Difference between revisions of "Satipatthana Sutta"

From Encyclopedia of Buddhism
Jump to: navigation, search
(Text)
(Undo revision 44811 by Dorje108 (talk))
(17 intermediate revisions by the same user not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
The '''''Satipatthana Sutta''''' (MN 10), or the ''Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness'', is generally regarded as the canonical Buddhist text with the fullest instructions on the system of meditation unique to the Buddha's own dispensation. The practice of Satipatthana meditation centers on the methodical cultivation of one simple mental faculty readily available to all of us at any moment. This is the faculty of mindfulness, the capacity for attending to the content of our experience as it becomes manifest in the immediate present."<ref>{{AI citation|https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.038.than.html|Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta: The Greater Craving-Destruction Discourse}}; Thanissaro translation</ref>
+
The '''''Satipatthana Sutta''''' (P. ''Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta''; C. Nianchu jing), or the ''Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness'', is generally regarded as the canonical Buddhist text with the fullest instructions on training in mindfullness ([[Satipatthana]]).<ref name=b1>{{AI citation|https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/soma/wayof.html|The Way of Mindfulness, Message from Bhikkhu Bodhi}}</ref>
 +
 
 +
According to Bhikkhu Bodhi: "The practice of Satipatthana meditation centers on the methodical cultivation of one simple mental faculty readily available to all of us at any moment. This is the faculty of mindfulness, the capacity for attending to the content of our experience as it becomes manifest in the immediate present."<ref name=b1/>
  
 
The title has been translated into English as:
 
The title has been translated into English as:
Line 12: Line 14:
 
* DN 22
 
* DN 22
  
[[SuttaCentral]] identifies parallel sections of text within many other suttas of the Pali Canon.<ref name=parallel>{{SuttaCentral citation|https://suttacentral.net/mn10/en/sujato|Mindfulness Meditation}}; click down-arrow to view "parallel texts"</ref>
+
[[SuttaCentral]] identifies parallel sections of text within other suttas of the Pali Canon.<ref name=parallel>{{SuttaCentral citation|https://suttacentral.net/mn10/en/sujato|Mindfulness Meditation}}; click down-arrow to view "parallel texts"</ref>
  
 
===Chinese Canon===
 
===Chinese Canon===
[[SuttaCentral]] identifies several possible parallel texts within the [[Chinese Canon]]<ref name=parallel/>
+
[[SuttaCentral]] identifies several parallel texts within the [[Chinese Canon]].<ref name=parallel/>
  
 
==Translations into English==
 
==Translations into English==
Line 24: Line 26:
  
 
==Translation from SuttaCentral==
 
==Translation from SuttaCentral==
{{SuttaCentral translation|https://suttacentral.net/mn38/en/sujato|The Longer Discourse on the Ending of Craving, MN 38}}
+
{{SuttaCentral translation|https://suttacentral.net/mn10/en/sujato|Mindfulness Meditation (MN 10)}}
  
 
<poem style="border: 2px solid #d6d2c5; background-color: #f9f4e6; padding: 1em;">
 
<poem style="border: 2px solid #d6d2c5; background-color: #f9f4e6; padding: 1em;">
'''The Longer Discourse on the Ending of Craving''' (MN 38)
+
'''Mindfulness Meditation''' (MN 10)
 
 
SO I HAVE HEARD. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery.
 
 
 
Now at that time a mendicant called Sāti, the fisherman’s son, had the following harmful misconception: “As I understand the Buddha’s teachings, it is this very same consciousness that roams and transmigrates, not another.”
 
 
 
Several mendicants heard about this. They went up to Sāti and said to him, “Is it really true, Reverend Sāti, that you have such a harmful misconception: ‘As I understand the Buddha’s teachings, it is this very same consciousness that roams and transmigrates, not another’?”
 
 
 
“Absolutely, reverends. As I understand the Buddha’s teachings, it is this very same consciousness that roams and transmigrates, not another.”
 
 
 
Then, wishing to dissuade Sāti from his view, the mendicants pursued, pressed, and grilled him, “Don’t say that, Sāti! Don’t misrepresent the Buddha, for misrepresentation of the Buddha is not good. And the Buddha would not say that. In many ways the Buddha has said that consciousness is dependently originated, since consciousness does not arise without a cause.”
 
 
 
But even though the mendicants pressed him in this way, Sāti obstinately stuck to his misconception and insisted on stating it.
 
 
 
When they weren’t able to dissuade Sāti from his view, the mendicants went to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and told him what had happened.
 
 
 
So the Buddha said to a certain monk, “Please, monk, in my name tell the mendicant Sāti that the teacher summons him.”
 
 
 
“Yes, sir,” that monk replied. He went to Sāti and said to him, “Reverend Sāti, the teacher summons you.”
 
 
 
“Yes, reverend,” Sāti replied. He went to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him, “Is it really true, Sāti, that you have such a harmful misconception: ‘As I understand the Buddha’s teachings, it is this very same consciousness that roams and transmigrates, not another’?”
 
 
 
“Absolutely, sir. As I understand the Buddha’s teachings, it is this very same consciousness that roams and transmigrates, not another.”
 
 
 
“Sāti, what is that consciousness?”
 
 
 
“Sir, it is he who speaks and feels and experiences the results of good and bad deeds in all the different realms.”
 
 
 
“Silly man, who on earth have you ever known me to teach in that way? Haven’t I said in many ways that consciousness is dependently originated, since consciousness does not arise without a cause? But still you misrepresent me by your wrong grasp, harm yourself, and make much bad karma. This will be for your lasting harm and suffering.”
 
 
 
Then the Buddha said to the mendicants, “What do you think, mendicants? Has this mendicant Sāti kindled even a spark of wisdom in this teaching and training?”
 
 
 
“How could that be, sir? No, sir.” When this was said, Sāti sat silent, embarrassed, shoulders drooping, downcast, depressed, with nothing to say.
 
 
 
Knowing this, the Buddha said, “Silly man, you will be known by your own harmful misconception. I’ll question the mendicants about this.”
 
 
 
Then the Buddha said to the mendicants, “Mendicants, do you understand my teachings as Sāti does, when he misrepresents me by his wrong grasp, harms himself, and makes much bad karma?”
 
