone shall set you free. and learning to rest easefully and alertly with whatever is arising. I feel extremely fortunate that my root teacher/lama the Ven.Having investigated the miracle of form. many so called Vajray›na2 students have little. Simply by deepening one's understanding. Unfortunately. seems devoid of devotion and compassion! But is this really the case? Actually. Blending the pragmatic analysis of the scientist with the ecstatic union of the mystic. the process whereby likes and dislikes emerge. the meditator then begins to explore the mystery of mind. This is the name of the form of Buddhism that was found in Tibet. he taught us Satipa˛˛h›na as well as the classical Vajray›na systems. The realisation of the unity of compassion and emptiness. 1 6 . It is not particularly a religious path. the complex phenomena of Nature unfolding. the lover and explorer of life. Namgyal Rinpoché underwent his early monastic training in Burma. 2 Vajray›na => 'The diamond vehicle'. begins to investigate the unimaginable vastness of dharmas. Over the many years of studying and practising these two great treasuries of awakening. Finally. The spirit of Mahayana rests in seed form within the Satipa˛˛h›na. Consequently. by doing this again and again and acclimatising to this way of being. the very heart of Vajray›na. one then. This is the way of the mystic scientist. the extraordinary will reveal itself to be absolutely ordinary. will surely find useful guidance and inspiration in this text. 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. to some. the Satipa˛˛h›na is often seen as belonging to the Therav›din1 tradition. or no time for this teaching of bare insight which. these views won't stand up to close scrutiny. Thailand and Sri Lanka. you will come to see the very ordinary things in life as extraordinary miracles. 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. feelings and mindstates. it is a way that is as vital and precious today as it was back at the time of the Buddha. nor is it necessarily divorced from the awe and wonder that arise when we meet with vast unfathomable mystery. who is wrestling with what it means to live meaningfully in a world that is being shaped by blind grasping and widespread ignorance. Mongolia and in the Shingon tradition of Japan. In the realm of what might be called sectarian Buddhism. The sutra directs us to examine the feeling or evaluation function. This is the name commonly given to the forms of Buddhism found in Myanmar (Burma).
four basic areas of human experience. 'a lucid. religious knowledge Sati => PTS. In order to bring increasing clarity and discrimination to this investigation of what is actually happening right now. revelation. alertness. It could also indicate setting forth in the sense of “laying out for examination". that support or contribute to the arising of any particular thing. wakefulness of mind. feeling/evaluation. Suta => PTS. creative. "origin". recognition. recognition of how a complex weaving of factors is comprising this present moment'. In Sanskrit. lucidity of mind. It's a contemplation of all the causal factors. both physical and mental. the rich interdependent weaving that is this present arising moment. Pa˛˛h›na => PTS. In combination with sati. later called the Sutta-pi˛aka. the title of the 7th book of the Abhidhamma. the seventh book. 'setting up of mindfulness'. intentness of mind. As one one's experience with each of these four deepens. learning. The experiential essence of Satipa˛˛h›na involves the process of knowingly entering. Considering a more literal interpretation of Satipa˛˛h›na we might get . sacred lore. I will use both terms interchangeably. 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. alertness in the presence of the interdependent. conscience. in special sense "received through inspiration or revelation". Try rearranging the various definitions and see what different flavours of meaning you can come up with. It was probably very close to the actual language that the Buddha spoke. In the Abhidhamma. self possession. At this point the practice moves from being an effortful meditation to effortless contemplation arising in the midst of whatever is occurring. It was hundreds of years before any of them were written down. 'Pa˛˛h›na' is a study of causal or conditional relations. the (discursive. a thread or string 2. inspired tradition.The Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta In Buddhism the suttas or sutras generally refer to the collection of discourses given by the Buddha. it will be clear that they are continuously shaping and affecting each other. self-consciousness. mindfulness. in an unbiased. They were originally memorised and passed down from teacher to student in an unbroken flow of oral transmission. Sutta => Pali Text Society Dictionary (PTS). consciousness. 'an alert. Bhikkhu Bodhi defines it as 'attentiveness directed to the present'. cause. 7 . the word for sutta is sutra and in this text. Pali is the language that the Buddhist Sutras were preserved in. narrational) part of the Buddhist Scriptures containing the suttas or dialogues. again and again (anusati – remembering). In later meaning. one is encouraged to thoroughly explore. Setting forth could indicate setting forth on a journey. interrelatedness of things' or another possibility. continuum will come to the fore. setting forth. and objects of mind. putting forward. flowing. body. states of mind. lucid and intimate way. wakeful. learned. starting point. Gradually a rich sense of how they weave together and support each other in an unbroken. heard. taught. memory. 1.
or not.e. one who asks for something. for the attainment of the true way. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: “bhikkhus. ask for.1. or pleasing the teacher or whoever is seen as the authority. if you are interested in realising the cessation of suffering for yourself and all beings. as it arises. Try to read it as if the Buddha was here in your presence speaking personally to you and your friends. means to want. the path that goes only one way i.the activity of good dharma. said to have been a town in the vicinity north of present day Delhi. Namgyal Rinpoché once paraphrased gelong as "one who is free to ask question". Bhikkhu is often translated as 'homeless one' or wanderer. to investigate the universe. Whether you are male or female. to Nibb›na purification of beings – Traditionally this means to free beings from greed. means virtuous. whether you are ordained as a monk or nun. then you will be able to put this teaching to good use immediately. It's as if the curiosity. for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation. for the realisation of Nibb›na – namely.” – “Venerable sir. Most people are quite constrained in their questioning. 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. the four foundations of mindfulness direct path ek›yana magga sometimes translated the one way. explore the universe for the benefit of the many folk. the Buddha. we are not capable of investigating them as they simply don't exist for us. you do get this sense of wondering. unawareness. most people are often more concerned about finding an answer. Bhikkhu => PTS. addressed to ones who are free to ask question. however they find it. entry into the Order of monks was marked by a very simple ceremony compared to how it's done today. “Bhikkhus. hatred and delu8 . Thus have I heard. Question.” they replied. that is naturally present in any well loved child. When it comes to question. wish. wander forth for the benefit of the many folk. if you are courageous enough to question deeply. At the time of the Buddha. would say. 'Come. Are you actually free to ask question? Are you genuinely interested in life. a Buddhist monk or priest. Wonder forth for the benefit of the many folk. the sole way. then you are Bhikkhu in spirit and this sutra is addressed to you. This teaching was and still is. with engaged passion. there is little or no freedom. almsman. good or excellent. for the disappearance of pain and grief. mendicant. honesty and interest. with silent s. avoiding discomfort. this is the direct path for the purification of beings.' And that was it! In English the word wander is very close to wonder. In this unconscious. When we are unconscious or unaware of areas that shape our lives. the d is silent. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Kuru country at a town of the Kurus named Kamm›sadhamma. ones who are moved to investigate the universe. Dge. Slong. The Blessed one said this: Kamm›sadhamma literally . the only way. 'Ehi Bhikkhu' and snap his fingers. or achieving a 'correct' result. 2. 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. The Tibetan word for bhikkhu is gelong and stretching the derivation a bit. Then.
Do you want peace? Have you become tired of the suffering. To be pure is to be willing and able to be totally present for another being. the flame of fire. dukkha true way – also right path. mourning lamentation parideva => PTS. hidden agendas. from du .bad and kha . health. ill. a sense of well-being and profound meaningfulness right here in the midst of life as one finds it." 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. states of mind and objects of mind. sorrow. => an unpleasant state of mind and body Walshe => pain and sadness dukkha => PTS. The path is not about abandoning the body and mental processes in order to ascend into a place of the spirit which is an other worldly. => PTS. ardent. I'm reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh's statement. salvation and bliss Nibb›na or nirv›na is often spoken of as if it were a transcendent state. by saying that the direct path for the realisation of "Peace" is to be found through bringing awareness into these four areas of. mental pain as opposed to physical pain. right method Nibb›na is the Pali for the more widely recognised Sanskrit word. painful. emancipation. grief. to gleam. hatred and delusion 4. whether a human being. lamentation. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings. the sense of spiritual well-being. Pure in this sense means 100%. grief. from suc. hatred. victory. To be purified is to be 100% present with no additives of fantasy. pain and grief dukkhadomanassa. “What are the four? Here. consider what it means to be pure in terms of the ingredients listed on a package of food. peace. distress. trouble.sion. a tree. To take it right out of this realm. the sense of bodily well-being 3. unsatisfactoriness domanassa => PTS. => PTS . later in the sense of burning grief. It might say. and mindful. He abides contemplating mind as mind. a feeling. and a huge amounts of value judgement. the going out of a lamp or fire. transcendent elsewhere. unpleasant. sorrow soka. fear and confusion? 3. causing misery. peace is with you now. fully aware. ardent. and mindful. or active ignoring. discomfort. body. the dying out in the heart of the threefold fire of greed. and mindful. This path is very practical. the madness of a human world that dedicates immense amounts of energy to making money from greed. having put 9 . dejectedness. or a memory. It is also do-able by anyone willing to make the effort. of security. Peanut Butter 100% Pure – no additives. ardent. wailing Walshe translates this as sorrow and distress. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. fully aware. 2. bhikkhus. 1. Nirv›na. melancholy. One realises nibb›na. a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. In western cultures the understanding of purity is inevitably mixed up with ideas of impurity or defilement. fully aware. "If you want peace. This paragraph hints at something much more immediate. suffering.space. feelings.
or breathing out short. presence. fully aware. bhikkhus. Ajahn Chah would say 'contemplating the body within the body' In other words. 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. one contemplates the body. Rephrasing the passage: One who is free to ask question abides. Mindfulness of Breathing 4. fully aware. (CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY) K›y›nupassan› 1. Having put away covetousness and grief for the world. sits down. Thai teacher. set his body erect. 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. or breathing out long. to behave. and established mindfulness in front of him. 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'. he understands: ‘I breathe in long’. in general: to be. abide. in a state of easeful. 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. the body as a body? Here a bhikkhu. he understands: ‘I breathe out long. to stay. but through experiencing.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body [of breath]’. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating. thoughtful. having put away covetousness and grief for the world. attentive. sojourn (in a certain place).e. Fully aware is a translation of sampaj›na => PTS. to lead a life This term 'abide' is used throughout the text. attentive. and understanding directly how the body is. Mindful sati is sometimes translated as selfcomposed. however we are abiding. mindful he breathes out. The same formula is applied to feelings. and so too. having folded his legs crosswise. ardent. energetically. dwell. gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut. abides viharati => PTS. concentrated. he understands: ‘I breathe in short’. from within the body experience. in other words not distracted or dispersed but focussed and present. One who is "free to ask question" abides or leads their life.’ Breathing in short. knowing. Breathing in long. He abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. right in this very moment of contemplating. i.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall 10 . he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body [of breath]. he understands: ‘I breathe out short. ever mindful he breathes in. moment by moment by moment. engaged. with a passionate interest and energy. to live.away covetousness and grief for the world. states of mind and phenomena. Sometimes translated as "hankering and fretting for the world" or "hankering and dejection common in the world". and mindful. mindful. deliberate. “And how. states of mind and objects of mind. not as an armchair theoretician thinking about how the body has been or how it could be. ardent. In a similar fashion one contemplates the feelings from within the direct experience of feeling. responsive. contemplating these four themes.
