In all references to vedanā in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta the Buddha speaks of sukhā vedanā, dukkhā vedanā, i.e., the body sensations; or adukkhamasukhā. The following sutta contains the longest treatment of satipaṭṭhāna found in the Canon. However, despite its length, its treatment of the topic is far from complete . Maha Satipatthana Sutta A sutta should be read again and again as you will tend to forget its The original Pàëi text of this Sutta can be found in Mahà-.
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The term sati is related to the verb sarati, to remember or to keep in mind. The role of mindfulness is to keep the mind properly focused in frames of reference that will give it guidance in what present events to develop, and which ones to abandon, so as to keep it on the path. To make an analogy, awakening is like a mountain on the horizon, the destination to which you are driving a car.
Mindfulness is what remembers to keep attention focused on the road to the mountain, rather than letting it stay focused on glimpses of the mountain or get distracted by other paths leading away from the road.
In the noble eightfold path, it is the seventh factor, following on right effort and leading to right concentration.
In the five strengths and five faculties, it is the third factor, following on persistence and leading to concentration. In the seven factors for awakening, it is the first factor, providing a foundation for the remaining six factors: However, despite its length, its treatment of the topic is far from complete.
This partly has to do with the nature of the topic itself. Among other things, there is no discussion of how ardency functions in the practice, of what it means to subdue greed and distress with reference to the world, of how the various frames of reference interact in practice, nor of what the stages in the practice are.
For this information, we have to look at other treatments of these topics found elsewhere in the Canon. Thus mindfulness keeps the proper frame of reference in mind, alertness watches events related to that frame of reference, and these two qualities together give guidance to ardency so that it can, in line with right effort, abandon things that need to be abandoned, and to develop those that need to be developed. Instead, it means being focused on how phenomena arise in connection with causes.
For instance, when focused on the body, one may notice what causes breath sensations to arise and pass away within it. For example, one might notice what causes feelings of pleasure or mental states of irritation to arise and pass away in connection to events in the body.
Here again, ardency in the practice of right effort and right concentration is what allows for this sort of understanding to arise. This means actively getting engaged in maximizing skillful mental qualities and minimizing unskillful ones.
One thus develops insight into the process of origination and passing away by satipatthanx an active and sensitive role in the process, just as you learn about eggs by trying to cook with them, gathering experience from your successes and failures in attempting increasingly difficult dishes.
And he remains independent, unsustained by [not clinging to] anything in the world. Thus he regards it [this mode of perception] as empty of whatever is not there.
Whatever remains, he discerns as present: The notes to this sutta provide some beginning guidance in where to look for this further information, as do the recommended sutta readings listed at the end. I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Kurus.
The Blessed One said: These are mung beans. These are kidney beans. These are sesame seeds. Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of sensual desire once it has arisen.
There is the case where a monk [discerns]: Such suttw feeling… Such is perception… Such are fabrications… Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance. There is the case where he discerns the eye, he discerns forms, he discerns the fetter that arises dependent on both. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of a fetter once it has arisen. And he discerns how there is no further appearance in the future of a fetter that has been abandoned.
And he discerns how there is the culmination of the development of mindfulness as a factor for awakening once it has arisen. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful. Whatever aging, satipztthana, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging. Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.
Whatever mah, sorrowing, sadness, inward sorrow, inward sadness of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called sorrow.
Whatever crying, grieving, lamenting, sqtipatthana, wailing, lamentation of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called lamentation. Whatever is experienced as bodily pain, bodily discomfort, pain or discomfort born of bodily contact, that is called pain.
Whatever is experienced as mental pain, mental discomfort, pain or discomfort born of mental contact, that is called distress.
Whatever despair, despondency, desperation of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a mana thing, that is called despair. This is called the stress of association with the unbeloved. This is called the stress of separation from the loved.
This is the stress of not getting what is wanted. The form clinging-aggregate, the feeling sufta, the perception clinging-aggregate, the fabrications clinging-aggregate, the consciousness clinging-aggregate: These are called the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stressful.
DN 22 Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta | The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahq where, when dwelling, does it dwell? That is where, when dwelling, it dwells. That is where this craving, when arising, arises. Feeling born of ear-contact…. Feeling born of nose-contact…. Feeling born of tongue-contact….
Buddhist Scriptures: Mahasatipatthana Sutta
Feeling born of body-contact…. Feeling born of intellect-contact…. Perception of tactile sensations…. Satipattgana for tactile sensations…. Craving for tactile sensations…. Thought directed at sounds…. Thought directed at aromas…. Thought directed at tastes…. Thought directed at tactile sensations…. Thought directed at ideas…. Evaluation of tactile sensations…. And where, when ceasing, does it cease? That is where, when ceasing, it ceases. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned.
Just this very noble eightfold path: Knowledge with reference to stress, knowledge with reference to the maua of stress, knowledge with reference to the cessation of stress, knowledge with reference to sugta way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view. And what is right resolve? Resolve for renunciation, resolve for freedom from ill will, resolve for harmlessness: This is called right resolve.
This is called right speech. This is called right action. There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood. This is called right livelihood. This is called right effort. This is called right mindfulness.
This is called right concentration. If anyone would develop these four establishings of mindfulness in this way for six years… five… four… three… two years… one year… seven months… six months… five… four… three… two months… one month… half a month, one of two fruits can be expected for him: If anyone would develop these four establishings of mindfulness in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: In each of the similes, the Buddha describes his knowledge of the destination of an individual on a particular path of practice.
He sees that the way the individual conducts himself will lead inevitably to a particular destination. This is how one is ardent.
This is how mindfulness is the governing principle. There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they become established, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known mahaa they become established, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they become established, sstipatthana as they subside.
This is how a monk is alert. This is called the faculty of mindfulness. Then sjtta certain monk went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: Consciousness at the eye disintegrates. Contact at the eye disintegrates. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye—experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain—that too disintegrates.
Consciousness at the intellect disintegrates. Contact at the intellect disintegrates.