satipatthana

T H E D I R E C T P A T H TO R E A L I Z A T I O N Analayo

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Published by Wind horse Publications 169 Mill Road Cambridge CBi 3AN www.windhorsepublications.com © Analayo 2003 Reprinted 2006,2008,2010, 2012. Cover photo Theodor Franz Steffens Cover design Marlene Eitschig Printed by Bell & Bain Ltd,, Glasgow British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data; A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
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9781 899579 54 9

The right of Analayo to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 As an act of Dhamtnadana, Analayo has waived royalty payments from this book.

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CO NTENTS

LIST OF F I G U R E S I N T R O D U C T IO N i

x

TRANSLATION OF THE S/iriF.ATTH^N-4 S U 7 X 4

3

C hapter i 1 2 3 4 5 6

G E N E R A L A S P E C T S OF TH E D IR E C T PA TH o v e rv ie w o f th e
satipatthana

15

su tta

15 19 21

A S U R V E Y OF THE FOU R S / i n P A r T H X N A S

THE R E L E V A N C E OF EACH S A T I P A T T H A N A FOR R E A L I Z A T IO N THE C H A R A C T E R OF E ACH S A T I P A T T H A N A TH E E X P R E S S I O N ' D I R E C T PA TH " THE TERM S A T I P A T T HA N A 27 14

Chapter H

TH E "D E F IN IT IO N " PA RT OF T H E S A T IP A T T H A IV A SUTTA 31 32 34

1 2 3 4

CONTEMPLATION

T H E S I G N I F I C A N C E OF B EI N G D IL IG E N T M T , 4 Pf) C L E A R L Y KN O W IN G ( S A MP A j A N A ) 39 41

M IN D F U L N E S S AND CL EAR K N O W L ED G E

C h a p t e r II I

SATI

44

1
1

TH E E A R L Y B UDD HI ST AP PR O A CH TO K N O W L E D G E
SATI

44

46 49

3 4 5 b

THE ROLE A N D P OS IT IO N OF SATI SATI I M A G E R Y 53

CH A RA CTE RTS TIC 5 A N D F U N C T IO N S OF SATt S A T i A N D C O N C E N T R A T I O N (SAM/IDHI) 61

57

THE R ELEV A N C E 1
2

OF C O N C E N T R A T IO N 67

67

FREEDOM FROM D ESIRES A N D D ISC O N T E N T

C O N C EN T R A T IO N , RIGH T C O N C EN T R A T IO N , A N D A B SO R PTIO N A B SO R PTIO N AN D R EA L IZA T IO N 79

72

3 4

THE C O N T R IB U T IO N OF A B S O R P T IO N TO THE P R O G R E S S OF I N S I G H T 85 CALM AND IN SIGH T 88

5

V i 2

TH E SA T IP A T T H A N A

^R E FR A IN "

92 94

IN TER N A L A N D EXTERNAL C O N TEM PLA TIO N CO N TEM PLATIO N 99 102

A LTERN ATIVE IN TER PR ETA TIO N S OF IN TER N AL A N D EXTERNAL IM PERM AN EN CE

3 4 5

D EPEN D EN T C O -A RISIN G ( i M f l C d S^M U PPX D >i) A P PLIC A T IO N 1 10

107

TH E P R IN C I P L E O F D E P E N D E N T C O - A R I S [ N G A N D ITS P R A C T I C A L M ERE A W A R E N E S S A N D C L IN G IN G TO N O T H IN G 112

&

VI i
2

TH E

BO DY

117 117 m

THE BO D Y C O N T E M P L A T IO N S

P U R P O S E A N D B E N E F IT S OF C O N T E M P L A T f O N O F THE B O D Y M IN D F U L N E SS OF B RE A T H IN G THE A N A P A N A S A T F SUTTA PO STU R ES A N D A C T IV ITIE S 133 136 146 15; 125

3 4 5

G
7

A N A T O M IC A L PARTS AND ELE M EN T S

C O R P S E IN D E C A Y A N D M ED IT A TIO N ON DEATH

II i 2
3 4 5

F E E L IN G S

1 56 156 161 16 *

C O N TE M P L A TIO N OF FEELIN G S F E E L IN G S AN D V IE W S (D JTTH f)

PLE A SA N T F E E L IN G A N D TH E IM P O RT A N C E OF JOV U N P L E A S A N T FEE L IN G N E U T R A L FEE L IN G 17 1 168

ru i
2

M IN D

173 173 17 5

C O N T E M P L A T IO N OF THE M IN D

N O N -R E A C T IV E A W A R E N E S S OF O N E 'S ST A T E OF M JN D F O U R ^ O R D I N A R Y " S T A T E S OF M I N D F O U R “ H I G H E R " S T A T E S OF M I N D 179 1 77

3
4

X 1
2

DH AM M AS: THE

H IN D R A N C E S 1S2

18 2

C O N TEM PLATIO N OF DH AM M AS

C O N T E M P L A T IO N OF THE FIV E H IN D R A N C E S

186

y

T H E I M P O R T A N C E OP R E C O G N I Z I N G T H E H I N D R A N C E S

i 9 cr i<*2

C O N D IT IO N S F O R P R E S E N C E OR A B S E N C E OF A H I N D R A N C E

Chapter X
i
2

DH AM M AS: THE

A G G R E G A T E S 201

201

T H E FIVE A G G R E G A T E S

THE H ISTO R IC A L C O N T E X T OF T H E T E A C H IN G ON A N A T T A

207 209

) 4

EM PIR IC AL SELF A N D C O N TE M P L A TIO N OF THE A G G R E G A T E S A R IS IN G A N D P A S S IN G AWAY OF TH F A G G R E G A T E S

C h a p te r X I t
2

D fiA M M A S: TH E

SE N SE -5 PH ERES

216 216

THE 5 E N 5 E-SPH ERES A N D THE FETTERS THE PERCEPTU AL PR O C ESS CO G N IT IVE T R A IN IN G THE IN STR U C TIO N TO bA H IV A i2l/ 222

3

Chapter X II

DHAMMAS: T H E

A W A K E N IN G

FA CTO RS

233 1)3 2 j5

C O N T E M F l . A T I O N O F T H E A W A K E N I N G FACTOTCS

2 .
3

T H E C O N D IT IO N A L S E Q U E N C E OF THE A W A K E N IN G F A C T O R S B E N E F I T S OF D E V E L O P I N G T H E A W A K E N I N G F A C T O R S 239

Chapter XIII
i

D IM A IM A S.-T H E F O U R

NO BLE

TRU TH S

243

THE IM P L IC A T IO N S OF DUKKHA THE FOUR N O B LE TRUTHS 245

j 4i

2 .
3

C O N T E M P L A T IO N OF THE FO U R NOHLE T R U T H S

247

Chapter X I V
i >
3 4

R E A L IZ A T IO N
g rad u al

250

AND SUDDEN * 57 An
a

H I B B A n a a n d i t s e t h i c a l IM PLICA TIO N S th e E a r ly b u d d h ist c o n c e p tio n o r

n ib s

260 262

N I B B A N A : N E IT H E R A L L -E M B R A C IN G U N ITY NOR A N N iH IL A il O N

Ch ap t er X V

C O N C LU SIO N

*66 266 271

K E Y A SP E C T S UP SA TtPATTHANA.

T H E I M P O R T A N C E O F S A 7 7 J M 7T * M N A B IB LIO G R A PH Y *79 301

L I S T OF A B B R E V I A T I O N S GLOSSARY IN D EX jo9 3,03

L IS T O F F IG U R E S

1.1 Structure of the Satipatthana Sutta 17 1.2 Progression of the satipatthana contemplations 1.3 Correlations for the four satipatthanas 25
2.1 Key characteristics of satipapfhana 34

19

3.1 5.1 6.1 6.2 6.3 7.1 8.1 9.1 9.2 9.3 10.1 11.1 12.1 12.2 13.1 13.2 15.1 15.2

The position of sati among important categories 50 Key aspects of the satipatthana refrain 93 The body contemplations 118 Survey of andpanasati in sixteen steps 135 Four aspects of "clear knowledge" in the commentaries 143 Three and six types of feeling 158 Eight categories for contemplation of the mind 174 Survey of contemplation of dhammas 185 Two stages in the contemplation of the five hindrances 192 Commentarial survey of factors for overcoming or inhibiting the hindrances 200 Two stages in the contemplation of the five aggregates 202 Two stages in the contemplation of the six sense-spheres221 Two stages in the contemplation of the seven awakening factors 234 Commentarial survey of supportive conditions for developing the awakening factors 242 The fourfold structure of ancient Indian medicine and the four noble truths 247 Two stages in the contemplation of the four noble truths 248 Centra] characteristics and aspects of satipatthana 268 Dynamic interrelation of the satipatthana contemplations 270

V en . A n a la y o w a s b o rn in 1962 in G e rm an y , w a s o rd a in ed in 1995 in Sri L an k a, an d com p leted his P h D on satipafthdna at the U n ive rsity o f P e ra d e n iy a in 2000. A t p resen t he is m ain ly en g ag ed in the practice o f m editatio n , an d am o n g oth er th in g s con trib utes to the Encyclopaedia o f Buddhism.

INTRO DUCTIO N

The present work, w hich is the combined outcome of m y Ph.D. research at the U niversity of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka and m y ow n practical experience as a m editating monk, attempts a detailed ex­ ploration of the significance and the practice of m indfulness medita­ tion according to its exposition in the Satipatthana Sutta, and placed within its early Buddhist canonical and philosophical context. M indfulness and the proper w a y of putting it into practice are cer­ tainly topics of central relevance for anyone keen to tread the B u ddh a's path to libera Hon. Yet for a proper understanding and im­ plementation of m indfulness meditation the original instructions b y the Buddha on satipatthana need to be taken into consideration. In view of this, m y inquiry is in particular concerned with the dis­ courses recorded in the four main Nikayas and the historically early parts of the fifth Nikaya as centrally important source material. Satipatthana is a matter of practice. In order to ensure that m y ex­ ploration has practical relevance, I have consulted a selection of modern meditation m anuals and related publications. The nature of this selection has been m ainly a matter of availability, yet I hope to have included a fairly representative number of meditation teach­ ers, Apart from these, I have also relied on various academic m ono­ graphs and articles on early Buddhism in order to illustrate the philosophical fram ework and historical context within which the Satipapfhatm Sutta is to be understood. These provide the back­ ground information for understanding particular passages or expressions in the discourse.
«

2

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SATIPATTHANA

T o h elp m aintain text flo w an d read ab ility, I h ave kept the m ain b o d y o f the text as free as possible from direct qu otation s and tan­ gen tial ob servation s. In stead , I h a v e m ad e e xten sive u se o f foot­ n otes, w h ich p ro v id e referen ces o f interest an d d iscu ssio n s o f ad d itio n al inform ation . The gen eral re ad e r m ay p re fe r to fo cu s on the b o d y o f the text d u rin g a first re ad in g , and o n ly turn to the in fo r­ m ation in the fo otn o tes d u rin g a secon d read in g. M y exp osition fo llo w s the sequen ce of the p a ssa ges in the dis­ cou rse as clo sely as possible. A t the sam e tim e, h o w e v e r, m y treat­ m ent is not restricted to sim ple com m ents, but a llo w s fo r m inor d igressio n s in o rd er to exp lo re re le v a n t points and to p ro v id e a b ack g ro u n d for better u n d e rsta n d in g the section u n d er d iscussion. T he first ch apter d eals w ith gen eral aspects and term in o lo gy in re­ latio n to satipatthana. The next three ch apters are con cern ed w ith the second p a ra grap h o f the Satipatthana Sutta, the "d e fin itio n ", es­ p e c ia lly w ith the im p lication s o f sati an d the role o f concentration. In the fifth ch ap ter I turn to a set o f g en eral instructions repeated th ro u gh ou t the d isco u rse after each m editation exercise, the " r e ­ frain ", W ith the sixth ch ap te r I b egin to exam in e the actual exercises o f the "d irect p a th " o f m in d fu ln ess m editatio n , con cern ed w ith con­ tem p latin g the b o d y , feelin gs, m in d , an d dhammas. A t the en d o f this exam ination o f the in d iv id u al m editation practices I turn to the final p a ra g ra p h o f the discou rse an d to the im plication s o f Nibbana. B y w a y o f conclusion, I try to h ig h lig h t so m e k e y aspects o f satipatthana an d to evalu a te its im portance. In gen eral, m y p u rp o se in the p resen t in q u iry is less to p ro v e and estab lish a particular p o in t o f v ie w than to p ro v id e su g gestio n s and reflection s in the h o p e o f o p e n in g u p n e w p ersp ectives in re g a rd to satipatthana, and in the h o p e o f in sp irin g the read er to en g ag e in its actu al practice.

T R A N S L A T I O N OF THE S A T 1 P A T T H A N A S U T T A 1

Thus h a v e I heard. Ort on e occasion the Blessed O n e w as liv in g in the Kuru cou n try at a tow n of the Kurus nam ed Karnm asadham m a. There he addressed the m onks thus: "M onks." "V en erab le sir/' they replied. The Blessed O n e said this:
[D IRE C T PATH 1

"M onks, this is the direct path for the p urification of beings, for the sur­ m ou n tin g of sorrow and lam entation, for the disappearance o f dukkha and discon ten t, for acquiring the true m ethod, for the realization o f Nibbana, nam ely, the four satipafihanas.

[ D E F IN IT IO N ]

"W h at are the four? H ere, m onks, in regard to the b ody a m on k abides con ­ tem plating the body, d iligen t, clearly k n o w in g , and m indful, free from d e ­ sires and discontent in regard to the w orld. In regard to feelings he abides con tem p latin g feelings, diligent, clearly k n o w in g, and m indful, free from desires and discontent in regard to the w o rld . In regard to the m ind he abides contem plating the m ind, diligent, clearly k n o w in g, and m indful,

i

For m y rendering of the Satipatthana Sutta, I have mostly adopted the translation given in Nanamoli (1995): PP^ 45 ~55 - In a few instances, how ever, I have ventured to introduce m y own renderings, based on the u nderstanding gained in the progress o f m y research. In order to facilitate references to particular passages of the discourse, I have inserted a short headline above each section.

6

/

S ATI PATJ HANA

phlegm , pus, bloody sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil of the joints, and urine/ "Just as though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of m any sorts of grain, such as hill rice, red rice, beans, peas, millet, and white rice, and a man w ith good eyes w ere to open it and review it thus: 'this is hill rice, this is red rice, these are beans, these are peas, this is millet, this is white rice'; so too he reviews this same body...* {continue as above).
[REFRAIN]

"In this w ay, In regard to the body he abides contem plating the body inter­ nally ... externally ... both internally and externally. He abides contem plat­ ing the nature of arising ... of passing aw ay ... of both arising and passing aw ay in the body. M indfulness that'there is a body' is established in him to the extent necessary for bare know ledge and continuous m indfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is h ow in regard to the b o d y he abides contem plating the body.
[ELEMENTS]

"A gain, monks, he review s this same body, how ever it is placed, how ever disposed, as consisting of elements thus: 'in this body there are the earth element, the w ater element, the fire elem ent, and the air element'. "Just as though a skilled butcher or his apprentice had killed a cow and was seated at a crossroads with it cut up into pieces; so too he review s this same body.,., (continue as above).
[REFRAIN]

"In this way, in regard to the body he abides contem plating the body inter­ nally ... externally ... both internally and externally. He abides contem plat­ ing the nature of arising ... of passing aw ay ... of both arising and passing aw ay in the body. M indfulness that 'there is a body' is established in him to the extent necessary for bare know ledge and continuous m indfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how in regard to the b o d y he abides contem plating the body.
[CORPSE IN DECAY)

"A gain, monks, as though he w ere to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground —one, tw o, or three days dead, bloated, livid, and oozing matter ...

TRANSLATION

/

7

being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals, or various kinds of worm s ... a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together w ith sinews ... a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, held together with sinews ... a skele­ ton without flesh and blood, held together with sinews ... disconnected bones scattered in all directions ... bones bleached white, the colour of shells ... bones heaped up, more than a year old ... bones rotten and crum­ bling to dust - he compares this same body with it thus: "this body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate."
IREFRAIN]

"In this w ay, in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body inter­ nally ... externally ... both internally and externally. He abides contemplat­ ing the nature of arising ... of passing aw ay of both arising and passing away in the body. Mindfulness that 'there is a body' is established in him to the extent necessary foT bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the w orld. That too is how in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body.
[FEELINGS]

"And how, monks, does he in regard to feelings abide contemplating feelings? "Here, w hen feeling a pleasant feeling, he know s 'I feel a pleasant feeling'; when feeling an unpleasant feeling, he knows 'I feel an unpleasant feeling'; w hen feeling a neutral feeling, he knows 'I feel a neutral feeling/ "W hen feeling a worldly pleasant feeling, he knows "I feel a w orldly pleasant feeling'; w hen feeling an unw orldly pleasant feeling, he know s '1 feel an unw orldly pleasant feeling'; when feeling a w orldly unpleasant feel­ ing, he knows 'I feel a worldly unpleasant feeling'; when feeling an un­ w orldly unpleasant feeling, he knows '1 feel an unworldly unpleasant feeling'; when feeling a w orldly neutral feeling, he knows 'I feel a w orldly neutral feeling'; when feeling an unworldly neutral feeling, he knows 'I feel an unw orldly neutral feeling/

2 In the actual discourse, each of the individual stages of the corpse in decay is followed by a full version of the J 'refrainff, which, for the sake of convenience, I have abbrevi­ ated here and in Fig. 1.1,

B

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SATIPATTHANA

[REFRAIN]

"In this w ay, in regard to feelings he abides contem plating feelings inter­ nally externally internally and externally. He abides contem plating the nature of arising ... of passing aw ay , of both arising and passing aw ay in feelings. M indfulness that 'there is feeling' is established in him to the ex­ tent necessary for bare know ledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. "That is how in regard to feelings he abides contem plating feelings.
[M lND f

"And how , monks, does he in regard to the m ind abide contem plating the mind? "H ere he know s a lustful m ind to be 'lustful', and a mind w ithout lust to be 'w ithout lust'; he kn ow s an angry mind to be 'an gry', and a m ind w ithout anger to be "without anger'; he know s a deluded mind to b e'd elu d ed ', and a mind w ithout delusion to be 'w ithout delusion'; he know s a contracted mind to be 'contracted', and a distracted m ind to be 'distracted'; he know s a great m ind to be 'great', and a narrow mind to be 'narrow '; he knows a surpassable mind to be 'surpassable', and an unsurpassable m ind to be "unsurpassable'; he know s a concentrated mind to be 'concentrated', and an unconcentrated mind to be 'unconcentrated'; he knows a liberated mind to be 'liberated', and an unliberated mind to be 'unliberated.'
[REFRAIN]

"In this w ay, in regard to the mind he abides contem plating the m ind inter­ nally ... externally internally and externally. He abides contem plating the nature o f arising ... of passing aw ay ... o f both arising and passing aw ay in regard to the mind. M indfulness that 'there is a mind' is established in him to the extent necessary for bare know ledge and continuous m indful­ ness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. "That is how in regard to the mind he abides contem plating the mind*
[HINDRANCES]

"A nd how , monks, does he in regard to dhammas abide contem plating dhammas? Here in regard to dhammas he abides contem plating dhammas in terms of the five hindrances. A nd h ow does he in regard to dhammas abide contem plating dhammas in terms of the five hindrances?

TRANSLATION

t

9

"If sensual desire is present in him, he know s 'there is sensual desire in me'; if sensual desire is not present in him, he knows 'there is no sensual de­ sire in me'; and he knows how unarisen sensual desire can arise, how arisen sensual desire can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed sensual desire can be prevented. "If aversion is present in. him, he knows 'there is aversion in me'; if aver­ sion is not present in him, he knows 'there is no aversion in me'; and he knows how unarisen aversion can arise, how arisen aversion can be re­ moved, and how a future arising of the removed aversion can be prevented. "If sloth-and-torpor is present in him, he knows 'there is sloth-andtorpor in me'; if sloth-and-torpor is not present in him, he knows 'there is no sloth-and-torpor in me'; and he knows how unarisen sloth-and-torpor can arise, how arisen sloth-and-torpor can be removed, and how a future aris­ ing of the removed sloth-and-torpor can be prevented. "If restlessness-and-worry is present in him, he knows 'there is restlessness-and-worry in me'; if restlessness-and-worry is not present in him, he knows 'there is no restlessness-and-worry in me'; and he knows how unarisen restlessness-and-worry can arise, how arisen restlessness-and-worry can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed restlessnessand-worry can be prevented. "If doubt is present in him, he knows 'there is doubt in me'; if doubt is not present in him, he knows 'there is no doubt in me'; and he knows how unarisen doubt can arise, how arisen doubt can be removed/ and how a future arising of the removed doubt can be prevented{REFRAIN)

"In this way, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas inter­ nally externally internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising ... of passing away ... of both arising and passing away in dha?nmas. Mindfulness that 'there are dhammas' is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world, "That is how in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the five hindrances.
[AGGREGATES]

"Again, monks, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the five aggregates of clinging. And how does he in regard to

to

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SATIPATTHANA

dhammas abide contemplating dhammas in terms of the five aggregates of clinging? Here he knows, 'such is materia] form, such its arising, such its passing away; such is feeling, such its arising, such its passing away; such is cogni­ tion, such its arising, such its passing away; such are volitions, such their arising, such their passing away; such is consciousness, such its arising, such its passing away/
[REFRAIN]

"In this way, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas inter­ nally ... externally internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising ... o f passing a w a y ... of both arising and passing away in dhammas♦ Mindfulness that 'there are dhammas' is established in him to the extent necessary for bare know ledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. "That is how in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms o f the five aggregates o f clinging.
[SHMSE-SPHERESJ

"Again, monks, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the six internal and external sense-spheres. And h ow does he in re­ gard to dhammas abide contemplating dhammas in terms of the six internal and external sens e-spheres? "Here he knows the eye, he knows forms, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also know s how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed , and how a future arising of the rem oved fetter can be prevented. "H e knows the ear, he knows sounds, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the re­ m oved fetter can be prevented. "H e knows the nose, he knows odours, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows h o w an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the re­ m oved fetter can be prevented. "H e knows the tongue, he knows flavours, and he know s the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the

TRANSLATION

/

11

rem oved fetter can be prevented. "H e kn ow s the b ody, he kn ow s tangibles, and he know s the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also know s h ow an unarisen fetter can arise, h o w an arisen fetter can be rem oved, and h ow a future arising of the rem oved fetteT can be prevented, "H e kn ow s the mind, he kn ow s mind-objects, and he know s the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also kn ow s h ow an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be rem oved, and h ow a future arising of the rem oved fetter can be prevented.

[REFRAIN]

"In this w ay, in regard to dhammas he abides con temp) ating dhammas inter­ nally externally internally and externally. He abides contem plating the nature o f a risin g ... of passing aw ay .,, of both arising and passing aw ay in dhammas. M indfulness that 'there are dhammas' is established in him to the extent necessary for bare kn ow ledge and continuous m indfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world, "That is how in regard to dhammas he abides contem plating dhammas in terms of the six internal and external sense-spheres.

[A W A KE NING FACTORS]

"Again, m onks, in regard to dhammas he abides contem plating dhammas in terms o f the seven aw akening factors. And how does he in regard to dhammas abide contem plating dhammas in terms of the seven aw akening factors? "Here, if the m indfulness aw akening factor is present in him , he kn ow s 'there is the m indfulness aw akening factor in me'; if the m indfulness aw ak­ ening factor is not present in him, he know s 'there is no m indfulness aw ak­ ening factor in me'; he know s h ow the unarisen m indfulness aw akening factor can arise, and h ow the arisen m indfulness aw akening factor can be perfected b y developm ent. "If the investigation-of-d/?rt mmas aw akening factor is present in him, he know s 'there is the investigation-of-d/w*»t»tfls aw akening factor in me'; if the investiga tion-o£-dhammas aw akening factor is not present in him, he know s 'there is no investigation-o i-dhammas aw akening factor in me'; he know s h ow the unarisen in vestigation-oi-dhammas aw akening factor can arise, and h ow the arisen investigation-of -dhammas aw akening factor can be perfected by developm ent.

12

/

SATIPATTHANA

"If the energy aw akening factor is present in him, he know s 'there is the energy aw akening factor in m e'; if the energy aw akening factor is not pres­ ent in him , he know s 'there is no energy aw akening factor in me'; he know s h ow the unarisen energy aw akening factor can arise, and h ow the arisen eneTgy aw akening factor can be perfected b y developm ent, "If the joy aw akening factor is present in him, he kn ow s 'there is the joy aw akening factor in me'; if the jo y aw akening factor is not present in him, he kn ow s 'there is no joy aw akening factor in me'; he know s how the unarisen joy aw akening factor can arise, and h ow the arisen joy aw akening factor can be perfected by developm ent. "If the tranquillity aw akening factor is present in him, he kn ow s 'there is the tranquillity aw akening factor in me'; if the tranquillity aw akening factor is not present in him , he know s "there is no tranquillity aw akening factor in me'; he know s h ow the unarisen tranquillity aw akening factor can arise, and h o w the arisen tranquillity aw akening factor can be perfected b y developm ent. "If the concentration aw akening factor is present in him, he kn o w s'th ere is the concentration aw akening factor in me'; if the concentration aw aken­ ing factor is not present in him, he kn ow s 'there is no concentration aw ak­ ening factor in me'; he kn ow s h ow the unarisen concentration aw akening factor can arise, and h ow the arisen concentration aw akening factor can be perfected b y developm ent* "If the equanim ity aw akening factor is present in him, he know s 'there is the equanim ity aw akening factor in me'; if the equanim ity aw akening fac­ tor is not present in him, he know s 'there is no equanim ity aw akening factor in me'; he know s b o w the unarisen equanim ity aw akening factor can arise, and h ow the arisen equanim ity aw akening factor can be perfected by developm ent.

[REFRAIN]

"In this w ay, in regard to dhammas he abides contem plating dhammas inter­ nally externally ... internally and externally. He abides contem plating the nature of arising ,,. o f passing aw ay .. * o f both arising and passing aw ay in dhammas. M indfulness that "there are dhammas' is established in him to the extent necessary for bare kn ow ledge and continuous m indfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the w orld. "That is how in regard to dhammas he abides contem plating dhammas in terms of the seven aw akening factors.

TRANSLATION

13

(NOBLE TRUTHS]

"Again, m onks, in regard to dhammas he abides contem plating dhammas in terms o f the four noble truths- And h ow does he in regard to dhammas abide contem plating dhammas in terms o f the four noble truths? "H ere he know s as it really is, 'this is dukkha'; he kn ow s as it really is, 'this is the arising of d u k k h a he kn ow s as it really is, 'this is the cessation of dukkha*} he know s as it really is, 'this is the w ay leading to the cessation of dukkha/
[REFRAIN]

"In this w ay, in regard to dhammas he abides contem plating dhammas inter­ nally ... externally ... internally and externally. He abides contem plating the nature o f arising ... o f passing a w ay ... o f both arising and passing aw ay in dhammas. M indfulness that 'there are dhammas' is established in him to the extent necessary for bare kn ow ledge and continuous m indfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world, "That is h o w in regard to dhammas he abides contem plating dhammas in terms o f the four noble truths.
[PREDICTION]

"M onks, if anyone should develop these four satipatthanas in such a w ay for seven years, one of tw o fruits could be expected for him: either final k n ow l­ edge here and now , or, if there is a trace of clinging left, non- returning. Let alone seven years ... six years ... five years ... four years ... three years ... two years ... one year ... seven m onths ... six m onths ... five m onths ... four months ... three m onths ... tw o months ... one m onth ... half a m onth ... if anyone should develop these four satipatfhanas in such a w ay for seven days, one of tw o fruits could be expected for him: either final kn ow ledge here and now , or, if there is a trace of clinging le ft non-returning. So it w as w ith reference to this that it w as said:
[DIRECT PATH]

"M onks, this is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the sur­ m ounting of sorrow and lam entation, for the disappearance of dukkha and discon ten t for acquiring the true m ethod, for the realization of Nibbana, nam ely, the four satipatthanas " That is w hat the Blessed O n e said. The m onks w ere satisfied and delighted in the Blessed O ne's words.

14

■ S ATIP ATT HA NA

I

G EN ERAL ASPECTS OF THE DIRECT PATH

T o b e g in , I w ill s u r v e y th e u n d e r ly in g stru ctu re o f th e Satipatthana Sutta a n d c o n s id e r so m e g e n e r a l a sp e cts o f th e fo u r satipatthanas . I w ill th e n e x a m in e th e e x p re ssio n s "d ir e c t p a th " a n d " satipatthana
f.l OVERVIEW OF THE SATIPATTHANA SUTTA

Satipafthana as th e " d ir e c t p a th " to Nibbana h a s r e c e iv e d a d e ta ile d tre a tm e n t in th e Satipatthana Sutta o f th e M ajjhim a NikdyaJ P r e c is e ly th e s a m e d is c o u r s e r e c u r s as th e Mahasatipafthana Sutta o f th e Digha Nikaya, th e o n ly d iffe r e n c e b e in g th a t th is v e r s io n o ffe rs a m o re e x ­ te n s iv e tr e a tm e n t o f th e fo u r n o b le tru th s, th e la s t o f th e satipatthana c o n te m p la tio n s .1 T h e to p ic o f satipafthana h a s m o r e o v e r in s p ir e d s e v e ra l s h o rte r d is c o u rs e s in th e Satpyutta Nikaya a n d th e Afiguttara Nikaya.* A p a r t fro m th e P ali so u rc e s , e x p o s itio n s o n satipatthana a re also p r e s e r v e d in C h in e s e a n d S a n sk rit, w ith in tr ig u in g o c c a sio n a l v a ria tio n s fro m th e Pali p r e s e n ta tio n s /
1 M I 55-63, the tenth discourse o f the Majjhima Nikaya. 2 D I I 305-15. The Burmese edition (sixth Sangayana) has added the longer section on the four noble truths to the Majjhima version as well; the Sinhalese edition, however, agrees w ith the p t s edition in presenting only a short statement of the four noble truths. 3 These are the Satipaffhana Sarnyuita at S V 141-92, and the Satipatthana Vagga at A r v 457-62. In addition, there is also a $ati Vagga at A IV 336-47; a Satipatthana Vibhanga at Vibh 193-207; and twice a Satipaffhana Kntha at Kv 155-9 and at Pafcis I I 232-5. Shorter discourses with similar titles are the three Satipafthana Suttas at SIV 360, S IV 363, and A EH142; the three Sati Suttas at S U 132, SIV 245, and A IV 336; and the three Sato Suttas at S V 142, S V 180, and S V 186.

16

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SATIPATTHANA

M o s t o f th e d is c o u r s e s in th e Samyutta Nikaya a n d Anguttara Nikaya m en tio n o n ly th e b a re o u tlin e o f th e fo u r satipatthanas, w it h o u t g o ­ in g in to th e d e ta ils o f th e ir p o s sib le a p p lic a tio n s . T h is fu n c tio n a l d iv is io n in to fo u r satipatthanas seem s to b e a d irect o u tc o m e o f th e B u d d h a 's a w a k e n in g / a cen tral a sp e c t o f h is r e d is c o v e r y o f a n a n ­ cien t p a th o f p ractice.6 B u t th e d e ta ile d in stru ctio n s fo u n d in th e Mahasatipatthana Sutta a n d th e Satipatthana Sutta a p p a r e n tly b e lo n g to a la te r p e r io d , w h e n th e B u d d h a 's te a c h in g h a d sp re a d fro m th e G a n g e s v a lle y to th e d is ta n t K a m m a s a d h a m m a in th e K u r u c o u n tr y , w h e r e b o th d is c o u r s e s w e r e s p o k e n /

According to Schmithausen 1976: p-244, five additional versions are in existence: two complete versions in Chinese (in the Madhyama Agama: Taisho 1, no,26, p.582b, and in the Ekottara Agama: Taisho 2, no.125, p^C&a), and three fragmentary versions in Chinese and Sanskrit (these being the Paftcavitn$ati5 ilhasrik& Prajft&p&ramitti, the S&riputrabhidharma (Taish6 28,110*1548, p. 525a), and the Srdvakabh&mi), An abridged trans­ lation of one o f the complete Chinese versions, the Nten-ch'u-ching, being the ninetyeighth sutra In the Chinese Madhyama Agama can be found in Minh Chau 1991: pp.87-95.A complete translation of this version and also of the other Chinese version from the Ekottara Agama, this being the first sutra in the twelfth chapter (Yi Ru Dao) of the Ekottara Agama, can be found in N hat Hanh 1990: pp.151-77. A comparison o f the Satipafthana Saqiyutta with its corresponding Chinese version can be found in Choong 2000: pp*2i5-i8, and in Hurvitz 1976: p p ,211-29, 5 At S V 178 the Buddha included the four satipatthanas among his insights into things unknown at his time, Cf. also S V 167, which reports how the recently awakened Buddha reflected that the four satipatthanas w ere the direct path to awakening, whereupon Brahma Sahampati came dow n to applaud and approve this reflection {cf. also S V 185). Both cases give only the outline of the four satipatthanas and do not contain the detailed practical examples given in the Satipafthana Sutta and the Mahasatipatthana Sutta, 6 S 21105 refers to santtm sati as the rediscovery o f an ancient path, traversed by the Buddhas of the past. Similarly A 11 29 speaks of samma sati as an andent practice. In fact D 1135 reports bodhisatta VipassT engaged in dhammanupassana on the five aggre­ gates, which confirms that satipatthana was an ancient practice, undertaken by pre­ vious Buddhas, a practice which how ever must then have fallen into oblivion until its rediscovery by Gotama Buddha, 7 Lily de Silva (n,d,): p.3, points out that the Satipatthana Sutta was only delivered once "the Dhamma (had) spread from its original seat of Magadha to the outskirts of the Kuru country". Other discourses spoken at Kammasadhamma in the Kuru country (e.g. D I I 55; M 1501; M I I 261; S I I 92; S I I 107; and A V 29) support an assodation of this location with a relatively evolved stage of developm ent of the early Buddhist com­ munity (e.g. M 1502 speaks o f many followers from various backgrounds). According to Ps 1227, a uniting feature am ong the discourses spoken at this particular location is their comparatively advanced nature, ow ing to the capacity of its inhabitants to receive deep teachings. The location of the Kuru country corresponds to the area of m odem Delhi (according to Law 1979: p.18; Malalasekera 1995: voLI, p.642; and T.W, Rhys Davids 1997: p-27)- This same part of India is also associated with the events in the Bhagavadgita (Bhg Li).

4

G E N E R A L AS P E C TS OF THE DfRECT PATH

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17

In F ig. i ,i (b e lo w ) I h a v e a tte m p te d to o ffe r a n o v e r v ie w o f th e s tru c tu re u n d e r ly in g th e d e ta ile d e x p o s itio n o f satipatthana g iv e n in th e Satipatthana Sutta , w it h e a ch o f th e s e c tio n s o f th e d is c o u r s e r e p ­ re s e n te d b y a b o x a n d a rr a n g e d fro m b o tto m to to p .

► dham m as

J mind J feelings

body

Fig. 1.1 Structure o f the Satipatthana Sutta T h e s ta rtin g a n d c o n c lu d in g s e c tio n o f th e d is c o u rs e is a p a s s a g e w h ic h sta te s th a t satipatthana c o n s titu te s th e d ire c t p a th to Nibbana. T h e n e x t s e c tio n o f th e d is c o u r s e o ffe r s a s h o rt d e fin itio n o f th e m o st e ss e n tia l a sp e c ts o f th is d ire c t p a th . T h is " d e fin itio n " m e n tio n s fo u r satipatfhanas fo r c o n te m p la tio n : b o d y , fe e lin g s , m in d , a n d dhammas* T h e " d e fin itio n " also s p e c ifie s th e m e n ta l q u a litie s th at a re in s tr u ­ m en ta l fo r saiipafthana: o n e s h o u ld b e d ilig e n t (alapi ), c le a r ly

18

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SATI PATTHANA

k n o w in g (sampajana), m in d fu l (sati), a n d fr e e fro m d e s ire s a n d d is ­ c o n te n t (vineyya abhijjhadomanassa). A fte r th is " d e fin itio n ", th e d isc o u rse d e scrib es th e fo u r satipatthanas o f b o d y , fe e lin g s , m in d , a n d dhammas in d e ta il. T h e r a n g e o f th e first satipatthana, c o n te m p la tio n o f th e b o d y , p r o c e e d s fro m m in d fu ln e s s o f b r e a th in g , p o s tu r e s , a n d a c tiv itie s , v ia a n a ly s e s o f th e b o d y in to its a n a to m ic a l p a rts a n d e le m e n ts, to c o n te m p la tin g a c o r p s e in d e ­ ca y . T h e n e x t tw o satipatthanas a re c o n c e r n e d w ith c o n te m p la tin g fe e lin g s a n d m in d . T h e fo u rth satipatthana lists fiv e ty p e s o f dhammas fo r c o n te m p la tio n : th e m e n ta l h in d r a n c e s , th e a g g r e g a te s , the s e n s e -s p h e re s , th e a w a k e n in g fa c to rs, a n d th e fo u r n o b le tru th s. A fte r th e a ctu a l m e d ita tio n p ra c tic e s, th e d is c o u rs e r e tu r n s to the d ir e c t p a th s ta te m e n t v ia a p r e d ic tio n a b o u t th e tim e w it h in w h ic h r e a liz a tio n c a n b e e x p e c te d . T h r o u g h o u t th e d is c o u r s e , a p a r tic u la r fo rm u la fo llo w s ea ch in d iv id u a l m e d ita tio n practice* T h is satipatthana " r e fr a in " c o m p le te s e a c h in s tru c tio n b y r e p e a te d ly e m p h a s iz in g th e im p o r ta n t a sp e c ts o f th e p ra c tic e ,9 A c c o r d in g to th is " r e fr a in " , satipatthana c o n te m p la ­ tion c o v e r s in te r n a l a n d e x te rn a l p h e n o m e n a , a n d is c o n c e r n e d w ith th e ir a ris in g a n d p a s s in g a w a y . T h e " r e fr a in " a lso p o in ts o u t th a t m in d fu ln e s s s h o u ld b e e sta b lish e d m e r e ly fo r th e s a k e o f d e v e lo p ­ in g b a re k n o w le d g e a n d fo r a c h ie v in g c o n tin u ity o f a w a r e n e s s . A c c o r d in g to th e sa m e "r e fr a in " , p r o p e r satipatthana c o n te m p la tio n ta k e s p la c e fre e fro m a n y d e p e n d e n c e o r c lin g in g . T h e e n tir e d is c o u r s e is fra m e d b y a n in tr o d u c tio n , w h ic h c o n v e y s th e o c c a s io n o f its d e liv e r y , a n d a c o n c lu s io n , w h ic h r e p o rts the d e lig h te d re a c tio n o f th e m o n k s a fte r th e B u d d h a 's e x p o s itio n .1 0 B y p la c in g th e " d e fin itio n " a n d th e "re fra in " a t th e c e n tr e o f th e a b o v e fig u r e , I in te n d to h ig h lig h t th e ir c e n tr a l ro le in th e d isc o u rse . A s th e fig u r e s h o w s , th e d is c o u rs e w e a v e s a r e c u r r in g p a tte r n th a t s y s te m a tic a lly a lte rn a te s b e tw e e n s p e c ific m e d ita tio n in s tru c tio n s

8 The implications of the term dhammar which I have left untranslated, are discussed on p. 182. 9 The fact that this "refrain" is indispensable to each meditation exercise is shown by the remark concluding each occurrence o f the "refrain" (e.g. M 1 56): "that is how a m onk in regard to the body (feelings, mind, dhammas) abides contemplating the body (feelings, mind, dhammas}." This remark connects the exposition to the question asked at the outset of each satipatthana (e.g. M 156): "h o w does a m onk in regard to the body (etc.) abide contemplating the body (etc.)?" 10 These are the standard introduction and concluding sections in w hat Manne 1990: p.33, classifies as a typical "sermon".

G E N E R A L A S P E C T S OF THE DIRECT PATH

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19

a n d th e "r e fra in ". E ach tim e , th e ta sk o f th e " r e fr a in " is to d ir e c t a t­ te n tio n to th o s e a sp e c ts o f satipatthana th a t a re e s s e n tia l fo r p r o p e r p ra c tic e . T h e sam e p a tte r n a ls o a p p lie s to th e sta rt o f th e d is c o u r s e , w h e r e a g e n e r a l in tr o d u c tio n to th e to p ic o f satipatfhana th r o u g h th e " d ir e c t p a th " s ta te m e n t is fo llo w e d b y th e " d e fin itio n " , w h ic h h a s th e ro le o f p o in tin g o u t its e s s e n tia l ch a ra cte ristics. In th is w a y , b o th th e " d e fin itio n " a n d th e " r e fr a in " in d ic a te w h a t is esse n tia l. T h u s , for a p r o p e r u n d e r s ta n d in g a n d im p le m e n ta tio n o f satipatthana, th e in fo rm a tio n c o n ta in e d in th e "d e fin itio n " a n d th e "r e fr a in " is o f p a rtic u la r im p o rta n c e .
1.2 A SU RVE Y OF THE FOUR S A T I P A T T H A N A S

O n c lo se r in s p e c tio n , th e s e q u e n c e o f th e c o n te m p la tio n s lis te d in th e Satipatthana Sutta r e v e a ls a p r o g r e s s iv e p a tte rn (cf. Fig. l.a b e ­ lo w ). C o n te m p la tio n o f th e b o d y p r o g r e s s e s fro m th e r u d im e n ta r y e x p e rie n c e o f b o d ily p o s tu r e s a n d a c tiv itie s to c o n te m p la tin g th e b o d y 's a n a to m y . T h e in c r e a s e d s e n s itiv ity d e v e lo p e d in th is w a y fo rm s th e b a sis fo r c o n te m p la tio n o f fe e lin g s , a s h ift o f a w a r e n e s s fro m th e im m e d ia te ly a cc e ssib le p h y s ic a l a s p e c ts o f e x p e r ie n c e to fe e lin g s as m o re r e fin e d a n d s u b tle o b je cts o f a w a r e n e s s .
noble truths T awakening factors T sense-spheres T aggregates T hindrances T higher states of mind T ordinary states of mind T ethical quality T affective quality T corpse in decay T elements T anatomical parts t activities T postures T breathing
body

dhammas

mind

feelings

Fig. 1.2 Progression o f the satipatthana contem plations

20

SATIPATTHANA

C o n t e m p la t io n o f f e e lin g d iv id e s f e e lin g s n o t o n ly a c c o r d in g to th e ir a ffe c tiv e q u a lity in t o p le a s a n t, u n p le a s a n t, a n d n e u tr a l ty p e s , b u t a ls o d is tin g u is h e s th e s e a c c o r d in g to th e ir w o r ld ly o r u n w o r ld ly n a tu r e . T h e la tte r p a r t o f c o n te m p la tio n o f fe e lin g s th u s in tr o d u c e s a n e th ic a l d is tin c tio n o f fe e lin g s , w h i c h s e r v e s as a s te p p in g - s to n e fo r d ir e c tin g a w a r e n e s s to th e e th ic a l d is tin c tio n b e t w e e n w h o le ­ s o m e a n d u n w h o le s o m e sta te s o f m in d , m e n tio n e d a t t h e s ta rt o f th e n e x t satipatthana, c o n te m p la tio n o f th e m in d . C o n te m p la tio n o f th e m in d p r o c e e d s from th e p r e s e n c e or a b ­ s e n c e o f fo u r u n w h o le s o m e s ta te s o f m in d (lu st, a n g e r , d e lu s io n , a n d d is tra c tio n ), to c o n t e m p la t in g th e p r e s e n c e o r a b s e n c e o f fo u r h ig h e r sta tes o f m in d . T h e c o n c e r n w it h h ig h e r sta te s o f m in d in th e la tte r p a rt o f th e c o n te m p la tio n o f th e m in d n a tu r a lly l e n d s its e lf to a d e t a ile d in v e s tig a tio n o f th o se fa c to rs w h ic h p a r tic u la r ly o b s tru c t d e e p e r le v e ls o f c o n c e n tr a tio n . T h e s e a re th e h in d r a n c e s , th e first o b je c t o f c o n te m p la tio n o f dhammas . A fte r c o v e r in g th e h in d r a n c e s to m e d ita tio n p r a c tic e , c o n te m p la ­ tio n o f dhammas p r o g r e s s e s to tw o a n a ly s e s o f s u b je c tiv e e x p e rie n c e : th e fiv e a g g r e g a te s a n d th e six s e n s e -s p h e r e s . T h e s e a n a ly s e s a re fo l­ lo w e d b y th e a w a k e n in g fa c to rs, th e n e x t c o n te m p la tio n o f dham­ mas . T h e c u lm in a tio n o f satipatthana p r a c tic e is r e a c h e d w i t h th e c o n te m p la tio n o f th e fo u r n o b le tru th s , fu ll u n d e r s ta n d in g o f w h ic h c o in c id e s w ith r e a liz a tio n . C o n s id e r e d in th is w a y , th e s e q u e n c e o f th e satipatthana c o n te m ­ p la tio n s le a d s p r o g r e s s iv e ly fro m g r o s s e r to m o re s u b tle le v e ls ." T h is lin e a r p r o g r e s s io n is n o t w it h o u t p r a c tic a l r e le v a n c e , s in c e th e b o d y c o n te m p la tio n s r e c o m m e n d th e m s e lv e s as a fo u n d a tio n a l e x e rc is e fo r b u ild in g u p a b a s is o f sati, w h ile th e fin a l c o n te m p la tio n o f th e f o u r n o b le tru th s c o v e r s th e e x p e r ie n c e o f Nibbdna (th e th ird n o b le tru th c o n c e r n in g th e c e s s a tio n o f dukkha) a n d th u s c o r r e s p o n d s to th e c u lm in a tio n o f a n y s u c c e s s fu l im p le m e n ta tio n o f satipatthana . A t th e sa m e tim e , h o w e v e r , th is p r o g r e s s iv e p a tte r n d o e s n o t

u T h e Mahaprajndpdramitasastra offers the follow ing explanation for this pattern: hav­ ing investigated the body, the meditator searches for the cause of attachm ent to it, w hich is found to be pleasant feeling. Investigating feelings the question "w ho expe­ riences feelings?"' arises, leading to contemplation o f die mind. This in turn forms a basis for an inquiry into the causes and conditions o f mind, being the focus of contem­ plation o f dhammas (in Lamotte 1970: pp.1158,1162,1167). O n the progressive pattern underlying the sequence of the satipatthana contemplations cf. also Ariyadhamma 1994: p.6; Gethin 1992; p-47; Guenther 1991: p-219; Khemacari 1985: p .38; King 199a: p.67; and Meier 1978: p.16-

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p r e s c r ib e th e o n ly p o s s ib le w a y o f p r a c tis in g satipatthana. T o ta k e th e p r o g r e s s io n o f th e m e d ita tio n e x e r c is e s in th e Satipatthana Sutta as in d ic a tin g a n e c e s s a r y s e q u e n c e w o u l d s e v e r e ly lim it th e r a n g e o f o n e 's p r a c tic e , s in c e o n ly th o s e e x p e r ie n c e s o r p h e n o m e n a th a t fit in to th is p r e c o n c e iv e d p a tte r n w o u ld b e p r o p e r o b je c ts o f a w a r e ­ n ess. Y e t a c e n tr a l c h a r a c te ris tic o f satipatthana is a w a r e n e s s o f p h e ­ n o m e n a as th e y a re , a n d as th e y o c c u r . A lt h o u g h s u c h a w a r e n e s s w ill n a t u r a lly p r o c e e d fr o m th e g ro s s to th e s u b tle , in a c tu a l p r a c tic e it w ill q u ite p r o b a b ly v a r y fr o m th e s e q u e n c e d e p ic t e d in th e d is c o u r s e . A fle x ib le a n d c o m p r e h e n s iv e d e v e lo p m e n t o f satipatthana s h o u ld e n c o m p a s s all a s p e c ts o f e x p e r ie n c e , in w h a te v e r s e q u e n c e th e y o c c u r. A ll satipatthanas c a n b e o f c o n tin u a l r e le v a n c e th r o u g h o u t o n e 's p r o g r e s s a lo n g th e path* T h e p r a c tic e o f c o n te m p la tin g th e b o d y , fo r e x a m p le , is n o t s o m e t h in g to b e le ft b e h in d a n d d is c a r d e d at s o m e m o re a d v a n c e d p o in t in o n e 's p r o g r e s s . M u c h r a th e r , it c o n ­ tin u e s to b e a r e le v a n t p r a c tic e e v e n fo r an arahant .1 2 U n d e r s t o o d in th is w a y , th e m e d ita tio n e x e r c is e s lis te d in th e Satipatthana Sutta can b e s e e n a s m u tu a lly s u p p o r tiv e . T h e s e q u e n c e in w h ic h t h e y a re p r a c tis e d m a y b e a lte r e d in o r d e r to m e e t th e n e e d s o f e a c h in d iv id ­ u a l m e d ita to r. N o t o n ly d o th e fo u r satipatthanas s u p p o r t e a c h o th e r , b u t th e y c o u ld e v e n b e in te g r a t e d w it h in a s in g le m e d ita tio n p r a c tic e . T h is is d o c u m e n te d in th e Anapanasati S u tta , w h ic h d e s c r ib e s h o w m in d ­ fu ln e s s o f b r e a th in g c a n b e d e v e lo p e d in s u c h a w a y th a t it e n c o m ­ p a ss e s a ll fo u r satipatthanas .lJ T h is e x p o s itio n d e m o n s tr a te s th e p o s s ib ility o f c o m p r e h e n s iv e ly c o m b in in g all fo u r satipatthanas w it h in th e p ra c tic e o f a s in g le m e d ita tio n .
1-3 THE R E L E V A N C E O F HACH S A T I P A T T H A N A FOR R E A L IZ A T IO N

A c c o r d in g to th e Anapanasati S utta, it is p o s s ib le to d e v e lo p a v a r ie ty o f d iffe r e n t a sp e c ts o f satipatthana c o n te m p la tio n w it h a s in g le m e d i­ ta tio n o b je c t a n d in d u e c o u r s e c o v e r all fo u r satipatthanas. T h is ra ise s th e q u e s tio n h o w fa r a s in g le satipatthana , or e v e n a s in g le m e d ita tio n e x e rc is e , c a n b e ta k e n as a c o m p le te p ra c tic e in its o w n rig h t.
12 Cf. e.g. S V 326, which reports that the Buddha himself, after his awakening, still con* tinued to practise m indfulness o f breathing. 13 M i n 83.

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Several discourses relate the practice o f a single satipatthana directly to re a liz a tio n / 4 S im ila rly , the co m m e n ta rie s assign to e a c h sin g le satipafphana m e d ita tio n th e c a p a c ity to le a d to full a w a k e n in g / 3 Th is m a y w e ll be w h y a h ig h p e rce n ta g e o f p re se n t-d a y m e d ita tio n te a ch e rs fo cu s o n th e u s e o f a s in g le m e d ita tio n te c h n iq u e , on th e g r o u n d th a t a s in g le -m in d e d a n d th o r o u g h p e rfe c tio n o f o n e m e d i­ ta tio n te c h n iq u e can c o v e r all a sp e c ts o f satipatthana, a n d th u s be s u ffic ie n t to g a in re a liz a tio n / 6 In d e e d , th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f a w a r e n e s s w ith a n y p a rtic u la r m e d i­ tatio n te ch n iq u e wilJ a u to m a tic a lly re s u lt in a m a rk e d in c re a se in o n e 's g e n e ra l le v e l o f a w a re n e s s , th e r e b y e n h a n c in g o n e 's ca p a c ity to be m in d fu l in r e g a r d to situ a tio n s th a t d o n ot form p a rt o f o n e 's p r im a ry o b je ct o f m e d ita tio n . In th is w a y , e v e n th o se a sp ects o f satipatthana th at h a v e n o t d e lib e ra te ly b e e n m ad e th e o b je c t o f c o n ­ te m p la tio n to so m e e x te n t still r e c e iv e m in d fu l a tte n tio n as a b y -p ro d u c t o f th e p r im a ry practice- Y e t the e x p o s itio n in the Anapanasati Sutta d o e s n o t n e c e ssa rily im p ly th at b y b e in g a w a re o f th e b re a th o n e a u to m a tic a lly c o v e rs ail a sp e cts o f satipatthana . W h at th e B u d d h a d e m o n s tra te d h ere w a s h o w a th o ro u g h d e v e lo p m e n t o f sati ca n lead fro m th e b reath to a b r o a d r a n g e o f o b jects, e n c o m ­ p a s s in g d iffe re n t a sp e c ts o f su b je ctiv e reality- C le a rly , s u c h a b ro a d r a n g e o f a sp ects w a s th e o u tco m e o f a d e lib e ra te d e v e lo p m e n t, o th ­ e r w is e th e B u d d h a w o u ld n ot h a v e n e e d e d to d e liv e r a w h o le d is ­ c o u r s e o n h o w to a c h ie v e this. In fact, se v e ra l m e d ita tio n te a c h e rs a n d sch o lars p la c e a stro n g e m p h a s is on c o v e r in g all fo u r satipatthanas in o n e 's p ractice/7 A c c o r d in g to th e m , a lth o u g h o n e p a rtic u la r m e d ita tio n p ra ctice can
14 S V 158; S V 181; S V 182; and S IV 363. 15 Ps 1 249 aJlows for full awakening based on breath-a wareness, Fs I 252 based on awareness of the four postures, Ps 1270 based on clearly knowing bodily activities, Ps I 274 based on the cemetery contemplations, Ps I 277 based on contemplation of feel­ ings, Ps 1 280 based on contemplation of the mind etc. 16 Cf. e,g. Dhammadharo 1997: p.54, w ho assembles all four satipatthanas under one sin­ gle practice. Goenka 1994b: p .2, proposes the same, explaining that since the "body" is to be experienced via "feelings", which at the same time are related to the "mind" by being "mental objects", by observing bodily sensation one can cover all four satipat­ thanas. Sunlun 1993: p,no takes a similar position regarding the touch-sensation, Taungpulu 1993: p.189, also includes all four satipatthanas under the single practice of body contemplation. 17 e.g. Naijaponika 1992: p.58, recommends practice of all four satipattharms. He suggests focusing on a few selected contemplations, and to give attention to the other contem­ plations whenever an opportunity arises in the course of practice. Soma 19811 p.xxii, takes a similar position.

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se rv e as the p rim a ry o b je ct o f a tte n tio n , th e o th e r a sp ects o f satipatthana s h o u ld b e d e lib e ra te ly c o n te m p la te d to o , e v e n if o n ly in a s e c o n d a r y m anner* T h is a p p ro a c h c a n claim so m e s u p p o r t from the c o n c lu d in g p art o f th e Satipatthana Sutta, th e "p r e d ic tio n " o f re a liz a tio n . T h is p a s s a g e stip u la te s th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f all fo u r satipatthanas fo r c o n te m p la tio n to le a d to th e r e a liza tio n o f th e h ig h e r tw o sta g e s o f a w a k e n in g : n o n -r e tu r n in g a n d arah an tsh ip /* T h e fa c t th a t all fo u r satipatthanas are m e n tio n e d su g g e sts th at it is th e c o m p r e h e n s iv e p ra c tic e o f a ll fo u r w h ic h is p a rtic u la rly ca p a b le o f le a d in g to h ig h le v e ls o f realizatio n . T h e sam e is also in d ic a te d b y a sta te m e n t in the Satipatthana Samyutta, w h ic h rela tes th e r e a liz a ­ tio n o f a ra h a n tsh ip to "c o m p le te " p ra c tic e o f th e fo u r satipatthanas, w h ile p a rtia l p ractice c o rre s p o n d s to le sse r le v e ls o f re a liz a tio n / 9 In a p a ssa g e in th e Anapana Samyutta , th e B u d d h a c o m p a re d th e fo u r satipatthanas to c h a rio ts c o m in g fro m fo u r d irectio n s, e a ch d r iv ­ in g th r o u g h a n d th e r e b y s c a tte rin g a h e a p o f d u s t ly in g a t th e cen tre o f a c ro ssro a d s.” T h is sim ile su g g e sts th a t ea ch satipatthana is in itse lf cap a b le o f o v e rc o m in g u n w h o le s o m e sta tes, ju st as a n y o f th e ch a ri­ ots is a b le to scatter th e h e a p o f d u st. A t th e sam e tim e th is sim ile also illu stra tes the c o o p e ra tiv e e ffe c t o f all fo u r satipatthanas , sin ce, w ith ch ario ts c o m in g fro m a ll d ire ctio n s, th e h e a p o f d u st w ill b e scat­ tered e v e n more* T h u s a n y sin g le m e d ita tio n p ractice fro m th e satipatthana sch e m e is c a p a b le o f le a d in g to d e e p in sig h t, e s p e c ia lly if d e v e lo p e d a cc o rd ­ in g to th e k e y in stru c tio n s g iv e n in th e " d e fin itio n " a n d "re fra in " o f th e d isco u rse . N e v e r th e le s s , a n a tte m p t to c o v e r all fo u r sati­ patthanas in o n e 's p ra c tic e d o e s m o re ju s tic e to th e d istin c t ch ara cter o f th e v a r io u s m e d ita tio n s d e sc rib e d in th e Satipatthana Sutta an d th e re b y e n su re s s p e e d y p ro g re ss a n d a b a la n c e d a n d c o m p r e h e n ­ s iv e d e v e lo p m e n t/ 1

18 M 1 62; "if anyone should develop these four satipatthanas... one of two fruits could be expected for him; either final knowledge here and now, or, if there is a trace of clinging left, non-returning/' Pradhan 1986: p 340, points out that the practice of all satipa^hanas is required for being able to gain such high levels of realization.
19 S V 175.

20 S V 325. 21 Debes 1994: p.190, aptly sums up: "it may be possible to gain realization with one sin­ gle exercise, but that one w ho has practised all of them should still not realize awak­ ening would seem to be impossible." (My translation)

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1.4 THE CHARACTER OF EACH SATIPATTHANA

T h e n e e d fo r su ch c o m p r e h e n s iv e d e v e lo p m e n t is re la te d to th e fact th a t e a c h satipatthana h a s a d iffe re n t ch a ra cte r a n d c a n th e r e b y serve a s lig h tly d iffe re n t p u rp o s e . T h is is d o c u m e n te d in th e Nettippakarana a n d th e c o m m e n ta rie s, w h ic h illu s tra te th e p a rtic u la r c h a r a c te r o f e a c h satipatthana w it h a set o f c o rre la tio n s (cf. F ig. 1.3 b e lo w ). A c c o r d in g to th e c o m m e n ta rie s, e a c h o f th e fo u r satipatthanas co r­ r e s p o n d s to a p a rtic u la r a g g r e g a te : th e a g g r e g a te s o f m a te ria l fo rm (riipa), fe e lin g (vedana ), a n d c o n s c io u s n e s s {vihHana) m a tc h th e first th r e e satipatthanas, w h ile th e a g g r e g a te s o f c o g n itio n (sanna ) a n d v o litio n s (safikhdra ) c o r r e s p o n d to th e c o n te m p la tio n o f dhammas O n c lo se r in s p e c tio n , th is c o rre la tio n a p p e a r s a little fo rc e d , sin ce th e th ird satipatthana, c o n te m p la tio n o f th e m in d , c o r re s p o n d s to all m e n ta l a g g r e g a te s a n d n o t o n ly to c o n s c io u s n e s s . M o r e o v e r , th e fo u r th satipatthana, c o n te m p la tio n o f dhammas, in c lu d e s th e e n tire set o f th e fiv e a g g r e g a te s as o n e o f its m e d ita tio n s , a n d th u s h a s a w id e r r a n g e th a n ju s t th e tw o a g g r e g a te s o f c o g n itio n (sanna) a n d v o litio n (safikhara). N e v e r th e le s s , w h a t th e c o m m e n ta r ie s m ig h t in te n d to in d ic a te is th a t a ll a sp e c ts o f o n e 's s u b je c tiv e e x p e r ie n c e are to b e in v e s tig a te d w it h th e a id o f th e fo u r satipatthanas. U n d e r s to o d in th is w a y , th e d i­ v is io n in to fo u r satipatthanas r e p re s e n ts a n a n a ly tic a l a p p r o a c h sim i­ la r to a d iv is io n o f s u b je c tiv e e x p e rie n c e in to th e fiv e a g g r e g a te s . B o th a tte m p t to d is s o lv e th e illu s io n o f th e o b s e rv e r 's su b s ta n tia l­ ity.^ B y tu rn in g a w a r e n e s s to d iffe r e n t fa c e ts o f o n e 's s u b je c tiv e e x ­ p e r ie n c e , th e se a sp e c ts w ill b e e x p e rie n c e d s im p ly a s o b je c ts , a n d th e n o tio n o f c o m p a c tn e s s , th e se n s e o f a so lid "I", w ill b e g in to d is ­ in te g r a te . In th is w a y , th e m o re s u b je c tiv e e x p e rie n c e c a n b e s e e n " o b je c tiv e ly " , th e m o re th e "I"-d e n tific a tio n d im in is h e s .1’ T h is c o r re ­ la te s w e ll w ith th e B u d d h a 's in s tr u c tio n to in v e s tig a te t h o r o u g h ly e a c h a g g r e g a te to th e p o in t w h e r e n o m o re "I" c a n b e fo u n d .’5 In a d d itio n to th e a g g r e g a te c o rre la tio n , th e c o m m e n ta rie s r e c o m ­ m e n d e a c h o f th e fo u r satipatthanas fo r a sp e c ific ty p e o f c h a ra c te r o r 22

P s l2 8 l.

23 Cf. also Fiyba 1989: p.258, w ho proposes em ploying the four satipatthanas as labelling categories for such analytical dissolution of subjective experience by classifying expe­ riences of waim th, m ovem ent trembling, itching, pressure, lightness, etc, under "body"; being pleased, amused, bored, sad, etc. under "feelings"; being concentrated, scattered, tense, greedy, hate-filled, etc, under "mind"; and experiencing thinking, wishing, planning, intending, etc. under "dhammas".

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in c lin a tio n . A c c o r d in g to th e m , b o d y a n d fe e lin g c o n te m p la tio n s h o u ld b e th e m a in fie ld o f p ra c tic e fo r th o s e w h o te n d to w a rd s c ra v in g , w h ile m e d ita to rs g iv e n to in te lle c tu a l s p e c u la tio n s h o u ld p la ce m o re e m p h a s is o n c o n te m p la tin g m in d o r dham m as* U n d e r ­ stoo d in th is w a y , p ra c tic e o f th e first tw o satipatthanas su its th o s e w ith a m o re a ffe c tiv e in c lin a tio n , w h ile th e la st tw o are re c o m ­ m e n d e d fo r th o s e o f a m o re c o g n itiv e o rie n ta tio n . In b o th c a se s, th o se w h o s e c h a ra cte r is to th in k a n d re a c t q u ic k ly can p r o fita b ly ce n tre th e ir p ra c tic e on th e r e la tiv e ly su b tle r c o n te m p la tio n s o f fe e l­ in g s o r dhammas , w h ile th o s e w h o s e m e n ta l fa c u ltie s a re m o re cir­ c u m s p e c t a n d m e a s u re d w ill h a v e b e tte r re s u lts if th e y b a se th eir p ra c tic e on th e g ro sse r o b je c ts o f b o d y o r m in d . A lth o u g h th e s e rec­ o m m e n d a tio n s a re e x p re s s e d in te rm s o f c h a ra cte r ty p e , th e y c o u ld also b e a p p lie d to o n e 's m o m e n ta r y d is p o s itio n : o n e co u ld c h o o s e th at satipatthana th a t b e s t c o r re s p o n d s to o n e 's sta te o f m in d , so th a t w h e n o n e fe e ls s lu g g is h a n d d e s ir o u s , fo r e x a m p le , c o n te m p la tio n o f th e b o d y w o u ld b e th e a p p r o p r ia te p r a c tic e to b e u n d e r ta k e n .
body aggregate character insight material form slow craver absence of beauty feelings feeling quick craver unsatisfactoriness mind consciousness slow theorizer impermanence dhammas cognition + volition quick theorizer absence of self

Fig. 1.3 Correlations for the four satipatthanas T h e Nettippakarana a n d th e Visuddhimagga a lso s e t th e fo u r satipat­ thanas in o p p o s itio n to th e fo u r d isto rtio n s {vipallasas), w h ic h a re to "m is-ta k e " w h a t is u n a ttr a c tiv e , u n s a tis fa c to r y , im p e r m a n e n t, a n d n o t-self, fo r b e in g a ttra c tiv e , s a tis fa c to ry , p e r m a n e n t, a n d a self.*7

24 Naijananda 1993: p.48, aptly expresses this by speaking of satipatthana as "an objective approach to understand the subjective in one's experience", Naijaporjika 1992: p.75, comments: "the whole discourse on the foundations of mindfulness may be regarded as a comprehensive ... instruction for the realization o f . anatta " O f a similar opin­ ion are Schonwerth 1968: p.193; and Story 1975: p.viii, 25 SIV 197. 26 Ps 1 239. 27 N ett 83; c t also Ps 1 239 and Vism 676. Concerning these four vipallasas it is note­ w orthy that they are listed only once in the four Nikayas, at A I I 52. The term as such occurs also at Vin III 7 in the sense of "disturbance" and at Sn 299 in the sense of "change"; and is referred to as catubbipallasa at Th 1143. The four vipallasas become prominent particularly in Patis and the later Pali literature. The same four mistaken notions form part of a definition of ignorance in Patanjali's Yoga Sutra (at II.5).

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A c c o r d in g to th e m , c o n te m p la tio n o f th e b o d y h a s th e p o te n tia l to r e v e a l in p a r tic u la r th e a b s e n c e o f b o d ily b e a u ty ; o b s e r v a tio n o f th e tr u e n a tu r e o f fe e lin g s c a n c o u n te r o n e 's in c e s s a n t s e a r c h fo r f le e t­ i n g p le a s u r e s ; a w a r e n e s s o f th e c e a s e le s s s u c c e s s io n o f s ta te s o f m in d c a n d is c lo s e th e im p e r m a n e n t n a tu r e o f a ll s u b je c tiv e e x p e r i­ e n c e ; a n d c o n te m p la tio n o f dhammas c a n r e v e a l th a t th e n o tio n o f a s u b s ta n tia l a n d p e r m a n e n t s e lf is n o t h in g b u t a n illu s io n . T h is p r e ­ s e n ta tio n b r in g s to lig h t th e m a in th e m e th a t u n d e r lie s e a c h o f th e fo u r satipatthanas a n d in d ic a te s w h ic h o f th e m is p a r tic u la r ly a p p r o ­ p r ia te fo r d is p e llin g th e illu s io n o f b e a u t y , h a p p in e s s , p e r m a n e n c e , o r s e lf.2 ® A lt h o u g h th e c o r r e s p o n d in g in s ig h ts a re c e r t a in ly n o t r e ­ s tr ic te d to o n e satipatthana a lo n e , n e v e r t h e le s s th is p a r tic u la r c o r r e ­ la tio n in d ic a te s w h ic h satipatthana is p a r tic u la r ly s u ita b le in o r d e r to c o r r e c t a s p e c ific d is to r tio n {vipaliasa ). T h is c o r r e la tio n , to o , m a y b e fr u it fu lly a p p lie d in a c c o r d a n c e w it h o n e 's g e n e r a l c h a r a c te r d is p o ­ s itio n , o r e ls e c a n b e u s e d in o r d e r to c o u n te r a c t th e m o m e n ta r y m a n ife s ta tio n o f a n y p a r tic u la r d is to r tio n . In th e e n d , h o w e v e r , a ll fo u r satipatthanas p a rta k e o f th e s a m e e s s e n c e . E a ch o f th e m le a d s to r e a liz a tio n , lik e d iffe r e n t g a t e w a y s le a d in g to th e s a m e c it y .2 9 A s th e c o m m e n ta r ie s p o in t o u t, th e fo u r ­ fo ld d iv is io n is o n ly fu n c tio n a l a n d c a n b e c o m p a r e d to a w e a v e r s p litt in g a p ie c e o f b a m b o o in to fo u r p a r ts to w e a v e a b a s k e t.3 0 S o m u c h fo r a p r e lim in a r y s u r v e y o f th e fo u r satipatthanas. B y w a y o f p r o v id in g s o m e b a c k g r o u n d to th e title 1 h a v e c h o s e n fo r th is w o r k , I w ill n o w tu rn to th e tw o k e y e x p r e s s io n s " d ir e c t p a th " a n d "satipatthana".

28 N ett 123 also associates each satipatthana with a corresponding type o f realization, re­ lating contemplation of body and feelings to the desireless liberation, contemplation of the mind to the em pty liberation, and contemplation of dhammas to the signless lib­ eration. (One would, how ever, have expected the last tw o to be the other w a y round.) 29 Ps 1 239 points out that all four satipatthanas partake of the same essence, Ps 1 240 adds that it is only b y w a y of differing objects that they are distinguished. Than Daing 1970: p.59, illustratively compares the similarity o f all four satipatthanas in leading to the same goal to four staircases leading up to the platform of a pagoda. 30 Vibh-a 222. Bodhi 1993: p^79, explains: "the four foundations of m indfulness have a single essence, which consists of m indful contemplation of phenom ena. T h ey are dif­ ferentiated in so far as this m indful contemplation is to be applied to four objects/'

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1.5 THE EX PRESSIO N " D I R E C T PATH"

T h e fir s t se c tio n o f th e Satipatthana Sutta p r o p e r in tr o d u c e s th e fo u r satipatthanas as th e " d ir e c t p a th " to r e a liz a tio n . T h e p a s s a g e re a d s: M o n k s, th is is the d irect p ath for the p u rifica tio n o f b ein g s, fo r (he su rm o u n tin g o f sorrow and lam entation, fo r the d isapp earan ce o f dtikkha and discontent, fo r acq u irin g the true m ethod, fo r the re a liza ­ tion o f N ibbana, n a m ely, the fo u r satipatthanas * T h e q u a lific a tio n o f b e in g a " d ir e c t p a th " o c c u r s in th e d is c o u r s e s a l­ m o st e x c lu s iv e ly a s a n a ttr ib u te o f satipatthana, th u s it c o n v e y s a c o n ­ s id e r a b le d e g r e e o f e m p h a s is .3 2 S u c h e m p h a s is is in d e e d w a r r a n te d , s in c e p r a c tic e o f th e " d ir e c t p a th " o f satipatthana is an in d is p e n s a b le r e q u ir e m e n t fo r lib e r a tio n .3 1 A s a se t o f v e r s e s in th e Satipatthana Sarpyutta p o in t o u t, satipatthana is th e " d ir e c t p a th " fo r c r o s s in g th e flo o d in p a st, p r e s e n t, a n d fu tu r e tim e s.3 4 " D ir e c t p a th " is a tr a n s la tio n o f th e P a li e x p r e s s io n ekayano maggo, m a d e u p o f th e p a rts eka, " o n e " , ay ana, " g o in g " , a n d magga, " p a th " . T h e c o m m e n ta r ia l tr a d itio n h a s p r e s e r v e d fiv e a lte r n a tiv e e x p la n a ­ tio n s fo r u n d e r s ta n d in g th is p a r tic u la r e x p re s s io n . A c c o r d in g to th e m , a p a th q u a lifie d as ekayano c o u ld b e u n d e r s to o d a s a " d ir e c t" p a th in th e s e n s e o f le a d in g s tr a ig h t to th e g o a l; as a p a th to b e tr a v ­ e lle d b y o n e s e lf " a lo n e " ; as a p a th ta u g h t b y th e " O n e " (the B u d d h a ); as a p a th th a t is f o u n d " o n ly " in B u d d h is m ; o r as a p a th w h ic h le a d s to " o n e " g o a l, n a m e ly to N ibbana. 3 5 M y r e n d e r in g o f eka­ yano a s " d ir e c t p a th " f o llo w s th e first o f t h e s e exp lan ation s**6 A m o re

31 M I 55. On this passage cf. also Janakabhivamsa 1985: pp.37-44. 32 Ekayano occurs in relation to satipatfhana at D II290; M 1 55; S V 141; S V 167; and S V 185. In contrast at A III 314, a passage otherwise resembling the "direct path" statement does not have the ekayano specification. The same absence o f ekayano can be seen at A HI 329 in relation to the practice of recollecting the Buddha. Khantipalo 1981: p.29; and NanapoQika 1973: p.12; draw attention to the em phatic implications of the term ekayano in ancient India (various examples of w hich are discussed in Cethin 1992: p.61). 33 According to A V 195, w hosoever have escaped, are escaping, or will escape from this world, all of them do so b y w a y of w ell developing the four satipafthanas. 34 S V 167 and S V 186, 35 Ps I 229: ekamaggo na dvedhapathabhuto ... ekena ayitabbo ... ekassa ayano ekasmim ayano ... ekam ayati. These alternatives are discussed b y Gethin 1992: pp.6o— 3. 36 '''Direct path" as a w a y of translating ekayano is also used b y Naijatiloka 1910: p,9i n.7 ("der direkte Weg"); and b y Islanamoli 1995: p*i45< Translating ekayano as "direct path" has the advantage of avoiding the slightly dogmatic nuance conveyed by the transla­ tion "the only path", noted e,g. b y C onze 1962: p .51 tu+ +.

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c o m m o n ly u se d tra n sla tio n o f ekayano is " th e o n ly p a th " , c o r re ­ s p o n d in g to th e fo u r th o f th e fiv e e x p la n a tio n s fo u n d in th e c o m m e n ta rie s. In o r d e r to assess th e m e a n in g of a p a rtic u la r P ali term , its d iffe r ­ e n t o c c u r r e n c e s in th e d is c o u r s e s n e e d to b e ta k e n in to a cc o u n t. In th e p r e s e n t c a se , in a d d itio n to o c c u r r in g in s e v e r a l d is c o u rs e s in re ­ la tio n to satipatthana , ekayano a lso c o m e s u p o n c e in a d iffe r e n t c o n ­ text. T h is is in a sim ile in th e Mahaslhanada Sutta, w h ic h d e sc rib e s a m a n w a lk in g a lo n g a p a th le a d in g to a p it, s u c h th a t o n e c a n a n tic i­ p a te h im fa llin g in to th e p it.3 7T h is p a th is q u a lifie d as ekayano . In th is c o n te x t ekayano se e m s to e x p re ss s tra ig h tn e s s o f d ire c tio n ra th e r th a n e x clu sio n . T o s a y th a t th is p a th le a d s " d ir e c tly " to th e p it w o u ld be m o re fittin g th a n s a y in g th a t it is "th e o n ly " p a th le a d in g to th e pit* O f re la te d in te re s t is a lso th e Tevijja Sutta, w h ic h r e p o rts t w o B ra h ­ m in s tu d e n ts a r g u in g a b o u t w h o s e te a c h e r ta u g h t th e o n ly c o rrect p a th to u n io n w ith B ra h m a . A lth o u g h in th is c o n te x t a n e x c lu s iv e e x p re s s io n lik e "th e o n ly p a th " m ig h t b e e x p e c te d , th e q u a lific a tio n ekayano is c o n s p ic u o u s ly a b se n t.3& T h e sam e a b se n ce recu rs in a v e rse from th e Dhammapada, w h ic h p re se n ts th e n o b le e ig h tfo ld p a th as "th e o n ly p a th " .” T h e s e tw o in s ta n c e s s u g g e s t th a t th e d isc o u rse s d id n o t a v a il th e m s e lv e s o f th e q u a lific a tio n ekayano in o r d e r to c o n ­ v e y exclu siv e n e ss* T h u s ekayano, c o n v e y in g a se n se o f d ire c tn e s s ra th e r th a n e x c lu ­ s iv e n e s s , d r a w s a tte n tio n to satipatthana as th e a sp e c t o f th e n o b le e ig h tfo ld p a th m o st " d ir e c tly " re s p o n s ib le for u n c o v e r in g a v is io n o f th in g s as th e y tru ly are. T h a t is, satipatthana is th e " d ir e c t p a th " , b e c a u s e it le a d s " d ir e c tly " to th e r e a liz a tio n o f Nibbana .*1 T h is w a y o f u n d e r s ta n d in g also fits w e ll w ith th e fin a l p a s s a g e o f th e Satipatthana Sutta. H a v in g sta te d th a t satipatthana p ra c tic e can le a d to th e t w o h ig h e r s ta g e s o f r e a liz a tio n w ith in a m a x im u m o f s e v e n y e a r s , th e d is c o u r s e c lo se s w ith th e d e c la ra tio n : "b e c a u s e o f th is, it h a s b e e n sa id - th is is th e d ire c t p a th " . T h is p a s s a g e h ig h lig h ts

37 M 1 75, the same is then repealed for a path leading in the direction of a tree, a man­ sion, and a pond. Cf« also Nanamoli 1995: p.1188 n.135. 38 D 1 235. 39 Ohp 274. Nanavira 1987: p.371, points out that to speak of the "only path" would be applicable only to the entire noble eightfold path, not to satipatthana alone, which after aU is just one of its factors. 40 Gethin 1992: p.64, commenting on ekayano, explains: "w hat is basically being said is that the four satipatthanas represent a path that leads straight and directly all the w ay to the final goal/'

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the d ire ctn e ss o f satipatthana , in th e sen se o f its p o ten tia l to le a d to the h ig h e s t stages o f re a liz a tio n w ith in a lim ite d p e rio d o f time*
1.6 THE TERM SATIPATTHANA

T h e term satipatthana ca n b e e x p la in e d as a c o m p o u n d o f sati, "m in d ­ fu ln ess" or "a w a re n e s s ", a n d upafthana , w ith the u o f th e latter term d r o p p e d b y v o w e l e lisio n .4 1 T h e Pali term upaffhana lite ra lly m ean s " p la c in g n e a r "/ 2an d in the p re se n t co n tex t refers to a p a rticu la r w a y o f " b e in g p re se n t" a n d " a tte n d in g " to s o m e th in g w ith m in d fu ln e ss. In th e discourses/ th e c o rre s p o n d in g v e rb upatthahati o fte n d e n o tes v a rio u s n u a n c e s o f "b e in g p re se n t"/ 3 o r else " a tte n d in g ".4 4 U n d er­ sto o d in th is w a y , " satipatthana " m ean s th a t sati "sta n d s b y ", in th e sense o f b e in g p resen t; sati is " r e a d y at h a n d " , in th e sen se o f a tte n d ­ in g to th e cu rre n t situ atio n . Satipatthana can th en be tra n sla ted as "p re se n c e o f m in d fu ln e ss" or as "a tte n d in g w ith m in d fu ln e s s".4 3 T h e co m m en ta ries, h o w e v e r , d e r iv e satipatthana from th e w o rd "fo u n d a tio n " o r "c a u s e " {patfhdna)/fl T h is see m s u n lik e ly , sin ce in th e d isco u rse s c o n ta in e d in th e Pali c a n o n th e c o r re s p o n d in g v erb patthahati n e v e r o ccu rs to g e th e r w ith sati ♦M o re o v e r, th e n o u n pafthana is n o t fo u n d a t a ll in th e e a rly d isco u rse s, b u t co m es in to u se o n ly in th e h isto rica lly later Abhidhamma a n d th e co m m e n ta rie s/7 In con trast, th e d isco u rse s fre q u e n tly rela te sati to th e v erb upatthahati, in d ic a tin g th at "p re se n c e " {upatthana ) is th e e ty m o lo g ic a lly correct

41 Cf. also Bodhi 2000: p.1504 and p.1915 nJ22; and Nanaponika 1992: p. 10. 42 Maurice Walshei987: p.589 n.629. 43 Occurrences of upatthahati which correspond to "being present" are, for example, a watchdog being present at D 1 166; the messengers of death being ever present (in the sense of being ready) for someone of advanced age at Dhp 235; meal time "has come" at Sn 130; a seat being present (in the sense of being put up) under a tree at Sn 708. Cf. also It 36, which relates upattknlwti to mental factors (the presence of shame and fear of wrong-doing), thereby forming a close parallel to its use in the satipatthana context. 44 Upatthahati in the sense of ^attending” can be found, for example, at D II 271, where deoas have to attend on Sakka; or at D III 189 in the sense of waiting on one's teacher; or in the sense of looking after one's parents at A 1 151 and Sn 262; or as ministering to the monastic community at A I 279, The same nuance also underlies the recurrent noun "'attendant", upafthaka (e.g. at S III 95). 45 C A F . Rhys Davids 1978: p^56y speaks of the "four presences of mindfulness". 46 e.g. Ps 1 238 and Vism 678. However, on this derivation one would expect a doubling of the consonant, the resulting term being satippatthana. 47 C.A.F. Rhys Davids 1979: p xv. By distinguishing between the early discourses on the one hand and the historically later Abhidhamma and commentaries on the other I fol­ low NaTiamoii 1991: p.xli, who distinguishes between these Ihree as the three main layers of the FSli tradition.

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d e r iv a tio n .4 8 In fa c t, th e e q u iv a le n t S a n sk rit term is smrtyupasthana, w h ic h s h o w s th a t upasthana, o r its P ali e q u iv a le n t upatthana, is th e c o rre c t c h o ic e fo r th e c o m p o u n d .4 9 T h e p ro b le m w it h th e co m m e n ta ria l e x p la n a tio n is th a t, in s te a d o f u n d e r s ta n d in g satipatthana as a p a rtic u la r a ttitu d e o f b e in g a w a r e , satipatthana b e c o m e s a " fo u n d a tio n " o f m in d fu ln e s s , th e "c a u s e " fo r th e e sta b lish m e n t o f sa ti . T h is m o v e s e m p h a s is fro m th e a c tiv ity to th e ob ject. Y e t th e se fo u r satipatthanas are n o t th e o n ly p o s sib le ca u se o r fo u n d a tio n fo r m in d fu ln e s s, sin c e in th e S aldyatanavibhanga Sutta th e B u d d h a s p o k e o f th re e o th e r satipatthanas , n o n e o f w h ic h c o r re s p o n d s to th e fo u r satipatthanas u s u a lly m e n tio n e d ,5 0T h e th ree satipatthanas d e sc rib e d b y th e B u d d h a o n th is o c c a sio n w e r e his m a in te n a n c e o f m in d fu ln e s s a n d e q u a n im ity as a te a c h e r in reg a rd to th re e d iffe r e n t situ a tio n s: n o n e o f th e p u p ils p a id a tte n tio n , so m e p a id a tte n tio n a n d so m e n o t, a n d a ll p a id a tte n tio n . T h e fact th a t th e B u d d h a n e v e rth e le s s d e fin e d th e se th ree as satipatthanas s h o w s th at to s p e a k o f " satipatthana" is less a q u e stio n o f th e n a tu re o f th e o b je c t th a t is c h o se n th a n o f " a tte n d in g " to w h a te v e r situ a tio n w ith a b al­ a n c e d a ttitu d e a n d w ith m in d fu ln e s s b e in g "p re se n t".

48 e.g, at M 111 23, where upafthita sati is contrasted w ith mufthassati, loss of mindfulness; or at M III 85, where upatfhita sati is the result of practising satipatthana; cf. also S IV 139: upatthitaya satiyd; or A II 244: sati supattkita hoii; or the causative form satirn upattk&pessanti at A IV 22. As a matter of fact, the Satipatthana Sutta itself speaks of satim upaffhapefva, "having established mindfulness", and of sati paccupatfhitd, "mind­ fulness is established" (both at M 1 56). Pafis 1 177 also relates sati to upattfiana. 49 Cf. e.g. Edgerton 1998: p.614, 50 M i l l 221.

II

TH E "D E F IN IT IO N " PART OF THE SATIPATTHANA SUTTA

T h is c h a p te r a n d th e n e x t tw o are d e v o te d to a n ex a m in a tio n o f th e " d e fin itio n " p art o f th e Satipatthana Su tta . T h is " d e fin itio n " , w h ic h o c c u rs a ls o in o th e r d is c o u rs e s as th e s ta n d a rd w a y o f d e fin in g r ig h t m in d fu ln e s s [sammd sati), d e scrib e s e sse n tia l a sp ects o f satipatthana p ractice a n d th e re fo re fo rm s a k e y to u n d e r s ta n d in g h o w th e m e d i­ ta tio n te c h n iq u e s lis te d in th e Satipatthana Sutta are to b e u n d e r ­ ta k en . T h e p a ss a g e in q u e s tio n read s: Here, m onks, in regard to the b o d y a m onk abid es contem plating the body, d iligen t, clearly kn ow in g, and m in dful, free from desires and discontent in regard to the world. In regard to feelin gs he abides contem plating feelin gs, d ilig en t, clearly kn ow in g, and m in dful, free from desires and discontent in regard to the world* In regard to the m ind he abides contem plating the m ind, d iligen t, clearly kn ow in g, and m in dful, free from desires and discontent In regard to the w orld. In regard to dhammas he abides contem plating dhammas, diligent, clearly kn o w in g, and m in d fu l, free from desires and discontent in regard to the w orld.' In th is c h a p te r I w ill first ta k e a lo o k at th e e x p re ssio n " c o n te m p la t­ in g " (anupasst) a n d c o n s id e r w h y th e o b je cts o f th is c o n te m p la tio n
* M I 56.

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are m e n tio n e d tw ice (for e x a m p le , in re g a rd to th e b o d y , o n e is to c o n te m p la te the b o d y ). I w ill th e n e x p lo re th e sig n ifica n c e o f th e first tw o q u alities m e n tio n e d in th e "d e fin itio n ": "d ilig e n t" (dtdpl) a n d "c le a rly k n o w in g " (sampajdna). T h e re m a in in g q u alities, m in d ­ fu ln e ss an d the a b se n ce o f d esires a n d d isco n ten t, w ill b e the su b ­ je cts o f C h a p te rs III a n d IV.

ILl C O N T E M PL A TIO N

T h e "d e fin itio n " o f r ig h t m in d fu ln e s s is c o n c e rn e d w ith "c o n te m ­ p la tin g ", T h e c o r re s p o n d in g Pali v e r b anupassati can b e d e r iv e d fro m th e v e rb "to s e e ", passati, a n d th e e m p h a tic p re fix anu, so th a t anupassati m ean s "to re p e a te d ly lo o k at", th a t is, "to c o n te m p la te " or "to c lo s e ly observe".* T h e d isco u rse s o fte n s p e a k o f c o n tem p la tio n in o rd e r to d escrib e a p a rtic u la r w a y o f m e d ita tio n , an e x a m in a tio n o f the o b s e rv e d o b ject fro m a p a rticu la r v ie w p o in t. In th e case o f the b o d y , fo r e x a m p le , su c h o b se rv a tio n can in v o lv e c o n te m p la tin g the b o d y as im p e rm a n e n t (aniccdnupasst, vaydnupassi), a n d th e re fo re as s o m e th in g w h ic h d o e s n o t y ie ld la stin g satisfactio n (dukkhdnupassl}; or a s u n a ttra c tiv e (asubhdnupassi) a n d n o t-s e lf (anattdnupassT), a n d th e re fo re as s o m e th in g to let go o f (pafinissaggdnupasst),3 T h e s e v a r io u s form s o f c o n te m p la tio n e m p h a siz e h o w th e o b ject is to b e p e rc e iv e d . T h at is, as u se d in th e d isco u rses "c o n te m p la tio n " im p lie s th a t p a rticu la r fe atu re s o f the o b je ct are to b e g iv e n p ro m i­ n e n c e , su c h as its im p e rm a n e n c e , or its selfless n a tu re. In the p re s­ en t c o n te x t, h o w e v e r , th e featu re to b e c o n te m p la te d a p p e a rs to b e th e sa m e as the o b je ct o f co n te m p la tio n . L itera lly tra n sla ted , o n e " c o n te m p la te s b o d y in b o d y " , or "fe e lin g s in fe e lin g s", etc.4 T h is s lig h tly p e c u lia r e x p re ssio n re q u ire s fu rth e r co n sid eratio n .

2 T«W. Rhys Davids 1993: p.38. Cf. also Upali Karunaratne 1989' p.484, who translates anupassati as "observing or seeing properly"; Nanarama 1997: pM, w ho speaks of "special modes of attention .,. cognitive evaluations"; and Vajiranana 1946: p.47, who has "analytical reflection" as a translation. According to Sasaki 1992: p.16, "anu" has a particularly emphatic function in Pali. Another relevant nuance of anu is "along with", which in the present context could be taken to point to the process character of all experience, revealed during contemplation. According to Vism 642, "ami"-passati implies observation of an object repeatedly and in diverse ways, that is, from differ­ ent angles, 3 Cf. e.g. S IV 211; A III 142; and A V 359, 4 Hamilton 1996; p+173, translates: "body qua body"; Nanamoli 1995: P M5: "body as a body"; Thanissaro 1993: p-97: "body in and of itself'.

THE " DE F I N I T I O N" PART O F T H E S A T J P A T T H A N A S U T T A

{

33

T a k in g th e first satipatthana as an e x a m p le , th e in stru ctio n s are: "in re g a rd to the b o d y a b id e c o n te m p la tin g the b o d y ". H ere, the first in ­ stan ce o f "b o d y " can b e u n d e rs to o d in th e lig h t o f the satipatthana "re fra in ". T h e "re fra in " e x p la in s th a t to c o n te m p la te th e b o d y a p p lie s to in te rn a l an d ex tern a l b o d ie s / A c c o r d in g to th e c o m m e n ­ taries, "in te rn a l" a n d "e x te rn a l" h e re re p re s e n t o n e 's o w n an d a n ­ o th er p e rso n 's b o d y .6 O n th is u n d e r s ta n d in g , th e first in sta n ce of " b o d y " (in th e lo c a tiv e case) c o u ld b e tra n sla ted as " w h e r e o n e 's o w n or a n o th e r's b o d y is c o n c e rn e d ", or " in re g a rd to o n e 's o w n or a n o th e r's b o d y " , d e lin e a tin g th e co m p a ss o f this satipatthana . For th e se c o n d in sta n ce o f " b o d y " , th e Satipatthana Sutta o ffe rs d e ­ tailed sp ecifica tio n s: to c o n te m p la te " b o d y " can b e u n d e rta k e n b y c o n te m p la tin g the b re ath , o r th e p o stu re s o f th e b o d y , or a ctiv ities of th e b o d y , or th e a n a to m ica l c o n stitu tio n o f th e b o d y , or th e fo u r e le ­ m e n ta ry q u alities o f the b o d y , or th e d e c o m p o sitio n o f th e b o d y after d e a th . T h u s th e se c o n d o c c u rre n c e o f " b o d y " sta n d s fo r a p a r­ ticu lar a sp e c t from th e g e n e ra l area o f co n te m p la tio n , a "s u b -b o d y " in th e "o v e ra ll b o d y " , so to sp e a k / T h e satipatthana "re fra in " also co n ta in s a d d itio n a l in fo rm a tio n a b o u t th e sig n ifica n ce o f "c o n te m p la tio n " in the p re se n t con text. T h e sam e term is u se d , w ith th e s p e cific a tio n th at the "a risin g " an d th e " p a s s in g a w a y " o f p h e n o m e n a is th e fo cu s o f co n te m p la tio n .8 T h at is, to s p e a k o f c o n te m p la tio n in th e p re se n t co n te x t refers to d ire c tin g a w a re n e ss to th e b o d y a n d in p a rticu la r to a sp e cific fe a ­ tu re o f it, n a m e ly its im p e rm a n e n t n atu re. In d r a w in g from o th e r parts o f th e Satipatfhana Sutta, o n e ca n th u s ex p a n d the s o m e w h a t p u z z lin g in stru ctio n : "in th e b o d y a b id e c o n ­ te m p la tin g th e b o d y " to read : "in re g a rd to y o u r o w n b o d y o r the b o d ies o f o th ers, d irect a w a re n e s s to its (or their) im p e rm a n e n t

5 M I 56: "he abides contemplating dhammas internally ... externally ... internally and externally," 6 Ps 1249. A more detailed discussion of this commentarial explanation can be found on page 95. 7 This suggestion can claim support from M III 83, where the Buddha spoke of the pro­ cess of breathing as a "body among bodies". A similar position is also taken by several modem meditation teachers; cf. e.g. Buddhadasa 1976: p.64; Maha Boowa 1994: p.101; and Naijasaipvara 1974: p.418 M 1 56: "he abides contemplating the nature of arising ... of passing away ... of both arising and passing away " Such contemplation of impermanence can then lead on to an understanding of the other two characteristics of conditioned existence, dukkha and anatt&, Cf, Pafis II 232 and Ps 1 243. Ps 1242 moreover speaks of overcoming the wrong notion of substantiality.

