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Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation - Dhamma Wheel

Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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zavk
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Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby zavk » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:57 am

Last edited by zavk on Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby zavk » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:02 pm

I personally have not made a conscious effort to cultivate satipatthana 'externally'. But what Ven. Analayo suggests speaks to me. I do find that over time, I gradually became more aware of the outer manifestations of others. It is almost as if the slow but constant dripping of mindfulness of my own 'internal' thoughts and feelings slowly increases and begins to overflow into mindfulness of others 'externally'.

However, I must admit that I sometimes use such observations to make judgments about others. When I do so, I am of course seduced by my ego and am no longer in the 'space' of satipatthana, for I am no longer cultivating the other aspects of the 'refrain' (arising/passing/bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness/independently without clinging).

Given the importance of 'internal/external' in the sutta, and, in light of how Ven. Analayo interprets the instruction as a means to become more sensitive to the feelings and thoughts of others, it seems to me then that there is an important ethical aspect to satipatthana practice. For satipatthana practice is not just about ourselves but also about others.

I am perhaps stating the obvious, for we all know that sila, samadhi, and panna must mutually support one another. It seems to me that when the three are strong, one gains the momentum to deeply contemplate the satipatthanas both internally and externally, such that one comes to "understand the contemplated objects as such, without considering it as part of one's own subjective experience, or that or others" (p. 98). Which is to say that one begins to experience the truth of anatta.

Needless to say, my sila, samadhi and panna are nowhere strong enough for me to even intuit this truth experientially. But I suspect it will require me to attend to what's 'out there' as much as to what's 'in here'. Tough..... :? :meditate:

I'm off to a retreat tomorrow to strengthen my 'internal' contemplation. See you all in 10-days. Happy Easter!

Metta,
zavk
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:48 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:10 am


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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:48 pm

I post here suttas to do with internal/external- and also other suttas on satipatthana which dont get enough attention:

§ 32. Internal & External. There is the case where a monk remains
focused internally on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, &
mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.
As he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, he
becomes rightly concentrated there, and rightly clear. Rightly
concentrated there and rightly clear, he gives rise to knowledge &
vision externally of the bodies of others.
He remains focused internally on feelings in & of themselves —
ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with
reference to the world. As he remains focused internally on feelings
in & of themselves, he becomes rightly concentrated there, and
rightly clear. Rightly concentrated there and rightly clear, he gives
rise to knowledge & vision externally of the feelings of others.
He remains focused internally on the mind in & of itself — ardent,
alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to
the world. As he remains focused internally on the mind in & of
itself, he becomes rightly concentrated there, and rightly clear.
Rightly concentrated there and rightly clear, he gives rise to
knowledge & vision externally of the minds of others.
He remains focused internally on mental qualities in & of themselves —
ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with
reference to the world. As he remains focused internally on mental
qualities in & of themselves, he becomes rightly concentrated there,
and rightly clear. Rightly concentrated there and rightly clear, he
gives rise to knowledge & vision externally of the mental qualities
of others.
— DN 18

§ 29. Analysis. I will teach you the frames of reference, their
development, and the path of practice leading to their development.
Listen & pay close attention. I will speak.
Now, what are the frames of reference? There is the case where a monk
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... mind... mental qualities in & of
themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed &
distress with reference to the world. These are called the frames of
reference.

And what is the development of the frames of reference? There is the
case where a monk remains focused on the phenomenon of origination
with regard to the body, remains focused on the phenomenon of passing
away with regard to the body, remains focused on the phenomenon of
origination & passing away with regard to the body — ardent, alert, &
mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.
He remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to
feelings... with regard to the mind... with regard to mental
qualities, remains focused on the phenomenon of passing away with
regard to mental qualities, remains focused on the phenomenon of
origination & passing away with regard to mental qualities — ardent,
alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to
the world. This is called the development of the frames of reference.
And what is the path of practice to the development of the frames of
reference? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve,
right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right
mindfulness, right concentration. This is called the path of practice
to the development of the frames of reference.
— SN § 28.

Mindful & Alert. Stay mindful (sati), monks, and alert. This is our
instruction to you all. And how is a monk mindful? There is the case
where a monk 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... mind... mental qualities
in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed &
distress with reference to the world [§213]. This is how a monk is
mindful.

And how is a monk alert (sampajanna)? There is the case where feelings are known
to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they
subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they
persist, known as they subside. Discernment (vl: perception) is known
to him as it arises, known as it persists, known as it subsides. This
is how a monk is alert. So stay mindful, monks, and alert. This is
our instruction to you all.
— SN 47.35

§ 27. Uttiya: It would be good, lord, if the Blessed One would teach
me the Dhamma in brief so that, having heard the Dhamma from the
Blessed One, I might dwell alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, &
resolute.

