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Bốn pháp Lập Niệm (kinh Niệm Xứ)

Kinh Lập Niệm (Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, MN 10) (dựa theo bản Việt dịch của Hòa thượng Thích Minh Châu, đối chiếu với các bản Anh dịch của Bhikkhu Analayo, Bhikkhu Bodhi, và Gs Gethin)

Như vầy tôi nghe. Một thời Thế Tôn ở xứ Kuru (Câu-lâu), tại thị trấn Kammāsadhamma (Kiềm-ma Sắt-đàm) của người Kuru. Rồi Thế Tôn gọi các tỳ-khưu: – Này các tỳ-khưu. Các tỳ-khưu vâng đáp Thế Tôn: – Bạch Thế Tôn. Thế Tôn thuyết như sau:

[CON ĐƯỜNG NHẤT HƯỚNG, TRỰC TIẾP]

– Này các tỳ-khưu, đây là con đường nhất hướng để thanh tịnh hóa chúng sinh, vượt khỏi sầu não và khổ ưu, thành tựu chánh đạo, chứng ngộ Niết-bàn – đó là bốn pháp lập niệm.

[ĐỊNH NGHĨA]

Thế nào là bốn? Này các tỳ-khưu, tỳ-khưu sống quán thân như thân, nhiệt tâm, tỉnh giác, niệm, chế ngự tham ưu ở đời; sống quán thọ như các thọ, nhiệt tâm, tỉnh giác, niệm, chế ngự tham ưu ở đời; sống quán tâm như tâm, nhiệt tâm, tỉnh giác, niệm, chế ngự tham ưu ở đời; sống quán pháp như các pháp, nhiệt tâm, tỉnh giác, niệm, chế ngự tham ưu ở đời.

[QUÁN HƠI THỞ]

Và này các tỳ-khưu, thế nào là tỳ-khưu sống quán thân như thân? Ở đây, tỳ-khưu đi đến khu rừng, đi đến gốc cây, hay đi đến ngôi nhà trống và ngồi xuống. Sau khi xếp tréo chân, lưng thẳng và an trú niệm trước mặt, vị ấy thở vô với ghi nhận rõ ràng, vị ấy thở ra với ghi nhận rõ ràng.

Thở vô dài, vị ấy biết rõ: “Tôi thở vô dài”; hay thở ra dài, vị ấy biết rõ: “Tôi thở ra dài”; hay thở vô ngắn, vị ấy biết rõ: “Tôi thở vô ngắn”; hay thở ra ngắn, vị ấy biết rõ: “Tôi thở ra ngắn”. “Cảm giác toàn thân, tôi sẽ thở vô”, vị ấy tập; “Cảm giác toàn thân, tôi sẽ thở ra”, vị ấy tập; “An tịnh toàn thân, tôi sẽ thở vô”, vị ấy tập; “An tịnh toàn thân, tôi sẽ thở ra”, vị ấy tập.

Như người thợ quay thiện xảo, hay học trò của người ấy, khi quay vòng dài, biết rõ: “Tôi quay vòng dài”; hay khi quay vòng ngắn, biết rõ: “Tôi quay vòng ngắn”. Cũng vậy, tỳ-khưu thở vô dài, biết rõ: “Tôi thở vô dài;”… “An tịnh toàn thân, tôi sẽ thở ra”, vị ấy tập.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán thân như thân bên trong hay sống quán thân như thân bên ngoài; hay sống quán thân như thân bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi trong thân; hay sống quán tính diệt tận trong thân; hay sống quán tính sinh và diệt trong thân. Hay niệm “có thân đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán thân như thân.

[CÁC OAI NGHI]

Lại nữa, này các tỳ-khưu, tỳ-khưu đi, biết rõ: “Tôi đi”; hay đứng, biết rõ: “Tôi đứng”; hay ngồi, biết rõ: “Tôi ngồi”; hay nằm, biết rõ: “Tôi nằm”. Thân thể ở oai nghi như thế nào, vị ấy biết rõ thân như thế ấy.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán thân như thân bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong thân … sinh và diệt trong thân. Hay niệm “có thân đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán thân như thân.

[CÁC SINH HOẠT]

Lại nữa, này các tỳ-khưu, tỳ-khưu khi bước tới bước lui, biết rõ việc mình đang làm; khi nhìn tới nhìn lui, biết rõ việc mình đang làm; khi co tay, khi duỗi tay, biết rõ việc mình đang làm; khi mặc và mang y, mang bát, biết rõ việc mình đang làm; khi ăn, uống, nhai, nếm, biết rõ việc mình đang làm; khi đại tiện, tiểu tiện, biết rõ việc mình đang làm; khi đi, đứng, ngồi, ngủ, thức dậy, nói, giữ im lặng, biết rõ việc mình đang làm.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán thân như thân bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong thân … sinh và diệt trong thân. Hay niệm “có thân đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán thân như thân.

[CÁC BỘ PHẬN CƠ THỀ]

Lại nữa, này các tỳ-khưu, tỳ-khưu quán sát thân này, từ bàn chân trở lên, từ đỉnh tóc trở xuống, bao bọc bởi da và chứa đầy những vật bất tịnh khác nhau, như sau: “Ðây là tóc, lông, móng, răng, da, thịt, gân, xương, tủy, thận, tim, gan, hoành cách mô, lá lách, phổi, ruột, màng ruột, thức ăn trong dạ dầy, phân, mật, đàm, mủ, máu, mồ hôi, mỡ, nước mắt, mỡ da, nước miếng, niêm dịch, nước ở khớp xương, và nước tiểu”.

Cũng như một bao chứa mở hai đầu đựng đầy các loại hạt như gạo đỏ, lúa, đậu xanh, đậu lớn, mè, gạo trắng. Một người có mắt, đổ các hột ấy ra và quán sát: “Ðây là gạo đỏ, đây là lúa, đây là đậu xanh, đây là đậu lớn, đây là mè, đây là gạo trắng”. Cũng vậy, tỳ-khưu quán sát thân này … chứa đầy những vật bất tịnh khác nhau, như sau: “Ðây là tóc, lông, … nước tiểu”.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán thân như thân bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong thân … sinh và diệt trong thân. Hay niệm “có thân đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán thân như thân.

[CÁC PHẦN TỬ]

Lại nữa, này các tỳ-khưu, tỳ-khưu quán sát thân này, ở bất cứ vị trí hay oai nghi nào, chỉ gồm có các phần tử: “Trong thân này có địa đại, thủy đại, hỏa đại và phong đại”.

