Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby Sacha G » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:42 pm

Hi
It is often considered that satipatthana is the basis of vipassana (especially via the instructions of the satipatthana sutta).
However the Buddha put sammasati (i.e the 4 satipatthana) before sammasamâdhi. And, as far as I know, he doesn't make sati a special factor for the attainment of "seeing and knowing" but rather he insists that the meditator in samâdhi turns his mind to the truht of sufferig. Another point is that in the northern tradition (Sarvastivada), they don't make a big deal of sati (smriti). Finally Bhikkhu Sujato insists in "A history of Mindfulness", that Insight fostered Concentration in the Satipatthana sutta, due to late changes in the text.
What do you think? :juggling:
Sacha
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby daverupa » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:57 pm

What was the question?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:00 pm

I'm not an expert, but my opinion is that while mindfulness for the sake of mindfulness has benefits, it isn't vipassana until the 3 marks of experience ( impermanence, no-self nature and dukha ) are noticed in the course of the experience.

Back in the 90s I belonged to a mediation group that was very big on mindfulness, very poor in emphasizing the latter point. Getting off on noticing the sweetness of raisins in my mouth or the "being there" for all of a red light were neat experiences, but the most useful experiences were ones after I learned to be on the lookout for the 3 marks....then more insights came.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby ground » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:03 am

Sacha G wrote:Hi
sammasati (i.e the 4 satipatthana)

I think sammasati and satipatthana cannot be equated. The 4 satipatthana are a particular application of sammasati amended with other aspects or practice but they are not identical.

Sacha G wrote:However the Buddha put sammasati ... before sammasamâdhi

Because there cannot be samâdhi without an "established base" of sati. But that does not mean that you necessarily have to practice the 4 satipatthanas as a prerequisite.

Sacha G wrote:he doesn't make sati a special factor for the attainment of "seeing and knowing" but rather he insists that the meditator in samâdhi turns his mind to the truht of sufferig.

And satipatthanas are a means to discover this truth together with the truth of the cause, the truth of its end and the truth of the path.
What's the use of just discovering the 1st truth other than to stir motivation to get out of there? The satipatthanas cover all 4 truth.

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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby daverupa » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:13 am

TMingyur wrote:I think sammasati and satipatthana cannot be equated.


"And what is right mindfulness? 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 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 right mindfulness...

"This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference."

source
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:14 pm

Sacha G wrote:Hi
It is often considered that satipatthana is the basis of vipassana (especially via the instructions of the satipatthana sutta).
However the Buddha put sammasati (i.e the 4 satipatthana) before sammasamâdhi. And, as far as I know, he doesn't make sati a special factor for the attainment of "seeing and knowing" but rather he insists that the meditator in samâdhi turns his mind to the truht of sufferig. Another point is that in the northern tradition (Sarvastivada), they don't make a big deal of sati (smriti). Finally Bhikkhu Sujato insists in "A history of Mindfulness", that Insight fostered Concentration in the Satipatthana sutta, due to late changes in the text.
What do you think? :juggling:
Sacha

Presuming Buddhadasa, Santikaro et al. are correct that anapanasati is "the heart of satipatthana", we have both components of concentration and insight (what I infer you mean by vipassana and "seeing and knowing") as essential: in the 11th step of anapanasati, samadaham cittam; and in the 13th step, aniccanupassana. We also have contemplation of suffering ("turns his mind to the truth of suffering") in nirodhanupassana. Furthermore, the instruction at the beginning of the Anapanasati Sutta--"A bhikkhu...securely maintains mindfulness (sati). Ever mindful, that bhikkhu breathes in; ever mindful, he breathes out--is reiterated in all 16 steps. Also, Right Mindfulness is a Noble Eightfold Path Factor, one of the Seven Factors of Awakening and an otherwise essential part of the bodhi-pakkiya-dhamma. Finally, you might look into Chapter IV of Richard Gombrich's book How Buddhism Began, titled, "Retracing and Ancient Debate: How Insight Worsted Concentration in the Pali Canon."
DL :heart:
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby ground » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:50 am

daverupa wrote:
TMingyur wrote:I think sammasati and satipatthana cannot be equated.


"And what is right mindfulness? 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 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 right mindfulness...

"This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference."

source


I see. My thought was that sati that leads to sammasamadhi cannot be other than samma but is not necessarily satipatthana.


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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby dhamma follower » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:42 am

TMingyur wrote:
daverupa wrote:
TMingyur wrote:I think sammasati and satipatthana cannot be equated.


"And what is right mindfulness? 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 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 right mindfulness...

"This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference."

source


I see. My thought was that sati that leads to sammasamadhi cannot be other than samma but is not necessarily satipatthana.


Kind regards


If sati is not aware of body, feelings, mind, and mind objects, what else it is aware of?

Regards
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby ground » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:07 am

dhamma follower wrote:If sati is not aware of body, feelings, mind, and mind objects, what else it is aware of?

Regards


Of the awareness of the object choosen. It is not aware of the object since it monitors the being aware of the object.


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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby dhamma follower » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:26 am

TMingyur wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:If sati is not aware of body, feelings, mind, and mind objects, what else it is aware of?

Regards


Of the awareness of the object choosen. It is not aware of the object since it monitors the being aware of the object.


Kind regards


Do you mean the knowing mind?