 
 
“No, sir. For in many ways the Buddha has told us that consciousness is dependently originated, since consciousness does not arise without a cause.”
 
 
 
“Good, good, mendicants! It’s good that you understand my teaching like this. For in many ways I have told you that consciousness is dependently originated, since consciousness does not arise without a cause. But still this Sāti misrepresents me by his wrong grasp, harms himself, and makes much bad karma. This will be for his lasting harm and suffering.
 
 
 
Consciousness is reckoned according to the specific conditions dependent upon which it arises. Consciousness that arises dependent on the eye and sights is reckoned as eye consciousness. Consciousness that arises dependent on the ear and sounds is reckoned as ear consciousness. Consciousness that arises dependent on the nose and smells is reckoned as nose consciousness. Consciousness that arises dependent on the tongue and tastes is reckoned as tongue consciousness. Consciousness that arises dependent on the body and touches is reckoned as body consciousness. Consciousness that arises dependent on the mind and thoughts is reckoned as mind consciousness.
 
  
It’s like fire, which is reckoned according to the specific conditions dependent upon which it burns. A fire that burns dependent on logs is reckoned as a log fire. A fire that burns dependent on twigs is reckoned as a twig fire. A fire that burns dependent on grass is reckoned as a grass fire. A fire that burns dependent on cow-dung is reckoned as a cow-dung fire. A fire that burns dependent on husks is reckoned as a husk fire. A fire that burns dependent on rubbish is reckoned as a rubbish fire.
+
SO I HAVE HEARD. At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Kurus, near the Kuru town named Kammāsadamma. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”
  
In the same way, consciousness is reckoned according to the specific conditions dependent upon which it arises.
+
“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:
  
Mendicants, do you see that this has come to be?”
+
“Mendicants, the four kinds of mindfulness meditation are the path to convergence. They are in order to purify sentient beings, to get past sorrow and crying, to make an end of pain and sadness, to end the cycle of suffering, and to realize extinguishment.
  
“Yes, sir.
+
What four? It’s when a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. They meditate observing an aspect of feelings—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. They meditate observing an aspect of the mind—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. They meditate observing an aspect of principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world.
  
“Do you see that it originated with that as fuel?
+
'''1. Observing the Body'''
 +
1.1. Mindfulness of Breathing
 +
And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of the body?
  
“Yes, sir.
+
It’s when a mendicant—gone to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut—sits down cross-legged, with their body straight, and focuses their mindfulness right there. Just mindful, they breathe in. Mindful, they breathe out.
  
“Do you see that when that fuel ceases, what has come to be is liable to cease?”
+
When breathing in heavily they know: ‘I’m breathing in heavily.’ When breathing out heavily they know: ‘I’m breathing out heavily.’
  
“Yes, sir.
+
When breathing in lightly they know: ‘I’m breathing in lightly.’ When breathing out lightly they know: ‘I’m breathing out lightly.’
  
“Does doubt arise when you’re uncertain whether or not this has come to be?”
+
They practice breathing in experiencing the whole body. They practice breathing out experiencing the whole body.
  
“Yes, sir.
+
They practice breathing in stilling the body’s motion. They practice breathing out stilling the body’s motion.
  
“Does doubt arise when you’re uncertain whether or not this has originated with that as fuel?”
+
It’s like a deft carpenter or carpenter’s apprentice. When making a deep cut they know: ‘I’m making a deep cut,’ and when making a shallow cut they know: ‘I’m making a shallow cut.’
  
“Yes, sir.
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the body as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that the body exists, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.
  
“Does doubt arise when you’re uncertain whether or not when that fuel ceases, what has come to be is liable to cease?”
+
That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
  
“Yes, sir.”
 
  
“Is doubt given up in someone who truly sees with right understanding that this has come to be?”
+
1.2. The Postures
 +
Furthermore, when a mendicant is walking they know: ‘I am walking.’ When standing they know: ‘I am standing.’ When sitting they know: ‘I am sitting.’ And when lying down they know: ‘I am lying down.’ Whatever posture their body is in, they know it.
  
“Yes, sir.
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the body as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that the body exists, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.
  
“Is doubt given up in someone who truly sees with right understanding that this has originated with that as fuel?”
+
That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
  
“Yes, sir.”
 
  
“Is doubt given up in someone who truly sees with right understanding that when that fuel ceases, what has come to be is liable to cease?”
+
1.3. Situational Awareness
 +
Furthermore, a mendicant acts with situational awareness when going out and coming back; when looking ahead and aside; when bending and extending the limbs; when bearing the outer robe, bowl and robes; when eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting; when urinating and defecating; when walking, standing, sitting, sleeping, waking, speaking, and keeping silent.
  
“Yes, sir.”
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally …
  
“Are you free of doubt as to whether this has come to be?”
+
That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
  
“Yes, sir.”
 
  
“Are you free of doubt as to whether this has originated with that as fuel?”
+
1.4. Focusing on the Repulsive
 +
Furthermore, a mendicant examines their own body, up from the soles of the feet and down from the tips of the hairs, wrapped in skin and full of many kinds of filth. ‘In this body there is head hair, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, undigested food, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, snot, synovial fluid, urine.’
  
“Yes, sir.
+
It’s as if there were a bag with openings at both ends, filled with various kinds of grains, such as fine rice, wheat, mung beans, peas, sesame, and ordinary rice. And someone with good eyesight were to open it and examine the contents: ‘These grains are fine rice, these are wheat, these are mung beans, these are peas, these are sesame, and these are ordinary rice.
  
“Are you free of doubt as to whether when that fuel ceases, what has come to be is liable to cease?”
 
  
“Yes, sir.”
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally …
  
“Have you truly seen clearly with right understanding that this has come to be?”
+
That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
  
“Yes, sir.”
 
  
“Have you truly seen clearly with right understanding that this has originated with that as fuel?”
+
1.5. Focusing on the Elements
 +
Furthermore, a mendicant examines their own body, whatever its placement or posture, according to the elements: ‘In this body there is the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element.’
  
“Yes, sir.
+
It’s as if a deft butcher or butcher’s apprentice were to kill a cow and sit down at the crossroads with the meat cut into portions.
  
