Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

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

Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Kare » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:23 am

zavk wrote:I find Ven. Analayo's arguments extremely cogent, fair, and balanced. Definitely my preferred interpretation of ekayano maggo


I agree - except for one small detail. In poetry the choice of expressions is often limited due to the metrics. Therefore an argument based on what is NOT said in a verse from the Dhammapada, would not be very convincing on its own. But all the other arguments Ven. Analayo puts forward, are good. So this is really just a quibble - but he would have made his point well enough (or even better) without mentioning the Dhammapada.
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:29 am

Thanks Venerable Huifeng for your kind response. Unfortunately I don’t have Bhikkhu Bodhi’s In the Buddha’s Words and I believe while his notes to the Satipatthana Sutta in A translation of the Majjhima Nikaya infer the difference between the 8FP and the Satipatthanas, it isn’t as explicit as Venerable Analayo’s nor as it seems his notes in In the Buddha’s Words.
I had one of those increasingly familiar moments a few hours ago when I hit the send button and was asked to log back on (I think its my modem) and lost my response to Venerable Appichatto’s most recent post. I was inspired by Venerable Appichatto’s down-to-earth message and it reminded me that we develop knowledge and vision, ultimately, on our own – alone. And I posit that we develop knowledge and vision as a result of mainly bhavana but also verification of our understanding with "the wise". So, I personally feel indebted to the commentarians and the tradition of scholars who have helped to illuminate the path for me – and for that matter the rest of us.
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby appicchato » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:47 am

Ben wrote:...I personally feel indebted to the commentarians and the tradition of scholars who have helped to illuminate the path for me – and for that matter the rest of us.

Perhaps what I said could be construed as, or imply, disregarding the 'commentarians and the tradition of scholars', and that wasn't my intention...I too am indebted (and inspired) by many of both...
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:54 am

An interesting question in this context might be: Given Right View and sila, what is the fundamental meditative necessity for awakening?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:37 am

Hi tilt

I'm keen to know what your thoughts are regarding your question. You've obviously given it some considered thought.
metta

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:25 am

Ben wrote:Hi tilt

I'm keen to know what your thoughts are regarding your question. You've obviously given it some considered thought.
metta

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In the seen....
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:31 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:In the seen....

Oh no Bahiya, look out for the cows!

:toilet:

Mild amusement aside, I think there's been some very good points raised above by people and special thanks to Ben for the transcription. When I saw where this topic was going I was inclined to do it myself, but we were soon to head out for the afternoon... so yeah, thanks.

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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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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:42 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:In the seen....

Oh no Bahiya, look out for the cows!
There is also the old slacker monk, If I recall the story of him correctly, Ven. Malunkyaputta, given much the same teaching, who managed to get things right.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:28 am

The Commentary to the Discourse on the Arousing of Mindfulness (Bhikkhu Soma Thera)
"The only way" = The one way [Ekayanoti ekamaggo]. There are many words for "way." The word used for "way" here is "ayana" ("going" or road). Therefore, "This is the only way, O bhikkhus [ekayano ayam bhikkhave maggo]" means here: "A single way ("going" or road), O bhikkhus, is this way; it is not of the nature of a double way [ekamaggo ayam bhikkhave maggo na dvedhapathabhuto]."

Or it is "the only way" because it has to be trodden by oneself only [ekeneva ayitabbo]. That is without a companion. The state of being companionless is twofold: without a comrade, after abandoning contact with the crowd, and in the sense of being withdrawn (or secluded) from craving, through tranquillity of mind.

Or it is called "ekayana" because it is the way of the one [ekassa ayana]. "Of the one" = of the best; of all beings the Blessed One is best. Therefore, it is called the Blessed One's Way. Although others too go along that way, it is the Buddha's because he creates it. Accordingly it is said: "He, the Blessed One, is the creator of the uncreated path, O Brahman." It proceeds (or exists) only in this Doctrine-and-discipline and not in any other. Accordingly the Master declared: "Subhadda, only in this Doctrine-and-discipline is the Eightfold Way to be found." And further, "ekayana" means: It goes to the one [ekam ayati] — that is, it (the way) goes solely to Nibbana.
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:46 am

Thank you Bhante for reproducing Ven. Soma Thera's words.
metta

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- Hereclitus


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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:20 am

Although I do think talking about certain points from other interpretations is useful, as we could miss something, thus not take it into account and come to a wrong understanding of what ever it is, I do agree with you Bhante! no view trumps another unless it is the Buddha's own.

appicchato wrote:The closest thing we have to the Buddha's actual words are the suttas, period...all these translations (if you're not happy with a translation, pick one you are, and if you can't decide, learn the language), interpretations, commentaries, and whatever else, are just those...(some) people tend to trump one contemporary (or otherwise) person's version (and the suttas as well) over another, sometimes with a completely different take on what is said in those suttas...if I were asked, I would say read, and reflect, on those suttas, then assemble your own evaluation, interpretation, understanding...you decide...not another...

Okay, end of... :soap:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby IanAnd » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:50 pm

tiltbillings wrote:An interesting question in this context might be: Given Right View and sila, what is the fundamental meditative necessity for awakening?

A calm mind and clear seeing.

The above prescription gives an additional delimiter by requiring a calm mind that is not given to papanca (or mental proliferation) which could influence discernment (meaning "in the seen") if one's perception is misguided.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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