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n a tu re e v id e n t in d iffe r e n t a sp e c ts o f th e b o d y , su ch as th e p r o c e s s o f b r e a th in g , o r its p o s tu r e s a n d a ctiv itie s , o r its a n a to m ic a l c o n s titu ­ tio n , o r its e le m e n ta r y q u a litie s, o r its d e c a y at d e a th ." A c c o r d in g to th e c o m m e n ta rie s, th e re p e titio n o f th e o b je ct o f c o n ­ te m p la tio n also in d ic a te s e m p h a s is , im p ly in g th a t th e o b je c t o f c o n ­ te m p la tio n s h o u ld b e c o n s id e r e d s im p ly as p e r c e iv e d b y th e sen ses, a n d in p a rtic u la r w it h o u t ta k in g it to b e "I" o r " m in e " .9 In th is w a y th e r e p e titio n - b o d y in b o d y - u n d e r lin e s th e im p o r ta n c e o f d ir e c t e x p e r ie n c e , as o p p o s e d to m e re in te lle c tu a l r e fle c tio n .10 O n e s h o u ld le t th e b o d y s p e a k fo r itse lf, so to s a y , d is c lo s in g its tru e n a tu re to th e s c ru tin y o f th e m e d ita to r.
II.2 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING DILIGENT {ATAPI)

A c c o r d in g to th e " d e fin itio n " , th e p r a c tic e o f satipatthana re q u ire s th e e sta b lish m e n t o f fo u r p a rtic u la r m e n ta l q u a lities (cf. F ig. 2.1 b e lo w ), w h ic h can b e ta k e n to r e p r e s e n t th e m e n ta l fa c u ltie s o f e n e r g y , w is d o m , m in d fu ln e s s , a n d c o n c e n tr a tio n "

diligent
_____________________ ( m p t ) _____________________

dearly knowing {sampajana)
mindful

(sati)

free from desires and discontent
{■uincyya abhijjhddo manassa)

Fig. 2.1: K ey characteristics of satipatthana

Ps 1 242; also Debvedi 19901 p.23; and Nanamoli 1982b: p.20611,17, Here it needs to be pointed out that although the discourses do use repetition in order to express empha­ sis, this is usually done by repeating the same phrase without case variations. In con­ trast, in the present instance the repetition occurs in a different case. Ps 1241 also offers another explanation, suggesting that the repetition implies that each area of contem­ plation should be kept separate from the other areas (cf. also Nanaponika 1992: p.33; and SOananda 1990: p.20). This commentarial suggestion is questionable, since in the Anapanasati Sutta (M III 83) the Buddha clearly showed that an object of body contem­ plation, the breath, can be used to contemplate feelings, mind, and dhammas, rather than keeping breath contemplation restricted to the area of body contemplation only, 10 Lily de Silva (n.dj: p-6. 11 N ett 82 correlates atapi with energy {viriya), sampajana with wisdom ipannd), and vineyya loteabhijjhddontanassa with concentration (samadhi). Palis II15 further expands the correlation with all five faculties.

9

THE " D E F I N I T I O N ’ PART OF THE S A T I P A T T H A N A SU TTA

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35

T h e first o f th ese fo u r is th e q u a lity o f d ilig e n c e . T h e term d ilig e n t (iatapl) is r e la te d to th e w o r d tapas, w h ic h c o n n o te s se lf-m o rtifica tio n an d a sce tic p ra ctice s. T h e u se o f s u c h v o c a b u la r y is su rp ris in g , sin ce th e B u d d h a d id n o t c o n s id e r s e lf-m o rtific a tio n to b e c o n d u c iv e to th e re a liz a tio n o f Nibbana'* T o b e tte r u n d e r s ta n d th e B u d d h a 's p o s i­ tion, th e h isto ric a l c o n te x t s h o u ld b e c o n s id e r e d . A s u b s ta n tia l n u m b e r o f w a n d e r in g a scetics in a n c ie n t In d ia reg a rd e d s e lf-m o rtific a tio n as th e m o d e l p a th to p u r ific a tio n . Jain a n d A jlv ik a a sc e tic s c o n s id e r e d d e a th b y ritu a l s u ic id e to be th e id e a l e x ­ p ressio n o f s u c c e s sfu l r e a liz a tio n .1 3 C o m m o n ly a c c e p te d m e a n s fo r sp iritu a l d e v e lo p m e n t w e r e p r o lo n g e d fa s tin g , e x p o s u r e to extrem es o f te m p e ra tu re , a n d th e a d o p tio n o f p a rtic u la rly p a in fu l p o s tu re s .1 4 A lth o u g h th e B u d d h a d id n o t c a te g o r ic a lly re je c t su ch p ractice s in th e ir e n tir e ty / 5 h e o p e n ly c ritic iz e d th e b e lie f th a t selfm o rtific a tio n w a s n e c e s s a r y fo r r e a liz a tio n .1 6 B e fo re h is a w a k e n in g , th e B u d d h a h im s e lf h a d b e e n in flu e n c e d b y the b e lie f th a t sp iritu a l p u r ific a tio n re q u ire s se lf-m o rtific a tio n .17 B ased o n th is m is ta k e n b e lie f, h e h a d p u r s u e d a sc e tic p ra c tic e s to c o n sid e ra b le e x tre m e s , w it h o u t b e in g a b le to r e a liz e a w a k e n in g in this w a y * H e fo u n d u ltim a te ly th a t a w a k e n in g d o e s n o t d e p e n d o n m ere a sce ticism , b u t re q u ire s m e n ta l d e v e lo p m e n t, in p a rtic u la r th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f sati .1 9 T h e re fo re , th e form o f "a s ce tic ism " th e B u d d h a later ta u g h t w a s p r e d o m in a n tly a m e n ta l o n e , c h a r a c te riz e d b y a firm o p p o s itio n to u n w h o le s o m e th o u g h ts a n d te n d e n c ie s .2 0In a n in tr ig u in g s ta te m e n t fo u n d in th e d isc o u rse s, th e c u ltiv a tio n o f th e a w a k e n in g fa cto rs is

12 13 14 15

16

17 *8

*9

Cf. S 1 103 and S V 421. Basham 1951: p.88« Bronkhorst 1993: pp.31-6, and 51. At D 1161 and at SIV 330 the Buddha rejected the false report that he was categorically against all austerities. A t A V 191 the Buddha explained that he was neither in favour of nor against austerities, since what really mattered was whether any particular aus­ terity or practice led to an increase of either wholesom e or unwholesom e states of mind. At A I I 200. Cf, also M 181, where the Buddha, after listing the ascetic practices he had performed previous to awakening, concluded that these had not led him to realiza­ tion because of the absence of wisdom, M i l 93. The bodhisatta's ascetic practices are described in detail at M 1 77-81 and at M 1 242-6. Mil 285 explains that none of the previous Buddhas ever practised austerities, Gotama being the only case, ow ing to his immature knowledge at the time, Cf. S 1 103, where the recently awakened Buddha congratulated himself on having left asceticism behind and having gained awakening through mindfulness instead.

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r e fe r r e d to as th e h ig h e s t fo rm o f e x e rtio n .3 1 S u ch s u b tle r fo rm s o f " a u s te r ity " d id n o t e a s ily r e c e iv e r e c o g n itio n b y c o n te m p o r a r y a s ­ ce tics, a n d o n s e v e r a l o c c a s io n s th e B u d d h a a n d h is fo llo w e r s w e r e r id ic u le d fo r th e ir s e e m in g ly e a s y -g o in g a ttitu d e .2 2 A n o th e r p o in t w o r th c o n s id e r in g is th a t in a n c ie n t In d ia th e re w e r e a v a r ie ty o f d e te rm in istic a n d fa ta lis tic te a c h in g s .2 3 In co n tra st, th e B u d d h a e m p h a s iz e d c o m m itm e n t a n d e ffo r t as e sse n tia l r e ­ q u ir e m e n ts fo r a c h ie v in g re a liz a tio n . A c c o r d in g to h im , o n ly b y w a y o f d e sire , e ffo rt, a n d p e r s o n a l c o m m itm e n t c a n d e s ire le s s n e s s b e r e ­ alized/*4 E ffo rt, a s a n e x p re s s io n o f w h o le s o m e d e sire , le a d s a lo n g th e p a th u n til w ith fu ll r e a liz a tio n a ll d e s ire w ill b e a b a n d o n e d .2 5 In th is c o n te x t, th e B u d d h a a t tim e s r e in te r p re te d e x p re s s io n s c o m m o n ly u s e d w it h in ascetic circles to e x p re ss h is o w n p o s itio n .2 6
20 This can be gathered from his humorous reply to the accusation of being a tapassl himself at Vin T235; Vin III 3; A I V 175; and A I V 184; where he pointed out that his form o f self-mortification was to "mortify" w hat is unwholesome, Cf. also Collins 1982: p.235; and Horner 1979: p-9721 D III 106. The association o f the awakening factors with "exertion" (padhana) occurs also at D III 226; A I I 16; and A II74. S 1 54 even goes so far as to associate them with "austerity": bojjhaitgatapasH (however, Bodhi 2000: p*390 n.168, suggests the reading bojflid tapasd instead), 22 D III 130 speaks of other ascetics accusing the Buddha's disciples of living a life devoted to indulgence in pleasure. At M 1 249 the Buddha faced criticism because he sometimes slept during the day. The same topic comes up again at S [ 107, where Mara poked fun at the Buddha for being still asleep at sunrise (after a night spent in walk­ ing meditation), cf, also S I no. At Vin IV 93 the Buddha was derisively called a "shaven-headed householder" by an Ajlvika ascetic, presumably because o f the abundance of food received by Buddhist monks. Cf* further Basham 1951: p.137; and Chakravarti 1996: p.51. 23 Compare e.g. Makkhali Gosala's view (at D 153 or at S III 210) that there is no power or energy (to take decisions or influence one's destiny in any way), a view which the Buddha strongly censured (e«g. at A 1 286); or Purana Kassapa's view (at D I 52) that there is neither evil nor good. (S III 69 seems to confuse these two teachers, putting Gosala's view into Kassapa's mouth.) 24 Cf. e.g. M I I174; D hp 280; It 27; and Th 1165. Cf. also Pande 1957: p.519; and C A .R Rhys Davids 1898: p.50. 25 A t S V 272, Ananda countered the proposal that to overcome desire using desire w ould be a task without end with the argument that the desire for realization will automatically subside once realization is gained. Similarly, according to A I I 145 it is on the basis of "craving'" (for the destruction of the influxes) that craving (in general) will be overcome. Cf. also Sn 365, where the Buddha spoke approvingly of someone long­ ing to attain Nibbana. The importance of "desire" as an aspect of the path leading to realization is also exemplified in the canonical presentation of the four roads to power ( iddhipada), one o f which is desire {chanda). C f also Burford 1994: p.48; Katz 1979: p.58; and Matthews 1975: p.156. A helpful distinction between various types of desire in this context can be found in Collins 1998: pp.186-8. 26 A typical instance of such reinterpretation is D hp 184, where patience is identified as the highest austerity. Cf. also Kloppenborg 1990: Po3^

THE 'D E F IN I T IO N 1 - PART OF THE S A T I P A T T H A N A S U T T A

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37

T h e q u a lit y o f b e in g d ilig e n t (atapT) in th e satipatthana c o n te x t a p ­ p e a rs to b e o n e s u c h in sta n c e . A d iffe r e n t e x a m p le o f r a th e r fo r c e fu l v o c a b u la r y ca n b e fo u n d in th o s e p a s s a g e s in w h ic h th e B u d d h a d e s c r ib e d h is firm r e s o lu tio n p rio r to a w a k e n in g : " le t m y fle s h a n d b lo o d d r y u p , I w ill n o t g iv e u p " / 7 o r "I w ill n o t c h a n g e m y p o s tu r e u n le s s r e a liz a tio n h a s b e e n g a in e d " .'8 C o n c e r n in g th e r e s o lv e to r e fr a in fro m c h a n g in g p o s tu r e , it n e e d s to b e k e p t in m in d th a t th e B u d d h a w a s a b le to a c h ie v e d e e p m e d ita tiv e a b s o r p tio n , so h e c o u ld sit fo r lo n g p e r io d s o f tim e in th e sam e p o s tu r e w it h o u t p a in ,2 9T h u s w h a t th e s e e x p re s s io n s p o in t to is n o t so m u c h th e e n d u r a n c e o f a p a in fu l s ittin g p o s tu r e as a s tr o n g a n d u n w a v e r in g c o m m itm e n t.^ S im ila r e x p re s s io n s a re u s e d b y so m e o f h is d is c ip le s o n th e b r in k o f re a liza tio n *5 1 S in c e th e b r e a k ­ th r o u g h to r e a liz a tio n ca n o n ly take p la c e in a b a la n c e d sta te o f m in d , it m ig h t b e b e s t n o t to ta k e th e s e e x p re s s io n s to o lite ra lly . In a s im ila r w a y , th e e x p r e s s io n " d ilig e n t " (atapT) m ig h t n o t h a v e ca rrie d th e sa m e lite ra l c o n n o ta tio n s fo r th e B u d d h a as it d id fo r h is m o re a s c e tic a lly -in c lin e d c o n te m p o ra r ie s . In fa c t, in th e Kayagatasati Sutta d ilig e n t {atapT) c o m e s u p in re la tio n to e x p e r ie n c in g th e b liss o f a b so rp tio n .*4 S im ila rly , in a p a s s a g e fro m th e Indriya Samyutta th e q u a lity o f d ilig e n c e is c o m b in e d w it h p le a s a n t fe e lin g s , m e n ta l a n d p h y s ic a l,” In th e s e in s ta n c e s , " d ilig e n t " h a s c le a r ly lo st a n y r e la tio n to s e lf-m o rtific a tio n a n d its c o n c o m ita n t p h y s ic a l pain* S in c e b o th d e fic ie n c y o f e ffo r t a n d e x c e s s iv e te n sio n ca n o b s tr u c t o n e 's p ro gress,*4 th e q u a lity o f " d ilig e n c e " is b e s t u n d e r s to o d as a

27 A 1 50*
28 M I 219, 29 M 1 94. This ability of the Buddha to sit without m oving for seven days is also docu­ mented at Vin 11; U d i-3; U d 10; and U d 32. Thi 44 and Thi 174 each report the same for a realized nun. It is telling if one contrasts the Buddha's experience of sitting w ithout m oving for seven days experiencing only bliss w ith a description of sitting "w ith determination" in Maha Boowa 1997: p,256: "sittin g... for m any hours ... the painful feelings quickly spread to all parts of the b o d y ... even the backs of the hands and feet feel as if they are on fire .,. inside the body it seems as i f ... b o n e s... are about to break apart and separate ... the body ... as if it w ere burning in a mass of flames externally ... internally as if it was being beaten b y hammers and stabbed w ith sharp steel dag­ gers the w hole body is in agony." 30 In fact at M 1 481 the Buddha used the expression "let m y blood dry up" etc. in order to admonish monks w ho were unwilling to give up eating in the evening. As 146 glosses this expression with "firm and steadfast effort". 31 e.g. at Th 223; Th 313; and Th 514.

32 M ill92.

33 S V 213*

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b a la n c e d b u t s u s ta in e d a p p lic a tio n o f e n e r g y .3 5 S u ch b a la n c e d e n d e a v o u r a v o id s , o n th e o n e h a n d , p a ss iv e su b m issio n to " d e s ­ tin y ", a h ig h e r w ill, o r p e rso n a l id io s y n c ra s ie s , a n d o n th e oth er, e x c e ss iv e e ffo rt, se lf-a s se rtiv e s triv in g , a n d s e lf-in flic te d s u ffe r in g in th e n a m e o f a h ig h e r goaf* T h e B u d d h a o n c e c o m p a re d th e b a la n c e d e ffo rt n e e d e d fo r p r o p e r p r o g r e s s to th e tu n in g o f a lu te , w h o s e s trin g s s h o u ld b e n e ith e r to o tig h t n o r to o lo o s e .* T h is c o m p a riso n o f m en ta l c u ltiv a tio n to th e tu n in g o f a m u sica l in s tru m e n t illu stra te s th e w e ll-a d ju s te d effo rt a n d s e n s itiv ity r e q u ir e d fo r th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f th e m ind*3 7T h e n o ­ tio n o f a "m id d le p a th " o f w is e b a la n c e , a v o id in g th e e x tre m e s o f e x ­ c e s siv e a n d in s u ffic ie n t e ffo rt, h a s o f c o u rs e b e e n o n e o f th e B u d d h a 's cen tral te a c h in g s sin ce th e tim e o f h is first d is c o u rs e .3 * 1 It w a s th is b a la n c e d " m id d le p a th 7 ' a p p r o a c h , a v o id in g th e tw o e x ­ tre m e s o f s ta g n a tio n a n d e x c e ss iv e s tr iv in g , w h ic h h a d e n a b le d h im to g a in a w a k e n in g ;5 9 T h e p ractical im p lic a tio n s o f b e in g " d ilig e n t" c a n b e st b e illu s­ tra te d w ith tw o m a x im s fro m th e d isc o u rse s, b o th o f w h ic h u se th e w o r d d ilig e n t (atapT): " r ig h t n o w is th e tim e to p ra c tise d ilig e n tly " ,

34 Cf. e.g. M E3 159, where both are listed as possible obstructions to developing a con­ centrated mind. The need for an intelligent maintenance of balance in meditation practice is also reflected at M II 223, according to which the path to freedom from dukkha at times requires the application of effort, while at other times it just requires equanimous observation. 35 Other translations o f dtdpi reflect similar shades of meaning, it being variously ren­ dered as "conscientious", as "active", or as the input of energy that "revives the decreasing morale" (Hamilton 1996: p.173; Katz 1989: p.155; and Pandey 1988: p.37), The nuance of continuity can be seen at A III 38 and A IV 266, which associate dtdpi with being continuously active. Another relevant instance is at M III 187, where atdpt occurs in what might refer to spending a night in meditation (following Nanaponika 1977; p 346, for bhaddekaratta). Similarly Dhiravaipsa 1989: p,97, understands dtdpi as "perseverance"; and Naoarama 1990: p.3, as "unbroken continuity". 36 Vin 1182 and A III 375; (also Th 638-9); and in the satipatthana subcommentary, Ps-pt I 384, in order to illustrate the need for balanced energy in satipatthana contemplation. The need for balance is also stressed by Kot 1985: p.23. 37 Khantipalo 1986: p.28; and Viinalarartisi 1997: p.49, warn against the dangers of overstraining or forcing meditation and the emotional disturbances and hardening of the mind that may ensue, Mann 1992: p.120, based on comparing the common charac­ ter type in ancient Indian and the typical modern "western" mind, warns against in­ discriminately applying to "hate" type meditators instructions developed mainly for the "craving" type. Cf* also W.S. Karunaratne 1988a: p.70. 38 SV421, 39 At S 11 the Buddha pointed out that by avoiding stagnation and excessive striving he had been able to "cross the flood". Cf* also Sn 8-13, which similarly recommend nei­ ther going too far nor lagging behind.

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a n d " y o u y o u r s e lf h a v e to p ra c tise w ith d ilig e n c e / '4 0S im ilar c o n n o ­ ta tio n s u n d e r lie th e o c c u rre n c e o f th e q u a lity o f " d ilig e n c e " in th o se p a ssa g e s th a t d e sc rib e th e se rio u s c o m m itm e n t o f a m o n k w h o r e ­ tires in to s e c lu sio n fo r in te n s iv e p ra ctice a fte r h a v in g r e c e iv e d a b r ie f in stru c tio n from th e B u d d h a .4 ’ A p p ly in g th e se n u a n c e s to satipatthana , to b e " d ilig e n t" th e n a m o u n ts to k e e p in g u p o n e 's c o n te m p la tio n w ith b a la n c e d b u t d e d ­ ica te d c o n tin u ity , r e tu r n in g to th e o b je ct o f m e d ita tio n a s so o n a s it is lo st/ 2
11.3 CLE AR LY K N O W IN G ( S A M P A J A N A )

T h e s e c o n d o f th e fo u r m e n ta l q u a litie s m e n tio n e d in th e " d e f in i­ tion'' is sampajana, a p r e s e n t p a rticip le o f th e v e rb sampajdndti. Sampajdndti c a n b e d iv id e d in to pajdndti (h e o r sh e k n o w s) a n d th e p re fix sarti (to g e th e r), w h ic h o fte n se rv e s a n in te n s ify in g fu n c tio n in P ali c o m p o u n d s / 3 T h u s sam-pajdndti sta n d s fo r a n in te n s ifie d form o f k n o w in g , fo r "c le a r ly k n o w in g " / 4 T h e ra n g e o f m e a n in g o f "c le a r ly k n o w in g " (sampajana ) c a n b e c o n v e n ie n tly illu stra te d b y b r ie fly s u r v e y in g so m e o f its o c c u r r e n c e s in th e d isco u rse s. In a d is c o u rs e fo u n d in th e Dlgha Nikaya, c le a rly k n o w in g s ta n d s fo r c o n s c io u s ly e x p e r ie n c in g o n e 's o w n life as a n e m b ry o in a w o m b , in c lu d in g th e e v e n t o f b e in g b o r n / 5 In th e M ajjhima Nikaya o n e fin d s c le a r ly k n o w in g r e p re s e n tin g th e p r e s ­ en ce o f d e lib e ra te n e ss, w h e n o n e "d e lib e ra te ly " s p e a k s a fa lse ­ h o o d / 6 In a p a ssa g e fro m th e Samyutta Nikaya , c le a r ly k n o w in g r e ­ fers to a w a r e n e s s o f th e im p e r m a n e n t n a tu re o f fe e lin g s a n d th o u g h ts / 7 A d is c o u rs e in th e Ahguttara Nikaya r e c o m m e n d s clea r
40 M T IT 187 and Dhp 276. 41 e.g. at S I I 21; S III 74-9; S IV 37; S IV 64; SIV 76; and A IV 299. T.W. Rhys Davids 1997: p.242, and Singh 1967: p.127, relate tapas in a secondary sense to retirement into soli­ tude in the forest, which parallels the use of dtapl together with "dw elling alone and secluded" in the standard description of such a monk's going into seclusion for inten­ sive practice. 42 Jotika 1986: p.29 n.15. This parallels the commentarial understanding of the related term appamcida as undistracted mindfulness, satiya avippavaso (e.g. Sv 1 104 or Dhp-a IV 26). 43 T.W, Rhys Davids 1993: pp-655 and 690. 44 The Satipatthana subcommentary, Ps-pt 1 354, explains sampajana as "know ing in ev­ ery w a y and in detail", Guenther 1991: p.85, speaks of “analytical appreciative under­ standing"; Nanarama 1990: p-4, of "investigative intelligence"; and van Zeyst 1967a: p.331, of "deliberate, discriminative knowledge". 45 D III 103 and D III 231.

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k n o w le d g e (sampajaitna) for o v e rc o m in g u n w h o le s o m e n e ss a n d es­ ta b lish in g w h o le s o m e n e s s.4 8 F in a lly, th e Hivuttaka relates clea rly k n o w in g to fo llo w in g the a d v ic e o f a g o o d frie n d / 9 A c o m m o n d e n o m in a to r s u g g e s te d b y th ese ex a m p le s selected from all fiv e Nikayas is th e a b ility to f u lly g ra sp or c o m p re h e n d w h a t is ta k in g p la ce. S u ch clear k n o w le d g e can in tu rn le a d to th e d e v e l­ o p m e n t o f w is d o m ( patina). A c c o r d in g to th e Abhidhamma , clear k n o w le d g e d o es in fa ct a lr e a d y re p re se n t th e p re se n ce o f w is d o m ,5 0 C o n s id e r e d fro m an e ty m o lo g ic a l v ie w p o in t, this s u g g e stio n is con v in c in g , sin ce pailna a n d (sam~)pajanati are c lo s e ly rela ted . B u t a close e x a m in a tio n o f th e a b o v e e x a m p le s su g g e sts th at clea rly k n o w in g (sampajana) d o e s n o t n e c e ssa rily im p ly the p re se n ce o f w is ­ d o m {panna )♦W h e n o n e u tte rs a fa ls e h o o d , for ex a m p le, o n e m ig h t c le a rly k n o w o n e 's sp e e c h to be a lie, b u t o n e d o e s n o t s p e a k the fa ls e h o o d "w ith w is d o m ". S im ilarly, w h ile it is rem a rk a b le e n o u g h to be c le a r ly a w a re o f o n e 's e m b ry o n ic d e v e lo p m e n t in th e w o m b , to d o so d o e s n o t re q u ire w isd o m . T h u s, th o u g h clear k n o w in g m ig h t lead to th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f w is d o m , in itse lf it o n ly c o n n o te s "to c le a r ly k n o w " w h a t is h a p p e n in g . In th e satipatthana in stru ctio n s, th e p re se n ce o f su ch cle a r k n o w l­ e d g e is a llu d e d to b y the fre q u e n tly re c u rrin g ex p re ssio n "h e k n o w s " (pajanati), w h ic h is fo u n d in m ost o f th e p ractical in stru c­ tions. S im ilar to c le a rly k n o w in g , th e ex p re ssio n "h e k n o w s " (pajanati) a t tim es refers to rath e r b asic fo rm s o f k n o w in g , w h ile in o th e r in sta n ces it c o n n o te s m o re so p h istica ted ty p e s o f u n d e r s ta n d ­ ing* In th e c o n te x t o f satipatthana , th e r a n g e o f w h a t a m ed ita to r " k n o w s " in c lu d e s, fo r e x a m p le , id e n t ify in g a lo n g b reath as lo n g , or r e c o g n iz in g o n e 's p h y s ic a l p o s tu re / 1 B u t w ith th e la ter satipatthana c o n te m p la tio n s, th e m e d ita to r's ta sk o f k n o w in g e v o lv e s u n til it c o m e s to in c lu d e th e p re se n ce o f d iscrim in ativ e u n d e rs ta n d in g ,

46 M 1 286 and M 1 414. Furthermore A I 1 158 distinguishes between the threefold action being done either sampajana or else asatnpajana, a context which also merits rendition as "deliberateness". 47 S V 180.
48 A 1 13* 49 It ID.

50 e.g. Dhs 16 and Vibh 250. Sampajanna is also related to wisdom by Ayya Kheminda (n,d.): p.30; Buddhadasa 1989: p.98; Debvedl 1990: p.22: Dhammasudhi 1968; p.67; Nanaponika 1992: p.46; and Swearer 1967: p,i53* 51 M I 56: "breathing in long, he knows 'I breathe in long"*; M I 57: "he know s accord­ ingly however his body is disposed/'

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s u c h a s w h e n o n e is to u n d e r s ta n d th e a r is in g o f a fe tte r in d e p e n d ­ e n c e o n a s e n s e d o o r a n d its r e s p e c tiv e o b je c t.5 2T h is e v o lu tio n c u lm i­ n a te s in k n o w in g th e fo u r n o b le tru th s "a s th e y a c tu a lly a re " , a p e n e tr a tiv e t y p e o f d e e p u n d e r s ta n d in g fo r w h ic h a g a in th e e x p r e s ­ s io n " h e k n o w s " is u se d -5 3 T h u s b o th th e e x p r e s s io n " h e k n o w s " (pajanati) a n d th e q u a lity o f " c le a r ly k n o w in g " (sampajana) c a n r a n g e fro m b a sic fo rm s o f k n o w in g to d e e p d is c r im in a tiv e u n d e rs ta n d in g *

11,4 M IN D F U L N E SS A N D C L E A R K N O W L E D G E

C le a r ly k n o w in g , a p a r t fro m b e in g lis te d in th e " d e fin itio n " p a r t of th e Satipatthana S u tta , is m e n tio n e d a g a in u n d e r th e first satipat­ thana, w it h r e g a r d to a s e t o f b o d ily a ctiv ities*5 4 E x p o s itio n s o f th e g r a d u a l p a th o f tr a in in g u s u a lly re fe r to s u c h c le a r k n o w in g in reg a r d to b o d ily a c tiv itie s w it h th e c o m p o u n d sat isampaj anna, " m in d ­ fu ln e s s a n d c le a r k n o w le d g e " * 5 5 O n fu r th e r p e r u s in g th e d is c o u r s e s o n e fin d s th a t th is c o m b in a tio n o f m in d fu ln e s s w it h c le a r k n o w l­ e d g e (or c le a r ly k n o w in g ) is e m p lo y e d in a w id e v a r ie t y o f c o n te x ts , p a r a lle lin g th e a b o v e d o c u m e n te d fle x ib le u s a g e o f c le a r ly k n o w in g o n its o w n . T h e B u d d h a , fo r in s ta n c e , ta u g h t h is d is c ip le s , w e n t to s le e p , e n ­ d u r e d a n illn e s s , r e lin q u is h e d h is life -p r in c ip le , a n d p r e p a r e d fo r d e a th - e a c h tim e e n d o w e d w it h m in d fu ln e s s a n d c le a r k n o w l­ e d g e .3 6 E v e n in h is p r e v io u s life h e w a s a lr e a d y in p o s s e s s io n o f m in d fu ln e s s a n d cle a r k n o w le d g e w h e n h e a ro s e in h e a v e n , s ta y e d th e re , p a s s e d a w a y fro m th e re , a n d e n te r e d h is m o th e r 's w o m b .5 7 M in d fu ln e s s a n d c le a r k n o w le d g e a ls o c o n tr ib u te to w a r d s im ­ p r o v in g o n e 's e th ic a l c o n d u c t a n d o v e r c o m in g s e n s u a lity .3 * * In th e
52 e.g. M 1 61: "he know s the eye, he know s forms, and he know s the fetter that arises de­ pendent on both." 53 M. 1 62: "he know s as it really is, 'this is dukkha' ... 'this is the arising of dukkha' .,. "this is the cessation o f dukkhaJ. ..'this is the w ay leading to the cessation of dukkha!* 54 M 1 57: "w hen going forward and returning he acts clearly knowing; w h en looking ahead and looking aw ay he acts clearly know in g.../' 1 will consider this exercise in more detail on page 141. 55 e.g. at 0X70, 56 M aintaining equanimity towards attentive or non-attendve disciples at M III 221; go­ ing to sleep at M 1 249; enduring illness and pain at D I I 99; D I I 128; S 1 27; S 1 110; and Ud 82; giving u p his life principle at D I I 106; S V 262; A IV 311; and Ud 64; lying dow n to die at D I I 137. The presence of both at the time o f death is recommended to the monks in general at S IV 211, 57 M III 119 (parts of this also at D I I 108), 58 A Ii 195 and S 1 31.

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c o n te x t o f m e d ita tio n , m in d fu ln e s s a n d c le a r k n o w le d g e c a n re fe r to c o n te m p la tin g fe e lin g s a n d th o u g h ts; t h e y can m a rk a h ig h le v e l o f e q u a n im ity in th e c o n te x t o f p e r c e p tu a l train in g; o r th e y c a n ta k e p a rt in o v e r c o m in g slo th -an d -to rp o r*5 9M in d fu ln e s s a n d c le a r k n o w ­ le d g e b e c o m e p a r tic u la r ly p ro m in e n t d u r in g th e th ird m e d ita tiv e a b so rp tio n (jhdna ), w h e r e th e p re se n c e o f b o th is re q u ire d to a v o id a r e la p s e in to th e in te n s e jo y (pJti) e x p e rie n c e d d u r in g th e seco n d a b so rp tio n .6 0 T h is b ro a d v a r ie ty o f o c c u rre n c e s d e m o n s tra te s th a t th e co m b in a ­ tio n o f m in d fu ln e s s w it h c le a r k n o w le d g e is o fte n u s e d in a g e n e r a l m a n n e r to re fe r to a w a r e n e s s a n d k n o w le d g e , w it h o u t b e in g re ­ stricte d to its sp e cific u s e as cle a rly k n o w in g b o d ily a ctiv itie s in th e g r a d u a l p a th s c h e m e o r in th e satipatthana c o n te x t o f b o d y c o n te m p la tio n . S u c h c o o p e ra tio n o f m in d fu ln e s s w it h c le a r k n o w le d g e , w h ic h a c­ c o r d in g to the " d e fin itio n " is re q u ire d fo r all satipatthana c o n te m p la ­ tio n s, p o in ts to th e n e e d to co m b in e m in d fu l o b s e rv a tio n o f p h e n o m e n a w ith a n in te llig e n t p r o c e s s in g o f th e o b s e r v e d data. T h u s "to c le a rly k n o w " can b e taken to re p re s e n t th e "illu m in a tin g " o r " a w a k e n in g " a sp e c t o f c o n te m p la tio n . U n d e rsto o d in th is w a y , clea r k n o w le d g e h as th e task o f p r o c e s s in g the in p u t g a th e r e d b y m in d fu l o b s e rv a tio n , a n d th e re b y le a d s to th e a ris in g o f w is d o m .6 1 T h e s e q u a litie s o f c le a r k n o w le d g e a n d m in d fu ln e s s th u s re m in d o n e o f th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f " k n o w le d g e " an d "v is io n " o f re a lity {yathabhulandnadassana ). A c c o r d in g to th e B u d d h a , to b o th " k n o w " a n d " s e e " are n e c e s s a ry co n d itio n s fo r th e re a liza tio n o f Nibbana It m ig h t n o t b e to o fa r-fe tc h e d to re la te s u c h g ro w th o f k n o w le d g e ( ndna) to th e q u a lity o f c le a r ly k n o w in g (sampajana), a n d th e a cc o m ­ p a n y in g a sp e c t o f " v is io n " (dassana) to th e a c tiv ity o f w a t c h in g r e p ­ r e s e n te d b y m in d fu ln e s s (sati).

59 Contemplating feelings and thoughts at A I V 168; (cf. also A I I45); perceptual training at D m 250 and D III 113; and overcoming sloth-and-torpor e,g> at D 1 71* 60 e.g. at D li 313; cf, also the com m entat Vism 163; Guenther 1991: p.124; and Gunaratana 1996: p.92. 61 The interaction between sati and wisdom is described at Ps 1 243, according to which wisdom contemplates what has become an object of awareness. Cf. also Vibh-a 311, which distinguishes between sati with and w ithout wisdom, showing that wisdom is not an automatic result of the presence of sati, but needs to be deliberately developed. O n the importance of combining sati with sampajaniia cf. Chah 1996: p.6; and Mahasi 1981: p.94. 62 S III 152. and S V 434.

TH E "D EFINITION" PART O F THE SA TI PATTH ANA SU TTA

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M o r e re m a in s to b e s a id a b o u t th is q u a lit y o f clea r k n o w le d g e .6 3 In o r d e r to d o th is, h o w e v e r , s o m e a d d itio n a l g ro u n d h a s to b e c o v ­ e re d , s u c h as e x a m in in g in m o re d e ta il th e im p lic a tio n s o f sati, w h ic h I w ill d o in C h a p te r III.

63 t will consider santpajamla again w hen discussing the practice of mental labelling (page 113) and w hen investigating clearly know ing in regard to bodily activities as one o f the body contemplations (page 141).

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SATI

In this ch a p te r I co n tin u e to in vestig a te th e "d efin itio n " p a rt o f the Satipatthana Sutta . A s a w a y o f p ro v id in g som e b a ck g ro u n d fo r sati , th e third q u a lity m en tio n ed in the "d e fin itio n ", 1 b riefly s u r v e y th e g e n e ra l a p p ro a c h to k n o w le d g e in ea rly B u d d h ism , In o rd er to e v a l­ u ate sati as a m ental q u a lity , the m ain task o f th e p resen t ch ap ter, I g o on to e x p lo re its typ ical characteristics from d ifferen t an g les, and also con trast it w ith co n cen tratio n (samadhi).
IIl.l THE EARLY BUDDHIST APPROACH TO KNOWLEDGE

The p h ilo so p h ic a l settin g of an cien t India w a s in flu en ce d b y th ree m ain a p p ro a ch e s to the acqu isition o f k n o w le d g e -1T h e B rahm in s re­ lied m a in ly on an cien t sayin g s, h a n d e d d o w n b y oral transm ission, as a u th o rita tiv e sources of k n o w le d g e ; w h ile in th e Upanisads o n e fin d s p h ilo so p h ical re a so n in g u sed as a central tool fo r d e v e lo p in g k n o w le d g e . In a d d itio n to th ese tw o, a substantial n u m b er o f the w a n d e r in g ascetics and co n tem p la tives o f that tim e co n sid ered ex­ trasen sory p ercep tio n a n d in tu itive k n o w le d g e , g ain ed th ro u g h m e d ita tiv e exp erien ces, as im p o rtan t m ean s for the acq u isition of k n o w le d g e . Th ese three a p p ro a ch e s can be su m m arized as: oral tra­ d itio n , logical reaso n in g, and d irect in tu ition . W h en q u estion ed o n h is o w n ep istem ological p osition , the B u d d h a p la ced h im self in the third cate g o ry , i.e. a m o n g those w h o

i

Following Jayatilleke 1980: p.63.

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45

e m p h a s iz e d th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f d irect, p e r s o n a l k n o w le d g e / A l­ th o u g h h e d id n o t c o m p le te ly re je ct o ral tra d itio n o r lo g ic a l re a s o n ­ in g as w a y s o f a c q u ir in g k n o w le d g e , h e w a s k e e n ly a w a r e o f th e ir lim ita tio n s. T h e p ro b le m w ith oral tra d itio n is th a t m ate ria l c o m m it­ ted to m e m o r y m ig h t b e w r o n g ly re m e m b e re d . M o re o v e r, e v e n m a ­ terial th a t h as b e e n w e ll r e m e m b e re d m ig h t b e fa lse a n d m is le a d in g . S im ila rly , lo g ic a l r e a s o n in g m ig h t seem c o n v in c in g , b u t th en tu rn o u t to b e u n s o u n d . M o r e o v e r , e v e n s o u n d r e a s o n in g m ig h t p r o v e false a n d m is le a d in g if it is b a se d o n fa lse p re m ise s. O n th e o th e r h an d , w h a t h a s n o t b e e n w e ll re m e m b e re d o r w h a t d o e s n o t a p p e a r to b e p e r fe c tly w e ll r e a s o n e d m ig h t tu rn o u t to b e tru e.3 S im ilar re s e rv a tio n s h o ld tru e fo r d ire c t k n o w le d g e g a in e d in m e d ita tio n . In fact, a c c o r d in g to th e B u d d h a 's p e n e tr a tin g a n a ly s is in th e Brahmajala Sutta , so le re lia n ce o n d irect e x tra s e n so ry k n o w l­ e d g e h a d c a u s e d a c o n s id e ra b le n u m b e r o f m ista k e n v ie w s a m o n g c o n te m p o ra r y p ra c titio n e rs.4 T h e B u d d h a o n c e illu stra te d th e d a n ­ g e rs o f r e ly in g e n tire ly o n o n e 's o w n d ire ct e x p e rie n c e w ith th e h e lp o f a p a ra b le . In th is p a ra b le , a k in g h a d s e v e r a l b lin d m en ea ch to u c h a d iffe r e n t p art o f an e le p h a n t.5 W h e n q u e s tio n e d o n th e n a tu re o f the e le p h a n t, each b lin d m a n g a v e an e n tir e ly d iffe re n t a c c o u n t as th e o n ly r ig h t a n d tru e d e s c rip tio n o f a n e le p h a n t. A lth o u g h w h a t w a s e x p e rie n c e d b y e a ch o f th e b lin d m e n w a s e m p irica lly tru e, y e t th eir p e rso n a l d ire ct e x p e rie n c e h a d re v e a le d o n ly p a rt o f th e p ic­ ture. T h e m ista k e e a ch m a d e w a s to w r o n g ly c o n c lu d e th a t his d ire c t k n o w le d g e g a in e d th r o u g h p e rso n a l e x p e rie n c e w a s th e o n ly tru th , so th a t a n y o n e d is a g r e e in g m u st b e m ista k e n .6 T h is p a ra b le g o e s to s h o w th a t e v e n d ire ct p e rso n a l e x p e rie n c e m ig h t r e v e a l o n ly a p a rt o f th e p ictu re a n d th e re fo re s h o u ld n o t b e g ra s p e d d o g m a tic a lly as a n a b so lu te g r o u n d fo r k n o w le d g e . T h a t is,

2 M II 211. 3 M 1 520 and M II171. 4 A survey of the sixty-two grounds for formulating views, presented in the Brahmajala Sutta ( D 1 12-39), reveals that "direct" meditative experiences are the most frequent cause for formulating a view, while speculative thought assumes only a subordinate role: forty-nine instances appear to be based purely or at least in part on meditative experiences [nos 1-3,5-7,9-11,17,19-22,23-5,27,29-41,43-9,51-7,59-62]; against only thirteen instances based on pure reasoning [nos 4,8,12-16,18,26,28,42,50,58] (corre­ lations made with the help of the commentary). Cf. also 6odhi 1992a: p.6.

5 Ud68.
6 Ud 67; cf. also D U 282. Another illustration of such a w rong conclusion can be found at M III 210, w here direct supernormal knowledge led to various w rong assumptions about the working mechanism of karma.

46

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em ph asis on direct e x p erien ce n eed n o t entail a com p lete rejection o f oral tradition a n d re aso n in g as auxiliary sources o f k n o w le d g e . N e ve rth e le ss, direct ex p erien ce constitutes the central ep istem olo gical tool in early B ud dh ism . A c co rd in g to a passage in the Salayatana Samyutta, it is in particu lar th e p ractice o f satipatthana that can lead to an u n d istorted direct exp erien ce o f th ings as th ey truly are, in d e p e n d e n t o f oral tradition and reaso n in g.7 T h u s, clea rly, satipatthana is an em p irical tool of cen tral im portance in th e p ra g ­ m atic th e o ry o f k n o w le d g e in ea rly B ud dh ism . A p p ly in g the ep istem o lo gical p o sition o f e a rly B ud dh ism to actual p ractice, o ral tradition an d reaso n in g, in th e sen se o f som e d e g re e o f k n o w le d g e an d reflectio n a b o u t the Dhamma, form the s u p p o rtin g con d itio n s for a direct ex p erien ce of reality th ro u g h the practice of satipatthana.*
UL2 SATI

T h e n o u n sati is related to th e verb saratir to rem em ber.9 Sati in the sense o f "m em o ry" o ccurs o n several o ccasions in the d isco u rses,1 0 an d also in the standard d efin itio n s o f sati g iv e n in the Abhidhamma and the co m m e n ta rie s ” T h is rem em b ran ce a sp ect o f sati is p erso n i­ fied b y the B u d d h a's d iscip le m ost em in en t in sati, A n a n d a, w h o is cred ited w ith the alm o st in credible feat o f recallin g all the d is­ courses sp o k e n by the B u d d h a ,” T h e co n n otatio n o f sati as m em o ry b ecom es p articu larly p rom i­ n en t w ith th e reco llection s (anussati). The d iscou rses often list a set o f six recollections: reco llectio n o f th e B u d d h a, o f the Dhamma, o f

7

8

9

10

11 12

At S IV 139 the Buddha proposed contemplation of the mind in relation to sense expe­ rience as a method of arriving at final knowledge independent of faith, personal pref­ erences, oral tradition, reasoning, and acceptance of a view, This brings to mind the threefold distinction between wisdom based on reflecting, on learning, and on mental development (a threefold presentation which in the dis­ courses occurs only at D III 219). Cf, Bodhi 1993: p.86; Gethin 1992; p.36; Guenther 1991: p.67; and Naftamoli 1995: p.n88 0,136. The Sanskrit equivalent of is smrti, also connoting memory and men­ tal retention, cf, Monier-Wiiliams 1995: p i271; and C.A-F. Rhys Davids 1978: pHo, e.g. sati pamuftha at M 1 329 meaning "forgotten"; or sati udapadi at D 1 180 as "remem­ bering"; cf, also A I V 192, which uses the term asati when describing a monk pretend­ ing to have forgotten an offence for which he was being reproved. C f Dhs 3J; Vibh 250; Pp 25; As 121; Mil 77; and Vism 162. Vin IT 287 reports Ananda calling to mind and reciting the discourses spoken by the Buddha during the first council. Whether or not this account of the first council corre­

S A TI

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47

th e Sangha, of o n e 's ethical conduct, of o n e's liberality, a n d of heav ­ enly b eings ( devas).‘5 A n o th er kin d of recollection, usually occurring in th e context of th e "h ig h er know ledges" gained th ro u g h d eep con­ centration, is the recollection of o n e's p ast lives (pubbenivasanussati). Jn regard to all these, it is sail th a t fulfils th e fu n ctio n of recollecting." This recollective function of sati can ev en lead to aw akening, docu­ m ented in the Theragatha w ith th e case o f a m o n k w ho gained real­ ization based on recollecting th e qualities of th e B u d d h a .1 5 This c o n n o tatio n of sati as m em ory ap p ears also in its formal defi­ nition in th e discourses, w h ich relates sati to th e ability of calling to m ind w h a t h as been d o n e o r said lo n g ago." A closer exam ination of this definition, h ow ever, reveals th a t sati is n o t really defined as mem ory, b u t as th a t w hich facilitates a n d enables m em ory. W hat this definition of sati p o in ts to is th at, if sati is p resen t, m em ory will be able to function w ell.1 7 U n d erstan d in g sati in this w ay facilitates re la tin g it to the context of satipatthana, w h ere it is n o t concerned w ith recalling p ast events, but functions as aw aren ess of th e p re se n t m o m e n t.1 9 In th e context of satipafthana m ed itatio n , it is d u e to the presence of sati th at o n e is

13 14

15

16 17

18

spo n d s to h istorical truth , th e (act th a t th e Virnya attribu tes the recital o f th e d is ­ courses to A n a n d a m u st be reflectin g his o u tsta n d in g p o w e r s o f m e m o ry (to w h ic h h e h im self refers a t T h 1024). A n a n d a 's e m in e n c e in sati c o m e s in for th e B u d d h a 's p raise at A 1 24. N e ve rth e le ss, ac c o rd in g to V in 1 298 h e also h a d la p ses o f sati , such a s w h e n h e o n c e set o u t to co llec t alm s fo rg ettin g to p u t on all h is robes. e.g. a t A III 284. O n th e six recollection s cf. also V ism 197-226; an d D e v e n d r a 1965: p p ^ -4 5 . A I I 183 p o in ts o u t th at recolle ction o f p ast live s is to b e u n d e rta k en th r o u g h sati. S im i­ larly A V 336 sp eak s o f d ire ctin g sati to th e B u d d h a in o rd e r to recollect h im . N id 11262 cle arly u n d e rsta n d s all recollection s a s activities of sati. V ism 197 sum s up: *it is th ro u g h sati th at o n e recollects." T h 217-8. T h -a n 82 explain s th at b ased o n reco lle ctin g th e B udd h a th e m o n k then d e v e lo p e d d e e p con cen tra tion w h ic h en a b led him t o recall p ast B u d d h a s, w ith the result th a t h e rea lize d that e v e n B u d d h as a re im p erm an en t. This in turn led to his a w ak en in g . e.g. a t M 1 356. T h e p assa g e at M 1356 co u ld th e n b e ren d ered as; " h e is m in d fu l, b ein g e n d o w e d w ith h ig h e s t d iscrim in a tiv e m in d fu ln ess (so that) th in g s said o r d o n e lo n g a g o are recalled an d re m em b ered * N a jjam o li 1995: p.1252 n.560, explains: " k e e n a tten tive n ess to th e p re se n t form s th e b asis (or an accu rate m em o ry o f th e p a s t " N 2 q a n an d a 1984: p.28, points ou t: ‘'m in d fu ln e ss and m e m o ry ... th e keen n ess o f the o n e n atu rally le ad s to th e cla rity o f th e o th er." N a n ap o n ik a 1992: p.9; N a q a v ira 1987: p.382; a n d T.W . R h y s D a v id s 1966: voLII, p .322. G riffith 1992: p .in , exp lain s: " t h e basic m e a n in g o f sntrti a n d de riva tiv es in B udd h ist tech n ica l d iscourse . . . h a s to d o w ith ob serva tion an d atte n tion , n o t w ith aw are n ess o f p a s t objects."

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a b le to re m e m b e r w h a t is o th e r w is e o n ly to o e a sily fo rg o tte n : th e p r e s e n t m o m e n t. Sati as p re se n t m o m e n t a w a re n e s s is sim ila rly re fle c te d in th e p r e ­ s e n ta tio n s o f the Pafisambhidamagga a n d th e Visuddhimagga , a c c o r d ­ in g to w h ic h th e c h a ra cte ristic q u a lity o f sati is " p r e s e n c e " ( upatfhana ), w h e t h e r as a fa c u lty (indriya), as a n a w a k e n in g facto r (bojjhanga), as a fa c to r o f th e n o b le e ig h tfo ld p a th , o r at th e m o m e n t o f r e a liz a tio n .'1 ' T h u s m in d fu ln e s s b e in g p r e s e n t (upatthitasati ) c a n b e u n d e r s to o d to im p ly p re se n c e o f m in d , in so far as it is d ire c tly o p p o s e d to a b se n t-m in d e d n e s s {mufthassati); p re se n ce o f m in d in th e s e n se t h a t e n d o w e d w ith sati , o n e is w id e a w a k e in re g a r d to th e p r e se n t m o m e n t2 0 O w in g to su ch p re se n ce o f m in d , w h a te v e r o n e d o e s or s a y s w ill b e c le a rly a p p r e h e n d e d b y th e m in d , a n d th u s c a n b e m o re e a sily re m e m b e re d la te r o n / 1 Sati is r e q u ire d n o t o n ly to fu lly ta k e in th e m o m e n t to b e r e m e m ­ b e re d , b u t a lso to b r in g th is m o m e n t b a c k to m in d a t a la ter tim e. T o "re -c o lle c t", then, b e c o m e s ju s t a p a rtic u la r in sta n ce o f a sta te o f m in d c h a ra c te riz e d b y "c o lle c te d n e s s " an d th e a b se n ce o f d istra c ­ tio n .” T h is tw o fo ld c h a ra cte r o f sati can a lso b e fo u n d in s o m e v e rs e s in th e Sutta Nipata, w h ic h in s tru c t th e liste n e r to se t o u t w ith sati, su b s e q u e n t to an in s tru c tio n g iv e n b y th e B u d d h a ,* In th e se in ­ sta n ce s sati seem s to co m b in e b o th p re se n t m o m e n t a w a re n e s s a n d r e m e m b e rin g w h a t th e B u d d h a h a d ta u g h t. T h e k in d o f m en tal sta te in w h ic h m e m o r y fu n c tio n s w e ll ca n b e c h a ra c te riz e d b y a c e rta in d e g r e e o f b re a d th , in co n tra st to a n a rro w fo cu s. It is th is b re a d th th a t e n a b le s th e m in d to m a k e th e n e c e s s a ry c o n n e c tio n s b e tw e e n in fo rm a tio n r e c e iv e d in th e p re se n t m o m e n t a n d in fo rm a tio n to b e re m e m b e re d from the p a s t T h is q u a lity b e ­ co m e s e v id e n t on th o se o c c a s io n s w h e n o n e tries to recall a p a rtic u ­ lar in sta n c e o r fact, b u t w h e r e th e m o re o n e a p p lie s o n e 's m in d , th e less o n e is a b le to re m e m b e r i t B ut if the issu e in q u e stio n is laid asid e fo r a w h ile a n d th e m in d is in a state o f re la x e d r e c e p tiv ity , th e

19 Paris 1 16; Patis 1 116; and Vism 510. 20 Cf. S J 44, where sati j$ related to wakefulness. A related nuance occurs at Vism 464, which relates sati to strong cognition (thirasanfia), 21 The opposite case is documented at Vin I I 361, where a nun failed to memorize the training rules for lack of sati. 22 Nanananda 1993: P47. 23 Sn 1053; ^n and Sn 1085,

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in fo rm a tio n on e w a s try in g to rem em b er w ill s u d d e n ly sp rin g to m ind. The s u g g e stio n th at the m en tal state in w h ic h sati is w e llestablish ed can be ch ara cterized as h a v in g "b read th " in stead o f a n a rro w fo cu s fin d s su p p o rt in som e d iscou rses w h ic h relate th e absen ce o f sati to a n a rro w state o f m in d (parittacetasa), w h ile its p resen ce lead s to a b ro ad an d e v e n "b o u n d less'' state o f m in d (appamanacetasa)* Based on th is n u a n ce o f "b rea d th o f m in d ", sati can be u n d e rsto o d to re p resen t the ab ility to sim u lta n eo u sly m a in ­ tain in o n e 's m in d th e vario u s elem en ts an d facets o f a p articu lar sit­ u atio n /5 T h is can be a p p lie d to b o th th e fa c u lty o f m em o ry a n d to aw aren ess o f the p resen t m om en t.
111.3 THE ROLE a n d p o s i t i o n o f s a t i

M ore u n d e rs ta n d in g ab out sati can be g a in e d b y co n sid erin g its role and p o sitio n a m o n g som e o f th e central catego ries o f e a rly B u d d h ­ ism (cf. Fig. 3.1 b elo w ). Sati n o t o n ly form s p art o f th e n o b le eigh tfo ld path - as rig h t m in d fu ln ess (samma sati) - b u t also o ccu p ie s a central position a m o n g th e facu lties (indriya) a n d p o w e rs (bala), an d co n sti­ tutes th e first m em b er o f th e a w a k e n in g factors (bojjhanga). In th ese contexts, th e fu n ctio n s o f sati co v e r b o th p resen t m o m en t a w a ren ess a n d m em o ry,2 6

24 S IV 119. M 1 266; S IV 186; S IV 189; and S IV 199 make the same statement in relation to kayasati. Similarly Sn 150-1 refers to the practice of radiating mettd in all directions as a form of sati, so here too sati represents an "immeasurable" state of mind. 25 Piatigorski 1984: p ^ o , Cf. also Newman 1996: p.28, who distinguishes between two levels of attention, primary and secondary: "I may be thinking about tomorrow and still be aware that now I am thinking about tomorrow ,«. my first level awareness is on tomorrow but my second level awareness is on what is happening now (i«e, that now I am thinking about tomorrow).* 26 Definitions of sati as a faculty mention both the practice o( satipatthana (S V 196 and S V 200) and memory (S V 198), the latter being also the definition of sati as a power < A III 11). As an awakening factor, sati again covers both aspects, since at M III 85 the pres­ ence of undistracted mindfulness as the outcome of satipatthana practice forms sati as an awakening factor {the same definition is found several times at S V 331-9); whereas the awakening factor sati functions as memory at S V 67, since here it is concerned with recollecting and considering the teaching.

50

s a tip a tth A n a

faculties + powers confidence energy sati concentration wisdom |

noble eightfold path right view right thought right speech right action right livelihood
right effort samma sati
right concentration

awakening factors J
sati

investigadon-of-dkmmas energy joy tranquillity
concentration 1 equanimity

Fig. 3.1

The position of sati am ong im portant categories

A m ong the faculties (indriya) and pow ers (bala), sati occupies the m iddle position. Here sati has the function of balancing and m oni­ toring the other faculties and powers, b y becom ing aw are of ex­ cesses or deficiencies, A m onitoring function similar to its position am ong the faculties and pow ers can be found in the noble eightfold path, w here sati occupies the m iddle position in the three-factored path section directly concerned with mental training. The monitor­ ing quality of sati is h ow ever not restricted to right effort and right concentration only, since according to the Mahacattarlsaka Sutta the presence of right m indfulness is also a requirem ent for the other path factors.*7 In regard to its two neighbours in the noble eightfold path, sati performs additional functions. In support of right effort sati per­ forms a protective role b y preventing the arising of unw holesom e states o f m ind in the context of sense-restraint, which in fact consti­ tutes an aspect of right effort. In relation to right concentration, well-established sati acts as an important foundation for the devel­ opm ent of deeper levels of mental calm, a topic to w hich I w ill return later on. This position of sati in betw een the tw o mental qualities of energy (or effort) and concentration recurs also am ong the faculties and
27 M III 73 defines right m indfulness as the presence o f awareness w h en overcom ing w ron g th o u g h t w ron g speech,, w ron g action, and w ro n g livelihood, and w h en estab­ lishing their counterparts.

SAT?

i

51

p o w e rs. T h e "d e fin itio n " p a r t o f the Satipatthana Sutta also co m b in es sati w ith th ese tw o q u a litie s, w h ic h are h e r e re p re se n te d b y b e in g d ilig e n t (atapi) and b y th e a b sen ce o f d e sire s a n d d isc o n te n t (abhijjhadomanassd). T h e p la c e m e n t o f sati b e tw e e n e n e rg y a n d c o n ­ c e n tra tio n in all th ese c o n te x ts m irrors a n a tu ra l p ro g re s s io n in th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f sati, sin ce in th e e a rly sta g e s o f p ractice a c o n s id e r­ able d e g r e e o f e n e rg y is re q u ire d to c o u n te r d istractio n , w h ile w e ll-e sta b lish e d sati in tu rn le a d s to an in c r e a s in g ly co n c e n tra te d and calm state o f m in d . In c o n tra st to its m id d le p o s itio n am o n g th e facu lties a n d p o w e rs , and in th e fin a l sectio n o f th e n o b le e ig h tfo ld p a th , in th e list o f the a w a k e n in g facto rs sati a ssu m e s th e sta rtin g position* H ere sati c o n ­ stitutes th e fo u n d a tio n fo r th o se factors th a t b r in g ab ou t re a liza tio n . S in ce in relation to the fa cu ltie s, p o w e rs , an d factors o f th e n o b le e ig h tfo ld p a th sati is c le a r ly d istin g u ish e d from a sso ciated facto rs like e n e r g y , w isd o m , a n d co n ce n tra tio n , sati h as to b e s o m e th in g clearly d iffe r e n t from th e m in o rd e r to m e rit sep ara te lis tin g .2 * S im i­ larly, s in ce sati is d iffe re n tia te d fro m the a w a k e n in g factor "in v e stigation-of-dfcfl mwias", th e ta sk o f in v e s tig a tin g dhammas c a n n o t b e id en tica l w ith th e a ctiv ity o f a w a re n e ss, o th e rw is e there w o u ld h a v e b e e n n o n e e d to in tro d u c e it as a se p ara te term . In this ca se, h o w ­ ever, th e a ctiv ity o f sati is clo se ly re la te d to "in v e stig a tio n -o fdhammas", sin ce a cc o rd in g to the Anapanasati Sutta the a w a k e n in g factors arise s e q u e n tia lly , w ith " in v e s tig a tio n -o f -dhammas" a risin g co n se q u e n t o n th e p re se n ce o f sati .1 9 C o m in g b a ck to rig h t m in d fu ln e ss as a facto r o f th e n o b le e ig h tfo ld p ath , it is n o te w o r th y th a t th e term sati is re p e a te d w ith in th e d e fin i­ tion o f r ig h t m in d fu ln e s s (samma sati)?* T h is re p e titio n is n o t m e re ly a ccid e n ta l, b u t rath er p o in ts to a q u a lita tiv e d istin ction b e tw e e n "rig h t" m in d fu ln e ss (samma sati) as a p a th fa c to r a n d m in d fu ln e s s as
28 This is highlighted in the Pnfisambhidamngga, according to which a dear appreciation of this difference constitutes "discriminative understanding" (dhammapa\isambhida naqa), cf. Pa£s 1 88 and Pads 1 90. 29 M III 85; cf also S V 68« 30 D U 313: "he abides contemplating the body ... feelings ... the mind ... dhammas, dili­ gent, dearly knowing and mindful, free from desires and discontent in regard to the world - this is called right mindfulness/' An alternative definition of "right mindful­ ness" can be found in the Atthasalinl, which simply speaks of remembering properly (As 124). The definition of right mindfulness in the Chinese Agamas also does not mention the four satipatfheinas: "he is mindful, widely mindful, keeping in mind, not forgetful, this is called right mindfulness/ (translation by Minh Chau 1991: p-97; cf. also Choong 200o: p.210}.

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a g e n e ra l m e n ta l factor. In fact, n u m e ro u s d isco u rses m e n tio n " w r o n g " m in d fu ln e ss (miccha sati), w h ic h s u g g e sts th at ce rta in form s o f sati ca n be q u ite d iffe r e n t fro m r ig h t m in d fu ln e s s.3 ' A ccord ­ in g to th is d e fin itio n , sati TequiTes th e s u p p o r t o f b e in g d ilig e n t (atapT) a n d o f c le a rly k n o w in g (,sampajana). It is th is co m b in a tio n o f m e n ta l q u a litie s, s u p p o r te d b y a state o f m in d free from d esires a n d d is c o n te n t, an d d ire c te d to w a rd s th e b o d y , fe e lin g s, th e m in d , a n d dhammasr w h ic h b e co m e s th e p a th fa c to r o f rig h t m in d fu ln ess* In th e Manibhadda Sutta th e B u d d h a p o in te d o u t th a t sati o n its o w n , d e s p ite its m a n ifo ld a d v a n ta g e s , m ig h t n o t su ffice fo r e r a d ic a t­ in g ill w ill.* T h is p a ssa g e in d ic a te s th a t a d d itio n a l facto rs are n e e d e d in c o m b in a tio n w ith sati , s u c h a s b e in g d ilig e n t a n d c le a rly k n o w in g in th e case o f d e v e lo p in g satipatthana. T h u s, in o rd e r to c o n stitu te ''rig h t m in d fu ln e s s", sati has to c o o p e r ­ ate w it h v a r io u s o th e r m e n ta l q u a lities. H o w e v e r , fo r th e p u r p o s e o f c le a rly d e fin in g sati , w h ic h is m y p re se n t ta sk , I w ill co n s id e r sati in iso la tio n fro m th ese o th e r m e n ta l facto rs in o rd e r to d isc e rn its m ost essen tia l fe atu re s.

31 *Miccha sati" at D II353; D III 254; D III 287; D III 290; D III 291; M 142; M 1118; MITI77; M III 140; S II168; SIII109; S V 1; S V 12; S V 13; S V 16; S V 18-20; S V23; S V 383; A II220-9; * III 141; A IV 237; and A V 212-48 (A III 328 also has a w rong form of anussati). This sub* stantial number of references to "wrong" types of sati to some extent disagrees with the commentarial presentation of sati as an exclusively wholesome mental factor (e.g. As 250). This presentation of the commentaries causes, in fact, a practical difficulty: how to reconcile sati as a wholesome factor with satipaWiana in relation to the hin­ drances, if wholesome and unwholesome mental qualities cannot coexist in the same state of mind? The commentaries attempt to resolve this contradiction by presenting satipatthana of a defiled state of mind as a quick alternation between mind-moments associated with sati and those under the influence of defilements (e.g. at Ps-pt 1 373)* This explanation is however not convincing, since with either the defilement or else sati being absent, satipatthana contemplation of the presence of a defilement in one's mind becomes impossible (cf, e.g. the instructions for contemplating the hindrances, which clearly refer to such a hindrance being present at the time of satipatthana prac­ tice, M 160: "he knows 'there is ... in me"'). C f furthermore Gethin 1992: pp.40-3; and Nanaponika 1985: pp.68-72. According to the Sarvastivada tradition,, sati is an indeter­ minate mental factor, cf. Stcherbatsky 1994: p.101. 32 At S 1 208 Manibhadda proposed: "being mindful one is always blessed, being mind­ ful one dwells happily, being mindful one lives better each day, and one is free from ill-will/' The Buddha then repeated the first three lines, but corrected the fourth line to read: "yet one is not free from iU-wiir. Thus the central point in the Buddha's answer was to emphasize that sati alone might not suffice for eradicating ill will. This does, however, not mean that sati is incapable of preventing the arising of ill will, since its presence goes a long w ay in helping one to remain calm when confronted with the anger of others, as documented at S I 162; S 1 221; S 1 222; and S 1 223.

SATI

/ S3

ICI.4 SATI IMAGERY

T h e sig n ifica n c e a n d v a rio u s n u a n c e s o f th e term sati are illu stra te d b y a c o n sid e ra b le n u m b e r o f im a g e s an d sim iles in th e d isco u rses. If th ese im a g e s an d sim iles are e x a m in e d a n d th e ir im p lica tio n s d r a w n o u t, a d d itio n a l in s ig h ts ca n b e g a in e d in to h o w the B u d d h a a n d his c o n te m p o ra rie s u n d e r s to o d th e te rm sati. A sim ile in th e Dvedhdvitakka Sutta d e sc rib e s a c o w h e r d w h o h a d to w a tc h c lo se ly o v e r h is c o w s to p r e v e n t th e m s tr a y in g in to fie ld s w h e r e th e c ro p w a s rip e . B u t o n c e th e cro p w a s h a rv e ste d , h e w a s ab le to relax, sit u n d e r a tree, a n d w a tc h o v e r th e m from a d ista n ce . T o ex p re ss th is c o m p a r a tiv e ly rela x ed a n d d ista n t m a n n e r o f o b ser­ v a tio n , sati is used*” T h e d isp o sitio n s u g g e ste d b y th is sim ile is a calm a n d d e ta c h e d ty p e o f o b se rv a tio n . A n o th e r sim ile s u p p o r tin g th is q u a lity o f d e ta c h e d o b s e rv a tio n o c­ cu rs in a v e rs e in th e Theragathd, w h ic h co m p a res th e p ra c tic e o f satipafthana to c lim b in g an e le v a te d p la tfo rm o r to w e r.* C o n n o ta ­ tion s o f a lo o fn e s s an d u n in v o lv e d d e ta c h m e n t are c o n firm e d b y the co n te x t o f th is p a ssa g e , w h ic h co n tra sts th e to w e r im a g e to b e in g carrie d a w a y b y the stream o f d esire. D e ta c h m e n t com es u p a g a in in th e Dantabhumi Sutta, w h ic h co m p a re s satipatthana to th e ta m in g o f a w ild e le p h a n t. Just as a r e c e n tly c a p tu r e d e le p h a n t h as to b e g r a d ­ u a lly w e a n e d o f h is fo re st h ab its, so to o satipatthana ca n g ra d u a lly w e a n a m o n k fro m m e m o rie s an d in te n tio n s re la te d to th e h o u s e ­ h o ld life .3 5 A n o th e r sim ile co m p a re s sati to th e p ro b e o f a s u r g e o n .* L ik e the su r g e o n 's p ro b e , w h o s e fu n c tio n is to p r o v id e in fo rm a tio n a b o u t th e w o u n d fo r s u b s e q u e n t tre a tm e n t, so too th e "p r o b e " sati can b e u sed to c a r e fu lly g a th e r in fo rm a tio n , th e re b y p r e p a r in g the g ro u n d for su b s e q u e n t action . T h is g ro u n d -p r e p a r in g q u a lity is c o n v e y e d a gain b y a n o th e r sim ile , re la tin g sati to th e g o a d a n d th e p lo u g h ­ sh are o f a farm er.3 7Just as a fa rm e r has first to p lo u g h th e g ro u n d in

33 M 1 117 speaks in this context of practising mindfulness (safi karamyarii), while earlier he had actively to protect the crop by closely watching over the cows {rakkheyya). This, however, does not imply that sati cannot also take part in holding back a cow about to stray into ripe crops, which in fact it does at Th 446, but only that the more relaxed observation described above brings out a characteristic feature of bare and receptive sati.
34 ^ 7 6 5 35 M III 136.

36 M II260,

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o r d e r to b e ab le to s o w , so to o sati fu lfils a n im p o rta n t p r e p a r a to ry ro le fo r th e a ris in g o f w is d o m .3 8 T h is ro le o f sati in s u p p o r t o f th e a ris in g o f w is d o m o c c u rs a g a in in a n o th e r sim ile, w h ic h a sso cia te s th e p arts o f an e le p h a n t's b o d y w ith m e n ta l q u a litie s a n d facto rs. H e re sati is c o m p a re d to th e e le ­ p h a n t's n e ck , th e n a tu ra l s u p p o r t fo r its h e a d , w h ic h in th e sam e sim ile re p re s e n ts w is d o m ,3 9 T h e c h o ic e o f th e e le p h a n t's n e c k is o f a d d itio n a l sig n ifica n c e , sin ce it is a c h a ra cte ristic o f b o th e le p h a n ts a n d B u d d h a s to lo o k a ro u n d b y tu rn in g w ith th e w h o le b o d y in ­ ste a d o f o n ly w ith th e h e a d .4 0T h e e le p h a n t's n e c k , th e n , r e p re se n ts th e q u a lity o f g iv in g fu ll a tte n tio n to a m a tte r a t h a n d as a fe a tu re o f sati* A lt h o u g h th e " e le p h a n t lo o k " is a s p e c ific c h a ra cte ristic o f the B u d d h a , to g iv e c o n tin u o u s a n d fu ll a tte n tio n to a m a tte r at h a n d is a c h a ra cte ristic c o m m o n to all arahants .4 1 T h is is illu stra te d in a n o th e r sim ile , w h ic h co m p a re s sati to th e sin g le s p o k e o f a c h a r io t/ 3 In th is sim ile , th e ro llin g c h a rio t r e p re se n ts th e b o d ily a ctiv itie s o f an arahant, all o f w h ic h ta k e p la ce w it h th e s u p p o r t o f a sin g le s p o k e sati .
37 5 1 172 arid Sn 77. This simile might have suggested itself since with the help of the goad the farmer ensures the continuity o f the ploughing, keeping the ox "on track", while the ploughshare penetrates the surface of the earth, turns up its hidden parts, and thereby prepares it for seeds to be grown and planted. Similarly, continuity oisati keeps the mind "on track" with regard to the meditation object, so that sati can pene­ trate the surface appearance of phenomena, turn up their hidden aspects (the three characteristics), and enable the seeds of wisdom to grow. The fact that ploughshare and goad are mentioned together in the above simile points moreover to the need to combine clarity of direction with balanced effort in developing sati, since the farmer has to execute two tasks at the same time: w ith the goad in one hand he has to ensure the straightness of the furrow by keeping the oxen m oving in a straight line, while with the other hand he has to exert just the right amount of pressure on the plough­ share, so that it neither gets stuck because he has pushed it too deeply into the ground or only scratches over the surface for lack of pressure. 38 Spk 1 253 and Pj II147 explain the import of this simile to be that wisdom understands phenomena only when they are known through sati 39 A III 346* The same imagery occurs again at Th 695; and is at Th 1090 even transferred from an elephant to the Buddha himself. 40 M I I 137 depicts the Buddha turning his w hole body whenever looking back. This "elephant look" of the Buddha is again documented at D I I 122; w hile M I 337 reports the same for the Buddha Kakusandha. 41 According to Mil 266, arahants never lose their sati. 42 SIV 292. The whole simile originally comes up at Ud 76, where it is only the commen­ tary, Ud-a 370, which relates the single spoke to sati. Though the image of a single spoke might appear strange, as long as this spoke is strong enough (viz, the arahant's presence of satf), it is capable of providing the required connection between hub and rim to form a wheel.

SATI

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T h e s u p p o r tiv e ro le o f sati in th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f w is d o m c o m e s u p a g a in in a v e r s e fro m th e Sutta Nipata, w h e r e sati k e e p s the stream s in th is w o r ld in c h e c k , so th at th e fa c u lty o f w is d o m can c u t th em o ff.4 3T h is v e r s e p o in ts in p a rtic u la r to th e ro le o f sati in re la tio n to restra in t a t th e se n se d o o r s (indriya samvara) as a b asis fo r th e d e ­ v e lo p m e n t o f w is d o m . W h a t th e sim iles o f th e " s u r g e o n 's p r o b e " , th e " p lo u g h s h a r e " , the " e le p h a n t's n e c k ", a n d " k e e p in g th e stream s in c h e c k " h a v e in c o m ­ m o n is th a t th e y illu stra te th e p r e p a r a to ry ro le o f sati fo r in sig h t. A c ­ c o r d in g to th e s e sim iles, sati is th e m e n ta l q u a lity th a t en a b le s w is d o m to arise /4 A n o th e r sim ile, fo u n d in th e Samyutta Nikaya, c o m p a re s sati to a ca re fu l c h a rio te e r.4 5T h is b rin g s to m in d th e m o n ito r in g an d s te e r in g q u a lity o f sati in re la tio n to o th e r m e n ta l fa cto rs, su c h as th e fa c u ltie s an d th e p ow ers* T h e q u a litie s e v o k e d b y th is sim ile are c a re fu l a n d b a la n c e d s u p e rv is io n . A sim ila r n u a n c e ca n b e fo u n d in a n o th e r sim ­ ile, w h ic h c o m p a re s m in d fu ln e s s in re la tio n to th e b o d y to c a r r y in g a b o w l fu ll o f oil on o n e 's h e a d , v iv id ly illu s tr a tin g th e b a la n c in g q u a lity o f sati f T h e q u a lity o f c a re fu l s u p e r v is io n o c c u rs a g a in in y e t a n o th e r sim ­ ile, in w h ic h sati is p e r s o n ifie d b y th e g a te k e e p e r o f a to w n .4 7 The sim ile p o r tra y s m e ss e n g e rs a rr iv in g at th e to w n g a te w ith a n u r g e n t m e ssa g e to b e d e liv e r e d to th e k in g . T h e fu n c tio n o f th e g a te k e e p e r is to in fo rm th em o f th e s h o rte st ro u te to th e king* T h e g a te k e e p e r im a g e o c c u rs a g a in e ls e w h e r e in re la tio n to th e d e fe n c e o f a tow n* T h is to w n h as e n e r g y (viriya) as its tro o p s a n d w is d o m {panhd) a s its fo rtific a tio n , w h ile th e fu n c tio n o f th e g a te k e e p e r sati is to r e c o g n iz e the g e n u in e citiz e n s o f th e to w n a n d to a llo w th em to e n te r the gates/* B o th o f th e se sim iles a sso cia te sati w it h h a v in g a c le a r o v e r ­

43 Sn 1035; on this verse cf. also Nanananda 1984: p.29. 44 The relation of sati to wisdom is also alluded to at Vism 464, according to which the characteristic function of sati is absence of confusion (asammoharasa). 45 S V 6. A variation on the same imagery occurs at S I 33, where the Dhamma itself be­ comes the charioteer, with the consequence that sati is relegated to being the chariot's upholstery. The image of sati as upholstery illustrates how established sati in a way "cushions" the practitioner against the impact of the "potholes" of life, since the pres^ ence of awareness counters the tendency towards those mentat reactions and prolif­ erations that ordinarily tend to arise in relation to the vicissitudes of life, 46 S V 170.1 will examine this simile in more detail on page 122. 47 S IV 194,
48 A I V 110.

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v ie w o f th e situ atio n /9 T h e seco n d sim ile m o reo v er brin gs o u t the restrain in g fu n ctio n of bare sati, a fu n ctio n w h ic h is o f p articu lar re lev an ce in relation to re­ straint at th e sense d o o rs (indriya samvara). This brin gs to m in d the ab o ve-m en tio n ed p assage w h e re sati w a s to k eep th e stream s in this w o rld in check. Just as th e p resen ce o f the g a tek eep e r p reven ts th ose n o t entitled from e n te rin g the to w n , so too the p resen ce of w e ll-esta b lish ed sati p re v e n ts the arisin g o f u n w h o leso m e associa­ tions and reactions at th e sense doors. T h e sam e p ro te ctiv e role of sati also u n d e rlie s o th er passages, w h ic h in tro d u ce sati as th e one facto r that gu ard s the m in d ,5 0 or as a m ental q u a lity able to exert a co n tro llin g in flu en ce o n th o u g h ts an d in ten tion s.3 * A d isco u rse in th e Afiguttara Nikaya co m p a res the p ractice o f sati­ patthana to a c o w h e rd 's skill in k n o w in g the p rop er p astu re fo r his c o w s / 2 T h e im age o f a p ro p e r p astu re occurs again in th e Maha gopalaka Sutta, th ro w in g in to re lie f the im p ortan ce o f satipatthana co n tem p la tio n for g ro w th and d e v e lo p m e n t on th e p ath to d eliv er­ a n ce/3 A n o th e r d isco u rse e m p lo y s th e sam e im age to describ e the situ ation o f a m o n k e y w h o h as to a v o id stra y in g into re gio n s visited b y h u n ters.5 4Just as the m o n k e y , w is h in g to be safe, h as to k eep to its p ro p e r p astu re, so to o p ractitio n ers o f the p ath sh ou ld k e ep to their p ro p e r p astu re, w h ich is satipatthana+ Since on e o f th e a b o v e p as­ sages ex p la in s sensual p le a su re s to b e an im p ro p er "p a stu re", this set o f im a g es d e p ictin g satipatthana as o n e 's p ro p e r p astu re p o in ts to th e re stra in in g role o f b a re a w a ren ess in regard to sen se-in p u t/5

49 Cf. also Chah 1997: p*io: "that which 'looks over' the various factors which arise in meditation is 'sati'" 50 D III 269 and A V 30. 51 A IV 385. Cf. also the similar formulation at A IV 339 and A V 307. Th 359 and 446 also refer to the controlling influence of sati on the mind. 52 A V 352. 53 M I 221. 54 S V 148, where the Buddha related a parable in which a monkey was caught by a hunter because he had left the jungle (his "pasture”) and entered a region visited by men. The need to keep to oners proper pasture comes up again at S V 346 in a parallel dimile depicting a quail which in this way can avoid getting caught by a falcon. 55 S V 149, However, the commentaries to M 1 221 and A V 352 (Ps U 262 and Mp V 95) explain lack of skill in "pasture" to imply lack of understanding the difference between mundane and supramundane satipafth&na.

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T h is s ta b iliz in g fu n c tio n o f e sta b lish e d m in d fu ln e s s in r e g a r d to d istra c tio n b y w a y o f th e six se n se d o o rs is e x e m p lifie d in a n o th e r sim ile b y a s tr o n g p o st, to w h ic h six d iffe r e n t w ild a n im a ls are b o u n d .3 6 N o m a tte r h o w m u c h e a ch a n im a l m ig h t s tru g g le to g e t o ff o n its o w n , th e " s tr o n g p o s t" sati w ill re m a in stab le a n d u n s h a k e n . S u ch a s ta b iliz in g fu n c tio n o f sati is o f p a rtic u la r re le v a n c e d u r in g th e in itia l sta g e s o f satipatthana p ra c tic e , g iv e n th a t w it h o u t a firm fo u n d a tio n in b a la n c e d a w a r e n e s s o n e o n ly to o e a s ily s u c c u m b s to se n su a l d istra ctio n . T h is d a n g e r is illu s tra te d in th e Catuma Sutta, w h ic h d e sc rib e s a m o n k w h o g o e s b e g g in g a lm s w ith o u t h a v in g e s ­ ta b lish e d sati a n d th e re fo re w ith o u t re stra in t at th e sen se d o o rs. E n ­ c o u n te r in g a s c a n tily c la d w o m a n o n h is to u r c a u se s se n su a l d e sire to arise in h is m in d , so th a t h e e v e n tu a lly d e c id e s to g iv e u p h is p r a c ­ tice a n d to d isro b e .5 7
111,5 CHARACTERISTICS AND FUNCTIONS OF S AT I

A clo se e x a m in a tio n o f th e in s tru c tio n s in th e Satipatthana Sutta re v e a ls th a t th e m e d ita to r is n e v e r in s tru c te d to in te rfe re a c tiv e ly w ith w h a t h a p p e n s in th e m in d . If a m e n ta l h in d ra n c e a rises, fo r e x a m p le , th e ta s k o f satipatthana c o n te m p la tio n is to k n o w th at th e h in d ra n c e is p r e se n t, to k n o w w h a t h as le d to its arisin g , a n d to k n o w w h a t w ill le a d to its d is a p p e a ra n c e . A m o re a ctiv e in te r v e n ­ tion is n o lo n g e r th e d o m a in o f satipatthana , b u t b e lo n g s ra th e r to th e p r o v in c e o f rig h t e ffo rt (samma vayama). T h e n e e d to d is tin g u is h c le a r ly b e tw e e n a first sta g e o f o b s e rv a tio n a n d a s e c o n d sta g e o f ta k in g a ctio n is, a c c o r d in g to th e B u d d h a , an essentia] fe a tu re o f h is w a y o f te a c h in g .5 8 T h e s im p le re a so n fo r th is a p p r o a c h is th a t o n ly th e p re lim in a r y ste p o f c a lm ly a ss e s s in g a s itu ­ atio n w ith o u t im m e d ia te ly r e a c tin g e n a b le s o n e to u n d e r ta k e th e a p p r o p r ia te actio n . T h u s, a lth o u g h sati fu r n is h e s th e n e c e s s a r y in fo rm a tio n fo r a w is e d e p lo y m e n t o f rig h t e ffo rt, a n d w ill m o n ito r th e c o u n te rm e a s u re s b y n o tin g if th e se are e x c e ss iv e or d e fic ie n t, sati n e v e rth e le s s
56 S I V 198. Since this simile is concerned with mindfulness of the body in particular, I will discuss it in more detail on page 123. 57 M 1462. In fact at D I I 141 the Buddha particularly emphasized the need to keep to sati for monks w ho were coming in contact with women. 58 At It 33 the Buddha distinguished between two successive aspects of his teaching, the first of which was to recognize evil as evil, while the second was to get free from such evil.

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remains an aloof quality of uninvolved, detached observation. Sati can interact with other, m uch more active factors of the m ind, yet by itself it does not interfere.” U nin volved and detached receptivity as one of the crucial charac­ teristics of sati forms an important aspect in the teachings of several m odern meditation teachers and scholars.6 0 They em phasize that the purpose of sati is solely to make things conscious, not to elim i­ nate them. Sati silently observes, like a spectator at a play, w ithout in any w a y interfering. Som e refer to this non-reactive feature of sati as "choiceless" awareness.*1 "Choiceless" in the sense that w ith such awareness one remains impartially aware, w ithout reacting w ith likes or dislikes. Such silent and non-reactive observation can at times suffice to curb unw holesom eness, so that an application of sati can have quite active consequences. Vet sati'$ activity is confined to detached observation. That is, sati does not change experience, it deepens it. This non-interfering quality of sati is required to enable one clearly to observe the b uildin g up of reactions and their underlying motives. As soon as one becom es in any w a y involved in a reaction, the detached observational vantage point is im m ediately lost. The detached receptivity o f sati enables one to step back from the situa­ tion at hand and thereby to become an unbiased observer of one's subjective involvem ent and of the entire situation/2This detached distance allows for a m ore objective perspective, a characteristic illustrated in the above-m entioned simile of clim bing a tower. This detached but receptive stance of satipatthana constitutes a "m iddle path", since it avoids the two extremes of suppression and reaction.** The receptivity of sati, in the absence of both suppression and reaction, allows personal shortcom ings and unjustified reac­ tions to unfold before the w atchful stance o f the meditator, w ithout
59 An example for the coexistence of sati with intense effort is furnished by the bodhisatta's ascetic practices (at M 1 242), where even during excessive striving he was able to maintain his mindfulness. 60 Lily de Silva (n.d.): p.5; Fraile 1993: p.99; Naeb 1993: p-158; Swearer 1971: p.107; and van Zeyst 1989: pp.9 and 12. This receptive and not interfering quality of sati is abso echoed at Nid II262, which relates sati to peacefulness. 61 The expression '’choiceless awareness" is used by Brown 1986b; p.167; Engler 1983: p,32; Epstein 1984: p.196; Goldstein 1985: p.19; Komfield 1977: p,i2; Levine 3989: p.28; and Sujiva 2000: p.102. 62 Dhframvamsa 1988: p.31, 63 This is to some extent paralleled at A I 295, which presents zatipatfhaua as a middle path, aloof from both indulgence in sensuality and self-mortification*

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b e in g s u p p re sse d b y th e a ffe c tiv e in v e stm e n t in h ere n t in o n e 's self-im age. M a in ta in in g the p re se n ce o f sati in this w a y is c lo s e ly re­ lated to th e a b ility to to le ra te a h igh d e g re e o f " c o g n itiv e d isso ­ nance^, sin ce the w itn e s s in g o f o n e 's o w n sh o rtco m in g s o rd in a rily lead s to u n co n scio u s a ttem p ts at r e d u c in g th e resu ltin g fe e lin g o f d isco m fo rt b y a v o id in g or e v e n a lte rin g th e p e rce iv e d in fo rm a tio n ,6 1 This sh ift to w a rd s a m ore o b je c tiv e a n d u n in v o lv e d p e rsp e c tiv e in tro d u ce s an im p o rta n t e lem en t o f so b riety in to se lf-o b serva tio n . T h e e le m e n t o f "so b rie ty " in h e re n t in th e p re se n ce of sati co m es u p in an e n te rta in in g can o n ical d e scrip tio n o f a p articu lar celestial realm , w h o s e d iv in e in h a b ita n ts g e t so "in to x ic a te d " w ith sen su a l in d u lg e n c e th at th e y lo se all sati. A s a c o n s e q u e n c e o f b e in g w ith o u t sati, th e y fall from th eir e le v a te d celestial p o sitio n a n d are reb o rn in a lo w e r realm .6 5 T h e re v e rse case is also d o c u m e n te d in a n o th e r d is­ course, in w h ic h n e g lig e n t m o n k s, reb o rn in an in fe rio r celestial realm , o n r e g a in in g th eir sati are at o n ce able to ascen d to a h ig h e r realm .6 * Both th ese in sta n ces p o in t to the e d ify in g p o w e r o f sati and its w h o le s o m e re p ercu ssio n s. Sati a s a m en tal q u a lity is c lo s e ly re la te d to a tten tio n (manasikara), a b asic fu n c tio n w h ic h , a cc o rd in g to th e Abhidhammic a n a ly sis, is p resen t in a n y kin d o f m en ta l state.6 7 T h is b asic fa c u lty o f o rd in a ry a tten tio n ch a ra cte rize s th e initial sp lit se c o n d s o f b are c o g n iz in g o f an ob ject, b efo re o n e b e g in s to re c o g n iz e , id e n tify , a n d c o n c e p tu a l­ ize. Sati can b e u n d e rsto o d as a fu rth e r d e v e lo p m e n t a n d tem p o ra l exten sio n o f this ty p e o f a tten tio n , th e re b y a d d in g cla rity a n d d e p th to the u s u a lly m u ch to o sh o rt fractio n o f tim e o c c u p ie d b y b a re a t­ ten tio n in th e p e rce p tu a l p ro ce ss.6 8T h e re sem b la n ce in fu n c tio n b e ­ tw e e n sati a n d a tten tio n is also re fle cte d in th e fact th at w is e atten tio n (yoniso manasikara) p arallels se v e ra l a sp e cts o f satipatthana c o n te m p la tio n , su ch as d ire c tin g a tte n tio n to a n tid o tes for th e h in d ra n ce s, b e c o m in g a w a re o f the im p e rm a n e n t n a tu re o f th e

64 65 66 67

Cf. Festinger 1957: p. 1*4. D J 19 and D ili 31. D E 272. Abhidh-s 7. The discourses assign a similarly important role to attention ( manasikara} by including it in the definition of "name" (noma), e.g* at M 153. O n the relation of sati to attention cf. Bullen 1991: p.17; Gunaratana 1992: p.i5o; and Nanapoijika 1950: p.3. 68 Nanaponika 1986b: p.2. This "bare" quality of sati is alluded to at Vism 464, which con­ siders being directly face-to-face with an object as a characteristic manifestation of

sati.

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a g g re g a te s or o f the sen se-sp h eres/ esta b lish in g the a w a k e n in g fac­ tors, a n d c o n te m p la tin g th e fo u r n o b le truths.6 9 T h is "b are a tte n tio n " a sp e ct o f sati h as an in trig u in g p o ten tia l, sin ce it is cap a b le o f le a d in g to a "d e -a u to m a tiza tio n " o f m en tal m echanism s*7 0T h ro u g h bare sati o n e is ab le to see th in g s ju st as th ey are, u n a d u lte ra te d b y h ab itu al reactio n s an d p rojection s. B y b rin g ­ in g th e p e rce p tu a l p ro ce ss in to th e fu ll lig h t o f a w a r e n e s s o n e b e ­ co m es co n scio u s of a u to m a tic a n d h ab itu al resp on ses to p erce p tu a l data* F ull a w a re n e ss o f th e se au to m atic resp o n ses is th e n ecessary p re lim in a ry step to c h a n g in g d etrim en ta l m en ta l habits. Sait as bare a tten tio n is p articu la rly re le v a n t to restrain t at the sen se d o o rs (indriya samvara).7 1In this a sp e ct o f th e g ra d u a l p a th , th e p ractitio n er is e n c o u ra g e d to reta in bare sati in regard to all sensein p u t. T h ro u g h the sim p le p re se n ce o f u n d is ru p te d a n d bare m in d ­ fu ln ess, th e m in d is "re stra in e d " from a m p lify in g an d p ro life ra tin g th e re ce iv e d in fo rm a tio n in v a rio u s w a y s. T h is g u a rd ia n sh ip ro le o f sati in rela tio n to se n se -in p u t is a llu d e d to in th ose sim iles th a t d e ­ clare satipatthana to b e th e p ro p e r "p a stu re " for a m ed ita to r a n d w h ic h co m p a re sati to the g a te k e e p e r o f a to w n . A c co rd in g to th e d isco u rses, th e p u rp o se o f re stra in in g th e senses is to a v o id the a risin g o f d esires (abhijjhd) a n d d isco n ten t (domanassa). S u ch fre e d o m fro m desires a n d d isco n ten t is also a n a s­ p ect o f satipatthana co n te m p la tio n , m e n tio n e d in the "d e fin itio n " p a rt o f th e d isco u rse,7 * T h u s th e a b se n ce o f reaction s u n d e r th e in flu ­ en ce o f d esires a n d d isco n te n t is a co m m o n featu re o f b o th satipat­ thana a n d sense-restraint. T h is g o e s to s h o w th a t th ere is a c o n sid e ra b le d e g re e o f o v e rla p b e tw e e n th ese tw o activities. T o sum u p , sati en tails an alert b u t re ce p tiv e e q u a n im o u s o b se rv a ­ tion.7 3 V ie w e d fro m th e co n te x t o f actu a l p ractice, a p re d o m in a n tly re ce p tiv e sati is th en e n liv e n e d b y th e q u a lity o f b e in g d ilig en t
69 Wise attention (yoniso manasikara) is applied to antidotes for the hindrances at S V 105, can lead to realization by giving attention to the impermanent nature of the aggre­ gates at S III 52 and of the sense-spheres at S iV 142, establishes the awakening factors at S V 94, and consists in contemplating the four noble truths at M 19. Cf. also A V 115, where wise attention functions as "nutriment" for mindfulness and dear knowledge, which in turn act as nutriment for saiipatfhaim. 70 Deikman 1966: p.329; Engler 1983: p.59; Goleman 1980: p-27; and 1975: p 46; and van Nuys 1971: P‘i27. 71 The standard definition of sense-restraint found e.g. at M 1 273, speaks of avoiding being carried away by one’s evaluations and reactions to what is perceived through the senses. Cf, also Debvedi 1998: p,i8; and page 225 infra. 72 M 1 56: "free from desires and discontent in regard to the world."

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(dtdpi), a n d su p p o rte d b y a fo u n d a tio n in co n cen tra tio n (samddhi). To the in terrela tio n o f sati w ith co n cen tra tio n I w ill n o w tu rn in m o re detail.

til6

s a t i

a n d

c o n c e n t r a tio n

(s

a m

A

d h i

)

T h e continuous presence o f w e ll-e sta b lish ed sati is a req u irem en t for a b so rp tio n (jhdna).7 4 W ith o u t th e s u p p o rt o f sati, as th e Visnddhimagga p o in ts out, co n ce n tra tio n can n o t reach the lev el o f a b so rp ­ tion.7 5 E v e n o n e m e rg in g from an e x p e rie n ce o f d e e p co n cen tra tio n sati is req u ired w h e n o n e r e v ie w s the c o n stitu e n t factors o f o n e 's e x ­ p erie n ce .7 6 T h u s sati is re le v a n t for a tta in in g , for re m a in in g in, a n d for e m e rg in g from d e e p co n ce n tra tio n .7 7 Sati b e co m e s p a rticu la rly p ro m in e n t w h e n th e th ird le v e l o f a b so rp tio n (jhdna) is re a ch e d ,7 * W ith the a tta in m en t o f th e fou rth a b so rp tion , w h e n th e m in d h as re a c h e d su ch a d e g re e o f p ro fic ie n cy that it can be d ire cte d to w a rd s th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f su p e rn o rm al p o w e rs, sati also reach es a h igh d e g re e o f p u rity , b e cau se o f its asso­ ciation w ith d e e p e q u a n im ity .7 9 S e ve ra l d isco u rse s te stify to th e im p o rta n t role o f satipatthana as a b asis for the d e v e lo p m e n t o f ab so rp tio n a n d for the su b se q u en t

73 Modern scholars and meditation teachers offer several alternative summaries of the essentia] aspects of sati. Ayya Khema 1991: p.182, distinguishes two applications of safi: the mundane application, helping one to be aware of what one is doing, and the supramundane application of penetrating to the real nature of things. Dhammasudhi 1969: p.77, describes four aspects of sati: awareness of surroundings, of one's reactions to these surrounding?, of one's own conditioning, and of stillness ("pure awareness"). Hecker 1999: p.11, mentions vigilance, self-control, depth, and steadiness. Nanaponika 1986b: p.5, enumerates four "sources of power" in sati: tidying up by naming, non-coerdve procedure, stopping and slowing down, and directness of vision* 74 M III 25-8 documents that this need applies to each stage in the ascending series of meditative absorptions, since it lists sati among the mental factors of the four absorp­ tions of the form sphere and of the first three immaterial attainments. The fourth im­ material attainment and the attainment of cessation, both being states of mind not amenable to factor analysis, are still related to sati on emergence (M III 28). Presence of sati in all jhanas is also documented at Dhs 55 and at Patis 3 35. 75 Vism 514, 76 Described e.g. at M III 25. 77 Cf. D III 279; Patis H16; and Vism 129 ► 78 The standard descriptions of the third jhana (eg. at D II 313) explicitly mention the presence of sati and of clearly knowing. 79 The standard descriptions of the fourth jhana (e.g. at D II 313) speak of "purity of mindfulness due to equanimity", which then can be used to develop supernatural powers (e.g. at M 1 357). That here sati is indeed purified by the presence of equanim­ ity can be gathered from M 111 26 and Vibh 261; cf. also As 178 and Vism 167.