“Have you truly seen clearly with right understanding that when that fuel ceases, what has come to be is liable to cease?”
 
  
“Yes, sir.”
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally …
  
“Pure and bright as this view is, mendicants, if you cherish it, fancy it, treasure it, and treat it as your own, would you be understanding how the Dhamma is similar to a raft: for crossing over, not for holding on?”
+
That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
  
“No, sir.”
 
  
“Pure and bright as this view is, mendicants, if you don’t cherish it, fancy it, treasure it, and treat it as your own, would you be understanding how the Dhamma is similar to a raft: for crossing over, not for holding on?”
+
1.6. The Charnel Ground Contemplations
 +
Furthermore, suppose a mendicant were to see a corpse discarded in a charnel ground. And it had been dead for one, two, or three days, bloated, livid, and festering. They’d compare it with their own body: ‘This body is also of that same nature, that same kind, and cannot go beyond that.’
  
“Yes, sir.
+
That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
  
“Mendicants, there are these four fuels. They maintain sentient beings that have been born and help those that are about to be born. What four? Solid food, whether coarse or fine; contact is the second, mental intention the third, and consciousness the fourth.
+
Furthermore, suppose they were to see a corpse discarded in a charnel ground being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, herons, dogs, tigers, leopards, jackals, and many kinds of little creatures. They’d compare it with their own body: ‘This body is also of that same nature, that same kind, and cannot go beyond that.
  
What is the source, origin, birthplace, and root of these four fuels? Craving.
+
That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
  
And what is the source of craving? Feeling.
+
Furthermore, suppose they were to see a corpse discarded in a charnel ground, a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together by sinews …
  
And what is the source of feeling? Contact.
+
A skeleton without flesh but smeared with blood, and held together by sinews …
  
And what is the source of contact? The six sense fields.
+
A skeleton rid of flesh and blood, held together by sinews …
  
And what is the source of the six sense fields? Name and form.
+
Bones rid of sinews scattered in every direction. Here a hand-bone, there a foot-bone, here a shin-bone, there a thigh-bone, here a hip-bone, there a rib-bone, here a back-bone, there an arm-bone, here a neck-bone, there a jaw-bone, here a tooth, there the skull …
  
And what is the source of name and form? Consciousness.
+
White bones, the color of shells …
  
And what is the source of consciousness? Choices.
+
Decrepit bones, heaped in a pile …
  
And what is the source of choices? Ignorance.
+
Bones rotted and crumbled to powder. They’d compare it with their own body: ‘This body is also of that same nature, that same kind, and cannot go beyond that.
  
So, ignorance is a condition for choices. Choices are a condition for consciousness. Consciousness is a condition for name and form. Name and form are conditions for the six sense fields. The six sense fields are conditions for contact. Contact is a condition for feeling. Feeling is a condition for craving. Craving is a condition for grasping. Grasping is a condition for continued existence. Continued existence is a condition for rebirth. Rebirth is a condition for old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress to come to be. That is how this entire mass of suffering originates.
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the body as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that the body exists, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.
  
‘Rebirth is a condition for old age and death.’ That’s what I said. Is that how you see this or not?”
+
That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
  
“That’s how we see it.”
 
  
“‘Continued existence is a condition for rebirth.’ …
+
'''2. Observing the Feelings'''
 +
And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of feelings?
  
 +
It’s when a mendicant who feels a pleasant feeling knows: ‘I feel a pleasant feeling.’
  
‘Ignorance is a condition for choices.’ That’s what I said. Is that how you see this or not?”
+
When they feel a painful feeling, they know: ‘I feel a painful feeling.’
  
“That’s how we see it.
+
When they feel a neutral feeling, they know: ‘I feel a neutral feeling.
  
“Good, mendicants! So both you and I say this. When this exists, that is; due to the arising of this, that arises. That is: Ignorance is a condition for choices. Choices are a condition for consciousness. Consciousness is a condition for name and form. Name and form are conditions for the six sense fields. The six sense fields are conditions for contact. Contact is a condition for feeling. Feeling is a condition for craving. Craving is a condition for grasping. Grasping is a condition for continued existence. Continued existence is a condition for rebirth. Rebirth is a condition for old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress to come to be. That is how this entire mass of suffering originates.
+
When they feel a material pleasant feeling, they know: ‘I feel a material pleasant feeling.
  
When ignorance fades away and ceases with nothing left over, choices cease. When choices cease, consciousness ceases. When consciousness ceases, name and form cease. When name and form cease, the six sense fields cease. When the six sense fields cease, contact ceases. When contact ceases, feeling ceases. When feeling ceases, craving ceases. When craving ceases, grasping ceases. When grasping ceases, continued existence ceases. When continued existence ceases, rebirth ceases. When rebirth ceases, old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress cease. That is how this entire mass of suffering ceases.
+
When they feel a spiritual pleasant feeling, they know: ‘I feel a spiritual pleasant feeling.
  
‘When rebirth ceases, old age and death cease.’ That’s what I said. Is that how you see this or not?”
+
When they feel a material painful feeling, they know: ‘I feel a material painful feeling.’
  
“That’s how we see it.
+
When they feel a spiritual painful feeling, they know: ‘I feel a spiritual painful feeling.
  
‘When continued existence ceases, rebirth ceases.’
+
When they feel a material neutral feeling, they know: ‘I feel a material neutral feeling.’
  
 +
When they feel a spiritual neutral feeling, they know: ‘I feel a spiritual neutral feeling.’
  
‘When ignorance ceases, choices cease.’ That’s what I said. Is that how you see this or not?”
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of the feelings internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing feelings as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that feelings exist, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.
  
“That’s how we see it.
+
That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of feelings.
  
“Good, mendicants! So both you and I say this. When this doesn’t exist, that is not; due to the cessation of this, that ceases. That is: When ignorance ceases, choices cease. When choices cease, consciousness ceases. When consciousness ceases, name and form cease. When name and form cease, the six sense fields cease. When the six sense fields cease, contact ceases. When contact ceases, feeling ceases. When feeling ceases, craving ceases. When craving ceases, grasping ceases. When grasping ceases, continued existence ceases. When continued existence ceases, rebirth ceases. When rebirth ceases, old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress cease. That is how this entire mass of suffering ceases.
 
