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See our disclaimer. Customer Reviews. Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product. Email address. Mindfulness that 'there are 'dhammas' is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. He abides contemplating of passing away And how does he in regard to dhammas abide contemplating dhammas in terms of the six internal and external sense-spheres? And how does he in regard to dhammas.

And how does he in regard to dhammas abide contemplating dhammas in terms of the four noble truths? Let alone seven years So it was with reference to this that it was said:. To begin, I will survey the underlying structure of the Saiipaiihiina Sutta and consider some general aspects of the four eatipaithiinas. I will then examine the expressions" direct path" and" satipatthana", I. Satipaiihiina as the" direct path" to Nibbiina has received a detailed treatment in the Saiipatihiina Sutta of the Majjhima Nikiiya. Apart from the Pi3Jisources, expositions on satipailhiina are also preserved in Chinese and Sanskrit, with intriguing occasional variations from the Pali presentations.

The Burmese edition sixth Sangiiyana has added the longer section on the four noble truths to the Majjhima version as well; the Sinhalese edition, however, agrees with the PTS edition in presenting only a short statement of the four noble truths. Most of the discourses in the Samuuita Nikiiya and Angutiara Nikiiya mention only the bare outline of the four saiipaiihiinas, without going into the details of their possible applications. This functional division into four satipatthiinas seems to be a direct outcome of the Buddha's awakening,' a central aspect of his rediscovery of an ancient path of practice.

In Fig. S82b, and in the Ekottara Agama: Taisho 2, nO. S2sa , and the Sriivakabhumi. An abridged translation of one of the complete Chinese versions, the Nien-ch' u-ching, being the ninetyeighth siitra in the Chinese Madhyama Agama can be found in Minh Chau pp. S At S V the Buddha included the four saiipaiihiinas among his insights into things unknown at his time.

Both cases give only the outline of the four satipaiihiinae and do not contain the detailed practical examples given in the Saiipaiihima Sutta and the Mahiisatipaiihima Sutta. Similarly A II 29 speaks of samma sati as an ancient practice. In fact D II 3Sreports bodhisaita Vipassi engaged in dhammiinupassana on the five aggregates, which confirms that satipatthana was an ancient practice, undertaken by previous Buddhas, a practice which however must then have fallen into oblivion until its rediscovery by Gotama Buddha. Other discourses spoken at Kammasadhamrna in the Kuru country e.

M I S02speaks of many followers from various backgrounds. According to Ps I ,a uniting feature among the discourses spoken at this particular location is their comparatively advanced nature, owing to the capacity of its inhabitants to receive deep teachings. The location of the Kuru country corresponds to the area of modem Delhi according to Law p.

Rhys Davids P. This same part of India is also associated with the events in the Bhagaoadgita Bhg I. The next section of the discourse offers a short definition of the most essential aspects of this direct path. This" definition" mentions four satipatthanas for contemplation: body, feelings, mind, and dhammas' The" definition" also specifies the mental qualities that are instrumental for saiipatthana, one should be diligent atap!

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After this" definition", the discourse describes the four eatipaiihanas of body, feelings, mind, and dhammas in detail. The range of the first satipaiihiina, contemplation of the body, proceeds from mindfulness of breathing, postures, and activities, via analyses of the body into its anatomical parts and elements, to contemplating a corpse in decay.

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The next two satipaiihiinas are concerned with contemplating feelings and mind. The fourth satipaiihiina lists five types of dhammas for contemplation: the mental hindrances, the aggregates, the sense-spheres, the awakening factors, and the four noble truths. After the actual meditation practices, the discourse returns to the direct path statement via a prediction about the time within which realization can be expected.

This satipaiihana "refrain" completes each instruction by repeatedly emphasizing the important aspects of the practice. The "refrain" also points out that mindfulness should be established merely for the sake of developing bare knowledge and for achieving continuity of awareness. According to the same "refrain", proper saiipaithana contemplation takes place free from any dependence or clinging. The entire discourse is framed by an introduction, which conveys the occasion of its delivery, and a conclusion, which reports the delighted reaction of the monks after the Buddha's exposition.

As the figure shows, the discourse weaves a recurring pattern that systematically alternates between specific meditation instructions.

Each time, the task of the "refrain" is to direct attention to those aspects of satipatihiina that are essential for proper practice. The same pattern also applies to the start of the discourse, where a general introduction to the topic of satipaiihiina through the "direct path" statement is followed by the" definition", which has the role of pointing out its essential characteristics.