Thoughts are influencing feelings. An empty hut is the third place that the Buddha suggests. They are not readily available. a vast interpenetration of bodies and consciousness -–– a well functioning. This parallels a place in our experience where the unconscious and the conscious meet and interact. and being eaten by other life forms. lianas.breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’. where they can be experienced as not two but as a single interacting process. birds. all mutually shaping each other. myriad forms of experience continuously coming into being and passing away. a bhikkhu understands: ‘I breathe in long'…. in a forest. the great forest of heart/mind. This forest of knowing is a rich ecology of interdependent phenomena. A place that is spacious and empty in the sense of being a place that has room for new insights and understandings. flowering plants. Metaphorically. leaves. To sit here. moulding intentions. However. The root of a tree is a very stable place. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation. going to a forest is to enter the forest of knowing. Imagine a 'tree of life'. in order to significantly awaken. When we are lost in the underground of our being. ’I make a short turn’.he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation. This is pointing to a mental space that is uncluttered with 'shoulds' and 'oughts'. The ancient Buddhist texts often mention the "netted undergrowth" when referring to the intricate tangling of mental processes. groping blindly in the dark. It is the point where the visible tree disappears into the earth or where the invisible tree emerges into the light. or when making a short turn. When we are high up in the branches. understands: ’I make a long turn’. Earth and roots are feeding branches and leaves. a mode of being in which there is an appreciation for the profound interconnectedness of all arisings. this is another very fruitful physical place and metaphoric space in which to meditate. None of these places will be very useful for the many beings living in urban areas. knowing and not knowing. that we are. This is a 'place' where we can come to recognise the fundamental ground of being.’ First of all the Buddha tells us where to meditate. and so forth. the ground of becoming. whether we are in an actual forest or in a city jungle. giving birth to emotions. can deeply enhance our explorations. outward and inward. breathing in long. To live and practice in a real forest. large creatures and micro organisms. things growing in and on other things. In some texts the phrase is translated as 'an empty space'. healthy ecosystem. the womb of becoming. promoting activity. or at the root of a tree or in an empty hut or space. Branches. but also a very dynamic place as nutriment of different kinds are simultaneously flowing upward and downward. It is a fruitful place in which to meditate. life forms eating other life forms. They also symbolise inner qualities and attitudes that can profoundly support the natural flow of awakening. at this place that borders both light and dark. 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. It helps to meditate in a physical place that 11 . a place where the conscious and unconscious are both available. However these three are not just pleasant places to sit. understands. so too. insects. The root of a tree is another special place for insight. when making a long turn. shaping physiology. like T›ne Mahuta the great kauri tree in northland New Zealand. Its roots are anchored deep in the earth. Think of a dense jungle with huge trees. It has a huge trunk that supports massive branches in which live numerous other forms of life. light and air are feeding the roots. The forest symbolises the mind. and everyone ultimately energised by transformed sunlight.' Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice.. there is little or no insight. we need to open to this forest of interbecoming.
Vajray›na is from vajra –– diamond. A person who has this as their predominant attitude will do best to meditate in the forest. or to an empty space. Having taken up a posture that supports a deep experiential investigation of the rich weaving of now. in whatever way our body is 'disposed'. They are beginning to realise that it is not really possible to find peace without bringing peace to others as well. these explorations need to be done while sitting. any school of Buddhism. I have met 'vajray›na practicioners' who. you 'sit down and having folded your legs crosswise. The unshakeable diamond vehicle is an attitude to life that knows everything to be inherently pure. Hiney›na. There are many teachings on posture and meditation.1 So. by hiney›na. hatred and confusion are the roots of the tree of suffering. are really living out a hiney›na view.is free from clutter. mah›y›na and vajray›na should be understood without value judgement. They simply refer to three common psychological attitudes found in the human experience. refers to a larger viewing of life. there is no negativity to escape and no dysfunction to fix. In this sense it is a small or shrunken viewing of life. they all encourage us to take up a posture that supports a sense of alertness and ease in both mind and body. caught in continual self reference. the Buddha is teaching skilful means. in fact. go to the root of a tree. 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 meditator with this vajra view will best unfold by meditating in this 'spacious openness of interbeing'. There are other ways we could understand these 3 places. Mah›y›na. When you are a vajray›na meditator. Pureland. then go to the forest. standing. With this in mind. and lying down. In the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. This is a very fruitful way of practising. Understanding that greed. With this understanding. All three mindsets can be found in practitioners of Therav›din. the text then recommends that we 'establish mindfulness in front'. in fact. This third place is one that supports the arising of new possibilities. 1 12 . When you are a mah›y›na meditator. from mah› –– great. Zen. having gone to the forest. In this context. This may be an unusual interpretation but I know Therav›din monks who are living expressions of vajray›na and conversely. The prime motivation of this mah› mindset is compassion. unshakeable. creative awareness dancing in the vast space of infinite possibility. free from stuff that is repeatedly reminding us of things to do. refers to a mindset of being primarily concerned with one's own suffering and the possibility of getting free from it. obligations to fulfil and unfinished business to attend to. in order to better understand and make peace with the myriad details and phenomena that comprise the forest of their experience. from hina –– small and y›na –– vehicle. They could refer to three levels of psychological/spiritual maturity. or to the root of a tree.' Here the text refers to your posture. In essence though. You may recognise you have moments of all of them. meditate in the midst of spacious openness. walking. There is only a vast unshakeable space of lovingkindness/clarity/understanding. I am not referring here to the Therav›din tradition. This really Just to be absolutely clear. Tibetan. set your body erect. When you are being a hiney›na meditator. A being who is living the way of mah›y›na has already recognised something of the interconnectedness of the forest of life. As we see in a later section. hiney›na. the mah›y›na meditator brings compassion and clear seeing to these roots of the tree.
'He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’.) 4. straight forward. when you find tension in the body and breath. 'Experiencing the bodily formations I shall breathe in. Long and short are just examples. breathing in. one realises one is breathing in smooth and short. In other translations. However. the object of meditation. For example. As you practice this section on breathing. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. increasing calm 2. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. Experiencing the bodily formations I shall breathe out'. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally.1 The text speaks of breathing in long and short.e. Or as it says in this translation. contemplating the body as a body internally. one realises one breathes out rough and shakily. The rest of the section introduces the meditation on the body through investigating the process of breathing. increasing absorption. (less sense of separation between you the meditator and. and in Breathing. The Vissudhi-magga. “In this way he abides. You also begin to notice the entire body of the breath. he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation'. The two are not separate. 'Calming the body. 1. we begin to feel more easeful with what we have and what we are.means that we are alert. the rate of breathing will gradually slow down and settle. ﬁn›p›nasati. it becomes more and more apparent that the tensions of the body are shaping the breathing and vice-versa. (Verbalisation is the tendency to create stories or to speculate about what is happening. Here. 1 13 . decreasing verbalisation. in this case. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. To calm or 'tranquillise the body doesn't mean to fix it or to change it in any way. Here you begin to study and explore all the different rhythms and textures of breathing. Noting the breath means to directly and intimately feel/sense the textures and sensations of rhythmic physical movements that altogether we call breathing. To calm the body and breath means to make friends with the state of the body and breath just as you find them. Gradually you begin to notice that your entire body is involved with breathing. when breathing in smooth and short. Without controlling the breathing in any way one simply experiences and notes the shape and quality of the in–breath and out–breath. breathing out'. At this stage when you discover a blissful flow in the body and breath. 'I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body'. As you explore in this way. middle and end of both the inhalation and the exhalation. the breathing. "up front" in the sense of honest and not hiding anything. When we cease rejecting difficult states that are present and cease wishing for states that aren't present. not looking for a pre-conceived result.) 5. At this point you might think. Calming the body. increasing clarity of mind 3. this part says. The Natural Way to Meditate by Tarchin Hearn and in The Path of Purification. you will probably just enjoy it and settle more deeply into it. i. When breathing out rough and shakily. the whole body refers to the whole physical body and the whole body of the breath. this is the process of calming the body formations. five qualities will show you that you are on the right track. At this initial stage. 5. the beginning. 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. you might think. one simply notes all the different types of breaths that can occur.
This is perhaps the most important paragraph in the Satipa˛˛h›na. objective. interior. Ajjhatta is the word being translated as internally. that we could possess and preserve. that which is personal. that are being pointed out here. Looking/experiencing more deeply into any phenomena. is recognising the fact that a meditator can and will experience from different viewing points.. It is assumed that at least one of the seven suggestions will engage our attention. or 'being' the breathing rather than watching it. It has an interior feel. or getting insights as if an 'insight' was a special object or knowledge. a verb. in other words as if from the inside. will always reveal it to be an interdependent arising of many factors including the factors of our own perception and consciousness. For those who are familiar with the arising yoga practices in the Tibetan schools. The introvert type finds their reality or place of identity in their private and personal subjective experience. or. One might have the experience of 'being' one's body rather than observing it. Then.. The text suggest you do this. It solves a few problems such as how you would observe feelings or mental processes in another person without resorting to unverifiable 'psychic powers'. To contemplate the body externally is to contemplate someone else's body. or do this. and 'self arising' work and then experiencing them both. really means the activity of 'sighting into'. nudging us towards insight.. To contemplate the body 'externally' is to experience it 'objectively'. To contemplate the body both internally and externally is to be simultaneously observing the body and being the body with no paradox or contradiction. 'Both internally and externally' is to contemplate both. And he abides independent. Internally and externally. It is not necessary to work with every aspect of the paragraph. Insight. The extravert type finds their reality and sense of identity in the world of objective experience that can be shared and discussed with others. It has an 'out there' quality. inwardly. or impersonal). or do this. subjective. simultaneously without conflict. in terms of vipassana. subjectively. personal. arises within (in contrast to anything outside.. this interpretation perhaps leaves out some of the more subtle levels of meditation experience. experience.extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. Internally and externally could be compared with Jung's concepts of introvert and extravert. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. => PTS. 14 . It's a process. To contemplate the body internally means to feel. not clinging to anything in the world. This understanding of internally and externally can be applied to all the other sections of the sutta. This paragraph directs us towards insight or vipassana which essentially means looking deeply into what is presently arising. Insight meditation is often confused with looking for. this corresponds to 'front arising'. Though there is much to be learned through practising in this way. Internally and Externally: Most of the commentaries explain that to contemplate the body internally is to contemplate one's own body. sense oneself as one's body. focussed way. as if you were an observer or a bystander looking from the outside. this paragraph is repeated with virtually no changes. In each section of the sutta we are given an area to explore in a one-pointed.
To abide independent doesn't contradict the earlier contemplation of interdependent. (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. bacteria. not clinging to anything in the world. to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. In this section one contemplates the interdependent nature of the physical body." Here the meditator contemplates the many factors that together support the arising of a body and or the factors that support its dissolving. in other words just holding the awareness without speculating or wandering. when standing. It is moulded by sun and gravity and the whole of the ecosphere. 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. hatred and delusion. or again he keeps on considering how the body is something that passes away. a bhikkhu understands: ‘I am walking’. he understands: ‘I am standing’. then one can simply focus on the fact that: "There is a body" or 'This is a body'. the meditator contemplates these two processes as one inseparable whole. when lying down. when sitting. transient May it teach me wisdom. not involved with them. Here it means independent of states of greed. In the Abhidhamma system the main causal factors in its arising are listed as ignorance. 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. he understands: ‘I am lying down’. “Again. Wondrous. when walking. fungi. bhikkhus. or again he keeps on considering the coming into being with the passing away. 15 .Arising and Vanishing Factors Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. The Four Postures 6. he understands: ‘I am sitting’. It is a union of uncountable viruses. karma (activity) and food. by thoughts and dreams. It is an interbeing of all these processes from micro to macro. craving. It is conditioned by families. Or. by societies. The paragraph finishes by saying that the bhikkhu abides independent. 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. plants and animals. or he understands accordingly however his body is disposed. Not clinging to anything in the world particularly means not identifying as "self" any of the five aggregates or skandhas (see p 29) 2.