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a tta in m e n t o f s u p e r n o r m a l p o w e r s .9 0T h e ro le o f satipatthana in s u p ­ p o r tin g th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f c o n c e n tr a tio n is a ls o r e fle c te d in th e s ta n d a r d e x p o s itio n s o f th e g r a d u a l p a th , w h e r e th e p r e lim in a r y s te p s th a t le a d u p to th e a tta in m e n t o f a b s o r p tio n in c lu d e m in d fu l­ n ess a n d cle a r k n o w le d g e (satisampajanna ) in re la tio n to b o d ily a c ­ tiv itie s , a n d th e ta s k o f r e c o g n iz in g th e h in d r a n c e s a n d s u p e r v is in g th e ir r e m o v a l, an a s p e c t o f th e fo u r th satipatthana, c o n te m p la tio n o f dhammas. T h e p r o g r e s s io n fro m satipatthana to a b s o r p tio n is d e s c r ib e d in th e D antabhum i Sutta w it h a n in te r m e d ia te s te p . In th is in te r m e d ia te s te p , c o n te m p la tio n o f th e b o d y , fe e lin g s , m in d , a n d dhammas c o n ­ tin u e s w it h th e s p e c ific q u a lific a tio n th a t o n e s h o u ld a v o id h a v in g a n y th o u g h ts .* In th e in s tr u c tio n fo r th is tra n s itio n a l s ta g e , t h e m e n ­ tal q u a litie s o f d ilig e n c e a n d c le a r k n o w le d g e a re c o n s p ic u o u s ly a b ­ sen t. T h e ir a b se n c e s u g g e s t s th a t at th is p o in t th e c o n te m p la tio n is n o lo n g e r satipatthana p r o p e r , b u t o n ly a tra n sitio n a l s ta g e . T h is th o u g h t-fr e e tra n sitio n a l s ta g e still p a rta k e s o f th e sam e r e c e p tiv e o b s e r v a tio n a l q u a lity a n d o f th e sa m e o b je c t as satipatthana, b u t at th e sa m e tim e it m a rk s a c le a r s h ift fro m in s ig h t to calm . It is s u b s e ­ q u e n t to th is s h ift o f e m p h a s is fro m satipatthana p r o p e r to a sta te o f c a lm a w a r e n e s s th a t th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f a b s o r p tio n ca n ta k e p la ce. O n c o n s id e r in g th e s e in s ta n c e s it is in d u b ita b ly c le a r th a t sati h a s a c ru c ia l r o le to fu lfil in th e re a lm o f samatha . T h is m ig h t b e w h y th e Culavedalla Sutta s p e a k s o f satipatthana as th e " c a u s e " o f c o n c e n tr a ­ tio n (samadhinimitta).** T h e re la tio n b e tw e e n satipatthana a n d th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f d e e p c o n c e n tr a tio n is e x e m p lifie d b y th e m o n k

80 The concentrative attainments possible through satipatthana practice are docum ented on several occasions, such as D I I 216; S V 151; S V 299; S V 303; and A [V 300. According to Ledi 1985: p.59, one should embark on the developm ent of absorption only w hen one is able to maintain satipatthana contemplation uninterruptedly for one or two hours daily. 9 i M UI 136. Whereas the p t s edition speaks of thoughts In relation to the objects of satipatthana (kayupasamkitam vitakkam etc► ), the Burmese and the Sinhalese editions speak of sensual thoughts instead (kamiipasamhitam vitakkawy Judging from the d y­ namics o f the discourse, this seems to be the Less probable reading, since this passage follows on the removal o f the five hindrances and leads on to absorption, and that straightaway into the second jhana. The corresponding Chinese version (T'iao Yu Ti Ching, Madhyama Agama no. 198), how ever, supports the reading of the Burmese and Sinhalese editions. In additionP it also mentions the attainment of the first jhana, w hich in all the Pali editions Is missing.
82 M I 301. P s 11 363 ta k e s th is to r e fe r to th e m o m e n t o f re a lisa tio n , w h ic h , h o w e v e r , as

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A n u r u d d h a , fo re m o s t a m o n g th e B u d d h a 's d is c ip le s in th e s u p e r ­ n o r m a l a b ility o f s e e in g b e in g s in o t h e r r e a lm s o f e x is te n c e / 3 a n a b ility b a s e d o n a h ig h d e g r e e o f p r o fic ie n c y in c o n c e n tr a tio n . W h e n e v e r a s k e d a b o u t h is a b ilitie s, A n u r u d d h a in v a r ia b ly e x ­ p la in e d th a t h is s k ills w e r e th e o u tc o m e o f h is p r a c tic e o f satipatthana O n th e o th e r h a n d , h o w e v e r , to c o n s id e r satipatthana p u r e ly as a c o n c e n tr a tio n e x e r c is e g o e s to o fa r a n d m is s e s th e im p o r ta n t d iffe r ­ e n c e b e t w e e n w h a t c a n b e c o m e a b a s is fo r th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f c o n c e n tr a tio n a n d w h a t b e lo n g s to th e re a lm o f c a lm n e s s m e d ita tio n p r o p e r .3 5 In fa c t, th e c h a r a c te ris tic fu n c tio n s o f sati a n d c o n c e n tr a ­ tio n (samadhi) a re q u ite d is tin c t. W h ile c o n c e n tr a tio n c o r r e s p o n d s to an e n h a n c e m e n t o f th e s e le c tiv e fu n c tio n o f th e m in d , b y w a y o f r e ­ s tr ic tin g th e b r e a d th o f a tte n tio n , sati o n its o w n r e p re s e n ts a n e n ­ h a n c e m e n t o f th e r e c o lle c tiv e fu n c tio n , b y w a y o f e x p a n d in g th e b r e a d th o f attention*** T h e s e t w o m o d e s o f m e n ta l fu n c tio n in g c o r ­ r e s p o n d to t w o d iffe r e n t c o r tic a l c o n tr o l m e c h a n is m s in th e b r a in .6 7 T h is d iffe r e n c e , h o w e v e r , d o e s n o t im p ly th a t th e tw o a re in c o m p a t­ ib le , sin c e d u r in g a b s o r p tio n a tta in m e n t b o th a re p r e s e n t. B u t d u r ­ in g a b s o r p tio n sati b e c o m e s m a in ly p r e s e n c e o f th e m in d , w h e n it to s o m e e x te n t lo s e s its n a tu r a l b r e a d th o w in g to th e s tr o n g fo c u s in g p o w e r o f c o n c e n tr a tio n . T h e d iffe r e n c e b e tw e e n th e s e t w o b e c o m e s e v id e n t fro m th e v o c a b u la r y e m p lo y e d in a p a s s a g e fr o m th e Satipatthana Sam yutta .

83 84 85 86

87

the com mentary also admits, is difficult to reconcile w ith the fact that the discourse speaks of developing and m aking much of this samadhinimitta* The supportive role of satipatthana for the developm ent o f right concentration is also echoed at A V 212, according to w hich right m indfulness gives rise to right concentration, A 1 23. S V 294-306; cf, also Malalasekera 1995: voU , p.88, C f. e,g. Schmithausen 1973: p.179, w h o suggests that satipatthana w as originally purely a concentration exercise. Cf* also Bullen 1982: p«44; Delm onte 1991: pp.48-50; G ole man 1977a: p.298; Shapiro 1980: pp.15-19; and Speeth 1982: pp.146 and 151. Gunaratana 1992: p,i6^r aptly sums up: "concentration is exclusive. It settles dow n on one item and ignores everything else. Mindfulness is inclusive. It stands back from the focus of attention and watches w ith a broad focus." Brown 1977: p.243: "tw o major cortical control mechanisms ... involved in selecting and processing information .., a frontal system associated w ith restrictive processing and a posterior-temporal system associated w ith more wide-range processing o f in­ formation- The brain m ay be likened to a camera that can use either a wide-angle lens or a zoom lens. Or, in cognitive terms, attention can be directed to the m ore dominant details in a stimulus field or to the entire field."

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In th is p a ssa g e the B u d d h a re co m m e n d e d that, if on e is b e in g d is­ tracted o r slu g g ish w h ile p ra ctisin g satipatthana, o n e sh o u ld tem p o­ rarily ch a n g e o n e 's p ractice a n d d e v e lo p a calm (samatha) object o f m e d ita tio n , in o rd e r to c u ltiv a te in tern al jo y a n d s e re n ity / 9 T h is h e term ed a "d ire c te d " form o f m ed ita tio n {panidhaya bhavana). O n c e , h o w e v e r , the m in d has b e e n calm ed , on e can retu rn to a n "u n d ire c te d " m o d e o f m e d ita tio n (appayidhaya bhavana), n a m e ly th e practice o f satipatthana. T h e d istin ctio n d r a w n in th is dis­ co u rse b e tw e e n "d ire c te d " an d "u n d ire c te d " form s o f m ed itation su g g e sts that, co n sid e re d on their o w n , th ese tw o m o d es o f m ed ita ­ tion are cle a rly d ifferen t. A t th e sam e tim e, h o w e v e r, th e w h o le dis­ co u rse is co n ce rn e d w ith th eir skilfu l in terrela tio n , clearly d e m o n stra tin g that w h a te v e r th e d e g re e o f th eir d iffe re n ce , the tw o can b e in terrela ted a n d s u p p o rt ea ch other.®9 T h e ch ara cteristic q u a lity o f co n cen tra tio n is to "d irect" a n d a p p ly th e m in d , fo cu s in g o n a sin g le ob ject to th e ex clu sio n o f e v e r y th in g else. T h u s th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f co n cen tra tio n p ro m o te s a sh ift from th e co m m o n stru ctu re o f ex p e rie n ce as a su b ject-ob ject d u a lity to­ w a rd s an ex p e rie n ce o f unity*9 0C o n ce n tra tio n , h o w e v e r , th e re b y ex­ c lu d e s a b ro a d e r a w a re n e ss o f circu m sta n ces an d o f th eir in terrelations.*1 Th is a w a re n e ss o f circu m sta n ces a n d in terrela tio n s is, h o w e v e r , essen tial in o rd e r to b eco m e a w a re o f th ose ch aracteris­ tics o f e x p e rie n ce w h o s e u n d e rsta n d in g lead s to a w a k e n in g . In this con text, th e b ro a d ly re ce p tiv e q u a lity o f sati is p a rticu la rly im p o rtan t. T h ese tw o rath er d istin c t q u a lities o f co n cen tra tio n and m in d fu l­ n ess are co m b in e d to so m e ex ten t in th e d escrip tio n s o f in sig h t m e d ­ itation b y th o se m e d ita tio n teach ers w h o e m p h a size th e "d r y in sig h t" a p p ro a ch , d is p e n s in g w ith th e fo rm al d e v e lo p m e n t of m e n ­ tal calm . T h e y som etim es d escrib e sati as "a tta ck in g " its o b ject in a
88 SV15689 At the beginning of this passage the Buddha spoke in praise of being well established in the four satipatthanas. Thus the reason for his exposition about "directed'’ and "undirected" modes of meditation appears to be that he wanted to show how satmtha can act as a support for the practice of satipatthana. 90 Kamalashila 1994: p.96; Kyaw Min 1980: P 96; and Ruth Walshe 1971 ’ p«i04« Cf, also page 262. 91 Cf. Brown 1986b: p.180, who in a comparison of Rorschach teste done with different meditators describes in his conclusion the "unproductivity and relative paucity of associative process which characterizes the samadhi state", while "the Rorschachs of the insight group ... are primarily characterized by increased productivity and rich­ ness of associative elaborations."

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w a y th a t is co m p a rab le to a ston e h ittin g a w a ll,9 2 T h ese fo rcefu l term s p ro b a b ly re p re se n t th e n e e d for a co n sid erab le d e g re e o f e f­ fort d u rin g c o n te m p la tio n , su ch p ro d ig io u s e ffo rt b e in g req u ired to co m p e n sa te for the c o m p a ra tiv e ly lo w d e g re e o f c o n cen tra tio n d e ­ v e lo p e d w h e n fo llo w in g the " d r y in sigh t" a p p ro a ch to a w a k e n in g . In fact, so m e o f th ese sam e m e d ita tio n tea ch ers co n sid e r the b a re and e q u a n im o u s q u a lities o f sati as a m o re e v o lv e d sta ge o f p ractice, p re su m a b ly w h e n th e m o re fo rce fu l sta g e o f "a tta ck in g " an o b ject has fu lfille d its ro le a n d has p r o v id e d a basis o f m en ta l sta b ility ** T h e a b o ve w a y o f c o n sid e rin g sati m a y be rela ted to th e com m en tarial d e fin itio n o f sat/ as " n o n -flo a tin g " an d th e refo re as "p lu n g in g in to its o b je ct".9 4 C e rta in ly th e ab sen ce o f "flo a tin g ", in the sen se o f d istractio n , is a ch aracteristic o f sati . H o w e v e r "to p lu n g e " in to a n o b ject a p p e a rs to be m o re ch aracteristic o f c o n c e n ­ tration , p a rtic u la rly d u r in g th e p ro g re s s to w a rd s ab sorp tion . A c­ c o rd in g to m o d ern sch o la rsh ip , it seem s th at this a sp ect o f the co m m en ta rial u n d e rs ta n d in g o f sati a ro s e b e ca u se o f a m isrea d in g or m isin te rp re tatio n o f a p a rticu la r term .9 5 In fact, "a tta ck in g " an o b ­ ject or " p lu n g in g in to " an o b je ct d o n o t c o rresp o n d to th e ch ara cter­ istic fe a tu re s o f sati in itself, b u t re p re se n t sati in a s e c o n d a ry role, actin g in co m b in a tio n w ith effo rt o r co n cen tra tio n . T h u s a lth o u g h it p la y s an im p o rta n t p art in th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f a b so rp tio n , c o n sid e re d o n its o w n sati is a m en ta l q u a lity d istin ct from co n cen tratio n . In d e e d , th e reaso n e v e n th e a tta in m e n t o f h ig h leve ls o f a b so rp tio n b y itse lf is in su fficie n t for lib e ra tin g in sig h t is quite p ro b a b ly re la te d to the in h ib itio n o f th e p a ssiv e o b se rv a tio n a l

92 Mahasi 1990: p.23: "the knowing mind ... as in the case of a stone hitting a wall"; which Silananda 1990: p.21, identifies: "like the stone hitting the w a ll... that hitting of the object is mindfulness". Pan^ita (n.d,): p.6, goes further, when he describes satipatthUna as implying to 'attack the object without hesitation ... with violence, speed or great force ... with excessive haste or hurry", which he then compares to sol­ diers defeating an enemy troop in a sudden attack. 93 Such more advanced stages of satipatthana practice are sometimes referred to as "vipassaiw jhanas", an expression not found in the discourses, the Abhidhamma, or the commentaries. Cf. Mahasi 1981: p.98; and a detailed exposition in Patrfita 1993: pp. 180— 205/ cf. esp, p.199:" non-thinking, bare attention is called the second vipassanH. jhana” . 94 This is the term apilapanata, found at Dhs 11 (detailed expo at As 147); Vibh 250; Pp 25; Nett 54; Mi! 37; and Vism 464. On the term cf, also Guenther 199?: p.68 n.2; Horner 3969: p.50 n.5; NJanamoli 196a; p.28 n.83/3; and C.A.F. Rhys Davids 1922: p.14 n.3.
95 G eth in 1992: PP'3$-40* su g g e sts th at the com m en ta ria l re a d in g o f apilapeti sh o u ld ra th er b e apiiapati (or abhilapatf), w h ic h in stead o f d e scrib in g sati as " p lu n g in g in to ", w o u ld come to mean "reminding someone o f so m e th in g ". C f. also C o x 1992: pp.79— 82.

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q u a lit ie s o f a w a r e n e s s b y th e s t r o n g f o c u s in g p o w e r o f a b s o r p tio n c o n c e n tr a t io n . T h is , h o w e v e r , d o e s n o t d e t r a c t fr o m t h e fa c t th a t th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f c o n c e n tr a t io n f u lfils a n im p o r ta n t r o le in th e c o n ­ t e x t o f in s ig h t m e d it a t io n , a to p ic I w ill d is c u s s in m o r e d e ta il in C h a p t e r IV .

IV

TH E

RELEVANCE

OF

CO N CEN TRATIO N

T h is c h a p t e r is d e v o t e d to t h e e x p r e s s io n " f r e e fr o m d e s ir e s a n d d is ­ c o n t e n t in r e g a r d to th e w o r l d " a n d its im p lic a tio n s . S in c e t h e f r e e ­ d o m fr o m d e s ir e s a n d d is c o n t e n t e n v is a g e d in th is fin a l p a r t o f th e " d e f in it io n " p o in t s to th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f m e n ta l c o m p o s u r e w h e n p r a c t is in g satipatthana, in th is c h a p t e r 1 in v e s t ig a t e th e r o le o f c o n ­ c e n tr a tio n in th e c o n t e x t o f in s ig h t m e d ita tio n , a n d t r y to a s c e r ta in th e d e g r e e o f c o n c e n t r a t io n n e e d e d fo r r e a liz a t io n . T h e r e a ft e r 1 e x ­ a m in e th e g e n e r a l c o n t r ib u tio n o f c o n c e n t r a t io n to th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f in s ig h t a n d th e ir in t e r r e la t e d n e s s .
r v .i F R E E D O M F R O M DES IR E S A N D D I S C O N T E N T

T h e " d e f i n i t i o n " p a r t o f th e Satipatthana S u tta c o n c lu d e s w it h th e e x ­ p r e s s io n " f r e e fro m d e s ir e s a n d d is c o n t e n t in r e g a r d to th e w o r l d " .1 A c c o r d in g to th e N ettip pakarana , to b e " f r e e f r o m d e s ir e s a n d d is c o n ­ te n t" r e p r e s e n t s th e f a c u lt y o f c o n c e n t r a t io n .2 T h is s u g g e s t io n fin d s s u p p o r t in s o m e d is c o u r s e s , w h ic h s li g h t ly v a r y th e " d e f in it io n " , r e ­ p la c in g " f r e e fr o m d e s ir e s a n d d is c o n t e n t " w it h r e fe r e n c e s t o a c o n ­ c e n tr a te d m in d o r to e x p e r i e n c i n g h a p p in e s s .3 T h e s e p a s s a g e s

1

2 3

M I g6. A IV 430 explains "w orld " as referring to the pleasures of the five senses. This squares w ell w ith A IV 458, w here satipatthana leads to their abandoning, V ibh 195 takes "w orld * in the satipatthana context to represent the five aggregates. N ett 82. S V 144 an d S V 157,

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in d ic a te th a t fre e d o m fro m d e s ire s a n d d is c o n te n t r e p re s e n ts m e n ­ tal ca lm a n d c o n te n tm e n t. T h e c o m m e n ta rie s g o fu r th e r a n d id e n t ify th is p a rt o f th e " d e fin i­ tio n " w ith th e re m o v a l o f th e fiv e h in d r a n c e s .4T h is is s o m e tim e s u n ­ d e r s to o d to im p ly th a t th e f iv e h in d r a n c e s h a v e to b e r e m o v e d p rio r to e m b a r k in g o n satipatthana c o n te m p la tio n ,5T h e r e fo r e th is e x p re s ­ sio n re q u ire s a d e ta ile d e x a m in a tio n in o r d e r to see h o w fa r s u c h a s tip u la tio n is ju s tifie d . T h e P ali te rm r e n d e r e d " fr e e " is vineyya , fro m th e v e r b vineti {to r e ­ m o v e ). A lt h o u g h vineyya is b e st tra n sla te d as " h a v in g r e m o v e d " , th is d o e s n o t n e c e s s a r ily im p ly th a t d e s ir e s a n d d is c o n te n t m u s t be r e m o v e d b e fo re u n d e r ta k in g th e p ra c tic e o f satipatthana ; it can a lso m e a n th a t th is a c tiv ity ta k e s p la c e s im u lta n e o u s ly w ith th e p ra c tic e .6

4 Ps 1 244. 5 e.g. by Kheminda 1990: p-i096 Generally speaking, the form vineyya can be either a gerund; "having rem oved" (this is how the commentary understands it, cf. P s 1 244: vinayiiva)t or else 3rd sing, poten­ tial: "one should remove'" (as e.g. at Sn 590; cf. also W oodward 1980: vol.IV, p. 142 n.3). However, in the present context to take vineyya as a potential form is not acceptable, as then the sentence would have two finite verbs in different m oods {piharati + vineyya). Usually the gerund form does im ply an action preceding the action of the main verb, which in the present case would mean that the removal has to be com­ pleted prior to the practice of satipatthana. H owever, in some cases the gerund can also represent an action occurring concurrently with the action denoted b y the main verb. An example o f a concurrent action expressed by the gerund is the standard description of the practice of loving kindness in the discourses (e.g- at M 1 38) where the "abiding" (viharati) and the "pervading" (pharitvd) are simultaneous activities, to­ gether describing the act of radiating loving kindness. The same type o f construction occurs in relation to the attainment of absorption (e.g. at D 1 37), where the "abiding" {viharati) and the "attaining" {upasampajja) also take place simultaneously. In fact, sev­ eral translators have rendered vineyya in such a w ay that it represents the outcome of satipatthana practice. Cf. e.g, Dhammiko 1961: p.182: #um weltliches Begehren und Bekum mem z u tiberwinden"; Gethin 1992: p.29: "he ... overcomes both desire for and discontent w ith the world"; Hamilton 1996: p.173: "in order to remove (himself) from the covetousness and misery in the world*; Hare 1955* vol.IV, p.199: * overcom­ ing the hankering and dejection common in this world"; Hurvitz 1978: p.212: "putting off en vy and ill disposition toward the world"; Jotika 1986: p.i: "keeping aw ay covet­ ousness and mental pain*; Lamotte 1970: p.1122; "au point de controler dans le m onde la convoitise et la tristesse"; Lin Li Kouangi949: p.119: "qu'il surmonte le deplaisir que la convoitise cause dans le monde"; C A .F . Rhys Davids 1976: p.257: "overcom ing both the hankering and the dejection common in the world"; Schmidt 19891 p.38: "alle weltlichen Wunsche und Sorgen vergessend"; Silananda 1990: p,i77; "rem oving c o v ­ e to u s n e s s and grief in the world"; Sole-Leris 1999: p.116: "desechando la codicia y la afliccion de lo mundane"; Talamo 1998: p.556; "rim ovendo bramosia e malcontento riguardo al mondo"; Thanissaro 1996: p.83: "puttingaside greed and distress with ref­ erence to the world"; W oodward 1979: vol.V, p.261: "restraining the dejection in the world that arises from coveting".

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Th is w a y o f u n d e rs ta n d in g co n cu rs w ith th e g e n e ra l p ictu re p ro ­ vid e d in th e d isco u rses. In a p a ssa ge fro m th e Anguttara Nikaya, for exam p le, the p ractice o f satipatthana d o e s n ot requ ire, b u t rath er re­ sults in, o v e r c o m in g th e h in d ra n c e s / S im ilarly , a c c o rd in g to a d is­ course in the Satipatthana Samyutta, la ck o f skill in the p ractice o f satipatthana p re v e n ts th e p ra ctitio n e r from d e v e lo p in g c o n c e n tra ­ tion an d o v e rc o m in g m e n ta l d e file m e n ts.6 T h is sta te m e n t w o u ld be m e a n in g le ss if th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f co n ce n tra tio n an d the ab sen ce o f m ental d efilem en ts w e re p rereq u isites for th e practice o f satipatthana. D esires (abhijjha) a n d d isc o n te n t (domanassa), th e tw o m en ta l q u a l­ ities w h o se re m o v a l is stip u la te d in th e "d e fin itio n ", o ccu r a ga in in relation to th e last fo u r step s in th e sixteen -step sch e m e fo r m in d fu l­ ness o f b re a th in g d e scrib e d in the Anapanasati Sutta. A c c o r d in g to the B u d d h a 's ex p la n a tio n , b y this stage o f p ractice freed o m from d e ­ sires a n d d isc o n te n t h as b e e n a c h ie v e d .9 T h is e x p la n a tio n su g g e sts that th e sam e w a s n o t y e t th e case for th e p r e v io u s tw e lv e step s, w h ic h the B u d d h a n e v e rth e le s s d escrib ed as c o rre s p o n d in g to the first th ree satipatthanas .1 0T h e d isa p p e a ra n ce o f d isc o n te n t o n its o w n occurs also in the "d ire c t p a th " p a ssa g e o f th e Satipatthana Sutta, w h e re its re m o v a l is a g o al o f satipatthana p ractice.” A ll th ese pas* sages c le a rly d e m o n stra te th a t a c o m p le te "re m o v a l" o f d esires a n d d isco n te n t is n o t a p re re q u isite fo r satipatthana, b u t co m es a b o u t as a resu lt o f su cce ssfu l p ractice.” T h e m e n ta l q u alities to b e re m o v e d are d esires (abhijjha) a n d d is­ c o n ten t (domanassa). T h e co m m e n ta rie s id e n tify th ese w ith th e e n ­ tire se t o f th e fiv e h in d ra n c e s.1 3 A s a m atter o f fact, in se v e ra l

A [V 458. S V 150. M ill 84. This would however only apply for the preliminary stages of practice, since for the first three satipatthanas to lead to awakening, freedom from desire and discontent is a requirement, indicated at M III 86 b y qualifying the arising of the awakening factor of equanimity in relation to each of the four satipatthanas with the same expression as the one used at M III 84 in relation to the final four steps of mindfulness of breathing. 11 M I 55: "this is the direct p a th .., for the disappearance o f ,.. discontent.,. namely, the four satipatthanas" 12 Ps ] 244 understands a successful removal of desires and discontent to be an outcome of the practice. Cf. also Debvedi 1990: p.22; Khemacari 1985: p. 18; Nanasarpvara 1961: p.8#Narjuttara 1990: p.280; and Yubodh 1985: p.9. 13 PSI244. 7 8 9 10

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d is c o u r s e s "d e s ire s " {abhijjha ) d o r e p la c e th e m o re u s u a l s e n s u a l d e ­ sire (kamacchanda ) as th e first o f the h in d r a n c e s .'4 It is d iffic u lt to u n ­ d e r s ta n d , h o w e v e r , w h y d is c o n te n t (domanassa ) s h o u ld c o r re s p o n d to th e h in d r a n c e o f a v e r s io n (byapdda), In th e d is c o u rs e s , d is c o n te n t (domanassa) sta n d s fo r a n y k in d o f m e n ta l d e je c tio n , w h ic h w o u ld n o t n e c e s s a r ily b e r e la te d to a v e r s io n , a n d c e rta in ly n o t b e s y n o n y ­ m o u s w it h it.1 3 B e sid e s, e v e n if o n e w e r e to a c c e p t th e q u e s tio n a b le e q u a tin g o f d is c o n te n t w it h a v e rs io n , o n e w o u ld still h a v e to ac­ c o u n t fo r th e r e m a in in g th re e h in d r a n c e s / 6 If it r e a lly w e re e s s e n tia l to r e m o v e th e f iv e h in d r a n c e s b e fo r e u n ­ d e r ta k in g th e p ra c tic e o f satipatthana, s e v e r a l o f th e m e d ita tio n p r a c ­ tice s d e s c r ib e d in th e Satipatthana Sutta w o u ld b e r e n d e r e d s u p e r flu o u s . T h e se a re th e c o n te m p la tio n o f u n w h o le s o m e fe e lin g s a n d o f u n w h o le s o m e sta te s o f m in d ( w o r ld ly fe e lin g s , m in d a ffe c te d b y lu st o r a n g e r), a n d in p a rtic u la r a w a r e n e s s o f the p r e s e n c e o f ju s t th e se fiv e h in d ra n c e s a s th e first c o n te m p la tio n o f dhammas . T h e s e satipatthana in s tru c tio n s c le a r ly s u g g e s t th a t u n w h o le s o m e s ta te s o f m in d , w h e t h e r th e y b e d e s ir e s, d is c o n te n t, o r a n y o f th e h in d r a n c e s , n e e d n o t p r e v e n t o n e fro m p r a c tis in g satipatthana, s in ce t h e y can p r o fita b ly b e tu rn e d in to o b je c ts o f m in d fu l c o n te m p la tio n . In th e lig h t o f th e se c o n s id e r a tio n s , it s e e m s q u ite p r o b a b le th at th e B u d d h a d id n o t e n v is a g e th e r e m o v a l o f th e fiv e h in d r a n c e s as a n e c e s s a r y p r e c o n d itio n fo r th e p ra c tic e o f satipatthana. In fa c t, if h e in te n d e d to stip u la te th e ir re m o v a l as a r e q u ire m e n t fo r u n d e r ta k ­ in g satipatthana, o n e m ig h t w o n d e r w h y h e d id n o t e x p lic itly m e n ­ tio n th e h in d r a n c e s , as h e in v a r ia b ly d id w h e n d e s c r ib in g the d e v e lo p m e n t o f a b s o r p tio n (jhana).

14 A t D 1 72; D 1 207; D III 49; M I t8t; M I 269; M 1 274; M 1 347; M II162; M I I 226; M UI 3;M III 35; M III 135; A I I 210; A III 92; A III 100; A I V 437; A V 207; and It 118. In its general usage in the discourses, abhijjha represents one of the ten unwholesome w ays of act­ ing (e.g. at D III 269). In this context it means covetousness, in the sense o f the wish to ow n the possessions of others (cf. e.g« M 1 287). Cf. also van Zeyst 2961b; p.91. 15 D II306 defines domanassa as mental pain and unpleasantness. M III 218 then distin­ guishes between the types of domanassa ow ing to sensual discontent and those owing to spiritual dissatisfaction. According to M 1304, these latter types of domanassa are not at all related to the underlying tendency to irritation, 16 It is a typical tendency of the commentaries to associate a key term (in the present context abhijjha) with a w hole set or standard category as part of their attempt to clarify the teachings, but at times this is done without sufficient consideration o f the context.

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T h e tw o m ental q u alities o f desires an d discon ten t, w h ic h the B u d d h a d id m ention in th e satipmfthanii "d efin itio n ", often occur in th e d isco u rses in re la tio n to sense-restraint, a stage in th e grad u al p ath sch em e prior to fo rm al m ed itatio n .17A t this stage, th e m ed ita to r g u a rd s th e sen se doors in ord er to p re v e n t sense im p ression s from le a d in g to desires and d isco n ten t. J u d g in g from th ese con texts, the exp ressio n "d esires and disco n ten t" refers in a g en eral w a y to "lik es" an d "d islik es" in rega rd to w h a t has b e en perceived* A c co rd in g to the p resen tation in th e Anapanasati Sutta , th e ab­ sence o f su ch desires an d discon ten t co n stitu tes an im p o rtan t factor in ca rry in g out the co m p a ra tiv e ly subtle an d sop h isticated m ed ita­ tions listed for co n te m p la tio n o (dhammas. T h is relates the ab sen ce o f desires a n d d isco n ten t to an a d v a n c e d stage of satipatthana. T h us, vineyya as the com p leted action o f "h a v in g re m o v e d " desires and d isco n te n t rep resen ts m ore a d v a n c e d le v e ls o f satipatthana. T h e dis­ cou rses o ften refer to su ch a d va n ce d stages o f satipatthana con tem ­ p latio n as "w ell-esta b lish ed " (supatifthita)'* A t these m ore a d v a n c e d stages o f satipatthana, im p artial a w a ren ess is so firm ly estab lish ed (supatitthita) that one is e ffo rtle ssly able to m aintain disp assion ate o b servatio n , w ith o u t re actin g w ith desires a n d discon ten t. C o n v e rse ly , vineyya as a sim u ltan eo u s action , as th e act o f "re m o v ­ in g " ta k in g place in th e p resen t, in d icates a p u rp o se o f th e initial stages o f satipatthana practice. D u rin g th ese initial stages th e task is to b u ild u p a d eg ree o f in n e r eq u ip oise w ith in w h ic h d esires a n d dis­ c o n te n t are h e ld at b ay. T h ese initial stages o f satipatthana p arallel sense-restraint, w h ic h co m b in es bare sati w ith d elib erate effort in o rd e r to a vo id or co u n terb a lan ce desires and discontent. A lth o u g h sense-restraint p re ce d e s p ro p e r m ed itatio n p ractice in th e gra d u a l p ath sch em e, this d o e s n o t im p ly th at sense-restraint is co m p leted at an exact p o in t in tim e, o n ly after w h ic h o n e m oves on to form al p rac­ tice/9 In actual practice th e tw o o verlap to a con sid erab le d eg ree, so

17 The standard definition, e.g, at M 1 273, speaks of guarding the sense doors in order to avoid the flowing in of desires and discontent. 18 e.g. at DII83; D III 101; M 1339; S III93; S V 154; S V 160; S V1S4; S V 301; S V 302? A III 155; A III 386; and A V 195. O f particular interest in this context is S 111 93, which states that during this advanced level of well-established satipatthana practice unwholesome thoughts will no longer be able to arise. 19 Cf. e.g* A V 114, where satipatthana depends on sense-restraint, which in turn depends on mindfulness and clear knowledge (one of the body contemplations). This suggests some degree of interrelation between sense-restraint and satipaftham in actual prac­ tice, rather than a one-sided dependency of the former on the latter.

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th at sense-restraint can be con sid ered part o f satipatthana practice, p articu larly at those stages w h e n desires an d discon ten t h ave not y e t b e e n co m p letely rem o ved . A lth o u g h the initial stages o f satipatthana practice m ay n o t require the p rio r establishm ent: o f a h igh level of concentration,, or th e com ­ p lete rem o val o f u n w h o le so m e states o f m in d, these are necessary fox the ad va n ced stages o f the p ractice that are to lead u p to realiza ­ tion. This necessity w ill o ccu p y m e d u rin g m ost of the rem ain d er o f this ch ap ter, in w h ic h I w ill in vestigate in m ore detail the relation ­ ship o f concentration to the p ro gress to w a rd s realization. A s a p re p ­ aration for this in vestigatio n , 1 w ill first attem p t to clarify the im p lications o f the re lev an t terms; concentration (samadhi), righ t co n cen tratio n ( samma samddhi), an d ab sorp tion {jhdna).
CO NCENTRATION, RIGHT CONCENTRATION, AND ABSORPTION

I V. 2

The n o u n samddhi is related to the verb samddahati, "to p u t togeth er" or "to collect", such as w h e n one collects w o o d to k in d le a fire.2 0 Samddhi thus stands fo r "collectin g" oneself, in the sense of co m p o ­ sure or u n ification o f the m in d .2 ' T h e discourses use the term "concentration" (samddhi) in a surp ris­ in g ly b road m an ner, rela tin g it to w alk in g m editation , for exam p le, or to o b serv in g the a risin g and p assin g a w a y of feelin g s and co gn itio n s, o r to co n tem p la tin g the arising a n d p assing a w a y o f th e five aggregates.*1 In a p assage from the Anguttara Nikaya, e v e n the four satipatthanas are treated as a form o f con cen tration /1 Th ese oc­ curren ces d em on strate that, as used in the discourses/ the term "co n cen tratio n " (samddhi) is not restricted to the d e v elo p m e n t of

20 e.g. at Vin I V 115.

21 At M 1 301 samadhi is defined as unification of the mind (cittassekaggata). 22 A III 3a speaks of samadhi gained through walking meditation. Although walking meditation can be employed to develop mental calm, it would not be the appropriate posture for deeper states of concentration. A I I 45 refers to contemplating the arising and disappearance of feelings, cognitions, and thoughts, and to contemplating the impermanent nature of the five aggregates, as forms of samadhi. This breadth of meaning of samadhi is also documented at D III 222, which speaks of four different ways of developing samadhi, distinguished according to their results: samadhi leading to pleasant abiding (the jhanas), to knowledge and vision (through development of clarify of cognition), to mindfulness and clear knowledge (fay contemplating the aris­ ing and passing away of feelings, cognitions, and thoughts), and to the destruction of the influxes (by contemplating the arising and passing away of the five aggregates), 23 AIV 300.

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calm (samatha) o n ly , b u t can also refer to th e realm o f in sig h t m ed ita ­ tion (vipassand). T u r n in g to "r ig h t co n cen tra tio n " (samma samadhi), h ere o n e fin ds tim e a n d a g a in th a t th e d isco u rse s e q u a te rig h t co n cen tra tio n w ith the fo u r a b so rp tio n s (jhdnas)/4 T h is is o f co n sid erab le im p o rta n ce, since "rig h t" co n cen tra tio n is a p rereq u isite for a w a k e n in g . T a k in g this d e fin itio n litera lly, th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f "rig h t" co n cen tra tio n re­ q uires th e a b ility to atta in all fo u r ab so rp tion s. H o w e v e r, se v e ra l d is­ co u rses a llo w for full a w a k e n in g b ased "o n ly " o n the a b ility to attain th e first a b so rp tio n /5 T h is su g g e sts that e v e n th e first a b so rp tio n m a y b e su fficien t, in term s o f c o n ce n tra tiv e a b ility, to e n a b le the b re a k th ro u g h to fu ll a w a k e n in g .4 6 In te re stin g ly, in the Mahdcattarlsaka Sutta a n d severa l o th e r d is­ co u rses a n o th er d e fin itio n o f rig h t co n ce n tra tio n can b e fo u n d th at d o e s n o t m en tio n th e ab so rp tio n s at a ll/7 T h e im p o rta n ce o f th e Mahdcattarlsaka Sutta to th e p resen t d iscussion is furth er h ig h lig h te d in th e p ream b le to this d isco u rse, w h ic h states the to p ic to b e a te a c h in g on rig h t c o n ce n tra tio n /8T h e d e fin itio n o f rig h t c o n cen tra ­ tion g iv e n h e re sp eak s o f u n ificatio n o f the m in d (cittassekaggatd) in in te rd e p e n d e n c e w ith th e o th e r se v e n p a th factors**9 T h at is, in o rd e r fo r u n ificatio n o f th e m in d to b e co m e "r ig h t" co n cen tra tio n it n ee d s to be c o n te x tu a lize d w ith in th e n o b le e ig h tfo ld p a th sch e m e .3 0 D efin itio n s o f rig h t co n cen tra tio n th a t d o n o t m en tion a b so rp tio n

24 e.g. at D II313: "he enters upon and remains in the first jhana,.. the second jhana .„. the third jhana ... the fourth jhdna ... this is called right concentration." 25 A IV 422 speaks of realizing the destruction of the influxes based on the first jhana; cf. also M 1 350; M 1 435; and A V 343. 26 All four jhdms are needed only for the approach to realization by w ay of the threefold higher knowledge {tevijja}, cf, e.g. M I 357, In fact S 1 193 reports that, of a substantial congregation of arahants, two out of each three had neither the threefold higher knowledge (tevijja), nor supernormal knowledges (abhinna) nor immaterial attain­ ments. If all arahants possessed the ability to attain the fourth jhana, one would expect a much higher percentage of them to have used this in order to develop one or the other of these attainments. However, Ferera 1968: p.210, considers attainment of all four jhanas a necessary condition for awakening, 27 D II217; M III 7; and S V 21. Cf. also D III 252 and A IV 40. Other ways of defining right concentration can also be found at e,g, M III 289, where a penetrative understanding of the six senses constitutes right concentration; or at S 1 48, where rightly concentrat­ ing is a result of establishing sati; or at A III 27, which lists what is probably a form of insight meditation as an alternative w ay to develop right concentration. 28 M III 71: "monks, 1 will teach you noble right concentration/

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a tta in m e n t

can

a lso

be

fo u n d

in

th e

Abhidhamma

and

th e

c o m m e n ta rie s.3 ' T h u s th e d e c is iv e fa c to r th a t q u a lifie s c o n c e n tr a tio n as " r ig h t" is n o t ju s t a q u e s tio n o f th e d e p th o f c o n c e n tr a tio n a c h ie v e d , b u t is c o n c e rn e d w ith th e p u r p o s e fo r w h ic h c o n c e n tra tio n is e m p lo y e d . In p a rtic u la r, th e p r e s e n c e o f th e p a th fa c to r r ig h t v ie w is in d is p e n s ­ a b le / 2 B y w a y o f c o n tra st, th e B u d d h a 's fo rm e r te a c h e rs, A la ra K a la m a a n d U d d a k a R a m a p u tta , d e s p ite th eir d e e p c o n c e n tr a tio n a tta in m e n ts, w e r e n o t e n d o w e d w ith " r ig h t" c o n c e n tra tio n b e c a u s e o f th e a b se n c e o f r ig h t v ie w .3 3 T h is g o e s to s h o w th a t th e a b ility to a t­ tain a b so rp tio n in its e lf d o e s n o t y e t c o n s titu te th e fu lfilm e n t o f th e p a th fa c to r o f r ig h t co n cen tra tio n * A sim ila r n u a n c e u n d e r lie s th e q u a lific a tio n samma, "r ig h t" , w h ic h lite r a lly m e a n s " to g e th e r n e s s " , o r "to b e c o n n e c te d in o n e " / 4T h u s to s p e a k o f th e fo u r a b s o r p tio n s or o f u n ific a tio n o f th e m in d as " r ig h t" c o n c e n tra tio n d o e s n o t s im p ly m ean th at th ese a re " r ig h t" a n d all e lse is " w r o n g " , b u t p o in ts to th e n e e d to in c o r p o r a te th e d e v e lo p ­ m e n t o f c o n c e n tr a tio n in to th e n o b le e ig h tfo ld p ath . S u c h a s tip u la tio n is n o t w it h o u t p ra c tic a l r e le v a n c e , sin ce a l­ th o u g h th e e x p e rie n c e o f a b so rp tio n is a p o w e r fu l to o l to d im in is h

29 M III 71: "right view , right intention, right speech, tight action, right livelihood, right effort, and right mindfulness. Unification of the mind equipped with these seven fac­ tors is called noble right concentration/' Judging from other discourses, to speak of * unification o f the mind" need not necessarily imply absorption attainment, since e.g. A I114 relates unification of the mind to walking and standing, or at A III 174 unifica­ tion o f the mind occurs w hile listening to the Dhamma. 30 Cf* also Ba Khirt 1994: p.69: "right concentration cannot be achieved unless there is right effort and right mindfulness"; Buddhadasa 1976: p,36: '"a wholesom e mind steadily fixed on an object' the term 'wholesome' is much more important than 'steadily fixed" ... the motives for practising concentration must be pure ... must be based on insight and right view"; and Weeraratnei990: p.451 "right concentration is the one pointedness o f mind achieved through cultivating the preceding seven stages of the path/' (as a translation of M III 71). 31 Vibh 107 defines right concentration simply as "steadfastness of the mind" (in the Abhidhamma exposition; the Suttanta exposition at Vibh 106, however, enumerates the four jfmnasy Vism 510 also defines right concentration as "unification o f the mind", 32 A 111 423 points out that without purifying view it is not possible to develop right con­ centration. 33 Cf, M 1 164 for the bodhisatta's encounters with A&ra Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta. 34 Cf. Monier-Wiliams 1995: p.1181, w ho translates the corresponding Sanskrit term samyak with "complete*, "entire", and "whole". T-W, Rhys Davids 1993: p & 5 5, has "to­ wards one point". Cf. also Gruber 1999: p**90, w ho comments on the inappropriate­ ness of translating samm& as "right".

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c ra v in g a n d atta ch m en t in re g a rd to the fiv e senses, it all too easily len d s itse lf to stim u latin g c ra v in g for a n d a tta ch m en t to th ese su b ­ lim e "m in d door" exp erien ces. B ut o n ly co n cen tratio n u n ta in te d b y c ra v in g can a ct as a fu ll-fle d g e d p ath factor o f th e n ob le e ig h tfo ld p ath le a d in g to th e erad ica tio n o f dukkha. It is this q u ality, an d not ju st th e d e p th o f co n cen tra tio n a ch ie v e d , that turns a co n cen tra tive a tta in m en t into rig h t co n cen tratio n . T o su m u p : to sp e a k o f "rig h t" co n cen tration is not sim p ly a q u es­ tion o f b e in g able to attain a b s o r p tio n sin ce th e d e cisiv e criterion for d e scrib in g co n cen tratio n as "righ t" is w h e th e r it is d e v e lo p e d in co n ­ ju n c tio n w ith the o th e r facto rs o f the n o b le e ig h tfo ld p ath. T h e w o rd jhana (absorption ) is d e riv e d from the verb jhayati "to m e d ita te ",3 5 A lth o u g h jhana u su a lly refers to th e a ttain m en t o f d ee p ab so rp tio n , the w o rd o ccasio n a lly retain s its origin al m e a n in g o f m ed itatio n . T h e Gopakamoggallana Sutta , for exam p le, m en tion s a form o f jhana in w h ic h th e h in d ran ces still obsess the m in d ,3 6 Su ch " jhdna " d o e s not q u a lify as a m e d ita tiv e ab sorp tion , since it is the a b sen ce o f th e h in d ra n ces that ch aracterizes true absorption. In o rd er to assess the practical im p licatio n s o f such a tru e state o f a b so rp tio n , a b rief exam in atio n o f the first ab sorp tion is req u ired at this p oint. T h e p roblem w ith u n d e rsta n d in g th e first a b sorp tion is that tw o o f its m ental factors, initial m en tal a p p lica tio n (vitakka) a n d su stain ed m en tal a p p lica tio n < vicara),3 7 h a v e b e e n d iffe re n tly in ter­ preted* A s vitakka, initial m en tal a p p lica tio n , is e ty m o lo g ic a lly rela ted to takka, w h ic h d e n o te s th o u g h t a n d lo gical reaso n in g, s e v ­ eral scholars co n clu d e that co n cep tu a l th o u g h t co n tin u es in the first

35 The relation between these two words appears on several occasions, e.g. at D II239; D II265; M 1 243; Dhp 372; Sn 1009; and Thi 401, 36 M III 14 speaks of being under the influence of the five hindrances as a type of jhdna of which the Buddha did not approve. Another example is the injunction "not to neglect jhana" (anirakntajjhana), which at M 1 33 and It 39 occurs together with "being devoted to mental calm" and "being endowed with insight", probably including both in the general sense of ''meditation'". Similarly, the frequent exhortation jhayalha bhikkhave (e.g. at M 1 46) is better rendered ''meditate monks" than "attain absorption monks''. Another example is the expression "not lacking jhanaH(arittajjhano), which at A 139-43 is combined with several meditation practices that do not in themselves yield absorp­ tion attainment, such as satipatthana, contemplation of impermanence, or the six rec­ ollections. The most common use of jhana in the discourses, however, refers to absorption, this kind of usage being easily recognizable by the circumstance that absorption jhana is usually classified as *first", "second", etc, (except for A V 133, where "jhana” is at first used unspecified, but at the conclusion of the discourse this jhana is shown to be the first level of absorption).

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stage of a b so rp tio n / Som e discourses a p p ear at first sight to sup­ port this, since they refer to the second absorption as the "cessation of w h o lesom e intentions", or as a state of "noble silence".3 9 This p oint is of considerable relevance to an u nderstanding o f the nature of absorption* T h e issue at stake, sim p ly stated, is w h eth er the first absorption is a d e e p state of concentration, ach ieved only after a prolonged period o f practice and seclusion, or a stage of re­ laxed h a p p y reflection w ith in easy reach o f anyone and w ith o u t m uch n eed for m editative proficiency* The latter assum ption stands in contradiction to the com m entarial presentation, w h ich describes in detail the stages of develop m en t prior to absorption.4 0 T h ese sources indicate that to attain the first absorption a considerable am ount o f m editative develop m ent is re­ quired, A lth o u gh references to this prelim inary d evelop m en t ap­ pear o n ly obliquely in the discourses, in one instance at least, the Upakkilesa Suita, the B uddha gave a detailed account o f his ow n struggle to attain the first absorption.4 ’ This passage leaves no doubt that the Buddha h im self encountered considerable d ifficu lty w hen he attem pted to attain the first absorption, even though in his early yo u th he h ad already once experienced it.4 2

37 The standard definitions, e.g. at D 173, speak of the first jhana as "with initial and sus­ tained mental application" (savitakkarji savicaram). Several discourses also mention a level of absorption without initial but with sustained mental application (D III 219; D III 274; M III 162; S IV 360; SIV 363; and AIV 300). The resulting fivefold form of pre­ senting the four jhartas became more prominent in the Abhidhamma (explained in detail at As 179). Stuart-Fox 1989: p.92, points out that some of the above quoted occur­ rences are missing from the corresponding Chinese editions. 38 Barnes 1981; p.257; Bucknell 1993: p.397; Kalupahana 1994: p.35; Ott 1912: p.348; and Stuart-Fox 1989: p.94. 39 M II 28 associates the second jhana with the cessation of "wholesome intentions", while SII273 speaks of the second jhana as "noble silence"; the same expression occurs also at Th 650 and 999. (Commentary Th-a II274 identifies this as second jhana, but Th-a 111 102 even speaks of the fourth jh&m.) 40 Cf. e,g> Vism 125 on the development of the counterpart sign; and Vism 285 on the development of absorption based on the concentrative sign gained through in- and out-breathing, 41 M III 162, where only after having consecutively overcome a whole series of mental obstructions (cf. in detail page 199, footnote73) he was able to attain the first jharw* Cf* also A TV 439, which reports his struggle to overcome sensuality in order to be able to develop jhana, 42 M I 246, Possibly his ability to enter the first jhana so easily at this particular moment during his early youth was related to samatha practice undertaken in a previous life, an ability lost during his adolescence and later sensual indulgence as a young man, so that he had to develop it anew.

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T h e Upakkilesa Sutta is a d d r e s s e d to A n u r u d d h a a n d a g r o u p o f m o n k s w h o w e r e e v id e n t ly in sim ila r d ifficu lties* O n a n o th e r o c c a ­ s io n th e B u d d h a a lso h a d to a ssist M o g g a lla n a to a tta in th e first a b ­ s o r p t io n / 3 It is n o t e w o r th y th a t A n u r u d d h a a n d M o g g a lla n a , w h o b o th la te r e x c e lle d all o th e r d is c ip le s w it h th e ir c o n c e n tr a tiv e p o w ­ e r s / 4 n e e d e d th e B u d d h a 's p e r so n a l in te r v e n tio n to a tta in " m e r e ly " th e fir s t a b so rp tio n . T h e s e e x a m p le s s u g g e s t th a t th e a tta in m e n t o f th e firs t a b so rp tio n re q u ire s a c o n s id e r a b le d e g r e e o f m e d ita tiv e p ro fic ie n c y A c c o r d in g to th e d is c o u r s e s , o n e w h o h a s e n te r e d th e firs t a b s o r p ­ tio n is n o lo n g e r a b le to s p e a k / 3 T h is w o u ld n o t a p p ly if th e first a b ­ s o r p tio n w e r e m e re ly a sta te o f c a lm m e n ta l re fle c tio n . N o t o n ly s p e e c h , b u t also h e a r in g d o e s n o t o c c u r d u r in g th e d e e p e r s ta g e s o f a b so r p tio n ; in fact, s o u n d is a m a jo r o b s ta c le to a tta in in g th e first a b ­ s o r p tio n / 6 T h e e x p e r ie n c e o f th e first a b s o r p tio n is a n " u n w o r ld ly " e x p e r ie n c e ;4 7 it c o n s titu te s a n o th e r w o r ld in th e p s y c h o lo g ic a l a n d th e c o s m o lo g ic a l s e n s e / 8 T o atta in th e first a b s o r p tio n is to r e a c h a

43 s IV 263. 44 Cf. A 1 23. 45 S IV 217; same at SIV 220-3. 200 uses this passage to oppose the (wrong) view that the jhana factors initial and sustained mental application refer to vocal activity. This view arose because of their definition as verbaJ formations at M 1 301* 46 A V 135. According to Brahmavamso 1999: p.29, "w hile in any jhana it is impossible to <.. hear a sound from outside or produce any thou ght/ K v 572 also refutes the view that it is possible to hear sound during jhana attainment. At Vin 111 109, some monks accused Moggallana to have falsely claimed attainment, because he had stated that w hile being in the "imperturbable concentration" (Le. fourth jhana or an immaterial attainment) he had heard sounds. The fact that this fed the monks to accuse him of false claims shows that the impossibility of hearing sound during deep absorption was generally accepted am ong the monks. However; the Buddha exonerated Moggallana, explaining that it was possible to hear sound even during such a deep level of jhanaf if the attainment was impure (aparisuddko). Sp I I 513 explains that be­ cause he had not fully overcom e the obstructions to absorption, M oggallana's attain­ m ent w as not stable and thus the hearing took place in a moment of instability of the concentration. 47 A IV 430 refers to a m onk having attained the first jhana as having reached the end of the world (‘'world" being identified with the five sense-pleasures in the same dis­ course). Another example of the distinct character of the jhdnic experience is the kind of cognition operating during the firstjhana, w hich D 1 182 calls a "subtle but real" cog­ nition (sukhtimasaccasanna). This expression indicates the attenuated form of cogni­ tion that takes place during absorption, different from the w ay in w hich the ordinary w orld is cognized. 48 These are the elements o f materiality and immateriality (D III 215), corresponding to the material and immaterial realms o f existence (S V 56), and different from the ele­ m ent o f sensuality or the sensual realm.

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tration has become fully stable/3does the mind reach a state of com ­ plete inner stillness ("noble silence")/ leavin g behind even these subtle "w holesom e intentions". Based on the passages considered so far, it seems reasonable to suppose that "absorption" (jhana) refers to profound experiences o f deep concentration achieved after h avin g developed a considerable degree of m editative proficiency,

rv*3 ABSORPTION AND REALIZATION

Countless discourses recom m end the developm ent of concentra­ tion as an essential factor for "k n o w in g things as they really are".* Concentration is a requirem ent for full aw akening,5 5 and this con­ centration has to be "righ t" concentration.5 6These specifications rec­ om m end absorption concentration as a requisite for full aw akening. H ow ever, the question m ight be asked if the same is also required for streanventry, A lth o u g h ow in g to the pow erful im pact o f experi­ encing Nibbdna at stream -entry, the concentrative unification of one's m ind (cittassekaggatd) w ill m om entarily reach a level com para­ ble to absorption, h ow far does this require the p revious develop ­ m ent o f absorption w ith a calmness object of m editation?5 7 The qualities listed in the discourses as essential for the realization of stream -entry do not stipulate the ability to attain a b sorp tion / Nor are such abilities m entioned in the descriptions of the qualities

53 Indicated in the standard descriptions of the second jhana (e,g, at D 174) by qualifying the joy and happiness experienced to be "bom of concentration" (samadhija), and by the expression "singleness of mind" (cetasa ekodibkavtt). 54 e.g. at SIV 80. 55 A III 426 points out that without samadhi it is impossible to gain realization. 56 A III 19; A III 200; A III 360; AIV 99; AIV 336; A V 4-6; and A V 314 explain that without right concentration it is not possible to gain liberation, A III 423 stresses again that right concentration is required to be able to eradicate the fetters and realize Nibbana. It is interesting to note that in most of these cases the absence of right concentration is due to a lack of ethical conduct, so that in the reverse case (cf> e.g. A III 20) one gets a statement indicating that the "tightness" of concentration is the outcome of ethical conduct (viz. factors three, four, and five of the noble eightfold path). This brings to mind the alternative definition discussed above of right concentration as unification of the mind in interrelation with the other path factors. {This is further supported by the use of the Pali word 1tpanisa in the instances under discussion at present, which echoes the expression sa-upanisa used in the definition of right concentration as unifi­ cation of the mind at M III 71.)
57 The distinction draw n here is concerned w ith w h at the com m entaries refer to as "supram undane" and as "m undane" concentration (cf. the definition given at Vism

85).

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that are characteristic of a stream-enterer subsequent to realization.3 9 According to the discourses, w hat is a necessary condition for be­ ing able to gain stream-entry is a state of mind completely free from the five hindrances.6 0Although a convenient w ay to remove the hin­ drances is the development of absorption, this is not the only w ay to do so. According to a discourse in the Itivuttaka, the hindrances can also be removed and the mind become concentrated even during walking meditation, a posture not suitable for attaining absorption,6 1 In fact, another passage shows that the hindrances can be tempo­ rarily absent even outside the context of formal meditation, such as when one is listening to the Dhamma^ This alternative is corroborated by a fair number of the attain­ ments of stream-entry recorded in the discourses where the person in question might not even have meditated regularly in this life, much less be able to attain absorption.6 *Yet these reports invariably
58 5 V 410 lists the need to associate with worthy men, to listen to the Dhamma, to develop wise attention (yoniso mamsik&ra), and to undertake practice in accordance with the Dhamma as requirements for the realization of stream-entry. (S1118 explains practice in accordance with the Dhamtfin to refer in particular to overcoming igno­ rance through developing dispasston.) On requirements for stream-entry cf. also M 1

32*
59 One would expect this ability to be mentioned among the four characteristic qualities of a stream-enterer, which however are confined to perfect confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saftgha, together with firm ethical conduct. At S V 357 the Buddha mentioned these four as defining characteristics of a stream-enterer. 60 e,g. A III 63, Cf. also M 1 323, which mentions several qualities needed for streamentry, among them not being obsessed by the hindrances. 61 Itn8. 62 S V 95. 63 D 1110 and D 1 148 feature rich Brahmins, whose busy lifestyle as administrators of a royal domain would not be particularly conducive to the development of jhana, yet each of them realized stream-entry while hearing a discourse of the Buddha. M 1380 and A I V 186 report the stream-entries of stout followers of the lains during a dis­ course of the Buddha. (Considering that the leader of the Jains, according to SIV 298, even doubted the existence of the second jham, one may well suppose that jhdnic abil­ ities are improbable in the case of his followers. This impression is borne out by the ac­ count given in Tatia 1951: pp.281-93,) At A IV 213 a drunken layman, sobered up through the impact of meeting the Buddha for Ihe first time, realized stream-entry during a gradual discourse given at that same first meeting. Ud 49 has a leper, described as a poor, pitiable, and wretched person, similarly realizing stream-entry during a discourse of the Buddha. This leper had actually mistaken the crowd listen­ ing to the Buddha for a free distribution of food and had only approached in hope of getting a meal. Finally, according to Vin II195, several hired killers, one of whom even had the mission of killing the Buddha, all became stream-enterers instead of complet­ ing their mission after hearing a gradual discourse by the Buddha. In all these cases it is not very probable that those realizing stream-entry were involved in the regular practice of meditation or in the possession of jhanic attainments.

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m en tio n th e re m o v a l o f th e h in d ra n ce s p re v io u s to the a risin g o f in ­ sigh t.6 4 In all th e se in stan ces, th e h in d ra n ce s w e re re m o v e d as a re­ sult o f a tte n tiv e ly liste n in g to the g ra d u a l in stru ctio n s g iv e n b y the B u d d h a. In fact, a su b stan tial n u m b er o f w e ll-k n o w n m o d e rn m ed ita tio n teachers b ase th eir te a ch in g s o n th e d isp en sa b ility o f ab sorp tion abilities fo r th e realizatio n o f stre am -e n try /5 A c co rd in g to them , for th e m in d to b e co m e m o m e n ta rily "a b so rb e d '' in the e x p e rien ce o f Nibbdna at stream -en try, th e a b ility to attain m u n d a n e ab sorp tion is n ot a n e c e ssa ry req u irem en t. T h e issu e at q u estio n b e co m e s e v e n clearer w h e n the n ext stage o f a w a k e n in g is co n sid e re d , th at o f o n ce -re tu rn in g . O n ce-retu rn e rs are so called b e cau se th e y w ill be reb o rn o n ly o n ce a g a in in "th is w o rld " (i.e. th e kdmaloka).6 ft O n the o th e r h an d , th ose w h o h a v e d e ­ v e lo p e d th e a b ility to attain a b so rp tio n at w ill, an d h a v e n o t lost this ability, are not g o in g to re tu rn to "th is w o rld " in th eir n ext life.6 7 T h e y w ill b e reb o rn in a h ig h e r h e a v e n ly sp h ere (i.e. th e rupaloka or the arupaloka). T h is certain ly d o e s n o t im p ly th at a stream -en terer or a o n ce-retu rn er ca n n o t h a v e a b so rp tio n attain m en ts. B ut if th e y w e re all a b so rp tio n attain ers, th e v e r y co n ce p t o f a "o n ce-retu rn er'' w o u ld b e s u p e rflu o u s, sin ce n o t a sin g le o n ce-retu rn er w o u ld e v e r return to "th is w o rld ". A c c o rd in g to th e d isco u rses, the d iffe re n ce b e tw e e n th e realiza­ tions o f "o n ce -re tu rn in g " a n d "n o n -re tu rn in g " is rela ted to d iffe rin g

64 All above quoted instances explicitly mention the mind being free from the hin­ drances, 65 CL Visuddhacara 1996: who gives a convenient overview of statements by several well-known meditation teachers on the issue. 66 e.g. at M 1 226. The fact that once-retumers do return to "this world" is documented e.g. at A III 348 and A V 138, where once-retumers are reborn in the Tusita heaven, a lower celestial realm, of the sensual sphere, far inferior to those planes of existence corresponding to absorption attainment. Similarly, according to AIV 380 the more ad­ vanced types of stream-enterers will be reborn as human beings, a level of rebirth even further removed from the planes of existence gained through absorption abilities, 67 According to A II 126, one w ho has developed the first jhana will be reborn in the Brahma world, A worldling (puthujjana) will then after some time be reborn in lower realms again, while a noble one {ariya) will proceed from there to final NtbbBna, (This passage refers not only to someone who is absorbed in the actual attainment at the time of death, but to anyone w ho possesses the ability to attain jhana.) A similar pas­ sage can be found at A 1 267 concerning immaterial attainments and rebirth, and at A I I 129 re g a rd in g the divine abodes and rebirth.

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levels o f concentrative ability. Several passages p oin t ou t that the o n ce-retu m er, in contrast to the non-returner, has n ot y e t fu lfilled the d evelo p m en t o f concentration.6 8 Judgin g from this, the attain­ m ent o f absorption m igh t be o f relevance for the realization of non -return in g. In fact, several discourses relate progress tow ard s the h igh er tw o stages of the path, non -return in g and arahantship, to h av in g h ad the experien ce o f the first or h igh er absorptions.*9 The reason fo r this could be that the in sigh tful contem plation o f m edita­ tive absorption fulfils an im portant role in overcom in g and com ­ p le te ly eradicating the last traces of desire, and thereby facilitates the b reak th ro u gh to non -return in g or full aw ak en in g,7 0 The co n clu d in g p assage o f the Satipatthana Sutta, the "p rediction ", ap pears at first sight to contradict this, since it predicts the realiza­ tion of full a w a k en in g or non -return in g for successful satipatthana practice w ith o u t m ak in g a n y additional stipulations.*1 This could be taken to im p ly that absorption abilities can be dispensed w ith even for th e h igh er stages of aw ak en in g. H o w ev e r, such assum ptions need to be w e ig h e d against other evid e n ce in the discourses, w h ere the n e e d for at least the first absorption is clearly and exp licitly stated,7 2 A lth o u gh absorption abilities are not directly m en tion ed in the Satipatthana Sutta , the general picture p ro vid ed b y the dis­ courses suggests that th e ability to attain at least the first absorption is requ ired for the h igh er tw o stages o f aw ak en in g. O th erw ise it w o u ld be difficult to understand w h y the B ud dh a m entioned absorption in the standard expositions of the noble eigh tfold path le a d in g to full aw akening.

68 According to AIV 380 the once-retumer, in contrast to the non-returner, has not per­ fected/completed samadhi, A similar passage can be found at A 1 232 and 233. Cf. also Dhammavuddho 1994: p.29; and Nanavlra 1987: p.372, 69 e.g. M 1 350 and A V 343 describe how a monk, based on attainment of the first or a higher jhana, is able to reach the destruction of the influxes or non-returning. More explicit is M 1434-5. which clearly stipulates the attainment of jhana as a necessity for the two higher stages of awakening. Similarly A IV 422 mentions jhanic abilities as a necessary condition for gaining non-returning or full awakening, 70 At A I I 128 the insightful contemplation of absorption leads to non-returning (rebirth in the Suddhavltsa heaven). Compare also M 1 91 where Mahan ama, who according to the commentary (Ps IT61) was a once-retumer, was advised by the Buddha to de­ velop jhana for further progress on the path. 71 M 162: "if anyone should develop these four satipatthanas ... one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or, if there is a trace of cling­ ing left non-returning *
72 M I 434 states that there is a p ath of practice w h ich n eed s be u nd ertaken in order to be able to overcom e the five lo w e r fetters, and this path o f practice is jhana attainm ent.

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W hen considering the concluding passage o f the Satipattkana Sutta, one needs to take into account that this passage is concerned w ith the fruits of the practice, not w ith the need for a particular level of concentration as a prerequisite for realization. The fact that it m entions o n ly the higher tw o fruits of realization highlights the p o ­ tential o f proper practice. The same holds true for a group of tw en ty discourses in the Bojjhanga Sarnyutta, w hich relate a broad range of m editation practices to these tw o higher realizations.7 3 These in­ stances, too, do not bear any relation to the presence or absence of absorption abilities, but rather call attention to the potential of the respective m editation practices. M oreover, the Madhyama Agama and the Ekottara Agama both m ention absorption attainm ent as part of their expositions on satipattkana*7 4 This suggests that for satipafthana to unfold its full potential of lead in g to non-returning or full aw akening, the develop m ent of absorption is required. A nother term relevant to the present topic is "purification of m ind" (cittavisuddhi). This expression occurs in the Rathavinlta Sutta , w hich enum erates a series of seven successive stages of purifica­ tion.7 5 The discourse com pares each stage of purification to a single chariot in a relay of chariots connecting tw o locations. In this sequence, purification o f m ind occupies the second position betw een the preceding purification of ethical conduct and the

73 S V 129-33,
74 In the Madhyama Agama as part of the bo d y contem plations, and in the Ekottara Agama as part o f the contem plations of dhammas (in M inh C h au 1991: pp.89 and 90; and N h at H anh 1990: p^54 and 176). 75 M I 149* This particular "path" schem e forms the u nd erlying structure o f the Visuddhimagga, It has been com pared to other religious traditions b y Brow n {1986a) w h o relates it to path descriptions in the Mahamudra and the Yoga Sutras, and b y C ousins (1989) w h o com pares it to St Teresa's "Interior Castle". C oncerning this path schem e it m ay be w orthw hile to poin t out that, even though it has a norm ative role for the commentaries and most m odem vipassana schools, this set of seven puri­ fications occurs only once again in the discourses, at D III 288, w here it forms part o f a nine-stage schem e. This passage does not fit too w ell w ith B uddhaghosa's presenta­ tion of the seven-stage m odel, since it adds tw o additional stages at the e n d of a p ro­ gression of stages w here, according to Buddhaghosa, w ith the seventh Btage the peak of purification has already been reached (cf. Vism 672). Judging from its usage at M I 195 and M 1 203, the term used for the seventh purification, "kn o w led ge and vision", is in deed only a stage lead in g up to, but not yet identical w ith, realization. This im pres­ sion is confirm ed b y the Rathavinlta Sutta itself, w h ich qualifies the purification b y "k n o w led ge an d vision" as "w ith clinging" an d therefore as falling short of the final goal (M 1 148). Thus it seems as if B uddhaghosa's interpretation of the seventh stage o f purification w ere to som e degree at variance w ith the implications of the sam e term in the discourses.

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su b seq u en t purification o f v ie w . T he fact that purification of m ind preced es purification o f v ie w is som etim es taken to im p ly that ab­ sorption is a n ecessary basis for realization .7 6 In this discourse, h o w ever, the qu estio n lea d in g to the chariot sim ­ ile w as n ot at all concerned w ith th e conditions n ecessary for realiza ­ tion. Rather, the topic d iscussed in the Rathavimta Sutta w as the aim of liv in g the life of a m o n k or n u n in th e ea rly B ud dh ist m onastic com m un ity. The p o in t w as that each p urification , th o u g h a n eces­ sary step o n the path, falls short o f the final goal. To illustrate this, the chariot sim ile w a s in trodu ced. T he n eed to m ove b eyo n d d iffer­ ent stages o f purification in order to reach the final goal is in fa c ta re­ current them e in the discourses.7 7 A lth o u g h the chariot sim ile in th e Rathavimta Sutta does im p ly a con dition al relationship b e tw een the various stages m en tion ed , to take this as stip u latin g that ab sorption m ust be attained before tu rn ­ in g to the d e v elo p m en t of in sig h t p u sh es this sim ile too far. Su ch a literal interpretation need s to regard the establish m ent of ethical co n d u ct, concentration, an d w isd o m as a m atter of strict lin ear se­ quence, w h ereas in practical reality these three h a v e a sym biotic character, each en h a n cin g and su p p o rtin g the other. This is illu s­ trated in the Sonadanda Sutta, w h ic h com p ares the m utu al interrelat­ edn ess o f ethical con d u ct and w isd om to tw o hands w a sh in g each other.7 8 B esides, acco rd in g to tw o d iscourses in the Ahguttara Nikaya it is im possible to p u rify concentration (viz. purification of the m ind) w ith o u t h a v in g first p u rified righ t v ie w (viz. purification of view ).7 9 This statem en t p roposes exactly the reverse seq u en ce to the Rathavimta Sutta , w h e re p u rification o f the m ind p reced ed p u rifica­ tion o f v ie w . O n furth er p eru sin g the discourses on e fin d s that th ey dep ict a v a ­ riety of ap proaches to final realization. T w o p assages in the Anguttara Nikaya, for exam p le, describe a practitioner w h o is able to gain d e e p w isd om , th o u gh lackin g p ro ficien cy in concentration.8 0

76 Possibly based on A I I 195, where purity of mind is related to attaining the four jhanasThe ability to attain absorption as a necessary basis for realization is maintained by e.g. Kheminda 1980: p.14, 77 Cf. e,g, M 1 197 and M 1 204. 78 D 1 124. Cf. also Chah 1998: p.9; and Goldman 1980: p.6, 79 A HI 15 and A III 423. 80 A ll 92-4 and A V 99.

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Another discourse in the same Nikaya speaks of two alternative ap­ proaches to full realization: the pleasant approach by w ay of absorp­ tion, and the much less pleasant approach b y w a y of contem plating the repulsiveness of the body.* In addition, the Yuganaddha Sutta (in the same Anguttara Nikaya) states that realization can be gained by developing either concentration or insight first and then developing the other, or both can be developed together.8 *This discourse clearly show s that although some practitioners w ill build up concentration first and then turn to insight, others can follow the reverse proce­ dure. It w ould do little justice to these passages if one w ere to limit the approach to realization to only one of these sequences, presum ­ ing that the developm ent of concentration invariably has to precede the developm ent o f insight.
IV.4 THE CONTRIBUTION OF ABSORPTION TO THE PROGRESS OF INSIGHT

N evertheless, in m any discourses the Buddha pointed out that the cultivation of absorption is particularly conducive to realization.1 1 3 The developm ent of deep concentration leads to a high degree of m astery over the mind** N ot only does absorption attainment entail the tem porary rem oval of the hindrances, it also makes it m uch more difficult for them to invade the m ind on later occasions.9 5O n em erging from deep concentration the m ind is " m alleable", "w o rk ­ able'7, and "steady",8 6so that one can easily direct it to seeing things "as they truly are"* N ot only that; w hen things are seen as they truly

81 A II150. 82 A II157; cf. also Tatia 1992: p.89, 83 e.g. D III 131; M 1454; or S V 308, The importance given to absorption in early Buddh­ ism is documented by Griffith 1983: p.57, and C.Ai\ Rhys Davids 1927a: p.696, both giving an o verview of occurrences of the term jhana in the Pali Nikdyas. 84 AIV 34. 85 M 1463 explains that the mind of one who has had jhanic experiences will no longer be overwhelmed by the hindrances. On the other hand, it needs to be pointed out that if sensual desire or aversion should nevertheless manage to Invade the mind, they can manifest with surprising vehemence, owing to the increased ability of the mind to re­ main undistractedly with a single object, even an unwholesome one. Examples of this can be found in several Jataka tales (e.g. no* 66 at Ja 1305, no. 251 at Ja II271, and no* 431 at Ja 11 1 496), which report previous lives of the bodhisatta as an ascetic. In spite of be­ ing able to attain deep levels of concentration and possessed of supernormal powers, in each case this ascetic was nevertheless completely overwhelmed by sensual desire on unexpectedly seeing a sparsely-dressed woman. 86 This is the standard qualification of the mental condition on emerging from the fourth jhana (e.g. at D 1 75).

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are by a calm and m alleable m ind, this vision affects the deeper lay­ ers of the m ind. Such a vision goes far b eyo n d a superficial intellec­ tual appreciation, because, o w in g to the receptivity and m alleability of the m ind, insights w ill be able to penetrate into the d eep er re­ gions o f the m ind and thereby bring about inner change. The advantages o f d ev e lo p in g absorption concentration are not only that it provides a stable and receptive state of m ind for the prac­ tice of insight m editation. The experience of absorption is one of intense pleasure and happiness, brough t about by p u rely mental m eans, w hich thereby autom atically eclipses any pleasure arising in dep en d en ce on m aterial objects. Thus absorption functions as a p o w erfu l antidote to sensual desires b y divesting them of their for­ mer attraction.1 * 7 In fact, according to the Culadukkhakkhandha Sutta w isdom alone does not suffice to overcom e sensuality, b u t needs the p o w erfu l support available through the experience of absorption.^ The B uddha him self, durin g his o w n quest for aw aken in g, over­ cam e the obstruction caused b y sensual desires o n ly b y d evelop in g absorption.**9
87 At M 1304 the Buddha related his lack of interest in sensual pleasures to his ability to experience far superior types of pleasure; c f also A III 207 and AIV 411. A 161 explains that the purpose of samatha is to overcome lust. Conze i960: p.110, explains: "it is the inevitable result of the habitual practice of trance that the things of our commonsense world appear delusive, deceptive, remote, and dreamlike/' Cf. also Debes 1994: pp.164-8; and van Zeyst 1970: p-39> 88 M I 91, 89 M 192; cf. also SIV 97 and AIV 439. AIV 56 stresses the importance of overcoming sen­ sual desires for him to have been able to gain realization. The Buddha's attainment of absorption might have taken place based on mindfulness of breathing, which accord­ ing to S V 317 he practised frequently in the time before his awakening. His gradual progress through the various levels of absorption is described at M 1 11 162 and A IV 440, clearly showing that by then he no longer had access to the jhanic experience of his early youth. His encounter with Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta would have to be placed after this gradual progress, since without having developed the four jhanas he would not have been able to reach any of the immaterial attainments. (The need for this is documented at D III 265, where the four jhanas precede the imma­ terial attainments in a sequence of successive stages of development.) Ps IV 209, how­ ever, assumes that the Buddha developed the four jhanas only during the first watch of the night of his awakening. This makes little sense in view of the fact that his pre-awakening development of samatha included also the practice of the "roads to power" (the iddhipddas, cL A III 82) and developing the concentrative ability to know various aspects of the dcua realms (A IV 302), in addition to attaining the four jhams after overcoming a whole set of mental obstructions (M [II157; cf. also AIV 440, which clearly shows that he had to overcome various obstacles in order to gain each jftarn) and also gaining the four immaterial attainments (A IV 444). The broad range and gradual progression of the Buddha's development of samatha does not fit well into a single night.

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Deep concentration prom otes inner stability and integration.9 0 In this w ay, the experience of deep concentration fulfils an im portant role in fortifying the ability to w ithstand the destabilizing effect of those experiences that m ight be encountered during advanced stages of insight m editation.9*W ithout a calm and integrated m ind, able to w ithstand the im pact of such experiences, a practitioner m ight lose the balanced stance of observation and becom e over­ w helm ed by fear, anxiety, or depression. The developm ent of m en­ tal calm thus builds up a health y degree o f self-integration as a supportive basis for the develop m ent of in sigh t^ Clearly, there are substantial advantages to be gained w h en the develop m ent of insight is supported and counterbalanced b y the developm ent of samatha. The experience o f h igher forms of happi­ ness and the concom itant degree of personal integration are b en e­ fits that sh ow that the developm ent of samatha m akes its ow n substantial contribution to progress along the path. This im portance is expressed vivid ly in the discourses w ith the statem ent that one w ho has respect for the Buddha and his teaching w ill autom atically hold concentration in high regard.9 ’ O n the other hand, one w h o looks d o w n on the developm ent of concentration thereby only approves of those w ho have an unsteady m ind.9 4 N evertheless, it needs to be said that the B uddha w as also keen ly aw are o f potential shortcom ings o f deep states o f concentration* The attainm ent of absorption can turn into an obstacle on the path to

90 According to Alexander 1931: p.139, "the absorption scale corresponds to the chrono­ logical path of a well-conducted analysis," Cf. also Conze 1956: p,20. 91 Ayya Khema 1991: p.140; and Bpstein 1986: pp.150-5. 92 Engler 1986: p.17, aptly sums up the need for a well integrated personality as a basis for developing insight meditation: "you have to be somebody before you can be no­ body/ Epstein 1995: p.133, (commenting on the insight knowledges) explains: "expe­ riences such as these require an ego, in the psychoanalytic sense, that is capable of holding and integrating what would ordinarily be violently destabilizing. One is challenged to experience terror without fear and delight without attachment. The work of meditation, in one sense, is the work of developing an ego that is flexible, clear and balanced enough to enable one to have such experiences," The supportive role of non-sensual inner happiness in case of hardship is documented at Th 351 and Th 436, 93 A I V 123, 94 A 1131. CfL also S II225, where lack of respect for the development of concentration is one of the causes of the disappearance of the true Dhamma. According to Thate 1996: p.93: "those who think that samadhi is not necessary are the ones who have not yet reached samadhi* That's why they cannot see the merit of samadhi. Those who have attained samadhi will never speak against i t "

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realization if such attain m en t b ecom es a cau se for prid e or a n object o f a tta c h m e n t T h e satisfaction an d p leasu re exp erien ced d u rin g ab­ sorption , th o u g h facilitating the relin q u ish m en t o f w o r ld ly p lea ­ sures, can m ake it m ore d ifficult to arou se the dissatisfaction and d isen ch an tm en t requ ired for the co m p lete relin q u ish m en t o f e v e ry ­ th in g th at leads u p to realizatio n .9 5 The Mara Samyutta e v e n reports a ca su a lty o f con cen tration m ed i­ tation: a m on k com m itted suicide b ecau se he h ad several tim es failed to stabilize his co n cen trative a tta in m e n t9 6 O n a n o th er occa­ sion, w h e n a m o n k w as m o u rn in g his loss of concentration o w in g to p h ysical illness, the B u d d h a d r y ly co m m en ted that su ch a reaction is characteristic o f those w h o con sider con cen tration the essen ce of their life and p r a c tic e d H e then in stru cted the m on k to con tem p late the im p erm an en t natu re o f the five a g g rega tes instead.
IV. 5 CALM AND INSIGHT

T h e central p oin t that em erges w h e n co n sid erin g the relation sh ip b e tw e e n calm and in sigh t is the n eed fo r balance. Since a con cen ­ trated m ind sup p orts th e d ev elo p m en t o f in sigh t, an d the presen ce o f w isd o m in turn facilitates the d e v e lo p m en t o f d ee p er levels of con cen tration , calm (samatha) an d in sigh t (vipassand) are at their best w h e n d e v e lo p e d in skilfu l coop eration .9 8 C o n sid ered from this p ersp ective, the co n tro versy o v e r the neces­ sity or d isp en sability o f ab sorp tion abilities for g ain in g a p articular
95 At A U 165 the Buddha compared attachment to the gratification and bliss experi­ enced during absorption to grasping a branch full of resin, because owing to such at­ tachment one will lose the inspiration to aim at the complete giving up of all aspects of one's personality and experience. At M 1 194 the Buddha then illustrated such at­ tachment using the example of someone who took the Inner bark of a tree in mistake for the heartwood he was searching for, Cf, also M III 226, which refers to such attach­ ment Xojhana experiences as "getting stuck internally"* Buddhadasa 1993: p.121, even goes so far as to suggest that "deep concentration is a major obstacle to insight prac­ tice". 96 According to S 1 120, the monk Godhika committed suicide because on six successive occasions he had attained and lost "temporary Liberation of the mind", which accord­ ing to Spk 1182 refers to a "mundane" attainment, i.e. some concentrative attainment. The commentary explains that his repeated loss of the attainment was because of ill­ ness* According to a statement made by the Buddha after the event, Godhika died as an arahani. The commentary suggests that his realization took place at the moment of death (cf. also the similar commentarial explanations of the suicide cases of Channa at M III 266 or SIV 59, and of Vakkali at S III 123)97 S IU 125. 98 Nett 43 explains that both samatha and vipassana need to be developed, since samatha

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level of realization is to some extent based on a m isleading premise. This controversy takes for granted that the w hole purpose of calm­ ness meditation is to gain the ability to enter absorption as a step­ ping-stone for the developm ent o f insight, a sort of prelim inary du ty that either needs or does not need to be fulfilled. The dis­ courses offer a different perspective. Here calm and insight are tw o com plem entary aspects of mental develo p m en t The question of practising only insight meditation does not arise, since the impor­ tant function o f calmness meditation, as a practice in its ow n right, is never reduced to its auxiliary role in relation to insight meditation. This need for both calm and insight on the path to realization leads me on to another issue. Some scholars have understood these two aspects of meditation to represent two different paths, possibly even leading to two different goals. They assume that the path of samatha proceeds via the ascending series of absorptions to the attainment of the cessation of cognition and feeling (sctfinavedayitanirodha) and thence to the cessation of passion. In contrast to this, the path of insight, at times m istakenly understood to be a process of pure intellectual reflection, supposedly leads to a qualitatively dif­ ferent goal, the cessation of ignorance.” A passage from the Anguttara Nikaya does indeed relate the practice of samatha to the destruction of passion and the practice of vipassana to the destruction of ignorance.1 0 0The distinction between the tw o is expressed by the expressions "freedom of the mind" {cetovimutti) and "freedom by wisdom " (panndvimutti) respectively. H ow ever, these two expressions are not sim ply equivalent in value relative to realization. W hile "freedom by w isdom " (panndvimutti) refers to the realization o f Nibbdna, "freedom of the m ind" (cetovimutti), unless further specified as "unshakeable" (akuppa)f does not im ply the same. "Freedom of the mind" can also connote temporary

counters craving, while vipassani counters ignorance. According to A 161, the devel­ opment of both samatha and vipassana is required to gain knowledge {vijjti). A 1 100 stipulates the same two as requirements for overcoming lust, anger, and delusion. Awareness of their cooperative effect also underlies Th 584, which recommends prac­ tising both samatha and vipassana at the right time. On the need to balance both cf. Cousins 1984: p.65; Gethin 1992: p-345; and Maha Boowa 19942 p 86. 99 Cf, de L a Vall£e Poussin 1936: p.193; Gombrich 1996: p.110; Griffith 1981: p.618, and 1986: p.14; Pande 1957: p.538; Schmithausen 1981: pp.214-17; and Vetter 1988: p.xxi, Kv 225 confutes a somewhat similar "wrong view'", involving two types of cessation (nirodha).
L00AI61.

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experiences of m ental freedom , such as the attainm ent of the fourth absorption, or the developm ent of the divine abodes (brahmavikara)™ Thus this passage is presenting not two different approaches to realization but tw o aspects of the m editative path, one of w hich is not sufficient by itself to bring realization.1 ™ Another relevant discourse is the Suslma Sutta, w hich reports vari­ ous m onks declaring realization/0 3 Since these m onks at the same time denied having attained supernatural pow ers, this passage has sometimes been understood to im ply that full aw akening can be at­ tained m erely b y intellectual reflection.1 0 4 In reality, how ever, the m onks' declaration that they w ere only "freed by w isdom " indicates that they w ere not in possession of the immaterial m editative attain­ ments* It does not m ean that they gained realization w ith ou t m edi­ tating at all, b y a purely intellectual approach.1 0 * A similar problem is sometimes seen in regard to the Kosambi Sutta, w here a m onk declared that he had personal realization of de­ pendent co-arising (paticca samuppada), although he w as not an arahant."* This passage becom es intelligible if one follow s the com m entarial explanation; according to which the m onk in ques­ tion w as "only" a on ce-re turner/0 7 The point here is that personal realization of the principle o f dependent co-arising is not a charac­ teristic of full aw akening only, but is already a feature of streamentry*

101 Cf. e.g. M 1 296; see further Lily de Silva 1978: p.120. 102 In fact Vism 702 explains that the attainment of the cessation of cognition and feeling (sanilavedayitiinirodha) cannot be reached by samatha alone, but requires insight of the non-returner's level at least Although this is not directly stated in the discourses, at M III 44, after all eight preceding concentrative attainments have been distinguished according to whether they are attained by the unworthy person or by the worthy person {sappurisa), once the attainment of the cessation of cognition and feeling co­ mes up the unworthy person is no Longer mentioned, thereby indicating that this at­ tainment is the sole domain of the worthy person (a term which on other occasions is used on a par with "noble", cf. e.g. M 1300). This clearly shows that the attainment of the cessation of cognition and feeling is not merely the outcome of concentrative mastery, but also requires the development of insight a fact that is hinted at in the standard descriptions with the expression, "having seen with wisdom, the influxes are destroyed" (e,g. at M 1 160), C f also A 111194, which appears to relate the cessation of cognition and feeling to arahantship and non-returning in particular. 103 S II 121* 104 Gombrich 1996: p.126. 105 In this context it is telling that AIV 452 lists different types of arahants "freed by wis­ dom", all of them, however, able to attain jhana* 106 S I I 115. Cf. de la Vallee Poussin 1936: p.218; and Gombrich 1996: p.128. 107 Spk II122.

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Instead of perceiving these passages as expressing an "u nderlying tension" betw een tw o different paths to realization,, they sim ply de­ scribe different aspects o f w hat is basically one approach."* As a mat­ ter of fact, full aw akening requires a purification of both the cognitive and the affective aspect of the m ind. A lthough on theoreti­ cal examination these tw o aspects of the path m ight appear differ­ ent, in actual practice they tend to converge and supplem ent each other* This is neatly sum m arized in the Pafisambhidamagga, w hich em ­ phasizes the im portance of appreciating the essential similarity be­ tw een calm and insight meditation in terms of their function.1 0 9A practitioner m ight develop one or the other aspect to a higher de­ gree at different times, but in the final stages of practice both calm and insight need to be com bined in order to reach the final aim - full aw akening - the destruction of both passion and ignorance.

108 Critical assessments of the "two paths theory" can be found in Gethin 1997b: p.223; Swearer 1972: pp.369^71; and Keown 1992: PP77-9, who concludes (p 62): "two types of meditation technique exist precisely because final perfection can only be achieved when both dimensions of psychic functioning, the emotional and the intel­ lectual are purified," 109 Patis 1at* On the interrelation of both in the Sarvasti vada tradition cf, Cox 1994; p.83.

V

TH E S A T I P A T T H A N A " R E F R A I N "

H aving exam ined the "definition" of the Satipatthana Sutta at some length, I shall now look at a part of the discourse w hich could be called the "m odus operandi" o f satipatthana' This part, w hich I refer to as the "refrain", occurs after each of the m editation exercises d e­ scribed in the discourse and presents four key aspects of satipatthana (cf. Fig. 5*1 below ).1 The task of this "refrain" is to direct attention to those aspects that are essential for the proper practice of each exer* cise. Thus an understanding of the im plications of the "refrain" forms a necessary background to the m editation techniques de­ scribed in the Satipafthdna Sutta, w hich I w ill begin to exam ine in C hapter VI. In the case o f the first satipatthana, the "refrain" reads:
In this way, in regard to the body he abides contemplating the bod y internally, or he abides contemplating the bod y externally, or he abides contemplating the b od y both internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising in the body, or he abides contemplating the nature of passing aw ay in the body, or he abides contemplating the nature of bath arising and passing aw ay in the body* M indfulness that "there is a bod y" is established in him to the ex­ tent necessary for bare know ledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides Independent, not clinging to anything in the world.3

1 This expression is suggested by W,S« Karunaratne 1979: p.117. 2 Thanissaro 1996: p.79, alternatively speaks of a basic pattern of three stages under­ lying the "refrain".

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i nteinal/external {ajjhat ta/bahiddha) arising/passing aw ay {samudaya/vaya) bare know ledge + continuous mindfulness (ftanamattaya patissatimattaya) independent, without clinging (anissiio ca viharati, na ca kind loke upadiyati)

Fig. 5.1: Key aspects of the sa tip atth d n a refrain

The "refrain" indicates that the scope of satipatthdna practice in­ cludes internal and external phenom ena; and that it is in particular their nature to arise and pass a w a y w hich should be given attention. By including both internal and external phenom ena, the "refrain" broadens the contem plative perspective. By m entioning contem pla­ tion of their im perm anent nature, the "refrain" m oreover directs awareness to the tem poral axis of experience, that is, to the passage of time. Thus, w ith these instructions, the "refrain" expands the scope of each satipatthdna exercise alon g its spatial and tem poral axes. A s the discourses explicitly point out, these tw o aspects are re­ quired for a proper undertaking of satipatthdna* The "refrain" also describes the proper attitude to be adopted during contem plation: observation should be undertaken m erely for the purpose of establishing aw areness and understanding, and should rem ain free from clinging. W ith the "refrain", the practice of satipatthdna turns towards the general characteristics of the contem plated phenom ena.5 At this stage o f practice, awareness of the specific content o f experience gives w a y to an understanding of the general nature and character of the satipatthdna under contem plation, This shift o f awareness from the individual content o f a particular experience to its general features is of central im portance for the

3 M I 56. For the other satipatfhamis, each instance of "body" in the above instruction should be replaced with "feelings", "mind”, or "dhammas”. 4 C f S V 294, according to which to contemplate both internally and externally is the proper way to undertake satipatthana. 5 This can to some extent be inferred from the way the "refrain" is worded, since atten­ tion now shifts from a particular instance (such as, for example, "a worldly pleasant feeling") back to the general area (such as "feelings").

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d e v e lo p m e n t o f insigh t.6H ere the task of sati is to penetrate b e y o n d the su rface appearance o f the object u n d e r observation an d to lay bare the characteristics it shares w ith all con dition ed p h en om en a. This m o ve o f sati to w a rd s the m ore gen eral characteristics of exp eri­ ence b rin gs about insigh t in to the im p erm an en t, unsatisfactory, and selfless n atu re of reality. Such a m ore p an oram ic kind o f aw aren ess em erges at an ad van ced stage o f satipatthana, once the m editator is able to m aintain aw aren ess effortlessly. A t this stage, w h e n sati has b ecom e w ell-established,, w h a te v e r occurs at an y sense d oor auto­ m atically b ecom es p art o f th e con tem p lation .7 It is n o te w o rth y that tw o of the m ost p o p u lar co n tem p o rary vipassana schools o f the T h era va d a tradition both reco gn ize th e im ­ p o rtan ce o f d e v e lo p in g su ch bare a w a ren ess of w h a te v e r arises at an y sense door as an a d va n ce d stage o f in sigh t m editation. To ju d g e from w ritin g s of M ahasi S ay ad aw and U Ba K hin, their particular m editation techniques are ap p aren tly m ain ly ex p ed ien t m ean s for begin ners, w h o are n o t y e t able to practise such bare aw aren ess at all sense doors.*

V .l INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL CONTEMPLATION

T h e tw o expressions used in the first part o f the "refrain" are "in ter­ nal" (ajjhatta) and its co m p lem en tary o p p o site "extern al" (bahiddha). T he sign ificance o f these tw o terms is n o t furth er exp lained in the Satipatthana Sutta. The Abhidhamma an d the com m entaries associate internal w ith the p erso n al and external w ith corresp o n d in g

6 On the im p ortan ce of shifting from content to general process cf. Brown 1986a: p.233; Goldstein 1994: p.50; and Kornfield 1977: p.19. According to Engler 1986: p.28, one of the reasons western meditators tend to progress more slowly than their eastern coun­ terparts is *the tendency to become absorbed in the content of awareness rather than continuing to attend to its process , become preoccupied with individual thoughts, images, memories, sensations etc,, rather than keeping their attention focused on the essential characteristics of all psycho-physical events, whatever the c o n t e n t . a ten­ dency to confuse meditation with psychotherapy and to analyse mental content in­ stead of simply observing it." O n the same problem cf. also Walsh 1981: p.76. The need to contemplate the general characteristics of anicca, dukkfw, and amtta when cultivat­ ing satipatfharm is also noted in the Abhidharmakosabhasyam (in Pruden 1988: p.925). 7 Jummen 1993: p.279, aptly describes this stage of practice: "at some point the mind be­ comes so clear and balanced that whatever arises is seen and left untouched with no interference. One ceases to focus on any particular content and all is seen as simply mind and matter, an empty process arising and passing away of its own ... a perfect balance of mind with no reactions ... there is no longer any doing.,.."