  
Knowing and seeing in this way, mendicants, would you turn back to the past, thinking, ‘Did we exist in the past? Did we not exist in the past? What were we in the past? How were we in the past? After being what, what did we become in the past?’?”
+
'''3. Observing the Mind'''
 +
And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of the mind?
  
“No, sir.
+
It’s when a mendicant knows mind with greed as ‘mind with greed,’ and mind without greed as ‘mind without greed.’ They know mind with hate as ‘mind with hate,’ and mind without hate as ‘mind without hate.’ They know mind with delusion as ‘mind with delusion,’ and mind without delusion as ‘mind without delusion.’ They know constricted mind as ‘constricted mind,’ and scattered mind as ‘scattered mind.’ They know expansive mind as ‘expansive mind,’ and unexpansive mind as ‘unexpansive mind.’ They know mind that is not supreme as ‘mind that is not supreme,’ and mind that is supreme as ‘mind that is supreme.’ They know mind immersed in samādhi as ‘mind immersed in samādhi,’ and mind not immersed in samādhi as ‘mind not immersed in samādhi.’ They know freed mind as ‘freed mind,’ and unfreed mind as ‘unfreed mind.’
  
“Knowing and seeing in this way, mendicants, would you turn forward to the future, thinking, ‘Will we exist in the future? Will we not exist in the future? What will we be in the future? How will we be in the future? After being what, what will we become in the future?’?”
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of the mind internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the mind as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that the mind exists, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.
  
“No, sir.
+
That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the mind.
  
“Knowing and seeing in this way, mendicants, would you be undecided about the present, thinking, ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? This sentient being—where did it come from? And where will it go?’?”
 
  
“No, sir.
+
'''4. Observing Principles'''
 +
4.1. The Hindrances
 +
And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles?
  
“Knowing and seeing in this way, would you say, ‘Our teacher is respected. We speak like this out of respect for our teacher.’?
+
It’s when a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five hindrances. And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five hindrances?
  
“No, sir.
+
It’s when a mendicant who has sensual desire in them understands: ‘I have sensual desire in me.’ When they don’t have sensual desire in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have sensual desire in me.’ They understand how sensual desire arises; how, when it’s already arisen, it’s given up; and how, once it’s given up, it doesn’t arise again in the future.
  
“Knowing and seeing in this way, would you say, ‘Our ascetic says this. It’s only because of him that we say this’?”
+
When they have ill will in them, they understand: ‘I have ill will in me.’ When they don’t have ill will in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have ill will in me.’ They understand how ill will arises; how, when it’s already arisen, it’s given up; and how, once it’s given up, it doesn’t arise again in the future.
  
“No, sir.
+
When they have dullness and drowsiness in them, they understand: ‘I have dullness and drowsiness in me.’ When they don’t have dullness and drowsiness in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have dullness and drowsiness in me.’ They understand how dullness and drowsiness arise; how, when they’ve already arisen, they’re given up; and how, once they’re given up, they don’t arise again in the future.
  
“Knowing and seeing in this way, would you acknowledge another teacher?”
+
When they have restlessness and remorse in them, they understand: ‘I have restlessness and remorse in me.’ When they don’t have restlessness and remorse in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have restlessness and remorse in me.’ They understand how restlessness and remorse arise; how, when they’ve already arisen, they’re given up; and how, once they’re given up, they don’t arise again in the future.
  
“No, sir.
+
When they have doubt in them, they understand: ‘I have doubt in me.’ When they don’t have doubt in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have doubt in me.’ They understand how doubt arises; how, when it’s already arisen, it’s given up; and how, once it’s given up, it doesn’t arise again in the future.
  
“Knowing and seeing in this way, would you believe that the observances and noisy, superstitious rites of the various ascetics and brahmins are the most important things?”
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of principles internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the principles as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that principles exist, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.
  
“No, sir.
+
That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five hindrances.
  
“Are you not speaking only of what you have known and seen and realized for yourselves?”
 
  
“Yes, sir.
+
4.2. The Aggregates
 +
Furthermore, a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five grasping aggregates. And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five grasping aggregates? It’s when a mendicant contemplates: ‘Such is form, such is the origin of form, such is the ending of form. Such is feeling, such is the origin of feeling, such is the ending of feeling. Such is perception, such is the origin of perception, such is the ending of perception. Such are choices, such is the origin of choices, such is the ending of choices. Such is consciousness, such is the origin of consciousness, such is the ending of consciousness.
  
“Good, mendicants! You have been guided by me with this teaching that’s visible in this very life, immediately effective, inviting inspection, relevant, so that sensible people can know it for themselves. For when I said that this teaching is visible in this very life, immediately effective, inviting inspection, relevant, so that sensible people can know it for themselves, this is what I was referring to.
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of principles internally …
  
Mendicants, when three things come together an embryo is conceived. In a case where the mother and father come together, but the mother is not in the fertile part of her menstrual cycle, and the spirit being reborn is not present, the embryo is not conceived. In a case where the mother and father come together, the mother is in the fertile part of her menstrual cycle, but the spirit being reborn is not present, the embryo is not conceived. But when these three things come together—the mother and father come together, the mother is in the fertile part of her menstrual cycle, and the spirit being reborn is present—an embryo is conceived.
+
That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five grasping aggregates.
  
The mother nurtures the embryo in her womb for nine or ten months at great risk to her heavy burden. When nine or ten months have passed, the mother gives birth at great risk to her heavy burden. When the infant is born she nourishes it with her own blood. For mother’s milk is regarded as blood in the training of the noble one.
 
  
That boy grows up and his faculties mature. He accordingly plays childish games such as toy plows, tipcat, somersaults, pinwheels, toy measures, toy carts, and toy bows.
+
4.3. The Sense Fields
 +
Furthermore, a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the six interior and exterior sense fields. And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles with respect to the six interior and exterior sense fields?
  
That boy grows up and his faculties mature further. He accordingly amuses himself, supplied and provided with the five kinds of sensual stimulation. Sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing.
+
It’s when a mendicant understands the eye, sights, and the fetter that arises dependent on both of these. They understand how the fetter that has not arisen comes to arise; how the arisen fetter comes to be abandoned; and how the abandoned fetter comes to not rise again in the future.
  