really drink tea. When washing dishes. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. a Tibetan form of body awareness work or Feldenkrais 'Awareness Through Movement' or any other body awareness practice can help to augment this section. Because the ordinary is so habitual and familiar. All sorts of muscular movements and adjustments are needed to rest in any particular position. who acts in full awareness when eating. Kum Nye. find out. contemplating the body as a body internally. give all your attention to washing dishes. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. standing. sitting. understand. The body is an interbeing of innumerable factors. 7. 9. When drinking tea. One breath at a time. distinguish.e. new. 3. And he abides independent. walking. bhikkhus.. come to know. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. Thich Nhat Hanh's book "The Miracle of Mindfulness" gives many excellent hints for supporting this section's explorations. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. who acts in full awareness when walking. and keeping silent. a lot of awake. To deepen this work it helps if you can remember to do one thing at a time and give it all of your attention. consuming food. waking up. “In this way he abides.Here one continues the exploration of breathing but now taking the practice into whatever posture you happen to be in. revealing ways. standing etc. is needed in order to experience these familiar postures in fresh. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing 16 . Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. With this section the meditator brings awareness into all the activities of daily life. who acts in full awareness when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl. not clinging to anything in the world. 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 the body as a body externally. i. All Activities 8. a bhikkhu is one who acts in full awareness when going forward and returning. to know. as extraordinary. “Again. who acts in full awareness when flexing and extending his limbs. talking. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. who acts in full awareness when looking ahead and looking away. It seems like such a simple thing but giving attention to the little activities will hugely enrich the pleasure and meaningfulness of each day. You need to be able to see the ordinary. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. “In this way he abides. attention to detail. you will notice all kinds of shifts and changes. This is an area in which many people find gathas or short memory verses to be useful. contemplating the body as a body internally. The word translated as understanding is paj›nati => PTS. Even when lying down if you give your attention to the detail of what is happening. sensitive. The body is never static. The posture shifts in response to the breathing. To "understand" you are sitting means to have a rich interior awareness of the physical sensations of sitting. drinking. and tasting. falling asleep. One activity at a time. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. The breathing shifts in response to the posture.
blood. teeth. peas. fat. diaphragm. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. tears. so too. blood. The classical method of practising this meditation is described in detail in 'The Visuddhimagga' The Path of Purification. many of them smelly. “Again. blood.factors. contents of the stomach. kidneys. the description of this meditation is very extensive. again going forward and then all the way back. The text says: "The recitation should be done verbally in this way a hundred times. and urine. When the mind stabilises in observing this pentad. a thousand times. these are peas. flesh. snot. oil of the joints. spittle. phlegm. 4. sweat. sinews. body-hairs. bones. It encourages the meditator to investigate the reality of a body made of parts. diaphragm. modern people often relate to their body in a very superficial way. bounded by skin. skin. such as hill rice. pus. grease. millet. often don't want to know about. p170 . contents of stomach. lungs. One goes forward to kidneys and then all the way back to head-hairs. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. 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. bile. liver. bile. body hairs. small intestines. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. reciting it forward and back. Then add the 'brain pentad'.’ Just as though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of many sorts of grain. faeces. bile. section VIII 42 . liver. even a hundred thousand times. pus. head-hairs. then one begins to include the 'kidney pentad'. phlegm. For it is through verbal recitation that the 17 . Originally it was for counteracting lust and excessive infatuation for the "bodybeautiful". spleen. Foulness or Repulsiveness: The Parts of the Body 10. spleen. fat. snot. and urine. large intestines. small intestines. brain.177. a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair. not clinging to anything in the world. While lavishing attention on the outer skin and the various adornments that clothe it. as if it were only what appears to them in a mirror. oil of the joints. liver. faeces. Lastly the 'urine sestad'. sweat. this is millet. snot. this is white rice’. One begins with the 'skin pentad'. And he abides independent. phlegm. tears. lungs. as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head hairs. pus. large intestine. large intestines. spittle. as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head hairs. this is red rice. fat. nails. Here. heart. they are squeamish about what's inside. nails. body hairs. The reality of the insides and the fact that all the parts of the body are themselves in a state of responsive change and transformation is something that many people don't know about and. faeces. lungs. contents of the stomach. oil of the joints. red rice. and white rice. bounded by skin.’ This section is traditionally referred to as the meditation on the foulness or repulsiveness of the body. bone-marrow. nails. teeth. Then the 'fat sestad'. diaphragm. sweat. spittle. grease. spleen. ‘This is hill rice. tears. bones. small intestines.144 and in 'The Vimuttimagga' The Path of Freedom. teeth. bones. Then one adds the 'lights or lungs pentad'. grease. these are beans. beans. slimy and unmentionable in polite company! I have noticed that even well educated. and a man with good eyes were to open it and review it thus. bhikkhus. a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair. and urine.
Water cycles. 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. though I should say that it is potentially a very wonderful and rich practice. the meditator looks more carefully into each part. people need to get into wholesome contact with the wondrous miracle which is their body. fish and herbs on the way to being worms. look at that body." Once the verbal recitation has been well established. A bag of faeces. Many people today have a lot of aversion. fats and oils. And looking in. There is already too much of that in their being. Miraculous voyagings of stardust atoms. discerning it clearly as to colour. look at that body. My muscles and tissues. gases. At this point. urine and blood. anger. Also. gradually establishes the body as something that is asubha "not-beautiful" and one experiences great detachment from it. corrupt.) All this detailed attention to and investigation of grease. I find the out. Body-scan in four parts and the Inner Smile. those monks of old. both described in Natural Awakening can be very fruitful ways of working. Today the teachers say. and fear energy. not a sense of foulness and repulsion. full of filth. the parts become evident. With modern medical knowledge and tools. My excretions the banquet of others. emphasising foulness and repulsiveness. My breath is the breath of the rainforest. snot. shape. They are frequently quite out of contact with their bodies and seem to spend much of their time in their 'heads'. direction. spittle. it may then become internalised as a mental recitation. of vomit.meditation subject becomes familiar and. shaping their lives. symbiotic dancing of plants and animals. molecules. They need to cultivate lovingkindness. often doesn't help people who are coming from these backgrounds. Foul. How vast and wondrous! And so they do. 'Awareness Through Movement' work 18 . cells and organs. Feldenkrais. And came to release all lustful selfish clinging to this walking breathing corpse. blood etc. birds and trees. And so they did. this meditation could go in a very different direction: The ancients said. hatred. the mind being thus prevented from running here and there. For deep healing. This meditation in its classical form. (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) If the classical form of this meditation doesn't engage you in a positive way. 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. chemical cycles. blood and bone are the temporary arrangement of carrots. insects. location and delimitation (distinguishing it from other similar parts.
Earth element pa˛havı-dh›tu. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. a bhikkhu reviews this same body. and the air element. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. attraction. breadth. a bhikkhu reviews this same body. however it is placed. expansion. contemplating the body as a body internally. hardness. solid. metabolic processes of catabolism and anabolism. flame. i. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. pa˛h›vi => PTS from puthu or prath – to expand. light. however disposed. gravitational pull T-Abd notes – water element is the intangible cohesive or binding tendency which gives rise to the body of something. the broad one. as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element. so too. however it is placed. tejo => "sharpness" heat. softness These are the two relative conditions of this element. dimension. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. not clinging to anything in the world. It is the vitalising energy and determines the life span and degeneration of matter. “In this way he abides. to come in. as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element. however disposed. 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. Water element ›po-dh›tu ›po. 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. the fire element. the water element.e. the water element. radiance T-Abd notes – Tejo is the heat element and applies to all temperature ranges.’ 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. 11.can greatly augment this meditation as can Kum Nye. to be sharp. Fire element tejo-dh›tu tejo => PTS from tij. It's attributes are fluidity and contraction. 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. These control the maturing and progression of the body.=> PTS from ap. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. and the air element.’ This meditation is outlined in detail in the Visuddhimagga XI. extension. b – density ie. pa˛h›vi => the earth. firm T-Abd notes – Pa˛h›vi => the degree to which space is occupied a – extension ie. a Tibetan system of body awareness work. to pierce. to arrive. thickness etc. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. 5. And he abides independent. Air element v›yo-dh›tu 19 . dh›tu => element. fire. “Again bhikkhus. Elements 12.
a snow field. to vibrate. 6 . contemplating the body as a body internally. The story of potato. "Again. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. it can be very valuable to contemplate the four elements in an outer way. and oozing matter. livid. “In this way he abides. Or else he abides contemplating in 20 . And he abides independent. bhikkhus.v›yo => PTS from v›y. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. Meditating in this way. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. To do this one contemplates how one's body is literally made of earth through the medium of plants which were eaten as food. interdependent with everything else in the world. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. water and air and the elements of these have all been born in stars! 13.14. or three days dead. Although it was not really the traditional approach. XI 39. Vis. the tears in another being's eyes. move and oscillate. we understand the body to be a dynamic process of transformation. Eating and drinking is an obvious time for exploring this meditation. The Nine Charnel Ground Contemplations 14.' 15. Before bringing the food to your mouth. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. to weave. “In this way he abides. it will be like that. consciously breathe in and out a few times while contemplating how this food or drink has come to be here. It is seen in the body as movement." In the traditional meditation you could think of the elements as being inner qualities that together give shape and form to anything. "What has the characteristic of stiffness is the earth element. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. This is the vibratory aspect. Air is composed of chemical elements and compounds which themselves are interbeing with other systems and processes. We are literally a weaving of sunlight. dancing together in complex ways giving rise to the temporary appearance of bodies. which creates sugars which are released as heat and energy in our bodies through metabolism. The heat of the sun is the ultimate source of energy. what has the characteristic of distending (supporting) is the air element. earth. bloated. 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. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. All these elements are continuously flowing through the ecosphere. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. The liquids in one's body were once a cloud. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. one. what has the characteristic of cohesion is the water element. what has the characteristic of ripening (maturing) is the fire element. not clinging to anything in the world. it is not exempt from that fate. a river flowing to the sea. and from v›. These explorations require a very focussed and subtly discerning attentiveness otherwise they can drift into the realm of philosophical thinking and speculation. powering photosynthesis. contemplating the body as a body internally. two.
18. In ancient days the meditator would go to a charnel ground where there were human bodies in various stages of decay and decomposition. "Again.' The Charnel Ground Contemplations known as asubha (not beautiful) study the body as it disintegrates after death. 21 . as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.' 17. bones bleached white.."Again.bones heaped up. it is not exempt form that fate. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. Today one has to practise in one's imagination. held together with sinews. contemplating the body as a body internally. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. If you see the corpse of an animal you can use it as a stimulus for developing this meditation. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. hawks. being devoured by crows. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. there a foot-bone. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally.. go I. And he abides independent. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. it will be like that. a skeleton with flesh and blood. dogs. not clinging to anything in the world. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors. here a tooth.. there a shoulder-bone. contemplating the body as a body internally. here a neck-bone. or various kinds of worms. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. there a skull – a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. 16. “In this way he abides. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. held together with sinews. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally.. there a breast-bone.a skeleton without flesh and blood. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides independent.. jackals..disconnected bones scattered in all directions – here a hand-bone. it is not exempt from that fate. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood. there a back-bone. there a jaw-bone. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. I remember many years ago when emerging from the train station in Calcutta. held together with sinews. there a thigh-bone. here an arm-bone.-24. as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground. There.. the colour of shells. here a hip-bone. it will be like that. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. it is not exempt from that fate. This stimulated much contemplation. the first thing I saw was a beggar's corpse being thrown into the back of a garbage truck. here a shin-bone.. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors.the body its arising factors. vultures. here a rib-bone. more than a year old. “In this way he abides. but for the grace of God. not clinging to anything in the world.bones rotted and crumpled to dust.. a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: 'This body too is of the same nature. 26-30 "Again. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. not clinging to anything in the world. And he abides independent. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. it will be like that.' 25..
