8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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frank k
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by frank k »

Mr. Seek wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:08 pm Is there a description of right mindfulness (as part of the 8-fold path) out there in the five nikayas that matches with the description of mindfulness as found in DN 2?

Also, what do you think about the obvious difference between the two? DN 2 says being mindful is simply being aware, being wakeful, attentive, etc., during daily activities. ...

Look at SN 47.2 carefully. It delineates the difference between sati and sampajano. What DN 2 is calling S&S (sati and sampajano), SN 47.2 explains as the sampajano is the lucid-discerning aspect of moment to moment awareness. It further explains, that what sati does is remember Dharma. And the default value of Dharma that is remembered, is the four satipatthana.

http://lucid24.org/sn/sn47/sn47-002/index.html


The pre buddhist defintion of sati is memory/remembering. See SN 48.9 for sati-indriya.

Unfortunately this isn't all that clear with explanations on sati scattered around over the nikayas. It takes time to study the suttas carefully and connect the dots. But SN 48.9 and SN 47.2 will explain that part of the question.

The other thing you're confused about, and most Buddhists are, including famous Buddhist monks and scholars, is that sati and jhana and viriya are all operating simultaneously. See MN 78 and MN 125 especially, where the first jhana is deliberately omitted because the satipatthana that takes kusala thoughts as its object is describing first jhana already.
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by mikenz66 »

Mr. Seek wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:18 am That's true, but... This is DN and MN we're talking about, not SN or AN. The 4 establishments of mindfulness are referred to as "the direct path" in some suttas, so why would they be skipped if they're so important? Why would the compilers of these long, detailed suttas dedicate pages upon pages on mere virtue, while skipping (or abbreviating into one sentence) the entire doctrine of the 4 establishments of mindfulness? It doesn't make sense to me. It's on the high-end of the path. If the 4 jhanas were mentioned, why were the 4 establishments of mindfulness skipped or abbreviated? They're of nearly equal importance in suttas that praise the noble 8-fold path, which is likened to the doctrine of the Buddha in general, from start to finish.
Yes, it is a little curious. Reading the MN Gradual Training suttas, it's less of a problem, as they do mostly seem like a quick summary (and mostly addressed to outsiders). As you say, though, they do include all of the jhana factors.

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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by DooDoot »

frank k wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:28 pm Look at SN 47.2 carefully. It delineates the difference between sati and sampajano. What DN 2 is calling S&S (sati and sampajano), SN 47.2 explains as the sampajano is the lucid-discerning aspect of moment to moment awareness. It further explains, that what sati does is remember Dharma. And the default value of Dharma that is remembered, is the four satipatthana.
It does not explain the above.
Mr. Seek wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:08 pm Is there a description of right mindfulness (as part of the 8-fold path) out there in the five nikayas that matches with the description of mindfulness as found in DN 2? Also, what do you think about the obvious difference between the two? DN 2 says being mindful is simply being aware, being wakeful, attentive, etc., during daily activities.
There is no difference.
mikenz66 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:37 am This is a typical description in the Graduated Training suttas, which include DN2, MN27, and and a number of other suttas. It's also in the first section of the Satipattana Sutta
About mindfulness, DN 2 says:
DN 2 wrote:"Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness and alertness, and this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded dwelling: a forest, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a jungle grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will and anger, he dwells with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will and anger. Abandoning sloth and drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth and drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth and drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.
The above is no different to the definition in the Noble Eightfold Path, which says:
And what, monks, is right mindfulness? (i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, aware & mindfulputting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This, monks, is called right mindfulness.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

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DooDoot wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:47 am
Mr. Seek wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:08 pm Is there a description of right mindfulness (as part of the 8-fold path) out there in the five nikayas that matches with the description of mindfulness as found in DN 2? Also, what do you think about the obvious difference between the two? DN 2 says being mindful is simply being aware, being wakeful, attentive, etc., during daily activities.
There is no difference.
mikenz66 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:37 am This is a typical description in the Graduated Training suttas, which include DN2, MN27, and and a number of other suttas. It's also in the first section of the Satipattana Sutta
About mindfulness, DN 2 says:
DN 2 wrote:"Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness and alertness, and this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded dwelling: a forest, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a jungle grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will and anger, he dwells with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will and anger. Abandoning sloth and drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth and drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth and drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.
The above is no different to the definition in the Noble Eightfold Path, which says:
And what, monks, is right mindfulness? (i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, aware & mindfulputting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This, monks, is called right mindfulness.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
We could assume that the compilers didn't initially intend on there to be differences between the two, yes, as there are similarities. But nonetheless, it begs the question why it's being interpreted differently by different people. As I mentioned in one of my other posts: some prefer mindfulness as clear awareness, others prefer mindfulness as keeping the breath or some mantra in mind.