Sounds known by the ear …
+
They understand the ear, sounds, and the fetter
  
Smells known by the nose …
+
They understand the nose, smells, and the fetter
  
Tastes known by the tongue …
+
They understand the tongue, tastes, and the fetter
  
Touches known by the body that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing.
+
They understand the body, touches, and the fetter …
  
When they see a sight with their eyes, if it’s pleasant they desire it, but if it’s unpleasant they dislike it. They live with mindfulness of the body unestablished and their heart restricted. And they don’t truly understand the freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom where those arisen bad, unskillful qualities cease without anything left over.
+
They understand the mind, thoughts, and the fetter that arises dependent on both of these. They understand how the fetter that has not arisen comes to arise; how the arisen fetter comes to be abandoned; and how the abandoned fetter comes to not rise again in the future.
  
Being so full of favoring and opposing, when they experience any kind of feeling—pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral—they approve, welcome, and keep clinging to it. This gives rise to relishing. Relishing feelings is grasping. Their grasping is a condition for continued existence. Continued existence is a condition for rebirth. Rebirth is a condition for old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress to come to be. That is how this entire mass of suffering originates.
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of principles internally …
  
When they hear a sound with their ears …
+
That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the six internal and external sense fields.
  
When they smell an odor with their nose …
 
  
When they taste a flavor with their tongue …
+
4.4. The Awakening Factors
 +
Furthermore, a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the seven awakening factors. And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles with respect to the seven awakening factors?
  
When they feel a touch with their body …
+
It’s when a mendicant who has the awakening factor of mindfulness in them understands: ‘I have the awakening factor of mindfulness in me.’ When they don’t have the awakening factor of mindfulness in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have the awakening factor of mindfulness in me.’ They understand how the awakening factor of mindfulness that has not arisen comes to arise; and how the awakening factor of mindfulness that has arisen becomes fulfilled by development.
  
When they know a thought with their mind, if it’s pleasant they desire it, but if it’s unpleasant they dislike it. They live with mindfulness of the body unestablished and their heart restricted. And they don’t truly understand the freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom where those arisen bad, unskillful qualities cease without anything left over.
+
When they have the awakening factor of investigation of principles … energy … rapture … tranquility … immersion … equanimity in them, they understand: ‘I have the awakening factor of equanimity in me.’ When they don’t have the awakening factor of equanimity in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have the awakening factor of equanimity in me.They understand how the awakening factor of equanimity that has not arisen comes to arise; and how the awakening factor of equanimity that has arisen becomes fulfilled by development.
  
Being so full of favoring and opposing, when they experience any kind of feeling—pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral—they approve, welcome, and keep clinging to it. This gives rise to relishing. Relishing feelings is grasping. Their grasping is a condition for continued existence. Continued existence is a condition for rebirth. Rebirth is a condition for old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress to come to be. That is how this entire mass of suffering originates.
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of principles internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the principles as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that principles exist, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.
  
But consider when a Realized One arises in the world, perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed. He has realized with his own insight this world—with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—and he makes it known to others. He proclaims a teaching that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing. He reveals an entirely full and pure spiritual life.
+
That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the seven awakening factors.
  
A householder hears that teaching, or a householder’s child, or someone reborn in some good family. They gain faith in the Realized One, and reflect, ‘Living in a house is cramped and dirty, but the life of one gone forth is wide open. It’s not easy for someone living at home to lead the spiritual life utterly full and pure, like a polished shell. Why don’t I cut off my hair and beard, dress in ocher robes, and go forth from lay life to homelessness?’ After some time they give up a large or small fortune, and a large or small family circle. They shave off hair and beard, dress in ocher robes, and go forth from the lay life to homelessness.
 
  
Once they’ve gone forth, they take up the training and livelihood of the mendicants. They give up killing living creatures, renouncing the rod and the sword. They’re scrupulous and kind, living full of compassion for all living beings.
+
4.5. The Truths
 +
Furthermore, a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the four noble truths.
  
They give up stealing. They take only what’s given, and expect only what’s given. They keep themselves clean by not thieving.
+
And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles with respect to the four noble truths? It’s when a mendicant truly understands: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering.
  
They give up unchastity. They are celibate, set apart, avoiding the common practice of sex.
+
And so they meditate observing an aspect of principles internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the principles as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that principles exist, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.
  
They give up lying. They speak the truth and stick to the truth. They’re honest and trustworthy, and don’t trick the world with their words.
+
That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the four noble truths.
  
They give up divisive speech. They don’t repeat in one place what they heard in another so as to divide people against each other. Instead, they reconcile those who are divided, supporting unity, delighting in harmony, loving harmony, speaking words that promote harmony.
 
  
They give up harsh speech. They speak in a way that’s mellow, pleasing to the ear, lovely, going to the heart, polite, likable and agreeable to the people.
+
Anyone who develops these four kinds of mindfulness meditation in this way for seven years can expect one of two results: enlightenment in the present life, or if there’s something left over, non-return.
  
They give up talking nonsense. Their words are timely, true, and meaningful, in line with the teaching and training. They say things at the right time which are valuable, reasonable, succinct, and beneficial.
+
Let alone seven years, anyone who develops these four kinds of mindfulness meditation in this way for six years … five years … four years … three years … two years … one year … seven months … six months … five months … four months … three months … two months … one month … a fortnight … Let alone a fortnight, anyone who develops these four kinds of mindfulness meditation in this way for seven days can expect one of two results: enlightenment in the present life, or if there’s something left over, non-return.
  
They avoid injuring plants and seeds. They eat in one part of the day, abstaining from eating at night and food at the wrong time. They avoid dancing, singing, music, and seeing shows. They avoid beautifying and adorning themselves with garlands, perfumes, and makeup. They avoid high and luxurious beds. They avoid receiving gold and money, raw grains, raw meat, women and girls, male and female bondservants, goats and sheep, chickens and pigs, elephants, cows, horses, and mares, and fields and land. They avoid running errands and messages; buying and selling; falsifying weights, metals, or measures; bribery, fraud, cheating, and duplicity; mutilation, murder, abduction, banditry, plunder, and violence.
+
‘The four kinds of mindfulness meditation are the path to convergence. They are in order to purify sentient beings, to get past sorrow and crying, to make an end of pain and sadness, to end the cycle of suffering, and to realize extinguishment.’ That’s what I said, and this is why I said it.”
 