“In this way he abides. A moment of vedan› emerges from the collective response. In the action of responding we belatedly recognise the vedan›. to feel. he understands: 'I feel a worldly pleasant feeling'. People often confuse feelings with emotions. to any stimulus whether internally or externally arising. or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly pleasant feeling'. he understands: 'I feel a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling'. when feeling an unworldly painful feeling.' Vedan› => PTS. And he abides independent.e. It's what allows us to jerk our hand away from a hot stove element before it burns us. "And how bhikkhus. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. when feeling a painful feeling. when feeling a worldly painful feeling. It can modify the stream of consciousness either positively or negatively i. of all the parts and systems making up the organism. You might think of it as an organism preservation mechanism.31. when feeling a neither-painful-nor pleasant feeling. from ved or vid. The text refers to three types of vedan›. Pain shortens it. When you have a feeling it is going to rain 22 . Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors. As one can see by the PTS derivations above. he understands: 'I feel a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. or he abides contemplating in the body its vanishing factors.e. Moving away is unpleasurable and neither moving towards or away as neutral or indifferent. Vedan› can be so fleeting and subtle that what we commonly perceive as vedan› is usually a stream of many similar vedan› moments. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body. Pleasure furthers life.' When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling. not clinging to anything in the world. contemplating the body as a body internally. to sense. unpleasurable and neither pleasurable nor unpleasurable. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating feelings as feelings? Here. vedan› is feeling but in the sense of evaluation. a bhikkhu understands: 'I feel a pleasant feeling'. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly painful feeling'. he understands: 'I feel an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. when feeling a pleasant feeling. Experientially. he understands: 'I feel a worldly painful feeling'. (CONTEMPLATION OF FEELING) Vedan›nupassan› 32. or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally. "to weigh it up" T–Abd notes – Vedan› is a conscious subjective impression prior to recognising or identifying an object. he understands: 'I feel a painful feeling'. The automatic moving towards something is experienced as pleasurable. when feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling. to experience i. when feeling a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. the moment of vedan› seems to come before one is even consciously aware of the object. or he abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally. Pleasurable. to know. when feeling an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. This response leads to the creature moving towards or away from the stimulus.
something that is actually good for the organism and then back away from it. When this happens we can begin to make bad 'decisions'. something that is essentially bad for the organism and hence move towards it. and nonabidingness anatt›. 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. rather than on the basis of what is good for the overall creative functioning of the organism. The grief is actually in the longing. or he abides contemplating the feelings as feelings both internally and externally. suffering dukkha. the renunciate will experience joy in discovering the truth of impermanence anicca. the 'six kinds of grief'. and neutrality) arising through any of the six doors. without any accompanying insight or understanding. An organism is constantly monitoring the inner and outer environment. and the 'six kinds of equanimity'. Confusion and suffering can occur if the vedan› function becomes 'hijacked' by the ego. Or else he abides contemplating in feelings their arising factors. It sounds very straight forward but in practice. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating feelings as feelings. Situations are then 'evaluated' on the basis of what will augment a relatively static and more or less defensive ego image. The three types of vedan› of a householder refer to the common responses to sensory experience (liking. The Buddha once said that he knew the pleasant for the pleasant and the unpleasant for the unpleasant. contemplating the feelings as feelings internally. Similarly. A poorly functioning vedan› can cause no end of suffering. or he abides contemplating in feelings their vanishing factors.you don't usually mean you are having an emotion that it will rain. There is grief when experiencing the anicca. 23 . They are described in (MN 137. 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. arising through any of the six sense doors. or he abides contemplating the feelings as feelings externally. the three types of vedan› for a person living the life of renunciation. They have lost touch with this basic life support function. Unworldly feelings are feeling/evaluations arising in the life of a renunciate. We can identify as unpleasant. For example. In vedan›nupassan› one simply notes the process of vedan›. especially in this day of powerful advertising and media manipulation. The six refer to the six sense doors. we can identify as pleasant. many beings don't know. Addictions to alcohol or to chronic activity or to junk food are examples of this. There is equanimity on seeing that all sense objects are impermanent. 33. not clinging to anything in the world. disliking. And he abides independent. or he abides contemplating in feelings both their arising and vanishing factors. subject to change. experiencing it arise and pass without necessarily acting on it. According to the MN text. fading away and cessation. dukkha and anatt› through any of the six sense doors and then longing for liberation. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is feeling’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.15) under the 'six kinds of joy'. Their wrong reading of vedan› leads to all sorts of unskilful actions. worldly and unworldly feelings Traditionally. worldly feelings are described as feeling/evaluations arising in the life of a householder. “In this way he abides. 9 .
citta denotes both the agent and that which is enacted. He understands exalted mind as exalted mind. bhikkhus. Citta is difficult to translate in one word while preserving its full meaning.e. This mode or way of experiencing. Citta may therefore be rendered by intention. all of which emphasise the emotional and cognitive side of "thought" more than its mental and rational side. and mind unaffected by delusion as mind unaffected by delusion. and unsurpassed mind as unsurpassed mind. from cit. in the very presence of the mind state. colours our perception and helps shape the sense of meaning arising in any given situation. I have not the heart to do it. He understands surpassed mind as surpassed mind. Imagine that you had a collection of different colour tinted sunglasses. blessed are the pure at heart. He understands liberated mind as liberated mind. The text gives only a very limited range of examples of possible states of mind. to think. He understands mind affected by delusion as mind affected by delusion. cinteti. design. the 'state of mind'. He understands mind affected by hate as mind affected by hate." In other words. 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. The translation we have here uses 'mind' for citta. open or closed. In this way. and mind unaffected by hate as mind unaffected by hate. appear. It may be a more commonly named emotion. state of mind. reaction to impressions. the centre and focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations i.CONTEMPLATION OF MIND Citt›nupassan› 34. and unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated mind. heart and soul. disposition. the heart (psychologically) i. Citta => PTS. Namgyal Rinpoché referred to citta in the context of Satipa˛˛h›na as 'state of mind'. He understands concentrated mind as concentrated mind. In the direct experience of meditation you may not be able to precisely name the citta. => PTS. Research into brain damaged people has shown that intellect without emotional content often loses its moral or value component. and unexalted mind as unexalted mind. => PTS. It may be focussed or diffused. mood. you the meditator understand that this particular 'state of mind' is present. and distracted mind as distracted mind. With the familiar 24 . The state of mind roughly corresponds to what people consider their emotional state.e. He understands contracted mind as contracted mind. thought. If you have green ones the world is tinted green and grey ones tint the world grey. "The bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind. and mind unaffected by lust as mind unaffected by lust. you may feel an overall texture of knowing or experiencing." Citta. If you wear a pair of pink ones the whole world appears to be tinted pink. could be thought of as the overall flavour or texture of mind. however. Other translations use 'consciousness' or 'thought'. and unliberated mind as unliberated mind. impulse. That's why the PTS dictionary speaks of "man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations. It may be something rough or bouncy or bubbly or bright or smooth or still. " And how. The meaning of citta is best understood when explaining it by expressions familiar to us such as: with all my heart. perceive. It's as if you were wearing anger glasses or happiness glasses or glasses of any other emotional texture. without departing from it. States of mind are like this. does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind as mind? Here a bhikkhu understands mind affected by lust as mind affected by lust.
not clinging to anything in the world. "And how. The unsurpassed mind is referring to the levels of absorption on immaterial form ›rÒp›vacara. along with outer circumstances and situations. You investigate the entire interbeingness of arising mind states. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen ill will. or emotional states. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sensual desire. A contracted mind is referring to states of sloth and torpor. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned ill will. you begin to note the arising of mental states.' "Here. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sensual desire. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is mind’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. you will experience a greater and greater freedom from being blindly caught up in reaction. there being ill will in him. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sensual desire. there being no sensual desire in him. there being sensual desire in him. seeing and knowing that they are transient. When you are exploring citt›nupassan›. And he abides independent. This will encourage you to examine the state more closely. An exalted mind refers to states of absorption on fine material form rÒp›vacara. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen ill will.' 25 . The Five Hindrances 36. contemplating mind as mind internally. An unexalted mind and a surpassed mind refer to the level of sense sphere consciousness k›mavacara. or he abides contemplating mind as mind externally. or. 'There is no sensual desire in me'. or he abides contemplating in mind both its arising and vanishing factors. Or else he abides contemplating in mind its arising factors. bhikkhus. Through dwelling in a continuum of awareness of the arising and passing of states of mind. The liberated mind is referring to a degree of freedom from defilements either through jh›na or through insight. and that they arise dependent on many different factors. or. he understands. or he abides contemplating mind as mind both internally and externally. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five hindrances? "Here.emotions it is valuable to notice the texture rather than simply rubber stamping them with a label. 35. Your body and feeling function are some of these factors. CONTEMPLATION OF MIND-OBJECTS Dhamm›nupassan› 1. or he abides contemplating in mind its vanishing factors. You explore what factors contribute to their arising and what factors contribute to their passing. A distracted mind refers to states of restlessness and worry. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is sensual desire in me'. he understands. and unconsciously projecting onto the object you are involved with. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind. “In this way he abides. 'There is no ill will in me'. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is ill will in me'. there being no ill will in him. 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.
=> PTS. he understands. there being no sceptical doubt in him. he understands. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is sceptical doubt in me'. 'There is no sloth and torpor in me'. or. much less invented or decreed by him. the knower becomes the incorporation of the knowable. at the beginning. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen restlessness and worry. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned restlessness and worry. there being no restlessness and worry in him. Thus by recognition of the truth. "rationality" any thing that is as it should be according to its reason and logicality i. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sloth and torpor. Because for most beings. => PTS. Then the meditator investigates the realm of sensing and the reactions of greed.' dhamma => PTS. Once there is a lessening of these tendencies. philosophy. This fourth foundation of mindfulness which has been translated here as awareness of 'mind-objects' could be thought of as awareness of phenomena. he understands. and by him made intelligible to mankind as bodhi: revelation. awakening. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sceptical doubt. psychologically. This is a more hidden source of suffering.' "Here. anything that is not covered by k›ya. In this sutta however. but intelligible to a mind of his range. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen restlessness and worry. As this area becomes less of a problem the investigation turns to the positive. support: that which forms a foundation and upholds. or.e. or purely mental phenomenon as distinguished from a psycho-physical phenomenon or sensation. dharma."Here. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor. vedan› and citta would come in this category. the section on dhamm›nupassan› begins with an exploration of the five gross hindrances. there being restlessness and worry in him. there being no sloth and torpor in him. The Buddha (like every great philosopher) is a discoverer of this order of the Dhamma. more in-your-face than the positive dharmas. the Dhamma or world wisdom/philosophy of the Buddha as contained in the Sutras. there being both sloth and torpor in him. there being sceptical doubt in him. the difficulties or negativities are more obvious and more demanding. hatred and delusion that commonly arise along with sensory experience. 'There is no restlessness and worry in me'. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sloth and torpor.e. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is restlessness and worry in me'. immanent. this universal logic. Dhamma in Pali is the same as Skt. uncreated. truth and its recognition by the Buddha. thought. That which the Buddha preached. or. => PTS. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sceptical doubt. eternal. and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen sceptical doubt. philosophy or righteousness in which the rational and the ethical elements are fused into one. Dhamm›nupassan› particularly refers to the dharmas of awakening. not as interpreted by him only. the Dhamma was the order of law of the universe. idea.' "Here. a study of the qualities of being that are inseparable from the experience of 26 . objective. i. mental attitude. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is both sloth and torpor in me'. from dh¸ (dh›reti) to hold. one moves on to investigate the five aggregates of clinging to a sense of self. looking into the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. Buddhadhamma. "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. natural law. 'There is no sceptical doubt in me'. subjective. In a sense.
