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Satipatthana sequencing - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Satipatthana sequencing

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

Postby zavk » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:18 am

[Please start from two posts up]

The flexible interpretation of the satipatthana contemplations in actual practice can be illustrated by taking a cross section, as it were, through the direct path of satipatthana. Such a sectional view would resemble a twelve-petalled flower (see Fig 15.2 below), with the main object of contemplation (here the breath is used as an example) constituting the centre of the “flower”.

Image

From awareness of the main object of meditation, the dynamics of contemplation can at any given moment lead to any of the other satipatthana exercises, and then revert to the main object. That is, from being aware of the process of breathing, for example, awareness might turn to any other occurrence in the realm of body, feelings, mind, or dhammas which has become prominent, and then revert to the breath. Otherwise, in the event that the newly-arisen object of meditation should require sustained attention and deeper investigation, it can become the new centre of the flower, with the former object turned into one of the petals.

Any meditation practice from the four satipatthanas can serve as the main focus of insight contemplation and lead to realization. At the same time, meditations from one satipatthana can be related with those from other satipatthanas. This indicates the flexibility of the satipatthana scheme, which allows freedom for variation and combination according to the character and level of development of the meditator. Understood in this way, practising satipatthana should not be a question of practising one or another satipatthana, but of contemplating one as well as the others. In fact, during the deeper stages of the practice, when one is able to abide "independent and free from clinging to anything in the world", the practice of satipatthana progresses from any particular object or area to a more and more comprehensive form of contemplation that embraces all aspects of experience. Expressed in the terms of Fig. 15.2 it would be as if, when the sun was about to set, the twelve petals of the flower gradually came together to form a single bud. Practised in this way, satipatthana becomes an integrated four-faceted survey of one's present experience, taking into account its material, affective, and mental aspects from the perspective of the Dhamma. In this way one's present experience becomes an occasion for swift progress on the direct path to realization.
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:26 am

Greetings zavk,

Thanks for taking the effort to put that together.... that was very interesting and highly relevant.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:48 am

hi Zavk
Very interesting, I will be looking for this work
THANK-YOU
Manapa


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 sequencing

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:58 am

just looking for a page I found a little while ago, and stumbled across this which has allot of from what I can tell similare Diagrams but looks on the surface quite interesting and or relevant with what has been put
http://www.mahabodhi.org.uk/satipatthana2.2pt2.pdf


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.

Element

Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby Element » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:44 am

The satipatthana sequence is the natural sequence of the stream.

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:48 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby zavk » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:15 pm

Last edited by zavk on Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby zavk » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:15 pm

What I find interesting is how Analayo points out the centrality of one 'present experience': 'In this way one's present experience becomes an occasion for swift progress on the direct path to realization.' Soma Thera appears to have this in mind when he offers the four different disposition--that one's present condition should be taken into account when approaching the satipatthana. Following Analayo's arguments, we might assume that the dim-witted or keen-witted person who begins with any one satipatthana is cultivating the same qualities, gaining the same insights and will eventually move in and out of each satipatthana, as he progresses.

Perhaps, we might question if Soma Thera is insisting too narrowly on those definitions. It seems to me that this is what you are asking. I think it is always important that we ask this about any teaching. We must certainly always be on guard against any forms of absolutism. To play the devil's advocate, I'd say that he is offering those suggestions on the basis of many years of experience and contact with different meditators--that he is attempting to be contextually sensitive. So, there is certainly some merit in his argument. But I also think that you are mounting an important argument, for we shouldn't assume that his suggestions are universally applicable.

One last point:
Analayo's reading of the satipatthana really speaks to my own experience. However, I must concede that I can't say for sure if I Analayo has indeed captured the 'essence' of practice or if I am merely projecting his ideas retrospectively to rationalise my own experience. BUT, I don't think this undecidability is a problem. For I think this is precisely how knowledge works--knowledge about any one 'thing' doesn't so much describe what is 'out there' as form, shape, and produce the very thing it purportedly 'describes'. In other words, I don't think we can insist too strongly on a subjective/objective dichotomy. Nor can we really insist on a teaching describing the dhamma more 'authentically' than others. But this is not to say that we should accept any reading of the dhamma willy-nilly. I say this because what one 'knows' shapes, forms and produces what one 'does' and vice versa. So it is important that we investigate any knowledge claim.

If this is indeed the case--that what one 'knows' shapes, forms and produces what one 'does' and vice versa--then one's 'knowledge' of the satipatthana will shape, form and produce one's 'practice' of the satipatthana, just as much as one's 'practice' of the satipatthana will shape, form and produce one's 'knowledge' of the satipatthana. To this extent, this is why our practice is enriched by debates about knowledge--indeed, this why you and I or anyone can agree to disagree.

In light of this, I'd say that the Satipatthana Sutta is as much 'a platter of options' as it is 'a cohesive program'. It is as much a 'theoretical treatise' as it is a 'meditation manual'.

:namaste:

Metta,
zavk
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:21 pm

Greetings zavk,

I'm still in the process of reading through the replies, but just to clarify, in that section I quoted just above (as with most of the text) Soma Thera is just directly translating the commentaries without adding his own. Other than the comments in the Introduction which I provided earlier, these are purely the views of the classical Theravada commentators.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby zavk » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:27 pm

Noted, Retro. So perhaps I shouldn't have attributed those ideas directly to Soma Thera but to those who composed the commentaries who, one might assume, were writing from within their specific context of experience.

Thanks,
zavk
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:31 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:39 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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zavk
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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby zavk » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:10 am

It's interesting that you mention the phrase 'only path' because Analayo examines the definition of the term and raises some questions about how we might understand it. It was one of the things that struck me early in his book. I won't type it out but will post again when I find the time to scan and OCR the two pages or so.

Metta,
zavk
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby zavk » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:34 am

With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:21 am

- Peter


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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:30 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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zavk
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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby zavk » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:54 am

Thanks for the above post, Retro.
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby Danny » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:44 am


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Re: Satipatthana sequencing

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:42 pm

Hello everybody, great topic and i have found some answers already, but, and I've asked this on an other forum, how do things like the fingernails or other bodyparts and the four elements come into play in the way descriped above? I did contemplate the fist five bodyparts listed, in my practice, and had some good results so for, but I don't see how they come to mind automaticly, I mean when focusing on the breath I never think of my head hair for instance. I have read both Soma Thera´s and ven. Analayo`s commentaries and listened to the Bhikkhu Bodhi talks as well, from what I understand the bodyparts and elements are used as a single exercise to counter-ballance any sensual craving or seeing the body as beautiful or as my-self or I. So for a certain mental state or certain character type, but not all the time and every sitting.
Or should it be taken as the centre of the flower at these moments only'? But still, how do they fit in another, say breath at the centre, type of meditation?
Any help is appreciated...[/quote]

Hi
Try reading the main Sutta about Meditation on the Body
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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 sequencing

Postby Danny » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:35 pm

Thank you, Manapa, for the quick reply and link.


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