The Buddha: In that case, Uttiya, you should purify what is most
basic with regard to skillful mental qualities. And what is the basis
of skillful mental qualities? Well-purified virtue & views made
straight. Then, when your virtue is well-purified and your views made
straight, in dependence on virtue, established in virtue, you should
develop the four frames of reference... Then, when in dependence on
virtue, relying on virtue, you develop the four frames of reference,
you will go beyond the realm of Death.
— SN 47.16

§ 26. Imagine a tree devoid of branches & leaves: Its buds don't grow
to maturity, its bark doesn't grow to maturity, its sapwood doesn't
grow to maturity, its heartwood doesn't grow to maturity. In the same
way, when — there being no mindfulness or alertness — a person is
devoid of mindfulness or alertness, the prerequisite for a sense of
conscience & concern [for the results of wrong-doing] becomes
spoiled. There being no sense of conscience & concern... the
prerequisite for restraint of the senses becomes spoiled. There being
no restraint of the senses... the prerequisite for virtue becomes
spoiled. There being no virtue... the prerequisite for right
concentration becomes spoiled. There being no right concentration...
the prerequisite for knowledge & vision of things as they actually
are present becomes spoiled. There being no knowledge & vision of
things as they actually are present, the prerequisite for
disenchantment & dispassion becomes spoiled. There being no
disenchantment & dispassion, the prerequisite for knowledge & vision
of release becomes spoiled...

Now imagine a tree abundant in its branches & leaves: Its buds grow
to maturity, its bark grows to maturity, its sapwood grows to
maturity, its heartwood grows to maturity. In the same way, when —
there being mindfulness & alertness — a person is abundant in
mindfulness & alertness, the prerequisite for a sense of conscience &
concern becomes abundant. There being a sense of conscience &
concern... the prerequisite for restraint of the senses becomes
abundant. There being restraint of the senses... the prerequisite for
virtue becomes abundant. There being virtue... the prerequisite for
right concentration becomes abundant. There being right
concentration... the prerequisite for knowledge & vision of things as
they actually are present becomes abundant. There being knowledge &
vision of things as they have come to be, the prerequisite for
disenchantment & dispassion becomes abundant. There being
disenchantment & dispassion, the prerequisite for knowledge & vision
of release becomes abundant.
— AN 8.81

§ 33. Mindfulness & Concentration. Having abandoned the five
hindrances — imperfections of awareness that weaken discernment — the
monk 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... mind... mental qualities in & of
themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed &
distress with reference to the world. Just as if an elephant trainer
were to plant a large post in the ground and were to bind a forest
elephant to it by the neck in order to break it of its forest habits,
its forest memories & resolves, its distraction, fatigue, & fever
over leaving the forest, to make it delight in the town and to
inculcate in it habits congenial to human beings; in the same way,
these four frames of reference are bindings for the awareness of the
disiciple of the noble ones, to break him of his household habits,
his household memories & resolves, his distraction, fatigue, & fever
over leaving the household life, for the attainment of the right
method and the realization of Unbinding.

Then the Tathagata trains him further: 'Come, monk, remain focused on
the body in & of itself, but do not think any thoughts connected with
the body. Remain focused on feelings in & of themselves, but do not
think any thoughts connected with feelings. Remain focused on the
mind in & of itself, but do not think any thoughts connected with
mind. Remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves, but do
not think any thoughts connected with mental qualities.' With the
stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters the second
jhana...
— MN 125

§ 36. Directing & Not Directing the Mind. Ananda, if a monk or nun
remains with mind well established in the four frames of reference,
he/she may be expected to realize greater-than-ever distinction.
There is the case of a monk who remains focused on the body in & of
itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress
with reference to the world. As he remains thus focused on the body
in & of itself, a fever based on the body arises within his body, or
there is sluggishness in his awareness, or his mind becomes scattered
externally. He should then direct his mind to any inspiring theme
[Comm: such as recollection of the Buddha]. As his mind is directed
to any inspiring theme, delight arises within him. In one who feels
delight, rapture arises. In one whose mind is enraptured, the body
grows serene. His body serene, he feels pleasure. As he feels
pleasure, his mind grows concentrated. He reflects, 'I have attained
the aim to which my mind was directed. Let me withdraw [my mind from
the inspiring theme].' He withdraws & engages neither in directed
thought nor in evaluation. He discerns, 'I am not thinking or
evaluating. I am inwardly mindful & at ease.'
Furthermore, he remains focused on feelings... mind... mental
qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting
aside greed & distress with reference to the world. As he remains
thus focused on mental qualities in & of themselves, a fever based on
mental qualities arises within his body, or there is sluggishness in
his awareness, or his mind becomes scattered externally. He should
then direct his mind to any inspiring theme. As his mind is directed
to any inspiring theme, delight arises within him. In one who feels
delight, rapture arises. In one whose mind is enraptured, the body
grows serene. His body serene, he is sensitive to pleasure. As he
feels pleasure, his mind grows concentrated. He reflects, 'I have
attained the aim to which my mind was directed. Let me withdraw.' He
withdraws & engages neither in directed thought nor in evaluation. He
discerns, 'I am not thinking or evaluating. I am inwardly mindful &
at ease.'