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phenom ena in other hum an beings.9 M odern m editation teachers have proposed several alternative interpretations. In order to ex­ plore the possible implications of internal and external satipatthana com prehensively, 1 w ill at first consider the Abhidhammic and commentarial interpretation. Then I will survey some alternative interpretations* According to the Abhidhamma and the comm entarial interpreta­ tion, "internal" and "external" satipatthana encompasses phenom ­ ena arising in oneself and in others. In this w ay, proper practice of satipatthana w ould also include awareness of the subjective experi­ ence of others. Although this m ay be quite feasible in the case of observing another person's body, to directly experience another's feelings or states of m ind seems at first sight to require psychic pow ers.1 0This w ould, of course, significantly limit the possibility of carrying out "external" satipatthana. Yet in the Satipatthana Samyutta the Buddha introduced these three m odes of attention - internal, external, and both - separately as a "threefold w ay of developing satipatthana"." This passage certi­ fies that each of the three constitutes a relevant aspect of satipatthana practice. The same can be inferred from the fact that the Vibhahga, a

8 Cf, Mahasi 1990: pp. 17 and 21: "the actual method of practice in vipassana meditation is to ,., observe ... the successive occurrences of seeing, hearing, and so on, at the six sense doors. However, it will not be possible for a beginner to follow these on all suc­ cessive incidents as they occur, because his mindfulness, concentration and knowl­ edge are still very weak.... A simpler and easier form of the exercise for a beginner is this: With every breath there occurs in the abdomen a rising-falling movement. A be­ ginner should start with the exercise of noting this movement" Mahasi 1992: p.75: "we used to instruct the yogi whose powers of concentration have strengthened to extend this method of meditation to noting all that happens at his six sense doors," Ba Khin 1985: p.94: "in fact one can develop the understanding of anicca through any of the six organs of sense. In practice, however, we have found t h a t . the feeling by contact of touch... is more tangible than other types of feeling and therefore a begin­ ner in Vipassana meditation can come to the understanding of anicca more easily through bodily feelings.... This is the main reason we have chosen the body feelings as a medium for the quick understanding of anicca. It is open to anyone to try other means, but my suggestion is that one should have oneself well established in the understanding of anicca through bodily feelings before an attempt is made through other types of feeling " 9 Dhs 187; same at Vibh 2-10 for each aggregate. Cf. also Vism 473. 10 This is, in fact, implied by the presentation at D IT216rwhere internal satipatthana con­ templation leads to concentration, which then enables one to undertake external con­ templation. Cf. also SII127, where contemplation of the states of mind of others forms part of a list of deep concentrative attainments, which suggests that here too such contemplation is understood as an exercise of psychic powers. Cf. also Thanissaro 1996: p.76.

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com paratively early part o f the Pali Abhidkamma, shifts the distinc­ tion b etw een internal and external from the ''refrain" to the "defin i­ tion" part of the Satipatthdna Sutta,1 Z thereby incorporating interna] and external contem plation into w hat constitutes "righ t" m in dful­ ness. Both this Abkidhammic m odification an d the above q uoted dis­ course p o in t to the im portance of ap p lyin g sati both internally and externally. In fa c t the Vibhanga m akes a special point of stating that an external application o f sati , just as m uch as an internal applica­ tion, can lead to realization.1 3 Similarly, a discourse in the Bojjhafiga Samyutta points out that both internal and external sati can act as an aw a k en in g factor.'4 In order to do justice to this evident im portance, a practicable so­ lution is possibly to d evelo p awareness of another's feelings and m ental condition b y carefully observing their outer m anifestations. Feelings and states o f m ind do affect the outer appearance o f a per­ son by influencin g their facial expression, tone of voice, and p h ysi­ cal posture.'5 This suggestion finds support in several discourses that list four m eans o f k n o w in g anoth er person's state o f mind: based on w hat one sees, based on w hat one hears, by considering and further re­ flecting o n w h at one has heard, and lastly w ith the h elp of m ind reading.1 6 A part from m ind reading, these m eans do not require

31 S V 143. Similarly S V 294; £ V 297; and A III 450 treat these three modes as distinct con­ templations. Several discourses apply the distinction between the interna] and the external individually to feelings, to the hindrances, to the awakening factors, and to the aggregates (cf, e,g* M III 16; S TV 205; and S V 110). These passages suggest that the application of "internal" and "external'" to all satipatthmms in the "refrain" is not merely a case of meaningless repetition, but has to have some significance in each case. Cf. also Gethin 1992: p.54. 12 Vibh 193 (this occurs in the Suttanta exposition). On the dating of Vibh cf. Frau wallner 1971: vol.15, p,io6; and Warder 1982: p,xxx. 13 Vibh 228. In fact, the satipatfhana commentary explicitly applies "external" to each satipatthana technique, to the breath at Ps 1 249, to the postures at Ps I 252, to bodily activities at Ps 1270, to the bodily parts at Ps 1271, to the elements at Ps 1272, to the cem­ etery contemplations at Ps 1 273, to feelings at Ps 1 279, to the mind at Ps 1 280, to the hindrances at Ps 1286, to the aggregates at Ps 1287, to the sense-spheres at Ps 1 289, to the awakening factors at Ps 1 300, and to the four noble truths at Ps 1301. 14 S V 110. 15 Khemacari 1985: p.z6. 16 D III 103 and A f 171. C f also M 1318, which recommends investigating by way of see­ ing and hearing for monks without telepathic powers in order to be able to assess the Buddha's mental purity; or else M II172, where observing the bodily and verbal con­ duct of a monk forms the basis for assessing whether his mind is under the influence of greed, anger, or delusion.

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psychic pow ers, only awareness and some degree of common sense. Understood in this w ay, an "external" application of awareness in relation to the various practices detailed in the Satipatthana Sutta be­ comes a practicable possibility. Thus external satipatthana could be undertaken by directing awareness towards another person's posture, facial expression, and tone o f voice, as indicators of their feelings or state of mind. U nder­ taking external awareness of another in this w ay w ould to some ex­ tent resemble the w ay a psychoanalyst observes a patient, closely exam ining behaviour and related sym ptom s in order to assess their state of mind. Thus an external application of awareness w ould be a practice particularly suitable in daily life/ since most of the phenom ­ ena to be observed w ill probably not occur w hile one is seated in for­ mal meditation. Such "external" contem piation of the behaviour and m ental reac­ tions of others can then lead to an increasingly deeper appreciation of the character traits o f the person in question. H elpful information for such appreciation can be found in the commentaries, w hich offer descriptions o f different human character-types and their corre­ sponding behaviour patterns.1 7 According to these descriptions, characteristic mental dispositions o f anger or greed can be inferred by observing, for exam ple, a particular m onk's eating habits and w ay of w earing his robes. Differences in character even show up in the different w ays a simple task such a sw eeping is performed. A ccording to the instructions in the "refrain", "internal" contem ­ plation precedes its " external" counterpart. This indicates that the first step of internal contem plation serves as a basis for understand­ ing similar phenom ena in others during the second step, external contemplation. Indeed, to be aw are o f one's ow n feelings and reac­ tions enables one to understand the feelings and reactions of others more easily.1 8

17 Ehara 1995: pp.58-61; and Vism 101-10. Cf, also Mann 1992: pp,19-51. 18 Mann 1992: p.112, speaks of realizing "that the forces at work within other people are the same as the forces that motivate our own behaviour". Similarly, insights gained during external contemplation will in turn also support internal contemplation. For example, it is comparatively easy to uncover the underlying motives of particular re­ actions in someone else, while the same motives might pass undetected if one is the actor oneself. Cf. also Bullen 1982: p.32; Khemacari 1985: p.23; and Nanaponika 1992: P58, who explains that "many things permit of better understanding when observed in others, or in external objects, than in oneself.

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For a balanced d evelo p m en t of aw areness, this shift from the internal to the external is of considerable im portance. A w areness ap plied o n ly internally can lead to self-centred ness. O ne can b e­ com e excessively concerned w ith w hat h ap p en s w ith and w ith in oneself w h ile at the same tim e rem aining u naw are of h ow one's action and behaviour affect others. Practising both internal and ex­ ternal satipatthana can prevent such lopsidedness and achieve a skil­ ful balance betw een introversion and extroversion.1 9 The third step of this aspect in the "refrain" instructs the m editator to observe "both internally and externally". The com m entaries ex­ plain that, since one cannot contem plate an object both internally and externally sim ultaneously, the instruction im plies that one should alternate betw een these two m o d e s t This com m entarial presentation does not really add an yth iiig n ew to the previous tw o stages of practice, since to contem plate either internally or exter­ nally already entails alternating betw een these tw o m odes. The Vibhanga offers a m ore con vin cin g perspective, since its presenta­ tion o f contem plating both internally and externally points to an u n derstan din g of the contem plated object as such, w ith ou t consid­ erin g it as part of one's o w n subjective experience, or that of others.2 ’ Practised in this w ay, satipatthana contem plation shifts tow ards an increasingly "objective" and detached stance, from w hich the observed phenom ena are experienced as such, indep en dent of w h eth er th ey occur in oneself or in others. The Abhidhammic and com m entarial interpretation of "internal" and "external" as referring to oneself and others tallies w ith several other passages in the early discourses. In the Samagama Sutta, for ex­ am ple, the same tw o terms are used w h en countering various un­ w holesom e qualities and unskilful forms o f behaviour, w h eth er these occur in oneself (ajjhatta) or in others (bahiddha).2 2A n d in the Janavasahha SitHar in a context directly related to satipatthana, "exter­ nal" explicitly refers to the bodies, feelings, etc* of others.2 5 This

19 Cf. also N aijaponika 195:; p.35. 20 P e l 249.

21 This is implicit in the way the respective contemplations are formulated at Vibh 195, according to which internally one understands: "I feel a pleasant feeling", externally one understands: "he or she feels a pleasant feeling", internally and externally one understands: "a pleasant feeling". The same recurs at Vibh 197 for mind and at Vibh 199-201 for dhammas. 22 M n 246. 23 D II216.

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passage carries considerable w eigh t in relation to the present dis­ cussion, since it is the only discourse to p rovide additional inform a­ tion on the nature o f "external" satipatthana.
ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATIONS OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL CONTEMPLATION

V .2

M odern m editation teachers have proposed various alternative in­ terpretations of internal and external satipatthana. Som e take "inter­ nal" and "external" to m ean quite literally w h at is spatially internal and external. They suggest that external bodily feelings, for exam ­ ple, are those observed at skin level (bahiddha), w hile internal b odily feelings are those occurring deeper w ithin the b o d y (ajjhatta)* "Internal" (ajjhatta) occurs in the Satipatthana Sutta itself in a clearly spatial sense, referring to the six internal senses in contrast to their external objects. H ow ever, the Pali term used in this context for the external sense objects is not bahiddha, but hahira,** In contrast, "internal" (ajjhatta) and "external" (bahiddha) as qualities m entioned in the "refrain" do not seem to co n vey such a spatial distinction. In the case of contem plating the sense-spheres, for exam ple, such a spatial u nderstanding of "internal" and "external" does not yield a m eaningful w a y o f practice, since according to the "refrain" the en ­ tire sense-sphere, consisting of internal sense and external object, has to be contem plated internally and then externally. The difficulty involved in taking "internal" and "external" to represent a spatial distinction extends to most of the satipaffhana contem plations. N ei­ ther states o f m ind nor such dhammas as the hindrances or the aw ak­ ening factors fit easily into a distinction betw een spatially internal and external occurrences, unless one w ere to adopt the comm entarial interpretation and take "external" to refer to states o f mind, hindrances, or aw akening factors occurring in other persons. O ther teachers suggest that the distinction betw een internal and external contem plation hints at the difference betw een apparent and ultim ate truth.*6 It is certainly true that as practice progresses

24 Gaenka 1999: p-54; Sol6-I.pris 199?: p.8?; and Thate 1996: p-44- This way nf under­ standing "internal” and "external" could be supported with Th 172, where "internal" and "external" are both used with regard to the speaker's own body, so that here too they seem to be referring to the inner and outer parts of the same body* 25 M 161: ajjhattikabahiresu ayatanesu,
26 D ham m adharo 1993: pp,z63-6; and NaTiasamvara 1961: p ^

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one com es to see p h enom ena m ore and m ore in their true nature* Y et it is h igh ly im probable that a distinction b etw een ap paren t and ultim ate truth corresponds to the original sense of "internal" and "external" in the Satipatthana Sutta , firstly because neither o f the tw o terms ever has this im plication in the discourses, and secon dly sim ply because the distinction betw een these tw o levels of truth is a late develop m en t, b elo n gin g to the post-canonical p eriod /7 A noth er interpretation proposes to distinguish b etw een internal m ental and external physical objects, so that in the case o f feelings, for exam ple, one distinguishes m ental feelings (ajjhatta) from p h ysi­ cal feelings (bahiddha)r and in the case of m ind one distinguishes b e­ tw een p u rely m ental experience (ajjhatta) and states of m ind related to sensory experiences (bahiddha).2 9 This w a y o f u n derstan din g "internal" and "external" can claim for support a passage in the Iddhipdda Samyutta, w h ich relates internal contraction to sloth-and-torpor, w h ile its externally distracted co u n ­ terpart is sensual distraction b y w ay o f the five senses.* A noth er rel­ evan t passage occurs in the Bojjhanga Samyutta, w hich differentiates the hindrances sensual desire, aversion, and doubt into internal and external occurrences.3 * This passage could refer to the arising o f

27 Cf. Jayatilleke 1980: pp.361-8; Kalupahana 1992: p.iQ7; Karunadasa 1996: p.35; and W & Karunaratne 1988a: p.90* The term paramattha occurs at Sn 68; Sn2i9; and Th 748, Elsewhere related terms occur, like parantanana at A III 354, pwamapanria and parama ariyasacca at M III 245, paramasacca at M 1480, M II173, and A I I 115, and uttamattha at Dhp 403. All these instances are references only to Nibbana. The presumption that the one-hundred-and-twenty-one types of mental states, fifty-two types of mental fac­ tors, and twenty-eight types of matter listed In the Abhidh-s can be considered "paramattha", in the sense of being ultimately real, is a late development not found in the early discourses. For an exposition of this later conception of paramattha cf. Bodhi 1993: pp.6 and 25; and Ledi 1999b: p*99. 38 Dhammadharo 1987: pp,20 and 25, and Maha Boowa 1994: p.101, relate the distinction between internal and external to mental and physical feelings respectively, and to mind only (internal) and mind with an external object in the case of mind* F essel^ g: p>io$, understands "internal" to refer to internal mental experience and introversion, while "external" represents external influences and object-directed activities. Tiwari 1992: p.82, also relates "internal" to mental and "external" to physical feelings. Simi­ larly, theMahaprajnaparamitasastra considers internal feelings and states of mind to be those related to mind door events, while the corresponding external counterparts are those related to the other five senses {in Lamotte 1970: pp. 1173-5). Nanasainvara 1974: pp.28 and 71 applies this way of understanding to mindfulness of breathing, in the sense that the breath is "external", while awareness of the breath is "internal". This, however, does not yield meaningful alternative forms of practice, since the presence of both breath and awareness is required for "internal" and for "external" contemplation* 29 S V 279* 30 S V 110, However, it should be noted that the same discourse does not apply this

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these hindrances ow ing to m ind d o o f events (ajjhatta), or o w in g to a sense door input (bahiddha). O n the other hand, the qualification "internal" occurs in the Satipatthana Sutta also as part o f the main instruction for contem ­ plating the hindrances and the aw akening factors. This usage does not seem to be related to the distinction betw een experiences by w ay of the mind door and tha t of the five sense doors, bu t appears to em phasize the sense that a hindrance or an aw akening factor is present "within me", paralleling the commentarial understanding of "internal" as referring to oneself,3 1 Elsewhere in the discourses, ajjhatta on its ow n does indeed de­ note w hat is internal in the sense of being a predom inantly mental type o f experience* A typical example o f such usage is the second jhana, w hich the standard descriptions qualify as a state of "internal" serenity.3 * Internal in the sense o f ''mental" occurs also in the Uddesavibhanga Sutta, w hich contrasts an "internally stuck" state of mind with consciousness being "externally distracted". Yet in this discourse, "external", w hich according to the above interpretation should stand only for the five physical senses, refers to all six senses.1 3 Similarly, in other discourses "internal" stands not only for pure mind door events, but is at times related to all six senses.1 4 These passages suggest that to understand "internal" and "exter­ nal" as respective references to mind door and five sense door events is not alw ays appropriate. The same holds true in relation to several of the satipatthana contemplations. Am ong the six sense-spheres, for example, a distinction can easily be made be­ tw een the mind door and the physical sense doors. Yet it is difficult to conceive of a m eaningful contem plation that treats the entire set

distinction to sloth-and-torpor or to restlessness-and-worry, although both these hin­ drances could also arise owing to either mind door or five sense door experiences. 31 M 1 60: "he knows 'there is aversion in me'" (atthi me ajjhattaift); or M I6t: "he knows 'there is the mindfulness awakening factor in me'" {aithi me ajjhattam). These instruc­ tions do not seem to apply only to hindrances or awakening factors arising in relation to mind door events. 32 e,g, at D 174, Other examples are "internal ' calm of the mind at M 1213, or "internal" happiness (referring to jhana) at M III 233. 33 M III 225: "seeing a visible object... cognizing a mental object.,. consciousness is dis­ tracted externally" The phrase "internally stuck state of mind", however, does indeed imply mental experience, namely attachment to the pleasure of jhana.
34 e,g, M 1 346 relates internal happiness to all six senses; or S I V 139 speaks of internal lust, anger, and delusion in relation to all six senses; or S V 74 relates an internally steady mind to all six senses.

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of six sense-spheres first internally, from a p u rely m ental view p oin t, and then externally, from the persp ective of the five sense doors. In sum m ary, alth o u gh alternative w ays of u n d erstan d in g internal and external satipatthana h ave their practical value, to u nderstand "internal" as referring to o n eself and "external" as referring to oth ­ ers offers a practicable form o f contem plation w h ich can m oreover claim su p p ort from the discourses, the Abhidhamma, a n d the com m entaries. In the end, w h ich e ve r interpretation one m ay adop t, once con­ tem plation is practised both internally and externally it entails a shift tow ard s a com p reh en sive type of practice.*5 At this stage even the b o u n d ary b etw een "I" and "oth er" or "internal" and "external" is left b eh in d , leading to a com preh ensive vision of p henom ena as such, in d ep en d en t of a n y sense of ow nership. Such a m ore w id eran gin g view in volves either a contem plation of oneself and others, or a contem plation of an y internal p h en om en on togeth er w ith its external counterpart. T h u s each of the w a y s of u n d erstan d in g "in ­ ternal" an d "external" discussed above u ltim ately leads to a m ore com p reh ensive appreciation o f the p h enom ena u nder observa­ tion.16 B ased on such a com preh ensive v ie w of p h en om en a, satipatthana practice then p roceed s to the next aspect m entioned in the "refrain": aw areness of their im perm anen t nature.
V>3 IMPERMANENCE

The "refrain" instructs the m editator to contem plate "the nature o f arising", "th e nature o f passing a w a y ", and "th e nature of both aris­ in g and p assin g a w a y ".3 7 P aralleling the instruction on internal and external contem plation, the three parts of this instruction represent a temporal progression w hich leads from observing the arising

35 This is suggested by several verses in the Sutta Nip&ta, where "internal" and "exter­ nal" occur together in the sense of "whatever there is", expressing a sense of compre­ hensiveness, cf. Sn 516; Sn 521; Sn 527; and Sn 738. The need for such comprehensiveness is not only a characteristic of satipatthana practice, but also fea­ tures in a contemplation of emptiness described at M III 112, which similarly proceeds from "internal" to "external" and culminates in contemplation undertaken "both in­ ternally and externally",
36 A sim ilar shift tow ards com prehensiveness features in the standard descriptions on h o w to d e v elo p insight w ith regard to the fiv e aggregates,, w h ere after a detailed ex­ am ination o f a single aggregate, th e insight gain ed is a p plied to all possible instances o f it (c£. e,g. M 1 138),

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aspect of phenom ena to focusin g on their disappearance, and culm i­ nates in a com prehensive vision of im perm anence as such. A ccording to the discourses, not seeing the arising and passing aw ay of phenom ena is sim ply ignorance, w hile to regard all p h e­ nom ena as im perm anent leads to kn ow ledge and understanding.3 8 Insight into the im perm anence of the five aggregates or of the six sense-spheres is "right vie w ", and thereby leads directly on to real­ ization.3 9Thus the direct experience of im perm anence represents in­ deed the " pow er" aspect of m editative wisdom*4 * These passages clearly sh ow the central im portance of d ev elo p in g a direct experi­ ence of the im perm anent nature of all phenom ena, as envisaged in this part o f the satipatthana "refrain". The same is reflected in the com m entarial schem e of the insight know ledges, w hich details key experiences to be encountered during the path to realization, w here the stage of apprehending the arising and passing aw ay of phenom ­ ena is of central im portance.4 1 The other tw o characteristics of conditioned existence - dukkha (unsatisfactoriness) and anattd (absence o f a self) - become evident as a consequence of a direct experience and thereby realistic appre­ ciation of the truth of im perm anence. The discourses frequently point to this relationship betw een the three characteristics b y pre­ senting a progressive pattern that leads from awareness of im per­ manence (aniccasannd) via acknow ledgin g the unsatisfactory nature of w h at is im perm anent {anicce dukkhasanfta) to appreciating the selfless nature of w hat is unsatisfactory (dukkhe anattasanna)* The same pattern features prom inently in the Anattalakkhana Sutta, in w hich the Buddha instructed his first disciples to becom e clearly aware of the im perm anent nature o f each aspect o f subjective

37 This way of translating the compound is supported by its use at S III 171, where it dearly refers to the "nature of arising and passing away". Cf. also Nanatiloka 1910: p.95 n.i, who translates samudayadhanma as "the law of arising" (das Enstehungsgesetz); and Naqamoli 1994: p.53, who translates vayadhamma "having the nature of fall", 38 S III 171 and SIV 50. 39 S III 51 and S I V 142. 40 A III 2, Impermanence as the key aspect of insight is also emphasized by Fleischman 1986: p.11; Ledi 1999a: p.151; Nanapoqika 1992: p.6o; Sole-Leris 1992: p>82; and Than Daing 1970: p,6i. 41 According to Ledi (n,d): ^233, insight into arising and passing away is the key aspect of the insight knowledges and relevant for the progress to all four stages of awaken­ ing. Excellent expositions on the insight knowledges can be found in Mahasi 1994: PP'8-36; and NaRaraina 1993: pp-19-62.

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experience, expounded in terms of the five aggregates. Based on this, he then led them to the conclusion that w hatever is im perm a­ nent cannot yield lasting satisfaction and therefore does not qualify to be considered as "I", "m ine", or "m y self'."3 This understanding, after being applied to all possible instances of each aggregate, w as pow erful enough to result in the full aw akening of the first five m onk disciples of the Buddha. The underlying pattern of the Buddha's instruction in this dis­ course show s that insight into im perm anence serves as an im por­ tant foundation for realizing dukkha and anatta. The inner dynam ic of this pattern proceeds from clear awareness of im perm anence to a grow ing degree of disenchantm ent (which corresponds to dukkhasanna),* w hich in turn progressively reduces the 'T'-m aking and "m y"-m aking em bedded in one's m ind {this being the equivalent to anattasannd) " The im portance of developing insight into the arising and passing aw a y of phenom ena is highlighted in the Vibhahga Sutta of the Samyutta Nikaya, according to w hich this insight marks the distinc­ tion betw een mere establishm ent of satipatthana and its complete and full "developm ent" (bhavarta)* This passage underlines the im­ portance o f the "refrain" for a proper developm ent of satipatthana. Mere awareness of the various objects listed under the four satipatthanas m ight not suffice for the task of develop ing penetrative

42 At D HI243; D ili 251; D III 290; D III 291; S V 132; S V 345; A 1 41; A HI 85; A HI 277; A H I 334; A HI 452; A IV 46; A IV 52; A IV 148; A IV 387; A IV 465; A V 105; and A V 309. (Literally translated, the pattern runs: "cognition of impermanence, cognition of unsatisfactoriness in the impermanent, cognition of not-self in the unsatisfactory".) This pattern is also reflected in the statement "what is impermanent that is unsatisfac­ tory, what is unsatisfactory that is rot-self, e.g. at S 1 1122; S III 45; 5 UI82; S TV 1; and S IV 153. Cf. also Bodhi 2000: p.844. Nanananda 1986: p.103, explains: "in 'sukha' and 'atta* we have the affective and conative reactions to the illusion of permanence." 43 SIU67, 44 A III 443 and A III 447 relate awareness of impermanence to disenchantment in gen­ eral, while A rv 51 relates it in particular to being disinterested in worldly gains. 45 Awareness of the empty nature of what is unsatisfactory leads, according to AIV 53, to overcoming ail notions of I or mine. Cf. also AIV 353; A IV 358; and Ud 37; according to which insight into not-self, being based on awareness of impermanence, leads; to the eradication of all conceit and therewith to realization. 46 S V 183 explains the shift from mere satipatthana to a "development" (bhavana) of satipatthana to consist in contemplation of the nature of arising and passing away. This discourse is, however, missing from the Chinese Agamas, cf, Akanuma 1990; p,247.

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insight. W hat is additionally required is to m ove on to a com prehen­ sive and equanim ous vision of im perm anence/7 Direct experience of the fact that everything changes, if applied to all aspects of one's personality, can powerfully alter the habit patterns of one's mind.'1 * This m ay w ell be w h y awareness of im perm anence assumes a particularly prom inent role in regard to the contem pla­ tion of the five aggregates w here, in addition to being m entioned in the "refrain", it has becom e part of the main instruction.* Continuity in develop ing awareness of im perm anence is essential if it is really to affect one's mental condition,5 0Sustained contem pla­ tion of im perm anence leads to a shift in one's normal w ay of experi­ encing reality, w hich hitherto tacitly assum ed the temporal stability of the perceiver and the perceived objects. O nce both are experi­ enced as changing processes, all notions o f stable existence and sub­ stantiality vanish, thereby radically reshaping one's paradigm of experience. Contem plation of im perm anence has to be com prehensive, for if an y aspect o f experience is still taken to be permanent, aw akening w ill be impossible.5 1 A com prehensive realization of im perm anence is a distinctive feature of stream-entry. This is the case to such an ex­ tent that a stream -enterer is incapable of believing any phenom e­ non to be permanent.5 ' U nderstanding o f im perm anence reaches perfection w ith the realization of full aw akening.” For arahants,

47 In fact, M I 62 speaks of the need to "develop" satipatfhana in order for it to lead to highest realization: "if anyone should develop these four satipatfhanas... one of two fruits could be expected for him"; an expression that is reminiscent of the reference to "development" (bhavana) at S V 183. It is noteworthy that, in contrast to the emphasis the Pali texts place on contemplation of impermanence, the Madhyanm Agama version of the satipatthana "refrain" does not mention it at all. The Ekottara Agama version, however, has preserved it at least in relation to contemplation of feelings, mind, and dhammas (cf. Minh Chau 1991: p,88; and Nhat Hanh 1990: pp.173,175 and 177). The in­ junction to contemplate "arising" and *disappearing" in relation to all four $atipa\thanas occurs also in the Sawyukta Agama equivalent of the Samudaya Sutta (S V 184), cf. the translation in Hurvitz 1978: p.215. 48 Goenka 1994a: p.u2> 49 M 161: "such is material form ... feeling ... cognition ... volitions ... consciousness, such its arising, such its passing away." Cf. further page 213. 50 Continuity in contemplating impermanence is mentioned at A IV 13 and A I V 145; cf. also Th 111. 51 A 111441. 52 A III 439, 53 A TV 224 and A V 174.

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aw areness of the im perm anent nature o f all sensory in p u t is a n atu ­ ral feature of their experience.5 4 A part from en cou ragin g aw areness o f im perm anence, this part o f the "refrain" can also, according to the com m entarial view , be taken to refer to the factors {dhammas) that condition the arising and the disappearance of the o b served ph enom ena.5 5 These factors are treated in the Samudaya Sutta, w h ich relates the "arising" and "disap pearing" of each satipatthana to its respective condition; these being nutrim ent in the case o f b o d y, contact for feelings, nam eand-form for m ind, and attention for dhammas.5 6 W ithin the fram ew ork of early B uddhist p h ilosop h y, both im per­ m anence a n d conditionality are of o u tstan din g im portance. In the course of the B uddha's o w n approach to a w ak en in g , recollection of his past lives and the sight of other beings passing a w a y and b ein g reborn v iv id ly brought h om e to him the truths of im perm anence and conditionality on a personal and u niversal scale.5 7The sam e tw o aspects contributed to the realization of the p revious B uddha, Vipassi, w h e n after a detailed exam ination of d ep en d en t co-arising (paticca samuppdda), satipatthana contem plation o f the im perm anent nature o f the five aggregates led to his awakening*581 w ill therefore consider this additional perspective on this part of the satipatthana
54 Cf, A III 377; A IV 404; A III 379; and Th 643. 55 Ps 1 249, 56 S V 184, (However, this passage does not fully fit with the "refrain", since the term used here is "disappearing", atthagama, not "passing away", vaya, as in the Salipafthdna Sutta.) 57 M 122; M 1 248; and A IV 176. SI110 and S II104 document his realization of dependent co-arising- The importance of the first two higher knowledges as exemplifications of impermanence and causality is noted by Demieville 1954: p.294; and Werner 1991: p.13; cf. also Lopez [992: p-35, In addition to the above passages, the discourses docu­ ment the growth of the Buddha's wisdom from a variety of angles, involving a con­ templation of the enjoyment, the inherent disadvantage, and the escape in relation to the elements (SII170), the aggregates (S III 27; S III 29; and S HI 59), the sense-spheres (SIV 7-10 and S V 206), feeling (SIV 233), the faculties (S V 204), the "world" (A 1 258), and the four noble truths (S V 423). Each of these discourses directly relates the respective insight to the Buddha's attainment of full awakening, which suggests that each of these insights can be considered a particular aspect of his comprehensive realization. 58 D II31-5, where a detailed investigation of the conditional links leading from dukkha up to the reciprocal relationship between consciousness and name-and-form led on to his practice of the satipatthana contemplation of the five aggregates, resulting in realization. A practical example of how impermanence and conditionality can be interrelated in the context of contemplation can also be found at S IV 211, which relates the conditioned arising of the three types of feelings to the impermanent nature of the body; (same at S TV 215 in regard to contact).

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"refrain" by surveying the Buddha's teaching on conditionality within its philosophical and historical context.
DEPENDENT CO-ARiSINC (PATICCA SAMUPPADA)

V .4

At the time of the Buddha, a variety of philosophical positions on causality were current in I n d i a S o m e teachings claimed that the universe w as controlled by an external pow er, either an om nipotent god or a principle inherent in nature. Some took man to be the inde­ pendent doer and enjoyer o f action. Some favoured determinism, w hile others completely rejected any kind of causality.*1 Despite their differences, all these positions concurred in recognizing an ab­ solute principle, formulated in terms of the existence (or absence) of a single or first cause. The Buddha, on the other hand, proposed dependent co-arising (pflf icca samuppada) as his "m iddle way" explanation of causality. His conception o f dependent co-arising w as so decisive a departure from existing conceptions of causality that he came to reject all of the four prevalent w ays of form ulating causality.6 1 The discourses often describe dependent co-arising (paticca samuppdda) with a model of tw elve sequential links. This sequence traces the conditioned arising of dukkha back to ignorance (avijja). According to the Pafisambhiddmagga, these tw elve links extend over three consecutive individual lifetimes.6 2The tw elve links applied to three lifetimes probably assumed increasing importance in the his­ torical developm ent of Buddhist thought, as a w ay of explaining

59 Cf. Kalupahana 1975: p*U560 See esp. Purana Kassapa and MakkhaJi Gosala at D 152. Cf. also Bodhi 1989: p.7. 61 A typical example can be found at S 1119, where the Buddha was asked whether dukkha was caused by oneself, by others, by both, or by neither (i.e. arisen by chance). After the Buddha had denied all four alternatives his interlocutor, surprised that all four ways of stating the causality of dukkha had been rejected, wondered whether the Buddha was simply unable to see or admit the existence of dukkha. A similar dialogue in relation to sukha dukkha occurs at S II 22. The novelty of the Buddha's position can also be seen in the fact that the term paticca samuppada was apparently invented by him in order to express his understanding of causality, cf. Kalupahana 1999: p.283. However CA.F. Rhys Davids, in one of her imaginative interpretations of the Pali canon, suggests that it was not the Buddha, but rather Assaji, who was responsible for the early Buddhist theory of causation (1927br p.202). 62 Patis 1 52. Bodhi 2000: p.741 n.50, points out that the scheme of four temporal modes {past cause, present result, present cause, future result) underlying the three-lifetime presentation has a predecessor at S II24,

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rebirth w ithout an eternally surviving agent.6 3 Although the sequence o f tw elve links occurs frequently in the discourses, sub­ stantial variants can also be found. Some of these start w ith the third link, consciousness, which m oreover stands in a reciprocal relation­ ship w ith the next link, name-and-form.6 * These and other varia­ tions suggest that the mode o f explanation based on three lifetimes is not the only possible w ay o f approaching an understanding of d e­ pendent co-arising* In fact, the tw elve links are but a particularly frequent application of the general structural principle of dependent co-arising.6 5 In the Paccaya Sutta o f the Samyutta Nikaya, the Buddha introduced this important distinction betw een the general principle and its applica­ tion. This discourse speaks of the tw elve links as dependently origi­ nated phenom ena, while "paficca samuppada" refers to the relation betw een them, that is, to the principle.6 4 This distinction between the principle and the tw elve links as one of its applications is of considerable practical relevance/ since a full understanding of causality is to be gained w ith stream-entry,6 7 The distinction betw een principle and application suggests that such an
63 Jayatilleke 1980: p.45a.

64 At D II 57, the first two links, ignorance and formations, as well as the six-sense-spheres link are missing, and consciousness is presented in a reciprocal rela­ tionship with natne-and-form. The same redprocal relationship between conscious­ ness and name-and-form occurs at D II32; S II104; and S II113. Sn 724-65 relates each of the links separately and independently to dukkha. (On these variations of the stan­ dard twelve-link formula cf* also Bucknell 1999: pp.314-41.) S II 31 leads from igno­ rance to birth but then on to joy, concentration, and realization. A different course from craving onwards is also taken at S II108. Furthermore at D II63 consciousness is shown to condition name-and-form at conception, during the embryonic stage, and also during life, a presentation which does not seem to be confined to rebirth within the context of the three-life application only. Or at S 1 11 96 formations, as a result of ignorance, are not a past experience, but arise in the present moment Cf* also W,S. Karunaratne 1988b: p.30. 65 Collins 1982: p.106 points out that *it is crucially important to distinguish between the general idea 0/ conditionality and the twelve-fold series". Cf. also W.S. Karunaratne 1988b: p.33; and Nanavira 1987: p.31. Real 1987: p.21: explains: “paticca samuppada ... the term may properly be applied to any set of results dependent upon necessary and sufficient conditions/ 66 S II 26. This same distinction can be deduced from the standard way in which the "twelve link" application of dependent co-arising is often introduced in the dis­ courses, where after a formulation of the principle ("when this is that comes to b e...") the twelve links are introduced with the Pali expression "that is to say" (yadidorp), showing that the twelve links are an exemplification of the principle just stated (cf. e.g. S H28)* 67 A III 439 explains that a quality of a stream-enterer is that he or she has understood causality and the cau&al origin of phenomena.

T H E S A T I P A T T H A N A 'R E F R A f N '

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u n d e rsta n d in g o f cau sality n e e d n o t necessarily require a p erson al exp erien ce o f the tw e lv e links* T h at is, even w ith o u t d e v e lo p in g the ability to reco llect past liv es and th ereb y d irectly ex p erien cin g those factors o f th e tw elv e links that su p p o se d ly p ertain to a past life, on e can still p erso n ally realize the p rin cip le of d e p e n d e n t co-arising. C o m p ared to the entire set o f tw e lv e links, the basic p rin cip le of d e p e n d e n t co-arising is m ore easily am en able to d irect con tem p la­ tion. A d iscourse in the Nidana Samyutta, for exam p le, ap plies "d e ­ p e n d e n t co-arising" to the co n d itio n ed relation b e tw e e n contact an d fe e lin g ,6 8 S u ch direct a p p licatio n o f the prin ciple to sub jective exp erien ce occurs also in the Vibhanga , w h ic h relates d ep en d e n t co-arising to sin gle m ind-m om ents*6 9 A n o th er exam p le o f a d irect a p p licatio n o f the p rin cip le o f co n d i­ tio n ality can b e fo u n d in the Indriyabhavana Sutta, w h ic h qualifies pleasure an d d isp leasu re arisin g at a n y o f the six sense doors as d e­ p e n d e n c y arisen (paticca samuppanna), a u sag e th at is n ot related to past or fu tu re lives.7 ” T h e sam e h o ld s true for th e Madhupinfcka Suita's detailed analysis of the p ercep tu al p rocess,7 1 This discourse depicts the "arisin g" (uppada) o f con sciou sn ess "in d ep en d e n ce" (paticca) o n sen se organ and sense o b je c t w ith contact b e in g the co m in g "to g e th e r" (sarjfi) o f th e three. This p assage reveals a d eep er sign ificance o f ea ch part o f the term paticca sam-uppada, " d e p e n d ­ ent" "co-" "arisin g", w ith o u t a n y n eed for d ifferen t lifetim es or for the w h o le set o f tw e lv e links* T h u s realization of d e p e n d e n t co-arising can take place sim p ly b y w itn e ssin g the o p eration of

68 5 II 96, a contemplation which then leads to realization. Similarly, at 5 II 92 the Buddha illustrated the depth and importance of dependent co-arising with the help of only the final five links {from craving onwards), a presentation more easily amena­ ble to direct experience than the complete set of twelve links. That the entire set of twelve links is not necessarily intended for contemplation Is also suggested by S II81, where the Buddha recommended "thinking over" (parivimatjisati) the twelve links, using a type of terminology that points to a form of intellectual consideration. This suggests that a direct experience of the principle, gained through meditation, can then be applied to the twelve links by way of Intellectual reflection, considering that the same principle operated in the past and will operate in the future, without any need to experience directly those past or future operations. 69 Vibh 164-92. On this passage cf. aJso Bodhi 3998: p.46 n.4; and Gethin 1997a: p.195. According to Buddhadasa 1992: p.98, "the entire series of Dependent Origination operates... in a flash.... T h e . twelve conditions ... may all arise, exercise their func­ tion and pass awayr so fast that we are completely unaware of it/' 70 M III 299.
71 M l 111.

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conditionality in the present m om ent, w ithin on e's o w n subjective experience*
V.5 THH PRINCIPLE OF DEPENDENT CO-ARISING AND ITS PRACTICAL APPLICATION

To speak o f d ep en d en t co-arising is to speak of specific conditions related to specific events- Such "specific conditionality" (idappaccayata) can be illustrated in the fo llo w in g m anner: W hen A is B com es to be. W ith the arising of A B arises. W hen A is not —» B does not com e to be* W ith the cessation of A —» B ceases/2 The operation o f d ep en d en t co-arising is not con fin ed to a strictly linear sequence of events in time. Rather; d ep e n d e n t co-arising stands for the conditional interrelation of p h en om en a, constituting a w eb of in terw o ven even ts, w h ere each even t is related to other events by w a y o f both cause and effect.7 3 Each conditionin g factor is at the sam e time itself conditioned , w hich thereby excludes the p os­ sibility o f a transcendent, in d ep en d en t cause/4 W ithin these in terw o ven patterns, the centrally im portant specific condition, from the view p o in t o f subjective experien ce, is volition. It is the m ental volition o f the p resen t m om ent that decisively influ ­ ences futu re activities and e ven ts/5 Volition itself is under the influence o f other conditions such as one's habits, character traits, and past experiences, w h ich influ ence the w a y one experiences a

72 e.g. at M III 63: "'when this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises* When this does not exist that does not come to be; with the cessation of this, that ceases*" On specific conditionality cf. also Bod hi 1995; pp.z and 9; and Naqamoli 1980: p.161, 73 The complexity of the conditional interrelation of phenomena is illustrated in the Patfhdna of the Pali Abhidhamma from a variety of angles with altogether twenty-four types of conditions. Thus, for example, the conditioning influence exercised by A on B (A B) could, from a temporal perspective, take place not only with A arising ear­ lier than B (purejatapaccaya), but also if both arise simultaneously (sahajatapaccaya), or even when A arises later than B (pacchajatapaccaya). It could be the presence of A (at thipaccaya),but also its absence (mtthipaccaya), that conditions B. Moreover A could be the active cause (kammapaccaya), or it could exert its conditioning influence while being itself a resultant effect (vipakapaccaya), or else A could be both cause and effect, when A and B are related to each other by way of mutuality condition (annamafmapaccaya). 74 Tilakaratne 1993: p.41. 75 A III 415 explains that volition is the factor responsible for the undertaking of activities by way of body, speech,, or mind.

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particular situation. N evertheless, inasm uch as each volition in­ volves a decision betw een alternatives, one's volitional decision in the present m om ent is to a considerable degree am enable to per­ sonal intervention and control. Each decision in turn shapes the habits, character traits, experiences, and perceptual m echanisms that form the context of future decisions. It is precisely for this rea­ son that system atic training of the mind is imperative. In the Satipatthana Sutta , a more specific application of condition­ ality to the practice of m editation becomes apparent d u rin g most of the contem plations o f dhammas„ Here one finds that the m editator's task in relation to the five hindrances is to observe the conditions for their arising and rem oval.7 6 Regarding the six sense-spheres, con­ tem plation should disclose h o w the process of perception can cause the arising of m ental fetters at the sense doors.7 7 In the case o f the aw akening factors, the task is to recognize the conditions for their arising and further developm ent,7 6C om ing to the four noble truths, this last contem plation o f dhammas is in itself a statement of condi­ tionality, nam ely o f the conditions for dukkha and its eradication. In this w ay, the principle of dependent co-arising underlies a range of applications in the fourth satipatthana™ The developm ent of a m editative realization of dependent coarising could be alluded to in the "direct path" passage of the Satipatthana Sutta, since it lists the acquiring o f "m ethod" (fiaya) as one o f the goals o f satipatthana.* 0 The same term, "m ethod", occurs often in the discourses as a quality of those w ho have realized stream -entry or higher stages of aw akening,8 1 Several instances speak of "noble m ethod" as an outcom e of the realization o f stream-

76 M 1 60: "he knows how unarisen sensual desire can arise, how arisen sensual desire can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed sensual desire can be pre­ vented." 77 M I 61: "he knows the eye, he knows forms, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented." 78 M I 62: "he knows how the unarisen mindfulness awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen mindfulness awakening factor can be perfected by development" 79 According to the Maliaprajmparamtasasfra, conditionality is indeed the distinctive characteristic of contemplation of dhammas, c f Lamotte 1970: p.1169. 80 M l 55: "this is the direct path for acquiring the true method namely, the four
satipattknnas.”

81 The standard recollection of the community of noble disciples (e.g. at A I I56) speaks of them being in possession of the right method {Myapafipanno},

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en try.8 2In these contexts, "n o b le m ethod" im plies the realization of d e p e n d e n t co-arising.*3 T he relevan ce o f d e p en d en t co-arising for progress to realization is confirm ed in several other passages, acco rd in g to w h ic h one w h o k n o w s d e p e n d en t co-arising is stan d ­ in g at the th resh old o f the deathless,8 4 A lth o u g h the expression "m eth o d " is n ot furth er sp ecified as noble in the Satipatthana Sutta , it d o es n o t seem too far-fetched to p resum e that its occurrence in d i­ cates a d irect realization o f the p rin cip le or "m eth o d " of d ep en d en t co-arising to be one o f the p u rp o ses o f satipatthana practice.
V.6 MERE AWARENESS AND CLINGING TO NOTHING

As the "refrain " stipulates, aw aren ess o f the b o d y , feelings, m in d, and dhammas should take p lace m erely for the sake of k n o w le d g e an d co n tin u ed m indfulness.*5This instruction p oin ts to the n eed to observe o b jectively , w ith o u t g ettin g lost in associations and reac­ tions. A cco rd in g to the com m entaries, this refers in particular to a vo id in g a n y form o f id en tificatio n .8 6 F reedom from identification th en enables one to regard a n y aspect o f o n e's subjective exp erien ce

82 S II 68; S II71; S V 389; and A V 184 mention "noble method" as a quality of streamentry. 83 S V 388; cf. also A V 184. "Noble method" also comes up at A I I 36, where it is further explained to be of a wholesome nature (kusaladhammata), a reference that could also be alluding to dependent co-arising, since the commentary Mp III 74 relates this refer­ ence to the path of insight. T.W. Rhys Davids 3993: p .394, confirms that dependent co-arising is referred to as noble method. However, the term "method" can elsewhere assume different implications, since at M 1 522 it comes to include attainment of the four jkartas and the three higher knowledges, while atM II182 it is related to overcom­ ing the ten unwholesome paths of action (cf. also M II197, where it is not further spec­ ified but distinguished according to whether it is being developed by a householder or by a monk). 84 S II43; S I I 45; S II59; S II79; and S II80; each relates an understanding of dependent co-arising to "standing at the threshold of the deathless". A temporal succession with understanding of dependent co-arising preceding realization of Nibbana seems also to be implied by the Buddha's statement at S II124, where he explained that "knowl­ edge of the stability of the Dhamma" (dhammafthitifm^ia) precedes realization, since at S I) 60 such "knowledge of the stability of the Dhamma" refers to dependent coarising. This is further supported by S II 25, which identifies specific conditionality as the "stableness of the Dhnmma" (dhammafthitata). Cf. also Choong 1999: p.50. 85 M 1 56: "mindfulness that' there is a body is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness/' I take the prefix pafi added to sati in the present context in its temporal nuance of "again" or "re-", in the sense of point­ ing to the absence of lapses in the presence of sati viz. its continuity. 86 PsI 250; cf* also Ariyadhamma 1995: p.5; Debesi994: PJ30; Dhammikoi96i: p.189; and Thanissaro 1993: p.101.

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as a m ere phenom enon, free from any type of self-image or attach m ent The w ay this instruction is phrased suggests the use of mental labelling. M indfulness is established that "there is body" (feelings, m ind, dhammas). The Pali particle Hi used here indicates direct speech, w hich in the present context suggests a form of mental not­ ing* This is in fact not the only instance of this kind of recom m enda­ tion in the Satipaithana Sutta . Most of the instructions in the discourse use direct speech to form ulate w hat is to be know n.8 7 This w ay o f presentation shows that concepts, especially w hen used as labelling tools for the purpose o f m ental noting, can be skil­ fully em ployed w ithin the context of satipatihana,6 * Thus the practice of satipatthana does not require a complete relinquishm ent of all forms of verbal know ledge.8 9 In fact, concepts are intrinsically re­ lated to cognition (sanna), since the ability to recognize and u n der­ stand relies on a subtle level of mental verbalization and thereby on the use of concepts. The skilful use of labelling during satipatthana contem plation can help to strengthen clear recognition and under­ standing. A t the same time, labelling introduces a healthy degree of inner detachm ent, since the act of apostrophizing one's m oods and emotions dim inishes one's identification w ith themA ccording to the Buddha's survey of w ro n g view s in the Brahma­ jala Sutta, m isinterpretations o f reality can often be based on m edita­ tive experiences, not only on theoretical speculation.9 0 To prevent such misinterpretations, a firm acquaintance w ith the Dhamma is an im portant factor for proper progress along the m editative path. In one instance, the Buddha compared such sound know ledge of the

87 e.g. M 156: "he knows 'I breathe in long'"; M 1 56: "he knows "I am walking'"; M 1 59: "he knows 'I feel a pleasant feeling"'; M 1 59: "he knows a lustful mind to be 'lustful'"; M 160: "he knows 'thereis sensual desire in me"'; M 161: "he knows 'there is the mind­ fulness awakening factor in me'"; M 1 62: "he knows as it really is, 'this is dukkha'". 38 On labelling cf. Fryba 1989: pp.130-2; Mangalo 1988: p.34; and Naijaponika 1986b: p.13. 89 Earle 1984: p.398; and Tilakaratne 1993: p.103. Epstein 1995: p.94, warns against simply "casting off ... mental activity and thinking" since "people with this misconception abandon the ego skills necessary for successful meditation". He explains {p 99) that "those with this misunderstanding... tend to overvalue the idea of the "empty mind' free of thoughts. In this case, thought itself is identified with ego, and such persons seem to be cultivating a kind of intellectual vacuity, in which the absence of critical thought is seen as an ultimate achievement'*' Nanananda 1985: p6o, speaks of "rally­ ing the concepts for the higher purpose of developing wisdom whereby concepts themselves are transcended".
90 D 1 1 2 - 3 9 , c * - in detail p a g e 45, fo o tn o te 4 a n d p a g e 181, fo o tn o te 34.

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Dhamma to the arm ou ry o f sw o rd s an d spears u sed to d efe n d a for­ tress/1 C le a rly , for the B u d d h a the m ere ab sen ce of con cep ts does not con stitu te the fin al go al o f m editation practice*9 2 C o n cep ts are n o t the p ro blem , the p roblem is h o w co n cep ts are used. A n arahant still e m p lo y s concepts, y e t w ith o u t b e in g b o u n d b y them.*3 O n th e oth er h an d , satipatthana has to be clearly d istin g u ish ed from m ere in tellectu al reflection . W hat this p art of the "refrain " in ­ dicates is the exten t to w h ic h con cep ts and labels are ap p rop riate w ith in the co n text o f in sigh t m editation . This sh o u ld be k e p t to an absolute m in im um , o n ly "to the exten t n ecessary for b are k n o w l­ e d g e a n d co n tin u o u s m in d fu ln ess".* L ab ellin g is n ot an end in it­ self, o n ly a m eans to an en d . O n ce k n o w le d g e an d aw aren ess are w ell establish ed , lab ellin g can be d isp en sed w ith . T h e in ab ility o f a p u re ly theoretical ap p ro ach to result in a w a k e n ­ in g is a recu rren t th em e in the discourses.” To sp en d o n e's tim e in ­ telle ctu ally co n sid erin g the Dhamma and th ereb y n e g lectin g actual p ractice clearly m eets w ith the B u d d h a's d isapp roval. A cco rd in g to him , o n e w h o acts th us can n o t be co n sid ered a p ractition er of the Dhamma, b u t m erely as som eon e cau g h t u p in th in kin g /6

91 At A I V 110, because endowed with knowledge of the Dhamma the disciple will be able to overcome what is unwholesome and develop what is wholesome. Th 1027 recom­ mends knowledge of the discourses as the basis for living the holy life. Similarly, M I 294 lists knowledge of the discourses and related discussions as two of five factors required for right view to lead to realization. (The others are ethical conduct and the practice of samatha and vipassana,) 92 In fact, even the fourth immaterial attainment {nevasaft MnasaflM yatana ), a deep med­ itative experience as far removed from concepts as possible within the realm of mun­ dane experience, still falls short of realization. Cf. Hamilton 1996: p.6o, 93 According to It 53, arahants, because of their penetrative understanding of concepts and verbal expressions, are able to use them freely, without in any way falling prey to them. Cf. also Nai^ananda 1986: p.103: "to believe that by merely demolishing con­ cepts or theories one can rise above them is to stop at the fringe of the problem". 94 M 1 56. Kalupahana 1992: p.74, explains that the concepts used for satipaithana "are to be pursued only to the point where they produce knowledge (nana-matta), and not beyond, fo r ... conceptions carried beyond their limits can lead to substantialist meta­ physics". 95 At S 1136 the Buddha described his realization as beyond the reach of mere theoretical inquiry. Cf. also Dhp 19; Dhp 20; Dhp 258; and Dhp 259; which emphasize that what really matters is the practice of the Dhamma. At A V 162, excessive emphasis on a theo­ retical understanding of the Dhamma even led some monks to mistakenly claim real­ ization. Cf. also W.S. Karunaratne 1988a' p.83. 96 A III 87. The same descrip bon, however, comes tip at A 111 178 in a recommendation to reflect on the Dhamma, demonstrating that the Buddha did not categorically reject such theoretical inquiry, but that his criticism was directed against neglect of the practice.

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Sati as such is mere awareness of phenom ena, w ithout letting the mind stray into thoughts and associations.9 7According to the satipat­ thana "definition", sati operates in combination with clearly kn ow ­ ing (sampajana). The same presence of kn ow ledge also underlies the expression "he know s" (pajanati), w hich occurs frequently in the in­ dividual satipatthana contem plations. Thus to "know ", or to contem ­ plate "clearly kn ow in g", can be taken to represent the conceptual input n eeded for taking clear cognizance of the observed phenom ­ ena, based on m indful observation.9 8 This (re-)cognizing aspect inherent in the quality of clearly k n o w ­ ing or in the expression "he know s" can be further developed and strengthened through the practice of m ental noting. It is this "k n o w ­ ing" quality of the m ind that brings about understanding. Thus, w hile satipafthana m editation takes place in a silently w atchful state of mind, free from intellectualization, it can nevertheless make ap­ propriate use of concepts to the extent needed to further kn ow ledge and awareness. The fact that contem plation undertaken in this m anner has the sole purpose of enhancing m indfulness and understanding points to an im portant shift a w a y from goal-oriented practice. A t this com ­ paratively advanced stage, satipatthana is practised for its ow n sakeWith this shift in attitude, the goal and the act of m editation begin to m erge into one, since awareness and understanding are cultivated for the sake of develop ing ever m ore awareness and understanding. The practice of satipatthana becomes an "effortless effort", so to speak, divested of goal-orientation and expectation. It is precisely this w ay of contem plating that in turn enables one to proceed independently, "w ithou t clinging to anything in the w orld" of experience, as stipulated in the final part of the "refrain".9 9In sev­ eral discourses, the stipulation "to abide independently" occurs im­ m ediately before realization takes place/0 0 This suggests that w ith this part o f the "refrain", satipatthana contem plation gradually

97 Cf. Chapter III 98 This suggestion is supported to some extent by the commentary, Ps 1 250/ which relates this part of the "refrain" to mindfulness and clearly knowing. 99 M 1 56: "he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world." 100DII68; M 1 251; M III 244; S II82; SIV 23; SIV 24; SIV 65; SIV 67; S IV 168; and AIV 88. Similarly M III 266 relates the absence of dependencies to overcoming dukkha. C f also A V 325, which points out that an advanced meditator can meditate without "depend­ ing"' on the material or the immaterial elements, or on any aspect of perceptual expe­ rience, a description which Spk V 79 relates to the experience of Nibbana.

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builds up to the constellation of mental qualities required for the event of awakening. According to the commentaries, "to abide inde­ pendently" refers to the absence of dependency through craving and speculative view s, w hile to avoid ''clinging to anything in the world" stands for not identifying w ith any of the five aggregates/0 1 By letting go of all dependencies and cravings during this advanced level of practice, a deepening realization of the em pty nature o f all phenom ena dawns on the meditator. W ith this state of independence and equipoise, characterized by the absence of any sense of "I" or "m ine", the direct path of satipatthana gradually approaches its culmination. Il is in this balanced state of mind, free from "Iw -m akingor "m y"-m aking, that the realization of Nibbana can take place.

ioi Ps 1 250.

VI

TH E B O D Y

VI. 1 THE BODY CO NTEM PLATIONS

Startin g w ith this ch a p te r, I w ill co n sid e r th e actu a l m ed ita tio n p rac­ tices d escrib ed in th e Satipatthana Sutta. T h e p ractices listed u n d e r the first satipatthana, co n te m p la tio n of the b o d y , com p rise a w a r e ­ ness o f b re a th in g , a w a re n e ss o f b o d ily p o stu res, clear k n o w le d g e in regard to b o d ily activities, an alysis o f th e b o d y in to its an atom ical parts, a n a ly sis o f the b o d y in to its ele m e n ta ry q u alities, a n d c o n tem ­ plation o f a d e a d b o d y in n in e c o n se cu tiv e sta ges o f d ecay. I w ill ex­ am ine each o f th ese m ed ita tio n p ractices in turn , after an in tro d u cto ry assessm en t o f b o d y c o n te m p la tio n in gen eral. The se q u en ce o f th e b o d y co n tem p la tio n s is p ro g re ssiv e, b e g in ­ n in g w ith the m ore o b v io u s a n d b a s k a sp ects o f th e b o d y a n d c o n ­ tin u in g to w a rd s a m o re d e tailed a n d a n a ly tica l u n d e rs ta n d in g o f the n a tu re o f th e body* This p attern b eco m es all the m ore e v id e n t if one tran sp o ses m in d fu ln e ss o f b re a th in g fro m th e first p o sitio n to the th ird , after a w a re n e ss o f p o stu res and clea r k n o w le d g e in rega rd to b o d ily activities, a p o sitio n it assum es in th e C h in e se Madhyama Agama a n d in tw o o th e r v e rsio n s o f satipatthana (cf. Fig. 6.1 b e lo w ).1 T h ro u g h this sh ift in p o sitio n , a w a ren ess o f th e b o d y 's p o stu res a n d

3 For the Madhyama Agama version c f Minh Chau 1991: p.88; and Nhat Hanh 1990: P-138. The other versions are (according to Schmithausen 1976: p.250) the Paficaviw$ati$ahasrika Praplaparamita and the Sariputrabhidharma. In contrast, the two Sati­ patthana Suttas (D II 291 and M I 56) and the Kayagatasati Sutta (M III 89) place mindfulness of breathing at the outset of the body contemplations.

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clear knowledge of activities would precede mindfulness of breath­ ing, rather than following it as they do in the Pali versions.
Pali version Alternative version

Fig. 6.1

The body contemplations

A w aren ess o f the four postures and clear kn ow led ge of activities can be characterized as sim pler and m ore rudim entary form s of con­ tem plation than the other b o d y contem plations. Takin g into consid­ eration their m ore elem entary character, it seems reasonable to place them at the b egin ning of a cultivation of satipatthanaf as con ve­ nient w a y s to build u p a foundation in sati. This, h ow ever, does not im ply that in actual practice m indfulness of breathing need alw ays be p reced ed b y aw areness o f postures and clear kn ow led ge of activi­ ties/ since m indfulness of the breath can also be follow ed by m in d­ fulness of one's postures and activities. A w areness of postures and clear k n o w led g e of activities are pre­ dom inantly concerned w ith the body in action. In com parison, the rem aining exercises exam ine the b o d y in a m ore static m anner, analysin g it into its constituent com ponents from anatom ical, material, and tem poral p erspectives (by focusing on its disintegration after death). In this context, m indfulness of breathing has a transitional role, since although it is traditionally carried ou t in the stable sitting posture, it is still concerned w ith an active aspect of the body, n am ely the process o f breathing. W hen it is shifted to the third position, m indfulness of breathing becom es the first in a series of

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practices conducted m ainly in the sitting posture. In fa c t the proper sitting posture is described in detail only in the instructions for m indfulness of breathing. Since awareness of the four postures and clear kn o w led ge in regard to bodily activities are forms of contem ­ plation that take place in different postures, it m akes sense to intro­ duce the sitting posture o n ly w h en it becom es relevant. This is the case for m indfulness o f breathing and the rem aining exercises, w hose com parative subtlety requires a fairly stable posture, thereby facilitating the developm ent o f deeper degrees of concentration. By shifting m indfulness of breathing to the third position, the descrip­ tion of the sitting posture also m oves to the m ost convenient posi­ tion w ithin the body contem plations. The b o d y contem plations begin w ith an em phasis on "know in g" (jpajanati, sampajanakari) in the two exercises concerned w ith bodily postures and activities and in the first tw o steps of m indfulness of breathing. Subsequent exercises introduce slightly different m eth­ ods of contem plation. The third and fourth steps o f m indfulness of breathing are concerned w ith "training" (sikkhati), the tw o bodily analyses w ith "considering" {paccavekkhati)/ and the contem plation of a corpse in decay w ith "com paring" (upasamharati). This change in the choice of verbs underscores a progression from com paratively simple acts o f observation to m ore sophisticated form s of analysis. Here again m indfulness of breathing assumes a transitional role, with its first steps partaking of the character of the tw o contem pla­ tions o f postures and of activities, w h ile its third and fourth steps can be grouped together w ith the other three contem plations. Except for aw areness of the four postures and clear kn ow ledge in regard to activities, each of the other body contem plations is illus­ trated b y a simile. These similes com pare m indfulness of breathing to a turner at his lathe, contem plation of the anatomical parts to ex­ am ining a b a g full of grains, and contem plation of the four elem ents to butchering a cow. T he last exercise em ploys mental im ages of a b o d y in various stages of decay. A lthough these stages of decay can­ not be reckoned as similes, the use of m ental im agery here parallels the similes given in the other three exercises. These similes an d m en­ tal im ages point to an additional degree of affinity betw een m indful­ ness of breathing and the final three b o d y contem plations, and

2

Ps-pt 1 365 explains "considering" to refer to repeated analytical observation.

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thereby further support the idea of presenting them together by shifting m indfulness of breathing to the third position in the sequence of the b ody contemplations* The instruction for contem plating the anatomical parts em ploys the w ord "im pure" (asuci), w hich betrays a certain degree of evalua­ tion inherent in this type o f practice*3 In a passage from the Anguttara Nikaya, contem plation of the anatomical parts and of a corpse in decay come under the "recollection" (anussati) category.4 This evokes suit's connotations of m em ory a n d show s that these two contem plations im ply to some extent a form of practice w hich is not confined to bare aw areness only. The breadth of "b o d y contem plation" as a satipatthana becom es even m ore extensive in the Chinese version found in the Madhyama Agama, w hich adds several m editations to those described in the Pali discourses. Surprisingly, at least at first sight, the Madhyama Agama counts the developm ent of the four absorptions as b ody con­ tem plations.5 H ow ever, the positioning of the four absorptions un­ der body contem plation has a parallel in the Kdyagatasati Sutta of the Pali canon, w hich also directs awareness to the effect these absorp­ tions h ave on the physical body.* Thus it is not too far-fetched to take the physical bliss experienced du rin g absorption as an object of contem plation of the body. N evertheless, several of the additional contem plations in the Madhyama Agama do not fit w ell into "body contem plation", but seem rather to be the outcom e o f a progressive assim ilation of other practices under this heading.7

3 MI 57: "he reviews this same body ... as full of many kinds of impurity," 4 A III 323. 5 Minh Chau 1991: p,8$; and Nhat Hanh 1990: p.154. These are the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth of the body contemplations in this version, which describe the physical effect of each of the four jhanas with the help of the same set of similes found in the Pali discourses (kneading soap powder into a lump, a lake fed by water from within, lotuses submerged In water, and a man dressed all in white). 6 M ill 92. 7 e.g. various ways of dealing with unwholesome thoughts are listed as the third and the fourth of the body contemplations in this version. (Pali parallels to these exercises are the first and the last of the antidotes to unwholesome thoughts mentioned at MI 120.) Or else the tenth and the eleventh of the body contemplations in this version are concerned with developing a "brilliant perception" and with "well remembering the contemplated image". These could correspond to clarity of cognition {aloka &znnd) and to the sign of concentration (samddhi-nimitta) found elsewhere in the Pali dis­ courses. Cf. Minh Chau 199J: pp*88-9o; and Nhat Hanh 1990: pp.153^6-

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121

The C hinese Ekottara Agama version, on the other hand, contains only four body contem plations in total; aw areness of the anatomical parts, o f the four elem ents, of a rotting corpse, and a contem plation of the various b od ily orifices together w ith the im pure liquids dis­ charged b y them.* A n eve n more abridged version can be found in the Paii Vibhanga, w hich lists only contem plation of the anatomical constitution under this satipatthana.9 The reasons for these "om is­ sions" are open to conjecture, but w hat rem ains as the unanim ously accepted core of the contem plation o f the b od y in all the different versions is a th orough investigation of its anatomical constitution. This g iv es a considerable degree of em phasis to this exercise,1 0even though it does involve some degree of evaluation and therefore seems different from the typical satipatthana approach to contem plation.
VL2 PURPOSE AND BENEFITS OF CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY

A lth ou gh contem plating the nature o f the b od y highlights its less at­ tractive features, the purpose of this exercise is not to dem onize the body. W hile it is certainly true that at times the discourses describe the hum an b o d y in rather negative terms,1' some of these instances occur in a particular context in w hich the point being m ade is that the speakers in question have overcom e all attachm ent to their

8 Nhat Than 1990: P-1699 Vibh 193, The commentary Vibh-a 252 further expands this to some extent by relating the anatomical parts to the four elements. Bronkhorst 1985: p.311, on the basis of this passage from the Vibhaftga suggests that possibly the analysis into anatomical parts constitutes the most ancient and original approach to contemplating the body. Cf, also Lin Li-Kouang 1949: pp.122-7, who takes the entire Satipatthana Sutta to be an elaboration of the more original Kayagat&sati Sutta. A similar suggestion can be found in Schmidt 1989: p.41 n.3. 10 This emphasis can also be found in the fact that kayagatasati (mindfulness of the body)/ a word which in sutta usage is synonymous with kayanupassana (contempla­ tion of the body), came to connote only the contemplation of the anatomical parts in the commentaries; cf. also Bodhi 2000: p.1453 n.366; and Upali Karunaratne 1999a: p.168. This shift in meaning underlines the importance of contemplating the anatomi­ cal parts as 'the' body contemplation. 11 Cf. e,g. M 1 500; M 1 510? S 1131; AIV 377; AIV 386; Sn 197-9; Sn 205; Th 279; Th 453; Th 567-9; Th 1150-3; Thi 19; ThI 82-3; Thi 140; and ThI 466-71, These passages indicate that a somewhat negative attitude towards the body is not only a product of the commentarial writings {as suggested by Hamilton 1995b: p,6i). Conversely, however, Heiler 1922: p.iB, who speaks of a "vehement loathing of the body" {my translation of "ungestumer Ekel an allem Leiblichen") as the aim of body contemplation, goes too far.

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b o d y .1 * In con trast, the Kayagatdsati Sutta takes the p h ysica l bliss of ab so rp tio n attain m en t as an o b ject for b o d y co n tem p latio n . This p a ssa ge c le a rly dem o n strates th a t c o n tem p la tio n o f th e b o d y is n o t n ecessarily lin k e d to re p u g n a n c e a n d loath in g. T h e p u rp o s e o f co n te m p la tin g th e n atu re o f th e b o d y is to b rin g its u n a ttra ctive asp ects to th e fo refro n t o f o n e 's atten tion , th ereb y p la c­ in g th e a ttractive asp ects p re v io u s ly em p h a size d in a m ore b a la n ce d context* T h e aim is a b a la n ced and d etach ed a ttitu d e to w a rd s th e b o d y . W ith su ch a b a la n ced a ttitu d e, one sees th e b o d y m erely as a p ro d u c t o f c o n d i tions, a p ro d u c t w ith w h ic h o n e n e ed n o t id e n tify .1 3 T h e d isco u rses illustrate th e p ractice and b en efits o f co n tem p la t­ in g th e b o d y w ith a v a rie ty o f sim iles. O n e o f th ese sim iles d ep icts a m an ca rry in g a b o w l b rim m in g w ith oil o n his h ead th ro u g h a c ro w d w a tch in g a b e a u tifu l girl sin g in g and dancing*’4 H e is fo llo w e d b y a n o th er m an w ith a d r a w n sw o rd , re a d y to c u t o ff his h ea d if e v e n o n e d ro p o f oil is sp illed . To p reserv e his life, th e m an c a rry in g th e oil h as to a p p ly his fu ll atten tio n to each step a n d m o vem en t, w ith ­ ou t a llo w in g th e co m m otion a ro u n d th e girl to distract him . T h e care fu l b e h a v io u r o f th e m an c a rry in g th e oil ex em p lifies th e circu m sp ect b e h a v io u r o f a p ractitio n er w ell establish ed in p re se n t m o m en t a w a re n e ss o f th e b o d y . T h e im age o f c a rry in g an ob ject on the h e ad in p articu lar p o in ts to the b alan ce a n d cen tred n ess th at ac­ c o m p a n y b o d ily activities carried o u t w ith sati. A n o th er im p o rta n t asp ect o f this sim ile is th at it relates su stain ed a w a ren e ss o f the b o d y 's a ctiv ities to sense-restraint. In this w a y it v iv id ly illustrates th e im p o rta n ce o f d e v e lo p in g a w a re n e ss g ro u n d e d in th e b o d y , since in th e situation d ep icted in this sim ile restraint o f the senses th ro u g h b e in g g ro u n d e d in th e b o d y co n stitu tes th e m ean s to p re ­ serve o n e 's life in th e m id st o f co m m o tio n a n d dan ger.

12 e.g. Vijay a at S 1 131; Sariputta at A IV 377; and Khema at Thi 140; each stating that they feel ashamed and disgusted by their own body* However, this particular expression arose owing to the circumstances of each case, since Sariputta was defending himself against the accusation of having physically shown lack of respect to another monk (cf. Mp IV 171), while the nuns Vijaya and Khema were trying to discourage someone who was attempting to seduce them. In fact, the same expression occurs again at Vin III 68 and S V 320, where a number of monks engaged in contemplating the unattrac­ tive nature of the body with such fervour that they committed suicide, which is cer­ tainty not the appropriate way of cariying out this practice. 13 At S II 64 the Buddha pointed out that the body is neither one's own nor does it belong to another, but is simply the product of conditions* 14 S V 170.

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Sense-restraint comes up again in another simile, which compares mindfulness of the body to a strong post to w hich six different wild animals are bound.1 5Since the animals are firmly bound to the post, how ever much they might struggle to escape, they have sooner or later to sit or lie dow n next to the post. Similarly, m indfulness of the body can become a strong post for tethering the six senses. This simile compares the mental agitation of searching for sensual gratification to wild animals struggling to go into different direc­ tions. Once the post of body m indfulness is firmly established, h ow ­ ever, the senses will invariably have to calm dow n, just as the animals will come to lie dow n next to the post to which they are bound* This simile points to the benefit of being anchored or grounded in the experience o f the present moment through m ind­ fulness of the body.1 6Lacking such grounding in body awareness, at­ tachment and clinging can easily arise/7 A similar connotation underlies a set of similes in the Kayagatasati Sutta, which present m indfulness of the body as a crucial factor for withstanding Mara, the personification of mental defilement s.'8Just as a h eavy stone ball can penetrate a m ound of w et d a y, or just as fire can be produced from dry w ood, or just as an empty jug can be filled with water, so too will Mara find an opportunity to overpow er those w ho are not w ell established in m indfulness of the body. But just as a light ball of string cannot penetrate a door panel made of heartwood, or just as fire cannot be produced from w et wood, or just as a full ju g cannot take more water, so too will Mara be unable to overpow er those w ho develop und cultivate mindfulness of the body. The Kayagatasati Sutta contains the same sequence of body con­ templations as the Satipatthana Sutta. There is, however, a notable difference in the Kayagatasati Sutta's version of the "refrain*, w hich relates body contemplation to the overcoming of w orldly thoughts and the developm ent of concentration.1 5 This points to another

15 S IV 198. 16 Fryba 1989: p.m, fittingly speaks of "strategies of reality anchoring". Tart 1994: p.44, explains: "instead of every thought carrying you away, you have an anchor in the here and now through your body". Cf* also Nett 13, which points out that mindful­ ness of the body protects against sensory distraction. 17 According to M 1 266, neglecting mindfulness of the body leads to delighting in feel­ ings and therewith to attachment. 18 M ill95. 19 Mni89.

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im portant benefit of b o d y contem plation: overcom in g sensual in fat­ uation th rough a p roper assessm ent of the nature of the body. Such w an in g o f sensual infatu ation facilitates the develop m en t o f con ­ centration u n h in dered b y sensual distractions. The Kdyagatdsati Sutta illustrates this w ith another set of similes: just as drin kin g w a ­ ter w ill flo w out if a ju g is tipped over, or just as w ater in a p ond w ill flow out if the em bankm ent is broken, or just as a skilled d river is able to drive a chariot w h e re v e r he likes, so too m indfulness o f the body w ill lead easily to the d evelo p m en t of d eep concentration ” Thus contem plation o f the body can becom e a basis for the d e v el­ opm ent o f samatha, or it can lead to an application of sati to feelings and m ental phenom ena, as described in the Satipaffhdna Sutta .2 1The fact that a firm gro u n d in g o f aw areness in the b ody p rovides an im ­ portant basis for the develo p m en t of both calm and insight m ay be w h y , of the four satipatthanasf b o d y contem plation has received the most extensive and detailed treatm ent in the discourses and com ­ m entaries." This em phasis on the b o d y contem plations continues tod ay in the vipassana schools o f the Theravada tradition, w here m indfulness of the b o d y occupies a central position as a fo u n d a­ tional satipatthana practice. The discourses rep eated ly em phasize the great value of m in dful­ ness o f the b o d y/3 A cco rd in g to them, those w h o do not practise m indfulness of the b o d y do not "partake of the deathless".2 4 M in d­ fulness of th e b o d y is a source of jo y / 5 and can truly be considered one's best frien d ,2 6A verse from the Theragdthd even reports a m onk

20 M i l l 96.

2.1 The importance of a foundation in body contemplation for the practice of samatha or vipassana is stressed by Ledi 1983: p^8, who compares attempts to practise either

withouta previous groundingin awareness of the body to drivingan ox-cart yoked to an untamed bullock without a nose-rope, The importance of the body contempla­ tions for the development of samatha is also reflected at Ps 1 301, which points out that mindfulness of breathing, of the anatomical parts, and of the bodily decomposition after death are satipatthana contemplations particularly suitable for the development of concentration. 22 e.g. in the Majjhima Nikaya aspects o f b o d y contem plation are separately expoun ded
as in d ep en d en t discourses (Anapanasati Sutta, M III 78; Kayagatasati Sutta, M III 88). Sim ilarly the satipatthana com m entaries d evote as m uch space to the b o d y contem pla­ tions as to the rem aining three satipatthanas: Ps 1 247-74 against Ps 1 274-301 (each 27 pages)*

23 e.g. at M III 94-9; A 1 43; and Dhp 293. 24 A I 45. 25 A 143, Cf. also D fR 272 and S II220*

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reflecting that if he w ere granted only one w ish, it w ould be that the w hole w orld might enjoy unbroken m indfulness of the b ody.2 7 A lthough m editation practices for contem plating the body appear to have had ancient origins and w ere already know n in ascetic and contem plative circles contem porary w ith the Buddha,2 8 the com ­ mentaries point out that his analytical and com prehensive approach was a distinctively n ew featured
Vl.3 MINDFULNESS OF BREATHING

In ancient times, and still today, mindfulness of breathing m ight well be the most w id ely used m ethod of body contem plation. The Buddha him self frequently engaged in m indfulness of breathing,*0 which he called a "noble"' and "divine" w ay of practice.3 1 A ccording to his ow n statement, even his aw akening took place based on m indfulness of breathing.3 * The discourses present m indfulness of breathing in a variety of ways. The SatipatfMna Sutta describes four steps of the practice, to which the Anapanasati Sutta adds another tw elve, thereby form ing a scheme of altogether sixteen steps. Elsew here the discourses speak of m indfulness of breathing as a cognition (saftna), and as a concen­ tration practice/1 These various presentations demonstrate the multi­ functional character of the process of breathing as a meditation object. This much is also docum ented in the range o f its possible benefits, which include both penetrative insight and deep concentration/4

26 Th 1035. (This statement was made by Ananda after the passing away of the Buddha.) 27 Th 468, 28 Lin Li-Kouang 1949: p.124; and Schmithausen 1976: p.254. The impression that con­ templation of the body was known in ancient India is also to some extent supported by the introductory part to the Kayagatasati Sutta, M III 88, where the monks spoke in praise of the Buddha's way of presenting body contemplation in such a manner that it would have manifold benefits. If the act of contemplating the body were in itself an innovation, it would most likely have merited their explicit praise, 29 Ps 1247 and Ps-pt 134# maintain that other dispensations do not teach body contemplation as completely as the Buddha. 30 SV326. 31 S V 326. 32 SV317. 33 As a four-step satipattiwna in the (Maha-)Satipa^hana Suttas at D U 291 and M 159; as a sixteen-step practice in the Anapanasati Sutta at M III 79; as a sauna e.g. at A V m; and as anapanasatisamddhi in the Anapana Samyutta <e,g, at S V 317); cf* Vajiranaija 1975: p.227.

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As a m editation practice, m indfulness of breathing has a peaceful character and leads to stability of both posture and m in d .J 5The m en­ tal stability brought about through m indfulness of breathing acts in particular as an antidote to distraction and discursive thought*3 6 Aw areness of the breath can also becom e a stabilizing factor at the time of death, ensuring that even one's last breath w ill be a m indful one.3 7 A ccording to the Satipatthana Sutta, the practice of m indfulness of breathing should be undertaken in the follow ing w ay:
Here, gone to the forest, or to the root o f a tree, or to an em pty hut, he sits down; havin g folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, and established m indfulness in front of him, m indful he breathes in, m indful he breathes out. Breathing in long, he know s "I breathe in lon g/' breathing out long, he know s " 1 breathe out long." Breathing in short, he knows "I breathe in short", breathing out short, he know s "I breathe out short/' He trains thus: "I shall breathe in experiencing the whole b od y/' he trains thus: "I shall breathe out experiencing the w hole body." He trains thus: "I shall breathe in calm ing the b od ily formation," he trains thus: "1 shall breathe out calm ing the bod ily form ation".3 *

The instructions for m indfulness of breathing include the approp ri­ ate external environm ent and the suitable physical posture. The three kinds of places recom m ended for practice are a forest, the root of a tree, and an em pty hut* In the discourses/ these three usually indicate suitable conditions for the practice of formal m editation,3 9 representing the appropriate degree of seclusion required for m in d­ fulness o f breathing (or other m editation practices).4 0 A ccording to m odern m editation teachers, h ow ever, m indfulness of breathing

34 S V 317-19 list the overcoming of worldly intentions, of aversion and attraction, attain­ ing the four jhanas and immaterial attainments, and realization as potential benefits of mindfulness of breathing35 S V 321 and S V 316. 36 A III 449; Ud 37; and It 80. The Abhidhannakosabhasyam explains that mindfulness of breathing is particularly suitable for countering discursive thought because the breath is a bland meditation object, devoid of colour or outer form, and therefore does not in itself stimulate the imaginative tendency of the mind (in Pruden 1988: p.917). 37 M I 426. 38 M I 56.

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can be developed in any situation, even w hile, for example, stand­ ing in a queue or sitting in a w aiting-room .4 1 As w ell as describing the external environm ent, the Satipatthana Sutta also specifies the proper sitting posture: the back should be kept straight and the legs crossed.4 * In the discourses, this descrip­ tion of the appropriate posture for m editation occurs not on ly in re­ lation to m indfulness of breathing, but also in the context of several other m editation practices,4 *A lthough this does not im ply that m ed­ itation should be confined to the sitting posture only, these occur­ rences nevertheless clearly underline the im portance of formal sitting for cultivating the mind.

39 From these three, the root of a tree stands in a particularly close relation to the practice of meditation; so much so that at M II118 the mere sight of secluded trees led a king to associate them with the practice of meditation and thereby reminded him of the Buddha. Similarly, the space occupied by the root of a tree can act as a standard for measuring the area a meditator is able to pervade or suffuse with his or her practice (cf, M III 146). The root of a tree as a dwelling place constitutes also one of the four basic monastic requisites of a Buddhist monk or nun {together with almsfood, cast-off cloth for robes, and cow urine as medicine) and thus conveys nuances of contentment with the most minimal necessities of life. The "forest" and the "root of a tree" form part of the standard expression for introducing formal meditation (e.g. at D 171), The "root of a tree" and the "empty hut" come up in the Buddha's emphatic exhortation to meditate (e.g. at M 1 46). In addition to forming part of the introduction to mindful­ ness of breathing, the same three types of place occur in relation to various other meditation practices: at M 1297 in relation to reflection on emptiness; at M 1323 in rela­ tion to overcoming the hindrances; at M 1 333 in relation to the attainment of cessa­ tion; at M I 335 in relation to the divine abodes; at M I 336 in relation to unattractiveness of the body, awareness of repulsiveness in food, disenchantment with the whole world, and contemplation of impermanence; and at A V 109 in rela­ tion to the aggregates, to the sense-spheres, to various bodily illnesses, and to recol­ lection of Nibbana. 40 Cf, Ps 1 247. Ps I 248 stresses that it is not easy to develop mindfulness of breathing in the presence of noise and distractions. Similarly Vibh 244 speaks of a forest and the root of a tree as solitary and silent places and therefore appropriate for retirement into meditative seclusion. 41 Gunaratana 1981: p.10; and Khantipalo 1986: p.u. 42 The expression "having folded his legs crosswise" is not further explained in the dis­ courses, The commentaries take it as representing the lotus posture (e.g. Sv 1 209), but in view of modem practical experience it seems reasonable to include any crosslegged sitting pasture in which the back is kept straight and which can be maintained for a reasonably long time without causing pain, 43 The description of the sitting posture occurs in relation to overcoming the hindrances and developing absorption as part of the standard expositions of the gradual path, e.g, at D 171; in the context of practising the divine abodes (brctkmavih&ras) at D III 49 and A 1 183; in relation to contemplation of the five aggregates at M 1421; in the context of recollecting realization or levels of insight gained at A 1 184; Ud 46; Ud 60; and Ud 77; in relation to mindfulness of the body at Ud 27 and Ud 77; and in the context of meditation in general at Ud43-

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O nce the posture is set up, mindfulness is to be established "in front". The injunction ''in front" (parimukham) can be understood lit­ erally or figuratively.” Following the more literal understanding, "in front" indicates the nostril area as the most appropriate for atten­ tion to the in- and out-breaths. Alternatively, "in front" understood more figuratively suggests a firm establishment of sati, sati being m entally "in front" in the sense of meditative composure and attentiveness/5 Both the Abhidhamma and the commentaries take "in front" (parimukham) to indicate a precise anatomical location / In the discourses, how ever, the specification "in front" occurs in a variety of contexts, such as, for exam ple, in relation to overcom ing the hindrances or to developing the divine abodes (brahmavihara).*7

44 This ambiguity arises because mukha can assume a variety of meanings, among them "mouth" and "face", and also "front" and "top", cf. T.W* Rhys Davids 1993: pp.533-4. 45 Patis 1 176 explains sati qualified asparimukhcuji to mean that it "provides" a "way out" (of forgetfulness). Fessel 1999: p.79, suggests understanding the term in contrast to the Sanskrit bahir mukha (averting one's face), parimukham then implying presence of mind directed to the immediate environment. T.W. Rhys Davids (1993) has: "to sur­ round oneself with watchfulness of mind" (p 672), and "to set one's mindfulness alert" (p 431). The corresponding passage from the Chinese Agamas reads: "with thoughts well controlled, not going astray" (in Minh Chau 1991: p<99). In fact, in sev­ eral discourses the expression "mindfulness established in front" was used by people who were apparently quite unfamiliar with meditation in order to describe the Buddha seated in meditation (a Brahmin searching for his ox at S 1170, a woodworker at S 1 179, and 60 m e Brahmin students at S 1 180). It is difficult to imagine that these people should have been able to know, from merely seeing the Buddha seated, that he was directing awareness to his nostrils. The more probable explanation for these instances is that "mindfulness established in front" was used by them just to express the visible fact that the Buddha was sitting in meditative composure. 46 Vibh 252 explains it to refer to the nose tip or the upper lip; same at Patis 1 171; and in Ehara 1995: P457, Vism 283 further explains that the nose tip is the appropriate point of observation for meditators with a longer nose, while the upper lip fulfils the same function for those who have a shorter nose. 47 D III 49; M 1274; and AIV 437 relate mindfulness established "in front" to overcoming the hindrances; A 1 183 to the divine abodes. Other occurrences of the expression "es­ tablishing mindfulness in front" occur in the context of forming the determination not to change one's posture until realization is gained (at M 1219), in relation to devel­ oping a mind set on the welfare of both oneself and others (at M II139), when direct­ ing the mind to the reflective understanding that the defilements have been eradicated from one's mind (at A T184), or as part of the description of a monk well versed in meditation (at A III 320). It may also be worth while to point out that the qualification "in front" appears to be more than simply part of a stereotype formula, since in several passages in the Udam it is missing from otherwise identical descrip­ tions of meditators sitting down cross-legged (Ud 21; Ud 42; Ud 43; Ud 46; Ud 60; Ud 71; and Ud77).

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A lth o u gh o verco m in g the hindrances can occur w ith the aid of m in dfuln ess o f breath in g, this is n ot n ecessarily the case. In fact, the standard instructions for o verco m in g the h in dran ces do n ot m en­ tion the b reath /6Sim ilarly, the discourses do not relate the d e v e lo p ­ m ent o f the d ivin e abodes in any w a y to aw aren ess of the breath/* A p art from aw aren ess of the breath, h o w e v e r, to direct m in dfuln ess to the nostril area m akes little sense, w h e th e r in relation to overco m ­ in g the hindrances or to d e v e lo p in g the d ivin e abodes. T h u s, at least in these contexts, the fig u ra tive sense of "in fron t" as a firm estab­ lishm en t of sati is the m ore m ean in gfu l alternative. T h erefo re, alth ou gh to u n d erstan d "in fron t" to indicate the n os­ tril area m akes sense in relation to m in d fu ln ess of b reath in g, alter­ n ative w ay s o f practice, based on a m ore figu rative u n d ersta n d in g o f the term , can not be categorically exclu d ed . In fact, several m o d ­ ern teachers h ave d e v e lo p e d successful ap proach es to m in dfuln ess o f b reath in g in d e p e n d e n t o f the nostril area. Som e, for exam ple, advise their p up ils to exp erien ce the breath in the chest area, others su g g est o b servin g the air elem en t at the abdom en , w h ile still others recom m end d irectin g aw aren ess to the act of b reath in g itself, w ith ­ o u t fo cu sin g on an y specific location.5 *

48 According to the standard expositions (e.g. D III 49; M 1 274; M III 3; or S V 105) the an­ tidotes for each respective hindrance are: attending to the unattractiveness of the body, loving kindness, clarity of cognition, mental calm, and being unperplexed about wholesome states. Particularly interesting in this context is M I 421, where Rahula sat down to establish mindfulness "in front'' in order to contemplate the aggregates, but was only at a later point given instructions in mindfulness of breath­ ing, This suggests that he had not previously received instructions in mindfulness of breathing, so it is not very probable that he was directing awareness to his nostrils during the contemplation of the aggregates that he had been taught previously. 49 The instructions describe a form of radiation (e,g. at M II207) that does not seem to be in any way related to mindfulness of breathing. 50 Dhammadharo 1987: p-i6, and Maha Boowa 1983: pp.14-16, instruct one to fix atten­ tion at the nose at first, but to shift to the chest or solar plexus area later on. Kamalashila 1994: p.168, proposes to counter slackness of energy by observing the breath higher up in the body {e.g. the nose), while in case of excess energy one can calm down by using a spot lower down (e.g. the abdomen). Brahmavamso 1999: p.17, suggests not locating the breath anywhere physically. On the other hand, Kassapa 1966: p.242, sharply criticizes the Mahasi tradition for observing the movement of the breath at the abdomen. However, in order to avoid contradiction with the commentarial explanation, the Mahasi tradition has always taken care to present their main meditation practice as a contemplation of the air element (as one of the ele­ ments mentioned in the instructions for meditating on the four elements), not as a form of m in d fu ln ess of brea thing.

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H avin g described the appropriate environ m en t and posture, the Satipatthana Sutta instructs the m editator to breathe in a n d out m in d fu lly.* N ext, the m editator should becom e aw are of the len gth of each breath as "long" o r "short". The point here is to be aw are of lo n g and short breaths, not consciously to control the length of the breath. N evertheless, the progression from k n o w in g longer breaths to k n o w in g shorter breaths reflects the fact that th e breath naturally becom es shorter and finer w ith continued contem plation, o w in g to increasing m ental and p h ysical calm ness.11 T he discourse com pares this progress to a skilled turner w h o at­ tends to his lathe w ith full aw areness o f m akin g a long turn or a short turn.” The simile o f the turner suggests increasing degrees of refinem ent an d subtlety in practising m in dfulness o f breathing.* Just as a tu rn er m akes p ro gressively finer and m ore delicate cuts on the lathe, contem plation p roceeds from lon g an d com paratively gross breaths to shorter an d subtler breaths. The Pafisambhidamagga com pares this progressive refinem ent of m indfulness of b reathing to the progressively fainter soun d o f a g o n g after it has been struck.® T he third an d fourth step s introduce a different verb to describe the process o f contem plation: in place o f "he kn ow s" (pajanati), the text n o w u ses the expression "he trains" (sikkhati).* In the Anapanasati Sutta, this "training" covers altogether fourteen steps, in ad­ dition to the first tw o steps concerned w ith "k n o w in g". The use of the w o rd "training" indicates som e degree of additional effort on the part o f the m editator, o w in g to an increased degree o f d ifficu lty in these steps.77Such train in g seem s to entail a shift to a broader kind

51 According to Chit Tin 1989: P44, this instruction refers in particular to dearly distinguishing between the in-breath and the out-breath. 52 The relation of shorter breaths to the development of some degree of concentration is noted by Dhammadharo 1996: p.19; Dhlravamsa 1989: P46; Goenka 1999: p.29; and Khantipalo 1981: p.30. 53 D II291 and M 1 56. 54 Ariyadhamma 1995: p.3, moreover explains the simile of the turner to indicate fixity of attention, 55 Patis 1 185 in commenting on the third step of mindfulness of breathing* 56 According to Buddhadasa 1976; p&3, the first two steps are preliminaries, and the real practice starts with this "training". 57 i n fact at S V 336, which documents the Buddha's own practice of mindfulness of breathing, all occurrences of "he trains'" are replaced by "t know". This indicates that, unlike the ordinary practitioner who has to make an effort in order to proceed through the sixteen steps, the Buddha, with his meditative expertise, was able to do so effortlessly-

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o f aw areness, w hich also includes phenom ena other than the breath itself. In the schem e described in the Anapanasati Sutta , awareness m oves through sixteen steps, w hich proceed from the bodily phe­ nom ena o f breathing to feelings, m ental events, and the develop ­ m ent of insight. C onsidering the range of these sixteen steps it becom es eviden t that m indfulness of breathing is not limited to changes in the process of breathing, but covers related aspects of subjective experience. U ndertaken in this w ay, m indfulness of breathing becom es a skilful tool for self-observation*5 * The third and fourth steps of m indfulness of breathings alike in both the Anapanasati Sutta and the Satipatthana Sutta, are concerned with experiencing the "w h o le b ody" (sabbakdya) and w ith calm ing the "b o d ily form ation" (kdyasankhdra). In the present context, the "w hole b od y" can be taken literally to refer to the w hole physical body. U nderstood in this w ay, the instruction points to a broaden­ in g o f awareness, a shift from the breath alone to its effect on the en­ tire body.3 9 A ccording to the com m entaries, h ow ever, the "w h o le body" should be understood to refer, m ore figuratively, to the "body" o f the breath. By u nderstanding the "w h ole body" as the w hole breath-body the instruction then indicates full awareness of the beginning, m iddle, and end stages of each breath.6 0 This inter­ pretation can claim support from the same Anapanasati Sutta, since the B uddha here identified the breath as a "body" (kaya) am ong bod­ ies,4 1 An argum ent against this interpretation, h ow ever, could be that the cultivation o f full awareness o f the len gth of the breath was the task of the previous tw o steps, kn ow in g a Jong or a short breath, w hich already required the m editator to be aware o f each breath

58 Cf, also Kor 1993: p.35; van Zeysi 1981: p,94; and Vimalo 1987: p.158, Shapiro 1984: p.588, suggests that from a psychological perspective awareness of the breath teaches one to be self conscious. Observation of the breath is indeed an appropriate vehicle for such self-observation, because emotional changes are reflected in the breath, such as when one yawns out of boredom, sighs in grief, or snorts in anger. Moreover, since breathing is a process that can take place either involuntarily or deliberately, it stands in a distinctive conditional position in regard to body and mind, and therefore offers a convenient opportunity to contemplate the conditional interrelationship between physical and mental phenomena, Cf. also Govinda 1991: pp.27 and 110. 59 Buddhadasa 1989: p.38; Debes 1994: p.105; Goenka 1999: p-29; Kor 1993: p.38; and Sol£-Leris 199s: p.8o, 60 Vism 273. 61 At M ill 83,

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from b e g in n in g to end.6 2 O n e w o u ld th erefore exp ect this next step in the progression to in tro d u ce a distinctly n e w feature for co n tem ­ p la tio n su ch as, for exam p le, a shift o f aw areness to in clu d e the w h o le p h ysical body. T he next step o f train in g is the calm in g of th e "b o d ily form ation " {kayasankhara). E lsew here th e discourses d efin e the "b od ily fo rm a­ tion" as in-breathin g an d out-breathing.*3 This dovetails w ith the second interpretation ab o ve, accord in g to w h ich "w h o le b o d y " re~ fers to the w h o le length o f the breath.6 4 T he Patisambhidamagga and the Vimuttimagga indicate that this fourth step o f m in d fu ln ess o f b reath in g also refers to m aintenance o f a calm and stable p ostu re, in the sense o f calm in g a n y inclination to m o ve.6 5 Thus the instruction to calm the b o d ily form ation s also im plies an increase in gen eral b o d ily calm ness, an u n d ersta n d in g that fits w ith the first in terp reta­ tion m en tion ed ab o ve, ta k in g "b o d y" to refer to the anatom ical body. In th e en d , both interp retation s o verlap , since a calm in g o f the breath n atu rally leads to increased b o d ily tranquillity and vice versa* Such calm in g of breath a n d b o d y can th en eith er becom e the basis for d e v e lo p in g aw aren ess o f the inner con stitution of the b o d y , as in the su b seq u en t satipatthana exercises, or else lea d to an aw aren ess of feelings an d m ental processes, as in the sixteen step s^ In both cases this constitutes a n atu ral p rogression in w h ic h the establish m ent of a basis in b o d ily calm ness enables aw aren ess to proceed to subtler
62 Nhat Hanh 1990: p.42. 63 At M 1301 and SIV 293 (cf. also Naijamoli 1982a: p,6 ru). 64 The calming of the bodily formation (in the sense of in- and out-breathing) reaches its culmination with the attainment of the fourth absorption (cf. D III 270 and A V 31), be­ cau se d u rin g this attainm ent the breath com p letely ceases (cf. S I V 217). Pa A u k 1995: p.15, explains: "with the attainment of the fourth jhana the breath completely stops. This completes the fourth stage in the development of anapanasati, calming the breath body/' Such complete calming, however, does not form part of the sixteen steps, since it would be difficult to reconcile with the subsequent progression towards experienc­ ing joy (piti) and happiness (sukka); mental qualities that have been left behind with the attainment of the fourth jhana. In fact, once the breath has completely ceased, it is impossible to carry out the instruction to breathe in (and out) while calming the bodily formations. 65 Patis 1 184; Ehara 1993: p.161. 66 According to Vism 274, calming body and mind leads in turn to calming the breath. Cf. also Jayatilleke 1948: p.217, who suggests that breathing may be taken as one con­ crete instance of bodily formations in the general sense of bodily reflexes. In fact "bodily formation" occurs at times as bodily action in general (e.g. at A 1122; or at AII 231-6), a usage that is not restricted to the breath. Cf, also Schumann 1957: p.29. 67 M III 82* Cf. also Kor 1993: p.38.

