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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Pali Term: Sati

Pali Term: Sati

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:34 am

danieLion wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:1) I'm not referring to that doctrine. Go ahead and take out the word moment, it makes no difference. Call it the experienced present if you want.
2) It is recollection of the past and remembering to stay aware of the experienced present.

How do you know when the past ends, the present begins, and the future starts?
polarbuddha101 wrote:3) Just because sati means memory/remembrance/recollection doesn't mean that it isn't related to the rest of the path. In practice it has a very important and complex function...
above you said it was all very simple. So, which is it?


I experience the present, remember the past, and anticipate the future. This is how I know without reference to some well defined exact slice of time called the present moment. You're just picking bones here. (And an important thing to do is to remember to experience the present, i.e. to keep what's going right now clearly in mind)

A simple translation for a complex practice, it's both simple and complex depending on the way you're looking at the issue.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:38 am

danieLion wrote:The definition? There's only one?


I'm not saying remembrance is the only definition or translation, just saying it's a decent one.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:47 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
danieLion wrote:The definition? There's only one?


I'm not saying remembrance is the only definition or translation, just saying it's a decent one.
Actually, it is not, given that "remembrance" carries a connotation that really does not get at the immediacy of the experience of mindfulness of breathing. "Oh, yes, I have a remembrance of having a nice long breath just the other day."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:56 am

tiltbillings wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:
danieLion wrote:The definition? There's only one?


I'm not saying remembrance is the only definition or translation, just saying it's a decent one.
Actually, it is not, given that "remembrance" carries a connotation that really does not get at the immediacy of the experience of mindfulness of breathing. "Oh, yes, I have a remembrance of having a nice long breath just the other day."


It certainly has to be qualified with further statements. Anyway, I concede your point.

:namaste:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:06 am

Hi Polarbuddha,

Another decent translation of sati is retention.


There's a nice verse in Theragatha:

1052. ‘‘Gatimanto satimanto, dhitimanto ca yo isi;
Saddhammadhārako thero, ānando ratanākaro.

and related vagga in Anguttara Nikaya:

219. ‘‘Etadaggaṃ, bhikkhave, mama sāvakānaṃ bhikkhūnaṃ bahussutānaṃ yadidaṃ ānando’’.
220. … Satimantānaṃ yadidaṃ ānando.
221. … Gatimantānaṃ yadidaṃ ānando.
222. … Dhitimantānaṃ yadidaṃ ānando.


Regarding dhāraṇatā, Puggalapaññatti says:

79. Katamo ca puggalo upaṭṭhitassati? Tattha katamā sati? Yā sati anussati paṭissati sati saraṇatā dhāraṇatā apilāpanatā asammusanatā sati satindriyaṃ satibalaṃ sammāsati – ayaṃ vuccati sati. Imāya satiyā samannāgato puggalo ‘‘upaṭṭhitassati’’.

80. Katamo ca puggalo sampajāno? Tattha katamaṃ sampajaññaṃ? Yā paññā pajānanā vicayo pavicayo dhammavicayo sallakkhaṇā upalakkhaṇā paccupalakkhaṇā paṇḍiccaṃ kosallaṃ nepuññaṃ vebhabyā cintā upaparikkhā bhūrī medhā pariṇāyikā vipassanā sampajaññaṃ patodo paññā paññindriyaṃ paññābalaṃ paññāsatthaṃ paññāpāsādo paññāāloko paññāobhāso paññāpajjoto paññāratanaṃ amoho dhammavicayo sammādiṭṭhi – idaṃ vuccati sampajaññaṃ. Iminā sampajaññena samannāgato puggalo ‘‘sampajāno’’.


Mahaniddesa illustrates the contexts of sati:

Satoti catūhi kāraṇehi sato – kāye kāyānupassanāsatipaṭṭhānaṃ bhāvento sato, vedanāsu…pe… citte… dhammesu dhammānupassanāsatipaṭṭhānaṃ bhāvento sato.

Aparehipi catūhi kāraṇehi sato – asatiparivajjanāya sato, satikaraṇīyānaṃ dhammānaṃ katattā sato, satiparibandhānaṃ dhammānaṃ hatattā sato, satinimittānaṃ dhammānaṃ asammuṭṭhattā sato.

Aparehipi catūhi kāraṇehi sato – satiyā samannāgatattā sato, satiyā vasitattā sato, satiyā pāguññatāya sato, satiyā apaccorohaṇatāya sato.

