MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

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MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:11 pm

MN 10 PTS: M i 55
Satipatthana Sutta: Frames of Reference
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in the Kuru country. Now there is a town of the Kurus called Kammasadhamma. There the Blessed One addressed the monks, "Monks."

"Lord," the monks replied.

The Blessed One said this: "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. Which four?

"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.

A. Body
"And how does a monk remain focused on the body in & of itself?

[1] "There is the case where a monk — having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building — sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and setting mindfulness to the fore [lit: the front of the chest]. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"Breathing in long, he discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, he discerns that he is breathing out long. Or breathing in short, he discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short. He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the entire body and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body. He trains himself to breathe in calming bodily fabrication and to breathe out calming bodily fabrication. Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice, when making a long turn, discerns that he is making a long turn, or when making a short turn discerns that he is making a short turn; in the same way the monk, when breathing in long, discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short... He trains himself to breathe in calming bodily fabrication, and to breathe out calming bodily fabrication.

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' 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 body in & of itself.

[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.

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[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.

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[4] "Furthermore...just as if a sack with openings at both ends were full of various kinds of grain — wheat, rice, mung beans, kidney beans, sesame seeds, husked rice — and a man with good eyesight, pouring it out, were to reflect, 'This is wheat. This is rice. These are mung beans. These are kidney beans. These are sesame seeds. This is husked rice,' in the same way, monks, a monk reflects on this very body from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down, surrounded by skin and full of various kinds of unclean things: 'In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[5] "Furthermore...just as a skilled butcher or his apprentice, having killed a cow, would sit at a crossroads cutting it up into pieces, the monk contemplates this very body — however it stands, however it is disposed — in terms of properties: 'In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[6] "Furthermore, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground — one day, two days, three days dead — bloated, livid, & festering, he applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate'...

"Or again, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground, picked at by crows, vultures, & hawks, by dogs, hyenas, & various other creatures... a skeleton smeared with flesh & blood, connected with tendons... a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected with tendons... a skeleton without flesh or blood, connected with tendons... bones detached from their tendons, scattered in all directions — here a hand bone, there a foot bone, here a shin bone, there a thigh bone, here a hip bone, there a back bone, here a rib, there a breast bone, here a shoulder bone, there a neck bone, here a jaw bone, there a tooth, here a skull... the bones whitened, somewhat like the color of shells... piled up, more than a year old... decomposed into a powder: He applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' 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 body in & of itself.

B. Feelings
"And how does a monk remain focused on feelings in & of themselves? There is the case where a monk, when feeling a painful feeling, discerns that he is feeling a painful feeling. When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns that he is feeling a pleasant feeling. When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he discerns that he is feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.

"When feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a painful feeling of the flesh. When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh. When feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh. When feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh. When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh. When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh.

"In this way he remains focused internally on feelings in & of themselves, or externally on feelings in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on feelings in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to feelings. Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' 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 feelings in & of themselves.

C. Mind
"And how does a monk remain focused on the mind in & of itself? There is the case where a monk, when the mind has passion, discerns that the mind has passion. When the mind is without passion, he discerns that the mind is without passion. When the mind has aversion, he discerns that the mind has aversion. When the mind is without aversion, he discerns that the mind is without aversion. When the mind has delusion, he discerns that the mind has delusion. When the mind is without delusion, he discerns that the mind is without delusion.

"When the mind is constricted, he discerns that the mind is constricted. When the mind is scattered, he discerns that the mind is scattered. When the mind is enlarged, he discerns that the mind is enlarged. When the mind is not enlarged, he discerns that the mind is not enlarged. When the mind is surpassed, he discerns that the mind is surpassed. When the mind is unsurpassed, he discerns that the mind is unsurpassed. When the mind is concentrated, he discerns that the mind is concentrated. When the mind is not concentrated, he discerns that the mind is not concentrated. When the mind is released, he discerns that the mind is released. When the mind is not released, he discerns that the mind is not released.