Oh well. Thanks for the replies by the way, I value the input.
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

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Mr. Seek wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:29 am some prefer mindfulness as clear awareness, others prefer mindfulness as keeping the breath... in mind.
Thanks but the above appears to be a wrong understanding probably shared by 99% of Buddhists. When there is clear awareness, the breath automatically becomes the sense object of the mind.
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by Mr. Seek »

SarathW wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:54 am You can talk about the same thing in many thousands of ways, based on your experience.
Buddha taught the same in different ways based on the audience and the purpose.
I reflected on this some more. I was stupid by coming to conclusions and clinging to doctrine like that. The Dhamma is too profound, and maybe there are indeed different expressions of it. Just because something is true or false for me doesn't mean it's true or false for someone else...

Thank you and to a couple of others for knocking sense into me. I'll try and find the answers I need through practice. I'll also spend some time exploring the other yanas.
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by Pulsar »

Mr. Seek wrote
I have a feeling there's something fishy in all this. Another one of my suspicions regarding the possibly lost and then misinterpreted meaning of mindfulness... What do you think; am I being delusional?
No you are not being delusional.
I am not sure whether someone else already mentioned this, I have not read the thread. The two major satipatthana suttas are later fabrications. A few? are unable to understand the link between Samma Sati and Samma samadhi.
But check out SN 47.42 on "Origination"
in the Satipatthana Samyutta. Thanissaro commented about the unusualness of this sutta.
If you can figure it out, you've got it made. it is all about understanding the origination of vedana and sanna.
The soteriological significance of the first foundation is in the sense bases, or the contact occurring therein, not the body as such as many think.
I referred to SN 47.42 in my jhana thread, in the past.
I discussed "Origination" on Sutta Central too. That thread might help a bit. As for DN 2, I have not read it lately, so cannot comment on it, will try to find the time, soon enuf.
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by Watana »

I think I found the answer you're looking for.

It's in the Karaniya Mettā Sutta (Sutta Nipāta). Although the last verse might've been added later, to me there's no doubt that the rest of the sutta in authentic.

The Pāli word for "mindfulness" doesn't necessarily mean "awareness", it can also mean "memory" or "something one keeps in mind". I always knew there was something fishy with this idea of mindfulness as "awareness", since the concept itself doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Now comes the Karaniya Mettā Sutta...

Here, the Tathāgata explains that in order to attain Brahma (aka nibbāna), one must (metaphorically) pervade the whole universe with mettā and keep it in mind ("sati" is used here) at all times : whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down.

So yeah, the 4 immeasurables were the original mindfulness practice. As for the "4 establishments of mindfulness", they're obviously fake, since feelings and mental objects are constituents of consciousness, which is also in that list. In case you have forgotten, "consciousness" wasn't originally an aggregate, it was just a one-word summary of the 4 original aggregates (perceptions, feelings, cognition, volitions).
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by sphairos »

Would you be so kind to explain:
Watana wrote:The Pāli word for "mindfulness" doesn't necessarily mean "awareness"...Here, the Tathāgata explains that in order to attain Brahma (aka nibbāna), one must (metaphorically) pervade the whole universe with mettā and keep it in mind ("sati" is used here) at all times : whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down.
So, what's the difference between "mindfulness" and "awareness" and what's wrong with "awareness" ?
Watana wrote:So yeah, the 4 immeasurables were the original mindfulness practice.
Who, when and how has proved that? Who proved that Sutta Nipāta material is older and more authentic than the rest?

Or is just another of your "genius ideas"? (not even yours, but stolen from R. Gombrich, but preached by you as the Truth?)
Watana wrote:As for the "4 establishments of mindfulness", they're obviously fake, since feelings and mental objects are constituents of consciousness, which is also in that list.
You don't even know what you are talking about.

Everything you know and perceive is your consciousness. You have never seen, thought or perceived anything else besides your own consciousness.

The satipaṭṭhāna (that is "[ways of] establishing the mindfulness") has nothing to do with such an unclear, "murky" and undefinable philosophical concept as "consciousness".

In the practice of satipaṭṭhāna there are four anupassanās , "viewings", contemplations.

They consist of establishing the mindfulness towards/with regard to "bodily constituents and processes" (kāya, body, group, collection , accumulation), "basic ways of reacting to the mental and bodily stimuli", "feeling tones" (vedanā), "mental processes" (citta, mentality, mind) and dhammas, i.e. elements, doctrines, practices of Buddhist teaching.

Just read the texts carefully, don't preach revelations regarding what you don't really know... For instance, I had learnt Mettā-sutta by heart 17 years ago, not long time after I started seriously practicing Buddhism and learning Pāli and Sanskrit. And you have discovered it just now ...
Watana wrote: In case you have forgotten, "consciousness" wasn't originally an aggregate, it was just a one-word summary of the 4 original aggregates (perceptions, feelings, cognition, volitions).
Who, when and how has proved that?

Or you are just preaching here as the truth A. Wynne's unpersuasive, unprovable and purely conjectural hypothesis?