This first hindrance is desire for experience at any one of the six sense doors. one is directed to know when they are present and to know when they are not present. If we are unaware of this happening. to understand clearly how they come into being. desire to injure. hatred. With each of these five. or taste or touch or know. This yearning is not just mental but is also expressed physically in the body as a matrix of tensions. Most people linger in this fifth state until another desire for sensing picks them up and they begin the cycle all over again. planning. like a lotus padme. One understands how to let go of and abandon a hindrance. At this point. lethargic. it's not uncommon to look outside the body for the cause or source of tension with the idea of getting rid of it. exhaustion. The present moment isn't sufficiently engaging or satisfactory enough so one starts hankering or fantasising over things or activities that might make it better. It's someone else's fault! This is the birth of the second hindrance. If there is still a spark of health in us. aspiration.e. Five Hindrances Pañca Nıvara˚a One begins to explore the realm of Dharma by investigating the five hindrances. At this point in the cycle it's as if the creative life energy has almost stopped flowing. Finally one "understands how there comes to be the future non-arising of an abandoned hindrance. making bad.dwelling in freedom. For a much more detailed description of the cycle of the five hindrances along with some hints at how to dissolve them. – essentially through friendly non-clinging awareness. closed minded scepticism which is often accompanied by varying degrees of depression. We want to see. A yearning or reaching out takes place through one or more of the six sense doors. plotting. the culmination of the path. anger. It can be very useful however to think of them as five common divisions of a single cycle of energy. how they manifest in the body and what are the accompanying mental attitudes. what triggers them. doing harm. see Breathing: The Natural Way to Meditate – p 56 1." This last section refers to realisation of various stages of Path in which specific hindrances cease to arise again. The vya is associated with the idea of gone astray. ill-will. if we can't let go and relax into what is actually present. vy›p›da => ill will => PTS. If the desire is not fulfilled. 27 . we will find ourselves sinking towards the fifth hindrance. in other words. a tired. they also arise in the general activity of one's daily life. P›da which means foot or base is symbolically referring to energy fields. It is a hindrance in that it is inevitably desire for something that is not currently present. one comes to know directly the Four Noble Truths. restlessness and worry. (see p 33) The five hindrances are often taught as if they were five completely separate types of experience. Now we experience the fourth hindrance. In the last section. If this goes on for too long it sucks up so much vital energy that we fall into the third hindrance. memories. In brief. k›macchanda => desire for sensing k›ma => sensing or sensual. desire. ill-will. Although these five are usually taught in the context of meditation. Hence the sense that ill-will is an expression of energy fields gone astray. a degree of frustration will augment the tension until it becomes physically unpleasant. it pushes against the dam of tension–frustration and everything begins to tremble. story making. the cycle begins with desire for something other than what is happening. It's hard work to maintain the tensions of anger and ill-will. chanda => moon. Verbalisation i. associations and so forth. malevolence. 2. general chatter and so forth is usually a sure sign of k›macchanda.
such its disappearance. mental self-sacrificing. function. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. overly scrupulous. remorse. not clinging to anything in the world. to congeal. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging. Thına is very much an energy reference. such its disappearance. 37. such their disappearance. what's the point?' It is the fundamental life doubt i. gathering. such its origin. Vicikicchati => to dis-reflect. vedan›. bhikkhus. This is the opposite of sukha.3. mania. such is perception. “In this way he abides. a state of throwing up. such is consciousness. uddhacca-kukkucca => restlessness and worry T . middha is a sleeping of the senses i.e. 'Such is material form. fidgeting. trembly.e. incapable of function. It is called citta gellaññaª. over + dhu=> to waver.. vicikicch› => sceptical doubt => PTS. that which should be done. such are the formations. to be distracted in thought. Hence doubt.. heap 28 . or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. ˛hına-middha => sloth and torpor.Abd notes – Thına => PTS. conglomeration. to become hard. sickness of mind. such its origin. Kukkucca => worry.. 2. such their origin. It is an ambivalence that leads to mental paralysis 'can't do this. 5. the shrinking mind. Vicikicch› is the state of being incapable of deciding this is this and that is that.. Thına and middha are always in conjunction – a weak. like a flurry of grey snowflakes. sleepiness. from the. an energyless unwieldyness resulting in a limp. the psychic masochist.Abd notes – Uddhacca => from U => up. above. uncertainty. inert. a grieving kind of worry. perplexity. such its disappearance. And he abides independent. rigidity. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. such its origin. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. perplexity.. collection.' The Five Aggregates of Clinging Pañc'up›dd›nakkhandha Khandha (Pali) or skandha (Skt) => aggregate. and saºkhar›. weak sañña. to shrink. such is feeling. uncertainty. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. such its disappearance. tremble.. Thına is the opposite of viriya energy. shake off. depression and is the opposite of cittakammaññat› adaptability of mind. dullness. The Five Aggregates 38. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. Middha from middh => to be inactive. sticky mind. or the point in continuing with the practice. Kicca => PTS. "Again. doubt in existence or the possibility of awakening. 4. sorrow. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging? Here a bhikkhu understands. or the validity of the teaching or the integrity or value of the teacher. Vi expresses negation and ambivalence towards 'that which should be done'. the psychic picker. a stickiness of mind. defensive state of mind. such its origin. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. unwieldy. T.. essentially a state of tiredness.can't do that. agitated. an unsettled state of mind. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally.
RÒpa => PTS. perception. conception. notion. RÒpa is that which manifests itself through different colours va˚˚›. In the texts there is no universally applicable one meaning for rÒpa. Abhidhamma describes 28 species of rÒpa dealt with in terms of how they arise. Vedan› => feeling/evaluation (see p 22) Sañña => perception. some with habit patterns and some with consciousness. Avalokitesvara. having insight) sañña =>PTS. making known. clinging. the five categories hint at the myriad factors that weave together the human experience. an announcement. RÒpa is a living force. to become known. to be visible. when the Buddha first taught the five skandhas. into the fullness of the present moment. They are called 'aggregates of clinging' because each one can be a focus for clinging to the sense of a separate. RÒpa means both the fundamentals of matter and the laws and changes and processes of matter. It moulds to various changes of environment. to break. hence 'five heaps'. discernment. explanation. For example if the organism has a low fuel energy. sense. Together. a related word is sankhata => put to29 . RÒpa perception springs from four sources. with. the bodhisattva of compassion. destroy. evidence. Some renderings are form. some with perceptions. According to legend. So rÒpapak›sane => a shining. assimilation of sensations. a central text of Mahayana Buddhism. and ›h›ra nutriment. that which changes its colour due to elemental shifts. idea. and "beheld but five heaps". body. some with their feelings. from saª (together) + k¸ (to work). attatchment In the Heart Sutra. publicity. perception. Some people identify more with their body. RÒpa is that which breaks up or changes. persist and perish. T-Abd notes – RÒpa actually means. it will not perceive as wide a range of rÒpa.e. Each pile. 1. independent. a manifestation. The chief characteristic of sañña is identification or recognition. from rup. 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. information. Contemplating the five aggregates. All form perceived by mind has 28 textures. recognition. It notes the qualities or characteristics of things. recognising. PTS. being the third khandha 2. all the grains of rice. consciousness.Pañca => five Up›dd›na => grasping. a statement. five skandhas. is a way of deepening our understanding of how each moment of life experience is dependent on uncountable other situations and circumstances. looks with profound understanding. RÒpa => form. to shine forth. wavelengths. RÒpa is also derived from rÒppak›sane => PTS. Sankh›ra => PTS. corporeality. pigmentation. matter. from saª (together. a declaration. kamma. perish. material form This includes the physical body with its sense faculties as well as external material objects. containing) + jñ› (knowing. sense. consciousness of diversity 4. in order to more clearly illustrate what he was talking about. autonomous self or ego. he placed five piles of rice on the ground in front of him. represented one of the skandhas and also indicated that the heap itself is comprised of a multitude of sub-factors. a field or sphere of colour va˚˚›yatana. utu seasonal phenomena i. Pak›sane => explaining. awareness 3. cycles and undulations. citta.
They are listed here to give you a sense of the one approach to exploring saºkh›ra.uddhaccaª Desire-clinging . these two stand on their own so there are only 50 cetasika listed in the category of sankh›ra.cetan› One-pointedness . In Tantrayana this is represented by the fifty freshly severed human heads around Vajra Yogini's neck.jıvitindriyaª Attention .gether.lobha View .macchariyaª Worry . Common to all states of consciousness .moha Shamelessness .vitakka Scanning .viriya Interest-joy-ecstasy . produced by a combination of causes.vicikicch› 30 . saºkh›ra refers to the 50 mental factors or cetasikas.kukkuccaª Energyless-mind .di˛˛hi Conceit .dosa Envy .vic›ra Decision .thınaª Energyless-body .Paki˚˚ak› Focus . habit patterns and so forth.m›na Hatred .Sabbacittas›dh›ran› Contact . In abhidhamma.iss› Avarice . 50 Mental Factors or Cetasika that are classified as sankharas in the abhidhamma system. Sank›ra => habitual formations.anottappaª Restlessness .ekaggat› Vital energy . created. vedan› and sañña which would make the total number of cetasika come to 52.chando Unwholsome . When contemplating saºkh›ra as one of the five khandha you will likely find your reflections extending beyond these 50 factors to consider things like subliminal memories.middhaª Sceptical doubt . brought about as effect of actions in former births.pıti Aspiration . Saºkh›ra has a feeling of bits and pieces being put together to make a particular formation. compound. However when considering the five Skandhas.adhimokkha Enthusiastic perseverance .ahirikaª Fearlessness . emotional and intellectual aspects of one's mental life.Akusala Delusion .) Variables . conditioned.manasik›ra (There are two more cetasika usually listed in this section.phassa Volition . dispositions. This includes all volitional.
think). the state of the subject is shaping the perception 31 . or constitutional elements of physical life. 2. or adjuncts which come. aggregate of the conditions or essential properties for a given process or result e.g. PTS from vi + jñ› (to produce.karu˚› 2 Sympathetic Joy . (i) the sum of the conditions or properties making up or resulting in life or existence.samm›v›ca Right Action . The existence of the object is helping to establish the sense of being a subject and simultaneously. or tend to come. Sankh›r› tend to take on the implication of synergies. (ii) Essential conditions. antecedents or synergy (co-ordinated activity). speech and thought.cittapassadhi Lightness of mental body. sank›ra could be thought of as the habitual patterns. peculiar to the East.alobha Lovingkindness .saddh› Mindfulness .samm›kammanto Right Livelihood .ottappaª Generosity . comprising all cetasikas. is so complete.k›ya and cittap›guññat› Straightforwardness . the mental concomitants.hiri Moral caution .k›yapassaddhi Tranquillity of citta .k›ya and cittamudut› Adaptability .Sobhanas›dh›ran› Confidence . One of the five khandhas. a purposive aspiring state of mind to induce a specific rebirth. Various meanings: 1.Common to the Beautiful . Lightness of citta .Viratiyo Right Speech .paññindriya PTS says of sank›ra: 'One of the most difficult terms in Buddhist metaphysics. attitudes.cittalahut› Pliancy . In a simple way.adosa Equanimity . 'I' am conscious of 'that'. into consciousness at the uprising of a citta or unit of cognition. Viññ›na => consciousness.k›ya and cittakammaññat› Proficiency . 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.tatramajjhattat› Tranquillity of mental body (cetasik›).k›ya and cittajjukat› Abstinences . Here the vi means to divide hence it is a knowing that divides into subject and object. There are many words for consciousness. in which the blending of the subjective-objective view of the world and of happening.mudit› Wisdom Faculty .samm›-›jıvo Illimitable . mental coefficients.k›yalahut›.Appamañña 1 Compassion . of purposive intellection. requisite for action.sati Moral shame .