"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.

D. Mental Qualities
"And how does a monk remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves?

[1] "There is the case where a monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the five hindrances. And how does a monk remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the five hindrances? There is the case where, there being sensual desire present within, a monk discerns that 'There is sensual desire present within me.' Or, there being no sensual desire present within, he discerns that 'There is no sensual desire present within me.' He discerns how there is the arising of unarisen sensual desire. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of sensual desire once it has arisen. And he discerns how there is no future arising of sensual desire that has been abandoned. (The same formula is repeated for the remaining hindrances: ill will, sloth & drowsiness, restlessness & anxiety, and uncertainty.)

"In this way he remains focused internally on mental qualities in & of themselves, or externally on mental qualities in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on mental qualities in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to mental qualities, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to mental qualities, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to mental qualities. Or his mindfulness that 'There are mental qualities' 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 mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the five hindrances.

[2] "Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the five clinging-aggregates. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the five clinging-aggregates? There is the case where a monk [discerns]: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on the mental qualities in & of themselves, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the five clinging-aggregates.

[3] "Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media? There is the case where he discerns the eye, he discerns forms, he discerns the fetter that arises dependent on both. He discerns how there is the arising of an unarisen fetter. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of a fetter once it has arisen. And he discerns how there is no future arising of a fetter that has been abandoned. (The same formula is repeated for the remaining sense media: ear, nose, tongue, body, & intellect.)

"In this way he remains focused internally on the mental qualities in & of themselves, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media.

[4] "Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the seven factors for Awakening. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the seven factors for Awakening? There is the case where, there being mindfulness as a factor for Awakening present within, he discerns that 'Mindfulness as a factor for Awakening is present within me.' Or, there being no mindfulness as a factor for Awakening present within, he discerns that 'Mindfulness as a factor for Awakening is not present within me.' He discerns how there is the arising of unarisen mindfulness as a factor for Awakening. And he discerns how there is the culmination of the development of mindfulness as a factor for Awakening once it has arisen. (The same formula is repeated for the remaining factors for Awakening: analysis of qualities, persistence, rapture, serenity, concentration, & equanimity.)

"In this way he remains focused internally on mental qualities in & of themselves, or externally... unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the seven factors for Awakening.

[5] "Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the four noble truths. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the four noble truths? There is the case where he discerns, as it has come to be, that 'This is stress.' He discerns, as it has come to be, that 'This is the origination of stress.' He discerns, as it has come to be, that 'This is the cessation of stress.' He discerns, as it has come to be, that 'This is the way leading to the cessation of stress.' 1

"In this way he remains focused internally on mental qualities in & of themselves, or externally on mental qualities in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on mental qualities in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to mental qualities, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to mental qualities, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to mental qualities. Or his mindfulness that 'There are mental qualities' 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 mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the four noble truths...

E. Conclusion
"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging/sustenance — non-return.

"Let alone seven years. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for six years... five... four... three... two years... one year... seven months... six months... five... four... three... two months... one month... half a month, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging/sustenance — non-return.

"Let alone half a month. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging/sustenance — non-return.

"'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.' Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.

Note
1. For an elaboration on the four noble truths see DN 22, which is otherwise identical to this sutta.