Aparehipi catūhi kāraṇehi sato – sattattā sato, santattā sato, samitattā sato, santadhammasamannāgatattā sato. Buddhānussatiyā sato, dhammānussatiyā sato, saṅghānussatiyā sato, sīlānussatiyā sato, cāgānussatiyā sato, devatānussatiyā sato, ānāpānassatiyā sato, maraṇassatiyā sato, kāyagatāsatiyā sato, upasamānussatiyā sato. Yā sati anussati paṭissati sati saraṇatā dhāraṇatā apilāpanatā asammussanatā sati satindriyaṃ satibalaṃ sammāsati satisambojjhaṅgo ekāyanamaggo, ayaṃ vuccati sati. Imāya satiyā upeto hoti samupeto upagato samupagato upapanno samupapanno samannāgato, so vuccati sato.


Evidently the authors of Atthakatha were not aware of Krishnamurti's 'Choiceless Awareness' and did not incorporate it in their teachings, daring to contradict it:

Satiyeva satipaṭṭhānaṃ. Atha vā saraṇaṭṭhena sati, upaṭṭhānaṭṭhena paṭṭhānaṃ. Iti sati ca sā paṭṭhānaṃ cātipi satipaṭṭhānaṃ. Idamidhādhippetaṃ.

Yadi evaṃ kasmā ‘‘satipaṭṭhānā’’ti bahuvacanaṃ? Satibahuttā. Ārammaṇabhedena hi bahukā etā satiyo.

Mahavagga-Atthakatha 3.753

Tattha ārammaṇe pakkhanditvā upaṭṭhānaṭṭhena paṭṭhānaṃ, satiyeva paṭṭhānaṃ satipaṭṭhānaṃ. Ārammaṇassa pana kāyādivasena catubbidhattā vuttaṃ ‘‘cattāro satipaṭṭhānā’’ti. Tathā hi kāyavedanācittadhammesu subhasukhaniccaattasaññānaṃ pahānato asubhadukkhāniccānattatāgahaṇato ca nesaṃ kāyānupassanādibhāvo vibhatto.

Udana-Atthakatha 304
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:35 am

So, in the context of Satipatthana, sati is the taking up of the object-support (ārammaṇa):

Satīti ārammaṇapariggahitasati.

Salayatanavagga-Atthakatha 2.390

where the object-support (ārammaṇa) can be of four kinds, corresponding to body, etc.:

Tattha ārammaṇe pakkhanditvā upaṭṭhānaṭṭhena paṭṭhānaṃ, satiyeva paṭṭhānaṃ satipaṭṭhānaṃ. Ārammaṇassa pana kāyādivasena catubbidhattā vuttaṃ ‘‘cattāro satipaṭṭhānā’’ti. Tathā hi kāyavedanācittadhammesu subhasukhaniccaattasaññānaṃ pahānato asubhadukkhāniccānattatāgahaṇato ca nesaṃ kāyānupassanādibhāvo vibhatto.

Udana-Atthakatha 304


In the context of Satipatthana, sati is directly related to functions of memory, and is rightly called 'remembrance' (saraṇa):

Satiyeva satipaṭṭhānaṃ. Atha vā saraṇaṭṭhena sati, upaṭṭhānaṭṭhena paṭṭhānaṃ. Iti sati ca sā paṭṭhānaṃ cātipi satipaṭṭhānaṃ. Idamidhādhippetaṃ.

Yadi evaṃ kasmā ‘‘satipaṭṭhānā’’ti bahuvacanaṃ? Satibahuttā. Ārammaṇabhedena hi bahukā etā satiyo.

Mahavagga-Atthakatha 3.753


So there's no real difference in meaning of sati between the context of Satipatthana and the context or recollections (e.g. of Tathagata) - it's just that sati may have take up various object-supports (ārammaṇa). The unified meaning of sati across the contexts is illustrated in Mahaniddesa:

Satoti catūhi kāraṇehi sato – kāye kāyānupassanāsatipaṭṭhānaṃ bhāvento sato, vedanāsu…pe… citte… dhammesu dhammānupassanāsatipaṭṭhānaṃ bhāvento sato.

Aparehipi catūhi kāraṇehi sato – asatiparivajjanāya sato, satikaraṇīyānaṃ dhammānaṃ katattā sato, satiparibandhānaṃ dhammānaṃ hatattā sato, satinimittānaṃ dhammānaṃ asammuṭṭhattā sato.