This, Ananda, is development based on directing. And what is
development based on not directing? A monk, when not directing his
mind to external things, discerns, 'My mind is not directed to
external things. It is not attentive to what is in front or behind.
It is released & undirected. And furthermore I remain focused on the
body in & of itself. I am ardent, alert, mindful, & at ease.'
When not directing his mind to external things, he discerns, 'My mind
is not directed to external things. It is not attentive to what is in
front or behind. It is released & undirected. And furthermore I
remain focused on feelings... mind... mental qualities in & of
themselves. I am ardent, alert, mindful, & at ease.'
This, Ananda, is development based on not directing.
Now, Ananda, I have taught you development based on directing and
development based on not directing. What a teacher should do out of
compassion for his disciples, seeking their welfare, that I have done
for you. Over there are [places to sit at] the foot of trees. Over
there are empty dwellings. Practice jhana, Ananda. Do not be
heedless. Do not be remorseful in the future. That is our instruction
to you all.
— SN 47.10

§ 39. Mindfulness of the Body. There is the case where a monk, seeing
a form with the eye, is obsessed with pleasing forms, is repelled by
unpleasing forms, and remains with body-mindfulness unestablished,
with limited awareness. He does not discern, as it actually is
present, the awareness-release, the discernment-release where any
evil, unskillful mental qualities that have arisen utterly cease
without remainder. (Similarly with ear, nose, tongue, body, &
intellect.)
Just as if a person, catching six animals of different ranges, of
different habitats, were to bind them with a strong rope. Catching a
snake, he would bind it with a strong rope. Catching a crocodile... a
bird... a dog... a hyena... a monkey, he would bind it with a strong
rope. Binding them all with a strong rope, and tying a knot in the
middle, he would set chase to them.
Then those six animals, of different ranges, of different habitats,
would each pull toward its own range & habitat. The snake would pull,
thinking, 'I'll go into the anthill.' The crocodile would pull,
thinking, 'I'll go into the water.' The bird would pull,
thinking, 'I'll fly up into the air.' The dog would pull,
thinking, 'I'll go into the village.' The hyena would pull,
thinking, 'I'll go into the charnel ground.' The monkey would pull,
thinking, 'I'll go into the forest.' And when these six animals
became internally exhausted, they would submit, they would surrender,
they would come under the sway of whichever among them was the
strongest. In the same way, when a monk whose mindfulness immersed in
the body is undeveloped & unpursued, the eye pulls toward pleasing
forms, while unpleasing forms are repellent. The ear pulls toward
pleasing sounds... the nose pulls toward pleasing smells... the
tongue pulls toward pleasing tastes... the body pulls toward pleasing
tactile sensations... the intellect pulls toward pleasing ideas,
while unpleasing ideas are repellent. This, monks, is lack of
restraint.

And what is restraint? There is the case where a monk, seeing a form
with the eye, is not obsessed with pleasing forms, is not repelled by
unpleasing forms, and remains with body-mindfulness established, with
immeasurable awareness. He discerns, as it actually is present, the
awareness-release, the discernment-release where all evil, unskillful
mental qualities that have arisen utterly cease without remainder.
(Similarly with ear, nose, tongue, body, & intellect.)
Just as if a person, catching six animals of different ranges, of
different habitats, were to bind them with a strong rope... and
tether them to a strong post or stake.

Then those six animals, of different ranges, of different habitats,
would each pull toward its own range & habitat... And when these six
animals became internally exhausted, they would stand, sit, or lie
down right there next to the post or stake. In the same way, when a
monk whose mindfulness immersed in the body is developed & pursued,
the eye does not pull toward pleasing forms, and unpleasing forms are
not repellent. The ear does not pull toward pleasing sounds... the
nose does not pull toward pleasing smells... the tongue does not pull
toward pleasing tastes... the body does not pull toward pleasing
tactile sensations... the intellect does not pull toward pleasing
ideas, and unpleasing ideas are not repellent. This, monks, is
restraint.