In this way, both the "definition" and the "refrain" indicate what is essential. Thus, for a proper understanding and implementation of satipatthima, the information contained in the" definition" and the "refrain" is of particular importance. On closer inspection, the sequence of the contemplations listed in the Satipatthana Sutta reveals a progressive pattern cf.

Contemplation of the body progresses from the rudimentary experience of bodily postures and activities to contemplating the body's anatomy. The increased sensitivity developed in this way forms the basis for contemplation of feelings, a shift of awareness from the immediately accessible physical aspects of experience to feelings as more refined and subtle objects of awareness. M I 56 : "that is how a monk in regard to the body feelings, mind, dhammas abides contemplating the body feelings, mind, dhammas. M I 56 :"how does a monk in regard to the body etc.


Contemplation of feeling divides feelings not only according to their affective quality into pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral types, but also distinguishes these according to their worldly or unworldly nature. The latter part of contemplation of feelings thus introduces an ethical distinction of feelings, which serves as a stepping-stone for directing awareness to the ethical distinction between wholesome and unwholesome states of mind, mentioned at the start of the next saiipatthiina, contemplation of the mind.

Contemplation of the mind proceeds from the presence or absence of four unwholesome states of mind lust, anger, delusion, and distraction , to contemplating the presence or absence of four higher states of mind. These are the hindrances, the first object of contemplation of dhammas. After covering the hindrances to meditation practice, contemplation of dhammas progresses to two analyses of subjective experience: the five aggregates and the six sense-spheres. These analyses are followed by the awakening factors, the next contemplation of dhammas. The culmination of satipatthiina practice is reached with the contemplation of the four noble truths, full understanding of which coincides with realization.

Considered in this way, the sequence of the satipaiihiina contemplations leads progressively from grosser to more subtle levels. At the same time, however, this progressive pattern does not 11 The Mahaprajfiaparamitasastra offers the following explanation for this pattern: having investigated the body, the meditator searches for the cause of attachment to it, which is found to be pleasant feeling. Investigating feelings the question "who experiences feelings?

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This in turn forms a basis for an inquiry into the causes and conditions of mind, being the focus of contemplation of dhammas in Lamotte PP. On the progressive pattern underlying the sequence of the saiipatthiina contemplations d. To take the progression of the meditation exercises in the Saiipatihana Sutta as indicating a necessary sequence would severely limit the range of one's practice, since only those experiences or phenomena that fit into this preconceived pattern would be proper objects of awareness.

Yet a central characteristic of satipaiihiina is awareness of phenomena as they are, and as they occur. Although such awareness will naturally proceed from the gross to the subtle, in actual practice it will quite probably vary from the sequence depicted in the discourse. A flexible and comprehensive development of satipaithana should encompass all aspects of experience, in whatever sequence they occur.

All satipatihanae can be of continual relevance throughout one's progress along the path.

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The practice of contemplating the body, for example, is not something to be left behind and discarded at some more advanced point in one's progress. Much rather, it continues to be a relevant practice even for an arahani" Understood in this way, the meditation exercises listed in the Satipaiihana Sutta can be seen as mutually supportive. The sequence in which they are practised may be altered in order to meet the needs of each individual meditator. Not only do the four satipaithanas support each other, but they could even be integrated within a single meditation practice.

This is documented in the Aniipiinasati Sutta, which describes how mindfulness of breathing can be developed in such a way that it encompasses all four satipaithiinas" This exposition demonstrates the possibility of comprehensively combining all four eatipaiihiinas within the practice of a single meditation. According to the Aniipiinasati Sutta, it is possible to develop a variety of different aspects of satipatihana contemplation with a single meditation object and in due course cover all four eaiipaiihanas.

This raises the question how far a single satipaiihima, or even a single meditation exercise, can be taken as a complete practice in its own right. S V ,which reports that the Buddha himself, after his awakening, still continued to practise mindfulness of breathing. Several discourses relate the practice of a single satipaiihana directly to realization. In this way, even those aspects of saiipaiihiina that have not deliberately been made the object of contemplation to some extent still receive mindful attention as a by-product of the primary practice.

Yet the exposition in the Aniipiinasati Sutta does not necessarily imply that by being aware of the breath one automatically covers all aspects of satipaiihiina. What the Buddha demonstrated here was how a thorough development of sati can lead from the breath to a broad range of objects, encompassing different aspects of subjective reality. Clearly, such a broad range of aspects was the outcome of a deliberate development, otherwise the Buddha would not have needed to deliver a whole discourse on how to achieve this.

In fact, several meditation teachers and scholars place a strong emphasis on covering all four saiipaiihiinas in one's practice. Dhammadharo T P, who assembles all four satipatthiinas under one single practice. Goenka b: p.