Satipatthana exercises that seem similar

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Satipatthana exercises that seem similar

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:09 pm

Hello all,

What is the difference between being aware (pajānāti) of postures as part of postures and postures in the section of mindfulness with clear awareness (sampajānakārī)?


iriyāpathapabbaṃ
[2] "Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns that he is walking. When standing, he discerns that he is standing. When sitting, he discerns that he is sitting. When lying down, he discerns that he is lying down. Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it.

sampajānapabbaṃ
[3] "Furthermore, when going forward & returning, he makes himself fully alert; when looking toward & looking away... when bending & extending his limbs... when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe & his bowl... when eating, drinking, chewing, & savoring... when urinating & defecating... when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, & remaining silent, he makes himself fully alert.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



Also what is the difference between contemplation of mind with lust vs contemplation of hindrance of sensual desire?


with metta,


Alex
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Re: Satipatthana exercises that seem similar

Postby IanAnd » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:26 am

Alex123 wrote:What is the difference between being aware (pajānāti) of postures as part of postures and postures in the section of mindfulness with clear awareness (sampajānakārī)?

iriyāpathapabbaṃ
[2] "Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns that he is walking. When standing, he discerns that he is standing. When sitting, he discerns that he is sitting. When lying down, he discerns that he is lying down. Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it.

sampajānapabbaṃ
[3] "Furthermore, when going forward & returning, he makes himself fully alert; when looking toward & looking away... when bending & extending his limbs... when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe & his bowl... when eating, drinking, chewing, & savoring... when urinating & defecating... when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, & remaining silent, he makes himself fully alert.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

In the first instance, the monk is asked to be aware of the gross postures of walking, standing, sitting, and lying down whenever he is in those postures. Just a general awareness without becoming distracted from that awareness.

In the second instance (according to the Maurice Walshe Wisdom Publications translation), the monk is asked to be "clearly aware of what he is doing" when "going forward or back, in looking forward or back he is clearly aware of what he is doing, in bending and stretching he is clearly aware of what he is doing..." Generally speaking, sampajanna implies a more detailed awareness (clear comprehension, knowing, or discernment) over and above just a general gross awareness. For example, he is clearly aware of the details that occur in between each movement as well as his reasons for making each movement. It takes "presence of mind" (as well as one's actions) to a whole new level of clear comprehension. What these instructions are endeavoring to do is to instill mindfulness combined with clearly comprehending the significance of each action in detail within the practitioner's awareness of what he is doing in any given moment.

Alex123 wrote:Also what is the difference between contemplation of mind with lust vs contemplation of hindrance of sensual desire?

One good thing about having these suttas in book form translation (rather than online) are the footnotes that accompany the translations. In Walshe's translation of this section, he makes clear in one of the footnotes that "contemplation of mind is concerned with the aggregate of consciousness (vinnana-kkhandha); and contemplation of mind objects [such as the hindrance of sensual desire] concerns itself with the aggregates of perception and mental formations (sanna-, sankhara kkhandha)." In the first instance this refers to being conscious of the general state of the mind or mind state (a mind with lust, a mind with anger etc.). In the second instance, according to the footnote: "The terminology is different from the first statement in verse 12, which refers to a lustful mind (saragam cittam), but there is little difference in meaning. Both refer to sensual desire in general, including but by no means confined to sexual desire. It arises...from wrong reflection on an object that is agreeable to the senses. In verse 12 the exercise was simply to note the presence of such a state of mind, if it was present. Here one goes further, and investigates how such a state arises, and how it can be got rid of, etc."

"And he knows how unarisen sensual desire comes to arise, and he knows how the abandonment of arisen sensual desire comes about, and he knows how the non-arising of the abandoned sensual desires in the future will come about.[1]"

The footnote [1] to the passage above reads: "There are six methods of getting rid of sensuality: (1) right reflection on an unpleasing (asubha) object; (2) Developing jhana whereby the hindrance is suppressed; (3) Guarding the senses; (4) Moderation in eating; (5) The support of good friends (kalyana-mittata); (6) Helpful conversation (sappayakatha)."
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: Satipatthana exercises that seem similar

Postby Alex123 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:18 pm

Thank you very much Ian.


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Satipatthana exercises that seem similar

Postby IanAnd » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:07 pm

Hi Alex,
IanAnd wrote:One good thing about having these suttas in book form translation (rather than online) are the footnotes that accompany the translations.

I hope the implied message in my response is not lost on you in this exercise. While it is one thing to have access to the discourses online for free, it is well worth the time and money spent on obtaining good, accurate, and authoritative translations of the discourses in book form. Not only will it save you time in having to resort to asking questions on forums like this, it will help speed up the uptake of information you need in order to facilitate a more efficient use of your practice.