 
They’re content with robes to look after the body and alms-food to look after the belly. Wherever they go, they set out taking only these things. They’re like a bird: wherever it flies, wings are its only burden. In the same way, a mendicant is content with robes to look after the body and alms-food to look after the belly. Wherever they go, they set out taking only these things. When they have this entire spectrum of noble ethics, they experience a blameless happiness inside themselves.
 
 
 
When they see a sight with their eyes, they don’t get caught up in the features and details. If the faculty of sight were left unrestrained, bad unskillful qualities of desire and aversion would become overwhelming. For this reason, they practice restraint, protecting the faculty of sight, and achieving its restraint.
 
 
 
When they hear a sound with their ears …
 
 
 
When they smell an odor with their nose …
 
 
 
When they taste a flavor with their tongue …
 
 
 
When they feel a touch with their body …
 
 
 
When they know a thought with their mind, they don’t get caught up in the features and details. If the faculty of mind were left unrestrained, bad unskillful qualities of desire and aversion would become overwhelming. For this reason, they practice restraint, protecting the faculty of mind, and achieving its restraint. When they have this noble sense restraint, they experience an unsullied bliss inside themselves.
 
 
 
They act with situational awareness when going out and coming back; when looking ahead and aside; when bending and extending the limbs; when bearing the outer robe, bowl and robes; when eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting; when urinating and defecating; when walking, standing, sitting, sleeping, waking, speaking, and keeping silent.
 
 
 
When they have this noble spectrum of ethics, this noble sense restraint, and this noble mindfulness and situational awareness, they frequent a secluded lodging—a wilderness, the root of a tree, a hill, a ravine, a mountain cave, a charnel ground, a forest, the open air, a heap of straw.
 
 
 
After the meal, they return from alms-round, sit down cross-legged with their body straight, and establish mindfulness right there. Giving up desire for the world, they meditate with a heart rid of desire, cleansing the mind of desire. Giving up ill will and malevolence, they meditate with a mind rid of ill will, full of compassion for all living beings, cleansing the mind of ill will. Giving up dullness and drowsiness, they meditate with a mind rid of dullness and drowsiness, perceiving light, mindful and aware, cleansing the mind of dullness and drowsiness. Giving up restlessness and remorse, they meditate without restlessness, their mind peaceful inside, cleansing the mind of restlessness and remorse. Giving up doubt, they meditate having gone beyond doubt, not undecided about skillful qualities, cleansing the mind of doubt.
 
 
 
They give up these five hindrances, corruptions of the heart that weaken wisdom. Then, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, they enter and remain in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected. Furthermore, as the placing of the mind and keeping it connected are stilled, a mendicant enters and remains in the second absorption … third absorption … fourth absorption.
 
 
 
When they see a sight with their eyes, if it’s pleasant they don’t desire it, and if it’s unpleasant they don’t dislike it. They live with mindfulness of the body established and a limitless heart. And they truly understand the freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom where those arisen bad, unskillful qualities cease without anything left over.
 
 
 
Having given up favoring and opposing, when they experience any kind of feeling—pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral—they don’t approve, welcome, or keep clinging to it. As a result, relishing of feelings ceases. When their relishing ceases, grasping ceases. When grasping ceases, continued existence ceases. When continued existence ceases, rebirth ceases. When rebirth ceases, old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress cease. That is how this entire mass of suffering ceases.
 
 
 
When they hear a sound with their ears …
 
 
 
When they smell an odor with their nose …
 
 
 
When they taste a flavor with their tongue …
 
 
 
When they feel a touch with their body …
 
 
 
When they know a thought with their mind, if it’s pleasant they don’t desire it, and if it’s unpleasant they don’t dislike it. They live with mindfulness of the body established and a limitless heart. And they truly understand the freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom where those arisen bad, unskillful qualities cease without anything left over.
 
 
 
Having given up favoring and opposing, when they experience any kind of feeling—pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral—they don’t approve, welcome, or keep clinging to it. As a result, relishing of feelings ceases. When their relishing ceases, grasping ceases. When grasping ceases, continued existence ceases. When continued existence ceases, rebirth ceases. When rebirth ceases, old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress cease. That is how this entire mass of suffering ceases.
 
 
 
Mendicants, you should memorize that brief statement on freedom through the ending of craving. But the mendicant Sāti, the fisherman’s son, is caught in a vast net of craving, a tangle of craving.”
 
  
 
That is what the Buddha said. Satisfied, the mendicants were happy with what the Buddha said.
 
That is what the Buddha said. Satisfied, the mendicants were happy with what the Buddha said.
Line 329: Line 251:
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
 
<references/>
 
<references/>
 
==Sources==
 
* {{AI citation|https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.038.than.html|Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta: The Greater Craving-Destruction Discourse}}
 
* {{SuttaCentral citation|https://suttacentral.net/mn38/en/sujato|The Longer Discourse on the Ending of Craving (MN 38)}}
 
  
  
 +
[[Category:Majjhima Nikaya]]
 
{{Our content}}
 
{{Our content}}
 
 
[[Category:Majjhima Nikaya]]
 

Revision as of 10:19, 24 August 2019

The Satipatthana Sutta (P. Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta; C. Nianchu jing), or the Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness, is generally regarded as the canonical Buddhist text with the fullest instructions on training in mindfullness (Satipatthana).[1]

According to Bhikkhu Bodhi: "The practice of Satipatthana meditation centers on the methodical cultivation of one simple mental faculty readily available to all of us at any moment. This is the faculty of mindfulness, the capacity for attending to the content of our experience as it becomes manifest in the immediate present."[1]

The title has been translated into English as:

  • Mindfulness Meditation (Sujato)
  • Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness (Bodhi)
  • The Discourse on the Arousing of Mindfulness (Soma Thera)

Text

Pali Canon

This sutta is included the the Majjhima Nikaya of the Pali Canon. The sutta is identified within the canon as:

  • MN 10
  • DN 22

SuttaCentral identifies parallel sections of text within other suttas of the Pali Canon.[2]

Chinese Canon

SuttaCentral identifies several parallel texts within the Chinese Canon.[2]

Translations into English

Translations from Pali:

Translation from SuttaCentral

This translation of the text Mindfulness Meditation (MN 10) is published by SuttaCentral under license CC0 1.0. Translation by Bhikkhu Sujato. SuttaCentral icon square 170px.png

Mindfulness Meditation (MN 10)

SO I HAVE HEARD. At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Kurus, near the Kuru town named Kammāsadamma. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“Mendicants, the four kinds of mindfulness meditation are the path to convergence. They are in order to purify sentient beings, to get past sorrow and crying, to make an end of pain and sadness, to end the cycle of suffering, and to realize extinguishment.