Như một người đồ tể thiện xảo, hay học trò của người ấy, giết một con bò rồi ngồi cắt chia từng phần tại ngã tư đường. Cũng vậy, này các tỳ-khưu, tỳ-khưu quán sát thân này, ở bất cứ vị trí hay oai nghi nào, chỉ gồm có các phần tử: “Trong thân này có địa đại, thủy đại, hỏa đại và phong đại”.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán thân như thân bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong thân … sinh và diệt trong thân. Hay niệm “có thân đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán thân như thân.

[TỬ THI SÌNH THỐI]

Lại nữa, này các tỳ-khưu, như thể khi thấy một tử thi bị quăng bỏ trong nghĩa địa một ngày, hai ngày, ba ngày đã chết, trương phồng lên, xanh đen lại, rữa nát, … bị các loài quạ ăn, hay bị các loài diều hâu ăn, hay bị các chim kên ăn, hay bị các loài chó ăn, hay bị các loài giả can ăn, hay bị các loài giòi bọ ăn, … bộ xương còn dính thịt và máu, được các đường gân cột lại, … bộ xương không còn dính thịt nhưng còn dính máu, còn được các đường gân cột lại, … với bộ xương không còn dính thịt và máu, còn được các đường gân cột lại, … chỉ còn các khúc xương không dính lại với nhau, rải rác chỗ này chỗ kia, … xương trắng màu vỏ ốc, … xương chất đống đã hơn một năm, … xương đã mục nát thành bột, tỳ-khưu quán thân ấy như sau: “Thân này là như vậy, bản chất là như vậy, là điều tất yếu không ngoại lệ”.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán thân như thân bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong thân … sinh và diệt trong thân. Hay niệm “có thân đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán thân như thân.

[CÁC CẢM THỌ]

Này các tỳ-khưu, như thế nào là tỳ-khưu sống quán thọ như các thọ? Ở đây tỳ-khưu khi cảm giác lạc thọ, biết rõ: “Tôi cảm giác lạc thọ”; khi cảm giác khổ thọ, biết rõ: “Tôi cảm giác khổ thọ”; khi cảm giác bất khổ bất lạc thọ, biết rõ: “Tôi cảm giác bất khổ bất lạc thọ”.

Hay khi cảm giác lạc thọ hiệp thế, biết rõ: “Tôi cảm giác lạc thọ hiệp thế”; hay khi cảm giác lạc thọ xuất thế, biết rõ: “Tôi cảm giác lạc thọ xuất thế”. Hay khi cảm giác khổ thọ hiệp thế, biết rõ: “Tôi cảm giác khổ thọ hiệp thế”; hay khi cảm giác khổ thọ xuất thế, biết rõ: “Tôi cảm giác khổ thọ xuất thế”. Hay khi cảm giác bất khổ bất lạc thọ hiệp thế, biết rõ: “Tôi cảm giác bất khổ bất lạc thọ hiệp thế”; hay khi cảm giác bất khổ bất lạc thọ xuất thế, biết rõ: “Tôi cảm giác bất khổ bất lạc thọ xuất thế”.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán thọ như các thọ bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong thọ … sinh và diệt trong thọ. Hay niệm “có thọ đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán thọ như các thọ.

[TÂM]

Này các tỳ-khưu, như thế nào là tỳ-khưu sống quán tâm như tâm? Ở đây, tỳ-khưu với tâm có tham, biết rõ: “Tâm có tham”; hay với tâm không tham, biết rõ: “Tâm không tham”. Hay với tâm có sân, biết rõ: “Tâm có sân”; hay với tâm không sân, biết rõ: “Tâm không sân”. Hay với tâm có si, biết rõ: “Tâm có si”; hay với tâm không si, biết rõ: “Tâm không si”. Hay với tâm thu hẹp, biết rõ: “Tâm thu hẹp”. Hay với tâm tán loạn, biết rõ: “Tâm tán loạn”. Hay với tâm quảng đại, biết rõ: “Tâm quảng đại”; hay với tâm không quảng đại, biết rõ: “Tâm không quảng đại”. Hay với tâm hạ liệt, biết rõ: “Tâm hạ liệt”. Hay với tâm vô thượng, biết rõ: “Tâm vô thượng”. Hay với tâm có định, biết rõ: “Tâm có định”; hay với tâm không định, biết rõ: “Tâm không định”. Hay với tâm giải thoát, biết rõ: “Tâm giải thoát”; hay với tâm không giải thoát, biết rõ: “Tâm không giải thoát”.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán tâm như tâm bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong tâm … sinh và diệt trong tâm. Hay niệm “có tâm đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán tâm như tâm.

[CÁC TRIỀN CÁI]

Này các tỳ-khưu, thế nào là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp? Ở đây, tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với năm triền cái. Và thế nào là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với năm triền cái?

Ở đây, khi trong tâm có tham dục, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có tham dục”; hay trong tâm không có tham dục, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có tham dục”. Và vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào tham dục chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào tham dục đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với tham dục đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

Khi trong tâm có sân hận, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có sân hận”; hay trong tâm không có sân hận, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có sân hận”. Và vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào sân hận chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào sân hận đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với sân hận đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

Khi trong tâm có hôn trầm thụy miên, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có hôn trầm thụy miên”; hay trong tâm không có hôn trầm thụy miên, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có hôn trầm thụy miên”. Và vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào hôn trầm thụy miên chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào hôn trầm thụy miên đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với hôn trầm thụy miên đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

Khi trong tâm có trạo hối, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có trạo hối”; hay trong tâm không có trạo hối, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có trạo hối”. Và vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào trạo hối chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào trạo hối đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với trạo hối đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

Khi trong tâm có nghi ngờ, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có nghi ngờ”; hay trong tâm không có nghi ngờ, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có nghi ngờ”. Và vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào nghi ngờ chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào nghi ngờ đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với nghi ngờ đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán pháp như các pháp bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong pháp … sinh và diệt trong pháp. Hay niệm “có pháp đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với năm triền cái.

[CÁC UẨN]

Lại nữa, này các tỳ-khưu, tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với năm thủ uẩn. Và thế nào là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với năm thủ uẩn? Ở đây, tỳ-khưu suy tư: “Ðây là sắc, đây là sắc sinh khởi, đây là sắc tàn diệt. Ðây là thọ, đây là thọ sinh khởi, đây là thọ tàn diệt. Ðây là tưởng, đây là tưởng sinh khởi; đây là tưởng tàn diệt. Ðây là hành, đây là hành sinh khởi, đây là hành tàn diệt. Ðây là thức, đây là thức sinh khởi, đây là thức tàn diệt”.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán pháp như các pháp bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong pháp … sinh và diệt trong pháp. Hay niệm “có pháp đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với năm uẩn.