It is included in contemplation of the mind

"In this way he remains focused internally on the mind in & of itself, or externally on the mind in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the mind in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the mind, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the mind, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the mind. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a mind' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the mind in & of itself."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby PeterB » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:24 am

Sacha G wrote:Hi
It is often considered that satipatthana is the basis of vipassana (especially via the instructions of the satipatthana sutta).
However the Buddha put sammasati (i.e the 4 satipatthana) before sammasamâdhi. And, as far as I know, he doesn't make sati a special factor for the attainment of "seeing and knowing" but rather he insists that the meditator in samâdhi turns his mind to the truht of sufferig. Another point is that in the northern tradition (Sarvastivada), they don't make a big deal of sati (smriti). Finally Bhikkhu Sujato insists in "A history of Mindfulness", that Insight fostered Concentration in the Satipatthana sutta, due to late changes in the text.
What do you think? :juggling:
Sacha

My advice Sacha is to get ye to a place where experienced teachers run courses in Vipassana.

:anjali:
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby Sacha G » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:20 am

Well
I've been to Amarvati a couple of times, but unable to sign in for the retreats.
Maybe it'll do. For the moment, I'm not sure I want to go the burmese-style teachings.
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby ground » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:13 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:If sati is not aware of body, feelings, mind, and mind objects, what else it is aware of?

Regards


Of the awareness of the object choosen. It is not aware of the object since it monitors the being aware of the object.


Kind regards


Do you mean the knowing mind?


No I mean just sati. "Mindfulness of the object" which in practice is "monitoring the being aware of the object".

Kind regards
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby chownah » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:48 am

I'm not understanding all of the viewpoints given here but I found this at Nayanatiloka's Dictionary and thought it might be appropriate.

http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... .htm#magga
".................
Here it must also be emphasized that the links of the path not only do not arise one after the other, as already indicated, but also that they, at least in part, arise simultaneously as inseparably associated mental properties in one and the same state of consciousness. Thus, for instance, under all circumstances at least 4 links are inseparably bound up with any kammically advantageous consciousness, namely 2, 6, 7 and 8, i.e. right thought, right effort, right awareness or mindfulness and right concentration M. 117, so that as soon as any one of these links arises, the three others also do so. On the other hand, right view is not necessarily present in every advantageous state of consciousness.
.............."

I added the underlining. Note that where it says "namely 2, 6. 7, and 8" the "7" is samma-sati and the "8" is sama-samadhi.
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:03 am

chownah wrote:I'm not understanding all of the viewpoints given here but I found this at Nayanatiloka's Dictionary and thought it might be appropriate.


I feel that the viewpoints are about aspects of path limbs. That does not contradict the 8fold path. If one conceptually isolates each of the limbs of the 8fold path one may find out the nuances of meanings of each limb depending on perspective/i.e. contexts of "thinking about".


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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby dhamma follower » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:21 am

TMingyur wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Of the awareness of the object choosen. It is not aware of the object since it monitors the being aware of the object.


Kind regards


Do you mean the knowing mind?


No I mean just sati. "Mindfulness of the object" which in practice is "monitoring the being aware of the object".

Kind regards


I'm not sure I follow you here :smile:

Actually, the point I wanted to discuss is whether there can be other objects of sati than satipatthana, as you have stated.

As far as I know, satipatthana cover nama-rupa

Unless you were talking of Nibbana...

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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:25 am

dhamma follower wrote:Actually, the point I wanted to discuss is whether there can be other objects of sati than satipatthana, as you have stated.

Of course can there be other objects because "sati" refers to a faculty only. Like e.g. "hearing" is a faculty but you may hear different sounds.
Furthermore "sati" in the context of satipatthana has different meaning aspects as is shown by B. Analayo in his book.

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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby dhamma follower » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:42 am

TMingyur wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Actually, the point I wanted to discuss is whether there can be other objects of sati than satipatthana, as you have stated.

Of course can there be other objects because "sati" refers to a faculty only. Like e.g. "hearing" is a faculty but you may hear different sounds.
Furthermore "sati" in the context of satipatthana has different meaning aspects as is shown by B. Analayo in his book.

Kind regards


We are back again to my first question. what is sati aware of apart from satipatthana?

you mentioned awareness of the choosen object, and later defined it as sati.

sati is a cetasika, so it is part of satipatthana as well.

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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:51 am

dhamma follower wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Actually, the point I wanted to discuss is whether there can be other objects of sati than satipatthana, as you have stated.

Of course can there be other objects because "sati" refers to a faculty only. Like e.g. "hearing" is a faculty but you may hear different sounds.
Furthermore "sati" in the context of satipatthana has different meaning aspects as is shown by B. Analayo in his book.

Kind regards


We are back again to my first question. what is sati aware of apart from satipatthana?

you mentioned awareness of the choosen object, and later defined it as sati.

sati is a cetasika, so it is part of satipatthana as well.

Regards,


I suggest you read B. Analayos book. He lists various meanings the term "sati" has in the suttas and comments on the relevance of these meanings in the context of satipatthana.

When we here are speaking about "sati" we may have very different meaning aspects in our minds and thus we may be talking at cross purposes.

I have been referring to "sati" as monitoring faculty in the context of concentration or attainment of samadhi.


Kind regards
Last edited by ground on Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Satipatthana: instructions for Vipassana?

Postby alan » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:53 am

It is not the function of sati to be aware. It's the function of awareness to be aware.
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