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aspects o f contem plation, I will n ow consider these subtler aspects by briefly digressing from the Satipatthana Sutta and exam ining fur­ ther the schem e of sixteen steps described in the Anapanasati Sutta.
V1-4 THE SUTTA

Subsequent to the first four steps of m indfulness of breathing, the Anapanasati Sutta's contem plation schem e directs awareness to the experience of jo y (piti) and happiness (sukka). Since these tw o are factors of absorption, their occurrence in this part o f the sixteen steps has led the Visuddhimagga to the assum ption that this progres­ sion refers exclusively to absorption ex p erien ced Possibly because of this assumption, even the first four steps of m indfulness of breathing in the Satipatthana Sutta have at times been identified as being no more than a concentration practice.6 9 H ere it needs to be noted that the occurrence of joy (piti) and hap­ piness (sukha) as steps five and six in the scheme o f the Anapanasati Sutta does not necessarily require the experience of absorption,

68 According to Vism 277, and 287-90, the second and third tetrads are practicable for /fcafia-attainers only, (Cf. also Ehara 1995: p.161; and Ledi 1999c: pp*27 and 290 Vism suggests two alternatives, either actual development of jharn, or insightful contem­ plation after emerging bromjhana. Nevertheless, both of these would only be practica­ ble for someone able to enter absorption. The net result ts that, for someone unable to attain jhanaf a considerable part of die Buddha's exposition on mindfulness of breath­ ing moves beyond reach. Quite possibly because of this, additional methods came into being for the less proficient in concentration, such as counting the breaths (cf. Vism 278-83 for detailed instructions). Instructions of this type are not found any­ where in the discourses of the Buddha. Though counting the breaths maybe helpful for the newcomer to mindfulness of breathing, it does to some extent constitute a change in the mood of this contemplation, since sustained counting can dull the mind (which is the reason underlying the traditional advice to use counting exercises to conquer insomnia) and also tends to stimulate the conceptual activity of the mind instead of quietening it. 69 Kheminda 1992: p.5: ''the four foundations of mindfulness begin with a serenity (samatha) subject of meditation, namely, mindfulness of in-breathing and out-breathing". Soma 1995: p.360: "the placing of the first tetrad of the Ampamsati Sutta at the very beginning of the two main Sutipatthana Suttas is dear indication of the necessity of at least the first jhana ... the development of insight is impossible to one who has not brought into being... at least the first jhana " Ps 1249, however, only suggests that based on the breath jhana may be attained, not that mindfulness of breathing in the Satipatthana Sutta is only a samatha object of meditation. This impression is further supported by the fact that the Satipatthana subcommentary Ps-pt 1 349 makes a point of stating that an external development of mindfulness of breathing cannot yield absorption attainment. This shows that in the eyes of the commentaries mindfulness of breathing in the satipatthana context can be undertaken independently of absorp­ tion attainment

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since both can occur apart from such attainment.7 0 According to a verse in the Dhammapada, for exam ple, joy (piti) can arise as a result o f insight m editation/1 Thus aw areness of the breath w hilst experi­ encing jo y or happiness is not necessarily confined to retrospective analysis after em erging from an absorption attainm ent, nor to the stages o f calm ness m editation im m ediately preceding such attainment. A lth ou gh the breath can undoubtedly be used for the develop ­ ment of concentration, the instructions throughout the sixteen steps are invariably based on distinct aw areness of each in- and out-breath. T he central purpose of this distinction is to cultivate awareness of the im perm anent nature of the breath. A n y bodily or mental phenom ena com ing w ithin the focus of aw areness du rin g the sixteen steps are experienced against the background o f the ever-changing rhythm o f in- and out-breaths, w hich provides a con­ stant rem inder of im perm anence (cf. Fig. 6.2 opposite).7 2 Thus a closer inspection of the sixteen steps reveals an underlying progressive pattern w hich proceeds through increasingly subtle as­ pects o f subjective experience against a constant background of im­ perm anence,7 3 In contrast, on approaching absorption attainm ent experience becom es m ore and m ore unified, so that one is no longer clearly aware of the distinction betw een in- and out-breaths, or related phenom ena. The basic difference b etw een m indfulness of breathing as a samatha or as a vipassana practice depends on w hat angle is taken w hen o bservin g the breath, since em phasis on just m entally k n o w ­ ing the presence of the breath is capable of lead in g to deep levels of
70 In fact the definition of joy ipiU) in this context at Patis 1 187 uses a set of expressions that are not restricted to absorption attainment. Similarly at MII203 the joy of the first two absorptions is contrasted with the joy arising through sensuality, documenting a type of joy (piti) distinctly different from that experienced during absorption attain­ ment. Cf. also Buddhadasa 1989: p.51.
71 D hp 374.

72 Such use of the breath as a means to develop insight into impermanence has a parallel at A til 306 and AIV 319, where a recollection of the inevitability and unpredictability of death is related to the unpredictability of the next breath* C f also S V 319, where the practice of the sixteen steps of mindfulness of breathing leads to realization of the im­ permanent nature of feelings. 73 Cf. e,g* Th 548, which recommends practice of mindfulness of breathing in “right order", demonstrating a clear awareness of this inherent progressive character. A detailed exposition of the sixteen steps as a single integrated practice can be found in Buddhadasa 1989: pp.53-89. Cf, also Gethin 1992: p.59; Levine 1989: pp.32-6; Thanissaro 1993: pJb7; and Vimalo 1987: p.158.

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TS

C

*0 c

£ o
cs

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The use o f — indicates that awareness of breathing in and out forms the background to each step

Fig. 6.2

Survey of a n a p an asati in sixteen steps

concentration, w hile em phasis on various phenom ena related to the process of breathing does not lead to a unitary type of experience but stays in the realm of variety and o f sensory experience, and thus is more geared towards the developm ent of insight. These consider­ ations suggest that the sixteen steps are not solely a concentration practice, but also introduce an insight perspective on the develop­ ment of m indfulness of breathing. An examination of the context in w hich the sixteen steps are taught in the Anapanasati Sutta supports this suggestion. According to the introductory section o f the discourse the Buddha's rationale for giving this discourse was to demonstrate to a group of monks, w ho w ere already using the breath as a meditation object (possibly as a concentration exercise), how to develop it as a satipatthana™ That is, the Buddha took u p the breath as a m editation object in order to dem onstrate how sati can naturally lead from m indfulness of breathing to a com prehensive awareness of feelings, mind, and dhammas, and hence to a developm ent of all satipatthanas and to the arising of the seven aw akening factors.7 5 Thus the main purpose of the Buddha's exposition was to broaden the scope of m indfulness of

74 M III 78. Cf. also S V 315, where the Buddha introduced a monk, who was already practising some form of mindfulness of breathing, to the sixteen steps in order to fur­ ther his practice. Cf. also Debes 1994: p. 197.

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breathing from awareness o f the bodily phenom enon breath to awareness o f feelings, mind, and dhammas, and in this w ay em ploy it as a m eans to gain insight.7 6 In view of this it seems reasonable to conclude that the purpose o f the sixteen steps of m indfulness of breathing described in the Anapanasati Sutta, and by implication the purpose of the four steps of m indfulness of breathing in the Sati­ patthana Sutta, is not restricted to the developm ent o f concentration, but covers both calm and insight.
V£*5 POSTURES AND ACTIVITIES

Returning to the satipatthana contem plations, the next tw o exercises described in the discourse, awareness of the four postures and clear know ledge in regard to activities,, are both concerned w ith directing m indfulness to the body in activity* The instructions for contem plat­ ing the four postures are:
When w alking, he knows "I am walking"; when standing, he know s "I am standing"; when sitting, he knows "I am sitting"; when lyin g down, he knows "1 am lying down"; or he knows accordingly h ow ­ ever his body is disposed.7 7

The enum eration of the four postures in the above instruction pro­ ceeds from the more active w alking to com paratively m ore refined and passive postures.7* The instruction here is to "know " each of these postures, probably im plying some form of proprioceptive a w aren ess” In other discourses, these four postures often co n vey the sense o f doing som ething "at any time".*’ A p plied to the context

75 At M III 83 the Buddha related each tetrad from the sixteen-step scheme to a particu­ lar satipatthana, while at M III 87 he provided the relation to the awakening factors. The same correlations occur at S V 323-36. S V 312 moreover relates mindfulness of breathing to each awakening factor singly. 76 The insight potential of any of the sixteen steps is described at Fatis 195, which points out that each step can lead to realization. Patfs 1178-82 illustrates this potential by re­ lating the first step of mindfulness of breathing (long breath) to experiencing the rise and fall of feelings, cognitions, and thoughts, to the awakening factors, and to the ex­ perience of Niirftfna. Cf. also NaijamoU 1982b: p.163,
77 M l 56.

78 Cf. M 1120, where a progression from fast walking to slow walking, to standing, to sit­ ting, and finally to lying down, is each time accompanied by the comment that in this way a gross posture is substituted by a subtler one. Cf- also Fessel 1999: p.111. 79 Proprioception is the ability to sense the position, location, and movement of the body and its parts.
80 e.g. at A IV 301.

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of satipatthana, this usage suggests continuity o f b od y aw areness during all activities. In fact, according to the above instruction this contem plation is not lim ited to the four postures, but includes an y w a y o n e's b ody m ight be positioned. Thus w hat this particular con­ tem plation m eans, practically speaking, is to be aw are of the b od y in a general m anner, to be "w ith" the body during its natural activities, instead o f being carried aw ay by various thoughts and ideas, and therefore to be m entally anchored in the body. This particular exercise constitutes the satipatthana contem plation that m ost prom inently fulfils the role of p roviding a firm grou nd in g of awareness in the body. Because of this foundational role, it seems reasonable to follow the Madhyama Agama version of satipatthana and place it at the begin ning of the body contem plations. For the be­ ginner in satipatthana, this simple exercise of being aw are of the body, in w hatever position, helps to build up continuity of sati. By perform ing even the least im portant m ovem ent of the b o d y in a con­ scious and deliberate m anner, the most m undane activities can be turned into occasions for m ental developm ent. Aw areness trained in this w a y constitutes an im portant foundation for m ore formal m editation, since diligent practice of this contem plation w ill bring the m ind's tendency to distraction considerably under control. Awareness of the four postures is not only a w ay to build up mindful­ ness; the four bodily postures can also be used as objects of insightful investigation. A verse from the Theragatha, for example, relates the abil­ ity to assume any of the four postures to the inter- action of the bones and tendons in the body responsible for that posture.* By describing the mechanics behind bodily activities in this w ay, this verse points to a perspective on contemplating the body w hich has received much at­ tention from modern meditation teachers.6 3The mechanics involved in assuming a bodily posture or performing a m ovem ent usually escape notice ow ing to one's preoccupation with the outcome of one's action. In particular, a practical example for investigating the activity of w alk­ ing can be found in the commentaries, w hich suggest breaking down the process of w alking into the successive stages of a single step, which can then be correlated with the four elements*8 3
81 Th 570, 82 Detailed practical instructions can be found in Mahasi 1991: pp.9-16. Cf* also Debes 1994: p.113; and Lijy de Silva (n,d.): p*i3. 83 Vism 622: predominance of earth + water = placing; predominance of fire + air = lift­ ing* Cf* also SHananda 1995: p.7.

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As m en tio n ed above, the fo u r p ostures are o ften u se d in th e dis­ courses as a w a y to in dicate th at so m eth in g sh o u ld be d on e "at a n y tim e". In this w a y , th e y are at tim es related to various p re d o m i­ n an tly m ental even ts su ch as fear, u n w h o le so m e th ough ts, or o v e r­ com ing the fiv e hindrances.*4 T h ese p assages relate each of the fo u r postures to a w a ren ess o f the con cu rren t state o f m ind. This in d icates that re m o v in g u n w h o le so m e states of m in d , for exam ple, is n ot c o n ­ fined to form al sitting m editation , b u t can an d should b e u n d e r­ taken in a n y situation or p o stu re. The fact that m editation d oes n o t h ave to be e x clu siv e ly associated w ith the sittin g posture is also rec­ o g n ized in th e Vimuttimagga a n d the Visuddhimagga, w h ic h in dicate that, d e p e n d in g on the ch aracter o f in d iv id u a l m editators, o th er postures m a y be a d o p ted for carryin g out the practice o f medita* tion.8 s A n o th er p ossib ility s u g g e ste d b y the fact th at the discourses relate the fo u r p ostu res to vario u s states o f m in d is to o b serve the in terrela­ tion b e tw e e n states o f m in d an d the w a y o n e p erform s activities like w alkin g, sittin g, etc. T h ro u g h such ob servation one can b ecom e a w are o f h o w a particular state of m ind exp resses itself th ro u g h o n e 's b o d ily posture, or h o w the condition, p osition , and m otion of the b o d y affects the m in d.3 6 B o d ily p o stu re an d state of m in d are in ­ trinsically in terrelated, so that clear aw aren ess o f the o n e n atu rally en h an ces a w a ren ess o f the oth er. In this w a y , con tem p lation of the four postures can lead to an in vestigatio n o f the b o d y 's con d ition al interrelation w ith the m ind.

84 M 1 2t relates the four postures to overcoming fear; M III 112 to avoiding desires and discontent A I I 13 and It 116 to not tolerating unwholesome thoughts; and A I I 14 and It 118 to overcoming the five hindrances. 85 According to Ghara 1995: p,6i, the standing and walking postures are particularly suitable for lustful natured (ragacarita) personalities, while sitting and reclining are more appropriate for anger natured (dosacarita) personalities. Vism 128 adds that whichever posture is effective for developing concentration is the one to be adopted. According to the satipatthana commentary, Ps I 264, clearly knowing in regard to stretching and bending, an aspect of the next body contemplation, implies knowing the right time for performing such action, since the feelings arising from maintaining an uncomfortable posture for too long might obstruct the development of the medita­ tion. Chah 1993: p>40, points out that "some people think that the longer you can sit, the wiser you must be ... wisdom comes from being mindful in all postures * Simi­ larly Vimalaramsi 1997: p.47, suggests "it Is far more important to observe what is hap­ pening in the mind than to sit with uncom fortable or painful sensations... there is no magic in sitting on the floor. The magic comes from a clear, calm mind."

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This particular contemplation can also lead one to question the sense of identity underlying any of the four postures.*7 The com­ mentaries give a practical shape to this suggestion, since according to them the decisive difference between simple w alking and walk­ ing meditation as a satipatfhana is that a meditator keeps in mind the question: "Who goes? Whose is this going?"*8 Another perspective on the developm ent of insight can be gained by turning awareness to minor postural adjustments. The main rea­ son for these adjustments is to avoid the physical pain that develops when the same posture is maintained for a long time* Through closer observation it w ill become evident that most of the sem icon­ scious adjustments made in any posture are a constant effort to alle­ viate the pain inherent in having a body.** O f these four postures, the discourses individually relate walking and reclining to the developm ent of awareness. Walking meditation often comes up circumstantially in the discourses when a visitor, on approaching a settlement of monks, finds them practising walking meditation in the open.9 0 Several passages report the Buddha and some of his senior disciples engaged in walking meditation.9 1 This

86 Phammiko 1961: pi88, Fryba 1969: p.125, even suggests deliberately assuming the posture of an insecure and anxious person, then changing to express self-confidence in one's posture, and in this way to experiment with various postures and their rela­ tionship to different emotions. Van Zeyst 1989: p^i, instructs: '"one observes and is aware of how these movements are the expressions of one's mental attitude: aggres­ sive in walking, or maybe escaping; defeated in lying down standing in perplexity or expectation; sitting in satisfaction or in fear... neatness of movement in the desire to please ... roughness of movement in anger and defeat lack of movement in doubt and fear." 87 Cf. e.g. S III 151, which describes how the worldling's mistaken notion of a self is intri­ cately bound up with his or her adopting any of the four postures. According to Naoapot)ika 1992: p.64, ''mindfulness on postures will bring an initial awareness of the impersonal nature of the body'. 88 Ps 1251, because in this way the notion of an acting self can be overcome. Ps 1252 adds that this is to be applied to any posture, 89 Vism 640 explains that the characteristic of dukkha is concealed by the four postures, Naeb 1993: p.143, explains: "it is pain forcing to change position at all times ...w e change in order to cure the pain ... it is like nursing a continuous sickness , there is pain in all positions''. Similar suggestions can be found in the Mahoprajnaparamitasa&tm (in Lamotte 1970; p.1157); and in Naijarama 1997: p.29. 90 e.g. at D J89; M 1229; M 1332; MII ng; M II158; A V 65; and Ud 7. 91 The Buddha is reported practising walking meditation at D 1105; DII! 39; D III 80; SI 107; S 1179; S 1 212; Th 480 and Th 1044. His walking meditation took place during the night {at S 1 107), and also during the day (at S 1 179 and S 1m), S II155 reports ail the senior disciples engaged in walking meditation, each with a group of other monks.

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show s that even accom plished practitioners considered w alkin g m editation a w orthw hile practice. A ccording to the discourses, w alking m editation benefits bodily health and digestion, and leads to the developm ent of sustained concentration.9 2The com m entaries docum ent the insight potential of w alkin g m editation w ith in ­ stances o f its use that led to fu ll realization,” Unlike the w ay in w hich w alkin g m editation is usually practised now adays, the standard instructions for w alk in g m editation found in the discourses take mental events as their m ain object of observa­ tion. The instructions in this context do not m ention awareness of o ne's bodily posture or of the dynam ics of w alking, but speak of p u ­ rifying the m ind from obstructive states.9 4Since the same expression is also used for sitting m editation, it sim ply im plies a continuation o f the same m editation that has earlier been practised w hile seated, al­ beit in a different posture. A discourse in the Afiguttara Nikaya recom m ends w alkin g m edita­ tion as an antidote for drow siness. In this case, how ever, the instruc­ tions are different from the standard descriptions: the m editator is to focus on the w alking path, to keep the senses w ithdraw n, and to p revent the m ind from getting distracted outw ardly.9 5 To cultivate aw areness in regard to the reclining posture, m editators should lie d o w n m in dfully on their right side to rest d u r­ ing the m iddle part of the n igh t, keep ing in m ind the time to w ake up.9 6 The instructions for falling asleep m indfully appear to be m ainly concerned w ith w ak in g up at a predeterm ined tim e.* Ac­ cording to other passages, falling asleep w ith aw areness im proves

92 A H J 2g. Improvement in health and digestion as benefits of walking meditation are also documented at Vin II 119. On the practice of walking meditation cf. also Khantipalo 1981: p.95; Kundalabhivamsa 1993: PP75-8; and Thitavanijo 1988; pp. 120— 2, 93 Ps 1257 relates the story of a monk who realized arahantship after twenty years of sus­ tained walking meditation. Ps I 258 records the same realization for another monk after sixteen years of walking meditation. 94 M 1 273: "while walking and sitting, we will purify our minds of obstructive states.4 1 The expression "obstructive state" is a synonym for the five hindrances (cf. e.g. S V 95 AIV 87. 96 e.g. at M 1 273* The recommendation to sleep on one's right side (in the "lion's pos­ ture") could arise from the fact that in this way the smooth working of the heart dur­ ing sleep is less obstructed by the weight of the body than when sleeping on one's left side (which can cause unpleasant dreams). 97 Nanavlra 1987: p.158.
94 )-

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the quality of one's sleep and prevents bad dreams and nocturnal em issio n s/ B y w a y of conclusion ii should be underlined that, in spite of these various perspectives on developing insight related to the four pos­ tures, w h at the instructions in the Satipafthana Sutta itself suggest is sim ply awareness of the w hole body in general, and of its disposi­ tion in space. O nce m indfulness o f the four postures has led to a grounding of awareness in the body, one can turn to the next contem plation intro­ duced in the Satipatthana Sutta: clear kn ow in g (sampajana) in regard to a range of bodily activities.*9The instructions for such clear k n ow ­ ing are:
W hen going forward and xeturning he acts clearly knowing; when looking ahead and looking away he acts clearly knowing; when flex* ing and extending his limbs he acts clearly knowing; when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl he acts clearly know­ ing; when eating, drinking, consuming food, and tasting he acts clearly knowing; w hen defecating and urinating he acts clearly knowing; when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and keeping silent he acts clearly know ing/"

Apart from being one of the b o d y contem plations in the Satipatthana Sutta, this exercise also forms a distinct step in the gradual path of training, referred to as "m indfulness and clear know ledge" (satisampajanfia).1 0 1In the sequence o f this gradual path of training, m ind­ fulness and clear know ledge in regard to bodily activities occupy a transitional place betw een a preparatory developm ent and actual

98 Vin 1 295 and A III 251. 99 Cf. A III 325, according to which awareness of the four postures forms the basis for mindfulness and clear knowledge. 100 M 1 57. It is notable that most of the Pali verb forms in this instruction are past partici­ ples, giving a nuance of passivity to the activities under observation. According to Kalupahana 1999: p.283, the Buddha used passive forms as a pedagogical device to highlight the characteristic of not-self. Another point worth considering is that the postures mentioned in the previous exercise recur in the present context The com­ mentary, Ps I 269, explains that the difference between contemplating walking, standing, and sitting under contemplation of the postures and in the present exer­ cise is that here they are of comparatively shorter duration. The point the commen­ tary is trying to make could be that dear knowledge is particularly relevant to the moment when one assumes a particular pasture (in terms of purpose and suitability etc.), whereas postural awareness is more profitably applied to being in a posture. 101 e.g. at D 170.

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sitting m editation .1 " To be m ore precise, m in d fu ln ess and clear k n o w le d g e com plete the p relim in ary stages concerned w ith ethical conduct, r e s tra in t and co n ten tm en t, an d form th e starting p oin t for the form al practice o f m editation , w h en on e resorts to a seclu d ed place in o rd er to overcom e the hindrances, to progress through the levels of absorption, an d to gain realization .^ Th u s the d e v e lo p ­ m ent o f m in d fu ln ess an d clear k n o w le d g e is a fou n d ation for m ore form al m editation s such as, in the present con text, the rem ain in g 4 con tem p lation s described in th e Satipatthana S u tta '0 The com bined expression "m in d fu ln ess an d clear k n o w le d g e " in ­ dicates that, in addition to b e in g m in d fu l of the activities m e n ­ tioned, the presen ce of "clear k n o w le d g e " p la y s an im portant role. Since "clea rly k n o w in g" on its o w n , and also in com bination w ith sati, occurs in th e discourses in a variety o f contexts and can assum e a broad ran ge o f m eanings,1 0 3 the question arises of the im plications of "clear k n o w le d g e " in regard to the various activities m entioned .

102 On the basis of the common characteristics of the gradual path of training, as it is de­ scribed in various discourses (e.g. at D 1 63-84; M 1 179^84; M 1 271-80; and M 1 354-7), this pattern can be subsumed under five main stages: L initial conviction and going forth; U, foundational training in ethical conduct and contentment; IH. senserestraint and mindfulness and clear knowledge in regard to bodily activities; IV* abandonment of the hindrances and development of absorption; V. realization. These five steps represent, to some extent, the five faculties/powers: I. confidence, II, energy, III, mindfulness, IV. concentration, and V. wisdom; cf. Crangle 1994: p*i63« However, it should be added that the five faculties and powers are not to be devel­ oped only sequentially, but should be brought into being together. Barnes 1981: p.237, suggests an alternative scheme of six steps by distinguishing between sense-restraint, on the one hand, and mindfulness and clear knowledge, on the other, as two separate stages, 103 Several discourses (e.g. M 1181; M 1269; and M i 346) explicitly mention clearly know­ ing in regard to activities as a precondition for subsequent formal sitting meditation. This foundational role is echoed at Ps 1290 and Ps-pt 1380, which recommend clearly knowing in regard to activities as a basis for developing sati as an awakening factor. Cf. also Bronkhorst 1985: p.311; and Bucknell 1984: p.29. 104 The difference in character between clear knowledge of activities and the later body contemplations has led Schmithausen 1976: pp.253-5, to the conclusion that the con­ templations of the anatomical parts, of the elements, and of a corpse could be later additions, because their character is somewhat different from the type of awareness practised during contemplation of bodily postures and clearly knowing in regard to bodily activities. However, several discourses (e*g* D II94; A V 116; and A V 119) men­ tion clear knowledge in regard to bodily activities separately from the four saiipatthams, indicating that both existed independently. This suggests that, if there was any later addition, it was clear knowledge in regard to bodily activities that was added to the satipatthana scheme, 105 Cf. page 41.

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N either the Satipatthana Sutta nor the expositions of the gradual path offer further information. The commentaries make u p for this by presenting a detailed analysis of clear know ledge into four as­ pects (cf. Fig. 6,3 below). According to them, clear know ledge should be directed to the purpose of an activity and also to its suitability. M oreover one should clearly understand h ow to relate this activity to one's meditation practice (one's "pasture") and one should also develop "non-delusion" by dearly understanding the true nature of reality A closer inspection of the discourses brings to light several passages that support or further clarify this commentarial presentation.
purpose (sattMasampajaitfia) suitability
{sappfiyasQmpajanna)

"pasture"
(gocarasa mpajaH tta)

non-delusion
{asammoluisatnpajailna)

Fig. 6.3 Four aspects o f4 7 clear knowledge" in the commentaries A ccording to the Mahasunnata Sutta, talking can be carried out clearly know ing b y refraining from topics unsuitable for one w ho has gone forth.”7 Here, "clearly know ing" implies that one discusses topics related to contentment, seclusion, concentration, wisdom , etc., since in this w ay speech becomes "purposeful" in regard to one's progress on the path. This instance parallels the first aspect of clear know ledge m entioned in the commentaries, w hich is con­ cerned w ith the purpose of an activity. Several of the activities listed in this part of the Satipatthana Sutta, such as "going forward and returning", "looking ahead and looking aw ay", "flexing and extending one's limbs", and "w earing one's robes and carrying one's outer robe and bow l", occur as a set

106 At Ps 1253-61. 107 M III 113. This parallels an explanation found in the Satipatthana subcommentary, Ps-pt 1 364, which relates the development of dear knowledge in regard to speech to refraining from topics unsuitable for conversation*

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elsew h ere in the discourses,**T h ese instances do n ot exp licitly m en ­ tion clear k n o w le d g e , b u t are instructions g iv e n to m on ks regard in g proper b eh avio u r. W h at th e d iscourses em p h asize in regard to these activities, is that th e y sh o u ld be p erfo rm ed in a gracefu l an d p leas­ in g w a y (pasddika).10 9Sim ilarly, the C h in ese Madhyama Agama sp eaks of a m o n k's "d ig n ifie d and q u iet b eh av io u r" w h e n p ractisin g clear k n o w le d g e in regard to b o d ily activities.1 1 0Ju d g in g from these p as­ sages, this p articular set o f activities stands for a careful an d d ig n i­ fied w a y o f b e h a v in g , a p p ro p ria te to o n e w h o is liv in g as a m on k or nun* T he n eed to m aintain su ch stan dards o f g ood co n d u ct has fo u n d its exp ression in the n u m erou s train in g rules for the m onastic co m ­ m un ity. T h ese regu late, in great detail, various asp ects of d aily co n ­ d u ct.1 1 1 T he im portance a ccord ed to the externals o f co n d u ct in ancient India is also e v id e n t in the Brahmdyu Sutta , w h e re a close ex­ am ination o f the B u d d h a 's d a ily co n d u ct form ed part o f an attem pt to assess his spiritual accom p lish m en t.1" This n eed for a m on k or n u n to b e h a v e in a careful an d dign ified m an ner parallels the sec­ on d asp ect o f clear k n o w le d g e m en tion ed in the com m entaries, w h ich relates it to the su itab ility of a n action, A p assage from the Anguttara Nikaya associates clearly k n o w in g w ith the activity o f looking* This p assage rep orts th e m on k N an d a, w h o w as a p articularly lu stfu l character, m arsh allin g all his effort in order to a vo id the arisin g o f desires an d discon ten t (abhijjhadomanassa) w h e n lo o k in g in a n y direction ,"3 T h e term in ology u sed in this instance sh o w s that this form of clearly k n o w in g is re­ lated to sense-restraint. A sim ilar n u a n ce can be fo u n d in the

108 At M 1460 and A II123 as part of an instruction to a monkhow to perform these bodily activities properly. At A FV169 the whole set occurs again as a reference to proper be­ haviour, where a bad monk is trying to hide behind proper outer behaviour. 109 e.g. at A II104 and at A V 201; cf. also Th 927 and Pp 44. Th 591 has the same qualifica­ tion for the four postures. Law 1922: p.81, translates satnpajafina in this context as "deliberately."
110 M inh Chau 1991: p.83.

111 These are in particular the seventy-five sekhiya rules, Vin IV 184-206. The importance of such outward behaviour is noted by Collins 1997: p.198. Holt 1999: p.102, points out that* the sekhiya r u l e s a r e much more than mere social etiquette: they are outward reflections of the inner state of a bhikkhu's mental condition". A convenient exposi­ tion of the sekhiya rules can be found in Thanissaro 1994: pp,489~5io. 112 M II137,. giving a detailed account of the Buddha's way of performing various activi­ ties such as walking, looking, sitting down, etc. 113 A IV 367,

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Mahasunnata Sutta, which relates dearly knowing in regard to the four postures to sense-restraint,1 1 4 Both passages correspond to the third aspect of clear knowledge mentioned in the commentaries, which speaks of "pasture". The same expression came up earlier in relation to sati imagery, depicting satipatthana as the proper pasture of a monk, while improper pasture represented sensual distrac­ tion."5This suggests that clear knowledge in regard to "pasture" re­ fers in particular to sense-restraint. The fourth aspect mentioned in the commentaries, which associ­ ates clear knowledge with the absence of delusion (asammoha), goes beyond the context of body contemplation. To have a clear under­ standing of the true nature of reality is a task of clearly know ing (sampajana) in general, a quality that, according to the "definition", needs to be developed with all the satipatthana contemplations. The commentarial presentation of the four aspects inherent in dear knowledge can be seen to follow a progressive sequence, with clearly knowing in regard to purpose (one's progress to awakening) establishing the background for corresponding "suitable" conduct, which in turn facilitates sense-restraint and one's meditative devel­ opment, which then enables insight into the true nature of reality to arise. In this way, the satipatthana practice of developing clear knowledge in regard to activities combines purposeful and digni­ fied conduct with sense-restraint in order to build up a foundation for the arising of insight. In fact, both proper conduct and senserestraint overlap to some degree, since several aspects of a monk's or a nun's code of conduct are intended to facilitate sense-restraint, while on the other hand one's bodily activities will become more graceful and dignified if a certain degree of mental equilibrium through the absence of sensual distractions has been established. Compared to contemplation of the four postures, clear knowledge in regard to activities introduces an additional element, since the former consists only in bare awareness of whatever posture or movement occurred naturally, while the latter includes purposely adopting a restrained and dignified behaviour.

114 Min 12 3 . 115 A V 352 and S V 149; cf. aJso page 56,

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V I.6 A N A T O M IC A L PARTS A N D ELEMENTS

The n ext tw o exercises listed in the Satipatthana Sutta , con tem p lat­ in g the anatom ical constitution o f the b o d y and co n tem p la tin g the b o d y in term s o f the fou r elem ents, both direct m in dfuln ess to an analysis of th e b o d y 's constitution* The first of th ese tw o analytical m editation s su rveys the co n stitution of o n e 's b od y b y listin g va rio u s anatom ical parts, organs, an d fluids."6T h e passage reads:
He review s this same b o d y up from the soles o f the feet and dow n from the top o f the hair, enclosed b y skin, as fu ll o f m any k in d s of im ­ purity thus: "in this b o d y there are head~hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinew s, bones, bone-m arrow, k id n e ys, heart, liver, diaphragm , spleen, lungs, b o w el, m esentery, contents of the stom ­ ach, faeces, bile, phlegm , pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, o il o f the joints, and u rine".1 1 7

In o th er discourses, this list o f anatom ical parts is fo llo w ed b y the ex­ pression: "a n d w h a te v e r o th er parts th ere m ay b e"/1 8This indicates that the satipatthdna list is n o t e x h au stive an d the item s m en tion ed are exam p les o f the kind s o f b o d ily parts that can be contem p lated. In fact, oth er p assages m en tion several b o d ily parts o r fluids m issin g from this list, such as the brain, the m ale o rgan , or ear-w ax, w h ic h dem onstrates that the satipatthdna list d o es n ot exh au st the ancient Indian k n o w le d g e o f h um an a n ato m y.”9 The set o f anatomical parts g iv en in the Satipatthdna Sutta follow s a natural sequence from the solid and outer parts, through the internal

116 Detailed descriptions of each part can be found in Ehara 1995: PP*i7i~7/ and Vism 248-65. The Madhyama Agattm list of anatomical parts corresponds quite closely to the Pali version (in Minh Chau 1991: p.90; and Nhat Hanh 1990: p.157), while the Ekoitara Agama has only twenty-four parts (Nhat Hanh 1990: p.170). According to Hayashima 1967: p*272, the Sanskrit versions of this satipatthana contemplation mention alto­ gether thirty-six parts. (Indeed, a passage from the Ratnamegha, quoted in BendaU 1990: p.202, lists thirty-six anatomical parts for body contemplation.) The fact that in the Satipafthana Sutta the anatomical parts listed are thirty-one could have some ad­ ditional significance, since in Buddhist cosmology the realms of existence are of the same number. Thus the descriptions of material existence on the microcosmic and the macrocosmic level were moulded on a similar pattern. Some of the anatomical parts listed in the Satipatthdna Sutta can also be found at MaitrJ Upani$ad 1.3* Although this passage quite probably postdates the Pali discourses, it nevertheless shows that this type of body contemplation was the domain not only of Buddhist practitioners. 117 M l 57.
118 M 1421 and M III 240.

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organs, to the organic liquids. This sequence represents a progressive penetration of awareness. The parts most easily accessible to aware­ ness are mentioned first, while the aspects of the body listed further on in the sequence require a deeper degree of awareness and sensitivity. Alternatively, the sequence can also be taken to correspond to an exer­ cise in imaginative visualization, during which one strips one's body of each part in turn.1 " The Visuddhimagga indicates that the practice of this exercise pro­ gresses from giving attention to each individual anatomical part to becom ing aware of all o f them together/2 1This suggests that w ith the more advanced stages of this contem plation the individual parts re­ cede in im portance and awareness turns to the com posite and unat­ tractive nature o f the b ody in its entirety. A ccording to the Sampasddarilya Sutta, contem plation can also proceed from the ana­ tomical parts to awareness of the skeleton only,'* A progressive pattern similar to the satipatthana instructions can be found in the Vijaya Suita of the Sutta Nipata, w here a thorough in­ vestigation o f the body leads from its outer anatomical parts to its in­ ner organs and liquids In the Vijaya Sutta, this investigation of the b ody concludes w ith the rhetorical question: "H ow else, except through lack o f insight, could one exalt oneself or disparage another because o f such a body?"'2 * This conclusion shows that the aim of the contemplation described is to reduce one's attachment to the body, a suggestion that holds true also for the Satipatthana Sutta, The Chinese Ekottara Agama lists a related contem plation as part of

119 Sn 199 mentions the brain. The brain is in fact added to the satipatthana list by Patis 17, and is also mentioned in the corresponding Chinese version in the Madhyama Agama {in Minh Chau 1991: p.90). Vism 240 explains that the brain was not listed in the Satipatfhana Sutta because it was already covered by "bone-marrow". The male or­ gan is mentioned at D 1 106 and Sn 1022* The omission of the male organ from the satipatthana list Is not surprising, since the instructions have to be practicable for both male and female meditators; van Zeyst 1982: p.8o, however, thinks that "with Victo­ rian prudence the thought of sex has been eliminated or by-pa&sed". Ear-wax occurs at Sn 197. 120 Debes 1994: p.124.
121 Vism 265.

122 These are the first two of four "attainments of vision" presented at D 111104. Cf. also S V 129, which points out that contemplation of the bones has many benefits. 123 Sn 193-201. The progression in this discourse also parallels the progression of the body contemplations listed in the Satipatthana Sutta, since it commences by directing awareness to the four postures and to stretching and bending, and concludes with a description of a dead body eaten by animals.
124 Sn;?o6,

1 48

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SATIPATTHANA

its v e rsio n o f b o d y co n tem p latio n . This exercise is co n cern ed w ith the b o d ily orifices, d irectin g a w a re n e ss to th e re p u lsiv e n atu re of th e excretion s from each o f th em .,2 ? T h e sam e exercise occurs in oth er d isco u rses in th e Pali Nikayas .l2 S T h e m ain p u rp ose o f th is exer­ cise, an d o f co n te m p la tin g th e an atom ical parts, is to drive h om e the realizatio n th at o n e 's o w n b o d y a n d th e b odies o f oth ers are n o t in ­ h e re n tly a ttractive.1 *7 A rela ted n u a n ce can be fo u n d in a n o th er d is ­ course w h ic h refers to co n te m p la tin g the an atom ical constitution of the b o d y w ith th e h ead in g: "as b elo w , so ab ove, as ab ove, so be­ lo w ".1 * 8 T h is su ggests that a d e ta c h e d o b serv atio n o f th e va rio u s parts o f th e b o d y lead s to th e u n d e rsta n d in g th at th e y are all o f equal natu re. O n c e o n e cle a rly a p p re h e n d s th eir true n ature, it b e ­ com es e v id e n t that there is n o th in g in h e re n tly b ea u tifu l in a n y p a r­ ticular asp ect o f th e b o d y {such as, for exam p le, eyes, hair, a n d lips). In th e Therigdthd, a n u n v iv id ly illustrates th is in sig h t b y p o in tin g o u t that if o n e w e re to turn the b o d y in sid e ou t, e v e n o n e's m o th er w o u ld be d isg u sted and u n a b le to b ea r th e sm ell o f it.1 2 9 F o llo w in g th e in stru ctio n s in th e Satipatfhana Sutta , to co n tem ­ plate the u n attractive n atu re o f th e b o d y refers in the first instance to o n e's o w n b o d y .1 3 0R e a liz in g the a b sen ce o f b ea u ty in o n e's o w n b o d y th e re b y serves in p articu lar as a co u n term easu re to con ceit.1 3 1 S u b seq u en tly, as in d icated in th e satipatthana refrain, the sam e c o n ­ tem p lation is then to be a p p lied "e x te rn a lly ", to the b odies o f others. Such an extern al ap p lica tio n can b eco m e a p o w e rfu l an tid ote to sen ­ sual d esire.1 * T h e p o ten tial o f this co n tem p latio n as a c o u n term ea ­ sure to sen su a lity has led to its in clu sio n in B u d d h ist ord in ation cerem on ies, part o f w h ic h consists in in stru ctin g a n o v ice m o n k or n u n to co n tem p late the first fiv e anatom ical parts listed in th e

135 In Nhat Hanh 1990: p.170. 126 Sn 197 and A IV 386. 127 According to A V 109, contemplation of the anatomical parts is concerned with "unattractiveness" {asubha), which It 80 explains to have the purpose of countering lust. 128 S V 278. A consideration of this passage needs to take into account the traditional Indian respect for higher parts of the body over its lower parts, t2g Thi 471. 130 Cf. also Vibh 193, which dearly indicates that contemplation of the anatomical parts has to be developed on oneself first, before it can be applied to others. 131 This is documented at M I 336, where the former Buddha Kakusandha recom­ mended contemplation of unattractiveness (of the anatomical parts) to his monks in order to counterbalance possible conceit at the excessive honour and veneration they were receiving from householders.

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satipatthana instruction. Despite these benefits, the exercise has possible dangers. Exces­ sive contemplation of "impurity" can lead to loathing and repug­ nance. Loathing one's own body or that of others, however, is only an expression of frustrated desire and does not correspond to the calming of desire intended b y the exercise. The discourses describe a rather drastic case of excessive and unwise use of this particular meditation practice. After the Buddha had instructed a group of monks in this practice and retired into solitude, the monks engaged with such fervour in contemplating the anatomical constitution of their own bodies that they felt thoroughly ashamed and disgusted by it. In the end, a substantial number of them committed suicide.1” The need for a balanced attitude is exemplified by the simile in this part of the Satipaffhana Sutta, which compares the contemplation of the anatomical parts to examining a bag full of grains and beans.1* 4 Just as examining these grains and beans will quite probably not stimulate any affective reaction, so contemplating the anatomical constitution of the body should be carried out with a balanced and detached attitude, so that the effect is to cool desire, not to stimulate aversion. If sufficient precautions are taken to establish the appropriate atti­ tude, a wise and balanced contemplation of the unattractiveness of the body has the potential to lead to realization. This is documented in the Thengatha, which reports two nuns gaining full awakening by contemplating the anatomical constitution of their own bodies,’3 5 Several discourses categorize the whole set of thirty-one anatomi­ cal parts listed in the Satipatthana Sutta under the elements earth

132 A H I 323 relates contemplation of the anatomical parts to removal of lust; AIV 47 to developing disgust in regard to sexuality- Bodhi 1984: p^ 9 2, explains that "the medi­ tation aims at weakening sexual desire by depriving the sexual urge of its cognitive underpinning, the perception of the body as sensually alluring". Cf- also Khantipalo 1961; p.98; and Mendis 1985: p.44. An additional external application is described at Vism 306, where the list of bodily parts is used for counteracting anger by reflecting whether one is angry with the other person's hair, or skin, or bones, etc. 133 Vin IE 68 and S V 320. On this passage cf. Mills 1992: P74. 134 This "double-mouthed" bag [ubhatomukhn mutoli) is, according to Schlingloff 1964: p.33 n,io, a piece of cloth used for sowing, with an upper opening for placing the grains inside, while the lower opening is used to sow the grains. This simile might have suggested itself because of the somewhat similar "double-mouthed" nature of the body, with an "upper opening" for placing food in, and a "lower opening" as the outlet for faeces. 135 Thi 33 and Thi 82-6,

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and w ater in the context o f a general exposition of the four elem ents.116 This indicates that the next exercise in the Satipatthana Sutta, w h ere the body is an alysed into its four elem entary qualities, constitutes a related typ e of contem plation. T he instructions for this contem plation are:
He reviews this same body, how ever it is placed, however disposed, as consisting o f elements thus: "in this bod y there are the earth ele­ ment, the water element, the fire element, and the air elem ent".1 * 7

The ancient Indian schem e o f four elem ents, m entioned here, repre­ sents four basic qualities of matter: solidity, liquidity (or cohesion), tem perature, and m otion/* Since contem plation of the thirty-one anatom ical parts has covered m ain ly the first tw o of these qualities, solidity and liquidity, the four-elem ent analysis entails a m ore com ­ p rehen sive approach, exten d in g aw areness to aspects of the b o d y that m anifest the qualities o f tem perature and motion. Thus the present exercise further d evelo p s the analysis o f the b o d y on a m ore com preh ensive and refined level,1w C ontem plation of the b o d y 's earthy and w atery qualities can be undertaken b y observin g th e ph ysical sensations of the solid and liquid parts of the body. A w aren ess o f its fiery quality can be d ev el­ oped through noting variations in b o d ily tem perature, and to som e extent also by turning aw areness to the processes o f digestion and ageing. Air, representin g the quality of m otion, can be covered b y directing aw areness to the different m ovem ents that take place w ithin the organism , such as the circulation of the blood or the cycle of the breaths.'4 0T h e sam e elem entary qualities can be com bined in a single contem plation, b y b ein g aw are o f these fou r qualities as char­ acteristics o f each part or particle o f the body. The corresp ond in g simile illustrates the effect o f this particular m ethod of contem plation w ith a butcher w ho has slaughtered and cut up a cow to sell. A cco rd in g to the com m entaries, the b utcher
136 M 1185; M 1421; and M III 240, According to Vism 348, the detailed expositions on the elements in these discourses are intended for the more slow-witted practitioners, while the comparatively brief instructions in the Satipatthana Sutta are for those of quick understanding.
137 M I 57.

138 Cf. e.g. A III 340, according to which a tree trunk can be seen as a manifestation of each of the four elements, since each of them Is but a quality of the same tree. 139 According to Vism 351, the four element analysis is a refinement of the previous contemplation.

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151

simile indicates a change of cognition (saUM), since after the slaugh­ ter the butcher thinks no longer in terms of "cow ", but only in terms of "meat"*1 4 1A similar shift of cognition takes place when a meditator dissects the body into its elementary qualities: the body is no longer experienced as “ T or "m ine", but simply as a combination of these four qualities. To experience oneself as a combination of material qualities re­ veals the qualitative identity of one's ow n body with the external e n v ir o n m e n t,In this w ay, a healthy degree of detachment devel­ ops, counteracting the grasping at w hat is, in the end, merely a com* bination of material qualities. With sustained contemplation a meditator may come to realize that this apparently so solid and com­ pact material body, and with it the w hole material world, is entirely w ithout essence.’^ There are simply different degrees of hardness or softness/ of wetness or dryness, of hotness or coldness and some de­ gree o f motion (at least on the subatomic level). Contem plation of the four elements has thus the potential to lead to a penetrative real­ ization of the insubstantial and selfless nature of material reality."4 The discourses relate the scheme of the four elements not only to the hum an body, but also to material existence in general. The

140 M 1 188; M 1 422; and M III 241 explain the bodily manifestations of the elements fire and air. Practical instructions can be found in Fryba 1989: p.123; or in Pa Auk 1996: p.17; cf. also Ehara 1995: pp,197-205; and Vism 351. In some contexts the scheme of the four elements is exiended to cover five or even six elements, e.g. at M III 240, by in­ cluding space and consciousness. These six elements form part of the satipatthana in­ structions in the Madhyama Agama version, while the version from the Ekottara Agama has the same four that occur in the Satipatftiana Sutta (cf. Nhat Hanh 1990: pp.140,158,170), The element "space", according to M III 242, refers to the empty and hollow aspects of the body. 141 Ps 1272 and Vism 348- A butcher occurs also at M 1364, where it is precisely his skill in cutting out a bone so that no flesh is left on it for a dog to satisfy its hunger which forms the central aspect of the simile. 142 e.g. M 1 186 gives an extensive application of the four element meditation to both oneself and to the external environment; cf, also Debes 1994: P439; and King 1992: p.39. Nananaridai993; p.10, aptly brings out the effect of this type of contemplation by speaking of conceit as "a misappropriation of public property (i.e. earth, water, fire, air)", 143 Sn 937 points out that the world is entirely without essence, Cf. also M ltl 31, accord­ ing to which realization of the selfless nature of the four elements is a determining characteristic of full awakening. 144 M 1185 and M 1421 relate contemplation of the four elements to insight into not-self. The same discourses follow this by applying the understanding of not-self to a situa­ tion when one is being abused or harassed by others. A II164 similarly relates con­ templation of the four elements to insight into not-self, which in this way can lead to full awakening. Cf. also Vism 640.

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Mahahatthipadopama Sutta takes u p the sim ilarity b e tw ee n o n e's o w n "in tern al" fo u r elem ents and their "external" coun terparts in order to brin g hom e the truth o f im p erm anen ce. T he a rgu m en t is that, since (according to a n cie n t Ind ian cosm ology) at som e p o in t in tim e the w h o le p lan et w ill m eet w ith destruction , w h a t perm an en ce could there be in this in sign ifican t accu m u lation o f the sam e ele­ m ents, called "b o d y "? 1 *5A p p reciatin g th e im p erm an en t n ature o f all m aterial p h en o m en a in this w a y serves to cou n teract the search for m aterial p leasure. R elin q u ish in g desire th ro u g h d isen ch an tm en t w ith m aterial p h en o m en a w ill th en lead to freedom from the b o n d ­ age cau sed by the four elem en t s.'4 * A n ad dition al p ersp ective on the fo u r elem en ts can be foun d in the Maharahulovada Sutta , w h ic h uses th e fou r elem en ts as an in sp i­ ration for d e v e lo p in g the m ental q ualities of lo v in g kin d n ess (metta) and com p assion (karu#a). Just as the earth is free from resentm ent, even w h e n vario u s typ es o f refu se are th row n on it, so too a m editator sh o u ld d e v e lo p a m in d free from resen tm en t.1 4 7 K eep in g the m ind free from resentm ent in this w a y , one w ill be able to react w ith lo vin g kin d n ess and com p assion even in ad verse circum ­ stances/4 8 T h ese p assages sh o w that co n tem p latio n of the fou r elem ents can be e m p lo y e d in a variety of w a y s , lin kin g the n atu re o f on e's b o d y to the constitution o f the w h o le m aterial e n viro n m en t, or em p lo y in g these m aterial characteristics in order to d e v e lo p w h o lesom e m ental attitudes.
VK7 CORPSE IN DECAY AND MEDITATION ON DEATH

The last m editation p ractice am o n g th e b o d y contem plations in ­ vo lve s som e d eg ree o f v isu a liza tio n , or at least reflection, since m editators h ave to com pare their o w n b o d y w ith w h a t th ey w o u ld
145 M 1 185, Cf. also Ledi 1986b: p.72, who suggests beginning insight meditation with this particular exercise as a basis, as it will help to rapidly develop an understanding of impermanence. 146 S II170 points out that against the pleasure and enjoyment arising in dependence on the fo w elements stands their impermanent and therefore unsatisfactory nature; thus the only w ay out of this predicament is to develop detachment in regard to them. 147 M 1 423. 148 This is exemplified at A IV 374 by Sariputta who, wrongly accused of an offence, reacted by stating that his mind was free from resentment, just as the earth does not resent refuse being thrown on it.

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see in a charnel ground,1 4 9The instructions for such comparison are:
As though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground one, two, or three days dead, bloated, livid, and oozing matter be­

ing devoured b y crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals, or various kinds o£ worms ... a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together with sinews a flesh less skeleton smeared with blood, held to­

gether with sinews ... a skeleton without flesh and blood, held to* gether with sinews ... disconnected bones scattered in all directions bones bleached while, the colour of shells ... bones heaped up, more than a year old ... bones rotten and crumbling to dust - he com­ pares this same body with it thus: "this body too is of the same na­ ture, it w ill be like that, it is not exempt from that fate".'5 0

In ancient India, corpses w ere apparently left out in the open in such charnel grounds, where they either decayed or w ere devoured by wild animals.1 5 1 The above passage from the Satipatfhana Sutta viv­ idly depicts the ensuing decomposition in nine stages.1 ^ According to Tibetan sources, the Buddha himself contemplated decaying corpses in a charnel ground, w hen he was still a bodhisatta.1 * * This exercise highlights two things: the repulsive nature of the body as revealed during the stages o f its decay, and the fact that death is the inescapable destiny of all living beings. The former links this exercise to the contem plation of the body's anatomical constitu­ tion, serving as an additional tool for counteracting sensual de­ sires,'5 4 This suggestion finds support in the Mahadukkhakkhandha

149 Nanamoli 1995: P4191 n.150: “seyyathapi suggests that this meditation ... need not be based upon an actual encounter with a corpse... but can be performed as an imagi­ native exercise". Vism 180 describes in detail how a meditator can gain the first vision of a decaying corpse in a charnel ground and subsequently develop this vision while meditating in his lodging. According to Ledi (n.d); p<58, this contemplation might similarly be developed based on sick or wounded persons (including oneself), or with dead animals as the object Cf, also Thate 1997: p n. 150 M 1 58. 151 T,W. Rhys Davids 1997: p,8o, 152 M III 91 and A ID 323 subsume the same description under four main stages: the bloated body, the body eaten by animals, the skeleton, and the bones. The Madhyama Agama version describes a contemplation of the same process in five stages, while the Ekottara Agama version gives altogether eight stages (in Nhat Hanh 1990: pp.158 and 170). 153 Rockhill 1907: p<23. 154 e.g, Dhp-a III 108 reports that the Buddha conducted his disciples to see the rotting corpse of the beautiful courtesan Sirima as a countermeasure to sensual desires. As 197 recommends the contemplation of a rotting corpse for those whose character

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Sutta, w h ich em ploys the sam e set of terms as a w a y of contem plat­ ing the inh erent "disadvantage" (adinava) in material bodies.1 5 5 A l­ though one m ight be draw n to dw ell on the "ad van tage" (assada) of the beautiful bodily aspects o f a y o u n g m em ber of the opposite sex, the "disadvan tage" becom es o n ly too apparent once that same b o d y has succum bed to old age, sickness, and fin ally to death, at w h ich point this same body, w h ich form erly appeared so attractive, pro~ ceeds through the stages of decom position described above* This passage confirm s that a central purpose of contem plating a corpse in decay is to counteract sensual desire. F ollow in g the instructions given in the Satipatthana Sutta, the v i­ sion or m em ory of the decom posing b o d y is applied to one's ow n body, reflectin g that in future one's o w n b o d y will undergo the same process of decay. This kind of contem plation then also consti­ tutes a m eans for counteracting conceit.1 5 6 Subsequently, as in d i­ cated in the "refrain", the sam e u n derstanding is then to be applied to the liv in g bodies o f others. Here, too, the precaution m entioned above in regard to the contem plation of the anatom ical constitution applies, nam ely that the exercise should not lead to aversion or de­ pression.1 5 7 The Theragatha reports the actual practice o f this satipatthana exer­ cise in a charnel ground. T w o m onks each contem plated a fem ale corpse, but w ith different results* W hile one m onk w as able to gain insight, the other w as unable to d evelop the contem plation, since the sight of the body p ro vo ked sensual desire in him .10 This danger is also reflected in the com m entaries, w hich caution against the use of a corpse b elon gin g to the opposite sex.1 5 9Y et even though to con­ tem plate a corpse of the opposite sex m ight not be advisable to a novice m editator, nevertheless, if carried ou t successfully, one w o u ld expect such a contem plation to constitute a particularly p o w ­ erful antidote to sensuality.1 6 0 In fact the Theragatha also describes

disposition is predominantly lustful natured,
155 M I 88.

156 According to A III 323, contemplation of a corpse counters conceit 157 Thanissaro 1993: p.55. 158 Th 393-5 and Th 315-16. Another instance of a monk meditating in a cemetery can be found at Th 151-2. 159 PSI254. 160 In fact Ledi (n.d): p.59, recommends corpses of the opposite sex for vipassana pur­ poses, while corpses of the same sex are according to him suitable for the develop­ ment of samatha. On contemplating a corpse as a samatha practice cf. Vism 178-96.

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the case o f a m onk contem plating a fem ale b o d y w h ile still alive, this b ein g a beautiful girl sin gin g and dan cin g.1 * H e w as able to put this visio n to go o d use, since b y w isely atten d in g to this visu al im pact he becam e an arahant. A n alternative insight to be gained th ro u gh this m editation prac­ tice is the inevitability of death. The stages of decay o f a dead b o d y v iv id ly depict the truth that w h atever one clings to as an em bodi­ m ent o f "I" or "m ine" w ill endure o n ly a lim ited time. A lth ou gh this seem s an obvious im plication of this contem plation, the discourses u su ally describe recollection o f death w ith o u t b rin gin g in the stages of d ecay. The ap proaches to recollecting death particularly recom ­ m en d ed b y the B ud dh a relate to eatin g and breathing: b rin gin g to m ind the fact that e v e n the next m outh ful to be eaten and the next b reath to b e inhaled are not certain to take place.1 6 2Indeed, the pres­ ence o r absence of breath spells life or death, so m in dfulness of b reath in g also has the potential to be u sed for recollectin g death. W h atever approach o n e m ay decide to use, recollection of death h elps to stir up effort in order to avo id and eradicate u n w h olesom eness, an d can ultim ately culm inate in realizin g the "deathless".'6 3 R ecollection of death also serves as a useful preparation for the time w h e n one actually has to face death. As the con clu d in g exercise a m o n g th e b o d y contem plations, a regu lar recollection o f death can lead to the realization that death is fearful o n ly to the extent to w h ich one identifies w ith the b o d y.1 6 4 W ith the aid o f th e b od y con­ tem plations one can com e to realize the true nature of the body and th ereby overcom e o n e's attachm ent to it. B eing free from attach­ m ent to the b o d y, one w ill be freed from an y fear of p h ysical death.1 6 5

161 Th 267-70. 162 A III 306 and AIV 319, 163 A III 308 and AIV 320 relate recollection of death to stirring up effort to counter evil; A III 304 and A IV 317 relate the same exercise to realization of the deathless. 164 Debes 1994: p.151; and Kor 1993: p.18. A certain degree of de-identification with the body during actual contemplation is in fact directly implied in the instructions for the last three contemplations (anatomical parts, elements, corpse), where one's own body is referred to as "this same body" (M 157-8), an expression that seems deliber­ ately to be voiced in an impersonal manner. 165 Cf. e.g. Th 20, where an arahant remarks that he is not afraid of death, ready to let go of the body mindfully. Cf. also A IV 48, which relates absence of attachment to life to having repeatedly recollected death.

VII

FEELINGS

VILl CONTEMPLATION OF FEELINGS

T h e P ali term for "fe e lin g " is vedand, d e riv e d from the verb vedeti, w h ich m ean s b o th "to feel" an d "to k n o w ".1 In its u sage in the d is­ courses, vedand com prises b o th b o d ily an d m ental feelin g s/ Vedand d o es n o t in clu d e "em otion" in its ran ge o f m ean in g.1 A lth o u g h em o­ tions arise d e p e n d in g on the initial in p u t p ro vid ed b y feelin g, th e y are m ore co m p lex m ental p h en o m en a th an b are fe e lin g itself an d are th erefo re rath er th e dom ain o f the next satipatthana, co n tem p la ­ tion o f states of m ind. T h e satipatthana instructions fo r con tem p lation o f feelin g s are:
W hen fe e lin g a pleasant feelin g, he k now s

"I feel a pleasant feelin g";

w hen fe elin g an unpleasant fe elin g, he k now s "I feel an unpleasant feelin g"; w h e n fe e lin g a neutral feelin g, he know s "1 feel a neutral fe e lin g /' W hen feelin g a w o rld ly pleasant feelin g, he k n o w s "I feel a w o rld ly pleasant feelin g"; w h en fe elin g an u n w o rld ly pleasant feel­ in g, he k n o w s "I feel an u n w o rld ly pleasant feeling"'; w hen feelin g a w o rld ly unpleasant feelin g, he k n o w s "I feel a w o rld ly unpleasant feelin g"; w h e n feelin g an u n w o rld ly unpleasant feelin g, he k n o w s "I feel an u n w o rld ly unpleasant feelin g"; w h e n fe e lin g a w o rld ly neu­ tral feelin g, he k now s "I feel a w o rld ly neutral feelin g"; w h en fe e lin g

1 Hamilton 1996: p.45; and C.A.F. Rhys Davids 1978: P2992 Cf, e.g, M 1 302 or SIV 231; cf. also C.A.F. Rhys Davids 1978: p-300. 3 Bodhl 1993: p.8o; Padmasiri de Silva 1992b: p.33; Dhlravamsa 1989: p ^og; and Nanaponika 1983: p .7.

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an unworldly neutral feeling, he knows "I feel an unworldly neutral feeling".4

The first part of the above instructions distinguishes betw een three basic kinds of feelings: pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral. According to the discourses, developing understanding and detachm ent in re­ gard to these three feelings has the potential to lead to freedom from dukkha? Since such understanding can be gained through the prac­ tice of satipatthana/ contem plation of feelings is a meditation prac­ tice of considerable potential. This potential is based on the simple but ingenious m ethod of directing awareness to the very first stages of the arising of likes and dislikes, b y clearly noting w hether the pres­ ent moment's experience is felt as "pleasant", or "unpleasant", or neither. Thus to contem plate feelings means quite literally to kn ow h ow one feels, and this with such im m ediacy that the light of awareness is present before the onset of reactions, projections, or justifications in regard to h o w one feels. U ndertaken in this w ay, contem plation of feelings w ill reveal the surprising degree to w hich one's attitudes and reactions are based on this initial affective input provided by feelings. The system atic developm ent of such imm ediate know ing w ill also strengthen one's more intuitive m odes of apperception, in the sense of the ability to get a feel for a situation or another person. This abil­ ity offers a helpful additional source of inform ation in everyday life, com plem enting the inform ation gained through more rational modes of observation and consideration. In the satipatthana instructions, m indfulness of these three feel­ ings is follow ed by directing awareness to an additional subdivision of feelings into " w orldly" (samisa) and "unw orldly" (niramisa)J According to a passage in the Ahgutiara Nikaya, this sixfold classifi­ cation represents the range of diversity of feelings.8Thus with this sixfold scheme, contem plation of feeling com prehensively surveys the w hole scale of diversity of the phenom enon "feeling" (cf. Fig. 7.1 overleaf).

4 M 1 59. 5 AV5K Cf. also S II99. 6 According to S V 189, for a penetrative understanding of the three types of feelings the four $atipatthanas are to be developed. It is remarkable that according to this pas­ sage alj four satipatfh&nas are required for fully understanding feelings.

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worldly (samisa) t

unworldly (niramisa) t pleasant (sukha)

worldly (samisa) t

unworldly (niramisa) T

worldly (sdmisa) t

unworldly (nirrtTrtistf) T

unpleasant (dukkha)

neutral (adukkhttmasukha)

Fig. 7.1

Three and six types of feeling

T he distinction b e tw e e n w o rld ly (sdmisa) and u n w o rld ly (]nirdmisa) feelin g s is concerned w ith the d ifferen ce b etw e en feelin gs related to the "flesh " (dmisa) and feelin gs related to ren u n ciation / This ad d itio n al d im ension revo lves aro u n d an evalu ation o f fe elin g that is b ased not on its a ffective nature, b u t on the ethical context of its arising* T h e basic p oint in tro d u ced here is aw aren ess o f w h e th er a particular feelin g is related to p rogress or regress on the path. U nlike h is ascetic contem p oraries, the B u d d h a did not categori­ cally reject all pleasan t feelin gs, nor did he catego rically recom m en d u n p leasan t exp erien ces for their su p p o sed ly p u rify in g effect. In­ stead, h e p laced em ph asis on the m ental and ethical consequen ces
7 The Chinese version of this contemplation in the Madhyama Agama additionally lists feelings connected with desire (and those which are not), and feelings related to food, while the Ekottara Agama version directs awareness to the fact that the presence of one type of feeling excludes the presence of the other two (in Minh Chau 1991: p.93; and Nhat Hanh 1990: pp*i6i and 173). The latter suggestion has its Pali parallel at DII 66. Additional categories can also be found at Patis II233, which includes feelings dif­ ferentiated according to the six senses under contemplation of feelings. In fact, ac­ cording to M 1 398 the sixfold classification in the above satipatthana instructions can be further expanded not only by bringing in the six senses, but also by distinguishing occurrences in past, future, and present times, thereby totalling one-hundred-andeight types of feeling altogether. An alternative threefold scheme for contemplation of feelings has been developed by Mogok Sayadaw (in Than Daingi97o: P 90) by dis­ tinguishing between five sense door feelings as "external visitors", mental feelings as "internal visitors", and feelings related to in- and out-breathing as "host visitors". 8 A 111 412, 9 Ps T 279 explains that worldly pleasant feelings are those related to the five sensepleasures, whereas their unworldly counterparts are those related to renunciation* Cf. also SIV 235, which distinguishes between joy or happiness that is worldly (sensu­ ality), unworldly (absorption), and completely unworldly (realization). The qualifica­ tion amisa is often used In the discourses in the sense of "materialistic" as opposed to "dhamma", e.g. monks honouring "material" things more than the Dhamma at M 1 12 and A 173 (cf. also A 191-4); or a "material" gift at It 98. According to Goenka 1999: p ^ , and Soni 1980: p.6, the same two terms are used in present-day India to distinguish between vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, Nhat Hanh 3990: p«7i, understands the two terms to represent the distinction between physiological and psychological causes of feelings (e*g> a bad feeling resulting from having gone to bed late the night before would be *worldly"). Maurice Walshe 1987: p.591 n.658 and n.659 suggests "carnal'’ and "spiritual" as renderings*

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of all types of feeling. W ith the help of the above sixfold classifica­ tion, this ethical dim ension becom es apparent, uncovering in partic­ ular the relation of feelings to the activation of a latent m ental tendency (anusaya) tow ards lu s t irritation, or ignorance.1 0 As the Cu\avedalla Sutta points out, the arising of these underlying tenden­ cies is m ainly related to the three w orldly types of feelings, w hereas unw orldly pleasant or neutral feelings arising during deep concen­ tration, or unw orldly unpleasant feelings arising ow in g to dissatis­ faction w ith one's spiritual itnperfection, do not stimulate these underlying tendencies/1 The conditional relation betw een feelings and such m ental ten­ dencies is of central im portance, since b y activating these latent ten­ dencies, feelings can lead to the arising of unw holesom e mental reactions. The same principle underlies the corresponding section of the tw elve links of dependent co-arising (paticca samuppada), where feelings form the condition that can lead to the arising of craving (tapha)" This crucially important conditional dependence o f craving and mental reactions on feeling probably constitutes the central reason w h y feelings have becom e one of the four satipatthanas. In addition, the arising of pleasant or unpleasant feelings is fairly easy to notice, w hich m akes feelings convenient objects o f m editation.1 3 A prom inent characteristic of feelings is their ephem eral nature. Sustained contem plation of this ephem eral and im perm anent na­ ture of feelings can then becom e a pow erful tool for developing dis­ enchantm ent with them/4 A detached attitude towards feelings, ow ing to awareness of their im perm anent nature, is characteristic o f the experiences of an arahant

10 Cf. M 1303; M III 285; and SIV 203. The relation of the three types of feeling to their re­ spective latent tendencies has inspired a variation of contemplation of feelings in the Ratnacuda Sutra (quoted in Bendalliggo: p.219), where the instructions are that if one experiences a pleasant feeling, one should develop compassion towards beings in­ dulging in passion, while in the case of unpleasant feeling compassion is to be di­ rected towards beings indulging in hatred, and with neutral feeling towards beings subject to delusion. 11 M 1 303. 12 Described in detail at D II58, 13 According to Ps 1 277, feelings are a clearer object for satipatthdna than consciousness or contact because the arising of pleasant or unpleasant feelings is easily noticed. 14 This is exemplified at AIV 88, where the Buddha elaborated the injunction "nothing is worth clinging to" by teaching contemplation of the impermanent nature of feel­ ings, a contemplation he then showed to be capable of leading to realization.

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A n o th er aspect in vitin g contem plation is the fact that the affective tone of a n y feeling d ep en d s on the type o f contact that has caused its arising.1 6 O n ce this co n dition ed nature o f feelings is fully a p p re­ h en d ed , detach m en t arises naturally and o n e's identification w ith feelings starts to dissoJve. A poetic passage in the Vedana Samyutta com pares the natu re of feelin gs to w in d s in th e sky com ing from different directions.17 W inds m ay be som etim es w arm and som etim es cold, som etim es w et and som etim es dusty. Sim ilarly, in this b o d y d ifferent typ es of feel­ ings arise* Som etim es th ey are pleasant, som etim es neutral, and som etim es unpleasant. Just as it w o u ld be foolish to contend w ith the vicissitu d es of the w eath er, one need not con ten d w ith the vicis­ situdes o f feelings. C o n tem p latin g in this w a y , one becom es able to establish a g ro w in g degree of inner detach m en t w ith regard to feel­ ings. A m in dful observer o f feelings, b y the v e r y fact of observation, no lo n g er fu lly identifies w ith them and th ereby begins to m ove b e­ y o n d the conditionin g and controlling p o w er o f the p leasu re-p ain d ich otom y/8The task of u nd erm in in g identification w ith feelin gs is also reflected in the com m entaries, w h ich p oin t out that to inquire "w h o feels?" is w h at leads from m erely exp erien cin g feelin g to co n ­ tem p lating them as a satipatthana.1 9 For the sake o f p ro vid in g som e additional inform ation about the im portance and relevan ce of contem plation of feelings, I w ill n ow b riefly con sider the relation o f feelin gs to the form ing of vie w s {diffhi) an d opinions, and exam ine in m ore detail the three typ es of feelings presen ted in the satipatthana instructions*

15 M III 244 describes the arahant's detached attitude to feelings owing to his or her understanding of their impermanent nature. 16 M i l l 242. 17 SIV 218. 18 Debes 1994: p.227. 19 Ps 1275. The commentary explains that the purpose of this form of inquiry is to over­ come the notion of a self that feels. Cf« also D I I 68, which points out two prominent identification patterns for feelings: "feeling is my self' and "my self feels". These come, together with the view "my self is without feeling", as three ways of construing a sense of self in regard to feeling* Their removal then leads to realization. On this pas­ sage cf. Bodhi 1995: pp-34-6. The importance of dissociating feeling from any notion of "I" or "mine" is also stressed by Naijapoijika 1983: p.4.

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V II. 2

FEELINGS AND VIEWS (D IT T H I)

The cultivation of a detached attitude tow ards feelings is the intro­ du ctory them e of the Brahmajala Sutta. At the outset of this dis­ course, the Buddha instructed his m onks to be neither elated b y praise nor displeased b y blam e, since either reaction w ould only u p ­ set their m ental com posure. Next, he com prehensively surveyed the epistem ological grounds u n derlyin g the different view s prevalent am ong ancient Indian ph ilosophers and ascetics. By w a y of conclu­ sion to this survey he pointed out that, h avin g fu lly understood feel­ ings, he had gone b eyon d all these view s.2 0 The intriguing feature of the Buddha's approach is that his an aly­ sis focused m ainly on the psychological underpinnings of view s, rather than on their c o n te n t2 1 Because of this approach, he w as able to trace the arising of view s to craving (tanha), w hich in turn arises depen dent on feeling.” C onversely, b y fully u nderstanding the role of feelin g as a link betw een contact and craving, the view -form ing process itself can be transcended/3The Pasadika Sutta explicitly pres­ ents such transcendence of view s as an aim of satipatthana contem ­ plation.2 4 Thus the second satipatthana, contem plation of feelings, has an intriguing potential to generate insight into the genesis of view s and opinions.

20 DI16. 21 In fact, the Brahmajala Sutta discusses sixty-two "grounds" for formulating views (DI 39: dvasatfhiya vatthuhi), not sixty-two "views". The actual number of views is much less, as e.g. the first four "grounds" make up the one "view" of etemalism, formulated in each instance in exactly the same terms. This shows that the Buddha's analysis was mainly concerned with the epistemological grounds for formulating views, much less with the individual content of any of these views. When S IV 287 speaks of sixty-two "views" (dvdsafthi ditfhigatani Brahmajale bhaititatii) or Sn 538 of "heresies" ( 1 osaratiani), this does not really correspond to the terminology employed in the Brahmajala Sutta itself. 22 At D 139 the Buddha pointed out that all these different views arose for lack of knowl­ edge and vision on the part of those who propounded them, who were simply under the influence of feelings and craving. The commentary Sv-pt 1 160 explains the gene­ sis of such views to be the outcome of not understanding the arising of feelings and therefore reacting to feelings with craving, Katz 1989: p-150, fittingly speaks of a "psychoanalysis of metaphysical claims". 23 At D 145 the Buddha explained that one who has understood the arising and disap­ pearance of contact {contact being the necessary condition for the arising of feelings and therewith of craving), has thereby realized what goes beyond all these views, 24 D III 141*

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Su stained co n tem p la tio n w ill reveal th e fact th at fee lin g s d e c i­ siv e ly in flu e n ce a n d co lo u r su b seq u en t th o u g h ts a n d reaction s/5 In v ie w o f this co n d itio n in g role o f fe e lin g , th e su p p o se d su p rem a cy of ration al th o u g h t o v e r fe e lin g s an d em otio n s tu rn s o u t to be an illu ­ sion.2 6 L o g ic and th o u g h t o ften serve m erely to ration alize a lrea d y ex istin g likes a n d d islik es, w h ic h in turn are c o n d itio n e d b y th e aris­ in g o f eith er p leasan t o r u n p lea san t feelin g s.2 7 T h e initial stages of the p ercep tu a l p ro cess, w h e n th e first traces o f lik in g an d d islik in g ap p ear, are u su a lly n o t fu lly co n scio u s, and th eir d ecisiv e in flu e n ce on su b seq u en t eva lu a tio n s o fte n p asses u ndetected/* C o n sid e re d from a p sych o lo g ica l p ersp ective, fee lin g p ro vid es q u ick fe e d b ack d u rin g in fo rm a tio n p rocessin g, as a basis for m o tiv a ­ tion a n d action*3 9In the ea rly h isto ry o f h u m a n evo lu tio n , su ch rap id fee d b ack e v o lv e d as a m ech an ism fo r su rv iv in g d a n g e ro u s situ a­ tions, w h e n a sp lit-second d ecisio n b e tw e e n flig h t or figh t h ad to be m ade. S u ch d ecisio n s are b ased on the e v a lu a tiv e in flu en ce o f the first fe w m o m en ts o f p e rce p tu a l ap praisal, d u rin g w h ich fe elin g p lays a p ro m in en t role. O u tsid e such d a n g e ro u s situations, h o w ­ ever, in th e co m p a ra tiv e ly safe a v e ra g e liv in g situation in th e m o d ­ ern w o rld , this su rv iv a l fu n ctio n o f feelin g s can som etim es p ro d u ce in a d e q u a te a n d in a p p ro p riate reactions. C o n te m p la tio n o f feelin g s offers an o p p o rtu n ity to b rin g th ese e v a lu a tiv e an d c o n d itio n in g fun ction s b ack in to con sciou s a w a r e ­ ness. C le a r a w a ren ess o f the c o n d itio n in g im p act o f fe elin g can lead to a re stru ctu rin g o f h ab itu al reaction p attern s th at h a v e b ecom e m ean in gless or e v e n d etrim en tal. In this w a y , em otion s can be deco n d itio n ed at their p o in t o f origin.3 0 W ith o u t such d eco n d itio n ­ in g, a n y a ffe ctiv e bias, b e in g th e o u tco m e o f th e initial e v a lu a tio n trigg ered b y feelin g , can fin d its ex p ressio n in a p p a ren tly w ellreason ed "o b je ctiv e " o p in io n s and v ie w s. In contrast, a realistic ap praisal o f th e co n d itio n al d e p e n d e n c e o f v ie w s an d o p in io n s on th e initial e v a lu a tiv e in p u t p ro vid e d b y fe e lin g u n co vers th e a ffe c ­ tive attach m en t u n d e rly in g person al v ie w s an d op inions. T h is

25 C f e«g. M 1111, which describes how one's thoughts and reactions depend on the deci­ sive first input provided by feeling and cognition. 26 Khantipalo 1981: p.35. 27 Premasiri 1972: p*2o. 28 Bums 1994: p.33. 29 Brown 1986a: p.271. 30 Padmasiri de Silva 1981: p.22; and Dwivedi 1977: p-255.

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dependency of view s and opinions on the first evaluative impact of feeling is a prominent cause of subsequent dogm atic adherence and clinging.5 ' In ancient India, the Buddha's analytical approach to view s formed a striking contrast to the prevalent philosophical speculations. He dealt with view s b y exam ining their affective underpinnings. For the Buddha, the crucial issue w as to u ncover the psychological atti­ tude underlying the holding of any v ie w / since he clearly saw that holding a particular view is often a manifestation of desire and attachment. An important aspect of the early Buddhist conception of right view is therefore to have the "right" attitude towards one's beliefs and view s. The crucial question here is w hether one has developed attachment and clinging to one's ow n view s,3 3w hich often manifests in heated arguments and disputation.3 4The more right view can be kept free from attachment and clinging, the better it can unfold its full potential as a pragm atic tool for progress on the path.3 5 That is, right view as such is never to be given up; in fact, it constitutes the culmination of the path. W hat is to be given up is any attachment or clinging in regard to it. In the context of actual meditation practice, the presence of right view finds its expression in a grow ing degree of detachment and disenchantm ent w ith conditioned phenom ena, ow ing to a deep en­ ing realization of the truth of dukkha, its cause, its cessation, and the

31 This is a recurrent theme throughout the Atthakavagga; see especially Sn 781; Sn 785; Sn 824; Sn 878; Sn 892; and Sn 910 on the dogmatic grasp engendered through views, and Sn 832; Sn 883; Sn 888-9; Sn 894; and Sn 904 on how this dogmatic grasp leads to deprecating others and to endless quarrelling. Cf. also Premasiri 19891 p^55, who aptly relates "view" to the concept of dogmatism. 32 Cf. also Bodhi 1992a: p.9; Burford 1994: P47; Collins 1982: p,ii9; Gethin 1997b: p.222; and Gomez 1976: p.141. 33 The standard formulation of right view in the discourses is in fact directly concerned with attachment and dinging, formulated by way of the four noble truths (cf. e.g. DII 312). This scheme of the four noble truths is then applied to views themselves at AIV
68,

34 At M 1 108 the Buddha, on being challenged to proclaim his view, answered that his view was such that it led to the absence of quarrelling with anyone. Cf. also M 1 500, which relates understanding the impermanent nature of the three types of feeling to freedom from disputation. At S III 138 the Buddha summed up his non-contentious attitude with: "I do not dispute with the world, it is the world that disputes with me." 35 A pragmatic attitude towards one's own view is recommended at M 1323 and at A III 290, both instances specifying that the purpose of one's view should be to bring about inner tranquillity and lead to freedom from dukkha.

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w ay lead in g to its cessation. Such detachm ent is also reflected in the absence o f "desires and discontent", stipulated in the satipatthana "definition", and in the instruction to avoid "clin gin g to anything in the w orld", m entioned in the satipatthana "refrain". vu.3 PLEASANT FEELING AND THE IMPORTANCE OF JOY The conditioning role of pleasant feelings in lead in g to likes and even tually to dogm atic attachm ent has some far-reaching im plica­ tions. But this does not m ean that all pleasant feelings h ave sim ply to be avoided. In fact, the realization that pleasant feelings are not sim ply to be shunned w as a direct outcom e of the Buddha's ow n quest for liberation. O n the eve o f his aw akening, the B uddha had exhausted the tradi­ tional approaches to realization, w ithou t gainin g a w a k e n in g / W hile recollecting his past experiences and considering w hat ap ­ proach m ight constitute an alternative, h e rem em bered a time in his early youth w h en he experienced deep concentration and pleasure, having attained the first absorption (Jhana).1 7Reflecting further on this experience, he came to the conclusion that the typ e of pleasure experienced then was not unw holesom e, and therefore not an ob­ stacle to progress,3 8 The realization that the pleasure of absorption constitutes a w holesom e an d advisable type of pleasant feeling marked a decisive turning point in his quest. Based on this crucial

36 Neither highly refined degrees of concentration, nor the pursuit of various ascetic practices, had been able to lead him to full awakening, so {at M 1 246) he questioned himself: "Could there be another way to realization?" His unremitting effort to con­ tinue his quest even after exhausting all known approaches to realization might un­ derlie M 1219 and also A 150, both instances presenting his awakening as the outcome of undaunted striving. His departure from all hitherto known ways of approaching realization is indicated by the expression *things unheard of before" (e.g, at M II211 and S V 422). 37 M 1246. On this passage cf, also Horsch J964; p.107. The discourse does not give his ex­ act age, though judging from the context it must have been at some point during his childhood. Mil 289 makes the rather improbable suggestion that he was only one month old and attained not just the first but all four jhanas. The Tibetan sources (Rockhill 1907; p.23) place this episode on the eve of his going forth, which also seems improbable. 38 M 1 246 reports him as reflecting: "Why am I afraid of a happiness that has nothing to do with sensuality and unwholesome states? I am not afraid of such a happiness!" Based on this insight he realized awakening. Such understanding of the importance of an ethical evaluation of mental events is also reflected at M 1 114 with his preawakening division of thoughts into wholesome and unwholesome ones.

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understanding, the Buddha w as soon able to break through to aw akening, w h ich earlier, in spite of considerable concentrative at­ tainments and a variety of ascetic practices, he had been unable to achieve* After his aw akening, the Buddha declared him self to be one w ho lived in happiness.3 9This statement clearly show s that, unlike some of his ascetic contem poraries, the Buddha w as no lon ger afraid of pleasant feelings. A s he pointed out, it w as precisely the successful eradication of all m ental u nw holesom eness that caused his h appi­ ness and delight.4 0In a similar vein, the verses com posed b y aw a k ­ ened m onks and nuns often extol the happiness of freedom gained through the successful practice of the path 4 TThe presence of deligh t and non-sensual joy am ong the aw akened disciples o f the Buddha often foun d its expression in poetic descriptions of natural beauty.4 2 Indeed, the early Buddhist m onks delighted in their w a y of life, as testified b y a visiting kin g w h o described them as "sm iling and cheerful, sincerely jo yfu l and plainly delighting, livin g at ease and u nruffled".4 * This description form s part of a com parison m ade by the k in g b etw een the follow ers of the Buddha and other ascetics, w hose dem eanour w as com paratively gloom y. To him , the degree of joy exhibited b y the B uddha's disciples corroborated the ap pro­ priateness of the Buddha's teaching. These passages docum ent the significant Tole o f non-sensual jo y in the life of the early Buddhist monastic com m unity. The skilful develop m ent of non-sensual jo y and happiness w as an outcom e of the B uddha's first-hand realization, w h ich had show n

39 A 1 136; cf, also Dhp 200. 40 D 1 196; cf. also D II 215. According to Ps 1297 with full awakening, joy (as an awaken­ ing factor) also reaches perfection, 41 Th 35; Th 526; Th 545; Th 868; and Thi 24. 42 e.g. at M I 212, where the beauty of the moon-lit GosiAga forest became the occasion for several senior disciples to extol various qualities of a monk; or the descriptions of natural beauty in the verses of awakened monks at Th 13; Th 22; Th 113; Th 307-10; Th 523; Th 527-8; Th 601; Th 1062; Th 1064; Th 1065; Th 1068-70; and Th 1136. At D II267, the Buddha even expressed his appreciation for a slightly sensuous piece of music per­ formed by the gatidhabba Pancasikha, whose song drew comparisons between the beauty of his beloved and the beauty of the life of erahants; on this passage cf. Gnanarama 1998: pp.119-21. On the appreciation of natural beauty by the Buddha and his monks cf, also Gokhale 1976: p.106; Kariyawasam 1984: p.359; and Nhat Hanh 1990: p.62. 43 MII121; cf, also Rahula 1997: p.52. In fact, according to A V 122, one who delights in the Buddha's teaching will experience happiness, whether walking, standing, sitting, or lying down*

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him the n eed to differentiate b etw een w holesom e and u n w h o le­ some types o f p leasure/4 T h e satipatthana instructions for contem ­ plating feelings reflect this w isdom b y distinguishing b etw een w o rld ly and u n w o rld ly typ es of pleasant feelings. The in gen u ity of the B ud dh a's approach w as not only his ability to discrim inate b etw een form s o f happiness and pleasure w h ich are to be pursued and those w h ich are to be avoided , but also his skilful harnessing o f non-sensual pleasure for the progress along the path to realization* N um erous discourses describe the conditional d e­ pendence of w isdom and realization on the presence of non-sensual joy and happiness. A ccording to these descriptions, based on the presence o f d eligh t (pamojja), jo y (piti) and happiness (sukha) arise and lead in a causal sequence to concentration and realization. O ne discourse com pares the dynam ics o f this causal sequence to the nat­ ural course of rain falling on a hilltop, gradu ally filling the streams and rivers, and finally flo w in g dow n to the sea/5 O nce non-sensual jo y and h appiness have arisen, their presence w ill lead naturally to concentration and realizatio n / C onversely, w ithout gladdening the m ind w hen it needs to be gladdened, realization will not be possible/7 The im portance of d ev elo p in g non-sensual jo y is also reflected in the Aranavibhanga Sutta, w h ere the B uddh a encouraged his disci­ ples to find ou t w hat really constitutes true happiness and, based on this understanding, to p u rsu e it/gThis passage refers in particular to the experience of absorption, w hich yields a form of happiness that far surpasses its w o rld ly counterparts/9 A ltern atively, non-sensual pleasure can also arise in the context o f insight m editation.5 *

44 M 1476 and M 1454. The same understanding is also reflected at Th 742, which recom­ mends those type of pleasure that are related to the Dharntm; and in the expression "auspicious joy" (kalya?utpiti) at Sn 969. Cf, also Premasm 1981: p.69. 45 S U 30. Same sequence at Vin 1 294, D 1 73; D i 182; D 1 207; D 1 214; D 1 232; D 1 250; D III 241; D III 279; D III 288; M 1 37; M 1 283; SIV 78; SIV 351-8; S V 156; S V 398; A 1 243; A III 21; A III 285; A V 1-6; A V 312; A V 315; A V 317; A V 329; and A V 333 (cf. also Patis 1 85; and Vism 144). The supportive role of delight for realization is documented at Dhp 376; Dhp 381; and Th 11. According to Ayya Khema 1991: p.105, "inner joy is an absolute necessity for successful meditation". Buddhadasa 1956: p iog, speaks of the need to develop "perpetual spiritual joy". The importance of piti is also noted by Cousins 1973: p,i20; Debes 1997: p-497,' Gruber 2999: p-231; Nanapoi^ika 1988: p.20 n.9; and Sekhera 1995: p.104. 46 A V2. 47 A III 435; the commentary Mp HI 413 explains this as referring particularly to the need to avoid mental dullness. The importance of developing joy in the context of satipat­ thana practice is also mentioned at S V 156. 48 M III 230,

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A close exam ination o f the Kandaraka Sutta brings to light a pro­ gressive refinem ent of non-sensual happiness taking place during the successive stages of the gradual training. The first levels of this ascending series are the forms of happiness that arise ow in g to blam elessness and contentment* These in turn lead to the different levels of happiness gained through deep concentration* The culm i­ nation of the series comes w ith the suprem e happiness of com plete freedom through realization.5 1 The im portant role of non-sensual jo y is also reflected in the Abhidhammic survey of states of mind. O ut of the entire schem e of one-hundred-and-tw enty-one states of m indy the m ajority are ac­ com panied by mental joy, w hile only three are associated w ith m en­ tal displeasure.5 1 This suggests that the Abhidhamma places great em phasis on the role and im portance of joy,5 > The Abhidhammic scheme of states o f mind has m oreover kept a special place for the smile o f an arahant * Som ew hat surprisingly, it occurs am ong a set of so-called "rootless" (ahetu) and "inoperative" {akiriya) states of mind.