study guide
10 Satipatthāna Sutta The Foundations of Mindfulness v
SUMMARY
This is the most important discourse by the Buddha on the training of
mindfulness meditation, with particular attention given to developing insight. The
Buddha begins by declaring that the four foundations of mindfulness are the
direct path leading to the realization of Nibbāna. He then gives detailed
instructions on the four foundations: the contemplation of the body, feelings,
mind, and mindobjects.
NOT ES
[2] QUOTE: “Bhikkhus, this is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the
surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief,
for the attainment of the true way, for the realization of Nibbāna—namely, the
four foundations of mindfulness.”
Sati—mindfulness or attentiveness directed to the present; patthāna—domain or
foundation.
The contemplation of the body, feelings, mind, and mindobjects.
For
each of the four foundations, the Buddha directs us to contemplate:
1. the body as a body (or feelings as feelings, mind as mind, and mindobjects
as mindobjects).
Note 138 mentions that a body is a body, not a
man, woman, person, etc. (with similar considerations holding true for
feelings, mind, and mindobjects).
2. internally
3. externally,
4. internally and externally,
5. the arising factors,
6. the vanishing factors,
7. both the arising and the vanishing factors, and
8. mindfulness that “there is a body” (or “there is feeling,” or “there is mind,”
or “there are mindobjects”)
“is simply established to the extent necessary
for bare knowledge and mindfulness”[5].
The Buddha urges us to know each of the four foundations distinctly from one
another.
In this discourse, there are twentyone
exercises in contemplation:
Body [431]:
(fourteen exercises) Mindfulness of breathing (ānāpānasati);
contemplation of the four postures; clear comprehension (sampajañña); foulness
(32 parts of the body); four elements; nine “charnel ground contemplations”
reflecting on the impermanent nature of the body and on this body’s having the
same nature as a corpse.
Feeling [3233]:
(one exercise) Noting differences among pleasant, painful
and neitherpleasantnorpainful
feelings; also the distinction among feelings
that arise due to the householder’s life (worldly feelings) and feelings due to
renunciation (unworldly feelings) (see Note 152).
Mind [3435]:
(one exercise) Contemplation of mind is actually awareness of
different mindstates
(which includes emotions) and the mental factors that
condition the mind in any moment; they include: mind affected by lust, hate,
delusion, sloth (leads to contracted mind), and restlessness (leads to distracted
mind) [Ed: Note here the presence of the five hindrances]; exalted mind (jhānas);
unsurpassed mind (4th jhāna or the fully awakened mind); unexalted and
surpassed mind (ordinary mind at the level of sensesphere
consciousness);
concentrated mind and unconcentrated mind; liberated mind. (Note 155 points
out that in this case “liberated mind” is the recognition of a temporarily liberated
mind, because the satipatthāna practice is a preliminary path.)
Mindobjects
[3645]:
(five exercises) Mindobjects
in terms of the five
hindrances; the five aggregates; the six sense bases; the seven enlightenment
factors; and the Four Noble Truths. Mindobjects
are considered to cover all
phenomena classified by way of the categories of Dharma.
Note 158: Contains good information about the five hindrances:
1. Sensual desire arises through attending unwisely to a sensually attractive
object and is abandoned by meditation on a foul object.
2. Ill will arises through attending unwisely to a repugnant object and is
abandoned by developing lovingkindness.
3. Sloth and torpor arise by submitting to boredom and laziness and are
abandoned by arousing energy.
4. Restlessness and remorse arise through unwisely reflecting on disturbing
thoughts and are abandoned by wisely reflecting on tranquillity.
5. Doubt arises through unwisely reflecting on dubious matters and is
abandoned by study, investigation, and inquiry.
A popular QUOTE: [46]: “If anyone should develop these four foundations of
mindfulness in such a way for seven years, one of two fruits could be expected
for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left,
nonreturn.
Let alone seven years… If anyone should develop these four
foundations of mindfulness in such a way for six years… for five years… for four
years… three years… two years… one year… seven months… six… five…
four… three… two months… one month… half a month… seven days, one of
two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if
there is a trace of clinging left, nonreturn.”
PRACT ICE
This discourse is the basis of vipassana meditation and needs to be studied and
understood well.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:02 pm

Ok, I'm going to leap in.

There's a distinction to be made between two possible ways of understanding this. Does the sutta discuss "four frames of reference," as translated here? Or does it discuss "four foundations," as often understood.