Aparehipi catūhi kāraṇehi sato – satiyā samannāgatattā sato, satiyā vasitattā sato, satiyā pāguññatāya sato, satiyā apaccorohaṇatāya sato.

Aparehipi catūhi kāraṇehi sato – sattattā sato, santattā sato, samitattā sato, santadhammasamannāgatattā sato. Buddhānussatiyā sato, dhammānussatiyā sato, saṅghānussatiyā sato, sīlānussatiyā sato, cāgānussatiyā sato, devatānussatiyā sato, ānāpānassatiyā sato, maraṇassatiyā sato, kāyagatāsatiyā sato, upasamānussatiyā sato. Yā sati anussati paṭissati sati saraṇatā dhāraṇatā apilāpanatā asammussanatā sati satindriyaṃ satibalaṃ sammāsati satisambojjhaṅgo ekāyanamaggo, ayaṃ vuccati sati. Imāya satiyā upeto hoti samupeto upagato samupagato upapanno samupapanno samannāgato, so vuccati sato.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:32 am

tiltbillings wrote:Actually, it is not, given that "remembrance" carries a connotation that really does not get at the immediacy of the experience of mindfulness of breathing. "Oh, yes, I have a remembrance of having a nice long breath just the other day."


From a practical perspective, I find that remembering to be mindful is the biggest challenge. Does that relate to the definition of sati?
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:19 pm

Mindfulness and Clear Comprehension
13. Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Mindful should you dwell, bhikkhus, clearly comprehending; thus I exhort you.

14. "And how, bhikkhus, is a bhikkhu mindful? When he dwells contemplating the body in the body, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world; and when he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, the mind in the mind, and mental objects in mental objects, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world, then is he said to be mindful.

15. "And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu have clear comprehension? When he remains fully aware of his coming and going, his looking forward and his looking away, his bending and stretching, his wearing of his robe and carrying of his bowl, his eating and drinking, masticating and savoring, his defecating and urinating, his walking, standing, sitting, lying down, going to sleep or keeping awake, his speaking or being silent, then is he said to have clear comprehension.

"Mindful should you dwell, bhikkhus, clearly comprehending; thus I exhort you."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:21 am

Hi Porpoise,

porpoise wrote:From a practical perspective, I find that remembering to be mindful is the biggest challenge. Does that relate to the definition of sati?


If you ask me, I would say that mindfulness requires a sphere to be mindful of, in other words, "sampajanna" requires a "gocara". To arrive somewhere, it isn't enough to "remember to keep going". Keeping in mind everything at once is problematic, doesn't make much sense and can be exhausting. There need to be some specific criteria of right course.

Satiyā paṭṭhānā satipaṭṭhānā’’ti iminā atthena satigocarāpi satipaṭṭhānā.

Pancapakarana-Atthakatha 52


If you look at Dvedhavitakka sutta, Bhikkhunupassaya sutta, Anapanasati sutta and Satipatthana sutta - they mention specific criteria to keep track of. The Commentary (Atthakatha) describes each sphere (body, etc) as an object-support (ārammaṇa) for sati (remembrance).

Tattha ārammaṇe pakkhanditvā upaṭṭhānaṭṭhena paṭṭhānaṃ, satiyeva paṭṭhānaṃ satipaṭṭhānaṃ. Ārammaṇassa pana kāyādivasena catubbidhattā vuttaṃ ‘‘cattāro satipaṭṭhānā’’ti.

Udana-Atthakatha 304


This doesn't have to be too complicated - distinguishing two kinds of resolves (vitakka), as in Dvedhavitakka sutta, checking whether the body is relaxed or 'feverish', as in Bhikkhunupassaya sutta, seeing whether the mind is spacious or constricted, as in Satipatthana sutta, whether there is rapture and bliss, as in Anapanasati sutta, etc.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:31 am

Dmytro wrote:This doesn't have to be too complicated - distinguishing two kinds of resolves (vitakka), as in Dvedhavitakka sutta, checking whether the body is relaxed or 'feverish', as in Bhikkhunupassaya sutta, seeing whether the mind is spacious or constricted, as in Satipatthana sutta, whether there is rapture and bliss, as in Anapanasati sutta, etc.