[CÁC XỨ]

Lại nữa, này các tỳ-khưu, tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với sáu nội xứ và ngoại xứ. Và thế nào là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với sáu nội xứ và ngoại xứ?

Ở đây, tỳ-khưu biết rõ con mắt và biết rõ các sắc. Vị ấy biết rõ kiết sử sinh khởi do duyên hai pháp này; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với kiết sử đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

Tỳ-khưu biết rõ tai và biết rõ các âm thanh. Vị ấy biết rõ kiết sử sinh khởi do duyên hai pháp này; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với kiết sử đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

Tỳ-khưu biết rõ mũi và biết rõ các mùi hương. Vị ấy biết rõ kiết sử sinh khởi do duyên hai pháp này; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với kiết sử đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

Tỳ khưu biết rõ lưỡi và biết rõ các vị nếm. Vị ấy biết rõ kiết sử sinh khởi do duyên hai pháp này; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với kiết sử đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

Tỳ-khưu biết rõ thân và biết rõ các chạm xúc. Vị ấy biết rõ kiết sử sinh khởi do duyên hai pháp này; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với kiết sử đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

Tỳ-khưu biết rõ ý và biết rõ các đối tượng của ý. Vị ấy biết rõ kiết sử sinh khởi do duyên hai pháp này; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; biết rõ như thế nào kiết sử đã sinh, nay được đoạn diệt; và biết rõ như thế nào với kiết sử đã được đoạn diệt, trong tương lai không sinh khởi nữa.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán pháp như các pháp bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong pháp … sinh và diệt trong pháp. Hay niệm “có pháp đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với sáu nội xứ và ngoại xứ.

[CÁC GIÁC CHI]

Lại nữa, này các tỳ-khưu, tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với bảy giác chi. Và thế nào là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với bảy giác chi?

Ở đây, khi trong tâm có niệm giác chi, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có niệm giác chi”; hay trong tâm không có niệm giác chi, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có niệm giác chi”. Vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào niệm giác chi chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; và biết rõ như thế nào niệm giác chi đã sinh, nay được tu tập viên thành.

Khi trong tâm có trạch pháp giác chi, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có trạch pháp giác chi;” hay trong tâm không có trạch pháp giác chi, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có trạch pháp giác chi”. Vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào trạch pháp giác chi chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; và biết rõ như thế nào trạch pháp giác chi đã sinh, nay được tu tập viên thành.

Khi trong tâm có tinh tấn giác chi, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có tinh tấn giác chi”; hay trong tâm không có tinh tấn giác chi, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có tinh tấn giác chi”. Vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào tinh tấn giác chi chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; và biết rõ như thế nào tinh tấn giác chi đã sinh, nay được tu tập viên thành.

Khi trong tâm có khinh an giác chi, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có khinh an giác chi”; hay trong tâm không có khinh an giác chi, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có khinh an giác chi”. Vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào khinh an giác chi chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; và biết rõ như thế nào khinh an giác chi đã sinh, nay được tu tập viên thành.

Khi trong tâm có hỷ giác chi, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có hỷ giác chi”; hay trong tâm không có hỷ giác chi, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có hỷ giác chi”. Vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào hỷ giác chi chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; và biết rõ như thế nào hỷ giác chi đã sinh, nay được tu tập viên thành.

Khi trong tâm có định giác chi, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có định giác chi”; hay trong tâm không có định giác chi, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có định giác chi”. Vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào định giác chi chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; và biết rõ như thế nào định giác chi đã sinh, nay được tu tập viên thành.

Khi trong tâm có xả giác chi, tỳ-khưu biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi có xả giác chi”; hay trong tâm không có xả giác chi, biết rõ: “Trong tâm tôi không có xả giác chi”. Vị ấy biết rõ như thế nào xả giác chi chưa sinh, nay sinh khởi; và biết rõ như thế nào xả giác chi đã sinh, nay được tu tập viên thành.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán pháp như các pháp bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong pháp … sinh và diệt trong pháp. Hay niệm “có pháp đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với bảy giác chi.

[CÁC THÁNH ĐẾ]

Lại nữa, này các tỳ-khưu, vị ấy sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với bốn thánh đế. Và thế nào là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với bốn thánh đế?

Ở đây, tỳ-khưu biết rõ như thật: “Ðây là khổ”; biết rõ như thật: “Ðây là nguồn gốc của khổ”; biết rõ như thật: “Ðây là sự đoạn diệt khổ”; biết rõ như thật: “Ðây là con đường đưa đến đoạn diệt khổ”.

[ĐIỆP KHÚC]

Bằng cách ấy, vị ấy sống quán pháp như các pháp bên trong … bên ngoài … bên trong và bên ngoài. Hay vị ấy sống quán tính sinh khởi … diệt tận trong pháp … sinh và diệt trong pháp. Hay niệm “có pháp đây”được thiết lập nơi vị ấy với mức độ cần thiết để hiểu biết và ghi nhớ đầy đủ. Và vị ấy sống độc lập, không bám chấp điều gì trên đời. Như vậy là tỳ-khưu sống quán pháp như các pháp đối với bốn thánh đế.

[TIÊN ĐOÁN]

Này các tỳ-khưu, vị nào tu tập bốn pháp lập niệm này như vậy trong bảy năm, vị ấy có thể chứng một trong hai quả sau đây: chứng chánh trí ngay trong hiện tại, hay nếu còn chút dư tàn bám thủ thì chứng quả bất lai.

Này các tỳ-khưu, không cần gì đến bảy năm, vị nào tu tập bốn pháp lập niệm này như vậy trong sáu năm,… trong năm năm,… trong bốn năm,… trong ba năm,… trong hai năm,… trong một năm, vị ấy có thể chứng một trong hai quả sau đây: chứng chánh trí ngay trong hiện tại, hay nếu còn chút dư tàn bám thủ thì chứng quả bất lai.

Này các tỳ-khưu, không cần gì đến một năm, vị nào tu tập bốn pháp lập niệm này như vậy trong bảy tháng,… trong sáu tháng,… trong năm tháng,… trong bốn tháng,… trong ba tháng,… trong hai tháng,… trong một tháng,… trong nửa tháng, vị ấy có thể chứng một trong hai quả sau đây: chứng chánh trí ngay trong hiện tại, hay nếu còn chút dư tàn bám thủ thì chứng quả bất lai.