3. you might say it arises when there is a particular configuration of perception. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the six internal and external bases? Here a bhikkhu understands the eye. The Six Bases 40. if you enquire deeply into the nature of form or material and try to describe it. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. bhikkhus. This co-dependent process of knowing is Viññ›na. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. not clinging to anything in the world. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors.of the object. in a sense. The six bases or ›yatan› are sometimes referred to as the twelve sense spheres dv›das›yatan›. He understands the nose. and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both. In a similar way you can explore habitual formations and consciousness. sphere of perception or sense in general.. he understands flavours. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter. Kalu Rinpoché defined Viññ›na as 'discursive consciousness'. The mind is consid32 . ›yatan› => PTS. the ability of mind to recognise something other than itself as an object – to decide this is this and that is that... you will find it useful to consider how each skandha is. "He understands the ear. Evaluation is a combination of form. evaluation. sense organ and object. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. Perception arises when there is a particular coming together of form. he understands mind-objects.. 39. habitual formations and consciousness. and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both. perception. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. “In this way he abides. he understands sounds. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. he understands tangibles. He understands the body. object of thought.. evaluation. The six bases refer to the six senses and their six objects hence 'twelve'. he understands forms. composed of the other four. And he abides independent. habitual patterns and consciousness. and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter. "Again. habitual formations and consciousness. For example.. and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the six internal and external bases. he understands odours. He understands the tongue. He understands the mind. As part of contemplating the arising factors and the vanishing factors.. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter.. and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter.
especially doubt about the Buddha. craving. nothingness. 3. K›mavacara is the realm of the five senses. boundless consciousness. and 'neither perception nor nonperception'. passion. The fetters are basically greed. 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. m›na. memories and so forth as its objects. specifically belief in a permanent or independent self or ego. lust.ered the sixth sense which has concepts. In the Abhidhamma system these ten fetters fall away permanently at specific stages of the path. Stage of Path Sot›panna 'Stream entry' Fetters Dropping Away 1. arÒpar›ga. RÒpavacara is the realm of 'fine material form'. vicikicch›. uddhacca and avijj› 33 An›g›mi 'Non returner' Arahat 'Fully purified' . about the necessity of moral conduct and about the fact of cause and effect. excitement. the belief that blind adherence to rule and ritual and to mere good works will be sufficient to bring awakening. The future non-arising of a fetter refers to a stage of path attainment. Sometimes they are extended out as the ten saªyojana or ten fetters. 2. ﬁrÒpavacara is the formless realm and refers to the very subtle meditative absorptions of: boundless space. silabbatap›r›m›ssa. Dharma and Sangha. This refers to the subtle levels of absorption on form. di˛˛hi. hatred and delusion. 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. feelings.
a bhikkhu understands: 'There is the equanimity enlightenment factor in me'. There being the concentration enlightenment factor in him. There being the energy enlightenment factor in him.. 1. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. Five. or there being no mindfulness enlightenment factor in him. satta seven + sam good. it is said. And he abides independent. complete + bodhi enlightenment + anga factors These seven factors will all be present and harmoniously functioning together in a well rounded. interest. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen equanimity enlightenment factor. investigation. (from vi + ci to think) search... he understands: 'There is no equanimity enlightenment factor in me'.. six and seven are considered to be passive. examination: dhammavicaya => investigation of dhamma insight. 4. In Zen. the greater the awakening –– no question.. Mindfulness satisambojjhaºgo (see p 7) 2. three and four are considered to be active. a bhikkhu understands: 'There is the mindfulness enlightenment factor in me'. Numbers two. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. or there being no equanimity enlightenment factor in him. There being the tranquillity enlightenment factor in him.. 34 . not clinging to anything in the world. and how the arisen mindfulness enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. direct seeing of reality This is the factor of question. curiosity. There being the rapture enlightenment factor in him. and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen mindfulness enlightenment factor. and how the arisen equanimity enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors... contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. he understands: 'There is no mindfulness enlightenment factor in me'." There needs to be curiosity. investigation.. The Seven Enlightenment Factors Sattasambojjhaºga. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the six internal and external bases. mature human being. 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. They reach their fullest flowering of expression in what is called the state of liberation or 'enlightenment'. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors? Here. no awakening. “In this way he abides. "Again bhikkhus. The Seven Enlightenment Factors 42. there being the mindfulness enlightenment factor in him. Investigation of dhamma dhammavicayasambojjhaºgo vicaya => PTS..41. It's what carries us into new territory. "There being the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor in him. "The greater the question. There being the equanimity enlightenment factor in him. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. active enquiry or question present in your being.
Ubbega Pıti – transporting joy. completely vıra => manly. Okkantika Pıti – flood of joy. Rapture pitisambojjhaºgo Pıti => This word is difficult to translate accurately with one English word. PTS. intensification or thorough i. methodical. I am reminded of the following quote by the biologist Alexander Skutch. repose. its insatiable hunger to experience more widely. 4. serenity. 'Rapture' doesn't really do it justice. floating like a dandelion seed in space. probing. 2. receptive. Energy viriyasambojjhaºgo is also referred to as diligence and enthusiastic perseverance viriyaª => PTS. the coursing of the energy of the body. 1. calm. to cultivate friendly intercourse with the whole of Being.e. it suppresses feverishness and calms hysteria. one must have a tremendous degree of interest and curiosity about all arisings of life and particularly about what is currently taking place. an alert readiness to experience and know more broadly and profoundly. "An outstanding attribute of an awakened spirit is its expansiveness.This factor is often the weakest in meditators who see meditation primarily as a technique for establishing calm or tranquillity. delight. (from vi + ır) iriyati => to set in motion. Eventually. to wander about. Kha˚ika Pıti – instantaneous joy. The noblest mind is that which understands. like waves on a beach 4. to show a certain way of deportment i. to stir. to move. that which is carried out methodically.e. liked) => uplifting joy. quietude. like a flash of lightning 3. zest. Kuddaka Pıti – joy causing the flesh to creep 2. Tranquillity passadhisambojjhaºgo Passadhi => PTS. It is really a factor of open. Pıti is the experiential knowing of the thrill and pleasure of aliveness of the organism. uninterrupted strenuousness in conquering obstacles. tranquillity. To take steps to encourage an arisen wholesome to flourish and continue. 35 . appreciates and loves the largest segment of the Universe. dhammavicaya must go beyond mere verbal question. For awakening one needs more than just calm. responsive." (from Daily Puja Wangapeka Books) 3. 3. 5. It's very much a thrill or excitation felt in or throughout the body when it is functioning well. to know more broadly and profoundly. The effort to recognise the unwholesome when it is present. 1. mighty heroic viriya => moving in an invincible way. vi => is a prefix denoting expansion. pleasant. like a flood 5. To recognise the wholesome when it is present. beloved. 4. This factor is often allied with the what are called in Buddhist teaching the Four Great Efforts. (from piya dear. like the cool shade of a tree. and to encourage unarisen wholesomes to arise in the future. Abhidhamma texts describe five major categories of pıti ranging from interest to ecstasy. To take steps to bring it to an end and to prevent the arising of such unwholesome states in the future. Phara˚a Pıti – Overflowing joy. exuberance. It needs to sink into the bones of your being so that your very existence is an expression of question in action.
Equanimity upekkh›sambojjhaºgo Upekkha => PTS. upa impartially. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors. a completely balanced state of mind. not having our attention darting all over the lot. not dispersed. (from sam complete + dhi which has a sense of firmness) => concentration. con-CEN-tration in other words con (with) centrate (centre). look. except for this section on the Four Noble Truths which is greatly expanded. 5. self-collected.' The Four Noble Truths Ariyasacc›ni => ariya noble + sacc›ni truth 1. Usually translated as equanimity. A better understanding might be had if you pronounced it with the accent on the second syllable. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. Dukkhasamudayo aryasaccaª – the noble truth of the origin of suffering 3. intent state of mind and meditation. Dukkhanirodho aryasaccaª – the noble truth of the cessation of suffering 4. 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. not scattered. not grasping after this or that. 7. he understands as it actually is. "Again. Equanimity or true seeing is a balanced state of mind that embraces all opposite pairs. The Four Noble Truths 44. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. We are concentrated when we are effortlessly centred in whatever we are doing or experiencing. “In this way he abides. 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'. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. 43. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. he understands as it actually is: 'This is the cessation of suffering'. 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. bhikkhus.6. view. not clinging to anything in the world. a concentrated. To many people. It is the 'middle-way' between subject and object. a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mindobjects in terms of the Four Noble Truths. While not taking sides there is a continuum of calm clear seeing discernment. Concentration sam›dhisambojjhaºgo Sam›dhi => PTS. just + ikkhati to see. 36 . And he abides independent. correctly or 'as it really is'. ' This is the origin of suffering'. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. it seems odd that concentration is considered a passive factor. or serenity. Dukkhaª aryasaccaª – the noble truth of suffering 2. It means to see justly. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. he understands as it actually is: 'This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.
monks. "This is the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. monks. monks. making much noise for grief. "This is the cessation of suffering". lamenting. great distress. 'And what. shrinking with age. he knows as it really is. there is birth. death is suffering. whoever has un37 . broken teeth. by any kind of misfortune. the acquisition of the sense-bases. of whatever group of beings. How does he do so? Here. a discarding of the body. monks. that monks is called birth. wrinkled skin. of whatever group of beings. not getting what one wants is suffering. that. monks is birth? In whatever beings. he knows as it really is. a cutting off of the aggregates. monks is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering. is called death. sorrow. that. lamentation. there is ageing. that. 'And what. is called distress. 'And what is sadness? Whatever mental painful feeling.Below is a translation from the Mah›satipa˛˛h›na Sutta by Maurice Walshe. sorrow. a disappearance. making great lamentation. decrepitude. mourning. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature and there is crying out. a removal. is called sorrow. distress. an ending. 5. a monk abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in respect of the Four Noble Truths. decay of the sense faculties. the appearance of the aggregate. painful or unpleasant sensation results from mental contact. affliction with distress. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature. 'And what is death? In whatever beings. a dying. by any kind of misfortune. 'And what is sorrow? Whenever. "This is the origin of suffering". monks is called pain. being separated from the loved is suffering. is being attached to the unloved? Here. ageing is suffering. "And what is pain? Whatever bodily painful feeling. he knows as it really is. mental unpleasant feeling. that. is called ageing. a cutting off. of whatever group of beings. bodily unpleasant feeling. 'And what is distress? Whenever. The Four Noble Truths 'Again. is called sadness. coming-to-be. monks. painful or unpleasant feeling results from bodily contact. distress. pain. monks is called lamentation. a death." First Noble Truth 'And what. monks. 'And what is ageing? In whatever beings. inward grief. there is a passing-away. Being attached to the unloved is suffering. that. grey hair. anyone is affected by something of a painful nature. by any kind of misfortune. 'And what is lamentation? Whenever. In short the five aggregates of grasping are suffering. inward woe. that. that. with great distress. sadness and distress are suffering. monks. coming forth. a monk knows as it really is: "This is suffering".
tastes. 'And how. the five aggregates of grasping that are suffering. This is security oriented. monks. with whom they have concourse. the aggregate of grasping that is mental formations. this wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to birth. monks. They feel more secure with written 38 . to death. that. monks. sounds. connection. bound up with pleasure and lust. are the five aggregates of grasping suffering? They are as follows: the aggregate of grasping that is form. disliked. Second Noble Truth 'And what. monks.wanted. craving for existence and craving for non-existence. to be or to make dry) =>drought. liked. monks. or whoever encounters well-wishers. this is craving for more. that we might not come to these things!" But this cannot be gained by wishing. (from tarŸna. that. to disease. 'the fever of unsatisfied longing' Ta˚h› is driven by trying to make permanent. intercourse. craving that which one thinks will extend the being. extend life. 'And what is not getting what one wants? In beings subject to birth. these are in short. thirst. connection or union. to sorrow. pleasant. craving for non-existence vibh›vata˚h› => T-Abd-notes. of discomfort. is called being separated from the loved. now there: that is to say sensual craving. of comfort. in short. craving for not being. smells.. They want to know exactly when something is going to happen and when it will end. that we might not come to birth!" But this cannot be gained by wishing. and distress. The bh›vata˚h› type is the person who likes certainty. craving ta˚h› => PTS. tangibles or mind-objects. is called the Noble Truth of Suffering. whoever has what is wanted. or whoever encounters ill-wishers. is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering? It is that craving which gives rise to rebirth. that wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to ageing. a craving for walling off. mother or father or brother or sister or younger kinsmen or friends or colleagues or blood-relations. pain. sight-objects.) Bh›va and vibh›vata˚h› can be caricatured in common types of behaviour or attitudes to life. of insecurity. conceit (belief that one has something) and defence (wanting to protect the wealth one thinks one can lose. finding fresh delight now here. the aggregate of grasping that is consciousness. craving. craving for being.. unpleasant. lamentation.distress. wishers of harm. union. And that. and then is deprived of such concourse. for arÒpa. In beings subject to ageing. sensual craving k›mata˚h› => craving for sensual experience craving for existence bh›vata˚h› => T-Abd-notes. Essentially. of security. intercourse. is called being attached to the unloved. wishers of good. hunger for. thirst and ters. monks. 'And what is being separated from the loved? Here. That is not getting what one wants. That is not getting what one wants. for form rÒpa. sight-objects. the aggregate of grasping that is perception. the aggregate of grasping that is feeling. sadness. It is narcissism. that which is impermanent.