Here's a note from the translation by Ven. Nanamoli and Ven. Bodhi:

The word satipatthana is a compound term. The first part, sati, originally meant "memory," but in Pali Buddhist usage it far more frequently bears the meaning of attentiveness directed to the present -- hence the makeshift rendering "mindfulness." The second part is explained in two ways: either as a shortened form of upatthana, meaning "setting up" or "establishing" -- here, of mindfulness; or as patthana, meaning "domain" or "foundation" -- again, of mindfulness. Thus the four satipatthanas may be understood as either the four ways of setting up mindfulness or as the four objective domains of mindfulness, to be amplified in the rest of the sutta. The former seems to be the etymologically correct derivation (confirmed by the Sanskrit smrtyupasthana), but the Pali commentators, while admitting both explanations, have a predilection for the latter.

My personal opinion and experience is that the "four frames of reference" understanding works very well. These windows into phenomena -- body, feelings, mind and mental qualities -- each one is a window to the very same everchanging phenomena. When we open the window of body, we might see something. When we open the window of mind, we'll see the very same something, but from a different frame of reference. In that respect, when one develops in any one of these four frames of reference, one is becoming mindful of the very same thing.

I know there are different opinions/understandings of this, and I'm putting this out there as a starting point for discussion and better understanding. I imagine there is commentarial literature that could shoot my understanding full of holes ...

Metta
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But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:16 pm

What's the difference? Does one way of translating it create a radically different understanding of the sutta than the other way?
- Peter

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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:42 pm

Greetings,

This is my favourite sutta on meditation.

Unsurprisingly, it's been discussed a fair bit so far here at Dhamma Wheel...

Satipatthana: Internal and external contemplation
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1122

Satipatthana contemplation of a corpse
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1259

Satipatthana sequencing
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=484

and a conversation on the related sutta from the Digha Nikaya...

Maha-Satipatthana Sutta
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:20 pm

Peter wrote:What's the difference? Does one way of translating it create a radically different understanding of the sutta than the other way?


Hi Peter,
I was going to reply to Jeckbi but you make a good point which isn't far removed :tongue:

I think it does, when people are asked what are the four foundations the majority would say it is the Body, feelings, mind, and mental qualities but these aren't the foundations they are references, or where the mindfulness (clmination of the foundations) is directed. The foundations are different, being ardent, alert, mindful - setting aside greed and distress in regard to the world.

this makes allot more sense when we look at what mindful means as a word, (in my own words here) it is recollection of duties, and mindflness would be the ballanced (setting aside.....) and sustained (ardent) looking at this being (alert - clearly comprehending) while remembering our duties (mindful).


personally I feel allot of people have been misguided in taking the body etc as the foundations.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:29 pm

Hi Jechbi

I think that both translations are right and wrong, it is just that the se should be looked at! which whitch is which, to two's too many and all that it is all about the context in which the translation of the breakdown is applied at times and certainly there are times when reference is better suited than foundation in the sutta.

BTW in my signature there is a link to my exploration thanks to Fede I know now there is some work to be done with the wording and grammar, which I am going through trying to correct what I know about, but as the link stands it is fairly understandable if anyone wants to have a read, and please, if you do read it, point out any parts which dont make sence in a PM to me, but not to derail this posting.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:59 pm

Bhikkhu Samahita (hope I spelt his name correctly) posted this on his mailing list a while ago and I posted it on my blog page if any one is interested in doing a years practice doing the different meditations in the satipatthana stta
http://manapa.multiply.com/journal/item ... hana_Sutta
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:44 am

Peter wrote:What's the difference?
Purely practical. A person might get hung up on whether she's spending too much time with the body, or not enough time with the mind, for example, believing that each "foundation" needs to get its share of attention. So the different understandings mentioned in the note I referenced might be more significant to some than to others.

Peter wrote:Does one way of translating it create a radically different understanding of the sutta than the other way?
I guess that depends on the individual.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:46 am

Manapa wrote:BTW in my signature there is a link to my exploration

Thanks, I'll have a look.
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:15 am

Jechbi wrote:
Peter wrote:What's the difference?
A person might get hung up on whether she's spending too much time with the body, or not enough time with the mind, for example, believing that each "foundation" needs to get its share of attention.