Này các tỳ-khưu, không cần gì đến nửa tháng, vị nào tu tập bốn pháp lập niệm này như vậy trong bảy ngày, vị ấy có thể chứng một trong hai quả sau đây: chứng chánh trí ngay trong hiện tại, hay nếu còn chút dư tàn bám thủ thì chứng quả bất lai.

[CON ĐƯỜNG NHẤT HƯỚNG, TRỰC TIẾP]

Này các tỳ-khưu, đây là con đường nhất hướng để thanh tịnh hóa chúng sinh, vượt khỏi sầu não và khổ ưu, thành tựu chánh đạo, chứng ngộ Niết-bàn – đó là bốn pháp lập niệm.

Thế Tôn thuyết giảng như vậy. Các tỳ-khưu ấy hoan hỷ, tín thọ lời dạy của Thế Tôn.

(MN 10, Kinh Lập Niệm – Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta)

—————————————————————–

Bhikkhu Bodhi (2005), In the Buddha’s Words, pp 281-295.

THE FOUR ESTABLISHMENTS OF MINDFULNESS Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, MN 10 Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

1. Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Kuru country where there was a town of the Kurus named Kammāsadhamma. There he addressed the monks thus: “Monks.”—“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Blessed One said this:

2. “Monks, this is the one-way path [1] for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the passing away of pain and dejection, for the attainment of the true way, for the realization of Nibbāna—namely, the four establishments of mindfulness.

3. “What are the four? Here, monks, a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, and mindful, having subdued longing and dejection in regard to the world.[2] He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending, and mindful, having subdued longing and dejection in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating mind in mind, ardent, clearly comprehending, and mindful, having subdued longing and dejection in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, and mindful, having subdued longing and dejection in regard to the world.[3]

[contemplation of the body]

[1. Mindfulness of Breathing]

4. “And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating the body in the body? Here a monk, gone to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, straightened his body, and established mindfulness in front of him, just mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out. Breathing in long, he understands: ‘I breathe in long’; or breathing out long, he understands: ‘I breathe out long.’ Breathing in short, he understands: ‘I breathe in short’; or breathing out short, he understands: ‘I breathe out short.’[4] He trains thus: ‘I will breathe in experiencing the whole body’; he trains thus: ‘I will breathe out experiencing the whole body.’[5] He trains thus: ‘I will breathe in tranquilizing the bodily formation’; he trains thus: ‘I will breathe out tranquilizing the bodily formation.’[6] Just as a skilled lathe-worker or his apprentice, when making a long turn, understands: ‘I make a long turn’; or, when making a short turn, understands: ‘I make a short turn’; so too, breathing in long, a monk understands: ‘I breathe in long’ … he trains thus: ‘I will breathe out tranquilizing the bodily formation.’

5. “In this way he dwells contemplating the body in the body internally, or he dwells contemplating the body in the body externally, or he dwells contemplating the body in the body both internally and externally.[7] Or else he dwells contemplating in the body its nature of arising, or he dwells contemplating in the body its nature of vanishing, or he dwells contemplating in the body its nature of both arising and vanishing.[8] Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and repeated mindfulness. And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body.

[2. The Four Postures]

6. “Again, monks, when walking, a monk understands: ‘I am walking’; when standing, he understands: ‘I am standing’; when sitting, he understands: ‘I am sitting’; when lying down, he understands: ‘I am lying down’; or he understands accordingly however his body is disposed.[9]

7. “In this way he dwells contemplating the body in the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body.

[3. Clear Comprehension]

8. “Again, monks, a monk is one who acts with clear comprehension when going forward and returning;[10] who acts with clear comprehension when looking ahead and looking away; who acts with clear comprehension when bending and stretching his limbs; who acts with clear comprehension when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl; who acts with clear comprehension when eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting; who acts with clear comprehension when defecating and urinating; who acts with clear comprehension when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and keeping silent.

9. “In this way he dwells contemplating the body in the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body.

[4. Unattractiveness of the Body]

10. “Again, monks, a monk reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair, bounded by skin, as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, stomach, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil of the joints, and urine.’[11] Just as though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of many sorts of grain, such as hill rice, red rice, beans, peas, millet, and white rice, and a man with good eyes were to open it and review it thus: ‘This is hill rice, this is red rice, these are beans, these are peas, this is millet, this is white rice’; so too, a monk reviews this same body … as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head-hairs … and urine.’

11. “In this way he dwells contemplating the body in the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body.

[5. Elements]

12. “Again, monks, a monk reviews this same body, however it is placed, however disposed, as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element.’[12] Just as though a skilled butcher or his apprentice had killed a cow and were seated at the crossroads with it cut up into pieces; so too, a monk reviews this same body … as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element.’

13. “In this way he dwells contemplating the body in the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body.

[6–14. The Nine Charnel Ground Contemplations]

14. “Again, monks, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, one, two, or three days dead, bloated, livid, and oozing matter, a monk compares this same body with it thus: ‘This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’[13]

15. “In this way he dwells contemplating the body in the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body.

16. “Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals, or various kinds of worms, a monk compares this same body with it thus: ‘This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’

17. “…That too is how a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body.

18–24. “Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together with sinews… afleshless skeleton smeared with blood, held together with sinews…a skeleton without flesh and blood, held together with sinews … disconnected bones scattered in all directions—here a hand-bone, there a foot-bone, here a shin-bone, there a thigh-bone, here a hip-bone, there a back-bone, here the skull—a monk compares this same body with it thus: ‘This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’[14]

25. “…That too is how a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body.

26–30. “Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, bones bleached white, the color of shells … bones heaped up … bones more than a year old, rotted and crumbled to dust, a monk compares this same body with it thus: ‘This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’

31. “In this way he dwells contemplating the body in the body internally, or he dwells contemplating the body in the body externally, or he dwells contemplating the body in the body both internally and externally. Or else he dwells contemplating in the body its nature of arising, or he dwells contemplating in the body its nature of vanishing, or he dwells contemplating in the body its nature of both arising and vanishing. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and repeated mindfulness. And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body.

[contemplation of feeling]

32. “And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating feelings in feelings?[15] Here, when feeling a pleasant feeling, a monk understands: ‘I feel a pleasant feeling’; when feeling a painful feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a painful feeling’; when feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.’ When feeling a carnal pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a carnal pleasant feeling’; when feeling a spiritual pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a spiritual pleasant feeling’; when feeling a carnal painful feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a carnal painful feeling’; when feeling a spiritual painful feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a spiritual painful feeling’; when feeling a carnal neither- painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a carnal neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling’; when feeling a spiritual neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a spiritual neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.’