49 M 1 1 1 233; c t also M 1 398. 50 M III 217 relates the experience of mental joy to gaining insight into the impermanent nature of all sense experience; according to Th 398 and Th 1071 the pleasure of insight surpasses that of fivefold music; Th 519 points out that meditating free from craving yields the highest possible form of pleasure; Dhp 373 speaks of the divine pleasure of insight; and according to Dhp 374 insight into the arising and passing away of the aggregates leads to joy and delight 51 M I 346 speaks of the happiness gained through maintaining pure ethical conduct (anavajjasukhatp), followed by the happiness derived from restraint of the senses (abyasckasukham), which in turn leads to the progressive degrees of happiness experi­ enced during the first absorption (vivekajaip pitisukharji)* the second absorption (santadhijattt pitisukhatft), and the third absorption (sitkhaviharT), and culminates in the happiness of realization (nibbuto sltibhuto sukhapatisamvedf). Qt also Th 63 and Th 220, who speak of gaining happiness through happiness. Govinda 1991: p.61 explains: "cessation of suffering is supreme happiness and ... every step towards that aim is ac­ companied by ever-increasing joy". Warder 1956: p.57, even goes so far as to compare the Buddha's emphasis on the importance of joy with Epicureanism. 52 Abhidh-s 1-7 presents a scheme consisting of sixty-three states of mind accompanied by mental joy {$ormnas$a)f thTee accompanied by mental displeasure (domanassa), and fifty-five accompanied by equanimity (upekkha); cf. also Govinda 1991: p.63. 53 A similar emphasis can be found at Kv 209, which lists a total of twenty-eight types of happiness. Cf. also Vism 143, which reports that non-sensual joy can occur at five dif­ ferent levels, and details eleven factors conducive to its development (at Vism 132), Various types of happiness are also listed in the Vimuttimagga {cf, Ehara 1995: p-5)54 The "smile-producing state of mind, accompanied by mental joy" mentioned at Abhidh-s 2 among the rootless states of mind; cf. also Bodhi 1993: p.45. The arahant's smile is documented in several discourses for the Buddha and for Moggallana, e.g. at Vin 1U 105-S; M 1145; M II74; S T24; S II254-8; and A III 214,

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These states o f m in d are neith er "rooted" in w holesom e or u n w h o le ­ som e qualities, nor related to the "operation " of karma. O u t of this particular grou p of states o f m in d, only one is accom panied b y jo y (somanassahagata): the sm ile of the arahant. The u niqu e quality of this sm ile w as ap p aren tly sufficient grou nd for the Abhidhamma to allot it a special place w ithin its schem e. Extrapolating from the ab o ve, the entire schem e of the gradual training can b e envisaged as a progressive refinem ent of joy. To b a l­ ance out this picture, it sh o u ld be added that progress alon g the path in variab ly involves u np leasan t experien ces as w ell. H o w ever, just as the B ud dh a did n ot recom m end the avoid an ce of all p leasant feelings, but em ph asized their w ise u n d erstan d in g and intelligent use, so his position regard in g unpleasan t feelin gs and experiences w as clearly oriented tow ards th e develop m en t o f w isdom .
UNPLEASANT FEELING

V II.4

In the historical context o f ancient India, the w ise analysis o f fe elin g p roposed b y the B uddha constituted a m id dle path b etw een the w o rld ly p ursuit o f sensual pleasures and ascetic practices o f p e n ­ ance and self-m ortification. A prom inent rationale b eh in d the self-m ortifications p revalen t am o n g ascetics at that time w as an ab­ solutist con cep tion o f karm a. Self-inflicted pain, it w as b elieved , brings an im m ediate experien ce of the accum ulated negative karm ic retribution from the past, and thereby accelerates its eradication.5 5 The B u d d h a disagreed w ith such m echanistic theories of karm a. In fact, a n y attem pt to w o rk th rough the retribution of the entire sum of o n e 's past u n w h o leso m e deed s is b oun d to fail, becau se the series of past lives of an y in d ivid u al is w ith ou t a discernible b e g in ­ ning/6 so th e am ount o f karm ic retribution to be exhausted is

55 e.g. M II 214, cf. also Jayawardhana 1988: p.409. Additional reasons for these practices might have been the prevalence of the idea that self-inflicted pain builds up spiritual power (iddhi), which can then be used to attain supernormal powers or attain libera­ tion; or the idea that the body is the source of craving and thus, in order to eliminate craving, the body is to be mortified. 56 S I I 178; S UI149; and A V 113. Goldstein 1994: p.131, rightly points out: '"the idea that enlightenmen t comes when we dear up our karma ^ is a mistaken view, because we are all trailing an infinite amount of past karma ... enlightenment does not happen because w e have gotten rid of a certain amount of karmic activity. It happens when our mind cuts through delusion "

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unfathom able. Besides, painful feelings can arise from a variety of other causes,5 7 A lthough karmic retribution cannot be avoided and w ill quite probably manifest in one form or another during one's practice of the p a th / aw akening is not sim ply the outcom e of m echanically eradicating the accum ulated effects of past deeds. W hat aw akening requires is the eradication of ignorance (avijja) through the develop ­ m ent o f w isdom .5 ’ W ith the com plete penetration of ignorance through insight, arahants go beyond the range o f most of their accu­ m ulated karmic deeds, apart from those still due to ripen in this present lifetime.*1 The Buddha himself, prior to his ow n aw akening, had also taken for granted that painful experiences have p urifying effects.6 1 After abandoning ascetic practices and gaining realization, he knew better. The Culadukkhakkhandha Sutta reports the Buddha's attem pt to convince some of his ascetic contem poraries of the fruitlessness of self-inflicted suffering. The discussion ended with the Buddha m ak­ ing the ironic point that, in contrast to the painful results of self­ mortification, he was able to experience degrees of pleasure vastly

57 At S TV230 the Buddha mentioned feelings originating from disorder?; of bile, phlegm, wind, imbalance of the bodily humours, change of climate, careless behaviour, or vio­ lence as alternatives to feelings resulting from karmical retribution. These alternatives are also enumerated at A I I87; A III 131; and A V 110; cf. also Ledi i999d: p.66. In fact, according to A 1 173 and A I 249 karma conceived as sole and absolute cause would imply a form of determinism and thereby logically exclude the possibility of living a life devoted to purification. 58 A V 292; A V 297; and A V 299 emphasize the impossibility of completely avoiding kar­ mic retribution. Dhp 127 points out that there is no spot in the whole world where one could escape the retribution of one's evil deeds- C t also Ud z\, which reports a monk, seated in meditation, experiencing pain because of former deeds. However, as A 1 249 points out, the intensity of karmic retribution depends to a great extent on the present moral and mental condition of the person in question, in the sense that a particularly unwholesome deed might lead an immoral person to hell, but will not have the same consequences in the case of an otherwise moral person, 59 AIV 382 clearly denies that the holy life under the Buddha is lived for the purpose of altering or eradicating karmic results that have not yet ripened, clarifying that the purpose is rather to develop knowledge and wisdom. To attempt to eradicate the results of past karma was a Jain position, which the Buddha criticized at M II216 and M il 222. 60 The simple logic behind this it that the karmic results bound to ripen in future lives will no longer have an opportunity to produce results (cf. e.g* Th 81). In the case of the arahant AAgutimala, for example, retribution for his former crimes could only take place within the limited scope of that same lifetime (cf. M II104).
61 M i l 93.

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superior eve n to those available to the king of the country*6 2C learly, for the B uddh a, realization did n ot depen d on m erely en d u rin g p ain fu l feelings*6 3 In fact, considered from the psych ological v ie w ­ point, intentional subjection to self-inflicted pain can be an exp res­ sion of d eflected aggression,6 4 The experience of unpleasant feelings can activate the latent ten d en cy to irritation and lead to attem pts to repress or avoid such unpleasant feelings. M oreover, aversion to pain can, according to the B ud dh a's penetrating analysis, fuel the ten d en cy to seek sensual gratification, since from the u n aw aken ed point of view the en jo y ­ m ent o f sensual pleasures appears to be the o n ly escape from p ain .6 5 This creates a vicious circle in w h ich , w ith each experience of feel­ ing, pleasant or unpleasant, the bondage to feelin g increases. The w a y out of this viscious circle lies in m indful and sober obser­ vation o f unpleasant feelings* Such non-reactive awareness of pain is a sim ple b u t effective m ethod for skilfully h an dlin g a pain ful ex­ perience. Sim ply observing ph ysical pain for w h a t it is p revents it from producing m ental repercussions. A n y m ental reaction of fear or resistance to pain w o u ld only increase the degree of unpleasan t­ ness of the pain ful experience. A n accom plished m editator m igh t be able to experience solely the p h ysical aspect of an unpleasant feelin g w ithou t allo w in g m ental reactions to arise, Thus m editative skill and insight have an intriguing potential for preventin g physical sickness from affecting the mind.** The discourses relate this ability o f p reven tin g physical pain from affecting m ental com posure to the practice of satipatthana in p articu­ lar*6 7In this w ay, a w ise observation of pain th rough satipatthana can transform experiences of pain into occasions for deep insight*

62 63 64 65

M I 95. M I 241, Cf. Padmasiri de Silva 1991: p.71. S IV 208. The Buddha then illustrated the unawakened worldling's predicament in the case of pain with being shot by two darts, since over and above the "dart" of phys­ ical pain, the mental reaction leads to more dukkha, viz* another dart* Cf. also Lily de Silva 1987: p.19; Kor 1991: p.6, and 1995: p.18, 66 S III 1 instructs: "you should train like this: my body may be sick, yet my mind will not be afflicted.'' The discourse explains that the point is to avoid identification with any of the five aggregates (and thereby with the pain). This suggests a sense of dissocia­ tion from the experience of pain, as if the affected part of the body did not belong to one. Although one continues to be aware of the pain as an objective phenomenon, this act of dissociation or de-identification diminishes or even removes the affective impact of the pain on the mind.

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V I I .5 N E U T R A L F E E L I N G

W hile pleasant and unpleasant feelings can activate the respective latent tendencies to lust and irritation, neutral feelings can stim ulate the latent tendency to ignorance.6 9 Ignorance in regard to neutral feelings is to be unaw are o f the arising and disappearance of neutral feelings, or not to understand the advantage, disadvantage, and es­ cape in relation to neutral feelings.*9 A s the com m entaries point out, awareness of neutral feelings is not an easy task and should best be approached by w ay of inference, b y noting the absence of both pleasant and unpleasant feelings/* O f further interest in a discussion o f neutral feeling is the Abhidhammic analysis o f feeling tones arising at the five physical sense doors. The Abhidhamma holds that only the sense of touch is accom ­ panied by pain or pleasure, w hile feelings arising at the other four sense doors are Invariably neutral.7 1 This Abhidhammic presentation offers an intriguing perspective on contem plation of feeling, since it invites an inquiry into the degree to w h ich an experience of deligh t or displeasure in regard to sight, sound, smell, or taste is sim ply the outcom e of one's o w n m ental evaluation. In addition to this inquiry, a central feature to be contem plated in regard to neutral feelings is their im perm anent nature/2 This is of particular im portance because, in actual experience, neutral feeling appears easily to be the most stable o f the three types of feeling. Thus to counteract the tend ency to regard it as perm anent, its im­ perm anent nature need to be observed. C ontem plated in this w ay, neutral feeling w ill lead to the arising of w isdom , thereby counter­ acting the latent tendency to ignorance.

67 According to S V 302, painful bodily feelings cannot overpower a mind well estab­ lished in satipatthana. The Buddha himself, by remaining mindful and clearly know­ ing, was able to endure unperturbed the intense pain of a serious Injury to his foot (at S 1 27 and 5 1 no). 68 M I 303. 69 M III 285. 70 Ps 1 277, The commentary illustrates this using the example of a hunter seeing tracks before and after a rock, thereby inferring the path an animal had taken. 71 Dhs 139-45; more explicitly at Abhitih-s 2; c l also C A R Rhys Davids 1922: p.171 n.2. The discourses offer a somewhat different perspective, since they speak of pleasant and unpleasant sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, these in turn providing the condi­ tions for the arising of corresponding feelings of pleasure or displeasure; cf. e.g. SIV 115; S I V 119; S IV 125; and S IV 126, 72 It 47.

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The Salayatanavibhanga Sutta points o u t that the difference b e tw e e n neutral feelin gs associated w ith ign oran ce and those asso­ ciated w ith w isd om is related to w h eth er such feelings transcend their object.7 5 In the d e lu d e d case, neutral feelin g is p red om in an tly the result o f the bland features o f the object, w h e re the lack of effect on the observer results in the absence of p leasant or unp leasan t feel­ ings, C o n versely , neutral feelin g related to the presen ce o f w isd om transcends the object, since it results from detachm en t and eq ua­ n im ity, and n ot from the pleasant or unp leasan t features of the object. A cco rd in g to the sam e discourse, the establishm ent of such eq ua­ n im ity is the result of a p rogressive refin em en t of feelings, d u rin g w h ich at first the three types o f feelin gs related to a life of ren u n cia­ tion are used to go b eyo n d theiT m ore w o rld ly and sensual cou n ter­ parts.n In the next stage, m ental joy related to renunciation is u sed to con fron t and go b e yo n d difficulties related to renunciation. This process o f refinem ent then leads u p to equanim ous feelings, tran­ scen d in g e v e n non -sensual feelings of m ental joy. E quanim ity and d etach m en t as a culm ination of practice also occur in the satipat­ thana refrain for contem plation o f feelin gs, w h ich instructs the m editator to contem plate all kinds of feelin g "free from d ep en d en ­ cies" a n d "w ith o u t c lin g in g "/5

73 M i l l 219. 74 M 111 220.

75 M 1 59: '"he abides independent, not dinging to anything in the world. That is how in regard to feelings he abides contemplating feelings/'

VIII

MIND

V II I.1

CO N TEM PLA TIO N OF THE MIND

D u rin g th e later part o f the p re vio u s satipatthana, co n tem p la tio n of fe e lin g , a w a re n e ss w a s co n ce rn e d w ith th e eth ica l d istin ction b e ­ tw e e n w o r ld ly and u n w o rld ly feelin gs. T h e sam e d istin ction occurs at th e start o f the n ext satipatthana, w h ic h d irects a w a ren ess to th e eth ica l q u a lity o f th e m in d , n a m e ly to the p resen ce or ab sen ce o f lust (raga), a n g e r (dosa), a n d d e lu sio n (tnoha)' T h e in stru ction s are:
H e k n o w s a lu stfu l m in d to be "lu stfu l"/ and a m in d w ith o u t lu st to be "w ith o u t lust"; he k n o w s an angry m in d to be "a n gry", and a m in d w ith o u t anger to be "w ith o u t anger"; he k n o w s a d elu d ed m ind to be " d e lu d e d ", and a m in d w ith o u t d elu sio n to be "w ith o u t d elu sio n "; he k n o w s a contracted m in d to be "contracted", and a distracted m in d to b e "distracted"; he k n o w s a great m ind to be "great", and a narrow m ind to be "narrow "; he k n o w s a surpassable m ind to b e "su r­ p assab le", and an u nsurpassable m in d to be "u n su rp assable"; he k n o w s a concentrated m in d to be "concentrated", and an uncon cen­ trated m in d to be "unconcentrated"; he k n o w s a liberated m ind to b e "lib erated ", and an u n liberated m ind to b e "u n lib e ra te d "/

Contemplation of the mind makes use of altogether eight categories

1 Cf. also Khantipalo 1981: p.37. 2 M I39.

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{cf. Fig, 8.1 below ).3In each case, the task of sati is to kn ow a particu­ lar m ental quality or its opposite, so that contem plation of the m ind actually covers sixteen states of m ind. The same set of sixteen states appears elsew h ere in the discourses in relation to telepathic abili­ ties.4Thus from the perspective o f the discourses this set form s a rep* resentative list of states of m in d that is relevant both to personal introspection and to assessing another's mind. These sixteen states o f m ind (or eigh t categories) can be subdi­ vided into tw o sets* The first set contrasts u n w holesom e and w h o le­ some states o f mind, w h ile the second set is concerned w ith the presence or absence o f h igh er states of m ind. I w ill exam ine these different states of mind in d ivid u ally, fo llo w in g an introductory as­ sessm ent of contem plation of the mind in general.
"ordinary" states of mind lustful (saraga) angry (sadosa) deluded (samoha) distracted (vtfAhrtta) "higher" states of mind great (mahaggata) unsurpassable {anuttara) concentrated (samafctto) liberated (rimutai)

Fig. 8.1

Eight categories for contemplation of the mind

U n d erlyin g this satipatthdna is an im plicit shift in em phasis from the ordinary w a y o f experien cing m ind as an in divid ual entity to considering m ental events as m ere objects, an alysed in terms of their qualitative characteristics.5 C ontem plation of the m ind also in ­ cludes, in accordance w ith the satipatthdna "refrain", aw areness of the arising and passing a w a y o f the states of m ind being contem ­ plated, thereby revealing the m om entary character of all m ental events. In addition, sustained contem plation o f th e m ind w ill also expose the degree to w h ich w h at one takes to be on e's ow n m ind is in fact influenced by external conditions. In this w a y , realizin g the
3 In addition to these eight categories, the Chinese version of this contemplation in the Mndhyama Agama lists the mind "with blemishes", and "without blemishes", while the Ekattara Agama has "craving'" and "mastery of the mind" as additional categories (in Minh Chau 1991: p.93; and Nhat Than 1990: pp.162 and 174). Patis II234 includes the six types of consciousness (differentiated according to the six sense doors) in its List for contemplation of the mind.
4 e*g* at M 1 495-

5 Bodhi 1984: p.98; and Piatigorski 1984: p.41. C.A.F. Rhys Davids 1978: tion to the novelty of this approach in the histoiy of Indian thought*

draws atten­

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im perm anent and conditioned nature of the m ind accords w ith the general thrust of satipatthana tow ards detachm ent and n on ­ identification.
VI1L 2 NON-REACTIVE AWARENESS OF ONE'S STATE OF MIND

It is n otew orth y that contem plation of the m ind does not involve active m easures to oppose unw holesom e states of m ind (such as lust or anger). Rather, the task of m indfulness is to remain receptively aware b y clearly reco gn izing the state of m ind that underlies a par­ ticular train of thoughts or reactions. Such u ninvolved receptivity is required because o f one's instinctive tendency to ignore w hatever contradicts or threatens one's sense o f im portance and personal in­ tegrity. The habit o f em ploying self-deception to m aintain one's self esteem has often becom e so ingrained that the first step to develop ­ in g accurate self-awareness is honest acknow ledgm ent of the exis­ tence o f h idden em otions, m otives, and tendencies in the mind, w ithout im m ediately suppressing them.6 M aintaining non-reactive awareness in this w ay counters the im pulse tow ards either reaction or suppression contained in u nw holesom e states of m ind, and thereby deactivates their em otional and attentional pull/ The Vitakkasanthana Sutta offers a description of such deactiva­ tion: in order to come to grips w ith the repeated occurrence of un­ w holesom e thoughts, attention turns to the nature of these thoughts and to the volitional disposition or driving force that pro­ duced them*" The discourse explains this sim ple but ingenious m ethod of turning the full light of attention on the m ental condition u nderlying one's thoughts with the help o f a simile. O ne is w alkin g quite fast for no particular reason. Becom ing fully aware o f w hat one is doing, one m ight w alk slow er, or even stand still, or instead of

6 Bullen 1982: 7 Newman 1996: pp.35 and 46. Cf. also A V 39, which explains that white unwholesome conduct by way of body or speech is to be overcome by adopting more appropriate ways of conduct, the proper approach for overcoming mental defilements is repeated wise observation. A clinical case supporting the ingenuity of this approach is docu­ mented by Deatherage 1975: p.140, where a twenty-three-year-old male, hospitalized for extreme periodic aggressiveness and alcohol abuse,was cured within eight weeks simply by being taught to recognize and mentally name the emotions he experi­ enced, without even knowing that what he was doing was related to "meditation". Another chronic anger case-study involving awareness of mind as cure can be found in Woolfolk 1984: p.551. 8 M 1 120.

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standing one m ight sit or lie dow n. This progressive increase in physical com fort and tranquillity v iv id ly illustrates h o w the m ental agitation and tension of unw holesom e th ough t processes can be gradually reduced and overcom e through direct observation. W atching an u nw holesom e state of m ind w ith ou t in volvem en t in this w ay w ill deprive it o f its fuel so that it w ill gradually lose its pow er. Such m indful observation w ithout in vo lvem en t is illustrated in a simile in the discourses in w h ich the B uddha com pared aw areness of one's states of m ind to the use o f a mirror to see one's reflection.9 Just as a mirror sim ply reflects w h atever is presented to it, m editators should try to m aintain bare aw areness of the present condition o f their m ind w ith o u t allow in g reactions to arise. H ow ever, the same Vitakkasanthana Suita speaks also of "b eatin g do w n and crushing m ind w ith m ind" as an alternative ap proach in order to deal w ith u n w h o leso m e thoughts.1 0 This appears to dis­ agree w ith the aforem entioned. But once this instruction is con sid­ ered in its context, it becom es clear that it com es only as a last resort, after all oth er alternative approaches, in clu d in g the above discussed deactivation, have p roved ineffective.” T hus to "beat d o w n and crush m ind w ith m ind" is an em ergency m easure w hen all else has failed. W hen the situation is about to get out o f hand, the use o f force w ill at least prevent the obsessive negative thoughts from spilling over into u nw holesom e activity, "To beat d o w n and crush m ind w ith m ind" is in fact on another occasion coun ted by the B ud dh a am on g those fruitless exercises w h ich he him self had tried and dis­ carded prior to his aw aken in g.1 4 This goes to show that the u se of m ere force is not inten ded for m ental d evelop m en t in general, but in cases of em ergency only.

9 A V 92; the same simile occurs also at D 1 80 and M 1 too, Cf. also Samararatne 1997: p.141, who recommends maintaining a "mirror-like mind", especially in regard to un­ pleasant emotions.
10 M I 120,

11 The other approaches, in addition to the above-mentioned directing of attention to the nature of these thoughts and to the volitional disposition underlying them, are to direct attention to something wholesome instead, or to reflect on the danger of suc­ cumbing to these unwholesome thoughts, or to try to forget these thoughts. A similar case can be found at A IV 87, where after an extensive list of different methods for staying awake and countering drowsiness, the final recommendation is to go to sleep mindfully. Clearly, in this case too, the last method is not really helpful for staying awake, but is also the last resort when all other measures had failed. 12 At M I 242.

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VIIL3 FOUR "ORDINARY" STATES OF MIND

Citta, the Pali term used in this satipatthdna, usually refers in the dis­ courses to "m ind" in the conative and em otional sense, in the sense of one's mood or state of m ind.'3 The first three am ong the states o f m ind listed in the satipatthana instruction are lust (rdga), anger (dosa), and delusion ( moha), the three m ain roots of all u nw holesom e m ental events." The basic p rin ­ ciple underlying the contem plation o f these unw holesom e roots, w h ich also underlies the distinction betw een w o rld ly and u n ­ w o rld ly feelings in the previous satipatthdna, is the clear distinction b etw een w hat is w ho lesom e and w hat is unw holesom e. System atic developm ent of this ability nurtures an intuitive ethical sensitivity w h ich constitutes an im portant asset in one's progress on the path and a reliable guide to proper conduct in daily life. T he Satipatthdna Sutta presents each of these "roots" together w ith its opposite: the absence of lust, anger, or delusion. This w a y of pre­ sentation is com m on in canonical usage, allow in g the negative term to cover not only the opposite notion, but also to im ply a w id er range o f m eaning/5 Thus to be "w ith o u t anger", for exam ple, could refer sim ply to a state o f m ind free from irritation, but also to a m ind overflo w in g w ith lo vin g kindness. D u rin g m editation, each of these three unw holesom e roots can m anifest in a distinctive m anner: the fever o f lust m ay be com pared to being on fire w ithin, the physical tension of anger to being over­ p o w e re d and controlled b y a forceful opponent, and the confusion of delusion to being h opelessly entan gled in a net.lft Taken in an absolute sense, a m ind w ithou t lust, anger, and delu­ sion is the mind of an arahant.1 7This w a y of understanding is in fact

13 T.W. Rhys Davids 1993: p.266; on the term citta cf, also page 205, footnote 21, 14 Taking raga as a synonym for lobha. A detailed exposition of the three roots can be found in Nanaponika 1978. 15 Khantipalo 1981: p.38. 16 Dhp 251 poetically points out that there is no fire like lust, no grip like anger, and no net like delusion, Buddhadasa 1989: p.67, suggests distinguishing between mental tendencies such as "pulling in", "pushing away", and "running around In circles", in order to recognize the three unwholesome roots. 17 Cf. e.g. M 1 5, where arahants are said to be free from these three through their eradica­ tion; M 165, which refers to realized ascetics as free from lust, anger, and delusion; M 1 236 and S 1220, where the Buddha referred to himself as free from lust, anger, and de­ lusion; and A lil 43; A III 336; and A III 347, which associate such freedom to absence of the influxes,

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the most frequent usage of the qualification ''w ith out lu st"/'w ith ou t anger", and "w ithout delusion" in the discourses. Thus contem pla­ tion of the m ind appears to be not only concerned with m om entary states o f m ind, but also w ith the overall condition of the mind* U n­ derstood in this w ay, to contem plate m ind unaffected by lust, anger, or delusion w ould also include awareness o f the degree to w hich these three unw holesom e roots are no longer "rooted" in one's m en­ tal continuum .1 8 The two states of mind listed next for contem plation, contracted (sankhitta) and distracted (vikkhitta), both appear to have negative im plications.1 9 The same tw o terms occur elsew here in the dis­ courses, w ith inw ard "contraction" being the result of sloth-and-torpor, and external "distraction" the outcom e of pursuing sensual pleasures.* The comm entaries on the Satipatthana Sutta indeed re­ late the "contracted" state of m ind to sloth-and-torpor, w hile ac­ cording to them the "distracted" state of mind represents restlessness.11 The ability to balance the m ind, by avoidin g both contraction and distraction, is an im portant skill required for the developm ent of deeper levels of concentration or insight. The placing of these two states of m ind at this point in the instructions for contem plation of the m ind indicates the need to cultivate such balance, once one has at least tem porarily m oved beyond the reach of the grosser types of mental unw holesom eness and is aim ing tow ards the developm ent

18 Cf, e.g. AIV 404, where awareness of their absence is part of the reviewing knowledge of an arafutnt. ig Alternatively, in order to conform with the pattern in this satipafthana of presenting a positive state of mind together with its negative counterpart, the contracted (sankhitta) state of mind could be taken in a positive sense, as a "concentrated" or "at­ tentive" state of mind (cf, T,W. Rhys Davids 1993: P665). The corresponding verb sankhipati does indeed occur in this positive sense at Ja 1 82, when the Buddha radi­ ated loving kindness to his five earlier M owers on their first meeting after his awak­ ening. Cf. also Goenka 1999: p.57, who translates sankhitta as "collected" and "concentrated." 20 S V 279. The relation of these two to "internal" and "external" occurs again at AIV 32. 21 Ps 1280. However, in the above mentioned discourse at S V 279 the hindrance restless­ ness occurs separately, apparently not forming part of "distracted", whereas accord­ ing to the commentarial explanation the two should be identical The relation of "distracted" to the search for sense gratification (as at: S V 279) occurs also at M 111225. The consequences of a distracted state of mind are, according to A V 147, that one be­ comes unable to direct one's attention skilfully, avoid unwholesome behaviour, or overcome mental inertia.

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o f "h igh er" states o f m ind, such as are described in the rem ainder of this satipatthdna.
VIII.4 FOUR "HIGHER" STATES OF MIND

The next qualification, "great" {mahaggata), occurs in other dis­ courses often in the context of calm ness m editation, for instance w h e n describ ing the m editative p ractice of rad iatin g the four d ivin e abodes (brahmavihdra) in all directions/* Sim ilarly, in the Anuruddha Sutta "g re a t" represents the ability to p erva d e a broad area w ith o n e's m editation object, in this case a p p a ren tly as the resu lt of kasina m editation /3T h ese instances su p p o rt the com m entarial explanation of this p art o f the satipatthdna instructions, a cco rd in g to w h ich a "great" state of m in d (mahaggata) is related to the d ev elo p m en t of absorption.2 4 The sam e com m entaries relate th e next catego ry m en tion ed for contem p lation, the "surpassable" (sa-uttara) state o f m in d, to the d e­ velo p m en t o f concentration/5 "Su rpassable", th en, indicates the n eed to clearly reco gn ize th e constituen ts o f a particular level o f absorption to be left b eh in d in order to p ro ceed to a h igh er level o f ab sorption.* This finds su p p o rt in the Sekha Sutta , w h ich refers to the fourth absorption as a state of "u nsurp assab le" eq u an im ity and m in dfuln ess.17 O n the other h an d , in the discourses the q ualification "u n surp assab le" freq u en tly occurs in relation to full a w a k e n in g .2 8 U nd erstood in this w ay , the p resen t category also in clu d es the re­ v ie w in g k n o w le d g e after realization , w h e n on e in vestigates the degree to w h ich the m ind has b een freed from fetters an d m ental defilem ents.

22 e.g. at M I I207. 23 M III 146. The commentary Ps IV 200 explains this pervasion to be related to kasina meditation. A kasina is a meditation device, for example a coloured disk, used to help develop concentration. 24 PSI280. 25 Ps 1 280 explains "unsurpassable" to refer to absorption attainment. Sflananda 1990: p.94, takes "unsurpassable" as a specific reference to the immaterial attainments. 26 The need to abandon lower absorption attainments is described e«g« at M 14 55►Nhat
Hanh 1990: p. 13, renders au-utturu with die expression: "m y mind is capable uf reach­

ing a higher state", 27 e,g, at M 1 357, The fourth jhana as a level of concentration is indeed "unsurpassable", since the immaterial attainments take place with the same level of concentration,, but directed towards progressively more refined objects. 28 e.g. at D II83; M 1163; M I 303; M U 237; S 1 105; S 1 124; A 1 168; A III 435; and Th 415.

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The next term in the series, the "concentrated" (samdhita) state of m ind, is self-explanatory. A ccording to the com m entaries, this ex­ pression includes access concentration and full absorption.2 9 Since in the discourses samddhi refers to concentration in the context o f the develop m ent o f both calm and insight, the expression "con cen ­ trated m ind" has a fairly broad ran ge o f reference. The qualification "liberated" (vimutta) frequ ently occurs in the dis­ courses in relation to full a w ak en in g .10U nderstood in this w a y , the "liberated" m ind parallels the m ore frequent usage o f the expression "unsurpassable m ind" and also the m ind that is forever "w ith ou t lust", "w ith o u t anger", and "w ith o u t delusion", all these referring to the m in d o f an arahant? T he com m entaries, m oreover, relate the qualification "liberated" to tem porary freedom from defilem ents du rin g insight meditation*11 E lsew here in the discourses the qualifi­ cation of b ein g "liberated" occurs also in relation to the d ev e lo p ­ m ent o f concentration, as "freed om of the m ind" (cetovimutti)” Thu$ the expression "liberated m ind" can be taken to refer to experiences o f m ental freedom in relation to both calm an d insight. The them e u n d erlyin g the contem plation of these four higher states o f m ind is the ability to m onitor the m ore ad van ced stages of one's m editative developm ent. In this w a y , w ith in the scope of con­ tem plation of the m ind, sati can range from recognition of the pres­ ence o f lust or anger to aw areness o f the most lofty and sublim e types o f m ental experience, each time w ith the same basic task o f calm ly noticing w hat is taking place. The em phasis given in this satipatthana to m indful contem plation of deep levels of concentration is notew orth y. A m on g the B ud dh a's contem poraries, experiences o f absorption often gave rise to

29 PSI280.
30 e.g. at M 1 141; S III 45; S III 51; Ud 24; and It 33. 31 The standard descriptions of full awakening use the expression "liberated" to describe the arahant's knowledge of his or her realization (e.g. at D 184)- At times the expression "liberated" is combined with "unsurpassable* as references to full awak­ ening, cf. e.g. M 1 235; S 1 105; or A IV 106. D III 270 and A V 31 relate the *weB liberated mind" to freedom from the three unwholesome toots. 32 Ps I 280. This suggestion by the commentary can claim some support from S V 137, which speaks of a calm and undistracted state of mind, fit for satipatthana, as "liberated". 33 Various types of "freedom of the mind" are listed at M 1 296* Similarly, A III 16 refers to the absence of the five hindrances as a mind "liberated" from them.

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speculative view s.3 4The B uddha's distinctive departure from these speculations w as his th oroughly analytical treatment of the m edita­ tive absorptions, aimed at understanding their com posite and con­ ditioned nature.3 5 This analytical treatment is exem plified in the Atthakanagara Sutta, w h ich states that one should regard the experi­ ence o f absorption as m erely a product of the m ind, a conditioned and volitionally produced e x p erien ce* Such understanding then leads to the conclusion that w hatever is a product of conditions is also im perm anent and subject to cessation. Insight into the im per­ m anent nature of deep levels of concentration also forms part of satipatthdna practice, w hen the instruction in the "refrain" to con­ tem plate the nature of arising and passing a w a y is applied to the higher states of mind listed for contem plation.3 7U ndertaken in this w ay, satipatthana in regard to higher states of m ind becomes a practi­ cal expression of the B uddha's analytical attitude towards the entire range o f mental experience.

34 Of the sixty-two grounds for views presented in the Brahmajala Sutta (D 1 12-39), forty-nine appear to be related to concentrative attainments of various types: recol­ lection of past lives [nos 1-3,5-7,17]; the divine eye [31-4, 51-7]; kasina meditation [9-11,19, 23-5,29-30, 35,39-41, 43, 47-9]; and jhana in general [20-2, 27,36-8, 44-*/ 59-62]; (correlations given with the help of the commentary). This ratio (nearly 80%) constitutes an overwhelming testimony to the view-generating propensity of deep concentration experiences. The fact that jhanic experiences can easily lead to the for­ mation of wrong views is also noted by VVijebandara 1993: p/21, 35 Piatigorski 1984: P44: "in early historical Buddhism some non-Buddhist yoglc experi­ ences were realized, analysed and reworked so that they could be used without their previous ox actual religious contents". Premasiri 1987b: p.178: "the distinctive feature of Buddhism is that it described these jhana states purely in psychological terms, with­ out bringing in mystical or supernatural explanations for them/ 36 M 1 350. Cf, also M 1436, which analyses jhanic experience with the help of the aggre­ gate scheme, followed by the consideration that all these phenomena are imperma­ nent, unsatisfactory, and not-self. 37 M 1 60: "he abides contemplating the nature of arising ... of passing away of both arising and passing away in regard to the mind,"

IX

D H A M M A S : TH E H IN D R A N CE S

IX.l CONTEMPLATION OF DHAMMAS

The next contem plation in the Satipatthana Sutta is concerned w ith a specific set o f mental qualities, the five hindrances. These com e as the first am o n g the contem plations o f ''dhammas". Before em barking on a closer inspection o f this exercise, I w ill exam ine the im plications of the term " dhammas", in order to provide som e b ackground to the exercises listed under this fourth and last satipatthana. The Pali term dhamma can assum e a variety o f m eanings, d ep e n d ­ in g on the context in w h ich it occurs. M ost translators take the term dhammas in the Satipatthana Sutta to m ean ''m ental objects", in the sense of w h atever can becom e an object of the m ind, in contradis­ tinction to the objects o f the oth er five senses. In regard to satipat­ thana, h o w e ve r, this rendering appears strange. If the term dhammas w ere to refer to "objects o f the m ind", then the oth er three satipafthdnas should also be in clu d ed here, since they too can becom e objects o f the m ind. M oreover, one of the exercises listed u n d er the fourth satipatthana is contem plation of the six senses together w ith their respective objects, so this contem plation of dhammas is not con­ fined to the objects of the m ind as the sixth sense only. In fact, the dhammas listed in the fourth satipatthana, such as the hindrances and the aggregates, etc., do not naturally evo k e the classification "m ental objects".1
j Thanissaro 1996: p.73. Pa£s U 234 simply suggests that whatever is not included in the previous three satipatthanas is to be understood as dhammas in this context, Sflananda

DHAMMAS: THE H I N D R A N C E S

i

1B3

W hat this satipatthana is actually concerned w ith are specific m en­ tal qualities (such as the five hindrances and the seven aw akening factors), and analyses o f experience into specific categories (such as the five aggregates, the six sense-spheres, and the four noble truths). These m ental factors and categories constitute central aspects of the Buddha's w ay of teaching, the Dhamma,a These classificatory schemes are not in them selves the objects of m editation, but consti­ tute fram eworks or points of reference to be applied d u rin g contem ­ plation* D uring actual practice one is to look at w hatever is experienced in terms of these dhammas? Thus the dhammas m en­ tioned in this satipatthana are not "m ental objects", but are applied to w hatever becom es an object o f the m ind or of an y other sense door during contem plation. The expression "contem plation of dhammas" occurs also in the Anapanasati Sutta in relation to the last four of the sixteen steps for d evelop in g m indfulness of breathing, w hich are concerned w ith contem plating "im perm anence", "fad in g aw ay", "cessation", and "letting go"/ A t first sight, the four steps described here appear to be

1990: p<95, rejects a translation as "mental objects" and suggests leaving dhammas un­ translated, a suggestion which 1 have followed. Alternative translations could be: "facte in general" (in Kalupahana 1992: P74); "phenomena'7(in Bodhi 2000; p.44, and in Jayasuriya 1988: p i6j); "patterns of events" (in Harvey 1997: p>354); "conditions" (in Vajiranana 3975: p,59); or "principles" (in Watanabe 1983: p.16). 2 Naqamoli 1995: p.1193 n.157 explains: "in this context dhamma can be understood as comprising all phenomena classified by way of the categories of the Dhammar the Buddha's teaching4 '. Gyori 1996: p.24, in regard to contemplation of dhammas suggests that "the exercises.,. in this section are specifically intended to invest the mind with a soteriological orientation". 3 In this context it is noticeable that the instruction for contemplation of dhaminas em­ ploys the locative case twice, once for dhammas and again for the five hindrances, the five aggregates, etc* Thus one is to "contemplate dhammas in regard to dhammas in regard to the five hindrances, (etc.)", that is, one contemplates phenomena "in terms of" the categories listed as dhammas. This way of introducing each contemplation differs from the earlier three satipatfhdnas. Cf. also S V 184, according to which the dhammas contemplated in this satipatthana are conditionally related to attention while body is related to nutriment, feelings to contact, and mind to name-and-form. This suggests that contemplation of dhammas requires the deliberate act of directing attention to its objects, in terms of the dhammns listed, to a stronger degree than the other satipat­ thanas. Carrithers 1983: p.229, explains that "the propositions of doctrine are trans­ muted into immediate perception, here and now". Similarly Gombrich 1996: p.36, speaks of learning "to see the world through Buddhist spectacles"; while Gyatso 1992: pX, suggests: "previously learned categories and skills inform present experience without being recollected as such". Cf. also Collins 1994: p.78. 4 M ill83.

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quite different from the mental factors and categories listed under contem plation of dhammas in the Satipatthana Sutta. The Buddha's reason for classifying these final four steps of m indfulness of breath­ ing as contem plation of dhammas was that at this more advanced point o f practice a meditator w ill have overcom e desires and discon­ tent, thereby becom ing established in equanimity*5The commentar­ ies indicate that this is a reference to the rem oval of the hindrances.6 Although taking desires and discontent to represent the w hole set of the five hindrances is questionable/ this explanation provides a link betw een the final four steps of m indfulness of breathing and the sequence of dhammas in the Satipatthana Sutta , since these begin w ith the hindrances. According to the commentaries, the hin­ drances lead the contem plations of dhammas because their rem oval serves as a basis for developing the com paratively sophisticated contem plations in this last satipatthana.* A further parallel betw een the two discourses is that the sixteen-step scheme for m indfulness of breathing leads to the developm ent of the aw akening factors/ since the aw akening factors also form part of the contem plation of dhammas in the Satipatthana Sutta. These parallels suggest that a tem poral progression towards real­ ization could form the key aspect of contem plation of dhammas in both cases. In the saiipatfhana context, this progression underlies the sequential order of the mental factors and categories detailed for contem plation of dhammas (cf* Fig, 9*1 below): Based on a sufficient degree of mental stability through overcom ing the hindrances, con­ templation of dhammas proceeds to an analysis of subjective person­ ality, in terms of the five aggregates, and to an analysis of the relation betw een subjective personality and the outer world, in terms of the six sense-spheres” These two analyses form a conve­ nient basis for developing the aw akening factors, w hose successful establishm ent constitutes a necessary condition for awakening. To

5 6 7 8 9

MH)84 > Ps IV 142. Cf, page69. Ps-pt 1 373. At M III 87* Cf. also Patis 1 191, which relates contemplation of impermanence to expe­ riencing the rise and fall of the aggregates and sense-spheres, thereby providing an additional relation to the satipatthana context 10 Althou gh these two contemplations wo uld not necessarily have to be practised in this order, it seems meaningful to follow an inquiry into subjective personality with an in­ vestigation of its relationship to the external world by way of the senses.

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a w a k e n is to fu lly u n d ersta n d the fo u r n o b le truths "as th e y really are", this b e in g the final exercise a m o n g the con tem p lation s of dhammas an d the successful culm in ation o f satipatthana p ractice,”
four noble truths

______________ t______________
seven awakening factors

______________ T______________
six sense-spheres

______________ t _____________
five aggregates

______________ T ______________
five hindrances

Fig* 9.1

S u rv e y o f co n tem p la tio n o f dhammas

W ith th e final fou r steps o f m in d fu ln ess o f breath in g, h o w e v e r, the em phasis is m ain ly directed tow ards the insights g ain ed th rough con tem p latio n o f dhammas. Th ese p ro ce e d from th e d irect e x p eri­ ence o f th e im p erm an en t natu re o f p h e n o m en a (aniccanupasst), to g iv in g atten tio n to their "fa d in g a w a y " (virdganupassi) an d "cessa ­ tion" (nirodhanupasst). T h ese in turn lead to d etach m en t, o r "lettin g go" (patinissaggdnupassT): a state o f m ind fit fo r a w a k en in g .1 2 C o n tem p la tio n o f dhammas in b o th the Satipatthana Sutta an d the Anapanasati Sutta, th en , indicates a tem p oral p rogression to w a rd s d etach m en t and realization* A lth o u g h the b re a k th ro u g h to realiza­ tion can take place w h ile p ractisin g a n y of th e sixteen steps o f m in d ­ fulness o f b reath in g, th e final fo u r steps a p p e a r to be sp ecifica lly d esign ed to this end* Sim ilarly, alth o u gh realization can take place w h ile o n e is e n g a g e d in a n y o f the satipatthana con tem p lation s, the

11 With this presentation I do not intend to suggest that these contemplations of dhavtmas necessarily have to be practised in this order and in conjunction, only that they are presented in a progressive order in the Saftpaffham Sutta* 12 Cf. M 1 251, where the same four-step sequence, in the context of contemplating feel­ ings, leads directly to realization. Patis 1194 explains contemplation of letting go to be of two types: "giving up" (the aggregates) and "leaping forward" (to realization). On "letting go* cf. also Nanarama 1997: PP-S5-7; and van Zeyst 1961a: p,3. The Chinese Samyukta Agama has preserved a different sequence for the last four steps of mindful­ ness of breathing, which proceeds from impermanence to "abandoning", followed by "fading away" and then culminates with "cessation" (in Choong 2000: p.227).

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final section o f the Satipatthana Sutta, co n cern ed w ith the contem ­ plation of dhammas, stands o u t for its particular em phasis on a ch iev­ in g this goal. In contrast to the p revio u s satipatthdnas, contem p lation of dhammas is particularly concerned w ith re co gn izin g the con dition ed natu re of th e p h en om en a u n d er observation. In fact, the m ain in ­ struction fo r m ost of the contem plations of dhammas d irectly m en ­ tions conditionality, w h ile in th e p revious satipatthdnas this h ap p en s o n ly in the "refrain". The prom inence of con dition ality in this satipatthdna brings to m ind th e w ell-k n o w n statem ent that one w h o sees d e p en d en t co-arising sees the Dhamma* S u ch "seein g" (passati) of the Dhamma m ay w e ll com e ab out th ro u g h ''con tem p latin g" (anu-passati) dhammas, a su ggestio n w h ich also squares w ell w ith the acquisition of the "m eth o d " (ndya) m entioned in the "direct path" passage of the Satipatthdna Sutta as a goal o f practice.’4 Thus contem plation o f dhammas skilfu lly ap p lies dham mas (classificato ry categories) as taugh t in the Dhamma (the teaching o f the Buddha) d u rin g con tem p lation in order to b rin g about an u n d er­ standing o f th e dhamma (principle) o f co n dition ality and lead to the realization o f the h igh est of all dhammas (phenom ena): Nibbdna .'5
IX.2

CONTEMPLATION OF THE FIVE HINDRANCES

The first of the contem plations of dhammas is, in a w ay, a m ore sp e­ cific version o f contem plation of states of m in d, since it turns a w a re ­ ness to five m anifestations o f the three u n w h olesom e roots: the five hindrances. In contrast to th e p reced in g contem plation of the m ind, h o w ever, contem plation o f th e hindrances covers not o n ly th e pres­ ence or absence o f a h in d ran ce, but also the conditions u n d erly in g the p resen ce or absence o f each hindrance. In m y exploration I w ill follow the tw o-stage p attern o f this instruction, b y focu sin g initially on the fiv e h indrances and the im portance of reco gn izin g them , and co n sid erin g subsequen tly the conditions for their p resen ce or absence. The satipatthdna instructions for con tem p latin g the hindrances are:
13 M I 190. 14 Cf. page m« 15 D III 102 speaks of Nibbana as the highest of all wholesome dkamrtins-, cf, also A II34 arid Sn 225*

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If sensual desire is present in him, he knows "there is sensual desire in me"; if sensual desire is not present in him, he knows "there is no sensual desire in me"; and he knows how unarisen sensual desire can arise, how arisen sensual desire can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed sensual desire can be prevented. If aversion is present In him, he knows.... If sloth-and- torpor is present in him, he knows...* If restlessness-and-worry is present in him, he knows.... If doubt is present in him, he knows "there is doubt in me"; if doubt is not present in him, he knows "there is no doubt in me"; and he knows how unarisen doubt can arise, how arisen doubt can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed doubt can be prevented.1 4

The use of the term "hindrance" (ntvarana) clearly indicates w h y these m ental qualities h ave been singled out for special attention; they "hinder"' the proper functioning of the mind.17Under the influ­ ence of the hindrances one is unable to understand one's ow n good or that of others, or to gain concentration or insight.* Learning to w ithstand the impact o f a hindrance w ith awareness is therefore an im portant skill for one's progress on the path. According to the dis­ courses, difficulties in counterbalancing a hindrance are a good rea­ son for approaching an experienced m editator to ask for practical guidance/9 These five hindrances actually cover seven distinct m ental quali­ ties.*5That these seven are subsumed under a fivefold presentation is probably due to the similarities in effect and character betw een sloth (thlna) and torpor (middha), and b etw een restlessness (uddhacca) and w orry (kukkucca)*1According to the commentaries, this five­ fold presentation makes it possible to correlate each hindrance w ith

16 17 18 19 20

M l 60. Cf. e.g. D 1 246; S V 96; and S V 97. M II203; S V 92; S V 127; and A III 63. A III 317 and A III 321. At S V 110 a tenfold presentation is given, by distinguishing between internal sensual desire, aversion, and doubt, and their external counterparts, while the remaining two compounds are separated into sloth, torpor, restlessness, and worry. This presenta­ tion supports the notion of seven actual mental qualities. Cf. also Gunaratana 1996: p.32. A variation of the usual fivefold presentation can be found at It 8, which has a single hindrance, the hindrance of ignorance. Another variation occurs at Pa|is I 31, Fa£s 1103, and Pads 1163, where enumerations of the hindrances omit worry and give ignorance and dissatisfaction instead.

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on e of th e five m ental factors n eed ed to attain absorption (jhanaafiga) “ T he h in d ran ces n o t o n ly obstruct absorption attainm ent, th e y also im p ed e th e establish m ent o f the a w a k e n in g factors (bojjhaftga).2 * This antagonistic relation sh ip b e tw e e n the hindrances an d th e a w a k e n in g factors is o f considerable im p ortan ce, since the rem oval of the form er and the d ev elo p m en t o f the latter are n ecessary c o n d i­ tions for realizatio n .4 4 T w o sets o f sim iles in the discourses dep ict the specific ch aracter an d effect o f the five h indrances. T he first set o f sim iles illustrates

21 The similarity between sloth and torpor is noted by Vibh 254, according to which both refer to *inability" or "unreadiness", with the difference that sloth is of a mental type, while torpor represents the bodily variation. Viblva 369 understands this explanation in the case of torpor to refer to mental factors, not to the physical body. But if one con­ siders the antidotes listed for torpor at A IV 85 it becomes probable that to speak of "torpor"' does refer to physical torpor. The similarity of the other two hindrances is mentioned at Ps-pt 1 3 75► 22 Vism 141 explains that concentration is incompatible with sensual desire, joy with aversion, initial mental application with sloth-and-torpor, happiness with restlessness-and-worry, and sustained mental application with doubt. (On this correlation cf* also Buddhadasa 1976: pn2; and Upali Karunaratne 1996: p.51.) The point that Vism is trying to make here could be, in the case of the first four correlations, that uni­ fication of the mind through concentration is opposed to the mental diversification caused by sensual desire, that the mental bliss and physical ease caused by the arising of joy is incompatible with the mental rigidity and physical tension of aversion, that the dear grasp of the object through initial mental application counteracts the unclarity and mental fogginess of sloth-and-torpor, and that the mental contentment and physical tranquillity engendered by happiness does not leave scope for restless­ ness or worry to arise (cf. Vism-mht I 165). As for the fifth hindrance, if doubt (vicikiccha) is understood more broadly, implying not only doubt but a generally dis­ tracted state of mind (cf. T.W. Rhys Davids 1993: p.615, where the corresponding verb vicikicchati is related to being distracted in thought), this would then find its counter­ balance in the mental stability and undistractedness produced by sustained mental application. On the other hand, it should be pointed out that in the discourses a list­ ing of the hindrances and the individual jhdna factors together occurs only atM 1294, This passage does not directly relate each hindrance to an individual jhana factor, but merely enumerates both, and that in a sequence not corresponding to the commentarial correlation. This passage is moreover absent from the Chinese version of this discourse (cf. Minh Chau 1991: p. 100, and Stuart-Fox 1989: p.90), which other­ wise corresponds to the Pali version. For a critical discussion of the jhana factor analy­ sis cf, also Rahula 1962: p.192. 23 This is especially the case for sloth-and-torpor versus energy; restlessness-and-worry versus tranquillity; and doubt versus investigation-of-rf/wwimas (e.g. at S V 104), In nu­ merous instances throughout the Bojjhanga Samyutta (S V 63-140) the awakening fac­ tors and the hindrances are presented as diametrically opposed mental qualities. Cf. also page 239. 24 A V 195* D II83; D III 101; and S V 161 stipulate the same conditions for becoming a Buddha.

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the effect of each hindrance through the im age of a bow l filled w ith w ater and used as a mirror in order to look at the reflection of one's face. A ccording to these similes, the effect of sensual desire is similar to w ater m ixed with dye; aversion resembles w ater heated to the boil; sloth-and-torpor is com pared to w ater overgrow n w ith algae; restlessness-and-worry affect the m ind like w ater stirred b y wind; and doubt is like dark and m u d d y w ater/5In all five cases, one is un­ able to see one's reflection properly in the w ater. These similes v iv ­ idly illustrate the individual character of each hindrance: sensual desire colours one's perception; because of aversion one gets heated; sloth-and-torpor result in stagnation; through restlessness-and-w orry one is tossed about; and doubt obscures.2 6 The other set of similes illustrates the absence of the hindrances. A ccording to this set, to be free from sensual desire is like being re­ lieved from a debt; to be free from aversion is like recovering from physical illness; to be unobstructed b y sloth-and-torpor is akin to b e­ ing released from prison; to be free from the agitation of restless­ ness-and-w orry is like being liberated from slavery; and to overcom e doubt resembles crossing a dangerous desert safely*2 7This second set o f similes provides additional illustrations of the h in ­ drances: sensual desire agitating the mind is comparable to being h eavily in debt; the tension created through aversion is quite liter­ ally a dis-ease; sloth-and-torpor dulls and im prisons the mind; rest­ lessness-and-worry can control the mind to such an extent that one is com pletely at its mercy; and doubt leaves one in a state of insecu­ rity, not kn o w in g w hich w a y to turn* Since the first set of similes illustrates the presence of the hin­ drances (in terms of their debilitating effect), w hile the second de­ scribes the relief of being free of them, these tw o sets correspond to the tw o alternatives for contem plating the hindrances: awareness of their presence or of their absence.

25 S V 121 and A III 230. 26 Cf. also Rryba 1989: p.202, who suggests the following correlations: sensual desire dis­ torts perception and fragments awareness, aversion creates divisions and cramps the mind, sloth-and-torpor befogs awareness, restlessness-and-worry consumes the mind with no sense of direction, doubt creates irresolute vacillation,
27 D I 71 and M 1 275.

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IX*3 T H E I M P O R T A N C E O F R E C O G N I Z I N G T H E H I N D R A N C E S

A ccordin g to the discourses, if a hindrance is present and one does not reco gn ize it, one is "m is-m editating", a form of practice the B uddha did not ap p rove of * But if one does recogn ize the presen ce of a h in d ran ce and contem plates it as a satipatthana m editation, o n e's practice w ill lead to purification of the m in d.2 * A passage in the Afiguttara Nikaya dem onstrates the im portance of clearly reco gn izin g m ental defilem ents for wh a t th ey are. This dis­ course reports the m onk A n u ru d d h a com p lainin g to his friend Saripufcta th at despite concentrative attainm ents, unshaken en ergy, and w ell-established m indfulness, he w as unable to break th rough to full realization.5 0In rep ly, Sariputta pointed out that A n u ru d d h a 's boasting of concentration attainm ents w as n oth in g but a m an ifesta­ tion of conceit, his u n sh aken en ergy w as sim p ly restlessness, and his concern about not y e t h a v in g a w akened w as just w orry. H elped b y his friend to reco gn ize these as hindrances, A n u ru d d h a w as soon able to overcom e them and ach ieve realization. This tech nique of sim ple recognition constitutes an in gen ious w a y of tu rn in g obstacles to m editation into m editation objects.3 1 Prac­ tised in this w ay , bare aw areness o f a h indrance becom es a m iddle path b etw een suppression and indulgence.*2 Several discourses b eau tifu lly illustrate the p o w erfu l effect o f this sim ple act of reco gn i­ tion by describing h o w the tem pter M ara, w h o often acts as a p er­ sonification of the five hindrances, loses his p ow ers as soon as h e is recognized*” The in g en u ity o f this ap proach o f bare recognition can be illus­ trated b y considering the case of anger from a m edical perspective. The arising o f anger leads to an increase in the release of adrenaline, and such an increase in adrenaline w ill in turn further stim ulate the anger.3 4T h e presence of non-reactive sati puts a brake on this vicious

28 29 30 31 32

M ill 14. A 1 272. A 1 282, Gunaratana 1996: p.44; and Naijaponika 1986b: p2i. This Function of satipatflmm as a middle path between sense indulgence and selfmortification \s mentioned at A 1 295. 33 Several of these episodes can be found in the Mara and Bhikkhum Samyuttas, S I 103-35; c*the injunction at Sn 967 to recognize mental defilements as manifesta­ tions of M&ra, the "dark one"* Goldstein 1994: p.$5, illustratively speaks of "wagging the finger at Mara*\ Cf, also Marasinghe 1974: p-197. 34 Lily de Silva (n*d<);

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cycle.” By sim ply rem aining receptively aware of a state of anger, neither the physical reaction nor the m ental proliferation is given scope. If, on the other hand, one abandons the balanced state of aw areness and resents or condem ns the arisen anger, the act of con­ dem nation becomes just another m anifestation of aversion.3 6 The vicious cycle of anger continues, albeit w ith a different object. O nce the hindrances are at least tem porarily rem oved/7 the alter­ native aspect of contem plating the hindrances becom es relevant: awareness of their absence. In several expositions of the gradual path, such absence of the hindrances forms the starting p oint for a causal sequence that leads via delight, jo y, tranquillity, and happi­ ness (pamojja, piti , passaddhi, and sitkha) to concentration and the attainm ent o f absorption. The instruction in this context is "to con­ tem plate the disappearance o f the five hindrances w ithin oneself",3 8 This suggests a positive act of recognizing and even rejoicing in the absence o f the hindrances, w hich then paves the w ay for deep con­ centration, Such a conscious act of reco gn izing and rejoicing in the absence of the hindrances is vivid ly illustrated in the second set of similes m entioned above, w hich com pare this state of mental free­ dom to freedom from debt, disease, im prisonm ent, slavery, and danger. Several discourses refer to such a tranquil state of m ind, tem po­ rarily unaffected by any hindrance or mental defilem ent, as "lum i­ nous",3 9 According to a passage in the Anguttara Nikaya, to come to know this lum inous nature of the m ind is in fact an im portant re­ quirem ent for the developm ent of the m ind (cittabhavana

35 A study with the help of Rorschach testing corroborates this, where Brown 1986b: p/189, comes to the conclusion that advanced meditators are not without the experi­ ence of conflict but are remarkably non-defensive in experiencing such conflicts. This observation points to their ability to maintain non-reactive and equanimous awareness. 36 Goldstein 1985: p.57: "often there is a tendency to condemn the hindrances when they arise. The condemning mind is itself the factor of aversion." 37 Complete eradication of ail five hindrances takes place only with full awakening (cf, S V 327). In fact, when commenting on this part of the SaUpaftham Sutta, Ps 1 282 corre­ lates the "future non-arising" of each hindrance with corresponding levels of realiza­ tion, these being in most cases non-returning or arahantship. 38 e.g. at D 173, The use of the Pali verb sam-anupassati in this instruction indicates that a form of contemplation (anupassam) is intended here. 39 S V 92; A 1 10; A 1257; and A III 16. These passages relate the luminosity of the mind to the development of a concentrated state of mind that is free from defilements and

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IX.4 CONDITIONS FOR PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF A HINDRANCE

A fter the first sta ge o f re co g n iz in g the p resen ce o r ab sen ce o f a h in ­ d ran ce, th e second stage o f th e sam e co n tem p la tio n follow s: a w a re ­ ness o f th e con d itio n s th at h a v e le d to th e arisin g o f a h in d ran ce, th at assist in re m o v in g an arisen h in d ra n ce, a n d that p re v e n t fu tu re a risin g o f a h in d ran ce (see Fig. 9.2 b elo w ). T he task o f sati d u r in g this second stage fo llo w s a p ro g re ssiv e p attern , p ro ce e d in g from d ia g ­ nosis, via cure, to p reven tio n .
k n o w in g th e presence or absence of ______ if arising_________ sensual desire

(kamacchandu)

k n o w in g the conditions that lead to arising

aversion (byapada)
if present sloth + torpor (thiwmiddha) restlessness + w o rry (uddhaccakukkucca) if rem oved d ou bt (PEcrJczcrira) stage 1 k n o w in g the conditions that preven t fu tu re arising k n o w in g the conditions that lead to rem oval

stage 2

Fig. 9*2

T w o stages in the contem plation of the five hindrances

ready for realization. Cf. also D III 223, where a form of concentration leads to a mind full of "radiance'' (sappabhdsa); M HI 243, where "luminous" is related to a high level of equanimity; and S V 283, where even the Buddha's body is said to be "luminous" as a result of concentration. Upali Karunaratne 1999c: p.219, explains: "what is meant by lustrous and pure mind (pabhnssara) is not a state of mind which is absolutely pure, nor the pure mind which is synonymous with emancipation pure only in the sense, and to the extent, that it is not disturbed or influenced by external stimuli". 40 A 1 10. The commentaries Mp 1 60 and As 140 identify the luminous mind with the bhauanga (subconscious life-continuum). Here it could, however, be objected that the term bhavaftga in the context of the commentarial description of mental processes re­ fers to a subconscious moment that occurs between each conscious part of the mental process. (In fact, sleep is referred to as bkavangam otdreti at Ps-pt 1 364*) In contrast, the luminous state of mind at A 1 10 clearly refers to a conscious experience, since it is to be "known" (pajdndii). On bhavanga cf. the excellent exposition in Gethin 1994; also Harvey 1989: pp.94-8; and Sarachchandra 1994: P9°- The attempt by Wijesekera 1976: p.348, to establish a historically early existence of the term with the help of a pas­ sage from the Anguitara Nikaya and several occurrences in the Pafthana is not convinc­ ing, as A II79 in the p t s , the Burmese, and the Sinhalese editions invariably reads bhavagga (best of existences, which also fits the context much better) instead of bkavaftga, and occurrences in the Paffhdna could also be taken as betraying the com­ paratively late age of this part of the Abhidhamma; cf. also NSflatiloka 1988: p.246.

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By turning a hindrance into an object of meditation, the mere presence of awareness can often lead to dispelling the hindrance in question. Should bare awareness not suffice, more specific antidotes are required. In this case, sati has the task of supervising the mea­ sures undertaken for rem oving the hindrance, by providing a clear picture of the actual situation, without how ever getting involved it­ self and thereby losing its detached observational vantage point. Clearly recognizing the conditions for the arising of a particular hindrance not only forms the basis for its removal, but also leads to an appreciation of the general pattern of its arising. Such apprecia­ tion lays bare the levels o f conditioning and misperceptions that cause the arising of a hindrance, and thereby contributes to prevent­ ing its recurrence. Sustained observation will reveal the fact that frequently thinking or dw elling on a particular issue produces a corresponding mental inclination, and thus a tendency to get caught up in ever more thoughts and associations along the same lines.4 ' In the case of sen­ sual desire (kamacchanda), for example, it will become evident that its arising is due not only to outer objects, but also to an inclination to­ wards sensuality em bedded within one's ow n m ind/2This sensual tendency influences the w ay one perceives outer objects and thence leads to the full-blown arising of desire, and various attempts to sat­ isfy this desire.4 3 The particular dynamic of sensual desire is such that, every time a sensual desire is gratified, the act of gratification fuels ever stronger subsequent manifestations of the same desire.” With detached ob­ servation it will become apparent that gratification of sensual de­ sires is based on a misconception, on searching for pleasure in the wrong place.4 5 As the Buddha pointed out, the w ay to inner peace and composure necessarily depends on gaining independence from this vortex of desire and gratification.4 6 A passage in the Anguttara Nikaya offers an intriguing psychologi­ cal analysis of the underlying causes of sensual desire. According to this discourse, the search for satisfaction through a partner of the

41 MI 115.

42 SI 2 2 .
43 S I I 151. 44 M 1508, 45 M l 507. 46 M 1306.

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other g e n d e r is related to o n e 's identification w ith the characteris­ tics and b eh avio u r of o n e 's o w n g en d er/7 Th at is, to search for u n io n externally im p lies that one is still cau gh t u p in the lim itations of on e's o w n g e n d e r identity. T h is sh ow s that the affective in vestm en t in h eren t in id e n tify in g w ith o n e 's g en d er role an d b eh aviou r form s an im p ortant link in the arisin g of sensual desire* In contrast arahants, w h o h ave eradicated even the subtlest traces of id en tifica ­ tion, are u n able to en gage in sexual in tercou rse/8 Just as the arising o f sensual desire can be a n a ly sed in term s of its p sych o lo g ica l u n d erp in n in g s, so too the ab sen ce of sensual desire d ep en d s on an in telligen t m an agem en t o f the sam e p sych o lo g ica l m echanism s. O n ce one has at least tem porarily escap ed from the v i­ cious circle o f continu ous d em a n d s for satisfaction, it becom es p o s­ sible to d e v e lo p some form of coun terbalan ce in o n e's p ercep tu al appraisal/9 If excessively d w e llin g on aspects o f external b ea u ty h as led to fre q u e n t states o f lust, co n tem p lation directed tow ard s the less a p p e a lin g aspects of the b o d y can lead to a p rogressive decrease in such states o f m ind. E xam ples fo r such cou n terb alan cin g can be fou n d a m on g th e satipapfhana m ed itatio n practices, in particular th e con tem p lation s o f the anatom ical constitution o f the b o d y and o f a d eca yin g corpse. In addition to these, restraint o f the senses, m oderation w ith fo o d , w ak efu ln ess, an d aw areness o f the im p erm an en t nature of all m en ­ tal even ts are h elp fu l m easures in order to p re v en t the arising o f sensual desire.5 0 Sim ilar ap proaches are ap p ro p riate for the o th er h indrances, in each case en ta ilin g the establish m ent o f som e form of co u n ter­ balance to th e conditions that ten d to stim ulate the arising o f the h indrance. In the case o f a versio n (byapada), often the irritatin g or rep u lsive featu re of p h en o m en a has received u n d u e attention. A
47 AIV 57; on this passage cf. Lily de Silva 1978: p.126. 48 e.g. at D III 133, The eradication of sensual desire has already taken place at the level of non-returning. 49 Th 1224-5 explains that a distorted cognition of sensuality can be counterbalanced by avoiding sensually alluring objects, by directing attention to the unattractive aspects of the body, by mindfulness of the body (in general), and by developing disenchantment 50 A IV 166* At S I V 110 monks are encouraged to look on women as if they are their own mother, sister, or daughter. The same discourse (at S IV 112) documents the particular importance of sense-restraint since out of the various methods mentioned for coun­ tering sensual desire, sense-restraint turned out to be the only a cce p ta b le explanation for the ability of even young monks to live in celibacy.

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direct antidote to such one-sided perception is to ignore the nega­ tive qualities of w h o ever is causing one's irritation, and to pay atten­ tion instead to w hatever positive qualities can be found in him or her.5 1 By no longer paying attention to the matter, or b y reflecting on the inevitability of karm ic retribution, it becom es possible to de­ velop eq u an im ity* An im portant rem edy for a tendency to anger and aversion is the developm ent of loving kindness (m etta )* According to the dis­ courses, developing loving kindness helps to establish harm onious relations not only tow ards other hum an beings, but also towards non-hum an beings.'4In the present context, the concept of "non-human beings" can also be understood in a psychological w ay , as rep­ resenting subjective psychological disorders.” The developm ent of lo vin g kindness indeed counteracts pathological feelings of alien­ ation and low self-esteem , and thereby provides an im portant foun­ dation for successful insight meditation. L o vin g kindness not only provides the proper preparatory ground for the practice o f insight m editation, but it can also directly contribute to realizatio n / According to the Buddha, the distinctive
51 A III 186. 52 These come ai A III 185 as part of altogether five antidotes: developing loving kind­ ness, compassion, equanimity, inattention, and reflecting on karma, 53 M 1 424. According to Fenner 1987: p.226, the divine abodes {bmkmaviharas) are based on accurate cognitions and thus counter errant cognitions leading to unwholesome mental qualities. An inspiring description of Loving kindness can be found in Naijapoipka 1993: pp.g-]2. 54 S II264. 55 In fact, at SII265, non-human beings are apparently set on creating psychological dis­ orders, which can be prevented by developing loving kindness. Katz 1989: p.i6i, sug­ gests: "one possible interpretation of ''non-human beings' could be those psychological functions which endanger spiritual growth". 56 M I 352 describes in detail how to combine loving kindness with insight: on emer­ gence from an absorption developed through loving kindness, one develops insight into the impermanent and conditioned nature of this attainment. M 1 38 and A 1 196 describe the transition from loving kindness to insight with the reflection: "there is this, there is what is inferior, there is what is superior, and there is a complete escape from this entire field of cognition”. (Ps 1176 and Mp II306 explain the last to be a refer­ ence to Nibbana.) Cf. also A IV 150 and It 21, who point out that the development of loving kindness helps to weaken the fetters. According to Aronson 1986: "the meditation on love is the soil within which concentration and ... insight are culti­ vated". Meier 1978: p-213, suggests that both vipassam and loving kindness meditation have a similar aim, namely, to weaken the sense of "I", so that their different approaches (vipassam by way of analytical dissection, ioving kindness by way of expansion) can be considered complementary (though it should be kept in mind that loving kindness on its own will not be able compietely to remove all attachment to a seme of "p).

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character o f lo v in g k in d n ess m ed itatio n as ta u g h t b y him lies in com b in in g it w ith the a w a k e n in g factors, in this w a y d irectly h ar­ nessin g lo v in g kin d n ess to th e progress to w a rd s realization .5 7 Sev­ eral disco u rses relate th e p ractice o f lo v in g k in d n ess in p articular to p rogress from the stage o f stream -en try to th at o f non -re tu rn in g .5 6 Clearly/ th e a d v a n ta g e s o f d e v e lo p in g lo v in g kin d n ess are n o t c o n ­ fin ed to its fu n ctio n as an an tid o te to a n g er a n d irritation.

57

At S V 119 the Buddha pointed out that thi6 combination formed the distinguishing feature between the Buddhist approach and the way loving kindness was practised by contemporary ascetics. When considering the Buddha's way of teaching loving kindness meditation it might also be of relevance to point out that what he originally taught was an unspecified pervasion of all directions with an attitude of loving kind­ ness (cf* e.g. M 1 38). D 1 251, M II207, and SIV 322 make the spatially pervasive charac­ ter of radiating loving kindness all the more evident by comparing it to a vigorous trumpeter making himself heard in all four directions. Although such pervasion often indicates absorption, this is not invariably the case, since according toM 1 129 this per­ vasion is to be undertaken when being verbally insulted or even physically mal­ treated, a situation hardly conducive to entering absorption. Or else at M I I 195 a Brahmin on his deathbed, suffering from agonizing headaches, severe stomach cramps, and high fever, soon after being instructed to practise this pervasion, passed away and was T e b o m in the Brahma world. This circumstance suggests that he must have been able to put the instructions to good use, even though his physical condi­ tion would have made it impossible for him to develop absorption. It is only with the commentaries, possibly because they associated the pervasion exclusively with absorption (cf. Vism 308), that meditation on loving kindness becomes an exercise in conceptual imagination, directed towards oneself, a friend, a neutral person, and an enemy in turn (cf. Vism 296). This method of practice is not found anywhere in the discourses. 58 S V 131 and A V 300. (This is in both instances repeated for the other three brahmaviharas.) Similarly, Sn 143 describes the practice of loving kindness based on "having experienced that state of peace", with the result that the practitioner will not be born again in a womb (Sn 152). This suggests that the practice of loving kindness can lead one who has experienced the "state of peace", i.e. one who i6 a stream-enterer, to tran­ scending rebirth in a womb, Le. to non-returning> This way of understanding is sup­ ported by the commentary, Pj II 193, which explains "state of peace" to refer to Nibbatta. This explanation is also confirmed by Dhp 368, where loving kindness is again related to "state of peace", the connotation of which is further clarified by the expression "calming of formations". However, Jayawickrama 1948: vol.*, pyS, argues against taking "state of peace" to refer to a realization of Nibbana. The Sanskrit frag­ ments from the Turfan discoveries also mention the realization of non-returning as one of the advantages of developing loving kindness (in Schlingloff 1964: p.133). The reason loving kindness is linked to progress from stream-entry to non-returning could be related to the two fetters that are to be removed at this stage: sensual desire and aversion* Loving kindness, especially if developed up to absorption level, can act as an antidote to both, since the intense mental happiness experienced during deep concentration counteracts the search for pleasure through the e x te r n a l senses, while loving kindness, by its very nature, counters a v e rsio n *

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Returning to the remaining hindrances, an antidote to sloth (tklna) and torpor (middha) is to develop "clarity of cognition" (alokasanfia)?9 In the discourses and the Vibhaiiga, "clarity of cognition"' seems to refer to the development of mental clarity* The commentaries take the expression more literally and suggest the use of real light, either from an external source, or else light as an internal mental im age* Such "clarity of cognition" takes place with the aid of mindfulness and clearly knowing (sampajana), which brings into play two essen­ tial qualities of satipatthana as a remedy against sloth-and-torpor. This points back to the fact that satipatthana itself can at times suffice for countering a hindrance. The same is also the case in regard to sensual desire, where contemplation of the anatomical parts or a corpse can act as an antidote. Nevertheless, it needs to be kept in mind that the emphasis in the Satipaffham Sutta is not on actively opposing a hindrance,, but on clearly recognizing a hindrance to­ gether with the conditions related to its presence or absence. More active measures are the domain of right effort, another factor of the noble eightfold path. The arising of sloth-and-torpor can be caused by discontent, bore­ dom, laziness, drowsiness caused by overeating, and by a depressed state of mind.6 *An effective antidote for these can then be found in a sustained application of energy.6 3The Afiguttara Nikaya dedicates an entire discourse to discussing the hindrance torpor, offering a vari­ ety of remedies. Initially, presumably while still maintaining the for­ mal meditation posture, one can attempt to counter torpor by changing one's meditation subject, or else by reflecting on or recit­ ing passages from the Buddha's teachings. Should this not work, one can pull one's ears, massage the body, get up, sprinkle one's eyes with water and look up at the sky. If torpor still persists, walk­ ing meditation should be practised.6 4 In the opposite case, when restlessness (uddhacca) and worry (kukkucca) have arisen, factors leading to an increase of mental calm­ ness and stability should be developed. Here, mindfulness of
59 e.g. at D 1 71. 60 A I V 86 relates "clarity o f cognition" to d evelopin g a radiant mind. V ib h 254 explains that "clarity o f cognition" refers to b righ t d ea r, and pu re cognitions, w h ich Vibh-a 369 explains as cognitions free from the hindrances. 61 Ps 1 284 an d Ps-pt 1 375, 62 S V 64; S V 103; and A 1 3. 63 S V 105. 64 A I V 85.

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breathing stands out as a particularly effective m ethod for calm ing the thinking activity of the mind.6 * In addition, any of the other sub­ jects of calmness m editation are appropriate in this situation, to­ gether w ith im proving the general degree of mental calmness and com posure during one's activities.6 * According to the discourses, restlessness-and-worry can some­ times arise because of excessive energetic striving.6 7 Here a less pushy attitude towards one's practice can help to rem edy the situa­ tion. In relation to restlessness in particular, it is m oreover advisable to avoid any provocative talk, since such talk easily leads to pro­ longed discussions and thereby causes the arising of restlessness.6 8 The arising o f w orry is often related to guilt, such as w hen one has done an unw holesom e deed and feels regret about it.6 9 Thus m ain­ taining an im peccable level o f ethical conduct goes a long w ay in preventing the arising of this hindrance. The discourses also relate a m onk's experience of "w orry" to lack of clarity concerning the Dhanma, and describe how this w as then countered by an instruc­ tion or explanation given b y the Buddha,7* In the case o f the last of the five hindrances, a clear distinction be­ tw een w hat is w holesom e or skilful and w hat is unw holesom e or unskilful serves to counter the obstruction caused by doubt (aicikicchd).7 1This obstruction is of considerable importance, since w ith ­ out clearly kn ow in g w hat is w holesom e and w h at is unw holesom e one will be unable to overcom e lust, anger, and delusion/2The hin­ drance o f doubt plays a role not only in relation to the developm ent

65 A III 449; A I V 353; A IV 358; U d 37; a n d It 80. 66 D 1 71; S V 105; an d A III 449. 67 A 1 256 a n d A III 375, 68 A I V 87. 69 C f. e*g, V in III 19, w h e r e the m o n k S u d in n a exp e rie n ced w o r r y d u e to h a v in g e n ­ g a g e d in sexual in tercou rse. 70 e,g. at S I V 46 the B u d d h a, v isitin g a sic k m on k , en q u ired w h e th e r th at m o n k h ad arty w orries. H is q u estio n w a s in th e first in stan ce related to "g u ilt", b u t o n ce the sick m o n k in q u estion rep orted that h e h ad n o th in g to reproach h im se lf for, the q u estion w a s re p e a ted a n d led to som e clarification or specific in stru ction co n ce rn in g the Dhamma. A n o th e r n u a n c e o f " w o r ry '' can b e fo u n d at A 1 282, w h e r e it in d icates exces­ sive w o rry abou t realization . C f. fu rth erm o re A I I 157, w h ic h also relates "restlessn ess" to the Dhamma. 71 D III 49. Such d o u b t can o c c u r "in te rn a lly ", in relation to o n eself, or "ex tern ally", in relation to o th ers (cf. S V 110). 72 A V 147. C f . a lso D I I 283, w h e r e a d eta ile d exp osition o f w h o le so m e n e ss an d u n w h o le ­ som eness from d iffe re n t p e rsp e ctive s e n ab le d Sakka to fu lly o v erco m e d o u b t a n d realize stream -entry.

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199

o f insight, but also in the context of calm ness meditation* This can be inferred from the Upakkilesa Sutta, a discourse concerned m ainly w ith the d evelo p m en t of concentration, w h ere doubt heads a list of m ental obstructions to the attainm ent o f absorption/3 The ability to distinguish betw een w ho lesom en ess and u n w h o le ­ som eness need ed for overco m in g doubt can b e d evelop ed w ith the help of the a w ak en in g factor investigation -of ’•dhammas {dhammavicaya).7 4This indicates that from a B uddhist p ersp ective the task of overcom in g doubt is not a question of b elief or faith* Rather, over­ com ing doubt takes place th rough a process of investigation, w h ich leads to clarity and understanding. O verco m in g these fiv e hindrances is a m atter of crucial im p or­ tance for all types of m editative practices. For this purpose, the com ­ m entaries list a set of factors h elp ful for overcom in g or inhibiting each hindrance, a survey of w hich can be fo u n d in Fig. 9.3 overleaf. W ith increasing m editative p roficiency it w ill becom e possible to dispel an y hindrance as soon as it is reco gn ized , as quickly as a drop of w ater evaporates w h e n it falls on a h ot fryin g p an /5T h e centrally im portant factor for rem o vin g a hindrance, w h eth er slo w ly or quickly, is sati, since w ith o u t aw areness of the presence or arising of a hindrance, little can be don e in term s of p reven tion or rem oval. This task of m in dful reco gn ition is the central them e of contem pla­ tion o f the hindrances.

73 M III 158, where doubt is mentioned as the first of a particular set of mental obstruc­ tions not encountered as such elsewhere in the discourses, and which are specifically related to the development of concentration. It is particularly noticeable that the hin­ drances of sensual desire and aversion are not mentioned, suggesting that these have been overcome before the stage of practice in question. The mental obstructions listed are doubt, inattention, sloth-and-torpor, consternation, elation, unease, excessive en­ ergy, deficient energy, longing, cognition of diversity, and excessive meditation on forms. Their successful removal then leads to the attainment of absorption. 74 This is suggested by the fact that the nutriment for investigati0n-of-dhnmmas is pre­ sented in exactly the same terms as the "anti"-nutriment of doubt, cf, S V 104 and S V 106. 75 This simile occurs at M 1 453 in relation to dispelling attachment at M T IT300 in rela­ tion to dispelling likes and dislikes that have arisen in the mind; and at S IV 190 in rela­ tion to dispelling unwholesome thoughts and memories.

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sensual desire

general acquaintance with and formal meditation on the body's unattractiveness guarding the senses moderation in food good friends and suitable conversation general acquaintance with and formal meditation on loving kindness reflecting on the karmic consequences of one's deeds repeated wise consideration good friends and suitable conversation lessening food intake changing meditation postures mental clarity/ cognition of light staying outdoors good friends and suitable conversation good knowledge of the discourses clarification of the discourses through questioning being well versed In ethical conduct visiting experienced elders good friends and suitable conversation good knowledge of the discourses clarification of the discourses through questioning being well versed in ethical conduct strong commitment good friends and suitable conversation

aversion

sloth + torpor

restlessness + worry

doubt

Fig* 9*3

Commentarial survey of factors for overcoming or inhibiting the hindrances7 6

76 P s 1 2 61-6.

X

D H A M M A S : TH E A G G R E G A T E S

X .I THE FIVE A G GR E G AT E S

T h e p re se n t satipatthana exercise exam in es the five a g g re g a te s w h ic h co n stitu te th e b a sic co m p o n e n ts that m ak e up "o n ese lf". T h e in stru ctio n s are:
H e k n o w s "such is m aterial form, such its arising, such its p assin g aw ay; such is feelin g; such its arising, such its p assin g aw ay; such is cognition , such its arising, such its p assin g aw ay; such are vo litio n s, such their arising, such their p assin g aw ay; such is consciousness, such its arisin g, such its p assin g a w a y /'1

U n d e rly in g the a b o ve in stru ctio n s are tw o sta ges o f con tem p lation : clear reco g n itio n o f th e n atu re o f each a g g re g a te , fo llo w e d in each case b y a w a re n e ss o f its arisin g and p a ssin g a w a y (cf* Fig. to,i b e ­ low ). I w ill first attem p t to cla rify th e ran ge o f each a gg reg a te. T h en I w ill exam ine th e B u d d h a 's tea ch in g o f anatta w ith in its historical con text, in o rd er to in v e stig a te th e w a y in w h ic h th e schem e o f the fiv e a g g re g a te s can be u se d as an an alysis o f su b jectiv e exp erien ce. A fter that I w ill co n sid er the seco n d sta ge o f practice, w h ic h is c o n ­ c ern ed w ith th e im p erm a n en t a n d c o n d itio n e d n atu re o f th e aggregates*

a MI61.

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analysis into
f

material form (rupa)

feeling (vedaw)
cognition volitions (sankhara )
co n s c io u s n e s s (vifinana )

k n o w in g the im perm anent nature of each aggregate

Fig. io.i

Tw o stages in the contemplation of the five aggregates

C lea rly re co g n izin g and u n d ersta n d in g the five a ggregates is of con siderab le im portance, since w ith o u t fu lly u n d e rsta n d in g them an d d e v e lo p in g detach m en t from them , it jvill n ot be possible to gain co m p lete freedom from dukkha.2 In d eed , d etach m en t and dispassion re g a rd in g these five aspects of su b jective p erson ality leads directly to realization .3 T h e discourses, an d the verses co m ­ p osed b y a w a k e n e d m onks and nuns, record n u m erou s cases w h e re a p en etra tive u n d e rsta n d in g o f the true natu re o f the five a g g re­ gates culm in ated in full aw akening*4 T h ese instances h ig h lig h t the o u tstan d in g potential o f this p articular satipatthana contem plation. These fiv e a gg regates are o ften referred to in the discourses as the "fiv e a g g re g a te s of clin gin g" (pancupaddnakkhandha).5 In this context

2

S III 27.

3 A V 52. Cf. also S III 19-25, where several discourses relate an understanding of the aggregates to full realization, 4 At M III 20, a detailed exposition on the aggregates led sixty monks to full realization. At S III 68, the Buddha's first five disciples became arahants after an exposition of anattQr again by way of the five aggregates. Cf. alsoTh 87; Th 90; Th 120; Th 161; Th 369; and Th 440; each relating full awakening to insight into the five aggregates, 5 e.g. at D II305* The expression "five aggregates" seems to have been easily intelligible in ancient India, since it occurs in the Buddha's first discourse, at S V 421, apparently without any need for elaboration or explanation. Similarly, at M 1 228, the five aggre­ gates form part of a description of the Buddha's teaching to the disputer Saccaka (who was presumably unfamiliar with Buddhism, but appears to have readily under­ stood what was being said). This suggests that the five- aggregate scheme might have already been in existence at the time of Gotama Buddha. Since the discourses also in­ clude contemplation of the five aggregates in their description of the awakening of the ancient Buddha Vipasst (at D I I 35), it seems that from their perspective, too, the scheme of the five aggregates was known before the advent of Gotama Buddha. Stcherbatsky 1994: p.71, mentions parallels to the aggregates in the Brahmanas and Upanisads; and according to Warder 1956: p.49 n.2, the aggregates were a known con­ cept among the Jains and possibly also among the Ajivikas,

DHAMMAS: T H E A G G R E G A T E S

/ 20 3

"aggregate" (khandha) is an umbrella term for all possible instances of each category, w hether past, present, or future, internal or exter­ nal, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, near or far/ The qualifica­ tion "clinging" (upadana) refers to desire and attachm ent in regard to these aggregates.7 Such desire and attachm ent in relation to the aggregates is the root cause for the arising of dukkha* The sequence of these five aggregates leads from the gross p h ysi­ cal b o d y to increasingly subtle m ental aspects.9 The first of the aggregates, material form (rupa), is usually defined in the discourses in terms of the four elem entary qualities o f matter/5 A discourse in the Khandha Samyutta explains that material form (rupa) refers to w hatever is affected (ruppati) by external conditions such as cold and heat, hunger and thirst, m osquitoes and snakes, em phasizing

6 e.g. at M III 16. On the term "aggregate" cf. also Boisvert 1997: p.16; Upali Karunaratne 1999b: p.194; and Nanamoli 1978: p.329. C.A.F. Rhys Davids 1937: p.410, suggests that the reason it should be five aggregates in particular could be related to the fact that the number five represents a comprehensive unit in ancient Indian thought, some­ thing which in turn is derived from the number of fingers on the human hand. The range of applicability of the five-aggregate scheme is documented at M I 435, which applies the five-aggregate structure to the experience of jhana. CL also M 1 390, which analyses the sense^spheres with the help of the five-aggregate scheme, Khanti 1984: p>49, applies the five aggregates to mindfulness of breathing, by distinguishing be­ tween breath, sensation of breathing, noting in/oat-breath, effort to breathe, and knowing the breath, 7 M I300; M III 16; S III47; and S III 167.Cf, also Ayya Khema 1984: p.8; and Bodhi 1976: p.92, 8 As an abridged statement of the first noble truth, e.g. at D II305: "in short, the five ag­ gregates of clinging are dukkha", Similarly, S III 7 points out that lust and desire in re­ gard to the five aggregates leads to dukkha; and S III 31 explains that to delight in the five aggregates is to delight in dukkha. Cf, also Gethin 1986: p.41, 9 Stcherbatsky 1994: p.23. 10 e.g. at M III 17. Such definitions in the discourses also speak frequently of the material form "derived" (upaddya) from the four elements (e.g. at M 153). Judging from M 1 421, this expression might simply refer to those bodily parts or processes that are predomi­ nantly "derived" (upadirtria) from the respective element, such as the harder bodily parts like hair and bones in the case of the element earth, the liquid bodily parts like blood and urine in the case of the element water, the process of digestion in the case of the element fire, and the breath in the case of the element air. According to the Abhidhamma and the commentaries, however, "derived" material form refers to twenty-three or twenty-four types of secondary matter, in addition to the four ele­ ments (twenty-three types at Dhs 134; twenty-four at Vism 444 by adding the heartbase). A detailed survey of these can be found in Bodhi 1993: pp.235-42; and Karunadasa 1989: pp.31-116. According to Kor 1993: p.6, from the viewpoint of practi­ cal meditation an understanding of the four elements as exemplifying basic charac­ teristics of matter suffices for the development of insight. Cf. al&o Nanavira 1987: p.102:, who warns against analysis carried out for its own sake.

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the su b je ctiv e e x p e rie n ce o f rupa as a cen tral a sp ect o f this a g g re g a te / 1 N e x t in th e se q u e n ce o f th e a g g re g a te s co m e fe e lin g (vedana) a n d co g n itio n (sanna), w h ic h re p re se n t th e a ffe c tiv e a n d the c o g n itiv e asp ects o f e x p e rie n ce .11 In th e co n te x t o f th e p ro cess o f p e rce p tio n , c o g n itio n (sanna) is clo se ly related to th e a risin g o f fe e lin g , b o th d e ­ p e n d in g o n stim u latio n th ro u g h th e six sen ses b y w a y o f co n ta ct (phassa) ' 3T h e stan d ard p re se n ta tio n s in th e d isco u rses relate fe e lin g to th e sen se o rga n , b u t c o g n itio n to th e re s p e c tiv e sen se ob ject/4T h is in d icates th a t fe e lin g s are p r e d o m in a n tly re la te d to the su b jectiv e re p e rc u ssio n s o f an e x p e rie n ce , w h ile co g n itio n s are m ore c o n ­ c e rn e d w it h th e featu res o f th e re sp e c tiv e e x tern a l object. T h a t is, fe e lin g s p r o v id e th e "h o w " a n d c o g n itio n s the " w h a t" o f ex p erien ce. To sp e a k o f a "c o g n itio n " o f an o b je ct refers to th e act o f id e n tify ­ in g r a w s e n s o r y data w ith th e h e lp o f c o n cep ts or lab els, su ch as w h e n o n e sees a co lo u re d o b ject a n d "re -c o g n iz e s" it as y e llo w , re d , or w h ite , etc.15C o g n itio n to som e e x te n t in v o lv e s th e fa c u lty o f m em ­ o ry , w h ic h fu rn ish e s th e c o n c e p tu a l lab els u sed for re co g n itio n .1 6 T h e fo u rth a g g re g a te co m p rises v o litio n s (sankhard), re p re s e n tin g th e c o n a tiv e a sp e ct o f th e m in d / 7T h e se v o litio n s or in ten tio n s co rre­

11 S III 86. Strictly speaking, ruppati and rupa are not etymologically related. Neverthe­ le ss, this p a s s a g e offers an illu s tr a tiv e explanation of the term. Kalupahana 1992: p.17, comments: "rupa « the definition of it provided by the Buddha makes it a function rather than an entity". Sarachchandra 1994: p.103, explains; "rupa is not interpreted as mere matter, but as organic sensations" (i.e. as a subjective factor). 12 Padmasiri de Silva 1991: p.17; and W.S. Karunaratne 1988a: p.96. 13 M I 111: "with contact as condition there is feeling, what one feels, that one cognizes". M 1293 clarifies that feeling and cognition occur as a conjoined pair. M ill 17 points out that contact is the condition for the manifestation of the aggregates of feeling and cognition, 14 The standard descriptions (e,g, at D I I 309) speak of "eye-contact feeling" and of "cog­ nition of visible form" (the same applies to the other senses); cf. Hamilton 1996: p.15. 15 S HI 87, Cf. also Boisvert 1997: p.89; Hamilton 1996: pp.54, 57-9; Harvey 1995: p.141 (whose suggested translation of sanna as "cognition" I have followed); Premasiri 1987a: pp.53-5; and CA,F, Rhys Davids 1922: p,6 n.4. Cf. also Gruber 1999: p.192, who suggests that the prefix sarh- of sanna could be taken to refer to the gathering "together" of sense experiences under a conceptual label through the activity of cognition. 16 Cf. D 1 93, where "to cognize" (sanjanati) is used in the sense of "giving a name"; or M III 234 where "cognition" occurs for the various terms used to refer to a bowl. On the relation of cognition to memory cf. Nanapouika 3985: p-71. 17 e .g . M I 389 d is t in g u is h e d b e t w e e n a fflic t iv e a n d n o n -a ffK c tiv e v o lit io n s b y w a y o f b o d y , s p e e c h , a n d m in d . S III 60 a n d S III 63 e x p la in " v o lit io n s " t o c o m p r is e in t e n t io n s
r e la te d t o v is ib le fo r m , s o u n d , s m e ll, ta s te , t o u c h , a n d m e n t a l o b je cts, C f , a ls o P a d m a s ir i d e S ilv a 1992a: p i6 ; a n d S c h u m a n n 1957: p.90-

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spond to the reactive or purposive aspect of the mind, that which re­ acts to things or their potentiality.1 0The aggregate of volitions and intentions interacts w ith each of the aggregates and has a condition­ ing effect upon them.1 * In the subsequent developm ents of Buddhist philosophy, the meaning of this term expanded until it came to in­ clude a w ide range of mental factors.™ The fifth aggregate is consciousness (vinfiana). Although at times the discourses use "consciousness" to represent mind in general/1in the context of the aggregate classification it refers to being conscious of som ething “ This act of being conscious is most prominently re­ sponsible for providing a sense of subjective cohesiveness, for the notion of a substantial "I" behind experience.2 * Consciousness
18 Nanavtra 1987: pto, aptly brings cut the nature of "volition" by providing the follow­ ing example for the five aggregates: a solid (material foim) pleasant (feeling) shady tree (cognition) ''for lying under" (volition) visible to me (consciousness). 19 S IE 87; (cf. also Vibh 7). Bodhi 2000: p,i07i n.112, comments: "this passage shows the active role o f... volition in constructing experienced reality. Not only does volition in­ fluence the objective content of the experience, but it also shapes the psychophysical organism within which it has arisen and, via its role as kamma, shapes the future con­ figurations of the five aggregates to be produced by kamma " 2 D Cf. the long list of mental factors given under sankkara in Dhs (e*g> 17-18) each time a state of mind is presented; also at Vism 462-72. Cf. also Bodhi 2000: p.45; W ,S« Karunaratne 1988a: p.118; McGovern 1979: C.A,F. Rhys Davids 197& p.324; and Stcherbatsky 1994: p.20, 21 A typical instance is the expression "this body with consciousness" (savinmmke kiiye), e.g. at S III Bo, where "consciousness" stands for all four mental aggregates. Cf. also DI 21 and S II94, which use "consciousness" (vifmatta) on a par with the two Pali terms citta and mono, all three referring to "mind" in this context. Bodhi 2000: p.769 n.154, aptly darifies the implications of these three Pali terms in the discourses: "vinnana sig­ nifies the particularizing awareness through a sense faculty... as well as the underly­ ing stream of consciousness, which sustains personal continuity through a single life and threads together successive lives.... Mana serves as the third door of action (along with body and speech) and as the sixth internal sense base.... Citta signifies mind as the centre of personal experience, as the subject of thought, volition, and emotion." A detailed survey of differences in the usage of these three terms in the discourses can be found in Johansson 1965: p,2o8. 22 M I 292 explains that "feeling" just feels, whereas "consciousness" is conscious " o f such a feeling. S III 87 alternatively illustrates the activity of consciousness by it being conscious of various tastes, Cf. also Hamilton 1996: pp.54 and 92; Harvey 1995: p.154; Premasiri 1987a: p.57; Wayman 1976: p-33i; and Wijesekera 1994: pp.87,104, and in. Concerning the difference between cognition and consciousness, Nanamoli 1978: p.338 explains: "a hint of what is referred to may perhaps be got from the prefixes.,. the prefix vi- might be taken dissoriatively as the division and distribution of bare over the six bases, while the prefix sam- might be taken assodatively as the perception of synthesis of the objective fields into 'things' and percepts' in each of the six pairs of bases/'
23 C f. the w ro n g v ie w at M 1 258 that the sam e con sciousn ess feels, exp erien ces karm ic retribution, an d fares on in the ro u n d o f rebirths.