They like space and value their freedom. of tangibles. likes to hang loose. Contact phassa: 'Eye-contact. ear-consciousness.contracts. sounds. of mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. In extremis they can be a bit obsessive. mind-contact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. smells. sounds. tangibles. ear-contact. the nose. smells. Sense organs: 'And what is there in the world that is agreeable and pleasurable? The eye in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. Vitakka is often translated as initial application. and there this craving arises and establishes itself. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. 39 . Commitment and responsibility are important to them. of smells.. tastes. The vibh›vata˚h› type. nose-contact. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. the mind in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. mind-consciousness in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. Sense consciousness: 'Eye-consciousness. the ear. They want to be spontaneous. smells. the body. sounds. sounds. body-consciousness. of tastes. have a well filled appointment diary. tangibles. bodycontact. Feeling vedan›: 'Feeling born of eye-contact. Sense objects: 'Sights. mind-contact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. Volition cetan›: 'Volition in regards to sights. tangibles. Perception sañña:'The perception of sights. body-contact. tongue-consciousness. In extreme cases they can be very narcissistic.. ear-contact.. mind-objects in the world are agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself... tastes. A more useful translation might be 'focus'. They don't like to be saddled with commitments.. They feel uncomfortable when constrained by timetables or formal contracts. 'And where does this craving arise and establish itself? Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable.. of sounds. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. the tongue. tongue-contact. They like to own their house. on the other hand. Thinking vitakka: 'Thinking of sights. tastes. They like definition and walls. tonguecontact. tangibles. tastes.. smells.. nose-contact. Craving tanha: 'The craving for sights. nose-consciousness. They prefer to rent.... there this craving arises and establishes itself.
It rests in itself. one then scans the details of the object without departing from the object. a simple metaphor is used in many of the Mahamudra/Dzogchen texts. there its ces1 MÒlamadhyamakak›rika of N›g›rjuna translated by David Kalupahana p 168 40 . that is inherently peaceful. Where there are no separate cravers and craven objects. "Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. And how does this craving come to be abandoned. No one else needs to liberate it. there its cessation comes about. smells. Vic›ra is frequently translated as sustained application. detachment from it. Pondering vic›ra: 'Pondering on sights.When one focuses one's attention on a meditation object and does not wander to any other object. tangibles. and vis-versa. Imagine using your finger to draw a picture on the surface of a calm pool of water. is called the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering. In this way it is sustained application and perhaps pondering. liberation from it. that it is an dynamic interbeing of everything. Having 'tacked' vitakka-ed the mind onto the meditation object. Peace is the fading away of craving. Each moment is inherently complete. supports the sense of an autonomous 'craver' that can crave a desired thing. It's not going anywhere. in the experiential knowing of interdependence. And that. A perhaps more useful term would be scanning. All that's needed is a profound degree of clear seeing. Ignorance of. the experiential knowing that this moment is not lacking in any way. Peace or nibb›na comes with the deep knowing of completeness. Third Noble Truth 'And what. it self-liberates. It is closer than hands and feet. The image that you draw vanishes as fast as you draw it. All arisings are mutually shaping. Ta˚h› is rooted in ignorance. the cessation of suffering becomes realizable in any situation without necessarily changing a thing. One can remember the meaning by thinking of 'tacking' the mind to an object. there is no craving. its forsaking and abandonment. 'Wherever in the world there is anything agreeable and pleasurable. And what is there in the world that is agreeable and pleasurable? To illustrate the spontaneous naturalness of cessation. tastes. In a sense. though it would be a pondering without verbalising. monks. monks is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering? It is the complete fading-away and extinction of this craving. 'A' at the beginning of a Pali or Sanskrit word indicates negation. this is the initial application of mind. The great philosopher N›g›rjuna wrote in his famous treatise MÒlamadhyamakak›rika: "Whatever that comes to be dependently. avijja. ta˚h›. It is more the application of attention or interest to an object. mindobjects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving arises and establishes itself. how does its cessation come about? The 'cessation of suffering' is synonymous with realisation of nibb›na – peace. or not seeing/understanding the interdependent nature of everything. This cessation or self-liberation is automatic and instantaneous. Vijja denotes seeing so avijja means not seeing or not understanding. With this understanding. sounds. It is not really 'thinking" in the sense of verbalising or conceptualising about the object. there is no single separate part that can be isolated out to praise or blame or be held responsible."1 In other words.
path. Right Speech. mind-consciousness in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. smells. 'Thinking of sights. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. smells. 'The perception of sights. smells. way a˛˛hangika => eight 41 . there its cessation comes about. Right Mindfulness. tongue-consciousness. there its cessation comes about. there its cessation comes about. there its cessation comes about. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. sounds. and there this craving comes to be abandoned. body-contact. there its cessation comes about.. tastes. there its cessation comes about. ear-contact. tangibles.. mindcontact in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. sounds.. sounds. smells. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned.sation comes about. monks. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. sounds. you will see that they spontaneously vanish as soon as they appear.. ear-consciousness. is the Noble Truth of the Way of Practice Leading to the Cessation of Suffering? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path. tastes. smells. nose-consciousness. there its cessation comes about. tangibles.. namely: – Right View. 'Eye-consciousness.. tastes. Right Action. nose-contact. tastes. tangibles.. If you look into them with careful discernment. And that. the tongue. Right Concentration. tangibles.. Fourth Noble Truth 'And what. Right Thought. Noble Eightfold Path ariya-a˛˛hangika-magga magga => avenue. 'Eye-contact. tastes. tangibles. The eye in the world is agreeable and pleasurable.. Craving for sights. tongue-contact. tastes. sounds. 'Sights. body-consciousness.. sounds. is called the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering. there its cessation comes about.. smells. Right Livelihood." Each of the following pleasurable or agreeable dharmas are like pictures drawn in water. the mind in the world is agreeable and pleasurable. Right Effort. 'Pondering on sights. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. tangibles.. the nose.. mind-objects in the world is agreeable and pleasurable and there this craving comes to be abandoned. there its cessation comes about. 'Volition in regard to sights. the ear. monks. the body.
for many people today. Unfortunately. (ultimately everything else in the universe) then the totality of being which makes up this present moment of one's unique knowing. best. as it ought to be. If you look deeply and discerningly into anything you will see that it is composed of a vast array of transient factors. Translating samm› as 'right' in the context of the Eightfold Noble Path doesn't really do it justice. or 'summing up'.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. the knowledge of suffering. as if we should try to convince ourselves that nothing exists. thoroughly. using emptiness as an equivalent for ŸÒnyat› is quite misleading as it can conjure a nihilistic view of things. This is so far away from the intention of teachings on ŸÒnyat› that it might be better to think of fullness rather than emptiness. it would be more helpful to think of ditti as a verb. perfectly. rather than as a noun. reveals the Eightfold Noble Path as a means for directly realising ŸÒnyat›. ŸÒnyat› => It is difficult to accurately translate ŸÒnyat› with a single word. Totality is acting. monks. samm› derives from sam which has the sense of 'complete' or 'total' as in the English phrases. is Right View? It is. Emptiness is the usual attempt. though when used alone it usually implies partial view. samm›-di˛˛I points to complete or total or thorough viewing. fears and fantasies. As part of the eight fold noble path. and the knowledge of the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. the knowledge of the cessation of suffering. Contemplating 'samma' in these many ways. the activity of viewing. emptiness is often associated with feelings of meaninglessness and isolation. monks. doing the understanding or doing the knowing? Since everything is interdependent with everything else. presence in the midst of whatever is occurring. Another way of contemplating samm› that can be applied to each section of the Eightfold Noble Path is suggested by the following question. seeing/understanding all contributing aspects of an arising rather than falling into bias based on conditioned hopes. it vanishes into a matrix of 42 . completely engaged. Totality is speaking. is what is doing the viewing. This is called Right View. 'doing your sums'. it appears. Everything reveals itself to be spacious and open. Right View samm›-di˛˛i 'And what. rightly. The positive expression of this would be total lovingkindness. A more useful and descriptive phrase might be 'the spacious openness of interbeing'. properly. a static view. On one hand it is there. in the right way. Instead of 'right view' as opposed to 'wrong view'. As Namgyal Rinpoché often pointed out. (see Body. open and fundamentally un-pin-downable. the heart understanding of Mahamudra. responsive. Every moment of experience reveals itself to be spacious. and so forth. What is it that is doing the viewing. Totality is thinking. on the other hand when we examine it analytically. Samm› => PTS. Psychologically. the knowledge of the origin of suffering. Speech and Mind p29) Di˛˛i means view. "connected in one".
Beyond refraining from taking life. Right speech and action touch on the aspect of the path that is covered by studying and practising the precepts. Beyond refraining from sexual or sensual misconduct. 3. 2. sankappa => PTS. is called Right Action? Refraining from taking life. is Right Thought? The thought of renunciation. refraining from taking what is not given. hearing what is actually being said and empathically sensing the meaning and intent behind the words. the thought of non-ill-will. I will train myself to support and appreciate the life of all living beings. plan. Right Speech samm›-v›c› 'And what.contributing factors. there is an expression of the precepts in a positive form that hints at a much broader practice than simply avoiding certain activities. This is the essence of Bodhicitta. In Daily Puja. This is Right Action. Right Thought samm›-sankappa 'And what. 1. monks. monks. Total or complete activity in terms of bringing forth what is wholesome and what is supporting the awakening of beings. refraining from frivolous speech. This is called Right Thought. one's intention and one's expression are all in harmony and supporting the unfolding of the wholesome. All one's actions spring from this (the rest of the Eightfold Path) May the Nirmanakaya bring blessings. refraining from sexual misconduct. the whole of one's mental processes going in the direction of awakening. is Right Speech? Refraining from lying. Not just avoiding these unwholesome forms of expression but considering all aspects of communication so that one's body language. one should strive to support and nurture life. These three become one in the vision of the ground of being May the union of these three bring blessings. One's thoughts are in tune with every situation (samm›-sanakappa) May the Sambhogakaya bring blessings. complete thinking/intending. Here sankappa has more to do with intention than thinking. This is called Right Speech. Right Action samm›-kammanta 'And what. Total thinking/intending. I'm reminded of a prayer in the Meditation of Guru Rinpoché: One's view of things is all embracing (samm›-di˛˛hi) May the Dharmakaya bring blessings. one's inner feelings. intention. One might even consider 'total aspiration' or totality aspiring. monks. refraining from harsh speech. the thought of harmlessness. Beyond not taking that which is not given. one should practice generosity and give unstintingly to beings. one should skilfully use the senses to explore dharma. Samm›-v›c› also implies profound listening. 4. Total or complete communication. 43 . refraining from slander. thought. purpose.