33. “In this way he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings internally, or he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings externally, or he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings both internally and externally. Or else he dwells contemplating in feelings their nature of arising, or he dwells contemplating in feelings their nature of vanishing, or he dwells contemplating in feelings their nature of both arising and vanishing. [16] Or else mindfulness that ‘there is feeling’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and repeated mindfulness. And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a monk dwells contemplating feelings in feelings.

[contemplation of mind]

34. “And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating mind in mind?[17] Here a monk understands a mind with lust as a mind with lust, and a mind without lust as a mind without lust. He understands a mind with hatred as a mind with hatred, and a mind without hatred as a mind without hatred. He understands a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion. He understands a contracted mind as contracted, and a distracted mind as distracted. He understands an exalted mind as exalted, and an unexalted mind as unexalted. He understands a surpassable mind as surpassable, and an unsurpassable mind as unsurpassable. He understands a concentrated mind as concentrated, and an unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated. He understands a liberated mind as liberated, and an unliberated mind as unliberated.[18]

35. “In this way he dwells contemplating mind in mind internally, or he dwells contemplating mind in mind externally, or he dwells contemplating mind in mind both internally and externally. Or else he dwells contemplating in mind its nature of arising, or he dwells contemplating in mind its nature of vanishing, or he dwells contemplating in mind its nature of both arising and vanishing.[19] Or else mindfulness that ‘there is mind’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and repeated mindfulness. And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a monk dwells contemplating mind as mind.

[contemplation of phenomena]

[1. The Five Hindrances]

36. “And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating phenomena in phenomena? Here a monk dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the five hindrances.[20] And how does a monk dwell contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the five hindrances? Here, when there is sensual desire in him, a monk understands: ‘There is sensual desire in me’; or when there is no sensual desire in him, he understands: ‘There is no sensual desire in me’; and he also understands how unarisen sensual desire arises, and how arisen sensual desire is abandoned, and how abandoned sensual desire does not arise again in the future.’[21] “When there is ill will in him … When there is dullness and drowsiness in him … When there is restlessness and remorse in him … When there is doubt in him, a monk understands: ‘There is doubt in me’; or when there is no doubt in him, he understands: ‘There is no doubt in me’; and he also understands how the unarisen doubt arises, and how arisen doubt is abandoned, and how abandoned doubt does not arise again in the future.

37. “In this way he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena internally, or he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena externally, or he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena both internally and externally. Or else he dwells contemplating in phenomena their nature of arising, or he dwells contemplating in phenomena their nature of vanishing, or he dwells contemplating in phenomena their nature of both arising and vanishing. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are phenomena’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and repeated mindfulness. And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a monk dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the five hindrances.

[2. The Five Aggregates]

38. “Again, monks, a monk dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the five aggregates subject to clinging.[22] And how does a monk dwell contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging? Here a monk understands: ‘Such is form, such its origin, such its passing away; such is feeling, such its origin, such its passing away; such is perception, such its origin, such its passing away; such are the volitional formations, such their origin, such their passing away; such is consciousness, such its origin, such its passing away.’[23]

39. “In this way he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a monk dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the five aggregates subject to clinging.

[3. The Six Sense Bases]

40. “Again, monks, a monk dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the six internal and external sense bases.[24] And how does a monk dwell contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the six internal and external sense bases? Here a monk understands the eye, he understands forms, and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both; and he also understands how the unarisen fetter arises, and how the arisen fetter is abandoned, and how the abandoned fetter does not arise again in the future.[25]

“He understands the ear, he understands sounds… He understands the nose, he understands odors… He understands the tongue, he understands flavors… He understands the body, he understands tactile objects… He understands the mind, he understands phenomena, and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both; and he also understands how the unarisen fetter arises, and how the arisen fetter is abandoned, and how the abandoned fetter does not arise again in the future.

41. “In this way he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a monk dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the six internal and external sense bases.

[4. The Seven Enlightenment Factors]

42. “Again, monks, a monk dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the seven enlightenment factors.[26] And how does a monk dwell contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the seven enlightenment factors? Here, when there is the mindfulness enlightenment factor in him, a monk understands: ‘There is the mindfulness enlightenment factor in me’; or when there is no mindfulness enlightenment factor in him, he understands: ‘There is no mindfulness enlightenment factor in me’; and he also understands how the unarisen mindfulness enlightenment factor arises, and how the arisen mindfulness enlightenment factor comes to fulfillment by development.

“When there is the discrimination of phenomena enlightenment factor in him… When there is the energy enlightenment factor in him … When there is the rapture enlightenment factor in him … When there is the tranquillity enlightenment factor in him … When there is the concentration enlightenment factor in him … When there is the equanimity enlightenment factor in him, a monk understands: ‘There is the equanimity enlightenment factor in me’; or when there is no equanimity enlightenment factor in him, he understands: ‘There is no equanimity enlightenment factor in me’; and he also understands how the unarisen equanimity enlightenment factor arises, and how the arisen equanimity enlightenment factor comes to fulfillment by development.[27]

43. “In this way he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a monk dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the seven enlightenment factors.

[5. The Four Noble Truths]

44. “Again, monks, a monk dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the Four Noble Truths.[28] And how does a monk dwell contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the Four Noble Truths? Here a monk understands as it really is: ‘This is suffering. This is the origin of suffering. This is the cessation of suffering. This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’

45. “In this way he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena internally, or he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena externally, or he dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena both internally and externally. Or else he dwells contemplating in phenomena their nature of arising, or he dwells contemplating in phenomena their nature of vanishing, or he dwells contemplating in phenomena their nature of both arising and vanishing. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are phenomena’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and repeated mindfulness. And he dwells independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a monk dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena in terms of the Four Noble Truths.

[conclusion]

46. “Monks, if anyone should develop these four establishments of mindfulness in such a way for seven years, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, nonreturning.[29]

“Let alone seven years, monks. If anyone should develop these four establishments of mindfulness in such a way for six years … for five years … for four years … for three years … for two years … for one year, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, nonreturning.

“Let alone one year, monks. If anyone should develop these four establishments of mindfulness in such a way for seven months … for six months … for five months … for four months … for three months … for two months … for one month … for half a month, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, nonreturning.

“Let alone half a month, monks. If anyone should develop these four establishments of mindfulness in such a way for seven days, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, nonreturning.

47. “So it was with reference to this that it was said: ‘Monks, this is the one-way path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the passing away of pain and dejection, for the attainment of the true way, for the realization of Nibbāna—namely, the four establishments of mindfulness.’”