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d e p e n d s on th e vario u s fe a tu re s o f ex p e rien ce su p p lied b y nam ean d -fo rm (namarupa), ju st as n am e-an d -form in turn d e p e n d on con scio u sn ess as their p o in t o f referen ce.4 4 T h is con d ition al in te rre ­ latio n sh ip creates the w o rld o f ex p e rie n ce , w ith co n scio u sn ess b e in g a w are o f p h e n o m e n a th at are b e in g m o d ified a n d p resen ted to it b y w a y o f n am e-an d -fo rm ,2 5 T o p ro v id e a practical illu stratio n o f th e fiv e aggregates: d u rin g the p resen t act o f re ad in g , for exam p le, con sciou sn ess is a w a re of each w o rd th ro u g h the p h y sica l sense d o o r o f th e eye. C o g n itio n u n ­ d erstan d s th e m ean in g o f e a ch w o rd , w h ile fee lin g s are resp o n sib le for th e a ffe c tiv e m ood: w h e th e r o n e feels p o sitiv e , n e g a tiv e , or n e u ­ tral ab o u t th is p articular p ie ce o f inform ation. B ecau se o f v o litio n one eith er re ad s on, or stops to co n sid er a p a ssa g e in m ore d e p th , or even refers to a footn ote. Th e d isco u rses describe th e ch aracteristic featu res o f th ese fiv e a g g re g a te s w ith a set o f sim iles. Th ese co m p are m aterial form to th e in sub stan tial n a tu re o f a lu m p o f foam carried a w a y b y a river; fe el­ ings to th e im p erm a n en t b u b b les that fo rm on th e surface o f w a te r d u rin g rain; co g n itio n to th e illu so ry n atu re o f a m irage; v o litio n s to the essen celess n a tu re o f a p la n tain tree (becau se it h as no h eartw o o d ); a n d co n scio u sn ess to th e d e ce p tiv e p erform an ce o f a m agician. This set o f sim iles p o in ts to cen tral ch aracteristics that n eed to b e u n d ersto o d w ith regard to ea ch a gg rega te. In th e case o f m aterial form , co n te m p la tin g its u n a ttractive and in su b stan tial n atu re co r­ rects m istaken n otion s o f su b sta n tia lity a n d b e a u ty . C o n c e rn in g feelin gs, a w a re n e ss o f th eir im p erm a n en t n a tu re cou n teracts th e te n d e n cy to search for p le a su re th ro u g h feelings* W ith rega rd to cogn itio n , a w a ren ess o f its d e lu d in g a ctiv ity u n co vers the te n d e n c y to p roject o n e 's o w n v a lu e ju d g e m e n ts o n to extern al p h en o m en a as if these w e re qualities o f the o u tsid e objects. W ith volition s, in sig h t

24 The importance of this conditional interrelation is highlighted at D I I 34 and S I I 105, where Buddha Vipassi and Buddha Gotam a respectively (both still at the bodhisatta stage at this point), on investigating dependent co-arising up to this reciprocal rela­ tionship between consciousness and name-and-form, concluded: "I have found the path of insight leading to awakening." 25 D II 56: "Consciousness conditions name-and-form ... name-and-form conditions consciousness." ("Name", according to M 1 53, comprises feeling, cognition, volition, contact and attention.) 26 S III 142; with further explanations in Vism 479* On these similes c f also Mahasi 1996: PP.6&-79.

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into their selfless nature corrects the mistaken notion that w illpow er is the expression of a substantial self. Regarding consciousness, un­ derstanding its deceptive performance counterbalances the sense of cohesiveness and substantiality it tends to give to w hat in reality is a patchw ork of im perm anent and conditioned phenomena. O w in g to the influence of ignorance, these five aggregates are ex­ perienced as embodiments of the notion "I am". From the unaw akened point of view , the material body is "W here I am", feel­ ings are "H ow I am", cognitions are "W hat I am" (perceiving), voli­ tions are "W hy I am" (acting), and consciousness is "W hereby I am" (experiencing). In this w ay, each aggregate offers its ow n contribu­ tion to enacting the reassuring illusion that "I am". By laying bare these five facets of the notion "1 am", this analysis of subjective personality into aggregates singles out the component parts of the misleading assumption that an independent and un­ changing agent inheres in hum an existence, thereby m aking possi­ ble the arising of insight into the ultimately selfless (anatta) nature of all aspects of experienced In order to assess the implications o f the aggregate scheme, a brief examination of the teaching of anatta against the background of the philosophical positions in existence in ancient India will be helpful at this point.

X.2 THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF THE TEACHING ON

A t the time of the Buddha, a variety of differing view s about the na­ ture of the self existed. The Ajivika teachings, for example, proposed a soul h aving a particular colour and considerable size as the true self.2 8The Jains posited a finite soul, similarly possessed of size and w eight.* According to them, the soul survived physical death, and in its pure state it possessed infinite knowledge.*" The Upanifads -pro­ posed an eternal self (atman), unaffected by the vicissitudes of

27 O n th e relevan ce o f the five a g g re g a tes a s a p h ilo so p h ical refu tation o f notion s of self cf. K a lu p a h a n a 1975: p.116; T h ittila 1969: p.xxii; a n d W ijesekera 1994: p.262.

28 According to Basham 1951: p-270, the Ajivika soul had the colour of a blue fruit and its size reached the height of five hundred yojanas. (A yojana is the ancient Indian meas­ ure for distances and represents the distance that can be covered with one yoke of oxen in a day, approximately seven miles.) Could this description of the soul refer to the sky?
29 M alalasekera 1965: p.56930 P a n d e 1957: p ^ .

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ch an ge. Upanisadic c o n c e p tio n s a b o u t su c h an etern a l s e lf r a n g e d from a p h y s ic a l s e lf th e size o f a th u m b a b id in g in th e h eart area a n d le a v in g th e b o d y d u rin g sle e p , to an u n o b se rv a b le an d u n k n o w a b le self, im m a teria l, free from d e a th a n d so rro w , b e y o n d a n y w o r ld ly d istin ction b e tw e e n su b je ct a n d object.*1In th e Upanisadic a n a ly sis o f su b je ctiv e e x p e rie n ce , this ete rn a l self, a u to n o m o u s, p e rm a n e n t, and b lissfu l, w a s taken to be the a g e n t b e h in d all the sen ses a n d a ctiv ities.3 1 T h e m a te ria list schools, o n th e o th e r h a n d , re je c te d all im m aterial c o n c e p tio n s o f a self o r soul. In o rd e r to a cc o u n t fo r ca u sa lity, th e y p ro p o se d a th e o r y b ased o n th e in h e re n t n a tu re (svabhava) o f m aterial p h e n o m e n a .3 3 A c c o r d in g to th em , a h u m a n in d iv id u a l w a s ju st an a u to m a to n fu n c tio n in g a c c o r d in g to th e d icta tes o f m atter. F rom th eir p e rsp e c tiv e , h u m a n e ffo rt w a s o f n o a v a il a n d th ere w a s n o such th in g as eth ical re s p o n s ib ility .1 4 In th is co n te x t, th e B u d d h a 's p o sitio n cu ts a m id d le p a th b e tw e e n th e b e lie f in an etern al soul a n d the d en ial o f a n y th in g b e y o n d m ere m atter. B y a ffirm in g k a rm ic c o n se q u e n ce s an d eth ical re sp o n sib il­ ity, th e B u d d h a cle a rly o p p o s e d th e te a c h in g s o f the m aterialists,3 5 A t the sa m e tim e, h e w a s a b le to ex p la in th e o p e ra tio n o f k a rm ic ret­ rib u tio n o v e r se v e ra l life tim e s w it h th e h e lp o f d e p e n d e n t co -a risin g (paficca samuppada) an d th e re b y w ith o u t b r in g in g in a su b sta n tia l u n c h a n g in g e sse n ce .3 6 H e p o in te d o u t th a t th e fiv e a g g re g a te s , w h ic h to g e th e r a cc o u n t fo r s u b je ctiv e e x p e rie n ce , o n clo ser in v e s ti­ gatio n tu rn o u t to be im p e rm a n e n t a n d n o t a m e n a b le to c o m p le te p erso n al co n tro l. T h e re fo re a p e rm a n e n t a n d se lf-su fficien t s e lf c a n ­ not b e fo u n d w ith in o r a p a rt fro m the fiv e a g g re g a te s .3 7 In this w a y ,

31 Malalasekera 1965: p.367. 32 Collins 1982: p*8o, and JayatiUeke 1980: p.297,
33 K a lu p a h a n a 199 4: p.13.

34 A typical example is the position taken by Ajita Kesakambali (at D 1 55) that there are no such things as good and evil deeds, since a human being is nothing more than a combination of the four elements. Along similar lines Fakudha Kaccayana (at D 1 56) proposed human beings to be made u p of seven immutable principles, which led him to the conclusion that even cutting off someone's head with a sword should not be considered killing, but should be reckoned only as inserting the blade in the space in­ tervening between these seven principles. Cf, also JayatiUeke 1980: p.444; and Kalupahana 1975: pp.25-32. 35 The importance of considering the anatta teaching in the light of the karma theory is highlighted b y Sasaki 1992: pp.32-5. 36 W.S, Karunaratne 1988b: p.72: "the teaching ofanatta is an ... adaptation of the central truth of causality".

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the Buddha's teaching of anatta denied a permanent and inherently independent self, and at the same time affirmed empirical continu­ ity and ethical responsibility.

X.3 E M P IR IC A L SELF A N D C O N T E M P L A T IO N O F THE A G G R E G ATE S

Not only does the Buddha's penetrating analysis of self provide a philosophical refutation of theories proposing a substantial and un­ changing self, it also has an intriguing psychological relevance. "Self", as an independent and permanent entity, is related to notions of mastery and control.3 8Such notions of mastery, permanence, and inherent satisfactoriness to some degree parallel the concepts of "narcissism" and the "ideal ego" in modern psychology.3 9 These concepts do not refer to articulate philosophical beliefs or ideas, but to unconscious assumptions implicit in one's w ay of per­ ceiving and reacting to experience,4 " Such assumptions are based on an inflated sense of self-importance, on a sense of self that continu­ ously demands to be gratified and protected against external threats to its omnipotence. Contem plating anatta helps to expose these assumptions as mere projections. The anatta perspective can show up a broad range of manifesta­ tions of such a sense of self. According to the standard instructions for contemplating anatta, each of the five aggregates should be con­ sidered devoid of "mine", "1 am", and "m y s e lfV This analytical ap­ proach covers not only the last-mentioned view of a self, but also the mode of craving and attachment underlying the attribution of "mine" to phenomena and the sense of "I am" as a manifestation of conceit and grasping/1 A clear understanding of the range of each aggregate forms the necessary basis for this investigation.4 3 Such a

37 That it is the very absence of permanence that disqualifies phenomena from being considered "self" becomes evident at M III 282, The lack of control over the five aggre­ gates, in addition to their impermanent nature, is, according to S III 66, what disquali­ fies them from being'T or "mine". Cf, also M 1231. 38 Vism 640 explains that to speak of "not-self implies not being susceptible to the free exercise of control. Nanavira 1987: p.70, points out that "attd, 'self, is fundamentally a notion of mastery over things", 39 Cf. Epstein 1988: p,6 $, 1989: p.66; and Hanly 1984: p.254. On Buddhist and Western notions of "self" c f also West 19912 pp.200-4.
40 In fact, as Ps I 251 indicates, e v e n anim als are u n d e r the in flu en ce o f self notions, w h ic h w o u ld certainly n ot b e a ph ilosophical belief. 41 e.g. at S 111 68, a con sideration to be applied to all possible in stances o f the five aggregates.

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clear understanding can be gained through satipatfhana contem pla­ tion. In this w ay, contem plation of the five aggregates com m ends itself for u ncovering various patterns o f identification and attach­ m ent to a sense of self. A practical approach to this is to keep inquiring into the notion "I am" or "m in e", that lurks behind experience and activity/4O nce this notion o f an agent or o w n er behin d experience has been clearly rec~ ogn ized , the above non-identification strategy can be im plem ented b y considering each aggregate as "n o t mine, not I, not m y self". In this w ay, contem plation o f the five aggregates as a practical application of the anatta strategy can uncover the representational aspects o f one's sense of self, those aspects responsible for the for­ m ation of a self im age,4 5 Practically applied in this w ay, contem pla­ tion of anatta can expose the various types of self-im age responsible for id en tifyin g w ith and clin gin g to one's social position, profes­ sional occupation, or personal possessions. M oreover, anatta can be em p lo yed to reveal erroneous superim positions on experience, par­ ticularly the sense of an autonom ous and indep en dent subject reach in g out to acquire or reject discrete substantial objects.4 6 A ccordin g to the B uddha's penetrative analysis, patterns of identi­ fication and attachm ent to a sense of self can take altogether tw en ty different form s, b y taking an y of the five aggregates to be self, self to be in possession of the aggregate, the aggregate to be inside self, or self to be inside the aggregate/7 T he teaching on anatta aims to com ­ p letely rem ove all these identifications w ith, and the corresponding attachm ents to, a sense of self. Such rem oval proceeds in stages: w ith the realization o f stream -entry an y notion of a perm anent self

42 Spk U 98 explains that the notion "this is mine" is related to craving, the notion "T am this" to conceit, and the notion "this is my self" to views ► S III 105 points out that the

self-image "1 am* comes about because of the existence of some form of grasping, 43 S IV 197 enjoins thorough investigation of the range of each aggregate, this investiga­ tion forming the basis for the insight that no I or mine can be found, 44 A simple device to start this type of practice could be to question oneself: "who?" or "whose?" in regard to any activity or experience. This is in fact suggested by the satipatthana commentary at Ps 1 251 and Ps 1 274; cf. also Khantipalo 1981: p.71. 45 Engler 1983: p.33; and Epstein 1990: p.30. An interesting point in this context is sug­ gested by Wayman 1984: p,6z2, according to whom diman might refer to "embodi­ ment" in certain Vedic contexts, which further supports relating it to the "representational self".
46 H a m ilto n 1997: p,28i.

47

at M III 17.

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(sakkdyadiffhi) is eradicated, w hilst the subtlest traces of attachm ent to oneself are rem oved o n ly w ith full aw akening. The teaching of anatta, h o w ever, is not directed against w hat are m erely the functional aspects of personal existence, but aims o n ly at the sense of "I am " that com m only arises in relation to it.4 0O therw ise an arahant w ould sim ply be unable to function in any w ay. This, of course, is not the case, as the Buddha and his arahant disciples w ere still able to function coh eren tly/9In fact, th ey w ere able to do so w ith m ore com petence than before their aw akening, since th ey had com ­ pletely overcom e and eradicated all m ental defilem ents and th ereby all obstructions to proper m ental functioning, A w ell-kn o w n simile of relevance in this context is that o f a chariot w h ich does not exist as a substantial thing apart from, or in addition to, its various parts.5 1 1 Just as the term " chariot" is sim ply a con ven ­ tion, so the superim position of 'T -d en tifica tio n s on experience are nothing but conventions.5 1 O n the other hand, to reject the existence o f an in d e p e n d e n t substantial chariot does not m ean that it is im ­ possible to ride in the conditioned and im perm anent functional as­ sem blage of parts to w h ich the concept "chariot" refers. Sim ilarly, to d en y the existence of a self does not im p ly a denial of the con di­ tioned and im perm anent interaction o f the five aggregates* A nother instance sh o w in g the need to distinguish betw een em pti­ ness and mere nothingness, in the sense o f annihilation, occurs in a discourse from the Abyakata Samyutta. Here, the Buddha, on being directly questioned concerning the existence of a self (attd), refused to give either an affirm ative or a negative answ er.3 2A ccording to his ow n explanation later on, if he had sim ply den ied the existence of a self, it m ight have been m isunderstood as a form of annihilationism , a position he w as alw ays careful to avoid. Such a m isunderstanding can in fact h ave dire consequences, since to m istakenly believe that anatta im plies there to be nothing at all can lead to w ro n g ly assum ­ in g that consequently there is no karmic responsibility.5 3 In fact, although the schem e of the five aggregates opposes the
48 Harvey 1995: illustrates this difference by distinguishing between "Self" (perma­ nent, substantial, etc.) and "self" (empirical and changing). Nanananda 1993: p.10, aptly sums up: 'accept yourself - and reject your self " 49 Lily de Silva 1996: p,4. 50 S 1 135, This same simile forms part of the introductory dialogue at Mil 25. A modern version can be found in Ciaxton 19912 p.27. Cf. also Nanavira 1987: p*46. 51 "Y and "mine" are then used simply as conventions by an arahant (cf. S 1 14). 52 SIV 400.

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notion of a self and therefore appears essen tially n egative in charac­ ter, it also h as the positive fun ction of d e fin in g the com pon ents of subjective em pirical existen ce.5 4 As a description of em pirical p er­ sonality, the five a ggregates thus p oint to those central asp ects of personal experien ce that n eed to be un derstood in order to p rogress tow ards realization.5 5 A b re a k d o w n into all five aggregates m igh t n ot be a m atter o f ab­ solute n ecessity, since som e passages docu m en t less detailed an a lyt­ ical ap proach es to insight. A cco rd in g to the Mahasakuludayi Sutta, for exam p le, the sim ple distinction b e tw e en b o d y and consciou s­ ness constituted a sufficient degree of analysis for several discip les o f the B ud dh a to gain realization*5 6E ven so, m ost discourses op erate w ith the m ore usual an alysis of the m ental side of exp erien ce into four aggregates. This m ore detailed analysis m ig h t be due to th e fact that it is considerably m ore d ifficult to realize th e im personal n atu re of the m in d than of the b o d y / 7 C o m p ared w ith the p re v io u s satipatthana contem plations of sim i­ lar p h en om en a (such as b o d y , feelings, and m ind), contem plation of the a ggregates stands ou t for its additional em phasis on exp osin g identification-patterns. O n c e these patterns of identification are seen for w h a t th ey really are, the natural result will be disench an t­ m ent and detach m en t in regard to these five aspects of sub jective experien ce.3 8A k e y aspect for u n derstan din g the true n atu re o f the aggregates, and thereby o f oneself, is aw aren ess o f their im p erm a­ n en t and con dition ed nature.

53 Cf, e.g. the mistaken reasoning at M III 19 that if actions are performed by & not-self, what self could be affected by the result of these actions? 54 M I 299: "the five aggregates of clinging are called personality"; cf, also Hamilton 1995a: P 54; and Kalupahana 1994: pp.70-2. 55 Hamilton 1996; p.xxiv. 56 M II17. In this passage "consciousness" acts as a representative of mind in its entirety* Cf, also M 1 260, which comprehensively refers to the entire set of the five aggregates as something that has "come to be" in conditional dependence on nutriment, a way of developing deep insight leading to freedom from doubt and purified view which does not seem to require analysing them separately. Ps II307 explains that "come to be" refers to the entire set of the five aggregates in this context.

57 5094.
58 This disenchantment is described at M 1 511 with the insight that for a long time one has been tricked and cheated by one's own mind, since when dinging one has been clinging just to these five aggregates.

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X.4 ARISING AND PASSING AWAY OF THE AGGREGATES

A cco rd in g to the Satipatthdna Sutta, to contem plate the five aggre­ gates requires a clear recognition of each, follow ed b y directing aw areness to their arising {samudaya) an d their passing a w a y {atthagama). This second stage o f practice reveals the im perm anent char­ acter o f the aggregates, and to some extent thereby also points to their conditioned nature.5 9 In the discourses, contem plation of the im perm anent nature of the aggregates, and thereby of oneself, stands out as a particularly prom inent cause for gainin g realization.6 0 Probably because of its p ow erful potential for a w akening, the B uddha spoke of this particu­ lar contem plation as his "lion's roar".6 1 The reason u n d erlyin g the em inent position of contem plating the im perm anent nature of the aggregates is that it directly counters all conceit an d y T - or "m ine"-m aking.6 2The direct experience o f the fact that every aspect of o n eself is subject to change underm ines the basis on w hich con ­ ceit and " 1 "- or "m ine"-m aking take their stand. C onversely, to the extent to w hich one is no longer under the influence of "I" or "m ine" notions in regard to the five aggregates, any change or alteration o f the aggregates w ill not lead to sorrow , lam entation, pain, grief, and despair*3 As the B uddha em phatically advised: "g iv e up the aggre­ gates, since none of them is truly your ow n!"6 4 In practical terms, contem plating the arising and passing aw ay of each aggregate can be undertaken b y observin g change taking place in e v e ry aspect o f one's personal experience, be these, for exam ple, the cycle of breaths or circulation of the Wood, the change of feelings from pleasant to unpleasant, the variety o f cognitions and volitional reactions arising in the mind, or the ch an ging nature o f conscious­
59 Cf. e.g. SII 2S#where contemplating the arising and passing away of the five aggre­ gates is immediately followed by an exposition of dependent co-arising {paficca samuppada). So At D II 35 the former Buddha Vipassi realized full awakening by contemplating the impermanence of the five aggregates. The same contemplation and result by a nun is documented at Thi 96. The potential of this contemplation to lead to full awakening is documented also at D III 223; S II29; SII 253; A II45; and A IV 153. Gethin 1992: p.56, concludes; "the practice of watching rise and fall with regard to the five aggregates of grasping seems to be particularly associated with the gaining of the insight that leads ... directly to awakening". 61 S III 84. 62 Cf. M 1 486; M III 115; and S III 15763 SUI4. 64 M 1 140 and S III 33,

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ness, a risin g a t this or that sense door. Such practice can then build u p to contem plating the arising an d p assin g a w a y of all five a g g re­ gates togeth er, w h en on e co m p reh en sively su rveys the fiv e aggregate-com ponen ts of an y exp erien ce and at the sam e tim e w itnesses the im perm anen t nature of this experience. C o n tem p latin g the arising and p a ssin g a w a y o f the five a g g re ­ gates also h igh ligh ts their con d itio n ed nature. The interrelatedness o f im perm anen ce and conditionality w ith regard to the five a g g re ­ gates is practically dep icted in a discourse from the Khandha Sam­ yutta, in w h ich realization of the im perm anen t nature o f the five aggregates takes place based on u n d erstan d in g of their conditioned natu re/5 Since the conditions for the arising of each aggregate are im perm anen t, this passages points out, h o w cou ld the con dition ally arisen aggregate be perm anent? A noth er discourse in the Khandha Satftyutta relates the arising an d p assin g a w a y of the m aterial a g g rega te to nutrim ent, w h ile feelings, cognitions, and volitions d ep en d on contact, and consciousness on nam e-and-form ,6 6 D e p en d en t on nutrim ent, contact, and nam eand-form , these five aggregates in turn constitute the condition for the arising o f pleasant and u n p leasan t experiences. The sam e dis­ course points out that against the all too apparent "ad van tage" (assada) o f exp erien cing pleasure th ro u g h an y o f the aggregates stands the "d isad van tage" (adinava) o f their im p erm anen t and therefore u nsatisfactory nature. Thus the o n ly w a y out (nissarana) is to abandon desire and attach m ent to w ard s these five aggregates, A related vie w p o in t on "arising" (samudaya) is p rovid ed in y e t a n ­ other discourse from the sam e Khandha Samyutta, w h ich points out that d eligh t p rovides the condition for the futu re arising o f the a g ­ gregates, w h ile the absence of d e ligh t leads to their cessation.6 7This passage links the conditioned and co n d itio n in g nature o f the aggre­ gates to a com prehension of d ep e n d e n t co-arising. In the Mahahatthipadopama Sutta, such com p reh ension of d ep en d en t co-arising leads to an u n derstan din g of the fou r noble truths.'* From a practical p ersp ective, contem p lation o f the conditioned and co n d itio n in g nature of the five aggregates can be u n d ertaken b y
65 66 67 68 S i l l 23. S III 62 and S III 39. S III 14. M 1 191. Cf. also S IV 166, which relates contemplation of the arising and passing away of the aggregates to understanding the arising and passing away of dukkha.

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becom ing aware h o w any bodily or m ental experience depends on, and is affected by, a set of conditions. Since these conditions are not am enable to full personal control/ one evidently does not have p ow er over the very foundation of one's ow n subjective experi­ ence/9 "I" and "m ine" turn out to be utterly dep en dent on w hat is "other", a predicam ent w hich reveals the truth of anatta. The one centrally im portant condition, h ow ever, w hich can be b rough t under personal control through system atic training of the m ind, is identification w ith the five aggregates. This crucial condi­ tioning factor of identification is the central focus of this satipatthdna contem plation, and its com plete rem oval constitutes the successful com pletion of the practice. A ccording to the discourses, detachm ent from these constituent parts of one's personality through contem plating the conditioned and im perm anent nature of the aggregates is of such significance that direct kn ow ledge of the arising and passing a w a y of the five ag­ gregates is a sufficient qualification for becom ing a stream -enterer.7 0 N ot only that, but contem plation of the five aggregates is capable of leading to all stages of aw akening, and is still practised even b y arahantsJ1This vivid ly dem onstrates the central im portance of this contem plation, w hich progressively exposes and underm ines self identifications and attachm ents and thereby becomes a pow erful m anifestation of the direct path to realization.

69 S III 66 points out that each aggregate is not-self, since it is not possible to have them conform to one's wishes (such as, for example, always having a healthy body, experi­ encing only pleasant feelings, etc.). 70 S III 160 and S III 193. 71 S III 167,

XI

D H A M M A S : TH E S E N S E -S PH E R E S

XI.1 THE SENSE-SPHERES AND THE FETTERS

T he p revio u s satipatthdna exercise w a s co n cern ed w ith a n a ly sin g su b jective p erso n ality w ith th e h elp o f the a g g re g a te schem e. A n al­ tern ative or co m p lem en tary ap p ro a ch is to turn to the relationsh ip b etw een o n e se lf an d the ou ter w orld,' This is the topic co vered b y co n tem p lation o f the sense-sp h eres, w h ic h directs a w aren ess to the six "internal" and "extern al" sense-sp h eres {ajjhattikabahira ayatana), an d to the fetter arisin g in d e p e n d e n ce on them . H ere are the in ­ structions for this exercise:
He k now s the eye, he k n o w s form s, and he k n o w s the fetter that arises dependent on both,, and he also know s how an unarisen fetter can arise, h ow an arisen fetter can be removed, and h ow a future aris­ ing of the rem oved fetter can be prevented. He k n o w s the ear, he k n o w s sounds, and he know s the fetter that arises dependen t on both, and.... H e k n o w s the nose, he k n o w s odours, and he k n o w s the fetter that arises dependen t on both, and,. „ He know s the tongue, he k now s flavours, and he k n o w s the fetter that arises dependen t on both, and.... He know s the b od y, he k n o w s tangibles, and he know s the fetter that arises dependen t on both, and....

i

Cf. e.g. M III 279 and S IV 106, which directly relate contemplation of the sense-spheres to the aggregate scheme; cf. also SIV 68. On the contemplations of the aggregates and the senses as complementary approaches cf. Bodhi 2000; p.1122; and Gethin 1986: p.50.

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He knows the mind, he knows mind-objects, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a fu­ ture arising o f the removed fetter can be prevented/

A ccording to the discourses, to develop understanding and detach­ ment in regard to these six internal and external sense-spheres is of central importance for the progress tow ards aw akening.1 An im por­ tant aspect of such understanding is to underm ine the m isleading sense of a substantial "I" as the independent experiencer of sense objects. Aw areness directed to each of these sense-spheres w ill re­ veal that subjective experience is not a com pact unit, but rather a com pound m ade up of six distinct "spheres"/ each of w hich is d e ­ p e n d e n cy arisen. Each o f these sense-spheres includes both the sense organ and the sense o b je ct Besides the five physical senses (eye, ear, nose, tongue, and body) and their respective objects (sight, sound, smell, flavour, and touch), the mind (mano) is included as the sixth sense, together w ith its m ental objects {dhamma). In the present context, "m ind" (mano) represents m ainly the activity o f thought {mannati)/ W hile the five physical senses do not share each other's respective field of activity, all o f them relate to the m ind as the sixth sense.5 That is, all perceptual processes rely to some extent on the interpretative role of the mind, since it is the m ind w hich "makes sense" out of the other senses. This shows that the early Buddhist scheme of six sensespheres does not set pure sense perception against the conceptual activity of the mind, but considers both as interrelated processes, w hich together bring forth the subjective experience of the w orld. It is particularly intriguing that early B uddhism treats the mind just like the other sense organs. Thought, reasoning, m em ory, and reflection are dealt w ith in the same m anner as the sense data of any other sense door. Thus the thinking activity of the mind shares the im personal status of external phenom ena perceived through the five senses.

2 MI61. 3 SIV 89 and A V 52 present insight and detachment regarding the six sense-spheres as enabling one to make an end of dukkha, 4 Cf, Johansson 1965: pp.183-7; and T.W, Rhys Davids 1993: p-520. 5 M 1 295 and S V 218.

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Insight into this impersonal character of "one's ow n " thoughts can be gained even w ith the first few attempts at m editation, w h en one discovers h ow difficult it is to avoid getting lost in all kinds of reflec­ tions, daydream s, m emories, and fantasies, despite being deter­ m ined to focus on a particular object o f m editation. Just as it is impossible only to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch w hat is w ished for, so too, w ith an untrained m ind, it is not possible to have thoughts o n ly w hen and h o w one w ould like to have them. For pre­ cisely this reason a central purpose of m editative training is to rem ­ edy this situation by gradually tam ing the thinking activity of the mind and brin ging it more under conscious control* The above passage from the Satipatthana Sutta lists both the sense organs and sense objects for contem plation. O n the face of it, the in ­ struction to "know " (pajanati) eye and form s, ear and sounds, etc. seems rather flat, but on further consideration this instruction may reveal some deeper implications. O ften these six senses and their objects occur in descriptions o f the conditioned arising o f consciousness (viniiatia).7 An intriguing as­ pect o f this conditional situation is the rote that subjective influence plays in the perceptual process * Experience, represented by the six types of consciousness, is the outcom e o f two determ inant influ­ ences: the "objective" aspect on the one hand, that is, the in-com ing sensory impressions; and the "subjective" aspect on the other hand, nam ely, the w ay in w hich these sense im pressions are received and cognized.8 Supposedly objective perceptual appraisal is in reality conditioned by the subject as m uch as b y the object.9 O ne's expert-

6 This has found its expression in various passages such as at M 12, where to develop mastery of the mind means to be able to think only what one wishes to think; or at MI 214, which speaks of gaining control over the mind and thereby being no longer con­ trolled by it; or Dhp 326, which poetically compares controlling one's wandering mind to a mahout controlling a rutting elephant. 7 e.g. at M l 111. 8 Nanamoli 1980: p.159, aptly expresses this: "ajjkattikSyatana = the organization of ex­ perience ,,. bahiddhayatana = the experience as organized"; van Zeyst 1967b: P470, ex­ plains: "the inner sphere... constitutes the subjective element which is the capacity of reaction, and the outer sphere constitutes the objective element which produces the impacts In fact several of the terms used in this satipatthana refer exclusively to the senses as faculties of perception (cakkhu, sota,ghana), while the discourses use a differ­ ent set of Pali terms for the corresponding physical organs (akkhi, kanrw, nasa), a find­ ing which points to an emphasis on the subjective, in the sense of one's ability to see., hear, etc*, underlying the satipatthnm instructions. 9 Cf. e.g. Bodhi 1995: p,i6; Padmasiri de Silva 1991: p.21; Guenther 19912 p^6; and Naranjo 1973: p,i89-

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ence o f the w orld is the product of an interaction betw een the "sub­ jective" influence exercised b y h ow one perceives the w orld, and the "objective" influence exercised by the various phenom ena o f the ex­ ternal w orld. U nderstood in this w ay , the fact that the satipatthana instruction directs aw areness to each sense organ could have deeper im plica­ tions, in the sense of pointing to the need to recognize the subjective bias inherent in each process of perception. The influence of this subjective bias has a decisive effect on the first stages of perception and can lead to the arising of a fetter (sarnyojam ). Such subsequent reactions are often based on qualities and attributes assum ed to be­ long to the perceived object. In actual fact, these qualities and attrib­ utes aTe often projected on the object by the perceiver* Satipatthana contem plation of the six sense-spheres can lead to recogn izing this influence of personal biases and tendencies on the process of perception. C ontem plating in this w ay w ill u n cover the root cause for the arising of unw holesom e m ental reactions. This re­ active aspect forms in fact part o f the above instructions, w h ere the task o f sati is to observe the fetter that can arise in depen dence on sense and object. A lthough a fetter arises in depen dence on sense and object, the binding force of such a fetter should not be attributed to the senses or objects per se. The discourses illustrate this w ith the exam ple of two bulls, bound together by a yoke. Just as their bondage is not caused b y either of the bulls, but by the yoke, so too the fetter should not be im puted to either its inner or its outer conditions (for exam ple eye and forms), but to the binding force of desire.1 0 In the discourses there is considerable variation in the usage of the term "fetter",n w hich suggests that to speak o f "fetters" does not al­ w ays necessarily refer to a fixed set, but m ay sometim es include w hatever falls u nder the same principle, in the sense of fettering and causing bondage. The most com m on presentation of "fetters" in the discourses lists altogether ten types: belief in a substantial and perm anent self, doubt, dogm atic clinging to particular rules and

TO

S IV 163; SIV 164; and S IV 283. Cf. also S IV89 and S I V 108. 11 M 1 361 has eight "'fetters" in relation to killing, stealing, false speech, malicious speech, rapacious greed, spiteful scolding, angry despair, and arrogance. D T IT254; A IV 7; and AIV 8 list seven: complaisance, Irritation, views, doubt, conceit, lust for exis­ tence, and ignorance. Single fetters occur at M I 483, which has the fetter of house' holdership, and at It 8, which speaks of the fetter of craving.

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s a tip a tth a n a

o b se rv a n ce s,

sensual desire, aversion , cra v in g for fine-m aterial exis­ tence, cra v in g for im m aterial existence, c o n c e it restlessness, and

ign oran ce.” T he erad ication o f these ten fetters takes p lace w ith the d ifferen t stages o f realization .1 3 Since all these ten fetters m igh t n ot necessar­ ily m an ifest in the context o f actual satipatthana practice, and since the term "fetter" has a certain bread th of m ean in g in the discourses, d u rin g contem plation o f the sense-sph eres aw aren ess can be d i­ rected in p articular to the fetterin g force o f desire an d aversion in re­ gard to w h a te v e r is experien ced. The p attern o f a fetter's arising proceed s from w h a t h as b een p er­ ceived, via various thoughts and considerations, to the m anifestation

12 Cf, e.g. S V 61, Ps 1 287 lists sensual lust irritation, conceit view, doubt dinging to par­ ticular rules and observances, lust for existence, envy, avarice, and ignorance as fetters for the satipatthana context. Concerning clinging to particular rules and obser­ vances, Bodhi 2000: P727 n.5, explains that the expression "rules and observances" (sllabbata) can refer to such ascetic practices as, for example, behaving like a dog (cf* M I 387, which speaks of the "dog-rule" and the "dog-observance"). Some ascetics adopted such practices in the hope of gaining purification or rebirth in heaven (cf. M I 102). Cf. also Ud 71, where "rules and observances" replaces the more usual "self­ mortification" as one of the two extremes to be avoided. However, at Dhp 271 the 6uddha spoke to his own monks about the need to go beyond "rules and obser­ vances" in order to reach realization; so this verse indicates that "rules and obser­ vances" can also become a problem for Buddhist monks. In fact, the equivalent term silavata occurs in several instances as a positive quality of a Buddhist monk (e.g. at A III 47; Sn 212; It 79; and Th 12). This suggests, as in fact expressly stated at A 1 225, that "rules and observances" can be either wholesome or unwholesome, so the fettering aspect is to be found in dogmatic clinging (pammasa). The absence of such dogmatic clinging is indeed explicitly mentioned in the standard descriptions of the qualities of a stream-enterer (cf, e.g. D II94; S n 70; or A II57), which indicate that a stream-enterer is endowed with pure moral conduct, but does not dogmatically cling to it. (The Pali term used is apardmatfha, which according to Vism 222 refers in this context to dinging by way of craving and views.) 13 Cf. e,g, D ! 156. The dynamics of this progressive eradication of the ten fetters is that with the first direct experience of Nibbdrta at stream-entry, belief fn a permanent self becomes impossible. Since this experience comes as the successful outcome of follow­ ing the right path, doubt about what is wholesome and skilful for progress on this path, and also doubt in the more existential sense regarding the whence and whither of oneself, together with dogmatic clinging to particular rules and observances, are left behind. With continued practice, the next two fetters of sensual desire and aver­ sion are diminished at once-returning and then fully overcome with the realization of non-returning. With full awakening, the last remnants of attachment in the form of craving for deep states of concentration (and corresponding forms of existence) are extinguished, together with any traces of the notion "I am ' as a manifestation of con­ ceit and its possible repercussions in the form of resdessness, and therewith all igno­ rance is overcome as well.

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of desire and thereby to bondage.'4 A m indful observation of the conditions that lead to the arising of a fetter constitutes the second stage of contem plation o f the sense-spheres (cf. Fig. 11.1 below). The task of awareness in this case, paralleling contem plation of the hin­ drances, is non-reactive observation* Such non-reactive observation is directed towards individual instances in w hich perception causes desire and bondage, and also towards discovering the general pat* terns of one's mental inclinations, in order to be able to prevent the future arising of a fetter.
aiiaiysis into eye + visible forms (cakkhu + rupd) fetter if fetter arises

knowing the conditions that
ear + sounds (soto + saddd) fetter

lead to arising
if fetter is present knowing the conditions that lead to removal

nose + od ours {gkdna + ■ gandha) —> fetter

tongue + flavours ijivha + rasa) —>fetter

body + tangible objects {kaya + pholfabbha) -> fetter

if fetter is removed knowing the conditions that prevent future arising

mind + mental objects (mano + - dhamma)

fetter

stage 1
Fig. n*i

stage 2

Two stages in the contemplation of the six sense-spheres

As w ith the contem plation of the hindrances, the second stage of contemplation of the sense-spheres {concerned w ith the arising and removal of a fetter) follow s a progressive pattern from diagnosis, via cure, to prevention. In contrast to the contem plation of the hindrances, how ever, contem plation o f the sense-spheres places a stronger emphasis on the perceptual process. This constitutes an ad­ ditional degree of refinem ent, since attention is here directed to the first stages of the perceptual process, w hich, if left unattended, can lead to the arising o f unw holesom e mental reactions. To fill in some background to this aspect of satipatthdna, I w ill briefly survey the Buddha's analysis of the perceptual process, w ith particular attention to the implications of the "latent tendencies"

14 A 1264 relates the state of being fettered to desire, this in turn being due to thinking and pondering over desirable things of the past, present, or future.

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(anusaya) an d "in flu xes" (dsava), and also to restraint at the sense doors. This w ill p ro vid e the n ecessary basis for e va lu a tin g the early B u d d h ist ap p ro ach to "co g n itiv e train in g", and for exam in in g the B u d d h a's p ith y instruction to the ascetic B ah iya that led to his im ­ m ed iate full a w ak en in g.
XL2THB PERCEPTUAL PROCESS

T h e co n d itio n ed character o f the p ercep tu al process is a central as­ pect o f the B u d d h a's an alysis o f experience. A cco rd in g to the Madhupindika Sutta , the con dition al sequence of the average p ercep ­ tual process leads from contact (phassa) via fe e lin g (vedand) an d co g ­ nition (safina) to th o u g h t (vitakka), w h ich can in turn stim ulate co n cep tu al proliferation (papa flea)* Such con cep tual proliferations tend to g iv e rise to fu rth er concoctions o f proliferations and cogn itio n s (papaftcasaflfiasafikha), w h ich lead from the origin ally p er­ ceived sense data to all k in d s of associations con cern in g past, present, and future. T he Pali verb form s em p lo yed in this p assage from the Madhu­ pindika Sutta indicate that the last stage o f this p ercep tu al process is an e ve n t o f w h ich one is the p assive exp erien cer.1 6 O n ce the co n d i­ tioned seq uen ce o f the p ercep tu a l process has reached the stage of co n cep tu al proliferation one b ecom es, as it w ere, a victim of o n e's ow n associations and th ough ts. The th o u g h t p rocess proliferates, w e a v in g a net built from th o u gh ts, projections, an d associations, of w h ich the "th in ke r" has b ecom e alm ost a h elp less prey. The crucial stage in this seq uen ce, w h ere the subjective bias can set in and distort the p ercep tu al process, occurs w ith the initial a p ­ praisal of fe e lin g (vedand) an d cogn ition (sanfid). Initial distortions o f the sense data a risin g at this stage w ill receive furth er rein forcem en t b y th in k in g and b y con cep tu al proliferation/7 O n ce the stage of co n ­ cep tual proliferation is reach ed, the course is set. The proliferations are p rojected back onto the sense data an d the m ind con tin u es p ro­ liferatin g b y in terp retin g exp erien ce in lin e w ith th e original biased cognition. T he stages of cogn ition an d initial con cep tu al reaction are therefore d ecisive aspects o f this co n d itio n ed sequence.
15 MI111. 16 C f Naijarianda 1986: p.5. 17 Sn 874 emphasizes the dependence of conceptual proliferation on cognition in particular.

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The perceptual sequence described in the Madhupi^ika Sutta occurs in an elucidation of a short statement made by the Buddha, in which he related his teaching to the dispelling of various latent (anuseti) types of cognitions (saHna), and to overcoming the "latent tendencies" (anusaya) that can come into operation during the pro­ cess of perception.'8 The discourses mention various types of latent tendencies. A com­ m only occurring set of seven includes sensual desire, irritation, views, doubt, conceit, craving for existence, and ignorance/’ The central characteristic of a latent tendency is unconscious activation. As the verb anuseti, "to lie along with", suggests, a latent tendency lies dormant in the mind, but can become activated during the pro­ cess of perception. In their dormant stage, the underlying tenden­ cies are already present in newborn babies." A term of similar importance in relation to the process of percep­ tion is influx (asava)*' These influxes can "flow " (asavati) into and thereby "influence" the perceptual process,” As with the underlying tendencies, this influence operates without conscious intention. The influxes arise owing to unwise attention (ayontso manasikara) and to ignorance (avijja)? To counteract and prevent the arising of the influxes is the central aim of the monastic training rules laid

18 M 1 106, Cf. also M III 285, which relates a part of the same conditioned perceptual sequence to the activation of the latent tendencies. 19 e.g, at A IV 9. Apart from this standard set one finds the Latent tendency to mental standpoints and adherences at S II17 and S QI135, the latent tendency to lust at SIV 205, and the latent tendency to craving at Dhp 338. To contemplate the effects these underlying tendencies can create in the mind may be undertaken by directing aware­ ness to the untrained mind's "tendency" to react to sensory experience with either lust or irritation; to its "tendency" to respond to more theoretical information by either forming views and opinions or else by feeling confused and doubtful; and by contemplating how the sense of "I" underlying subjective experience "tends" to man­ ifest as conceitand moreover "tends" to clamour faretemal continuation (viz. craving for existence). Contemplating in this way will reveal the surprising degree to which the unawakened mind in some way or other "tends" towards ignorance. Nanaponika 1977: P 238/ points out that "latent tendency" includes both the actually arisen mental defilement and the corresponding mental disposition, this being the result of longtime habits. 20 M 1432; cf. also M II24. 21 Asava also means "outflow", as when a sore festers (cf. A 1 124), or "fermentation", as when liquor is brewed from flowers etc. (cf. Sv U1944), 22 e.g. M 19 recommends guarding the senses in order to avoid the activation of the in­ fluxes, 23 M 17 relates the arising of the influxes to unwise attention; A [II414 to ignorance.

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d o w n b y the B u d d h a/4 and their successful eradication ( asavakkhaya) is a syn o n ym for full a w a k e n in g /5 T he discourses often m ention three typ es of influx: the in flu x o f sensual desire, desire for existence, and ign oran ce.1 6 Sensual desire and desire for existence com e u p also in the second noble truth as m ain factors in the arising o f dukkha,3 7 w h ile ign oran ce form s the starting p o in t o f the "tw e lv e links" d ep ictin g the "d e p e n d e n t coarising" (paticca samuppada) o f dukkha. Th ese occurrences indicate that the schem e o f the influ xes is intrinsically related to the causes for the arising of dukkha* T h at is, desire fo r sensual enjoym ent, de* sire for beco m in g this or that, and the d elu d in g force of ign oran ce, are those "in flu en ces" respon sible for the genesis of dukkha* The w h o le p u rp o se o f practisin g the path taugh t b y the B ud dh a is to eradicate the influ xes (dsava), u p ro o t the latent tendencies (anu­ saya), and ab an d o n the fetters (satfiyojana).2 9T h ese three term s refer to the sam e basic problem from slig h tly d ifferen t perspectives, nam ely to the arising o f cra v in g (tanhd) an d related form s of u n ­ w h o leso m en ess in relation to an y o f the six sense-spheres.3 0 In this context, the influxes rep resen t root causes for the arising of dukkha that m ight "flo w into" p ercep tu al appraisal, the u n d erlyin g ten d en ­ cies are those u n w h o leso m e inclinations in the u n a w a k en ed m ind
24 The rationale given by the Buddha for proclaiming a rule (cf. e.g. Vin III 21) was that it should restrain presently arisen influxes and avoid their arising in future (cf. also MI 445). In addition to adherence to the rules, other important methods for countering the influxes are not getting entangled in wrong views; restraining the senses; using requisites properly; enduring heat, cold, hunger, pain, etc.; avoiding dangerous ani­ mals and unsuitable intimacy with the opposite sex; removing unwholesome inten­ tions and thoughts; and developing the factors of awakening (at M 1 7-11), 25 e.g.at M I 171. 26 e.g. at M 1 55. In addition to these three influxes, the influx of views is mentioned in a few instances (e.g. at D II81); h o w e ve r, according to Nanatiloka 1988: p.27, and T.W. Rhys Davids 1993: p.115, the set of three influxes is probably the more original version. On the influxes cf, also Johansson 1985: p.178; and Premasiri 1990a: p.58. 27 e.g. at 5 V 421, 28 This also underlies the fact that descriptions of the actual event of full awakening of­ ten apply the scheme of the four noble truths to dukkha and again to the influxes, cf, e.g. D 184, 29 S V 2fi. 30 The all-pervasive range of craving is illustrated in the detailed exposition of the sec­ ond noble truth in the Mnhasatipatthana Sutta, D II308, where the various stages of the perceptual process, from the six senses, their respective objects and types of con­ sciousness via contact to feeling, cognition, volition, and initial and sustained mental application are ail listed as possible instances for the arising of craving. This analysis of sense experience occurs again atS II109, and also at Vibh 101 (in the Suttante exposi­ tion of the four noble truths).

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that "tend" to get triggered off during the perceptual process, and the fetters ari sing at an y sen se door are responsible for " binding" be­ ings to continued transmigration in samsdra, A w ay to avoid the operation of the influxes, underlying tenden­ cies, and fetters, and thereby the arising of unw holesom e states o f m ind and reactions at an y sense door, is the practice of senserestraint (indriya samvara). The m ethod of sense-restraint is m ainly based on sati, w hose presence exerts a restraining influence on the reactions and proliferations that otherwise tend to occur during the perceptual process.3 ' As the discourses point out, sense-restraint causes the arising of joy and happiness, w hich in turn form the basis for concentration and insight.3 *Indeed, living w ith full awareness in the present moment, free from sensual distraction, can give rise to an exquisite sense of d e lig h t Such cultivation of m indfulness at the sense doors does not im ply that one is sim ply to avoid sense impressions. A s the B uddha pointed out in the Indriyabhavana Sutta , if sim ply avoidin g seeing and hearing w ere in itself conducive to realization, blind and deaf people w ould be accom plished practitioners.* Instead, the instruc­ tion for sense-restraint enjoins the practitioner not to dw ell on the sign (nimitta) or secondary characteristics (anuvyanjana) o f sense objects, in order to avoid the "flo w in g in" of detrimental influ­ ences.*4 In the present context, "sign" (nimitta) refers to the distin­ guishing feature by w hich one recognizes or remembers som e thing.3 5 In regard to the process of perception, this "sign" (nimitta) is related to the first evaluation of the raw sense data, because of

yt Bodhi 2000: p.1127, explains: "to restrain the senses ... involves stopping at the bare sensum, without plastering it over with layers of meaning whose origins are purely subjective", Upali Karunaratne 1993: p.568, relates restraint of the senses in particular to the stage of the perceptual process when feelings arise. 32 e.g. at S IV 78. Cf. also M 1 346, which speaks of the pure happiness {abyaseka sukha) gained through sense-restraint. 33 At M III 298, in answer to a Brahmin who had proposed not seeing with the eyes and not hearing with the ears as a form of meditative development of the faculties. Cf. also Tilakaratne 1993: p.72. 34 e.g. at M 1 273. The verb "to flow into", anvassavaii, is derived from anu + a + savati (T.W. Rhys Davids 1993: p.50) and is thus reminiscent of the influxes, the asaws, 35 e.g. at M 1 360 "sign" refers to the outer aspect of being a householder; or at Vin III 15 and M II62 a slave woman recognized the former son of the house, now a monk and returning after a long absence, by way of the "sign". In other passages "sign" has a more causal function (cf. e.g. S V 213; A 182; A II9; A [V 83; and Th tioo). On "sign" cf, also Harvey 1986: pp-31-3; and page 237, footnote 21,

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w hich the object appears to be, for exam ple, "beautiful" (subhanimitta) or "irritating" (pafighanimitta), w h ich then u sually leads to subsequent evaluations and m ental reactions.’4 The instruction to brin g restraint to bear on the secondary charac­ teristics (anuvyanjana) could correspond to further associations in the perceptual process, w h ich elaborate in detail the initial biased cognition {sanna),” The ten d en cy to biased and a ffective reactions is rooted in the stage o f sign m aking, w h en the first barely conscious evaluations that m ight u nderlie cognition (saftM ) can arise. In the context o f the Satipatthana Sutta 's injunction to contem plate the causes related to the arising o f a fetter, this stage o f sign m aking is es­ pecially relevant. It is this stage, therefore, a n d the possibilities of in­ fluencing it, to w hich I w ill now turn in m ore detail.
Xt.3 COGNITIVE TRAINING

A ccordin g to the discourses, a penetrative understanding o f the n a ­ ture of cogn ition (saHAa) is a prom inent cause for realization.18 C ogn ition s u n d er the influence o f sensuality or aversion lead to co g ­ nitive distortions and thereby cause the arising of unw holesom e thoughts an d intentions.” D istorted or biased cognitions include significant m isapprehensions o f reality that affect the fundam ental structure o f ordinary experience, such as w hen one w ro n g ly per­ ceives perm anence, satisfaction, substantiality, an d beauty in w h a t

36 A 1 3 relates sensual desire to unwise attention to the "sign of beauty1 ", and aversion to unwise attention to the "'sign of irritation", M 1298 explains that lust, anger, and delu­ sion are "makers of signs", Cf* also M 111 225, which describes how consciousness, be­ cause of following after the sign, becomes tied and shackled by the gratification derived from the sign, and thereby becomes fettered to the sign, 37 As 400, however, takes the term to refer to the details of the perceived object. On the other hand, in similar passages in the discourses "sign" may be followed by various types of thoughts, which could correspond to "association" (cf e.g. M 1 119). T.W. Rhys Davids 1993: P43, translates anuvyanjarm as "accompanying attribute", "supple­ mentary or additional sign or mark". The corresponding Chinese version (Minh Chau 1993: p,82) speaks of not grasping the general appearance and not "taking delight in it". On anuvyanjana as "association" cf. Vimalo 1974: p.5438 A II167. Cf. also Sn 779, pointing out that by penetrative insight into cognition one will be able to cross the flood: and Sn 847, according to which one gone beyond cognition has thereby gone beyond bondage. 39 M 1507 speaks of the cognitive distortion (viparita$anna) to perceive sensual pleasures as happiness. M II27 identifies cognitions under the influence of sensuality, aversion, and cruelty as the source of all unwholesome thoughts and intentions.

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in fact is the opposite.4 0 The presence of such unrealistic elem ents w ithin cognition is due to the habitual projection of one's ow n m is­ taken notions onto cogn ized sense data, a process of w hich one is u sually unaw are. These habitual projections u n derlyin g the p ercep­ tual process are responsible for unrealistic expectations and thereby for frustration and conflict/*1 As a counterm easure to these unrealistic cognitive appraisals, the discourses recom m end cultivating beneficial cognitions/2Such b en ­ eficial cognitions direct aw areness to the im perm anence or unsatisfactoriness o f ail aspects of experience. O thers are concerned with m ore specific issues, such as the unattractive features of the body or food. Regarding the nature of these cognitions, an im por­ tant point to bear in m ind is that to cogn ize som ething as beautiful or as im perm anent does not refer to a process of reflection or consid­ eration, b u t o n ly to being aware of a particular feature of an object, in other w ords, to experience it from a particular point of view . In the case of ordinary cognitive appraisal, this point of vie w or act of selection is usually not at all conscious. C o gn izin g som eone or som e­ thing as beautiful often takes place as the com bined outcom e of past conditioning and one's present m ental inclinations. These tend to determ ine w hich aspect o f an object becom es prom inent d u rin g cognition* R eflective th ough t only subsequently enters into the scene, influenced b y the kind of cognition that has led to its arising.0 The crucial point, from a m editative perspective, is that cognitions are am enable to a process o f training.4 4The ability to train cognitions

40 These are the four vipallasas, cf. A II52; Patfs II80; Bodhi 1992b: p.4; and page 25, footnote 27. 41 Fromm 1960: p.127: "man in the state of repressedness ,«, does not see what exists, but he puts his thought image into things, and sees them in the light of his thought im­ ages and fantasies, rather than in their reality. It is the thought image .., that creates his passions, his anxieties," Johansson 1985: p,g6: "things are seen through the lenses of our desires, prejudices and resentments and are transformed accordingly". 42 e.g. at D III 251; D III 253; D III 289; A III 79; A III 83-5; A IV 24; AIV 46; A IV 387; A V 105-7; and A V 109, 43 M I I 27, In fact, according to D 1185 cognition temporally precedes knowledge (Mm),
a temporal precedence which can lead to a considerable degree of influence exercised

by cognition on whal is being "known"; cf. also Nanavira 1987: p.uo 44 D 1 180 explains that through training some type of cognitions will arise, others will disappear (this statement occurs in the context of jhana attainment); c f also Premasiri 1972: p.12. Claxton 1991: p.25, points out that "the Buddhist position, because it asserts that perception is changeable by psychological practices such as meditation, assumes a 'constructivist' view".

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is related to the fact that co gn itio n s are the outcom e o f m ental h ab ­ its. By w a y o f co gn itive training, on e can establish n e w and different habits and th ereby grad u ally alter o n e 's cognitions. T h e basic p ro ce­ dure for such cogn itive train in g is related to the sam e h abit-form ing m echanism , n am ely to b eco m in g accustom ed to, and fam iliar w ith , a certain w a y o f v ie w in g ex p erien ce/5B y directin g aw areness again and again to th e true characteristics o f con d ition ed existence, these w ill becom e m ore and m ore fam iliar, im print th em selves onto o n e's w a y o f v ie w in g experien ce, and th ereby lead to the arising of sim ilar w ays o f c o g n izin g on fu tu re occasions. The m ethod th rough w h ich cogn ition is trained can be c o n v e­ niently exem p lified w ith a set o f term s occurrin g in the Girimdnanda Sutta , w h e re reflection (pafisancikkhati) and contem p lation (anupassand) are m en tion ed alo n gsid e cognition {sanftd)f A lth ou gh this is not sp elled o u t in the discourse, this passage lists those tw o a ctivi­ ties that are related to training cognition: a p relim in ary degree o f w ise reflection as a basis for the sustained practice of contem p lation (anupassand). S kilfu lly com bined , these tw o can g ra d u a lly transform the w a y the w o rld is cogn ized . To g iv e a practical exam ple: if, on the basis of an intellectual ap p re­ ciation of im perm anence, on e regu larly contem plates the arising and p assin g a w a y of p h en o m en a, the result w ill be the arising of aniccasannd, of cogn ition s a p p re h e n d in g ph enom ena from the view * p oin t o f im perm anence. W ith co n tin u ed practice, aw areness o f im ­ perm anence w ill becom e in creasin g ly sp on tan eou s and h ave an increasing in flu en ce on o n e's d a ily experiences, ou tsid e of actual contem plation* In this w a y , sustained contem p lation can lead to a gradu al ch an ge in the o p eration al m echanics of cognition, and in one's o u tlo o k on the w orld. A ccord in g to the discourses/ such cogn itive train in g can lead to a stage at w h ich o n e is able at w ill to co gn ize p h en om en a as agreeable (iappatikkula) or as disagreeable (patikkula)*7 T h e culm ination of training o n e's cogn ition s in this w a y is reached w h en one com ­ pletely transcends such evalu atio n s and becom es firm ly established in p erceptual equanim ity. T he discourses go so far as to consider
45 A Long list of such cognitive trainings is given at A V 107, each time introduced by the expression "accustomed to" or 9 familiar with" (paricita). Cf. also Patis 132, 46 A V 109, 47 M III 301. A UI169 explains that the purpose of this cognitive training is to counter the arising of lust and anger.

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such m astery over one's cognitions to be superior even to supernat­ ural pow ers like w alking on w ater or flyin g through the air.4 8 The basis for developing such intriguing kinds of mastery is satipaffhdna contem plation.* The presence o f sati directly counter­ acts autom atic and unconscious w ays of reacting that are so typical of habits. By directing sati to the early stages of the perceptual pro­ cess, one can train cognition and thereby reshape habitual patterns. O f central importance in this context is the receptive quality of m indfulness, w hich gives full attention to the cognized data. O f equal significance is satis detached quality, w hich avoids im m edi­ ate reactions. In this w ay, receptive and detached sati applied to the early stages of the perceptual process can make habitual reactions conscious and enable an assessm ent of the extent to w hich one is reacting autom at­ ically and w ithout conscious deliberation. This also reveals the se­ lective and filtering mechanisms o f perception, highlighting the extent to w hich subjective experience mirrors one's hitherto u ncon­ scious assumptions. In this manner, through satipatthdna contem ­ plation, it becomes possible to access and redress a central cause of the arising of unw holesom e cognitions, and thereby for the activa­ tion of influxes (dsava), underlying tendencies (anusaya), and fetters (samyojana), by de-autom atizing or deconditioning habits and sub­ conscious evaluations. A practical application of this skill is the subject of the final section of m y exploration of the contem plation of the sense-spheres.

XI.4 TH E IN S T R U C T IO N T O 6 A H IY A

"Bahiya o f the Bark-Garment" w as a non-Buddhist ascetic w ho once approached the Buddha for instructions w hile the latter was collect­ ing alm sfood. Still out on the roads o f the city, the Buddha gave him a short instruction concerned with cognitive training, w ith the

48 D III 49 Cf. S V 295, where a n exposition of satipatthana is followed b y a description of the abil­ ity to influence cognition (patikkule appatikkulasaftrlj). Scientific corroboration of per­ ceptual changes owing to meditation can be fo u n d in Grown 1984: p.727. Cf. also Brown 1977; p.248; D e ik m a n 1969: p.204; and Santuoci 1979: p.72.

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result that Bahiya im m ediately gained full aw akening.5 0 The B uddha's cryptic instruction was:
When in the seen w ill be only w hat is seen, in the heard on ly what is heard, in the sensed on ly what is sensed, in the know n only what is known, you w ill not be b y that; when you are not b y that, you w ill not be therein; when you are not therein, you w ill be neither here, nor there, nor in between. T his is the end of d u k k h a . 5*

This instruction directs bare aw areness to w h atever is seen, heard, sensed, or cogn ized. M aintaining bare aw areness in this w a y pre­ vents the mind evaluating and proliferating the raw data of sense perception. This corresponds to an interception o f the first stages in the sequence of the perceptual process, through m indful attention. Here, bare aw areness sim ply registers w h a tev er arises at a sense door w ith o u t g iv in g rise to biased forms o f cognition and to u n ­ w ho lesom e thoughts and associations.5 2 In terms of sense-restraint, the stage o f m aking a "sign" (nimitta) is thereby brought into con ­ scious aw areness.5 3 Establishing bare aw areness at this stage of the perceptual process prevents the latent tendencies (anusaya), in­ fluxes (asava), and fetters (samyojana) from arising.

50 Ud 8; for this he was noted among the Buddha's disciples as pre-eminent in quick un­ derstanding (at A 124). SIV 63 and S V 165 report the realization of a monk by the same name, Bahiya, but based in one case on contemplating the six senses as impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self, and in the other case on satipatthana. According to Malalasekera 1995: voUJ, pp.281-3, these last two are different from the Bahiya of the Udana episode. Another Bahiya who caused dissension among the monks is men­ tioned at A 11239. At S JV 73 the monk M&luftkyaputta received the "Bahiya" instruc­ tion, where it again led to full awakening, although in this case after a period of practice in seclusion. The Bahiya case also comes up in the Satipatthana subcom­ mentary Ps pt 1 357, in the context of clear knowledge in regard to bodily activities. 51 Ud 8. 52 This seems to be the implication of several passages in the Sutta Nipdta which employ the same terms {seen, heard, sensed), cf. Sn 793; Sn 798; Sn 802; Sn 812; and Sn 914. Mahasi 1992: p.42, explains: "when one concentrates only on the act of seeing without thinking over what one has seen, visual perception will last only for an instant, in that case defilements will have no time to assert themselves". Nam to 1984: in­ structs one to "focus on the split-second between hearing a sound and recognizing it in the conventional manner". Practical experiences that reflect the above injunctions are described in Shattock 1970: p.68; and Walsh 1984: p.267. 53 Compare the detailed treatment given by Malurtkyaputta after receiving the ''Bahiya*" instructions at SIV 73, where he pointed out how lack of mindfulness leads to giving attention to the sign of affection and thereby to an infatuated state of mind, (Same again in part at Th 98-9 and in full at Th 794-817.)

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The activities of seeing, hearing, sensing, and kn ow in g m entioned in the Bahiya instruction occur also in the Mulapariyaya Sutta * This discourse contrasts the arahant's direct com prehension of ph enom ­ ena w ith the ordinary w a y of perception through m isconceiving the cogn ized data in various ways* The Chabbisodhana Sutta relates the elaborations absent from w hat is seen, heard, sensed, and kn ow n by an arahant to freedom from attraction and rejection,5 5 O ther pas­ sages discuss the same set of activities w ith an additional em phasis on avo id in g any form of identification.5 6 This injunction is particu­ larly pertinent, since according to the Alagaddupama Sutta the activi­ ties of seeing, hearing, sensing, and kn ow in g can lead to w ron gly develop in g a sense o f self.5 7 Passages in the Upanisads indeed take these activities as evidence for the perceiving activity of a self*5 * According to the Bahiya instruction, by m aintaining bare sati at all sense doors one will not be "by that", w hich suggests not being car­ ried a w ay by the conditioned sequence o f the perceptual process, thereby not m odifying experience through subjective biases and distorted cognitions.5 9 N ot being carried aw ay, one is not "therein" b y w a y o f subjective participation and identification.6 * Such absence of being "therein" draw s attention to a key aspect of the instruction to Bahiya, to the realization of anatta as the absence of a perceiving self.

54 M Ji* Cf. also A II23, which documents the Buddha's ability to see through and fully understand whatever is seen, heard, sensed, or cognized.
55 M IQ 30.

56 M 1 136 and M III 261, 57 M 1 135. Cf. also Bhattacharya 1980: p io. 58 Brhad&ravyaka Upani$ad 2.4.5 states that the self should be seen, heard of, thought about, and meditated upon, since by the seeing, hearing, sensing, and cognizing of the self everything is known; Brhaddranyaki Upanisad 4.5.6 then declares that once the self is seen, heard, sensed, and cognized, everything is known, 59 "By that" (iena) in the sense of "thereby", c f e.g. Dhp 258, which criticizes much talk­ ing by pointing out that "thereby" or "by that" {tenn} one does not become a sage. According to Ireland 1977: p.160 n.3, tern and tattha "are the key words in this text". 60 "Therein", tattha, is a locative adverb, which can also be translated as "there", "in that place", or "to this place" (T,W« Rhys Davids 1993; p.295)^ Vimalo 1959: p.27, renders this passage (tena + tattha): "then you will not be influenced by thatr if you are not in­ fluenced by it, you are not bound to it". For "subjective participation" in the sense of affective involvement cf, Sn 1086. Bodhi 1992b: p,i3, commenting on the Bahiya in­ struction, explains: "what is to be eliminated from cognition is precisely the false im­ putations of subjectivity that distort the incoming data and issue in erroneous judgements and beliefs".

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N eith er b e in g "by that" nor "th erein " also constitutes a com p ara­ tive ly a d v a n ce d stage o f satipatthana practice, w h e n the m editator has b ecom e able to co n tin u o u sly m aintain bare aw aren ess at ail sense do o rs, th ereby n o t b e in g "by that" b y rem ain in g free from "c lin g in g to a n y th in g in the w o rld ", nor b e in g "th erein " b y co n tin u ­ ing to "a b id e in d e p e n d e n tly ", as stipu lated in the satipatthana "refrain". A cco rd in g to the final p art o f the Bahiya instruction, b y m aintain­ in g aw aren ess in the ab o ve m an n er o n e w ill n ot be established "h ere" or "th ere" or "in b e tw een ". A w a y of u n d erstan d in g "h ere" an d "th ere" is to take them as rep resen tin g the subject (senses) and the resp ective objects, w ith "in b etw een " sta n d in g for the co n d i­ tion ed arisin g o f con sciou sn ess.6 1 A cco rd in g to a discourse from the Anguttara Nikaya, it is th e "seam stress" cra v in g (tatffoa) w h ich "stitches" consciousness ("the m iddle") to the senses and their ob­ jects (the tw o o p p osite ends).*J A p p ly in g this im a g ery to the B ah iya instruction, in the absence o f cra vin g th ese three con dition s for p er­ cep tu al contact do not get sufficien tly "tie d " togeth er, so to speak, for fu rth e r p roliferations to occur. Such absen ce o f u n n ecessary p ro­ liferation is characteristic o f th e cognitions o f arahants, w h o are no lon ger in flu en ced b y sub jective biases and w h o co gn ize p h en om en a w ith o u t seif-reference. Free from cra vin g an d proliferations, th ey are n o t id en tified w ith eith er "h ere" (senses), or "th ere" (objects), or "in b e tw e e n " (consciousness), resu ltin g in freed om from a n y ty p e of b ecom in g, w h e th e r it be "h ere", or "th ere", or "in b etw een ".

61 Following Naxjavlra 1987: p.435. The commentary Ud-a 92, however, relates these ex­ pressions to spheres of rebirth, but points out that in this interpretation "in between" should not be taken to refer to an intermediate existence. In fact, the Pali commentarial tradition holds that rebirth immediately follows the moment of pass­ ing away. A close examination of the discourses, on the other hand, reveals several in­ stances which suggest that from their perspective such a state in between existences did exist, where the being to be reboin (the gandhabba at M 1 265 and M I I 157), pro­ pelled by craving (SIV 399), seeks a new existence (sambhavesi at M 148 and Sn 147), or can attain full awakening in that intermediate state if the stage of non-returning had earlier been realized (the antaraparinibbayi e«g, at D 111 237; S V 70; S V 201; S V 204; S V 237; S V 285; S V 314; S V 378; A 1233; A II134; A IV 14; AIV 71; A I V 146; AIV 380; and A V 120). C£ also Bodhi 2000: p. 1902 n.65. 62 A III 400, commenting on Sn 1042, Cf, also Dhp 385, which speaks In praise of goingbeyond this shore and the other, a passage which according to Daw Mya Tin 1990: p-132, can be interpreted in a similar way. The seamstress (craving) occurs again at Th 663. Cf. also Nanananda 1999: p.19.

XII

D H A M M A S : TH E A W A K E N I N G F A C T O R S

XILl CONTEMPLATION OF THE AWAKENING FACTORS

T h e m ental qualities th at form the topic o f the next con tem p lation of dhammas p ro v id e the con dition s co n d u civ e to a w a k e n in g , w h ich is w h y th e y are term ed "a w a k e n in g factors".1 Just as a riv er inclines an d flo w s to w a rd s the ocean , so th e a w a k e n in g factors incline to­ w ard s Nibbana* T h e instructions for co n te m p la tin g the a w a k e n in g factors are:
If the m in dfuln ess a w ak en in g factor is present in him, he kn o w s "there is the m in dfu ln ess aw ak en in g factor in me"; if the m in d fu l­ ness aw akenin g factor is not present in him , he k now s "there is no m in dfu ln ess a w ak e n in g factor in me"; he k n o w s how the unarisen m in dfu ln ess aw ak en in g factor can arise, and how the arisen m ind­ fu ln ess aw ak en in g factor can b e perfected b y developm ent. If the investigation-of-dfcawim as aw ak en in g factor is present in him , he know s...* If the energy aw ak en in g factor is present in him, he k n o w s.... If the jo y aw ak en in g factor is present in him , he k n o w s ... If the tranquillity a w ak en in g factor is present in him , he k n o w s.... I f the concentration aw ak en in g factor is present in him , he k n o w s.... I f the equ anim ity aw ak en in g factor is present in him, he know s "there is the equ anim ity aw ak en in g factor in m e"; if the equanim ity

1

V 72; S V 83; and Patis II115. C f also D III 97; Dhp 89; and Th? 71. According to Nor­ man 1997: p>29, bodhi is better rendered by "awakening" than by ''enlightenment'', a suggestion which I have followed. 2 S V 134,
S

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aw akening factor is not present in him, he know s "there is no equa­ nim ity aw akening factor in me"; he know s how the unarisen equa­ nim ity aw akenin g factor can arise, and how the arisen equanim ity aw akening factor can be perfected b y developm ent.5

C ontem plation of the a w a k e n in g factors p roceed s sim ilarly to the contem plation of the hindrances: first aw areness turns to the pres­ ence or absence of the m ental quality in q uestion, an d th en to the conditions for its presence or absence (cf. Fig. 12.1 below ). H o w ever, w hile in the case of contem p lating the hindrances aw areness is con­ cerned w ith the conditions for their futu re non-arising, w ith the a w a k en in g factors the task is to kn o w h o w to d e v e lo p and firm ly es­ tablish th ese beneficial m ental qualities.
know ing the presence or absence of

mindfulness (safO invest!gation-of-dto?m m as (dhammavicaya) energy (viriya)
___________ joy

if present
kn o w in g the conditions that lead to further developm ent and perfection

(piti)___________ (passaddhi)
if absent

tranquillity

concentration (satnadki)

equanimity (upekkha) stage 1
Fig, 12.1

knowing the conditions that lead to arising stage 2

T w o s ta g e s in th e c o n t e m p la t io n o f th e s e v e n a w a k e n in g fa c to r s

Like the contem plation of the hindrances, the instructions for co n ­ tem plating the a w ak en in g factors do not m ention an y active en d eav o u r to set u p or m aintain a particular a w a k en in g factor, apart from the task of setting u p aw areness. H ow ever, just as the m ere presence o f sati can counter a hindrance, so the presence of sati can prom ote the arising of the oth er a w a k en in g factors. In fact, accord­ in g to the Anapanasati Sutta the seven aw a k en in g factors form a co n ­ ditionally related sequence, w ith sati as its initial cause an d fo u n d atio n .4 This suggests that the d evelo p m en t o f the a w ak en in g factors is a natural outcom e of practisin g satipatthanaS

3 MI61, 4 M III 85 and S V 68. 5 According to S V 73 and A V 116, the development of the four satipatthdnas fulfils the seven awakening factors.

DHAMMAS: THE A W AK EN IN G FA C TO R S

f

23 5

Besides p rovidin g the foundation for the other factors, sati is m oreover the one aw akening factor w h o se developm ent is benefi­ cial at any time and on all occasions,6The rem aining six factors can be split into two groups o f three: investigation-of-d/iflnwifls (idhammavicaya), energy (viriya), and jo y (piti) are particularly appro­ priate w h en the m ind is sluggish and deficient in energy, w hile tran­ quillity (passaddhi), concentration (samadhi), and equanim ity (upekkha) are suitable for those occasions w h en the mind is excited and over-energetic/

XII.2 THE C O N D ITIO N A L SEQUENCE OF THE AW AK EN IN G FACTORS

In the conditional sequence of the aw ak en in g factors, "investigation-of-dhammas" (dhammavicaya) develops out of well-established m indfulness. Such investigation-of-d/iammas seems to com bine two aspects: on the one hand an inquiry into the nature of experience (by taking " dhammas" to stand for "phenom ena"), and on the other a correlation of this experience w ith the teachings of the B uddha (the "Dhamma")* This tw ofold character also underlies the w ord "inves­ tigation" {vicaya), derived from the verb vicinati, w hose range of m eaning includes both "investigating" and "discrim inating".9 Thus "investigation-of-dfcammfls" can be understood as an investigation of subjective experience based on the discrim ination gained through fam iliarity w ith the Dhamma. Such discrim ination refers in particular to the ability to distinguish betw een w hat is w holesom e or skilful for progress on the path, and w h at is unw holesom e or un­ skilful.1 0 This directly contrasts invesiigation-ot-dhammas w ith the

6 At S V 115 the Buddha emphatically stated that sati is always usefu 1 . This usefulness of sati is illustratively compared by the commentary to the need for salt when preparing food (at Ps 1292). The central importance of sati is also brought out at Ps 1243 and Ps-pt I 363, according to which sati forms the essential condition for "contemplation" and "knowledge".
7 S V 112.

8 At S V 68 "investigation-of-rf/Mmmas" refers to further reflection on earlier heard ex­ planations by elder monks. In contrast at S V m "investigation-of-rffommtfs" stands for investigating internal and external phenomena, 9 T.W. Rhys Davids 1993' p.616. 10 S V 66. On investigation-of-jihammas cf. also Jootla 1983: pp.43-8; and Ledi 1983: p.105, who assembles the five higher stages of purification, the three contemplations, and the ten insight knowledges under this particular awakening factor. According to Mil 83, in vestigation-oi-dhamm&s is a mental quality of crucial importance for realiza tion.

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hindrance doubt (vicikiccha), w hich arises ow in g to lack of clarity about w hat is wholesom e and w hat is unw holesom e.1 1 The developm ent of investigation-of -dhammas in turn arouses the aw akening factor of energy (viriya).'z The arising of such "energy" is related to putting forth effort.1* The discourses further qualify such energy w ith the attribute ''unshaken".1 4This qualification draw s at­ tention to the need for effort or energy to be applied w ith continu­ ity, a specification w hich parallels the quality of being diligent {atdpt) m entioned in the "definition" part of the Satipatthdna Sutta. A ccording to the discourses, energy can m anifest either m entally or physically.15As an aw akening factor, energy stands in direct opposi­ tion to the hindrance sloth-and-torpor (thinamiddha).* In the sequence of the aw akening factors, energy in turn leads to the arising of joy (plti), Joy as an aw akening factor is clearly a non-sensual type of joy, such as the jo y that can be experienced during absorption attainment.1 7 The progression of the aw akening factors then leads from jo y (piti), via tranquillity (passaddhi), to con­ centration (santadhi). This echoes a causal sequence often described elsewhere in the discourses, w hich similarly proceeds from joy, tranquillity, and happiness to concentration, and culminates w ith the arising of wisdom and realization /
11 Cf. S V 104, which describes the "nutriment* for investigation-of-dfoimmfls in exactly the same terms used by S V 106 to describe the "anti-nutriment" for doubt, namely wise attention in regard to what is wholesome and what is unwholesome. Such clar­ ity is in both cases concerned with "internal" as well as "external" dhammas (cf. S V 110). 12 . According to Debes 1994: p-292, the effect of Investigation-of-dftommas, by finding out the validity and relevance of the Buddha's teachings to experienced reality, is to awaken energy ("Tatkraft"). 13 S V 66 recommends endeavour and exertion as nutriments for the awakening factor of energy. The Chinese Agama version of this discourse mentions the four right efforts as nutriment for the awakening factor of energy (cf. Choong 2000: p.213)- This presen­ tation fits well with the distinction between wholesomeness and unwholesomeness gained through cultivating the previous awakening factor, investigation-of-<tfw>mrtas, since the same distinction underlies the four right efforts. 14 S V 68. 15 S V in. Spk III 169 mentions the practice of walking meditation as an example for physical "energy". 16 S V 104 describes the nutriment for the awakening factor of energy in the same terms used at S V 705 for the anti-nutriment for sloth-and-torpor. 17 S V 68 speaks of "unworldly joy"; which S V 111 relates to the presence or absence of initial and sustained mental application, i.e. to the experience of absorption. "Joy” in this context is, however, not confined to jhanic joy only, since non-sensual joy can also be the result of insight meditation, cf. e.g Dhp 374. 18 e.g at S II 32; cf, also page 166, footnote 45.

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As an a w a k e n in g factor, tranquillity (passaddhi) is related to p h y si­ cal and m ental calm ness an d is therefore a direct antidote to the h in ­ drance restlessness-and-w orry (iu d d h a cca k u k k u cca A s part of the causal sequence lead in g to concentration, the aw a k e n in g factor tran q uillity leads to a h a p p y state o f m in d, w h ich in turn facilitates concentration.4 0C oncentration, then, arises because of the d e v e lo p ­ m en t o f calm ness and lack o f distraction.2 1 A cco rd in g to the dis­ courses, concentration w ith and w ith o u t initial m ental application (vitakka) can serve as an a w a k e n in g factor/2 The culm ination of the d ev elo p m en t o f the aw a k e n in g factors com es w ith the establishm ent o f eq uan im ity (upekkha), a b alan ced state o f m ind resultin g from concentration.1* Such refin ed m ental balance and equip oise corresponds to a level of w ell-d ev elo p e d

19 S V 104 identifies physical and mental tranquillity as nutriment for the awakening fac­ tor of tranquillity, while S V 106 speaks of calmness of the mind ( « cetaso vupasamo) as anti-nutriment for restlessness-and-worry. Another noteworthy point is that the dis­ courses analyse both the awakening factor tranquillity and the hindrance sloth-andtorpor into a bodily and a mental aspect documenting a physical and a psychological component of both, 20 SV69. 21 S V 105 recommends the "sign of calmness" (samathanimitta) as nutriment for the awakening factor of concentration* This "sign of calmness" is mentioned again at D III 213 and S V 66. The "sign" (nimitta) occurs also in various other passages, often in ap­ parent relation to the development of concentration. Frequently a "sign of concentra­ tion" (samadhinimitto) can be found (at D Ilf 226; D III 242; D III 279; M 1 249; M 1 301; M III m ; A 1 115; A 1 256; A I I 17; A III 23; and A III 321). Though at M 1 301 this sign of concentration is related to the four satipatthanas, at M III 112 it refers to the practice of samatha meditation, since this passage speaks of internally unifying, quietening, and concentrating the mind on this sign of concentration, which it then explains to refer to attainment of the four jhanas. In some instances one also finds the "sign of the mind" (cittanimiita, e.g. at S V 151; A III 423; and Th 85), which Th 85 relates to nonsensual happiness, an instance reminiscent of the experience of non-sensual happi­ ness during absorption. Similarly, A IV 419 recommends making much of the "sign", which in this passage too represents jhanic attainment. Another relevant passage is M III 157, where the Buddha spoke of the need to "penetrate" or "acquire" the sign (nimittam pativijjhitabbam) in order to overcome various mental obstructions. The set of mental obstructions to be overcome in this discourse form a unique set which does not occur as such elsewhere and is clearly related to samatha meditation (cf. page 199, footnote 73). Ps IV 207 however, possibly having in mind A IV 302, takes this passage to refer to the divine eye. This reading by the commentary does not make much sense, since the above passage clearly deals with a level of practice prior even to the first jhdna, while to develop the divine eye would necessitate attainment of the fourth jhdna. Shwe 1979: p.387, explains: "anything entering into a causal relation, by which its effect is signified, marked or characterized, is a nimitta* An object, image or concept which, on being meditated upon, induces samddhi (jhdna) is a nimitta" On the "sign" in a different context cf. also page 225, footnote 35,

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satipatthdna, w h en the m editator is capable of dw ellin g "in d epen d­ ently, w ithout clinging to anyth in g in the w orld", as stipulated in the "refrain". Practically applied, the w h o le set of the seven aw aken in g factors can be understood to describe the progress of satipatthdna practice to this level of deep equanim ity. O n the basis of w ell-established m ind­ fulness, one investigates the nature of subjective reality (viz. investi­ gation^-of-dhammas). O nce sustained investigation gains m om entum (viz. energy), w ith grow in g insight the object o f contem plation b e­ com es clearer and the m editator feels inspired {viz. joy) to continue w ith the practice. If at this point the danger of getting carried a w ay b y elation and agitation can be avoided, continued contem plation leads to a state of calm ness, w h en the m ind stays effortlessly w ith its m editation object w ithou t succum bing to distraction (viz. concen­ tration). W ith m aturing insight, this process culm inates in a state of firm equanim ity and detachm ent. It is at this point, w hen the inspired m om entum of m indful inves­ tigation takes place against a background of tranquil com posure, that the m ental equipoise needed for the breakthrough to aw ak en ­ in g comes about. A t this level of practice, a deep sense of com pletely letting go prevails. In the discourses, such "letting go" as a central purpose o f developing the bojjhangas forms the culm ination of a set of attributes frequently associated with the aw akening factors. These attributes stipulate that, in order to actualize the aw akening potential of the bojjhangas, they need to be based on "seclusion" (viveka), on "fad in g aw ay" (virago), and on "cessation" (nirodha), since in this w a y they w ill lead to "letting go" (vossajgi?).1*

22 S V 111. As Vism 126 explains, the jhana factors already begin to arise during access con­ centration, although they become fully stable only with the attainment of the first jhana. Thus the expression "concentration with initial mental application" can also be taken to include levels of concentration bordering on absorption, during which the presence of initial and sustained mental application is responsible for further deepen­ ing concentration and thereby leads to attainment of the first jhana. Understood in this way, levels of concentration dose to absorption, corresponding to the commentarial notion of "access concentration", could also be put into service as awakening factors. 23 S V 69. Aronson 1979: p.2, explains that upekkha is formed from upa meaning " toward" and a derivative of the verb ikkh meaning "to see", and thus conveys a "notion of over-looking a situation from a distance". Gethin 1992: p. 160, points out that "upekkfw ... is both the balance of the skilful mind and the force which maintains that balance".

DHAMMAS: TH E A W A K E N IN G F A C T O R S

/

23 9

E quanim ity and m ental balance as the consum m ation of the other six a w a k en in g factors also constitutes the clim ax in the com m entarial schem e of the insight kn ow ledges, in w h ich "equanim ity in re­ gard to all conditioned phenom ena" (sankharupekkhanana) m arks the culm ination of the series and the suitable m ental condition for the eve n t of realization,
BENEFITS OF D EVELO PIN G THE A W AK EN 1 N C FACTORS

X1L3

The profitable effect o f the aw ak en in g factors stands in direct o p p o ­ sition to the detrim ental repercussions o f the hindrances, a contrast freq u ently m entioned in the discourses/5 Both these sets form as­ pects of satipatthana contem plation and are of central im portance in cultivating the m ental conditions condu cive to realization.*6A ccord­ in g to the B uddha, these tw o aspects from am on g the contem pla­ tions of dhammas (rem oval o f the hindrances and an establishm ent o f the aw ak en in g factors) are the necessary conditions not o n ly for realization, but also for d ev elo p in g m undane typ es of kn o w led g e.17 The central im portance of d ev elo p in g aw areness in regard to these tw o sets of m ental qualities is also reflected in the fact that all C hin ese and Sanskrit versions o f contem plation o f dhammas include the hindrances and the aw ak en in g factors. In contrast, none of these versions m entions the contem plation o f the five aggregates, and several versions om it the contem plation o f the sense-spheres and the contem plation o f the four noble truths.2 * Thus w h at rem ains as the u nanim ously accepted core of contem plation of dhammas in all different versions are the five hindrances and the seven a w ak en in g

24 e.g. at M IH 88. The same awakening dynamics can be related to the noble eightfold path (S i 88; SIV 367; and S V 1-62); and to the five faculties {SIV 365; S V 239; and S V 241); or the five powers (SIV 366; S V 249; and S V 251); cf. also Gethin 1992: pp.162-8. 25 The discourses express this contrast by catling the awakening factors "antihindranees" (amvaraijd, e,g, at S V 93). Cf. also page 188, footnote 23. In the Chinese Madhyama Agama version, contemplation of the awakening factors immediately fol­ lows contemplation of the hindrances in the sequence of the dfoimma-contemplations, which illustrates how the removal of the latter naturally leads to a development of the former; cf, Minh Chau 1991: p.94; and Nhat Hanh 1990: p.163. 26 S V 128 points out that the awakening factors lead to knowledge and vision, while the hindrances lead to the absence of knowledge and vision. 27 According to S V 121 they constitute the reason why at times what has been well learned can b e forgotten, while at other times matters not studied intensively can still he well re m em b e re d .

240

f

SA TIPATTH AN A

factors, a fin d in g w hich u n derlin es their im portance.2 9 This fin d in g has a parallel in the Vibhanga, w h ic h also lists o n ly these tw o m edita­ tion practices in its accou nt o f contem plation of dhammas * To over* come the hindrances, to practise satipatthana, and to establish the a w ak en in g factors are, in d eed , according to several Pali discourses, the k e y asp ects and the d istinctive features com m on to the a w ak en ­ ings of all B uddhas, past, p resen t, and fu tu re.3 1 D e velo p in g the a w ak en in g factors can be com b ined w ith a broad range of m editation exercises, in clu d in g, for exam ple, contem p la­ tion of a d e ca yin g corpse, the d ivin e abodes,, m indfulness o f b reath­ ing, or contem plation of the three characteristics.5 2 This indicates that to contem plate the a w a k e n in g factors does not m ean that one has to relinquish on e's p rim ary object o f m editation. Rather, on e is aw are o f these seven m ental qualities as facets of o n e's progress to­ w ards insigh t d u rin g actual practice, and one consciously d evelop s and balances them so that th e contem plation of o n e's prim ary object can g iv e rise to aw aken in g. T h ere is a sense o f m ental m astery in this ability to oversee the d e ­ velop m en t of insight d u rin g satipatthana practice and to sup ervise the harm onious interaction o f the aw a k en in g factors. The dis­ courses illustratively com pare this sense of m ental m astery to b ein g able to ch oose an y garm ent from a full w ard rob e.3 3 A su rvey o f the sup p ortive factors listed in the com m entaries for such m ental m as­ tery can be fo u n d in Fig. 12.2. A s indicated b y the discourses, a revelation of th e a w ak en in g fac­ tors takes place only w h e n a B u d d h a and his teach in g h ave arisen.3 4

28 The four noble truths occur in neither of the two A gam a versions and in only one of the three other versions of satipatthana, this being the Saripuirabhidharma (cf. Schmithaiisen 1976: p.248). The six sense-spheres occur in the Chinese Madhyama A gam a ver­ sion, while the Chinese version found in the Ekottara Agama has only the awakening factors and, based on removal of the hindrances (mentioned at the outset of the dis­ course), the development of the four jhanas (cf. Nhat Than 1990: p.176). 29 Warder 1991; p.86. 30 Vibh 199- Naijatiloka 1983: p.39, seems to take this "omission" on the side of the Vibhanga as a matter of intentional selection. Cf. also Thanissaro 1996: p«74* 31 D II83; D III 101; and S V 161. 32 CL S V 129-33, 33 S V71. It is interesting to note that the monk possessing this ability was Sariputta, who is characterized elsewhere in the discourses for his wisdom <e.g* S 1191, and A 1 23) and his ability in mental analysis (M Eli 25). At M I 215 he used the same simile to illustrate mental mastery. 34 S V 77; cL also S V 99.

DHAMMAS: THE AW A K E N IN G F A C T O R S

1 241

Hence, in the eyes of the early Buddhists, the developm ent o f the aw aken in g factors w as a specifically B uddhist teaching. That other contem porary ascetics w ere also instructing their disciples to d e­ velop the aw ak en in g factors w as, according to the com m entaries, sim ply a case of im itation/5 The relation of the seven aw aken in g factors to the B uddha, to­ gether w ith their qualification as treasures on another occasion, is rem iniscent of the universal m onarch (cakkavatti raja), w h o is simi­ larly in the possession of seven precious treasures.*6Just as the real­ ization of universal sovereignty dep en ds on those seven precious possessions and is heralded by the arising of the w heel-treasure (cakkaratana), so too the realization of aw aken in g depends on seven m ental treasures, the aw aken in g factors, and is heralded b y the aris­ in g of sati. The beneficial effect of the aw ak en in g factors is not confined to m ental conditions, since several discourses report that their recol­ lection sufficed for curing some arahants, including the B uddha him ­ self, of physical illness/7 Associations of cure and illness also underlie the form ulation of the final m editation practice in the Satipatthdna Suttar contem plation of the four noble truths, to w hich I w ill turn in the next chapter.

35 Cf, 5 V 108 and S V 112; and the commentary at Spk III 168; cf. also Gethin 1992: PPJ77-80; and Woodward 1979: vol.V p.gi n.i. 36 S V 99 presents both the seven treasures of a Tathagata, which are the seven awaken­ ing factors, and the seven treasures of a universal monarch, which are a wheel, an ele­ phant, a horse, a jewel, a woman, a steward, and a counsellor, each endowed with magical qualities. Spk III 154 then correlates them individually 37 At S V 79-81, where Kassapa, Moggallana, and the Buddha were each cured of illness by a recitation of the awakening factors. The effect of thus recalling and probably at the same time also re-establishing the constellation of mental factors that had led each of them to full awakening was apparently powerful enough to effect an abating of their respective diseases. On the curative effect of the awakening factors cf. Dhammananda 1987: p.334; and Piyadassi 1998: pp.2-4. The Chinese Agamas have only preserved the instance involving the Buddha, not the other two, cf. Akanuma 1990; p.242,

riP A T TH A N A

s

mindfulness and clear knowledge avoiding unmindful people and associating w ith mindful people inclining the mind accordingly (towards the developm ent of sati)

► n flJW )

theoretical inquiry bodily cleanliness balance of the five faculties avoiding unwise people and associating w ith wise people reflecting on the deeper aspects of the Dhamma inclining the mind accordingly reflecting on the fearfulness of the planes of misery seeing the benefits of effort reflecting on the path to be practised honouring the offerings one has received reflecting on the inspiring qualities of the tradition one is following, of one's teacher, of one's status as a follower o f the Buddha, and of companions In the holy life avoiding lazy people and associating w ith energetic people inclining the mind accordingly recollecting the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, one's virtue, one's acts o f generosity, heavenly beings, and the peace of realization avoiding rough people and associating with refined people reflecting on inspiring discourses inclining the m ind accordingly good food, agreeable weather, comfortable posture balanced behaviour avoiding restless people and associating w ith calm people inclining the mind accordingly

on

bodily cleanliness balancing the five faculties skill in taking up the sign of concentration skill in inciting, restraining, gladdening, and not interfering with the mind at the right time avoiding distracted people and associating with attentive people reflecting on the attainment of absorption inclining the mind accordingly detachment towards people and things avoiding prejudiced people and associating w ith impartial people inclining the mind accordingly

C o m m en ta ria l s u r v e y of s u p p o r tiv e conditions for developing th e awakening factors1 4

XIII

D H A M M A S : TH E F O U R N O B L E T R U T H S

T h e instructions for the fin al exercise a m o n g the satipatthana con ­ tem p lation s are:
He know s as it really is, "th is is d u k k h a ", he k n o w s as it really is, "this is the arising o f d u k k h a ", he k now s as it really is, "th is is the ces­ sation of d u k k h a ", he know s as it really is, "this is the w a y lead in g to the cessation of d u k k h a

XllLl THE IMPLICATIONS OF DUKKHA

A cco rd in g to m ore d etailed exp osition s fo u n d in oth er discourses, the first o f the four noble truths relates dukkha to p h ysica l even ts such as disease and death , and to the m ental d isp leasu re that arises from b e in g unable to satisfy desires and w ish es/ A s the first noble truth p o in ts ou t, all these form s o f dukkha can in the fin al analysis be traced to the basic fiv e fo ld d in g in g to existence b y w a y of the aggregates* A lth o u g h the B ud dh a p laced m u ch em ph asis on dukkhaf this d oes n o t m ean th at his an alysis o f reality w a s co n cern ed o n ly w ith the n e g a tive aspects of existence. In fact, an u n d ersta n d in g of dukkha

i

M l 62,

2 . e.g. at S V 421. Gethin 1992: p.18, comments: "understanding the first noble truth involves not so much the revelation that dukkha exists, as the realization of what dukkha is". Hamilton 1996: p.2o6, points out that "the first noble truth... can most ac­ curately be understood if it is borne in mind that this is a truth statement, not a value judgement".