a monk rouses his will. He rouses his will. 6.. living with minimal needs and appetites and avoiding the harming of others. 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. it was understood that their livelihood was already one of living lightly on the earth. 4. I will train myself to communicate in a skilful and compassionate manner. in a way that supports awakening. energies and mind. Daily I will give material support. exerts his mind and strives to prevent the arising of unarisen evil unwholesome mental states. Right Effort samm›-v›y›ma 'And what. 5. I will train myself to use the senses to further awakening. there probably needs to be a bit more guidance.. the Ariyan disciple. Essentially.. to the full perfection of development. He rouses his will. This is called Right Effort. monks. Since this sutra was originally taught to fully ordained monks. keeps himself by right livelihood. Complete or total livelihood: a livelihood or way of earning a living that supports all of life. This includes not just other people. stirs up energy. explore Dharma. is called Right Livelihood? Here.I will live with a sensitive and responsible awareness for the whole ecology of life. plants and entire ecosystems. At the same time it also supports the well being of all the other beings whom your livelihood brings you into contact with. Wrong livelihood is any form of livelihood that disrupts life. emotional support. 5. causing harm to oneself or others. I will train myself to be ever more directly aware of how nutriment affects the mind and body. 3. but animals. exerts his mind and strives to maintain wholesome mental states that have arisen. and to come to know the world more profoundly and more compassionately. makes an effort. 44 . not to let them fade away.and strives to overcome evil unwholesome mental states that have arisen. He rouses his will.and strives to produce unarisen wholesome mental states. monks is called Right Effort? Here. stirs up energy. in ways that support their wholesome unfolding of body. This section is a major challenge to how we humans today do business and how we relate to the non-human world. having given up wrong livelihood. and an example to others of awakening in action. makes an effort. I will train myself to dwell more and more in the mind of spontaneous generosity. energies and mind. monks. monks. Right Livelihood samm›-›jıva 'And what. I will eat and drink and nurture myself and others. complete livelihood involves living in a way that values and supports the living matrix that is this planet. to bring them to greater growth. 2. For a lay person living in the modern world..
mindful and clearly aware. and with the disappearance of former gladness and sadness.. at that moment. monks. => PTS . by gaining inner tranquillity and oneness of mind. Sukha. filled with delight and joy. In it's widest sense jh›na means absorption including even very momentary experiences of one-pointedness. ardent. he enters and remains in the second jh›na. And with the subsiding of thinking and pondering. This section is a recapitulation of the entire Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. a monk.. And that. When the mind is well concentrated. filled with delight and joy. perceive. jh›yati => to shine. is called the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. The mind is focused and investigating or scanning the object. having put aside hankering and fretting for the world. This section speaks of total concentration in terms of the factors of absorption or Jh›na. And. you will find five main positive factors: vitakka. It would probably be more helpful to think of jh›nas in terms of increasing degrees of peace. he experiences in himself the joy of which the Noble Ones say: "Happy is he who dwells with equanimity and mindfulness".This is explained quite clearly above and also in the section on viriyasambojjhaºga in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (p. sukha and ekaggat› or upekkha. is Right Mindfulness? Here. to burn. vic›ra. Jh›nas are often seen by inexperienced meditators as exotic states of concentration where there are no thoughts and no mental activity. This is called Right Concentration. This is called Right Mindfulness. and mindful. dry up. from j›yati and Skt dhy›na. Complete mindfulness. which is without thinking and pondering. the sense of mental well being is present and there is an overarching 45 . Right Mindfulness samm›-sati 'And what. Right Concentration samm›-sam›dhi 'And what. he abides contemplating feelings as feelings. then the five hindrances. he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects. monks. clearly aware and mindful. detached from sensedesires. enters and remains in the first jh›na. ardent. which is with thinking and pondering. If you examine this peaceful mind. clearly aware.34) It is often taught separately as a complete path of practice in itself. monks. it is called 'The Four Great Efforts'.. he abides contemplating states of mind as states of mind. remaining imperturbable. 7. will not be active. having given up pleasure and pain.. When it is. he enters and remains in the fourth jh›na. be on fire. is Right Concentration? Here. The stages of jh›na are differentiated by the presence of these factors. detached from unwholesome mental states. a monk abides contemplating body as body. pıti. he enters the third jh›na.. 8. This is a rather static view. And with the fading away of delight. monks. to meditate. born of concentration. which is beyond pleasure and pain. wholesomely absorbed to a point where there is no sense of separation between the subject and object.. think about. There is some degree of pıti. and purified by equanimity and mindfulness. contemplate. having put aside hankering and fretting for the world. brood over. born of detachment. Jh›na burns up the hindrances. In the first jh›na all five are present. when it is completely.
use of. even the pıti seems to be crude and it dissolves in the increasing subtlety leaving just sukha and upekkha. We might meet them with wide open curiosity and interest instead of being afraid of them. leaving just upekkha. and empathy. approach. living mystery. or letting be. Our faculties of empathy and appreciative understanding nourish a sense of well-being in the midst of an increasing range of situations and circumstances. In this way. presence is the optimal state in which to deepen insight. like a rainbow vanishing. As the meditator acclimatizes to this peaceful. the vitakkha and vic›ra can begin to feel a bit gross and unnecessary and they begin to drop away. As this understanding flowers in our actual experience. endless. qualities such as openness. it gives us 46 . access. and avoidance coupled with feelings of victimization and helplessness. just as it is. anger. Eventually. forgiveness. Looking into the causes of suffering will lead us to a deepening experience of the interconnectedness of everything. 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. In this way the experience of suffering can ennoble us. yet engaged state. investigating the 'causes' of suffering. Here is the second great ennobling of our being. This gentle grappling with suffering will gradually lead to a flowering of many qualities such as patience. 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. In the Abhidhamma traditions there seem to be very technical definitions as to what is jh›na and what is not. However all the factors of jh›na are present and the five hindrances are not manifesting. access. habit. The Buddha enunciated this in eight steps calling it The Eightfold Noble Path. leads to a deepening sense of embeddedness in a beginingless. the sukha drops away. trying to ignore them. upac›ra. Our very investigation of the first two noble truths supports a deepening sense of engagement and profound connectedness. means. presence. Having tasted the nectar of letting go. compassion. A very important state to develop in terms of Samm›–sam›dhi is called upac›ra sam›dhi => PTS. In the Mahayana traditions. entrance. the word sam›dhi is often used interchangeably with jh›na and there are uncountable numbers of sam›dhis. 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. This calm. into life. the mind. application. clear. The Four Noble Truths could be thought of as four truths or aspects of life experience that can potentially ennoble us. goes quickly to a peaceful alive state where there is pıti. practice. love. and generally becoming lost in all the other common reactions of irritation. sukha and upekkha. understanding. we might have the courage to explore the states of suffering that arise in the course of our lives rather than running from them.presence of equanimity or oneness. However. way. 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. Deepening further. 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. neighbourhood. discrimination. Without needing to emphasise vitakkha or vic›ra. awakeness. conduct. There is nothing inherently noble about suffering.
this rather barebones expression was elaborated into the vast.. one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now.for six months. universal vision you find in Chapter 8 of the Avatamsaka or Flower Ornament Sutra. "So it was with reference to this that it was said: 'Bhikkhus. As his teachings flourished and evolved.for five months..knowledge to be able to meaningfully help others. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed Ones words. This section of the Avatamsaka hints at the meaning behind the words. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the four Noble Truths.. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. The Four Noble Truths 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. And he abides independent..for three months. one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now.. The expression of the Four Noble Truths given in the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta is probably very close to how the Buddha himself explained them. "Let alone seven years. or if there is a trace of clinging left. “In this way he abides.for two months. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven months. or if there is a trace of clinging left.for half a month. "Let alone half a month. if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven years. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-objects their arising factors.. bhikkhus. Here it is explained that there are many different world systems or modes of experience.. This is the fourth great enrichment or ennoblement of our being. 47.. If anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven days. for the disappearance of pain and grief. non-return. (Continuing with the Majjhima Nik›ya version) 45.. In the Tibetan teaching it is said that one should focus not on the words but on the meaning behind the words. The Four Noble Truths are the heart teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha and are revered by every school of Buddhism. It is well worth studying in order to open one's understanding of the Four Noble Truths in a vast and universal way. the four foundations of mindfulness. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects both internally and externally. one or two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now. or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects externally. this is the direct path for the purification of beings.. or if there is a trace of clinging left. for the attainment of the true way. not clinging to anything in the world.. non-return." That is what the Blessed One said. non-return. (Conclusion) 46. for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation.. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors. or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors.. for the realisation of Nibb›na – namely.. contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects internally. moving to other countries and cultures.for one month.for four months. bhikkhus. 47 . "Bhikkhus.
unpredictable. if we then put the teachings of this sutta into practice in a thorough and ongoing way. and impossible for any single being to control. One can live with impermanence and death. yet again. richness and pragmatic straightforwardness of the Buddha's teaching. If you already have a background of meditative experience. non-return. I hope these notes will enrich your contemplations. with best wishes Tarchin May any merit arising through writing. we would eventually come to experience what the Buddha was trying to point to throughout his forty years of teaching. Full realisation of this practice will enable one to live well in the midst of a world that is constantly changing. with unsatisfactoriness and suffering. seven months … seven days. then full realisation will come at the moment of dying. monks and nuns in particular. Afterthought Reading through these notes. or simply burying oneself in never ending reactivity and busyness. 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. The text concludes with what today might be considered as a product guarantee. The seven days is a short time and indicates how realisation is to be experienced in the here and now. SARVAMANGALAM 48 . Final knowledge here and now indicates that there is no higher teaching. or escaping into fantasy. If you are just beginning your explorations of Buddha Dharma. I do hope they will encourage you to investigate further. without shutting down. spend significant amounts of their adult lives studying these texts yet if we were to lose all of them but one.The Pali Cannon. Some people. reading and putting into practice these notes on the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. This is referring to the state of An›g›mi. It is fresh and available to any who are free to ask question. they would realise either final knowledge here and now. the Satipa˛˛h›na Sutta. The Buddha states that if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness for seven years. I am struck. the collected teachings of the Buddha is quite vast occupying thousands of pages of print. In Buddhist terms. or grasping after facile philosophical explanations. or if there is a trace of clinging left. support the flowering of wisdom and compassion in all beings. I pray that this manual will be a support to your ongoing study and meditations. If there is a trace of clinging left. by the clarity. this is referring to the state of nibb›na or the state of Arahat.
MÒlamadhyamakak›rika of N›g›rjuna. 1977 Maurice Walshe. Daily Puja Fourth Edition. Delhi. Boston. Berkeley & London. California. 1995 49 .R. Natural Awakening Wangapeka Books Nelson. The Path of Purification (Visuddhi-magga). Boston. Part 1 and 2. The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary. The Path of Freedom (Vimuttimagga). 1995 Bhadant›cariya Buddhaghosa. The Breath of Awakening Bodhi Publishing. Boston. Wangapeka Books. Vols one and two. Breathing: The Natural Way to Meditate Revised Edition. Berkeley. Banarsidass Pub.Bibliography Bhikkhu Bodhi and Bhikkhu Ñ›˚amoli. NZ. 2005 Tarchin Hearn. Kinmount Ontario. 1978 Arahant Upatissa. The Long Discourses of the Buddha (Dıgha Nik›ya) Wisdom Publications. 1987 Tarchin Hearn. Kandy. & Stede. London. 1976 Originally published in 1956 and 1964 in Sri Lanka Thomas Cleary. 1992 Namgyal Rinpoché. Wangapeka Books. The Flower Ornament Scripture (Avatamsaka Sutra) Shambhala. Mindfulness of Breathing (ﬁn›p›nasati) Buddhist Publication Society. Boston & London. Buddhist Publication Society. 1993 Davids. Kinmount Ontario. Dharma Publishing. Buddhist Publication Society. A Manual of Abhidhamma. 2004 Tarchin Hearn. Nelson. Kandy Sri Lanka. Speech and Mind Bodhi Publishing. Sri Lanka. Motilal. Growth and Unfolding Revised Edition. W. 2004 Ñ›namoli Thera. Sri Lanka. Kandy.W. 2000 Tarchin Hearn. Body. Shambhala. 1995 David Kalupahana. Wangapeka Books. NZ. NZ. 1979 Thich Nhat Hanh. 1975 Tarthang Tulku. Pali Text Society. The Miracle of Mindfulness Beacon Press. T. The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nik›ya) Wisdom Publications. Nelson. Kum Nye Relaxation. 1991 Namgyal Rinpoché. 1981 N›rada Mah› Thera.
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