That is what the Blessed One said. The monks were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

(MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta; I 55–63)

—————————————

NOTES:

[1] The Pāli reads ekā yano ayaṃ bhikkhave maggo. Almost all translators have understood this statement to be a declaration that satipaṭṭhāna is an exclusive path. Thus Soma Thera renders it: “This is the only way, O bhikkhus,” and Nyanaponika Thera: “This is the sole way, monks.” However, at MN 12.37–42 ekāyana magga has the unambiguous meaning of “a path that goes in one way only,” and that seems the meaning that fits best here as well. The point seems to be simply that satipaṭṭhāna goes in one direction, toward “the purification of beings… the realization of Nibbāna.”

[2] Ps says the repetition “contemplating the body in the body” (kāye kāyānupassı̄) has the purpose of precisely determining the object of contemplation and of isolating that object from others with which it might be confused. Thus, in this practice, the body should be contemplated as such, and not one’s feelings, ideas, and emotions concerning it. The phrase also means that the body should be contemplated simply as a body and not as a man, a woman, a self, or a living being. Parallel considerations apply to the repetitions with regard to each of the other three establishments of mindfulness. “Longing and dejection” (abhijjhā-domanassaṃ), according to Ps, imply sensual desire and ill will, the chief among the five mental hindrances.

[3] On the structure of the discourse to follow, see pp. 262–63.

[4] The practice of mindfulness of breathing (ānāpānasati) does not involves a deliberate attempt to regulate the breath, as in hatha yoga, but an effort to fix awareness continuously on the breath as one breathes at a natural rhythm. Mindfulness is set up at the nostrils or the upper lip, wherever the impact of the breath is felt most distinctly. The length of the breath is noted but not consciously controlled.

The complete development of this meditation subject is explained in Text VIII,9. A detailed explanation of mindfulness of breathing according to the commentarial system is at Vism 266–93; Ppn 8:145–244. See too the collection of texts translated by Ñānạmoli, Mindfulness of Breathing.

[5] Ps, in line with other Pā li commentaries, explains “experiencing the whole body” (sabbakā yapatiṣ aṃvedı̄) to mean that the meditator becomes aware of each in-breath and out-breath through its three phases of beginning, middle, and end. This interpretation is difficult to square with the literal words of the original text, which may have originally intended simply a global awareness of the entire body. It is also difficult to see how patiṣ aṃvedı̄ could mean “is aware of”; this suffix is based on the verb patiṣ aṃvedeti meaning “to experience” or “to feel,” which has a different nuance from “awareness.”

[6] The “bodily formation” (kāyasaṅkhāra) is defined as in-and-out breathing at MN 44.13 (I 301) and SN 41:6 (IV 293). Thus, as Ps explains, with the successful development of this practice, the meditator’s breathing becomes increasingly more quiet, tranquil, and peaceful.

[7] Ps: “Internally”: contemplating the breathing in his own body. “Externally”: contemplating the breathing taking place in the body of another. “Internally and externally”: contemplating the breathing in his own body and in the body of another alternately, with uninterrupted attention. A similar explanation applies to the refrain that follows each of the other sections, except that under the contemplation of feeling, mind, and phenomena, the contemplation externally, apart from those possessing telepathic powers, must be inferential. It is also impossible for those without telepathic powers to directly contemplate the breathing of another, apart from observation of the expansion and contraction of the chest, so contemplation in this case too must be inferential.

[8] Ps explains that the arising nature (samudayadhamma) of the body can be observed in its conditioned origination through ignorance, craving, kamma, and food, as well as in the moment-by-moment origination of material phenomena in the body. In the case of mindfulness of breathing, an additional condition is the physiological apparatus of respiration. The “vanishing nature” (vayadhamma) of the body is seen in the cessation of bodily phenomena through the cessation of their conditions as well as in the momentary dissolution of bodily phenomena.

[9] The understanding of the bodily postures referred to in this exercise is not our normal knowledge of our bodily activity, but a close, constant, and careful awareness of the body in every position, coupled with an analytical examination intended to dispel the delusion of a self as the agent of bodily movement.

[10] Sampajañña, clear comprehension, is analyzed in the commentaries into four types: (1) clear comprehension of the purpose of one’s action; (2) clear comprehension of the suitability of one’s means to the achievement of one’s purpose; (3) clear comprehension of the domain, that is, not abandoning the subject of meditation during one’s daily routine; and (4) clear comprehension of reality, the awareness that behind one’s activities there is no abiding self. See Soma, The Way of Mindfulness, pp. 60–100; Nyanaponika, The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, pp. 46–55.

[11] A detailed explanation of this practice, according to the commentarial method, is at Vism 239–266; Ppn 8:42–144. The mesentery is a fold of tissue that anchors the small intestine to the back of the abdominal wall.

[12] These four elements are the primary attributes of matter—the earth element (pathavı̄dhātu) is solidity; the water element (āpodhātu), cohesion; the fire element (tejodhātu), heat; and the air element (vāyodhātu), pressure or distension. For a more detailed account of the contemplation of elements, see Text IX,4(3)(c). For the commentarial explanation, see Vism 347–72; Ppn 11:27–126.

[13] The phrase “as though” (seyyathāpi) suggests that this meditation, and those to follow, need not be based upon actual observation of a decaying corpse but can be performed imaginatively. “This same body” is, of course, the meditator’s own body.

[14] Each of the four types of corpse mentioned here, and the three types below, may be taken as a separate and self-sufficient subject of meditation; or the entire set may be used as a progressive series for impressing on the mind the idea of the body’s transience and insubstantiality. The progression continues in §§26–30.

[15] Feeling (vedanā) signifies the affective quality of experience, bodily and mental, either pleasant, painful, or neither, i.e., neutral feeling.

Examples of the “carnal” and “spiritual” varieties of these feelings are given at MN 137.9–15 (III 217–19) under the rubric of the six kinds of joy, grief, and equanimity based respectively on the household life and renunciation.

[16] The conditions for the arising and vanishing of feeling are the same as those for the body (see p. 442 (chapter VIII, n. 32) except that food is replaced by contact, since contact is the condition for feeling).

[17] Mind (citta) as an object of contemplation refers to the general state and level of consciousness. Since consciousness itself is the bare knowing or cognizing of an object, the quality of any state of mind is determined by its associated mental factors, such as lust, hate, and delusion or their opposites.

[18] The examples of citta given in this passage contrast states of mind of wholesome and unwholesome, or developed and undeveloped character.