The strong post or stake is a term for mindfulness immersed in the
body.

Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness
immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take
it as a basis, give it a grounding. We will steady it, consolidate
it, and set about it properly.' That's how you should train
yourselves.
— SN 35.206

§ 40. Suppose, monks, that a large crowd of people comes thronging
together, saying, 'The beauty queen! The beauty queen!' And suppose
that the beauty queen is highly accomplished at singing & dancing, so
that an even greater crowd comes thronging, saying, 'The beauty queen
is singing! The beauty queen is dancing!' Then a man comes along,
desiring life & shrinking from death, desiring pleasure & abhorring
pain. They say to him, 'Now look here, mister. You must take this
bowl filled to the brim with oil and carry it on your head in between
the great crowd & the beauty queen. A man with a raised sword will
follow right behind you, and wherever you spill even a drop of oil,
right there will he cut off your head.' Now what do you think, monks:
Will that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, let himself
get distracted outside?

No, lord.

I have given you this parable to convey a meaning. The meaning is
this: The bowl filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness
immersed in the body. Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will
develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it
the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding. We will steady
it, consolidate it, and set about it properly.' That's how you should
train yourselves.
— SN 47.20

§ 42. Whoever pervades the great ocean with his awareness encompasses
whatever rivulets flow down into the ocean. In the same way, whoever
develops & pursues mindfulness immersed in the body encompasses
whatever skillful qualities are on the side of clear knowing.
When one thing is practiced & pursued, the body is calmed, the mind
is calmed, thinking & evaluating are stilled, and all qualities on
the side of clear knowing go to the culmination of their development.
Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body.
When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear
knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, obsessions are
uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness
immersed in the body.

Those who do not taste mindfulness of the body do not taste the
Deathless. Those who taste mindfulness of the body taste the
Deathless.
Those who are heedless of mindfulness of the body are heedless of the
Deathless.
Those who comprehend mindfulness of the body comprehend the Deathless.
— AN 1.225, 227, 230, 235, 239, 245

§ 44.
It is just as if there were a great pile of dust at a four-way
intersection. If a cart or chariot came from the east, that pile of
dust would be totally leveled. If a cart or chariot came from the
west... from the north... from the south, that pile of dust would be
totally leveled. In the same way, when a monk remains focused on the
body in & of itself, then evil, unskillful qualities are totally
leveled. If he remains focused on feelings... mind... mental
qualities in & of themselves, then evil, unskillful qualities are
totally leveled.
— SN 54.10
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sun May 24, 2009 9:41 am


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Jechbi
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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby Jechbi » Sun May 24, 2009 8:55 pm


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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby zavk » Mon May 25, 2009 2:41 am

Welcome to DW Rick.

Ditto what Jecbi suggested.

Have you read this?

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/livngmed.pdf

In my experience, one is already examining 'internal' processes when being mindful of 'external' processes. For example, I often try to simply be aware of my actions when I'm washing the dishes, washing the car, etc. But my mind hardly ever stays with what I'm doing. So I have to keep bringing my attention back to whatever I'm doing: scrubbing, rinsing, etc.

All the best.
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby Ben » Mon May 25, 2009 3:07 am

I'd really appreciate Ajahn's comments with regards to this section.
My own undestanding is that it relates to the observation of vedanas on the inside of the body and then on the exterior, surface, of the body. As for observing the satipatthanas in others, I'm a little perplexed why the Buddha would give a meditation object that one could not perceive within the framework of one's own nama/rupa complex.
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

rowyourboat
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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby rowyourboat » Mon May 25, 2009 9:24 am

Hi Ben,

I think the idea that we need to see the truths exclusivley from 'this fathom long body' and exclusively from direct experience is a modern conception.

with metta
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby Ben » Mon May 25, 2009 9:36 am

Hi RYB
How can the truths be known unless from direct experience?
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby MMK23 » Mon May 25, 2009 1:39 pm


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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby Jechbi » Mon May 25, 2009 5:46 pm


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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby Dhammanando » Mon May 25, 2009 9:54 pm


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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby Ben » Mon May 25, 2009 10:28 pm

Thank you Ajahn

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby zavk » Mon May 25, 2009 11:01 pm

Yes, thank you too.
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby MMK23 » Tue May 26, 2009 9:11 am


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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby Jechbi » Tue May 26, 2009 10:08 am

At least until we stop breathing. ;)

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby zavk » Wed May 27, 2009 12:54 am

With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation

Postby Jechbi » Wed May 27, 2009 1:08 am

Thanks, zavk. I like that.
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