By the way, "consciousness" in the teaching on five khandhas (five aggregates) is viññāṇa (cognition, recognition), and in four anupassanās of satipaṭṭhāna there is no viññāṇa . There is mental process(es), citta (mentality, mind etc.), but it is a totally different concept than viññāṇa.
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by Pulsar »

sphairos wrote
and in four anupassanās of satipaṭṭhāna there is no viññāṇa. There is mental process(es), citta (mentality, mind etc.), but it is a totally different concept than viññāṇa.
This goes against everything that Buddha has taught.
How do you define Vinnana? How do you understand Vinnana?
With Metta :candle:
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by sphairos »

Pulsar wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:22 pm sphairos wrote
and in four anupassanās of satipaṭṭhāna there is no viññāṇa. There is mental process(es), citta (mentality, mind etc.), but it is a totally different concept than viññāṇa.
This goes against everything that Buddha has taught.
How do you define Vinnana? How do you understand Vinnana?
With Metta :candle:
But these two are obviously different words... Buddha wouldn't call things different names if he didn't want so and meant the same thing by them...

Viññāṇa is a quite tricky term. It means different things in different contexts. It's not explicated anywhere in detail. I think what we call "consciousness" is the four or even five of the khandhas together. I think the closest to our consciousness is the saññā (it translates exactly as "con-sciousness"). Viññāṇa in Buddha's and Buddhist sense must be one of the processes inside what we call "consciousness", and namely the process of discrimination (vi-ññā) between the contents of consciousness, between the characteristics of objects, labels of them and so on. From the point of view of the system's theory a conscious system is one that regulates, makes a choice between at least two options, two states of the system. Perhaps viññāṇa that is meant in the Pali texts is something like that discriminating feature of consciousness.
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by Pulsar »

sphairos replied
But these two are obviously different words... Buddha wouldn't call things different names if he didn't want so and meant the same thing by them.
What two words are you referring to?
You wrote 
Viññāṇa is a quite tricky term.
So it is possible that some are confused by the term Vinnana, right? esp. since the canon is also infiltrated by Upanisdic practices, such as the 4 Arupa samapatthis, and hence also terminology related to those goals. Many buddhists believe these to be Buddha's teaching. If so they are bound to misunderstand Vinnana. right?
You wrote
It means different things in different contexts,
in relation to Vinnana.
Can you give me examples of two of the contexts you refer to, from the suttas.
You wrote 
"It's not explicated anywhere in detail"
Are you sure of this?
You wrote 
I think what we call "consciousness" is the four or even five of the khandhas together.
This sounds like what Watana wrote
it was just a one-word summary of the 4 original aggregates (perceptions, feelings, cognition, volitions).
But you objected to Watana's statement. 
You wrote
I think the closest to our consciousness is the saññā (it translates exactly as "con-sciousness").
Thank you for that, I admire you.
You wrote
Viññāṇa in Buddha's and Buddhist sense must be one of the processes inside what we call "consciousness". and namely the process of discrimination (vi-ññā) between the contents of consciousness, between the characteristics of objects, labels of them and so on.
That sounds like Sanna to me.
You wrote
From the point of view of the system's theory a conscious system is one that regulates, makes a choice between at least two options, two states of the system. Perhaps viññāṇa that is meant in the Pali texts is something like that discriminating feature of consciousness.
What is Systems Theory?  You wrote
a conscious system is one that regulates.
Do you mean that there is someone regulating the process of  discrimination? 
With love :candle:
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by sphairos »

Pulsar wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:27 pm sphairos replied
But these two are obviously different words... Buddha wouldn't call things different names if he didn't want so and meant the same thing by them.
What two words are you referring to?
I was referring to citta and viññāṇa, please, read more carefully.

Please, explain, what "goes against everything that Buddha has taught"?

Like I said, "consciousness" is an undefinable philosophical concept. All scholarly discussions of conciousness lead to logical contradictions and show that we don't understand what it is and don't have a "language" or capacity to talk about it. I guess the Buddha didn't talk about "consciousness" for the same reason.

I was referring to the information theory: in the theory of information (branch of mathematics), information is something that arises when a system selects between a number of finite states, at least between two of them. As "consciousness" has to do with information, maybe viññāṇa has to do with that foundational property of information. But I am not married to that idea, it is more of a guess...
Last edited by sphairos on Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by Pulsar »

Dearest sphairos you wrote
Please, explain, what "goes against everything that Buddha has taught"?
I wrote it under your explanation of Satipatthana or Samma Sati which went like this.
and in four anupassanās of satipaṭṭhāna there is no viññāṇa. There is mental process(es), citta (mentality, mind etc.), but it is a totally different concept than viññāṇa.
To have this discussion on Samma sati you and I must have a clear and common understanding of
Samma Sati. If that understanding is different for the two of us, then the back and forth will not bear fruit for the Forum.
What does the meditator try to accomplish in the 7th step of the 8-fold path???
Can one without Vinnana even engage in Satipatthana?
We will take this dialogue step by step.

You wrote
I guess the Buddha didn't talk about "consciousness" for the same reason.
What did the Buddha talk about, according to your understanding? What is the most important thing
he taught?
With love :candle:
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Re: 8-fold path mindfulness vs DN 2 mindfulness

Post by sphairos »

Excuse me, I am not interested in this discussion.
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