I like this kind of approach, paying attention to aspects of mind and body - but remembering to do it consistently still feels like a challenge. ;)
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:29 pm

porpoise wrote:
Dmytro wrote:This doesn't have to be too complicated - distinguishing two kinds of resolves (vitakka), as in Dvedhavitakka sutta, checking whether the body is relaxed or 'feverish', as in Bhikkhunupassaya sutta, seeing whether the mind is spacious or constricted, as in Satipatthana sutta, whether there is rapture and bliss, as in Anapanasati sutta, etc.


I like this kind of approach, paying attention to aspects of mind and body - but remembering to do it consistently still feels like a challenge. ;)
Actually, a discussion of this at any real length would move us out of the technical realm of this forum. To "remember" to be mindful, attentive, is simply a matter of the repetition of practice. But simply, it gets easier as one's attention and one's concentration get clearer and stronger by the disciplined practice. It takes work and time. And retreat practice is very helpful in this.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:30 pm

I will tend to think "sati" during maditation, but for casual, more idomatic than academic use, would "keeping the ___ in mind" be a fair way to think of sati? the blank would of course be filled with objects such as body, feeling, mind, mental objects, dhamma, etc. Is this a fair way of thinking about this, or am I missing something?
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:25 pm

Buckwheat wrote:I will tend to think "sati" during maditation, but for casual, more idomatic than academic use, would "keeping the ___ in mind" be a fair way to think of sati? the blank would of course be filled with objects such as body, feeling, mind, mental objects, dhamma, etc. Is this a fair way of thinking about this, or am I missing something?
Why would you "think" during meditation? Your "idiomatic use" is fair enough.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:55 pm

Thanks, Tilt.

tiltbillings wrote:Why would you "think" during meditation?


I'll have to ask the monkey. Maybe I should have said, "when pretending to meditate but really thinking about pali terms." ;)
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Alex123 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:21 pm

JhanaStream wrote:In summary, my understanding is sati is to keep in the mind whatever tasks, goals, knowledges, etc, are required for dhamma practise. Even, if one is not formally practising dhamma, such as crossing a busy road, sati is keeping watch on the traffic (rather than keeping watch on in & out breathing or entering the 2nd jhana).



And in order to actually keep it in mind moment-to-moment, you need to remember to do that.

So moment-by-moment awareness does not exclude remembering what you need to be aware of.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:59 pm

Alex123 wrote:
JhanaStream wrote:In summary, my understanding is sati is to keep in the mind whatever tasks, goals, knowledges, etc, are required for dhamma practise. Even, if one is not formally practising dhamma, such as crossing a busy road, sati is keeping watch on the traffic (rather than keeping watch on in & out breathing or entering the 2nd jhana).



And in order to actually keep it in mind moment-to-moment, you need to remember to do that.

So moment-by-moment awareness does not exclude remembering what you need to be aware of.

Understood. Thanks. :anjali:
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby rahul3bds » Fri May 10, 2013 3:08 pm

"And what is the faculty of mindfulness? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. He remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This is called the faculty of mindfulness.


above quote shows why the translation of sati as maindfulness is flawed. One need not to possess great memory to be able to pay "non-judgemental attention" to body, feelings etc., it can be teach to any random person. You don't need to remember anything that "were done & said long ago", in order to keep yourself focused on body, feelings etc.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 10, 2013 3:21 pm

rahul3bds wrote:
"And what is the faculty of mindfulness? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. He remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This is called the faculty of mindfulness.


above quote shows why the translation of sati as maindfulness is flawed. One need not to possess great memory to be able to pay "non-judgemental attention" to body, feelings etc., it can be teach to any random person. You don't need to remember anything that "were done & said long ago", in order to keep yourself focused on body, feelings etc.
Rather what this text shows, in light of the various ways sati is used in the suttas, is that the meaning of sati is fairly flexible and is determined by context.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat May 11, 2013 8:31 am

rahul3bds wrote: You don't need to remember anything that "were done & said long ago", in order to keep yourself focused on body, feelings etc.


True, and it could be argued that old memories are a distraction to the here-and-now mindfulness which is being described in the rest of the passage. So why do you think this phrase is included? And is it actually referring to an aspect of mindfulness, or to an additional quality?
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Alex123 » Sat May 11, 2013 10:25 am

porpoise wrote:So why do you think this phrase is included? And is it actually referring to an aspect of mindfulness, or to an additional quality?


IMHO, one needs to remember Dhamma principles (such as anatta) when observing the present states.
"dust to dust...."
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