retrofuturist wrote:Unless I'm missing something, in the Satipatthana Sutta, despite it containing a good many words, there appears to be no mention of the "three characteristics" (i.e. anicca, anatta, dukkha) of objects.
Is this of significance to how we perform mental cultivation, or is it entirely irrelevant?
Buddha describes in the sutta the same practice, but in other words.
As explained in the Commentary:
Samudayadhammanupassi = "Contemplating origination-things." In this contemplation of feeling, the bhikkhu dwells seeing the origination and the dissolution of the aggregate of feeling or seeing the origination of feeling at one time and the dissolution of feeling at another time, by way of ignorance, craving and so forth, in the five ways mentioned in the Section on the Modes of Deportment.
Samudaya-dhammanupassi = "Contemplating origination-things." Also dissolution-things are included here. Origination and dissolution should be dwelt upon by way of the fivefold method beginning with the words: "He, thinking 'the origination of materiality comes to be through the origination of ignorance,' in the sense of the origin of conditions, sees the arising of the aggregate of materiality."
In the same way he sees the arising of the aggregate of materiality through the origination of craving, karma and food, in the sense of the origin of conditions, and also while seeing the sign of birth [nibbatti lakkhana passanto pi]. He sees the passing away of the aggregate while thinking that the dissolution of materiality comes to be through the dissolution of ignorance, in the sense of the dissolution of conditions, and through the dissolution of craving, karma and food, in the same way, and while seeing the sign of vicissitude [viparinamalakkhana].http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/bps/misc/wayof.html
Contemplating arising and cessation in terms of Conditioned Arising http://dhamma.ru/lib/paticcas.htm
is the essence of recognition of impermanence (anicca-sanna)
(see Aniccasanna sutta, Samyutta Nikaya, Khandhavagga, §102, Ro: 3.154).