Couldn't a person get hung up on whether she's spending too much time with one frame of reference or not enough time with another, believing that each frame of reference needs to get it's share of attention? After all we've got the metaphor of many facets of a jewel.

Couldn't a person understand any one foundation as being suitable for insight? After all, a house doesn't need four foundations.

Personally, I don't see a difference between translations. In either case I think one requires further explanation on how to do the practice.
- Peter

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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:27 am

Peter wrote:Couldn't a person get hung up on whether she's spending too much time with one frame of reference or not enough time with another, believing that each frame of reference needs to get it's share of attention? After all we've got the metaphor of many facets of a jewel.

Couldn't a person understand any one foundation as being suitable for insight? After all, a house doesn't need four foundations.
Yes, I suppose a person could do any one of these things. Probably lots of other things, too.

Peter wrote:Personally, I don't see a difference between translations. In either case I think one requires further explanation on how to do the practice.
The difference probably is not important for you.

Any way, I thought the note I referenced from the translation by Ven. Nanamoli and Ven. Bodhi was interesting, and I've heard other people talk about this difference from their perspective, so I posted about it. That's all. Not everyone is going to be interested in the same kinds of things. Do you feel I shouldn't have bothered to post it?
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:28 pm

Jechbi,

I'm actually not trying to say you are wrong. I honestly don't understand why the fuss over this translation. I don't see why it makes a difference which word we use. I brought it up because I had hoped to have it explained to me.

While I think it is mildly interesting to speculate whether it is patthana or upatthana I still don't see what difference it makes to understanding how to meditate.
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:37 pm

Sorry, Peter. My misunderstanding.

There are others who can explain it to you much better than I can. I'm no teacher. From my personal, limited and flawed experience, however, and with the understanding that different people have different viewpoints regarding what's often labeled "Vipassana Meditation," I would say this: I've heard people ask why there's so much focus on, for example, bodily sensations rather than on memories or emotions or stuff like that. With regard to that narrow, practical question, this subtle difference in meaning might provide some encouragement: When one opens just one "window," as I termed it, one has a glimpse of the entire psychophysical phenomenon. I stand to be corrected, and I welcome insights from others.

No fuss is intended. I just noticed the relatively minor difference in the translations, and then I noticed the note, so I posted them thinking more useful insights might emerge from discussion.

Metta
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:47 pm

Hi Jechbi
I did mean to ask where the not is found?

on wilipedia article on satipatthana sutta the note to the translation of the word satipatthana says this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satipatthana#cite_note-0
^ See Anālayo (2006), pp. 29-30; and, Bodhi (2000), p. 1504. Anālayo argues from an etymological standpoint that, while "foundation [paṭṭhāna] of mindfulness" is supported by the Pali commentary, the term paṭṭhāna (foundation) was otherwise unused in the Pali nikayas and is only first used in the Abhidhamma; in contrast, the term upaṭṭhāna (presence or establishment) can in fact be found throughout the nikayas and is readily visible in the Sanskrit equivalents of the compound Pāli phrase satipaṭṭhāna (Skt., smṛtyupasthāna or smṛti-upasthāna). Thus Anālayo states that "presence of mindfulness" (as opposed to "foundation of mindfulness") is more likely to be etymologically correct. Like Anālayo, Bodhi assesses that "establishment [upaṭṭhāna] of mindfulness" is the preferred translation. However, Bodhi's analysis is more contextual than Anālayo's. According to Bodhi, while "establishment of mindfulness" is normally supported by the textual context, there are exceptions to this rule, such as with SN 47.42 (pp. 1660, 1928 n. 180) where a translation of "foundation of mindfulness" is best supported.


Jechbi wrote:Sorry, Peter. My misunderstanding.