244

/

SA TIP A TTH A N A

and its a risin g le ad s to th e th ird and the fou rth n o b le truths, w h ic h are c o n c e rn e d w ith the p o sitiv e v a lu e s o f fre e d o m from dukkha a n d th e p ractical p a th le a d in g to th a t freed o m . A s th e B u d d h a h im self e x p re ssly stated , a realizatio n o f the fo u r n o b le tru th s w ill be a cco m ­ p a n ie d b y h a p p in e ss, a n d th e n o b le e ig h tfo ld p a th is a p a th p r o d u c ­ tive o f jo y .3This sh o w s that u n d e rs ta n d in g dukkha is n ot n ecessa rily a m atter o f fru stra tio n a n d d esp air. Dukkha is o fte n tran slated as "s u ffe rin g ". S u ffe rin g , h o w e v e r , re p ­ resen ts o n ly o n e asp ect o f dukkha , a term w h o s e ran ge o f im p lica ­ tions is d iffic u lt to ca p tu re w ith a sin g le E n glish w o rd .4 Dukkha can be d e riv e d from the San skrit khar o n e m e a n in g o f w h ic h is "th e axle-h o le o f a w h e e l" , a n d th e a n tith etic p re fix duh (= dus), w h ic h stands for " d iffic u lty " o r "b a d n e ss",5 T h e co m p le te term th en e v o k e s the im a g e o f a n axle n o t fittin g p ro p e rly into its h ole. A c co rd in g to this im a g e , dukkha su g g e sts "d ish a rm o n y " or "frictio n ". A lte rn a ­ tiv e ly dukkha can be related to the San skrit siha , "sta n d in g " or " a b id ­ in g ", co m b in e d w ith the sam e a n tith etic p re fix duty.6 Dukkha in th e sen se o f " s ta n d in g b a d ly " th en c o n v e y s n u a n c e s o f "u n ea sin e ss" or o f b e in g "u n c o m fo rta b le ".7 In o rd e r to catch th e v a rio u s n u a n ces o f "dukkha", th e m ost c o n v e n ie n t tran slatio n is "u n sa tisfa cto rin ess", th o u g h it m ig h t b e best to le a v e th e term u n tran sla ted . T h e n e e d for care fu l tran slatio n o f th e term can be d em o n stra ted w ith the h e lp o f a p a ssa g e fro m the Nidana Samyutta , w h e r e th e B u d d h a sta te d th at w h a te v e r is fe lt is in c lu d e d w ith in dukkha . 8 To u n d e rsta n d dukkha h ere as an a ffe c tiv e q u a lity an d to take it as im ­ p ly in g th a t all fe e lin g s are "s u ffe r in g " co n flicts w ith the B u d d h a 's a n a ly sis o f fe e lin g s into th ree m u tu a lly ex clu siv e typ es, w h ic h are,

3 S V 441 and M 1 118. 4 Cf. T.W. Rhys Davids 1993: p.324; and Wijesekera 19943 p.755 Monier-Williams 1995: pp.334 (W in) and 483 (duhkha); c f also Smith 1959; p.109. The corresponding Pali terms are the prefix du (difficulty, badness), and akkha (axle of a wheel), cf. T.W. Rhys Davids 1993: pp 2 and 324. Vism 494 gives another rather imagi­ native explanation of the term, by relating kha to space (akzisa), which is then sup­ posed to represent the absence of permanence, beauty, happiness, and self. 6 Monier-Williams 1995; p. 1262. 7 C f also Naoamoli 1991: p.823 n.8, who suggests "uneasiness" as a preferable render­ ing for dukkha when this is used as a characteristic of the whole of experience. 8 5 II53.

DHAMMAS THE FOUR N0 6 LE TRUT HS

/ 245

in addition to unpleasant feeling, pleasant and neutral feelings.9 On another occasion the Buddha explained his earlier statement that "w hatever is felt is included within dukkha" to refer to the imperma­ nent nature of all conditioned phenom ena.1 0The changing nature of feelings, how ever, need not necessarily be experienced as "suffer­ ing", since in the case of a painful experience, for example, change m ay be experienced as pleasant.1 1 Thus all feelings are not "suffer­ ing", nor is their impermanence "suffering", but all feelings are "un­ satisfactory", since none of them can provide lasting satisfaction* That is, dukkha as a qualification of all conditioned phenomena is not necessarily experienced as "suffering", since suffering requires someone sufficiently attached in order to suffer,

XIIL2 THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS

That to suffer is due to some form of attachment is in fact the impli­ cation of the second noble truth, according to which in order for the unsatisfactory nature of phenomena in the w orld to lead to actual suffering, it is necessary for craving (tayha) to be present,1 2 As the third noble truth indicates, once all traces of attachment and craving have been eradicated by the arahant, such suffering is also eradi­ cated >Thus "suffering", unlike "unsatisfactoriness", is not inherent in the phenomena of the w orld, only in the w ay in w hich the unawakened mind experiences them. This is indeed the underlying theme of the four noble truths as a whole: the suffering caused b y at­ tachment and craving can be overcome by awakening. For an arahant the unsatisfactory nature of all conditioned phenom ena is no longer capable of causing suffering.

9

At D I] 66 the Buddha pointed out that w hen experiencing a pleasant feeling, for ex­ ample, one will not experience the other tw o types of feeling. Other passages indicate that according to the Buddha certain kinds of experiences and corresponding realms of existence are pure pleasure or happiness, e,g, M 1 76 speaks of the experience of en­ tirely pleasant feelings (by beings reborn in heaven), and M I I 37 affirms that there is an entirely pleasant world (this being the Brahma world corresponding to the attain­ ment o f the third jhSna). Cf. also Nanayakkara 1993a: p.538, 10 S IV 216. M III 20$ discusses the same statement, Cf. also Nanamoli 1995: p.1340 n.1227; and Naijavlra 1987: p *47711 M 1303 points out that whereas the change of pleasurable experiences might be expe­ rienced as suffering, in the case o f pain, change is experienced as pleasurable,
12 e.g. at S V 421. Cf- also G rub er 1999: pp-94 and 194; and N an ayak kara 1989: ^ 699.

2 48

/ SATJPATTHANA

The fourth noble truth then treats the conditions for such over­ com ing in detail, by d ep ictin g the practical w a y (magga, patipada) to be follow ed . This noble eigh tfo ld path covers the central activities and qualities to be cultivated in order to bring ab out the transform a­ tion from ign oran t w o rld lin g (puthujjana) to arahant." Since in this context righ t m indfulness (samma sati) is ju xtap osed w ith other fac­ tors such as v ie w , speech, and action, the noble eightfold path sets the necessary fram ew ork for a d evelo p m en t of satipatthana.'4 In other w ords, satipatthana becom es " samma sati" on ly w h en and if it is undertaken in te rd e p e n d e n t^ w ith the other seven path factors.'3 The four noble truths express the essence of the B uddha's a w a k ­ ening and form the central th em e o f w h at is recorded as his first for­ mal discourse/6 Since these four truths accord w ith reality, th ey are further qu alified as "noble", as the four "noble" truths.17The u nder­ lyin g fourfold structure parallels a fourfold m ethod of diagnosis and prescription u sed in ancient Indian m edicine (cf. Fig. 13,1 below ).1 * Similar n u ances occur in several discourses w h ich com pare the

13 In addition to the eightfold enumeration of path factors, a fivefold presentation can occasionally be found that is applicable to the context of meditation and presupposes the previous fulfilment of right speech, right action, and right livelihood, cf, M III 289; Vibh 238-240; the discussion at Kv 600; and Nanatiloka 1983: p,32* A tenfold enumera­ tion also occurs (e,g« at D II217 and M III 76), which adds qualities of the arahant: right knowledge and right liberation, 14 Satipatthana as the path factor of right mindfulness is in particular closely related to right view, since on the one hand right mindfulness is required to establish right view (cf. M III 7z), while on the other hand, right view serves as a basis for all other path fac­ tors (cf. D H 217 and M 171). Cf. also Vibh 242, which speaks of right view as the "root" of the other seven path factors* The need for right view as a foundation for progress on the path is also emphasized by Bodhi 1991: p,3; and Story 1965: p.167, 15 The same also underlies the nuances of samma as "togetherness" or as being "con­ nected in one", cf. page 74,
16 S V 422.

17 At S V 435. Another discourse at S V 435 offers the alternative explanation that they are so called because their author is the "Noble One". This discourse, unlike the preced­ ing one, is missing from the Chinese Agamas, cf. Akanuma 1990: p.263. According to Norman 1984: p.389, the attribute "noble" might not have been part of the historically earliest formulations of the four (noble) truths. 18 De )a VallGe Poussin 1903: p.580; Padmasiri de Silva 1992a: p>i66; and Pande 1957: p.398. According to Wezler 1984: pp.312— 24, there is no evidence for this scheme hav­ ing predated the Buddha's formulation of the four noble truths, therefore it is also possible that it was adopted from his teaching by the medical sciences* Parallels to the four noble truths occur also in the Yoga Sutra by Patanjali, II15-26, a detailed discus­ sion of which can be found in Wezler 1984; pp.301-7,

DHAMMAS-. TH E FOU R NO B LE T RUT HS

/ 24 7

Buddha to a doctor and his teaching to m edicine.'9This presentation underlines the pragm atic orientation of the four noble truths as a practical investigation of reality.2 0
disease: virus: health: cure:

dukkha
craving

Nibbana
path

F ig . 13.1

T h e fo u rfo ld stru ctu re o f a n c ie n t In d ia n m e d ic in e a n d th e fo u r n o b le tru th s

Just as the footprints of all anim als can fit w ithin the footprint of an elephant, so too, w hatever w holesom e states there are, ail of them are em braced by the four noble truths/' O n the other hand, to believe that one can realize aw akening w ithout having understood the four noble truths is like trying to construct the upp er floors of a house w ithout h avin g first constructed its low er floors and founda­ tions." Taken together, these statem ents underscore the central im ­ portance of the four noble truths.
xm .3 C O N TE M PLA TIO N OF THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS

Each of the four noble truths makes its ow n dem and on the practi­ tioner: dukkha has to be "understood", its origination has to be "abandoned", its cessation has to be "realized", and the practical path to this realization has to be " developed"/* In particular, the five aggregates are to be understood, ignorance and craving for exis­ tence are to be abandoned, kn ow ledge and freedom are to be real­ ized, and calm (samatha) and insight (vipassana) are to be developed .2 4

19 e.g. at M II260; AIV 340; It 101; Sn 560; Sn 562; and Th 1111. A III 238 explains that just as a skilled doctor can q u ic k ly dispel one's disease, so too the Buddha's teaching will dis­ pel all one's sorrow and grief. Cf« also Ehara 1995: p,275; and Vism 512, 2D Buswell 1994: p.3, speaks of early Buddhism's "spiritual pragmatism according to which the truth of a religious proposition consists in its practical utility".
21 M 1 184.

22 SV452. 23 SV436. 24 S V 52 and A II247. S 1 11 159 and S III 191 explain that to "understand" the five aggre­ gates implies the eradication of lust, anger, and delusion.

248

/

S A TIPATTH AN A

For th e p u rp o se o f c o n te m p la tio n (anupassand), th e Dvayatdnupassand Sutta su g g e sts th at one m a y fo cu s e ith er on dukkha a n d its arisin g, or o n its cessatio n a n d th e p a th le a d in g to its cessa tio n /5 T h is co rre sp o n d s to th e tw o stage seq u en ce fo u n d th ro u g h o u t th e c o n te m p la tio n o f dhammas: in each case r e c o g n iz in g th e p resen ce or ab sen ce o f a p articu lar p h e n o m e n o n in clu d e s d irectin g m in d fu ln e ss to th e cau se s o f its p re se n ce or ab sen ce (see Fig. 13.2 below)*
k n o w in g dukkha
—*

k n o w in g th e condition that lead s to the arising o f dukkha: cra vin g k n o w in g the con d ition th at leads to the o vercom in g of dukkha: the noble e igh tfo ld path stage 2

k n o w in g the cessation o f dukkha

stage 1

F ig . 13.2

T w o s ta g e s in th e c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f t h e f o u r n o b le tr u th s

A p p lie d at a m u n d a n e le v e l, co n te m p la tio n o f th e fo u r n ob le truths can be d irected to p a ttern s o f c lin g in g (updddna) to existen ce o ccu rrin g in e v e r y d a y life, as, for ex a m p le, w h e n o n e's e x p ectatio n s are fru stra ted , w h e n o n e 's p o sitio n is th re ate n e d , o r w h e n th in g s d o not g o as o n e w o u ld w a n t / T h e task h ere is to a ck n o w le d g e th e u n ­ d e r ly in g p attern o f c ra v in g (tanhd ) that h as led to the b u ild -u p o f c lin g in g a n d e x p ectatio n s, a n d also its re su lta n t m an ifesta tio n in som e fo rm o f dukkha. T h is u n d e rs ta n d in g in turn form s th e n e ces­ sary basis for le ttin g g o o f c ra v in g (tanhdya patinissagga). W ith such lettin g g o , c lin g in g a n d dukkha can , at least m o m en tarily, b e o v e r ­ com e. P ractised in this w a y , on e w ill b e co m e in cre asin g ly ab le to "fare e v e n ly am id st th e u n e v e n ".2 7 N o t o n ly d o the fo u r n o b le tru th s, listed as the fin al m ed itation p ractice in th is satipatthdna, co n stitu te th e c o n clu sio n o f this series o f co n tem p la tio n s, th e y can also be rela ted to ea ch o f th e o th e r con tem ­ p latio n s o f d h a m m a s T h e co m m en taries g o fu rth e r b y re la tin g each o f th e m ed ita tio n p ractices d escrib ed th ro u g h o u t the Satipatthdna

25 Sn (prose preceding verse 724).

26 The standard formulations of the first noble truth identify "not getting what one wants" as one of the aspects of dukkha, e.g. at S V 421. 27 S I 4 and S I 7 use this expression to illustrate the inner balance and flexibility of arahants. 28 S IV 86 applies the scheme of the four noble truths to an understanding of the six sense-spheres (cf, also S V 426); while M 1 191 and S V 425 do the same in regard to the

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Sutta to the scheme of the four noble truths/9 In fact, the successful completion of any satipatthana contem plation is the realization of Nibbana, w hich corresponds to know ing the third noble truth "as it really is " / Yet a full understanding o f the third noble truth implies a penetration of all four, since each one is but a different facet of the same central realization.*' Thus the four noble truths indeed form the culmination of any successful implementation of satipatthana as the direct path to the realization of Nibbana.

aggregates. In the Satipatthana Suita itself, the contemplations of the hindrances and of the awakening factors are structured according to an underlying pattern that parallels the diagnostic scheme of the four noble truths, since each observation turns to the presence of the respective mental quality, its absence, and the causes of its pres­ ence or absence. 29 The scheme of the four noble truths is applied at Ps 1250 to mindfulness of breathing, at Ps 1252 to the four postures, at Ps 1270 to activities, at Ps 1271 to anatomical parts, at Ps 1272 to the four elements, at Ps 1 279 to feelings, at Ps 1280 to the mind, at Ps 1286 to the hindrances, at Ps 1287 to the aggregates, at Ps 1289 to the sense-spheres, and at Ps I 300 to the awakening factors. 30 Vibh 116 points out that the third noble truth is unconditioned. Cf. also S V 442, ac­ cording to which a distinctive quality of a stream-enterer is full understanding of the four noble truths, 31 S V 437. Cf. also KV218; Vism 690-2; Bodhi 1984; p«ia6; and Cousins 1983: p-103. In fact, according to Sn 884 there is only one truth, which suggests that the scheme of four truths does not imply four separate truths. According to a discourse in the Chinese Santyukta Agama, however, realization of the four noble truths has to take place sequentially, by first coming to fully know the truth of suffering, followed in turn by understanding each of the other noble truths (in Choong 2000: p.239).

XIV

REALIZATION

The co n clu d in g passage o f the Satipatthana Sutta g iv es a "p red ic­ tion" of realization w ith in a variable tim e period. The p assage reads:
If anyone should develop these four s a t i p a t t h a n a s in such a w a y for seven years ... six years two years one year five years ... four years ... three years ... seven months .» six m onths ... five months

... four m onths ... three months ... two months .♦ ♦one m o n th ... h alf a month ... seven days, one of tw o fruits could be expected for him: either fin a l k now ledge here and now, or, if there is a trace of clin gin g left, non-returning. So it was w ith reference to this that it w as said: M on ks, this is the direct path for the purification of b eings, for the surm ounting o f sorrow and lam entation, for the disappearance of d u k k h a and discontent, for acquiring the true m ethod, for the realiza­ tion o f N i b b a n a , nam ely, the four s a t i p a t t h a n a s

I w ill first exam ine this prediction and discuss w h eth er the progress tow ards realization is "grad ual* or "su d d en ". In the rem ainder of this ch ap ter I w ill try to exp lore some ideas, p erspectives, a n d su g ­ gestions on the go al of satipatthana m entioned in the above p assage, the "realizatio n o f Nibbana".

i

M 162. The prediction concerning the higher two stages of awakening occurs again for satiptitflwna at S V 181, and for mindfulness of breathing at S V 314, but also in a vari­ ety of other contexts, e.g. at S V 129-33; S V 236; A III 82; A 1 1 1143; A V 108; Sn 724-65; and It 39-41-

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A ccording to the above prediction, satipatthana practice has the potential to lead to the high er tw o of the four stages of aw akening, non-returning and arahantship. The fact that this passage speaks im m ediately of the tw o higher stages of realization underlines the thoroughness of satipatthana as the "direct path" to Nibbana, draw ­ ing attention to its capability of lead in g "at least" to the eradication of the five low er fetters (satpyojana), and therew ith to com plete free­ dom from sensual desire and aversion/ The other notable feature of this prediction is the variation in the length of time for satipatthana practice to bear fruit.3 A pparently, even som eone of inferior ability can gain freedom from desire and aversion w ithin a m axim um of seven years, w h ile som eone of supe­ rior ability can do so w ithin on ly seven days/ H ow ever, in evaluat­ ing this prediction it needs to be kept in m ind that the num ber seven m ight have a m ore sym bolic character in this context, indicating sim ply a com plete period or cycle of time.5 The prediction to realization in the C hinese Madhyama Agama al­ low s for even quicker aw ak en in g than the Pali discourses, suggest­ in g that realization can occur in the even in g even if practice has b egun only that same m orning/ The possibility of such instant

2 The freedom from sensual desire and aversion envisaged in the prediction echoes to some extent the "definition" part of the Satipatthdna Sutta (M 1 56), which relates the practice of satipatfhana to freedom from desires and discontent. Horner 1934: p>792,

3

4

5

6

however, understands the expression "if there is a trace of clinging left" literally, as representing the arahant's awakening as opposed to his or her passing away; cf* also Masefield 1979: p.221, The same occurs in a different context at D III 55, where the Buddha stated that within such a variable time period he could guide a disciple to realization. This could be a ref­ erence to satipatthdna, since the Buddha did not further specify in what he would in­ struct the disciple. On this passage cf. Knight 1985: p.3; and Sole-Leris 1992: p.103. According to T.W. Rhys Davids 1993: ^673, the number seven is invested with a "peculiar magic nimbus" in Pali, which mitiitates against taking this prediction too lit­ erally. An example of such symbolic use of the number seven can be found at AIV 89, where the Buddha related a past life of his in which, as a fruit of seven years of loving kindness practice, he was not reborn in this world for seven aeons, for seven times he became a Maha Brahma, for many times seven he became a universal monarch, pos­ sessed of the seven treasures. Furthermore, in the above prediction at the end of the Satipatthdna Sutta it is noticeable that, when counting down, "one year" is not fol­ lowed by "eleven months", as should be expected, but by "seven months", indicating that the sequence does not follow mathematical logic. According to Dumont 1962: p.73: "the number seven indicates a totality' (in ancient India). Minh Chau 1991: p.94; and Nhat Than 1990: p/166.

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realization through satipatthana, w ithin just one d ay or night, is also reco gn ized b y the Pali com m en taries/w h ile the discourses state this on ly in relation to the five "factors o f striving'' (panca padhaniyanga)* The variations in the time periods for satipatthana to bear fruit sug­ gest that the decisive breakthrough to realization can h ap p en at an y time durin g correct practice. That is, once sati is w ell established (supatitthita), every m om ent is pregnant w ith potential aw akening. This raises the question o f the extent to w h ich progress to realiza­ tion follow s a "grad ual" pattern, as against an unexpected "su d d en " breakthrough to awakening.* A ccording to the discourses, it is im possible to m easure exactly the quantity of defilem ents eradicated d u rin g a d ay of practice, just as a carpenter cannot m easure the extent to w h ich the han dle of his adze has w o rn out during a d a y of use.1 DN evertheless, just as after re­ peated use a carpenter w ill realize that the h an dle has w orn out, so w ill a m editator, after repeated practice, realize that the defilem ents are g ro w in g w eaker and are being eradicated. This simile indicates a gradual, though not precisely m easurable, progress tow ards realization. The gradual nature of the progress tow ards realization is in fact a recurrin g them e in the discourses.1 1T h ey explain that progress in the practice o f the Dhamma deep en s gradually, in a w ay com parable to the gradu al d eep en in g of the ocean.1 2 A passage in the Anguttara Nikaya illustrates the gradual character o f the process of purification w ith the exam ple of grad u ally refining gold, w h ere at first gross and m id dlin g im purities are rem oved, fo llo w ed b y finer im purities.'3

7 Ps 1302. 8 MO 96, however, with the specification that the Buddha himself was to train the prac­ titioner, a specification not stipulated in the Satipatthana Sutta. This suggests that for realization within a single day the personal presence of the Buddha as the teacher is required. The five factors of striving mentioned in this discourse are confidence, physical health, honesty, energy, and wisdom regarding the arising and disappear­ ance of phenomena, (The last of these could represent the outcome of satipatthana practice, especially of contemplating the nature of arising and passing away stipu­ lated in the "refrain".) 9 On "sudden" and "gradual" cf. also Gethin 1992: pp.132 and 246; and Nanayakkara 1993b: p.581. Pensa 1977: p.335, relates this distinction to the difference between peakand plateau-experiences. 10 S III 154 and A I V 127. 11 e.g. at M 1 479; M 111 2; or A 1 162. Cf. also Strenski 1980: pp.4 and 8. 12 Vin IT 238; AIV 200; AIV 207; and Ud 54. 13 A 1 254. Cf. also Dhp 239.

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Similarly, in the realm of mental culture one at first rem oves the gross types of impurities, and is only then able to proceed to subtler Levels, Another simile compares the practice of the threefold training in ethical conduct (stla), concentration (samadhi), and wisdom (panfia) to a farmer, w ho has to plant and w ater his crop in due time.1 4 N ei­ ther the farmer nor a practitioner of the threefold training has the magical pow er to say: "let m y effort ripen now and bear fruit", yet their constant effort will bring about the desired results. This simile indicates that progress to aw akening follow s a natural dynam ic, comparable to the grow th of plants in nature. Another canonical illustration of the progress towards realization is that of a hen sitting on her eggs. In due course the hen's unrelent­ ing sitting on her eggs w ill lead to the hatching o f the chicks, just as, in due course, a practitioner's unrelenting practice will lead to real­ ization.1 5 The chicks' sudden em ergence from their shells depends on a gradual process of inner developm ent through the hen incubat­ ing the eggs. Similarly, the sudden breakthrough to Nibbana de­ pends on a gradual process of inner developm ent and mental cultivation. Just as the hen cannot directly cause the chicks to break their shells, the breakthrough to Nibbana cannot be directly made to happen. Both will occur in their ow n time, if the necessary condi­ tions are in place. These passages clearly indicate that progress to awakening fol­ low s a gradual course. O n the other hand, how ever, several realiza­ tions o f stream-entry described in the discourses take place in a rather "sudden" manner, usually w hile listening to a discourse given by the Buddha. On considering these instances it seems al­ most as if to hear a discourse w ere sufficient for awakening, w ithout m uch need to develop concentration gradually and engage in

14 A1240s

15 M 1104; M 1357; S III 154; and A IV 125. This simile has a slightly humorous undertone, since in a way it relates a meditator engaged in iniensive practice to a hen on her eggs, both of whom spend much of their time sitting.

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insight m editation.1 6H ere, h o w e v e r, it need s to be taken into con sid­ eration that if som eone had realized stream -entry w h ile m editatin g alone and in seclusion, this did not occasion a discourse and th ere­ fore w as n o t recorded later/7 But w hen som eone realized stream en try w h ile listening to the B uddh a, the circum stances of the even t caused it to becom e part of the later reported discourse. Thus it is to be expected that m ainly the latter type of stream -entry realizations are recorded in the discourses. The same discourses do in fact docu ­ m ent the potential for insight m editation to lead to the realization of stream -entry, w hich w o u ld be a m eaningless statem ent if stream -entry w ere to d ep en d solely on listening to a discourse.1 * Be­ sides, if sim p ly listening to and u nderstanding a discourse w ere suf­ ficient for realization, the B uddha w ould not h ave given so m an y exhortations to m editate/9 A fairly condensed version of the gradual path can be found in one instance w h en a laym an, despite being slightly drunk, w as n ever­ theless able to gain stream -entry. O n m eetin g the Buddha for the first time, this man sobered u p and, after receivin g a gradual dis­

16

In fact Dhammavuddho 1999: p.10, suggests translating s o ta p an n a as "ear-entry", be­ ing realized upon hearing a discourse. Similarly Masefield 1987; p.134, proposes that so ia in the term sotapanna refers to "hearing'' rather than "stream". However, on con­ sidering the discourses one finds that although listening to the D h a m m a is mentioned at S V 347 as one of the factors of stream-entry, the same discourse clearly defines "stream" to refer to the noble eightfold path and a "stream-enterer" to be one who is in full possession of this noble eightfold path. In addition it could be pointed out that the Pali term for receiving the D h a m m a by hearing is s o ta n u g a ta , not sotapanna (cf. A 1 1 185). The "stream" image comes up also at S V 38, where the noble eightfold path is compared to the Cartga river, since it leads towards N ib b a n a just as the Gartga leads towards the sea.

17 O n ly the realization of arahantship was deemed of sufficient significance to merit be­ ing reported to the Buddha { a n w vya ka ra n a ).

18 e.g, S III 167 relates realization of stream-entry to contemplation of the impermanent, unsatisfactory, and selfless nature of the five aggregates; A 1 44 presents well-devel­ oped mindfulness of the body as capable of leading to stream-entry; and A III 442-3 propose the same potential for contemplating all formations as impermanent, unsat­ isfactory, and not-self. Cf. also D III 241 and A III 21, where listening to the D h a m m a constitutes one out of five occasions for awakening, the others being teaching the D h a m m a , reciting the D h a m m a , reflecting on the D h a m m a ,a n d , last but not least, medi­ tation.
19 Cf. e.g, the Buddha's admonition: "meditate, don't be negligent*" (e.g* at M 146; M 1 118; M I I 266; M III 302; S I V 133; S IV 359; SIV 361; SIV 368; 5 IV 373; S V 157; A III87; A III 88; A I V 139; and A IV 392); or the frequent description of a meditator going off into se­ clusion for intensive practice and retreat (e,g< a tD Iy i; D 1 207; D 11242; D IU 4 9 ;M Ii8 i; M 1269; M 1 274; M 1346; M 1440; M I I 162; M I I 226; M III 3; M III 35; M III 115; M III 135; A II 210; A III 92; A III 100; A I V 436; and A V 207).

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course, he then and there realized stream -entry.” In this particular case, the im pact o f personally m eeting the Buddha w as apparently so pow erful that the breakthrough to stream -entry could take place, in spite of the fact that just a few m om ents earlier he had been ine­ briated. This laym an is not the only such case, for the discourses also report the attainm ent of stream -entry at the time of death by an­ other laym an, w h o during his lifetim e had been unable to abstain from alcohol.3 1 A closer consideration o f this discourse suggests that this laym an w as probably som eone w h o had earlier progressed so far on the path that stream -entry had to take place (at the latest) at death, despite the fact that in the m eantim e his ethical foundation had deteriorated “ "Sudden" experiences of aw akening can even lead all the w a y to arahantship. A case in point is the ascetic Bahiya, w hose full aw a k ­ ening cam e w ithin m inutes o f his first m eeting w ith the Buddha, im­ m ediately after receiving a short but penetrative instruction/3 Bahiya is certainly a prototype for "sudden" aw akening. From con­ sideration of the background to his aw ak en in g it becom es apparent that Bahiya's gradual developm ent took place outside the Buddhist schem e o f training* At the time of his encounter w ith the Buddha, Bahiya already possessed a high degree o f spiritual m aturity, so that the brief instructions he received w ere sufficient to trigger a com ­ plete breakthrough*2 4

20 A IV 213. 21 SV375.

22 According to S V 380, Saiakani completed (paripurakarT) the training at the time of his death, which indicates that Sarakani attained stream-entry at that time* Since S V 379 has the same set of terms used in the definitions of the N Dhamma-io)\owexf' {dhammanusart) and the "faith-followed ($addhdnusdrij at M 1 479, it seems highly probable that he had been such a "follower" and was thus bound to realize stream-entry latest at death (cf* S III 225, which states that it is impossible for a Dfeaww/i-foilower or a faith-follower to pass away without having realized the fruit of stream-entry). 23 Ud 8; cf. page 229. 24 Bahiya must have developed a high degree of mental purification by whatever type of practice he was following, since, according to the Uddna account, he (mistakenly) deemed himself already fully awakened. The sincerity of his aspiration becomes evi­ dent from the fact that, once a doubt about his presumed realization had arisen, he immediately undertook the journey across half the Indian subcontinent to meet the Buddha. His sense of urgency was so strong that he even went to search for the Buddha on his almsround, unable to await his return to the monastery. (The com­ mentary Ud-a 79 gives a rather incredible account of B&hiya as a shipwrecked hypo­ crite, wearing bark in order to make an easy living, while his long journey across half of India was, according to Ud-a 86, a feat of supernormal power.)

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M ost of the instances m en tion ed so far reveal th e p o w erfu l influ ­ ence o f the B ud dh a's personal presence, w h ich p rovid ed a p oten t catalyst for realization. O n furth er p erusin g the discourses, ad d i­ tional exam ples o f at tim es rem arkably "su d d en " realizations can be found. In an all-out attem pt to reach realization , Ananda finally gained full a w a k en in g at p recisely the m om ent w h e n he had g iv en up striving and w as ab out to lie d o w n to rest.2 5 E lsew here, a nun, and on an o th er occasion a m onk, both on the verg e of com m itting suicide, w ere "sa ved ", as it w ere, by awakening.*6The com m entaries even reco unt the story of an acrobat w h o gained realization w h ile balancing o n the top of his p ole.* All these instances dem onstrate the su d d en and unpredictable nature of th e ev e n t of aw aken in g. T h ey sh o w that, although a gradual progress tow ards realization is the rule, the time required for such gradual preparation to bear fruit varies greatly according to the in divid ual. This is also a central im ­ plication o f th e different tim e period s listed in the prediction o f real­ ization at the close of the Satipatthana Sutta. T h u s early Buddhism p roposes a gradual d evelo p m en t as the nec­ essary p reparation for an even tu al sud den b reakth rou gh to realiza­ tion, V ie w in g the path in this w a y , as a com bination of these tw o aspects, reconciles the ap paren t contradiction b etw een the fre­ qu en tly recurrin g em phasis in the discourses on the n eed for a par­ ticular type of condu ct and for the d ev elo p m en t of k n o w led g e, w h ile other passages sh o w that the realization of Nibbana is not sim ­ p ly the resu lt of conduct or kn o w led g e,2 * N ot o n ly is it im possible to predict the precise m om ent w h e n real­ ization w ill take place, but, from the vie w p o in t o f actual practice, even the grad u al progress tow ard s realization does not necessarily unfold uniform ly. Instead, m ost practitioners experience a cyclic succession o f progression and regression, oscillating w ithin a fairly broad spectrum.*9 If these recu rrin g cycles are considered w ith in a

25 Vin II285. 26 ThJ8o-i and T h 408-9. 27 D h p-aIV 63.

28 At A I I 163 Sariputta was asked whether realization was a matter of knowledge or of conduct, to both of which he replied in the negative, explaining that both were neces­ sary, yet not sufficient conditions for realization to take place. (On this passage cf. JayatiUeke 1967: p.456.) Similarly, according to Sn 839 purity is not simply the result of view, learning, knowledge, or conduct, nor can purity be gained in the absence of these. 29 Debes 1994: pp-204 and 208; and Komfield 1979: p-53.

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longer time fram e, h ow ever, they reveal a slow but consistent grad ­ ual d e v e lo p m e n t w ith an ever-increasing potential to culm inate in a sudden realization of Nibbana, To the im plications of such a real­ ization I w ill n ow turn in m ore detail*
a n d it s e t h i c a l im p li c a t i o n s

XIV .2 n i b b a n a

Taken in its literal sense, " Nibbana" refers to the goin g out o f a lamp or a fire. The im age of an extinguished lam p occurs in fact several times in the discourses as a description of the experience o f Nibbana.1 1 0 The corresponding verb nibbayati means "to be extin­ guished" or "to becom e cool". Such extinction is probably best un­ derstood in a passive sense, w hen the fires of lust, aversion, and delusion becom e cool through lack o f fu e l/ T he m etaphor of an ex­ tinguished fire in its ancient Indian context has nuances of calm ­ ness, independence, and release.3 2 Judging b y the evidence in the discourses, contem porary ascetics and philosophers used the term Nibbana w ith predom inantly posi­ tive connotations. The Brahmajala Sutta , for exam ple, lists five posi­ tions advocating Nibbana "here and n ow ", w hich w ere five different conceptions of happiness: the pleasures of w orld ly sensuality and of the four levels of absorption.” A noth er discourse reports a w anderer taking “ Nibbana" to refer to health and m ental w ell-being,3 4 Similar positive connotations underlie the standard definition in the Pali discourses, according to w hich Nibbana stands for freedom from the u nw holesom e mental roots of lust, anger, and delusion.5 5

30 DII157; S 1159; A 1236; AIV 3; AIV 4; and Th 906. Thi 116 has a slightly different formu­ lation, when Pajacara's experience of Nibbana actually coincided with the "nibbana" of her lamp. 3j Cf. M III 245 and S V 319* Collins 1998: p.191, and T.W. Rhys Davids 1993: p.362, point out that Nibbfina refers to the extinction of a fire for lack of fuel, not through active blowing out, 32 Thanissaro 1993: p.41. For parallels in the Upani$ad$ employing the imagery of extin­ guished fire cf. Schrader 1905: p. 167. 33 D 136, The Buddha's definition of Nibbana "here and now" can be found at A V 64. 34 M 1509, In the eyes of the Buddha this was clearly a mistaken view of Nibbana. 35 e.g. at SIV 251; SIV 261; and SIV 371. S V 8 has the same definition for the "deathless"; while S 139 and Sn 1109 define Nibbana as the eradication of craving. This parallels a rather imaginative way of deriving the term NiWww found in the commentaries that takes Nibbdna to be composed of ni (absence) and vawt (as a metaphorical expression of craving), the entire compound then representing "absence of craving" {e.g. at Vism 293; also in Vajiranai^a 1984: p.20).

This definition highlights in particular the ethical im plications of realizin g Nibbana. These ethical im plications require further exam i­ nation, since at times realization of Nibbana has been taken to im p ly the transcendence o f ethical valu es.3 * Such transcendence seem s, at first sigh t, to be advocated in the Samanamaytfika Sutta, since this dis­ course associates a w a k en in g w ith the com plete cessation o f w h o le­ som e ethical c o n d u c t3 7 O n sim ilar lines, other passages in the Pali canon speak in praise of g o in g b eyon d both "good" and "evil".3 8 T akin g the passage from the Samanamandika Sutta first, a close ex­ am ination o f the discourse reveals that this particular statem ent does n ot refer to the ab an doning o f ethical conduct, but on ly to the fact that arahants no lon ger id en tify w ith their virtuous beh aviou r.” R egard ing the other passages, w hich speak of "g o in g b eyon d good and evil", one needs to distinguish clearly betw een the Pali terms translated as "g o o d ", w h ich can be either kusala or punna. A lth ou gh the tw o terms cannot be com p letely separated from each other in ca­ nonical u sage, th ey often carry quite distinct m eanings/0 W hile punfia m ostly denotes d eed s of positive m erit, kusala includes a n y typ e of w holesom eness, inclu d in g the realization of Nibbana.4 1 W hat arahants have "gone beyon d" is the accum ulation of karma. T h ey h a v e transcended the generation o f "g o o d " (punfia) and of its opposite "evil" {papa). But the sam e cannot be said of w h o lesom e­ ness (kusala). In fact, b y eradicating all u n w h olesom e (akusala) states of m ind, arahants becom e th e highest em bodim ent of w h o lesom e­ ness (kusala). So m uch is this the case that, as indicated in the Samanamarjidikd Sutta, th ey are spontaneously virtu ous and do not even id en tify w ith their virtue.

This is maintained e.g. by van Zeyst 1961c: p.143* M i l 27, e.g. Dhp 39; Dhp 267; Dhp 412; Sn 547; Sn 790; and Sn 900, Nanamoli 1995: p-1283 n.775, comments: "this passage shows the arahant, who main­ tains virtuous conduct but no longer identifies with his virtue". Wijesekeia 1994: p 35, explains that the practitioner should "master morality, but not allow morality to get the better of him". Cf, also M 1 319, where the Buddha pointed out that although he was possessed of a high level of virtue he did not identify with it, 40 According to Carter 1984: p.48, some degree of overlap exists between kusala and punna in the context of the threefold volition, but a clear distinction between both terms can be drawn in regard to a person's qualities. 41 In fact, according to D III 102, the realization of Nibbana is the highest among whole­ some phenomena; cf. Premasiri 1976: p.68. Cf. also Collins 1998: p.154; and Nanayakkara 1999 : p,258.

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Nibbana, at least as understood by the B uddha, has quite definite ethical implications. Arahants are sim ply unable to commit an im­ moral act, since w ith their full realization o f Nibbana, all u n w h ole­ some states of m ind have been extinguished.4 1 The presence of any unw holesom e thought, speech, or deed w ou ld therefore directly contradict the claim to being an arahant. In the Vlmamsaka Sutta, the Buddha applied this principle even to him self, o p en ly inviting prospective disciples to exam ine his claim to full aw aken in g by thorough ly investigatin g and observing his b e­ h aviour and deeds/3 O n ly if no trace of unw holesom eness w as found, he explained, w o u ld it be reasonable for them to place their confidence in him as a teacher. Even a Buddha should exem plify his teachings b y his deeds, as indeed he did. That w h ich the B uddha taught w as in com plete conform ity w ith his behaviour/' This w as so m uch the case that even after his full aw akening the Buddha still en­ gaged in those activities of restraint and careful consideration that had brought about purification in the first place.4 5 If the Buddha m ade him self m easurable b y com m on standards of ethical purity, there is little scope for finding moral double-standards in his teaching. E ven if aw akening takes place only at the level o f stream -entry, the experience o f Nibbana still has definite ethical consequences* A major consequence of realizing stream -entry is that stream -enterers becom e unable to comm it a breach of ethical conduct serious

42 According to (e.g.) D III 133; D III 235; M 1 523; and A IV 370 the ethical perfection of arahants is such that they are incapable of deliberately depriving a living being of life, of stealing, of engaging in any form of sexual intercourse, of lying, and of enjoying sensual pleasures by storing things up as householders do. Cf. also Lily de Silva 1996; P7 43 M 1 318. Cf. also Premasiri 1990b: p.100, 44 D I I 224; D III 135; A II 24; and It 122 point out that the Buddha acted as he spoke and spoke as he acted. This comes up in a different way at AIV 82, where the Buddha clar­ ified that for him there was no need to conceal any of his actions in order to avoid oth­ ers coming to know of them- The Buddha's moral perfection is also mentioned at D III 217 and M II115. 45 M 1 464. (On correlating the activities mentioned in this passage with M 111 or A III 390, the fact that "removing" is also mentioned appears strange and could be due to a textual corruption, as for the Buddha there would be no need to remove unwhole­ some thoughts, since they will not arise in the first place,)

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en ou gh to lead to a low er rebirth/6 A lth o u gh they have not yet reached the level of ethical perfection of the Buddha or an arahant, the first realization o f Nibbana has already caused an irreversible ethical change. In order to p rovide additional perspectives on Nibbana, I will n ow briefly consider some canonical descriptions o f it.
THE EARLY BUDDHIST CONCEPTION OF NJBBANA

X1V>3

The early B uddhist conception of Nibbana w as not easily understood b y contem porary ascetics and philosophers* The B uddha's consis­ tent refusal to go alon g w ith an y of the four standard propositions about the survival or the annihilation of an arahant after death w as rather bew ildering to his contem poraries.4 7 A ccording to the B uddha, to entertain these different propositions w as as futile as to speculate about the direction in w hich a fire had departed once it had gon e o u t 4 * The B uddha found the existing w ays of describing a state of realization or aw aken in g inadequate to his realization.4 9 His u nder­ standing of Nibbana constituted a radical departure from the conceptions of the time. H e was w ell aw are of this him self, and after his aw ak en in g he im m ediately reflected on the difficulty of co n v e y ­ ing w hat he had realized to others*3 0 Despite these difficulties, the Buddha did try to explain the nature of Nibbana on several occasions* In the Udana, for instance, he spoke o f Nibbana as som ething beyon d this w o rld or another w orld, be­ yond com ing, going, or staying, b eyon d the four elem ents repre­ senting m aterial reality, and also beyon d all imm aterial realms. This
46 M III 64 lists the following as impossibilities for a stream-enterer: killing one's mother, killing one's father, killing an arahant, wounding a Buddha, and causing a schism in the monastic community* The inability to commit such serious breaches of ethical conduct comes as one of the four limbs of stream-entry, a topic that occurs frequently in the discourses (e*g. at S V 343). In addition, according to M I 324 and Sn 232, stream-enterers are also unable to hide their wrongdoings. 47 e.g, at M 1 486. 48 M 1 487, 49 At M 1329 the AUbbanic realization (the "non-manifestative consciousness") forms part of what almost amounts to a contest in which the Buddha proved that his realization was entirely beyond the ken of Brahma, demonstrating metaphorically that it went beyond the hitherto known and valued types of realization. (On this passage cf. JayatiUeke 1970: p.115.) 50 M I 167 and S 1136. On the difficulty of describing Nibbana with ordinary language cf* also Bums 1983: p~zo; and Story 1984: p.42.

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"sphere" (ayatana), he pointed out, objectless and w ithout any sup­ port, constitutes "the end of sufferin g"* This description shows that Nibbana refers to a dim ension completely different from ordinary experiences of the world, and also different from experiences of meditative absorption. O ther discourses refer to such a totally different experience as a "non-m anifestative" consciousness.5 1 A related nuance comes up in a som ew hat poetic passage that compares the "unstationed" con­ sciousness of an arahant to a ray of sunlight passing through the w in ­ dow of a room w ithout an opposing wall: the ray does not land anyw here.5 3 Another discourse in the Udana describes Nibbana w ith the help of a set of past participles as "not-born" (a-jata), "not-become" (id-bhuta), "not-made" {a-kata)r and "not-conditioned" (a-sankhata)?* This passage again em phasizes that Nibbana is com pletely "other", in that it is not born or made, not produced or conditioned- It is ow ­ ing to this "otherness" that Nibbana constitutes freedom from birth fjati), becom ing (bhava), karma (kamma), and formations (saftkhara).5 5 Birth ijati) in a w ay symbolizes existence in time, while Nibbana, not being subject to birth or death, is timeless or beyond tim e/ These passages show that Nibbana is m arkedly different from any other experience, sphere, state, or realm* They clearly indicate that as long as there is even a subtle sense o f a som ewhere, a something, or a someone, it is not yet an experience of Nibbana,

51 Ud 80. In this context "sphere" (ayatana) could be taken to refer to a "sphere" of experi­ ence, since on other occasions the same set of terms forms part of a description of a meditative experience, cf, A V 7; A V 319; A V 353; A V 355; A V 356; and A V 358. Mp V 2 relates these passages to the fruition-attainment of an arahant. 52 The anidassam viMaria at D 1 223. On this passage c t also Harvey 1989: p.88; Nanananda 1986: p.66; and Naijamoli 1980: p 178, 53 S II103, where due to the complete absence of craving for any of the four nutriments, consciousness is "unstationed" (Qppatitfhita), this in turn resulting in freedom from fu­ ture becoming. 54 Ud 80 and It 37. On this passage cf. Kalupahana 1994: p.92; and Norman 1991-3: p 22ix 55 D III 275 and It 61, On this passage cf. Premasiri 1991: p.49* 56 Cf. e.g* M 1162, where one's wife, children, and material possessions are defined as phenomena subject to birth, followed by classifying Nibbana as not subject to birth. On possible implications of the term "birth" cf. also Buddhadasa 1984: p.26; Govinda 1991: p.50; Harvey 1989: p^o; and Karunadasa 1994: p-11.

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X IV .4 N I B B A N A ' N E IT H E R A L L -E M B R A C IN G U N IT Y N O R A N N IH IL A T IO N

In order further to clarify the distinctive character of the Buddha's conception of Nibbana, in the remainder of this chapter I w ill set it off against the realization of all-em bracing unity (as envisaged b y the "non-dual" religious traditions), and also against annihilationism. W hile early Buddhism does not deny the distinction b etw een sub­ ject and object, it does not treat this distinction as particularly im­ portant. Both are insubstantial, the subject being nothing other than a com plex of interactions w ith the w orld (object), w hile to speak of a *w orld" is to speak of w hat is being perceived b y the subject.5 7 Unity, in terms of subjective experience, entails a m erging of the subject w ith the object. Experiences of this kind are often the out­ come o f deep levels of concentration. Nibbana, on the other hand, entails a com plete giving up of both subject and object, not a m erger of the tw o,5 8Such an experience constitutes an "escape" from the en­ tire field of cognition*5 9A lthough Nibbana partakes of non-duality in so far as it has no counterpart,6 0its implications nevertheless go far beyond experiences of oneness or unity/1

57 Tilakaratne 1993: p.74-

58 e.g* S IV 100 speaks of a cessation of all six sense-spheres, an expression which the commentary explains to refer to Nibbana (Spk II 391). Another relevant reference could be the standard description of stream-entry {e,g, at S V 423), which speaks of the insight into the fact that whatever arises will also cease, an expression that may well hint at the subjective experience of Nibbana, whence all conditionally arisen phenom­ ena cease. Similarly the declarations of realization at M III 265 and SIV 58 point to a cessation experience. Realization as a cessation experience is also reflected in the writ­ ings of modern meditation teachers and scholars, cf* e«g. Brown 1986b: p*205; Goenka 1994a: p.113, and 1999: p.34; Goleman 1977b: p.31; Griffith 1981: p,6io; Komfield 1993: p.291; Mahasi 1981: p.286; and Nanarama 1997: p,8o. Cf. also footnote 30, page 257 above. 59 M 138; this "escape" from the whole field of cognition is identified by the commentary with Nibbana (Ps 1176). Similarly Thi 6 refers to Nibbana as the stilling of all cognitions* 60 The question "what is the counterpart of NibbanaT' (at M 1304) was a question which, according to the arahant nun Dharamadinna, cannot be answered. The commentary Ps II369 explains that Nibbana has no counterpart. 61 This much can be deduced from a statement made by the Buddha (MII229-33) that with the direct experience of Nibbana all views and standpoints related to an experi­ ence of unity are left behind and transcended* Cf. also S II77, where the Buddha re­ jected the view "all is one" as one of the extremes to be avoided. Furthermore, according to AIV 40 and AIV 401, in different celestial realms either unitary or diversi­ fied experiences prevail, so that a categorical statement like "all is one" would not accord with the early Buddhist d escrip tio n o f cosmic reality. C f. also Lingi967: p.167.

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Experiences of onen ess w e re actually not u n k n o w n to the early B ud dh ist com m un ity, b u t e v e n their m ost refined form s, exp eri­ enced w ith the im m aterial attainm ents, w ere n ot con sidered to be the fin al goal.*2Just as the B u d d h a h im self d id n ot feel satisfied w ith w h a t h e h ad exp erien ced based on the indications received from his first teachers/3 so he ad m o n ish ed his d iscip les to go b e y o n d and transcen d such "tran scen d en tal" exp erien ces.6 4Som e of his disciples h ad a ch ie ve d vario u s non-dual experien ces, w h ile others h ad real­ ize d full a w a k e n in g w ith o u t ex p erien cin g a n y of the im m aterial at­ tainm ents.6 5 T he latter w e re the livin g p ro o f that such attainm ents, far from b e in g identifiab le w ith Nibbana, are n ot even n ecessary for its realization. In o rd er p ro p erly to assess the early B u d d h ist concep t o f Nibbana, it need s n ot o n ly to be d istin gu ish ed from v ie w s b ased on exp eri­ ences o f u n ity , b u t also has to be d ifferen tiated from the theories of annih ilation h eld am on g the determ inistic an d m aterialistic schools of ancient India. O n several occasions the B u d d h a w as in fact w ro n g ly accu sed o f b ein g an annihilationist.6 6 H is h u m orou s rep ly to such allegations w a s that he co u ld rig h tly be called so if this m eant the annih ilation of u n w h o leso m e states o f m ind. A con sideration o f the discourses sh o w s that Nibbana is described in b o th p o sitive an d n e g a tiv e terms. N e g a tiv e expressions occur

62 The immaterial attainments are explicitly identified with "unity" at M III 220. In fact the whole series begins with the injunction not to pay attention to diversified cognitions as a basis for developing the sphere of infinite space (e.g. at A IV 306), which clearly indicates the unitary character of these experiences. At M III 106 the four immaterial attainments are again qualified as "unity" (ekatta), each of them forming part of a gradual "descent" into emptiness. The culmination of this gradual descent is reached with the destruction of the influxes (M III 108), at which point the qualifica­ tion "unit/' is no longer used* This passage clearly demonstrates that full awakening goes beyond even the most refined experiences of oneness. This discourse also indi­ cates that there may be various types of "emptiness* experience, bu t that it is the com­ plete destruction of the influxes that determines whether (or not) an experience of emptiness does indeed constitute full awakening. 63 Cf. M 1165, where the Buddha remarked about AJara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta that their teaching was not conducive to complete disenchantment and therefore not sufficient to realize Nibbana. 64 e.g. at M I 455-6, where the Buddha commented on each of the meditative absorp­ tions in turn: "this is not enough, abandon it, I say, surmount itr 65 These were the arahants "freed by wisdom", who according to their canonical defini­ tion (e.g. at M 1 477) had destroyed the influxes without having experienced the im­ material attainments. 66 Vin III 2; A I V 174; and A I V 183. Cf. also Vin 1234; Vm III 3; M 1140; and A V 190; where the Buddha is called a "nihilist".

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frequ ently in a practical context, in d icatin g the w o rk still to be done.6 7 O th er passages/ h o w ever, refer to Nibbana w ith a variety of positive epithets, calling it a state of peace, of purity, and o f free­ dom , sublim e and auspicious, w on derful and m arvellous, an island, a shelter, and a refuge,6 0The happiness o f freedom contingent upon h av in g realized Nibbana constitutes the h igh est possible form of happiness*6 9 D escribed as the source of suprem e happiness, as a state of freedom , sublim e and auspicious, Nibbana seems to h ave lit­ tle in com m on w ith m ere annihilation. In fact, according to the B uddha's p enetrating analysis the at­ tem pt to annihilate self still revolves arou nd a sense of selfhood, th ough b ein g m otivated b y disgust w ith this self. In this w a y annihilationism is still in bond age to a sense of self, com parable to a do g m o vin g in circles arou nd a post to w h ich it is b oun d/0Such crav­ ing for non-existence (vibhavatanha) forms in d eed an obstacle to the realization o f Nibbana.7 1As th e Dhatuvibhanga Sutta explains, to think in terms of: "I shall not be" is a form o f con ceivin g as m uch as the thought: "I shall be".7 2 Both are to be left b eh in d in order to proceed to awakening* To m aintain that an arahant w ill be annihilated at death is a m isun­ derstandin g, since such a proposition argues the annihilation of

67 Bodhi 1996: p.171; Nanaponika 1986a: p.25; and Sobti 1985: p>i34< 68 S IV 368-73 gives a long list of such epithets. A similar but shorter list occurs at A IV 453* 69 Nibbana as the highest happiness occurs e.g. at M 1508; Dhp 203; Dhp 204; and Thi 476. These expressions refer to the arahant*s experience of the happiness of liberation, cf, e,g, M II104; S 1 196; Ud 1; Ud 10; and Ud 32. The superiority of this happiness over all other types of happiness is stated at Ud 11. However, it should be pointed out that Nibbana itself is not a felt type of happiness, since with Nibbana all feelings cease* This is documented at A IV 414, where Sariputta stated that Nibbam is happiness. When questioned how there could possibly be happiness in the absence of any feeling, he explained that for him it was precisely the absence of feeling that constituted happ> ness. Similarly at M 1400 the Buddha explained that he considered even the cessation of feelings and cognitions to constitute happiness, since he did not limit the concept of "happiness* to happy feelings only. Johansson 1969: P25, explains that Nibbana is "'a source of happiness' and not 'a state of happiness'", 70 M II 232. 71 Since it is one of the forms of craving included in the second noble truth (cf. e.g. S V 421). 72 M i l l 246.

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som ething that cannot be found in a substantial sense even w hile one is still alive P Therefore an y statem ent concerning the existence or annihilation of an arahant after death turns out to be m eaning­ less * W hat Nibbana does im p ly is that the ignorant belief in a sub­ stantial self is annihilated, an "annihilation" w h ich h as already taken place w ith stream -entry. W ith full aw aken in g, then, even the subtlest traces o f grasp in g at a sense o f self are forever "annih ilated", w hich is but a negative w ay of expressing the freedom gained through realization. Fully aw akened to the reality of selflessness, the arahant is free indeed, like a bird in the sky, leavin g n o tracks ”

73 At S IV 383, the destiny of an arahant after death posed a dilemma for the monk Anuradha, which he attempted to resolve by stating that it could be described in a way other than the four standard propositions used in ancient India in such discus­ sions. After dismissing this (according to Indian logic impossible) fifth alternative, the Buddha Jed Anuradha to the conclusion that even while still alive an arahant cannot be identified with any of the five aggregates, or with anything outside of them. The same reasoning can be found at S III U2, where Sariputta rebuked the monk Yamaka for presuming that arahants are annihilated at death. 74 Sn 1074 compares the arahant to a flame which, once gone out, can no longer be reck­ oned in terms of "flame". Sn 1076 explains that there is no measuring of one who has thus gone out, since with all phenomena removed, all pathways of language are also removed. The only acceptable declaration to be made about arahants at death (cf. D U 109 and D III 135) is that they "enter the Nibbana element without remainder''. This declaration is further explained at It 38 to imply that in the case of an arahant passing away, all that is felt and experienced, because it is no longer delighted in, will simply become cool. 75 Dhp 93 and Th 92,

XV

CONCLUSION

T he B ud dh a once said he w o u ld be able to an sw er questions about satipatthana w ith o u t rep eatin g h im self or exh au stin g his answ ers, e v e n if the in q u iry w e re to continue for a w h o le century.' If the topic o f satipatthana could not be exh au sted b y the B uddh a, th en clearly the p resen t w o rk can at b est attem pt o n ly to offer a starting p oin t for further discussion and exploration. N everth eless, the time has n o w com e to sum u p the p resen t discussion b y attem ptin g to h igh lig h t som e k e y aspects of satipatthana♦ In addition, I w ill place satipatthana w ith in a w id e r context b y considerin g its place and im portance in the context o f the B u d d h a's teaching.

X V .l K E Y A S P E C T S O F S A T I P A T T H A N A

The "d irect p ath" to Nibbana described in the Satipatthana Sutta p res­ ents a co m p reh en sive set of contem plations that p rogressively re­ veal e v e r subtler aspects o f subjective experience. The m ental qualities required for this direct path of satipatthdna are, a ccord in g to the "d efin itio n " part o f the discourse, a balanced and sustained ap­ plication o f effort (atapt), the p resen ce of clearly k n o w in g (sampajana), and a balanced state of m in d, free from desires (abhijjha) and discon ten t (domanassa). These three qualities revolve like the three spokes o f a w h ee l arou nd the central m ental q u ality of sati.

i

M I 82. The commentary on this passage, Ps II 52, has each of the four questioners specialize in one of the four satipatfhanas.

C O N C L U S IO N

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267

As a m ental quality, sati represents the deliberate cultivation and a qualitative im provem ent o f the receptive awareness that character­ izes the initial stages of the perceptual process. Im portant aspects of sati are bare and equanim ous receptivity, com bined with an a le rt broad, and open state of mind. O ne of the central tasks of sati is the de-autom atization of habitual reactions and perceptual evaluations. Sati thereby leads to a progressive restructuring of perceptual ap ­ praisal, and culm inates in an undistorted vision of reality "as it is". The elem ent of non-reactive w atchful receptivity in sati forms the foundation for satipatthana as an ingenious m iddle path w hich nei­ ther suppresses the contents of experience nor com pulsively reacts to them. This m ental quality o f sati has a broad variety of possible applica­ tions. W ithin the context of satipatthana, sati can range from the coarsest activities, such as defecation and urination, all the w a y up to the m ost sublim e and exalted state, w hen sati is present as a m en­ tal factor during the breakthrough to Nibbana. A similar breadth of applications can be found in the context o f calm ness m editation, w here the tasks of sati range from recogn izing the presence of a hin­ drance, to em erging w ith awareness from the highest m editative absorption. O n the basis of the central characteristics and qualities of satipat­ thana described in the "definition" and in the "refrain", the main thrust of satipatthana can be sum m ed up as: K eep C alm ly K n o w in g Change W ith the injunction "keep" I intend to cover both continuity and com prehensivity in satipatthana contem plation. C ontinuity of aw areness underlies the quality "diligent" (atapT) m entioned in the "definition". The elem ent of com prehensiveness comes up in the "refrain", w hich enjoins to contem plate both internally (ajjhatta) and externally (bahiddha), that is, to com prehensively contem plate both oneself and others. The qualification "calm ly" stands for the need, m entioned in the "definition" and the "refrain", to undertake satipatthana free from desires and discontent (vineyya loke abhijjhadomanassam), and also free from an y clinging or dependence (anissito ca viharati, na ca kind loke upadiyati). The verb "know in g" echoes the frequent use of the verb pajanati in the discourse. Such "kn ow in g" represents the quality of bare m ind­ fulness (sati) com bined w ith clearly kn ow in g (sampajana) t both

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m entioned in the "d efin itio n ". Both o ccu r also in the "refrain", w h ich sp eaks of co n tem p la tin g m erely fo r th e sake o f "b are k n o w l­ ed g e an d con tin u ous m in dfulness" (Myamattaya patissatimatiaya). The "refrain " also exp lains the particular asp ect of b o d y , feelin gs, m ind, a n d dhammas to w h ic h this q u a lity o f k n o w in g is to be directed, n am ely their arisin g and p a ssin g a w a y (samudaya-vayadhammdnupasst). Such contem plation o f im p erm anen ce can either lead to an u n d e rsta n d in g o f conditionality, o r form the basis for u n ­ d ersta n d in g the o th er tw o characteristics o f conditioned p h en om ­ ena, dukkha and anatta. It is this g ro w th of in sigh t in to the u n satisfactory and e m p ty n atu re o f con d ition ed existence, b a sed on the direct realization o f im perm anen ce, to w h ich 1 inten d to refer w ith the term "ch an ge". The essential features of satipatthdna contem plation can also be b ro u g h t o u t visually. In Fig. 15.1 b elow I h a v e attem pted to illustrate

Fig. 15.1

Central characteristics and aspects of sa tip a tth a n a

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the relationship betw een the "definition", the four satipatthanas, and the "refrain". The central aspects m entioned in the "refrain" are in the centre of the figure, w hile the qualities listed in the "definition" are repeated in each cone. These four cones represent the four satipatthanas, each of w h ich can becom e the main focus o f practice and lead to deep insight and realization. As the diagram indicates, undertaking satipatthana contem plation of b o d y, feelings, m ind, or dhammas requires the com bination of all the four qualities listed in the "definition". Such contem plation leads to the developm ent o f the four aspects of satipatthana found in the centre o f the above figure and m entioned in the "refrain" of the Satipatthana Sutta. In this diagram I intend to show that each of the four satipatthanas constitutes a "door" or perhaps a "stepping-stone". The contem pla­ tions included under the four satipatthanas are not ends in them ­ selves, rather, th ey are on ly tools for develop in g the central aspects described in the "refrain". W hichever door or stepping-stone is used to develop insight, the main task is to em p loy it skilfully in order to gain a com prehensive and balanced vision o f the true nature of sub­ jective experience. In the Saldyatanavibhanga Sutta the Buddha spoke of three "sati­ patthanas" distinct from the practices listed in the four satipatthana schem e/ This suggests that the contem plations described in the Satipatthana Sutta do not determ ine the only proper and suitable w ays for carrying out "satipatthana" contem plation, but on ly recom­ m endations for possible applications. Thus the practice of sati­ patthana is not necessarily restricted to the range of objects explicitly listed in the Satipatthana Sutta. The contem plations in the Satipatthana Sutta progress from gross to subtle aspects of experience. It should be kept in m ind, how ever, that this discourse represents a theoretical m odel of satipatthana, not a case study. In actual practice, the different contem plations d e­ scribed in the discourse can be com bined in a variety o f w ays and it w ould be a m isunderstanding to take the progression in the dis­ course as prescribing the only possible sequence for the develop ­ m ent o f satipatthana* The flexible interrelation of the satipatthana contem plations in ac­ tual practice can be illustrated b y taking a cross-section, as it were,
2 M III 221 (cf. also page 30).

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th rough the direct path o f satipatthdna. Such a sectional v ie w w o u ld resem ble a tw elve-p etalled flow er {see Fig. 15.2 b elow ), w ith the m ain object o f contem plation (here the breath is used as an exam ple) co n stitutin g the centre of the "flo w er".
noble truths

Fig. 15.2

Dynamic interrelation of the satipatthana contemplations

From aw areness of the m ain object o f m editation, the dynam ics of contem plation can at a n y given m om ent lead to a n y of the other satipatthdna exercises, and then revert to the m ain object. That is, from b e in g aw are o f the process of breathing, for exam ple, aw are­ ness m igh t turn to an y other occurrence in the realm o f b o d y, feel­ ings, m in d, or dhammas w h ich has becom e prom inen t, and then revert to the breath. O th erw ise, in the even t that the n ew ly-arisen object o f m editation sh ould require sustained attention an d deep er investigation , it can becom e the n ew centre o f the flow er, w ith the form er object turned into one of the petals. A n y m editation practice from the four satipatthdnas can serve as the m ain focus o f insight contem plation and lead to realization. A t the sam e time, m editations from on e satipatthana can be related w ith those from other satipatthdnas. This indicates the flexibility of the satipatthdna schem e, w h ich allow s freedom for variation and com bi­ nation accordin g to the character and le v e l of develop m en t of the m ed ita to r. U nderstood in this w a y , p ractisin g satipatthdna should

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not be a question of practising one or another satipatthana, but of contem plating one as w ell as the others. In fact, during the deeper stages of the practice, w hen one is able to abide "in d epen den t and free from clinging to an yth in g in the w o rld ", the practice o f sati­ patthana progresses from any particular object or area to a m ore and more com prehensive form o f contem plation that em braces all as­ pects of experience* Expressed in the terms o f Fig. 15.2 it w o u ld be as if, w h en the sun w as about to set, the tw elve petals of the flow er gradually cam e together to form a single bud. Practised in this w ay, satipatthana becomes an integrated four-face ted survey o f one's present experience, taking into account its material, affective, and m ental aspects from the perspective of the Dhamma, In this w ay one's present experience becom es an occasion for sw ift progress on the direct path to realization*

XV.2 TH E IM P O R T A N C E O F S ^ T / P ^ T T H / W *

The Buddha recom m ended the practice of satipatthana to new com ­ ers and beginners, and also included advanced practitioners and arahants am ong the cultivators of satipatthana For the beginner em barking on satipatthana practice, the dis­ courses stipulate a basis in ethical condu ct and the presence o f "straight" v ie w as necessary foundations.1 A ccording to a passage in the Anguttara Nikaya, the practice of satipatthana leads to overcom ­ ing w eakness w ith regard to the five precepts,5 This suggests that the ethical foundation required to begin satipatthana m ight be w e a k at the outset, but w ill be strengthened as practice proceeds. Simi­ larly, the "straight" v ie w m entioned earlier m ight refer to a prelim i­ nary degree of m otivation and u nderstanding that w ill d evelop

3 S V 144, That different levels of disciples should practise satipatthdna comes up again at S V 299 ► (Woodward 1979: voLV p.265, translates this passage as if the practice of satipatthana "should be abandoned". This rendering is not convincing, since in the present context the Pali term vihdtabba is better translated as a future passive form of viharati, not of vijahati.) 4 The need for a basis in ethical conduct before embarking on satipatthdna is stated e.g, at S V 143; S V 165; S V 187; and S V 188. Cf. also S V 171, according to which the very purpose of ethical conduct is to lead up to the practice of satipatthdna. S V 143 and 165 add "straight view" (ditthi ca ujukd) to the necessary conditions for satipatthdna, 5 a t v 457-

272

I

SA TfR AT TH AN A

further w ith the progress o f satipatthana contemplation*6Additional requisites for undertaking satipatthana practice are to limit one's ac­ tivities, to refrain from gossiping, excessive sleep, and socializing, and to develop sense restraint and m oderation w ith regard to food.7 It m ight already have com e as a surprise that a new com er to the path should be encouraged to cultivate satipatthana right aw ay.8 That the Buddha and his fully-aw akened disciples should still en­ gage in the practice o f satipatthana m ight be even more surprising. W hy w ould one w ho has realized the goal continue w ith satipatthana? The answ er is that arahants continue w ith insight m editation be­ cause for them this is sim ply the m ost appropriate and pleasant w ay to spend their time.* Proficiency in satipatthana, together w ith de­ light in seclusion, are indeed distinguishing qualities of an arahant ” O nce true detachm ent has set in, the continuity of insight m edita­ tion becom es a source of delight and satisfaction. Thus satipatthana is not only the direct path lead in g to the goal, but also the perfect ex­ pression of having realized the goal. To borrow from the poetic lan­ guage of the discourses: path and Nibbana m erge into one, like one river m erging w ith another ”

6 S in 51 and SIV 142 present the direct experience of the impermanent nature of the ag­ gregates or the sense-spheres as "right view", a form of right view that is clearly an outcome of insight meditation. 7 A 111450. 8 It should be pointed out, however, that there is a clear qualitative difference between satipatthana practised by a beginner and by an arahant. S V 144 describes this qualita­ tive progression, which leads from the initial insight of the beginner, via the penetra­ tive comprehension of the advanced practitioner, to the full freedom from any attachment during the contemplation undertaken by an arahant. Even for the begin­ ner's initial insight, this discourse stipulates that satipatthana is to be undertaken with a calm and concentrated mind for true insight to arise, a requirement not easily met by those who have just started to practise. 9 S III 168 explains that although arahants have nothing more to do, they continue to contemplate the five aggregates as impermanent unsatisfactory, and not-self, be­ cause for them this is a pleasant form of abiding here and now and a source of mind­ fulness and clear knowledge. At S I 48 the Buddha explained again that arahants, although meditating, have nothing more to do since they have "gone beyond"'. Cf. also Ray 1994* p.87. 10 S V 175 defines an arahant as one who has perfected the cultivation of satipatthana. According to S V 302, arahants often dwell established in satipaffhana. The arahant*s de­ light in seclusion is documented at D IE 283; AIV 224; and A V 175* The arahant'$profi­ ciency in satipatthana comes up again at A IV 224 and at A V 175, Katz 1989: p.67, concludes: *satipatthana. .. arahants enjoy this practice, which would mean *. *that it is a natural expression of their attainment".

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1

273

A sim ilar nu ance u n derlies the final p art of the "refrain ", accord­ in g to w h ic h co n tem p latio n continues fo r the sake of co n tin u ed con ­ tem p latio n .” This indicates that there is no p o in t at w h ich a practitioner go es b e y o n d the practice o f m editation. T h u s th e rele­ va n ce o f satipatthana ex te n d s from the v e r y b e g in n in g o f the p ath all the w a y th ro u gh to the m o m en t o f fu ll realization , and b e yo n d . T he con tin u ed re lev an ce o f form al m editation practice even for arahants is d o cu m en ted in various discourses* These discourses sh o w th at the B u d d h a a n d his discip les w e re a lw a ys g iv e n to m editation, irresp ective of th eir level of realization /3 T he B u d d h a w as w ell k n o w n in co n tem p o rary ascetic circles for b e in g in fa v o u r of si­ lence and retreat.1 4A n illustrative e p iso d e in the Samanitaphala Sutta rep o rts the B ud dh a and a large co n g rega tio n of m onks m ed itatin g in su ch d eep silence that an a p p ro a ch in g k in g feared b ein g led into an a m b u sh , because it seem ed im possible to him that so m a n y p e o ­ ple co u ld be assem bled to geth er w ith o u t m ak in g a n y noise.15 The B u d d h a 's appreciation of silence w e n t so far that he w o u ld read ily

11 According to D fl 223, Nibbana and the path coalesce, just as the Ganga and the Yamuna rivers coalesce. Malalasekera 1995: voLI p.734, explains that "the junction of the Gaftga and the Yamuna is used a*a simile for perfect union"* 12 M 1 56: "mindfulness... is established in him to the extent necessary fo r... continuous mindfulness"'. 13 e.g. S V 326 reports the Buddha and some arahants engaged in the practice of mindful­ ness of breathing. From among the arahant disciples, Anuruddha was known for his frequent practice of satipatthana (cf. S V 294-306). Sn 157 stresses again that the Buddha did not neglect meditation. Cf. also M IU 13, where the Buddha is character­ ized as one who practised meditation and followed the conduct of a meditator. 14 e,g. at D 1179; D III 37; M 1514; M II2; M II23; M II30; A V 185; and A V 190; the Buddha and his followers are characterized as being "in favour of silence, practising silence, praising silence". Cf. also S III 15 and S IV 80, where the Buddha emphatically exhorted his disciples to make an effort at living in seclusion. According to A III 422, seclusion is in fact a necessary requirement for gaining real control over the mind. Cf. also It 39 and Sn 822, where the Buddha spoke again in praise of seclusion. At Vin 192 the Buddha even exempted junior monks from the need to live in dependence on a teacher if they were meditating in seclusion, Living in community almost appears to be a second-rate alternative, since at S 1 154 such community life is recommended to those monks who are unable to find delight in seclusion (cf. also Ray 1994: p.96). The importance of seclusion in the historically early stages of the Buddhist monastic community is also noted by Panabokke 1993: p.14- To live in seclusion, however, requires some degree of meditative proficiency, as the Buddha pointed out at M 1 17 and A V 202, If such meditative proficiency was Lacking, the Buddha would advise monks against going off into seclusion (cf. the cases of Upali at A V 202and Meghiya at
U d 3 4 ).

15 D ] ;o .

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dismiss noisy m onks or lay supporters from his presence.*4 If the hustle and bustle around him reached a level he found excessive, he was capable of just w alking off b y himself, leaving the congregation of monks, nuns, and lay followers to themselves.'7 Seclusion, he ex­ plained, was a distinctive quality of the Dhamma The discourses report that even after his full aw akening the Buddha still w ent into solitary silent retreat.'* Even outside o f inten­ sive retreat, distinguished visitors were sometimes not allow ed to approach him if he w as engaged in his d aily m editation.” A ccording to the Buddha's ow n statement in the Mahasuhnata Sutta, if w hile abiding in emptiness m editation he w as visited by monks, nuns, or taity, his mind inclined to seclusion to such an extent that he w ould talk to them in a w ay that was intended to dismiss them.” His secluded lifestyle earned the Buddha some undeserved ridi­ cule from other ascetics, w h o insinuated that he might fear being vanquished in debate w ith others.” This, how ever, was not the case, the Buddha was not afraid of debate or of anything else. His

16 At M 1457 a newly-ordained group of monks was dismissed by the Buddha for being too noisy. The same happened again at Ud 25*At A III 31 (= A DI342and AIV 341), the Buddha was disinclined to accept food brought by a group of householders because they were creating a lot of noise. On the other hand, however, merely to observe silence for its own sake was criticized by the Buddha. At Vin 1157 he rebuked a group of monks who had spent a rainy season together in complete silence, apparently in order to avoid communal discord. This case needs to be considered in the light of MI 207,. where the silent cohabitation of a group of monks is described in the same terms, but met with the Buddha's approval Here the decisive difference was that every fifth day this group of monks would interrupt their silence and discuss the Dhamma, Le- in this case silence was rot observed to avoid dissension, but was employed as a means to create a suitable meditative atmosphere and at the same time wisely balanced with regular discussions about the Dhamma, In fact these two activities, either discussing the Dhamma or observing silence, were often recommended by the Buddha as the two appropriate ways of spending time with others (e.g, at M 1 161). 17 Ud 41, A similar action was undertaken at A V 133 by a group of senior monks who departed without even taking their leave of the Buddha In order to avoid the noise created by some visitors, an action which the Buddha, on being told later, approved. 18 Vin II259 and AIV 280. 19 Vin III 68; S V 12; and S V 320 report the Buddha spending two weeks in complete seclusion on a silent retreat, while Vin 1 1 1229; S V 13; and S V 325 report the same for a three-month period. 20 e*g, at D 1151. According to D II270, even Sakka, king of gods, had once to depart with­ out being able to meet the Buddha, because he was not allowed to disturb the Buddha's meditation. 21 M III tn. 22 D 1175 and D ill 38.

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seclu d ed an d m ed itative lifestyle w a s sim p ly the a p p ro p ria te e x ­ pression o f his realization , an d at the sam e tim e a w a y o f settin g an exam p le to others.13 Th e p assages m en tio n ed so far clearly s h o w the im p ortan ce g iv e n in the early B u d d h ist co m m u n ity to retirin g in to seclu sion an d en ­ g a g in g in the practice o f in ten sive m editation . Th is im portance is also reflected in the statem en t that practice o f the fou r satipatthdnas, togeth er w ith re m o v in g th e h in dran ces an d establish in g the a w a k ­ en in g factors, constitutes a com m on featu re o f the a w a k e n in g o f all B u d d h as, past, present, a n d fu tu re.2 4In fact, n o t o n ly B u d d h as, b u t all th ose w h o h ave realized or w ill realize a w a k en in g , do so b y o v e r­ com in g the h in dran ces, establish ing satipatthana, and d e v e lo p in g the a w a k e n in g factors/5In v ie w o f the fact that b o th the h in d ran ces and the a w a k e n in g factors are objects o f co n tem p lation o f dhammas, it becom es e v id e n t th at satipatthdna is an in d isp en sable in g red ien t for g ro w th in the Dhamma * Little w o n d e r th en th at the B ud dh a eq u a ted n eg lectin g satipatthdna w ith n e g le ctin g the p ath to freed om from dukkha ,2 7 T h e re lev an ce o f satipatthana to all the B u d d h a 's disciples is also in dicated b y the fact that, acco rd in g to the discourses, m an y nu ns w ere acco m p lish ed p ractition ers o f satipatthdna* Several instances also refer to lay-m ed itato rs proficien t in satipatthana con tem p la­ tion.2 9 T h ese instances clearly s h o w that the w o rd "m on ks" {bhikkhave), u sed in the Satipatthdna Sutta b y the B ud dh a as a form of
23 At D 11154 the Buddha pointed out that all Awakened Ones of past times had similarly been dedicated to seclusion and silence. M 1 23 and A 1 60 explain his reasons for living in seclusion to be a pleasant abiding here and now and out of compassion for future generations. Cf, also Mil 138. 24 D II83; D 111 101; and S V 161. At S 1 103 the Buddha explicitly stated that his awakening took place based on sati. 25 A V 195. This statement appears to be of such crucial importance that in the satipatthana version preserved in the Chinese Madhyama Agama it has become part of the introductory part of the discourse itself, cf. Nhat Hanh 1990: p.151. 26 In fact, according to A V 153, mindfulness is essential for growth in the DJtamma. The usefulness of satipatthana is further corroborated by the substantial list of its possible benefits at A IV 457-60. 27 S V 179. 28 S V 155. 29 e.g. according to M 1 340 the lay disciple Pessa engaged from time to time in satipafthlirm. Pessa's practice is qualified in this discourse with the expression "well estab­ lished" (supatitfhita), which clearly indicates that it must have been of a rather advanced level. S V 177 and S V 178 report the laymen Sirivaddha and Manadinna both engaged in the practice of satipatthana. Both were then declared by the Buddha to have achieved non-returning.

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address to his audien ce, w as not in ten d ed to restrict the instructions to fu lly ordained m onks.3 0 A lth o u g h the practice of satipatthana is clearly n ot lim ited to m em ­ bers o f the m onastic co m m u n ity, it n everth eless holds particular benefits for them , since it coun ters tend encies tow ard s personal and com m unal declin e.3 1 As the B uddha p oin ted out, once a m on k or a nun has practised satipatthana for a sufficient len g th o f time, n oth in g in the w o rld can tem pt them to disrobe and forsake their w a y of life, since th ey h ave becom e th o ro u g h ly disench an ted w ith w o rld ly tem ptations.3 " W ell established in satipatthana, th ey h ave becom e truly self-reliant and are no lo n ger in need of a n y oth er form of p ro­ tection or refu ge .3 3 The w h o lesom e effects of satipatthana are not restricted to oneself. The B u d d h a em p h atically ad vised that one sh ould en cou rage o n e's friends and relatives to also practise satipatthana * In this w a y , sati­ patthana practice can becom e a tool for assisting others* The B u d d h a once illustrated the p roper p ro ced u re for such assistance w ith the exam ple of tw o acrobats ab out to perform a b alan cin g act together*3 5 In order for both to perform safely, each first o f all had to p a y atten ­ tion to his o w n balance, n ot to the balance of his com panion. Sim i­ larly, the B u d d h a ad vised , on e sh ould first of all establish balance w ith in on eself b y d e v e lo p in g satipatthana. Based on establish ing such in n er balance one w ill be able to relate to external circum ­ stances w ith patience, n o n -violen ce, and com passion, and therefore be truly able to ben efit others. The sim ile of the tw o acrobats suggests that self-d evelop m en t b y w ay o f satipatthana form s an im portant basis for the ability to help others. A cco rd in g to the B uddha, to try to assist others w ith o u t first

30 Ps 1241 explains that in the present context "monk" includes whoever engages in the practice, 31 D II77; D II79; S V 172; S V 173; and S V 174. 32 S V 301. It is revealing to contrast this statement with A III 396, according to which even a fourth jhana attainer is still liable to disrobing and returning to a worldly life­ style. 33 D II100; D III 58; D III 77; S V 154; S V 163; and S V 164 speak of those engaging in satipatthana as becoming like an island and thereby a refuge to themselves* Com­ menting on this statement, Sv II549 emphasizes that it is the practice of satipatthanas that will lead to the highest, 34 S V 189* It is a little surprising that this discourse has not made its way into the Chinese Agamas (cf. Akanuma 1990: 247). 35 S V 169* O n this passage cf* also N an apo n ika 1990: p-3; N an avira 1987; p.211; Piyadassi 1972: p.475; and ThanissaTO 1996; p*8i.

C O N C L U S IO N

/ 27 7

having developed oneself is like trying to save som eone from a quagmire w hile one is oneself sinking.3 6 He com pared attempts to lead others to realize w h at one has not yet realized oneself to som e­ one carried aw ay by a sw ift river, yet attem pting to help others to cross it.3 7 All these passages docum ent the central position and im portance of satipatthana in the context of the Buddha's teaching* Indeed, it is the practice of satipatthanay the systematic developm ent of this un­ obtrusive quality of m indfulness, that constitutes the direct path to the realization o f Nibbana, to the perfection of w isdom , to the high­ est possible happiness, and to unsurpassable freed o m /

36 M 145, Likewise Dhp 158 recommends being well established oneself before teaching others* Cf, also A TI95-9, where the Buddha distinguished between four possibilities of practice! for one's own benefit only, or for others' benefit only, or for the benefit of neither, or for the benefit of both. His perhaps surprising position was that to practise for one's own benefit only is superior to practising for the benefit of others only (cf. also Dhp 166). The underlying rationale is that unless one is established oneself in overcoming unwholesomeness (A II96) or in ethical restraint (A 1199), one will be un­ able to benefit others, Cf, also Premasiri 1990c: p.160, who points out the need for a basis of internal peace before proceeding to serve others. 37 Sn320. 38 Nibb&na is referred to as the "perfection of wisdom" at M T IT245 and Th 1015; as the highest happiness at Dhp 204; and as unsurpassable freedom at M 1235.

LIST OF A B B R E V I A T I O N S

SOURCES

A Abhidh-s As D Dhp Dhp-a Dhs It

Ja
Kv
M

Mil Mp Nett N id i Nid II

Patis
Pj II Pp Ps Ps-pt S Sn Sp Spk Sv Sv-pt

Ariguttara Nikaya Abhidhammatthasahgaha Allhasalini (corny to Dhs) Digha Nikaya Dhammapada Dhammapadatthakatha (corny to Dhp) Dhamtmsangani Itivuttakn Jataka Kathdvatthu Majjhima Nikaya Milindapanha Manorathapurant (corny to A) Neitippakarana Mahaniddesa Culaniddesa Pa f isambhiddmagga Paramatthajotika (corny to Sn) Puggalapannaili Papancasudani (corny to M) Ps-puranatika (subcomy to M) Samyutta Nikaya Sutta Nipaia Samantapasddika (corny to Vin) Saratthappakdsim (corny to S) Sumahgalavilasini (corny to D) Sv-purariatika (subcomy to D)

302

/ S A TIPAT TH ANA

Th Th-a Thi Ud Ud-a Vibh Vibh-a

Theragatha Theragathatfhakatha (corny to Th) Therigatha Udana Paramatthadlpani (corny to Ud) Vibhanga Sammahavinadam (corny to Vibh) Vinayapitaka Vin Visuddhimagga Vism Vism-mht Paramatthamanjusa (subcomy to Vism)

O T H E R A B B R E V IA T IO N S BPS

corny diss. ed.
PTS

Buddhist Publication Society commentary (apthakatka) dissertation edition/editor Pali Text Society publisher/publication singular subcommentary (fffa?) translated/transla tion Vipassana Research Institute

publ sing. subcomy tr.
VJU

GLOSSARY

A
a b h ijjh a : covetousness, desires a b h ijjh d d o m a n a s s a : desires and discontent absorption: jh a n a adherence: a b h in iv e s a advantage: a ssa d a agreeable: a p p a tik k u la aggregate: k h a n d h a a jjh a t t a : internal a k u s a la : unwholesom e a lo k a s a fin d : clarity of cognition a n a p a n a s a ti: mindfulness of breathing a n a t ta : not-self anger: d o $ a angry despair: k o d h u p d y d sa a n ic c a : impermanent a n u p a s s a n a : contemplation a n u s a y a : latent tendency a n u s s a ti: recollection a n u tta r a : unsurpassable a n u v y a n ja n a : detail, secondary characteristic arising: s a m u d a y a a r iy a s a c c a : noble truth arrogance: a tim d n a a r u p a : immaterial a s a v a : influx a s u b h a : unattractive

a s u c i: impure d ta p i: diligent attention: m a n a s ik a r a austerity: ta p a avarice: m a c c h a riy a aversion: b y a p d d a avijjd\ ignorance aw akenin g factor: b o jjh a n g a awareness: s a ti d y a t a n a : (sense-)sphere

B
b a h id d h a : external b a la : power b h d v a n d : developm ent b od y contemplation: k d y d n u p a ss a n d

bojjhanga : a w a k e n in g fa c to r
b r a h m a v ih d r a : divine abode b y a p d d a : aversion

C
calm: s a m a th a cessation: n iro d h a c e to v im u tti: freedom of the mind chandai desire citta: mind, state of mind c it ta s s e k a g g a ta : unification of the mind clarity of cognition: a lo k a s a fin d clearly knowing: sa m p a ja n a

304

/

GLOSSARY

clinging: updddna clinging to particular rules and observances: sllab batap ard m d sa cognition: sann d compassion: karuna complaisance: a n u n ay a conceit: m dna concentration: sam d d h i conceptual proliferation: papafica confidence: saddhd consciousness: vinnd^ta consternation: ch a m b h ita tta contact: p h a ssa contemplation: an u passan d contracted: sa n k h itia counterpart: p a fib h a g a covetousness: a b h ijjh a craving: tanhd

divine abode: brahm avihdra d o m a n a ssa : discontent d o sa : anger doubt: v icikicch d d u kkha: unsatisfactory E effort: vdydm a ekdyan o: direct path elation: u ppila element: dhdtu emptiness: su nfiatd energy: v iriy a envy: issd equanimity: upekkhd ethical conduct: slla evil: p a p a existence: bhava external: b ahiddhd, bdhira

D
delight: p dm ojja delusion: m oha dependent co-arising: p a ticca sam u p p ad a desire: c h a n d a desires: abh ijjh a desires and discontent: a b h ijjh d d o m a n a ssa D h a m m a : the teaching of the Buddha d h am m a: mental object, factor for, nature of dh am m d n u p assan d : contemplation of dhammas dh am m a v tcay a : investigation-ofdh am m as diligent: atap i direct intuition: abhin n d direct path: ekdyano disadvantage: ddln ava disagreeable: patikku la discontent: dom a n a ssa discrimination: p a tisam bh id d disenchantment: a n a bh ira ti dispassion: virdga dissatisfaction: a ra ti distortion: vipaildsa distracted: v ikkh itta difphi: view

F
faculty: in d riy a fading away: virdga false speech: m usdvdda feeling: v edan d fetter: sam y ojan a riipa formation: sa n k h a ra freedom by wisdom: p a n n d v im u tti freedom of the mind: ceto v im u tti
G

form:

good: p u n n a /k u sala great: m ahaggata greed: lobha

H
happiness: su kha hindrance: n lvaran a honest; a sa fh a

I
id ap p a cca y ata : specific conditionality id d h ip d d a: road to power ignorance: avijjd immaterial: a ru p a impermanent: an icca impure: a su ci inattention: am an asikd ra

GLOSSARY

/

305

in d riy a : faculty in d riy a s a m v a r a : sense-restraint influx: a s a v a in front: p a r im u k h a m insight: v ip a s sa n d intention: s a n k a p p a internal: a jjh a tt a in vestiga t io n - o t - d h a m m a s : d h a m m a v ic a y a irritation: p a tig h a

meritorious: p u n n a method: n a y a m e tta : lovin g kindness m ic c h a s a t i: w rong mindfulness m id d h a : torpor mind: c itta or m an o mindfulness: s a t i mindfulness directed to the body: k a y a g a t a s a ti mindfulness of breathing: a n a p a n a s a ti m o h a : delusion

J
jhana: absorption
jh a n a - a n g a : factor of absorption joy: p iti, so m a n a s s a

N
n a m a r u p a : name-and-form name: n a m a name-and-form: n a m a r u p a n a y a : method neutral: a d u k k h a m a s u k h a n im itt a : sign, cause n ira m is a : unw orldly mvaraixa\ hindrance noble: a riy a noble truth: a r iy a s a c c a non-returner: a n a g a m i not-self: a n a tta nutriment: d k a r a

K
k a m a c c h a n d a : sensual desire k a y a g a ta s a t i: mindfulness directed to the bod y k a y a n u p a s s a n a : bod y contemplation k h a n d h a : aggregate knowledge: n a n a k u k k u c c a : worry k u s a la : wholesom e, skilful, good

L
latent tendency: a n u s a y a letting go: p a t in is s a g g a , v o s s a g g a liberated: v im u tta liberation: v im o k k h a lo b h a : greed logical reasoning: a k a r a p a r iv ita k k a longing: a b h ija p p a lovin g kindness: m ettd luminous mind: p a b h a s s a r a c itta lust: rdga

O
once-returner: s a h td a g a m i oral tradition: a n u s s a v a

P
p a b h a s s a r a c itta : luminous mind p a ja n a ti: he knows p a n n d : wisdom p a n n a v im u t ti: freedom by wisdom p a p a : evil p a p a n c a : conceptual proliferation p a r im u k h a m : in front p a s s a d d h i: tranquillity passing aw ay: atthagamar vaya pasture: g o c a r a path: m a g g a p a tic c a s a m u p p a d a : dependent co-arising patience: k h a n ti p a tfh a n a : foundation, cause p a tig h a : irritation

M
m a g g a : path m a h a g g a ta : great malicious speech: p is u n a v d c a m a n a s ik a r a : attention material form: ru pa m a n o : mind mental application, initial: v ita k k a mental application, sustained: v ic a r a

m en tal object: dhamma

306

/

G L OSS ARY

p a tik kiila : disagreeable p a fin issa g g a : letting go p iti: joy p h a ssa : contact pleasant: su kh a power: bala presence: upatthdna p u n n a : good, meritorious purification: v isv d d h i

R
rdga: lust rapacious greed: g id d h ilo bh a recollection: an u ssa ti repulsive: patikkiila restlessness: uddhacca right: sam m d right action: sam m a k am m an ta right concentration: sam m a sam ddhi right effort: sam m a vdydm a right livelihood: sam m a ajiva right mindfulness: sam m a sa ti right speech: sam m a vdcd right thought: sam m a san k a p p a right view: sam m a d itth i road to power: iddhipdda ru p a: form

s a n m v ed a y ita n ir o d h a : cessation of cognition and feeling s a p p u r is a : worthy person sa ti: awareness, mindfulness sa tip atth d n a : presence of mindfulness sa -u tta ra : surpassable seclusion: v iveka sense-restraint: in d riy a sa m v ara sense-sphere: dyatana sensual desire: kd m acch an d a sign: n im itta signless: an im itta sila: ethical conduct sllab batap ard m d sa: clinging to particular rules and observances skilful: ku sala sloth: th in a specific conditionality: id ap p accay ata spiteful scolding: nin ddrosa standpoint: adhit\hdna state of mind: citta stream-enterer: sotdpan n a su n n atd : emptiness su k h a : happiness su p a tifth ita : well established surpassable: sa-u ttara

S
saddhd: confidence sam d d h i: concentration sa m a th a : calm sdm isa: worldly sa m m a : right sam m a a jiv a: right livelihood sam m d d itth i: right view sam m a kam m an ta: right action sam m d sam ddhi: right concentration sam m d sa n k a p p a : right thought sam m d sati: right mindfulness sam m d vdca: right speech sam m d v dydm a ; right effort sa m p ajan n a : clear knowledge sam p ajd n a: clearly knowing sa m u d ay a: arising saiftyojan a: fetter san khdra: volition, formation sa n k h itta: contracted sann d: cognition

T
tanhd: craving tevijjd: threefold higher knowledge th in a : sloth thought: vitakka torpor: m id d h a train: sik k h a ti tranquillity: p a ssa d d h i truth: sacca
V

u d d h a cca ; restlessness unattractive: asu b h a unease: d u ffh u lla unification of the mind: cittassek a g g atd unity: ek a tta unpleasant: d u kkha unsatisfactory: du kkha unsurpassable: an u ttara

GLOSSARY

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307

unw holesom e: a k u s a ia unworldly: n ira m is a u p a tth d n a : presence u p e k k h a : equanimity

vision: d a s s a n a v it a k k a : initial mental application volition: s a fik h a r a

W V
v a y a : passing aw ay v d y d m a : effort v ed a n d : feeling v ic d r a : sustained mental application v ic ik ic c h d : doubt view: d i f f h i v ik k h itt a : distracted v im u tt a : liberated v in n d # a : consciousness v ip a lld s a : distortion v ip a s s a n d : insight v ir d g a : fading aw ay, dispassion v ir iy a : energy w a y out: n iss a r a n a well established: s u p a t it fh it a wholesome: k u sa la wisdom: p a n fid wise attention: y o n is o m a n a s ik a r a worldling: p u th u jja n a w orldly: sd m isa worry: k u k k u c c a w orthy person: s a p p u r is a w ro n g mindfulness: m ic c h a s a ti

Y
y o n is o m a n a s ik a r a : w ise attention

'a g e m ... I lea rn ed a lot fr o m this w o n d erfu l book a n d h igh ly reco m m en d it to both ex p erien ced m editators a n d th ose ju s t b eg in n in g to explore th e p a th . '
Joseph Goldstein This book helps to fill w hat has long been a glaring gap in the -scholarship on E a rly Buddhism, offering us a detailed textual study of the SatipatihSna Sutta, the foundational Buddhist discourse on m editation practice. W ith painstaking thoroughness, Ven. Analayo m arshals the suttas of the Pali canon, w orks of m odem scholarship, and the teachings of presentday m editation m asters to make the rich implications of this text, so concise in the original, clear to contem porary students of the Pharm a. Unlike more popular books on the subject, he is not out to establish the exclusive validity of one pa rticu la r system of meditation as against others; his aim , rather, is to explore the sutta as a wide-rangtng and m u lti-fa ce te d source of guidance w h ich a llo w s for a lternative

interpretations and approaches to practice. His analysis combines the detached objectivity of the academ ic scholar w ith the engaged concern o f the practitioner for w hom m editation a subject of study. Th e book should prove to be of value both to scholars o f E a rly Buddhism and to -serious m editators alike. Ideally, it w ill encourage in both types o f reader the same wholesome synthesis o f scholarship and practice that underlies the auth or s own treatm ent of his subject. Bhikkhu Bodhi
Isa

way of life rather than just

*... a n in dispensable g u id e ... surely d estin ed
to b eco m e th e classic com m en ta ry on th e Satipatthana. *
C hristopher Titm u ss