What four? It’s when a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. They meditate observing an aspect of feelings—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. They meditate observing an aspect of the mind—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. They meditate observing an aspect of principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world.

1. Observing the Body
1.1. Mindfulness of Breathing
And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of the body?

It’s when a mendicant—gone to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut—sits down cross-legged, with their body straight, and focuses their mindfulness right there. Just mindful, they breathe in. Mindful, they breathe out.

When breathing in heavily they know: ‘I’m breathing in heavily.’ When breathing out heavily they know: ‘I’m breathing out heavily.’

When breathing in lightly they know: ‘I’m breathing in lightly.’ When breathing out lightly they know: ‘I’m breathing out lightly.’

They practice breathing in experiencing the whole body. They practice breathing out experiencing the whole body.

They practice breathing in stilling the body’s motion. They practice breathing out stilling the body’s motion.

It’s like a deft carpenter or carpenter’s apprentice. When making a deep cut they know: ‘I’m making a deep cut,’ and when making a shallow cut they know: ‘I’m making a shallow cut.’

And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the body as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that the body exists, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.

That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.


1.2. The Postures
Furthermore, when a mendicant is walking they know: ‘I am walking.’ When standing they know: ‘I am standing.’ When sitting they know: ‘I am sitting.’ And when lying down they know: ‘I am lying down.’ Whatever posture their body is in, they know it.

And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the body as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that the body exists, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.

That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.


1.3. Situational Awareness
Furthermore, a mendicant acts with situational awareness when going out and coming back; when looking ahead and aside; when bending and extending the limbs; when bearing the outer robe, bowl and robes; when eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting; when urinating and defecating; when walking, standing, sitting, sleeping, waking, speaking, and keeping silent.

And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally …

That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.


1.4. Focusing on the Repulsive
Furthermore, a mendicant examines their own body, up from the soles of the feet and down from the tips of the hairs, wrapped in skin and full of many kinds of filth. ‘In this body there is head hair, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, undigested food, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, snot, synovial fluid, urine.’

It’s as if there were a bag with openings at both ends, filled with various kinds of grains, such as fine rice, wheat, mung beans, peas, sesame, and ordinary rice. And someone with good eyesight were to open it and examine the contents: ‘These grains are fine rice, these are wheat, these are mung beans, these are peas, these are sesame, and these are ordinary rice.’


And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally …

That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.


1.5. Focusing on the Elements
Furthermore, a mendicant examines their own body, whatever its placement or posture, according to the elements: ‘In this body there is the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element.’

It’s as if a deft butcher or butcher’s apprentice were to kill a cow and sit down at the crossroads with the meat cut into portions.


And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally …

That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.


1.6. The Charnel Ground Contemplations
Furthermore, suppose a mendicant were to see a corpse discarded in a charnel ground. And it had been dead for one, two, or three days, bloated, livid, and festering. They’d compare it with their own body: ‘This body is also of that same nature, that same kind, and cannot go beyond that.’

That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.

Furthermore, suppose they were to see a corpse discarded in a charnel ground being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, herons, dogs, tigers, leopards, jackals, and many kinds of little creatures. They’d compare it with their own body: ‘This body is also of that same nature, that same kind, and cannot go beyond that.’

That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.

Furthermore, suppose they were to see a corpse discarded in a charnel ground, a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together by sinews …

A skeleton without flesh but smeared with blood, and held together by sinews …

A skeleton rid of flesh and blood, held together by sinews …

Bones rid of sinews scattered in every direction. Here a hand-bone, there a foot-bone, here a shin-bone, there a thigh-bone, here a hip-bone, there a rib-bone, here a back-bone, there an arm-bone, here a neck-bone, there a jaw-bone, here a tooth, there the skull …

White bones, the color of shells …

Decrepit bones, heaped in a pile …

Bones rotted and crumbled to powder. They’d compare it with their own body: ‘This body is also of that same nature, that same kind, and cannot go beyond that.’

And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the body as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that the body exists, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.

That too is how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.


2. Observing the Feelings
And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of feelings?

It’s when a mendicant who feels a pleasant feeling knows: ‘I feel a pleasant feeling.’

When they feel a painful feeling, they know: ‘I feel a painful feeling.’

When they feel a neutral feeling, they know: ‘I feel a neutral feeling.’

When they feel a material pleasant feeling, they know: ‘I feel a material pleasant feeling.’

When they feel a spiritual pleasant feeling, they know: ‘I feel a spiritual pleasant feeling.’

When they feel a material painful feeling, they know: ‘I feel a material painful feeling.’

When they feel a spiritual painful feeling, they know: ‘I feel a spiritual painful feeling.’

When they feel a material neutral feeling, they know: ‘I feel a material neutral feeling.’

When they feel a spiritual neutral feeling, they know: ‘I feel a spiritual neutral feeling.’

And so they meditate observing an aspect of the feelings internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing feelings as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that feelings exist, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.

That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of feelings.