There are others who can explain it to you much better than I can. I'm no teacher. From my personal, limited and flawed experience, however, and with the understanding that different people have different viewpoints regarding what's often labeled "Vipassana Meditation," I would say this: I've heard people ask why there's so much focus on, for example, bodily sensations rather than on memories or emotions or stuff like that. With regard to that narrow, practical question, this subtle difference in meaning might provide some encouragement: When one opens just one "window," as I termed it, one has a glimpse of the entire psychophysical phenomenon. I stand to be corrected, and I welcome insights from others.

No fuss is intended. I just noticed the relatively minor difference in the translations, and then I noticed the note, so I posted them thinking more useful insights might emerge from discussion.

Metta
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Sher » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:50 pm

Hello All:
I have a practical question regarding this sutta and practice, and it is difficult for me to formulate, but here goes...

Example: A person has just eaten one or two delicious cookies, and he reaches for another, and as he begins to bite into the second cookie he becomes aware that he is craving that cookie. He knows that at that moment he is manifesting an unwholesome craving. I say this, because one or two cookies certainly should have been sufficient. He is aware of the craving, but he keeps eating the cookie. His mindfulness of what he is doing in that moment is just awareness, and it does not translate into a change of action.

Is this the same type of awareness that one experiences in meditation -awareness of mind objects --the five hindrances?

But to change into a wholesome thought or action -- to not take or to put the cookie down requires more than just sati --right?

The sutta seems to suggest that the way to overcoming craving of the cookie would be to contemplate the foulness of the cookie. One could note the cookie will decay and grow mold. Well "note" isn't the right word. One would have to be really see the foulness and impermanence of that cookie, or that attractive object.

Sher
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby Sher » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:56 pm

Foulness

How important is contemplation on foulness--the bodily parts and charnel ground contemplations? Are we doing this in the US or in the West? How are we doing this?

I live in Alaska in the wilderness, and the closest thing I have to a charnel ground is the salmon spawning streams. I have one right beside my house, and in August it will be clogged with dying salmon, but many people in the US don't have this opportunity. How are we doing this type of contemplation in the West in the twenty-first century?

Do you have any examples from your practice?
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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:59 pm

Greetings Sher,

The contemplations on foulness aren't really relevant to your cookie example.

With respect to the frames of reference, mindfulness could include.....

Mindfulness of body - the physical movements and posture involved with eating the cookie, biting it, swallowing it etc.

Mindfulness of feeling - the taste of the cookie, the texture of the cookie, the feeling in your mouth, throat or stomach

Mindfulness of mindstates - is the mind dull, craving, depressed etc? whilst eating the cookie

Mindfulness of mind object - observation of each thought as it arises and it's qualitative nature

Consciously choosing to put down the cookie will probably happen if you do the latter of the 4, and you observe, with wisdom, that eating the cookie is not the most wholesome action to perform (because it is rooted in craving and will lead to suffering)

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:01 am

To add to retro's reply: On retreats I eat mindfully - pick up the spoon, take some food from the plate, take it to the mouth, put it in, close the mouth, put down the spoon, chew for some time, swallow - repeat. If you do this for a few days - being aware of the intentions, motions, sensations, and thoughts and feelings that arise during the process - it starts to dawn on you what a tedious waste of time the whole eating process is. As retro says, no need to bring foulness into it...

Unfortunately, this doesn't last for me so well outside of retreats...

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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:55 am

Greetings,

And to add to Mike's reply...

There are contemplations to be found on the foulness of food... certainly in the Visuddhimagga, possibly in the suttas (I can't recall from memory... I know there's ones about not delighting in it and the simile of eating the child's flesh whilst crossing the desert is a good one - but I digress)... but satipatthana/vipassana would be more focused on the kind of observations outlined in the two posts above. Reflections on the foulness of food would be "wise reflections" and may have some benefit as a samatha subject (I'd look that up if I had my Visuddhimagga with me to confirm, but I don't, so I won't).

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: MN 10. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Postby appicchato » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:03 am

Connected in an around about way the essay by Nyanaponika Thera on the four nutriments is an incredible (for me) way of looking at things...especially the 'four frames of reference'...for those unfamiliar with it, check it out...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el105.html
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