The pair “contracted” and “distracted,” however, consists of unwholesome opposites, the former due to dullness and drowsiness, the latter to restlessness and remorse. Ps explains “exalted mind” and “unsurpassable mind” as the mind pertaining to the meditative attainments (jhānas and formless states), “unexalted mind” and “surpassable mind” as the mind pertaining to sense-sphere consciousness. The commentary says “liberated mind” should be understood as a mind temporarily and partly freed from defilements through insight or the jhānas. Since the practice of satipattḥ ̣ ā na pertains to the preliminary phase of the path, the commentary holds that this last category should not be understood as a mind liberated by attainment of the supramundane paths; perhaps, however, this interpretation should not be excluded.

[19] The conditions for the arising and vanishing of mind are the same as those for the body except that food is replaced by name-and-form, the condition for consciousness.

[20] The five hindrances (pañca nı̄varaṇā): the main inner impediments to the development of concentration and insight. See above, Text VIII,3.

[21] See p. 440 (chapter VIII, n.147).

[22] On the five aggregates, see pp. 22, 306–7, and Texts IX,4(1)(a)–(e).

[23] The origin and passing away of the five aggregates can be understood in two ways: (1) through their origination and cessation in dependence on their conditions (see Text IX,4(1)(a)); and (2) through their discernible arising, change, and vanishing (see SN 22:37–38). The two ways are not mutually exclusive but can be conceptually distinguished.

[24] On the six sense bases, see ppp. 309–11 and Texts IX,4(2)(a)–(e).

[25] The fetter is the desire and lust (chandarāga) that binds the sense faculties to their objects; see SN 35:232.

[26] On the enlightenment factors, see Text VIII,9.

[27] The Pā li commentaries give detailed information about the conditions that lead to the maturation of the enlightenment factors. See Soma Thera, The Way of Mindfulness, pp. 134–149.

[28] The longer Mahasatipaṭṭhāna Sutta in DN defines and elaborates on each of the Four Noble Truths. See too MN 141.

[29] Final knowledge (aññā) is the arahant’s knowledge of liberation. Nonreturning (anāgāmitā) is the attainment of the state of a nonreturner.

————————————————————————–

Rupert Gethin (2008). Sayings of the Buddha.

ESTABLISHING MINDFULNESS SATIPAṬṬHĀNA (M I 55 – 63)

INTRODUCTION

This is the only sutta of the Pali canon to occur both in the Dīgha-nikāya and Majjhima-nikāya, an indication, perhaps, of its importance, although this should not be exaggerated, as many other teachings are also found repeated throughout the canon. The version translated here is from the Majjhima-nikāya, which appears identical to its Dīgha-nikāya counterpart apart from the omission towards the end of an expanded exposition of the four noble truths.

The meaning of the term sati-paṭṭhāna is problematic. It is used to refer to the fourfold practice of watching the (1) body, (2) feelings, (3) mind, and (4) mental qualities. It is perhaps most often translated as ‘foundation’ (paṭṭhāna) of ‘mindfulness’ (sati), which might suggest that sati-paṭṭhāna refers to the body, feelings mind and qualities as ‘the foundations’, in the sense of objects of mindfulness. While Buddhist tradition certainly allows such an interpretation, more often it tends to interpret the expression in the light of such phrases as ‘causing mindfulness to stand near’ (satiṃ upaṭṭhapetvā), and sees it as directly characterizing mindfulness as a mental state that has the quality of ‘standing near’ or ‘standing in attendance’; using an English idiom, we might say that sati is defined as ‘presence of mind’. A sati-(u) paṭṭhāna is thus the ‘presence of mind’ (upaṭṭhāna) that is mindfulness; the four satipaṭṭhānas are then ‘four practices in which the quality of presence of mind is found in the form of mindfulness’. However, the precise significance of the expression in the earliest Buddhist texts remains unclear. The present translation — ‘four ways of establishing mindfulness’ — is merely an attempt to convey something of its meaning while avoiding an overly clumsy English phrase.

After setting out in basic terms the four contemplations that constitute ‘establishing mindfulness’ — watching the body, feelings, mind, and qualities — the sutta continues by providing a detailed exposition of each. In the account of watching the body there are fourteen basic sections: (1) the monk is mindful when breathing in and out; (2) he knows his different postures; (3) he acts with clear comprehension in his various activities; (4) he reflects on the body as full of different kinds of impurity; (5) he reflects on the body as constituted by the elements of earth, water, fire, and wind; (6 – 14) he compares his body to a corpse in nine different states of putrefaction. Appended to the description of each of these fourteen practices is an expanded description of the exercise of establishing mindfulness, culminating in the statement that ‘the monk lives independently, not holding on to anything in the world’.

The practice of watching feelings and mind are each dealt with in just one section, in both cases followed by the expanded formula. Lastly, watching qualities (dhamma) is dealt with in five sections: the monk watches qualities with regard to (1) the five hindrances, (2) the five aggregates, (3) the six internal and external spheres of sense, (4) the seven constituents of awakening, and (5) the four noble truths. Once again, each of these five sections concludes with the expanded formula.

The sutta closes with an extended statement indicating that if anyone should practise these four ways of establishing mindfulness, awakening or something very close to awakening must be the result.

The expanded formula (though it is lost in the abbreviations of the text) thus occurs a total of twenty-one times. The Pali commentaries take ‘living independently and not holding onto anything in the world’ as indicating the possibility of awakening, and thus characterize the sutta as ‘the teaching that culminates in arahatship in twenty-one places’.

The sutta is often read today as describing a pure form of insight (vipassanā) meditation that bypasses calm (samatha) meditation and the four absorptions (jhāna), as outlined in the description of the Buddhist path found, for example, in the Sāmaññaphala-sutta (also translated in this volume). The earlier tradition, however, seems not to have always read it this way, associating accomplishment in the exercise of establishing mindfulness with abandoning of the five hindrances and the first absorption (Rupert Gethin, The Buddhist Path to Awakening: A Study of the Bodhi-Pakkhiyā Dhammā (Leiden, 1992; repr: Oxford, 2001), 47 – 53, 58 – 9). Significantly, neither the term vipassanā nor its associated verbal forms occur in the sutta. A simple bifurcation between ‘calm’ and ‘insight’ is, anyway, probably inappropriate in the context of much of the Nikāya material.

A recent comprehensive study of ‘establishing of mindfulness’ is Anālayo, Satipaṭṭhāna: The Direct Path to Realization (Birmingham, 2003).

* * *

SATIPAṬṬHĀNA SUTTA (M I 55 – 63, MN 10)

This is what I have heard. Once the Blessed One was staying in the country of the Kurus in a small town belonging to the Kurus called Kammāsadamma.

There the Blessed One addressed the monks: ‘Monks.’