Over the years I've spent thousands of dollars on obtaining books to help me come to a quicker realization of the material being taught. While I cannot recommend all the books I bought and read (some lead me on a wild goose chase), there are a certain few that I wholeheartedly endorse as being indispensable to anyone's practice which includes learning the Dhamma that Gotama taught. Those books are principally the reliable and accurate translations of the suttas along with a few extra books on commentary which helped me to solidify the conceptualization of many of the more complex teachings such that I could finally confirm them from my own experiences and observations. Those recommendation can be found in Blackbird's Theravadin Resource guide thread here.

You don't need to purchase them all at once. You can buy them one at a time as you need and consume them. In addition, I took notes that I placed on sheets of paper in each book to remind me of the important sections and ideas each section contained. This gave me a quick reference guide that I could turn to in the future when contemplating these ideas. Although each of the Wisdom Publications editions of the discourses has an index, it is quicker to personally index those discourses which speak to you about the importance of what they have to say on an individual basis. That way you can easily find them when you want to refer to them in the future. And believe me, you will refer to them in the future, as practice is a gradual process and learning and comprehension comes in fits and starts. By this I mean, while you may not fully "get" what is being said the first time through, you may, in the future, come across an explanation that helps illuminate a sutta such that you think to yourself, "Oh yeah, I recall that discourse." And you return to it to check it out again. And this time, you begin to get a whole additional appreciation for what it was endeavoring to teach.

The notes you take can be fairly simple, as long as they make sense to you and spur your memory regarding the importance that led you to make the note in the first place. For instance, one note I took on a discourse from the Samyutta Nikaya was the following:
When a disciple has clearly seen with correct wisdom as it really is this dependent origination . . . it is impossible that he will run back into the past, thinking: Did I exist in the past?... -- p. 552

It was just a short excerpt from the discourse that highlighted an important idea that I wanted to be able to find again rather quickly. And the discourse, if you understood what it was talking about, pointed toward a common misperception that most of us ask about with regard to dependent co-arising. That is, when you finally begin to comprehend dependent co-arising, you cease to ask such questions as "What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what did I become in the past?" and so forth. You see it (meaning the experience of your life) all as a mental process and not as an ontological "thing" that occurs in space and time.

Taking notes as you read through the discourses and marking up the book with designations that address the importance of the sections you are reading (I generally use margin brackets around important passages/paragraphs, and a cross in the margin covering the length of the paragraph, to indicate that this section is crucial to a correct understanding of the Dhamma lesson being taught) can help facilitate their understanding and relevance to your practice. Sometimes, looking at the vastness of the Dhamma can become intimidating. But if you pick it up in smaller bits and pieces as you are coming upon it, it can sometimes blossom into full realizations in the future as you suddenly begin to put several of these smaller pieces together within your mind to unravel the puzzle. At least it really helped me, not only in formal contemplation practice but even outside of formal contemplation, to begin seeing how all this came together into a comprehensible whole.

Take care and good luck with your studies and practice.

Ian
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: Satipatthana exercises that seem similar

Postby Alex123 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:00 pm

Thank you very much for your advice.


I should have checked the MW Digha NIkaya Mahasatipatthana sutta notes, he has answered those precise subleties.


I do have 4 nikays + some KN books in book form. Though after I've read them, I refer to them only sporadically. I've read a lot of books. But with such volume I don't always remember everything. But the good thing is that a similar message gets hammered again and again in different ways.
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Re: Satipatthana exercises that seem similar

Postby IanAnd » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:01 am

Alex123 wrote:I should have checked the MW Digha NIkaya Mahasatipatthana sutta notes, he has answered those precise subleties.

No problem. It may have helped someone else reading your thread. But I have a question...

What is the "MW Digha Nikaya Mahasatipatthana sutta notes"? What does that refer to? Is this an online resource?

Alex123 wrote:I do have 4 nikays + some KN books in book form. Though after I've read them, I refer to them only sporadically. I've read a lot of books. But with such volume I don't always remember everything. But the good thing is that a similar message gets hammered again and again in different ways.

Yeah, I hear that. Had that same problem myself. That's why I took to taking notes so I could refer back to them. It can help to keep important ideas at your fingertips so that you can go back and review things that may have slipped your attention and connect them with new realizations you may be having. Anyway, it helped me.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: Satipatthana exercises that seem similar

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:08 am

IanAnd wrote:
Alex123 wrote:What is the "MW Digha Nikaya Mahasatipatthana sutta notes"? What does that refer to? Is this an online resource?
.


I've meant Digha Nikaya book (The Long Discourses of the Buddha) translated by Maurice Welsh with his notes on Mahasatipatthana sutta.
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