3. Observing the Mind
And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of the mind?

It’s when a mendicant knows mind with greed as ‘mind with greed,’ and mind without greed as ‘mind without greed.’ They know mind with hate as ‘mind with hate,’ and mind without hate as ‘mind without hate.’ They know mind with delusion as ‘mind with delusion,’ and mind without delusion as ‘mind without delusion.’ They know constricted mind as ‘constricted mind,’ and scattered mind as ‘scattered mind.’ They know expansive mind as ‘expansive mind,’ and unexpansive mind as ‘unexpansive mind.’ They know mind that is not supreme as ‘mind that is not supreme,’ and mind that is supreme as ‘mind that is supreme.’ They know mind immersed in samādhi as ‘mind immersed in samādhi,’ and mind not immersed in samādhi as ‘mind not immersed in samādhi.’ They know freed mind as ‘freed mind,’ and unfreed mind as ‘unfreed mind.’

And so they meditate observing an aspect of the mind internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the mind as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that the mind exists, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.

That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the mind.


4. Observing Principles
4.1. The Hindrances
And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles?

It’s when a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five hindrances. And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five hindrances?

It’s when a mendicant who has sensual desire in them understands: ‘I have sensual desire in me.’ When they don’t have sensual desire in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have sensual desire in me.’ They understand how sensual desire arises; how, when it’s already arisen, it’s given up; and how, once it’s given up, it doesn’t arise again in the future.

When they have ill will in them, they understand: ‘I have ill will in me.’ When they don’t have ill will in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have ill will in me.’ They understand how ill will arises; how, when it’s already arisen, it’s given up; and how, once it’s given up, it doesn’t arise again in the future.

When they have dullness and drowsiness in them, they understand: ‘I have dullness and drowsiness in me.’ When they don’t have dullness and drowsiness in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have dullness and drowsiness in me.’ They understand how dullness and drowsiness arise; how, when they’ve already arisen, they’re given up; and how, once they’re given up, they don’t arise again in the future.

When they have restlessness and remorse in them, they understand: ‘I have restlessness and remorse in me.’ When they don’t have restlessness and remorse in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have restlessness and remorse in me.’ They understand how restlessness and remorse arise; how, when they’ve already arisen, they’re given up; and how, once they’re given up, they don’t arise again in the future.

When they have doubt in them, they understand: ‘I have doubt in me.’ When they don’t have doubt in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have doubt in me.’ They understand how doubt arises; how, when it’s already arisen, it’s given up; and how, once it’s given up, it doesn’t arise again in the future.

And so they meditate observing an aspect of principles internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the principles as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that principles exist, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.

That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five hindrances.


4.2. The Aggregates
Furthermore, a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five grasping aggregates. And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five grasping aggregates? It’s when a mendicant contemplates: ‘Such is form, such is the origin of form, such is the ending of form. Such is feeling, such is the origin of feeling, such is the ending of feeling. Such is perception, such is the origin of perception, such is the ending of perception. Such are choices, such is the origin of choices, such is the ending of choices. Such is consciousness, such is the origin of consciousness, such is the ending of consciousness.’

And so they meditate observing an aspect of principles internally …

That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the five grasping aggregates.


4.3. The Sense Fields
Furthermore, a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the six interior and exterior sense fields. And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles with respect to the six interior and exterior sense fields?

It’s when a mendicant understands the eye, sights, and the fetter that arises dependent on both of these. They understand how the fetter that has not arisen comes to arise; how the arisen fetter comes to be abandoned; and how the abandoned fetter comes to not rise again in the future.

They understand the ear, sounds, and the fetter …

They understand the nose, smells, and the fetter …

They understand the tongue, tastes, and the fetter …

They understand the body, touches, and the fetter …

They understand the mind, thoughts, and the fetter that arises dependent on both of these. They understand how the fetter that has not arisen comes to arise; how the arisen fetter comes to be abandoned; and how the abandoned fetter comes to not rise again in the future.

And so they meditate observing an aspect of principles internally …

That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the six internal and external sense fields.


4.4. The Awakening Factors
Furthermore, a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the seven awakening factors. And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles with respect to the seven awakening factors?

It’s when a mendicant who has the awakening factor of mindfulness in them understands: ‘I have the awakening factor of mindfulness in me.’ When they don’t have the awakening factor of mindfulness in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have the awakening factor of mindfulness in me.’ They understand how the awakening factor of mindfulness that has not arisen comes to arise; and how the awakening factor of mindfulness that has arisen becomes fulfilled by development.

When they have the awakening factor of investigation of principles … energy … rapture … tranquility … immersion … equanimity in them, they understand: ‘I have the awakening factor of equanimity in me.’ When they don’t have the awakening factor of equanimity in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have the awakening factor of equanimity in me.’ They understand how the awakening factor of equanimity that has not arisen comes to arise; and how the awakening factor of equanimity that has arisen becomes fulfilled by development.

And so they meditate observing an aspect of principles internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the principles as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that principles exist, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.

That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the seven awakening factors.


4.5. The Truths
Furthermore, a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the four noble truths.

And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of principles with respect to the four noble truths? It’s when a mendicant truly understands: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering.’

And so they meditate observing an aspect of principles internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the principles as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that principles exist, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.

That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of principles with respect to the four noble truths.


Anyone who develops these four kinds of mindfulness meditation in this way for seven years can expect one of two results: enlightenment in the present life, or if there’s something left over, non-return.

Let alone seven years, anyone who develops these four kinds of mindfulness meditation in this way for six years … five years … four years … three years … two years … one year … seven months … six months … five months … four months … three months … two months … one month … a fortnight … Let alone a fortnight, anyone who develops these four kinds of mindfulness meditation in this way for seven days can expect one of two results: enlightenment in the present life, or if there’s something left over, non-return.

‘The four kinds of mindfulness meditation are the path to convergence. They are in order to purify sentient beings, to get past sorrow and crying, to make an end of pain and sadness, to end the cycle of suffering, and to realize extinguishment.’ That’s what I said, and this is why I said it.”

That is what the Buddha said. Satisfied, the mendicants were happy with what the Buddha said.

  - Translated by Bhikkhu Sujato, SuttaCentral

See also

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Access to insight icon 50px.png The Way of Mindfulness, Message from Bhikkhu Bodhi, Access to Insight
  2. 2.0 2.1 SuttaCentral icon square 170px.png Mindfulness Meditation, SuttaCentral; click down-arrow to view "parallel texts"
This article is developed by our editors based on the sources cited. Our team icon 75px.png