‘Yes, sir,’ the monks replied to the Blessed One.

‘Monks, this is a path leading directly to the purification of beings — to passing beyond sorrow and grief, to the disappearance of pain and discontent, to finding the proper way, to the direct experience of nibbana — namely the four ways of establishing mindfulness.

‘What four? Here, a monk lives watching the body as body; he is determined, fully aware, mindful, overcoming his longing for and discontent with the world. He lives watching feelings as feelings; he is determined, fully aware, mindful, overcoming his longing for and discontent with the world. He lives watching mind as mind; he is determined, fully aware, mindful, overcoming his longing for and discontent with the world. He lives watching qualities as qualities; he is determined, fully aware, mindful, overcoming his longing for and discontent with the world.

‘And how does a monk live watching the body as body? Here, a monk sits down in the forest, or at the root of a tree, or in some deserted house; he crosses his legs, straightens his body, and establishes mindfulness in front of him. Just mindful, he breathes in. Just mindful, he breathes out. As he breathes in a long breath, he knows he is breathing in a long breath; as he breathes out a long breath, he knows he is breathing out a long breath. As he breathes in a short breath, he knows he is breathing in a short breath; as he breathes out a short breath, he knows he is breathing out a short breath. He practises so that he can breathe in, experiencing the whole body; he practises so that he can breathe out, experiencing the whole body. He practises so that he can breathe in, tranquillizing the activity of the body; he practises so that he can breathe out, tranquillizing the activity of the body.

‘Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice, in making a long stroke, knows he is making a long stroke, or in making a short stroke, knows he is making a short stroke, in exactly the same way, as the monk breathes in a long breath, he knows he is breathing in a long breath … He practises so that he can breathe out, tranquillizing the activity of the body.

‘In this way he lives watching the body within as body, or he lives watching the body without as body, or he lives watching the body within and without as body. He lives watching the way things arise in the case of the body; or he lives watching the way things pass in the case of the body; or he lives watching the way things arise and pass in the case of the body. Furthermore, his mindfulness that there is body is established so that there is knowledge and recollection in full degree; he lives independently, not holding on to anything in the world. This is how a monk lives watching the body as body.

‘Again, monks, when a monk is walking, he knows he is walking; when he is standing, he knows he is standing; when he is sitting, he knows he is sitting; when he is lying down, he knows he is lying down. In whatever posture his body is, he knows it is in that posture.

‘In this way he lives watching the body within as body, or he lives watching the body without as body, or he lives watching the body within and without as body. He lives watching the way things arise in the case of the body; or he lives watching the way things pass in the case of the body; or he lives watching the way things arise and pass in the case of the body. Furthermore his mindfulness that there is body is established so that there is knowledge and recollection in full degree; he lives independently, not holding on to anything in the world. This is how a monk lives watching the body as body.

‘Again, monks, in moving forward and turning back, a monk acts with full awareness; in looking ahead and looking around, he acts with full awareness; in bending and straightening his limbs, he acts with full awareness; in wearing his inner and outer robes and carrying his alms bowl, he acts with full awareness; in eating, drinking, chewing, and swallowing, he acts with full awareness; in defecating and urinating, he acts with full awareness; in walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, speaking, and keeping silent, he acts with full awareness.

‘In this way he lives watching the body within as body … This is how a monk lives watching the body as body.

‘Again, monks, a monk reviews this body from the soles of his feet upwards and from the ends of the hair on his head downwards, as enveloped in skin and full of various kinds of impurity: “Here in this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, large intestine, small intestine, gorge, faeces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, snot, oil of the joints, and urine.” As if there were a sack with an opening at either end full of various sorts of grain, which a man with good eyes should review thus: “Here are rice grains, here mung beans, here kidney beans, here sesame seeds.” In exactly the same way, a monk reviews this body from the soles of his feet upwards and from the ends of the hair on his head downwards as enveloped in skin and full of various kinds of impurity …

‘In this way he lives watching the body within as body … This is how a monk lives watching the body as body.

‘Again, monks, a monk reviews this body, whatever its position, whatever its posture, by way of the elements: “In this body there is the earth element, the water element, the fire element, the wind element.”

As if a skilled butcher or his apprentice were to slaughter a cow and sit down at a crossroads, having divided it up into portions. In exactly the same way a monk reviews this body, whatever its position, whatever its posture, by way of the elements …

‘In this way he lives watching the body within as body … This is how a monk lives watching the body as body.

‘Again, monks, a monk considers this body as though he were looking at a body left in a charnel ground, one, two, or three days dead, bloated, livid, and festering: “This body is of the same nature, of the same constitution, it has not got beyond this.”

‘In this way he lives watching the body within as body … This is how a monk lives watching the body as body.

‘Again, monks, a monk considers this body as though he were looking at a body left in a charnel ground, eaten by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals, or other animals: “This body is of the same nature, of the same constitution, it has not got beyond this.”

‘In this way he lives watching the body within as body … This is how a monk lives watching the body as body.

‘Again, monks, a monk considers this body as though he were looking at a body left in a charnel ground, a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together with sinews … a skeleton with no flesh but smeared with blood and held together with sinews … a skeleton without flesh or blood, held together with sinews … disconnected bones scattered around, a hand-bone here, a foot-bone here, a legbone here, a rib-bone here, a hip-bone here, a back-bone here, the skull here: “This body is of the same nature, of the same constitution, it has not got beyond this.”

‘In this way he lives watching the body within as body … This is how a monk lives watching the body as body.

‘Again, monks, a monk considers this body as though he were looking at a body left in a charnel ground, white bones looking like shells … piled-up bones, more than a year old … rotten crumbling bones: “This body is of the same nature, of the same constitution, it has not got beyond this.”

‘In this way he lives watching the body within as body, or he lives watching the body without as body, or he lives watching the body within and without as body. He lives watching the way things arise in the case of the body; or he lives watching the way things pass in the case of the body; or he lives watching the way things arise and pass in the case of the body. Furthermore, his mindfulness that there is body is established so that there is knowledge and recollection in full degree; he lives independently, not holding on to anything in the world. This is how a monk lives watching the body as body.

‘And how does a monk live watching feelings as feelings? Here, when a monk feels a happy feeling, he knows he is feeling a happy feeling; when he feels an unhappy feeling, he knows he is feeling an unhappy feeling; when he feels a neither happy nor unhappy feeling, he knows he is feeling a neither happy nor unhappy feeling. When he feels a happy feeling connected with the world, he knows he is feeling a happy feeling connected with the world; when he feels a happy feeling unconnected with the world, he knows he is feeling a happy feeling unconnected with the world. When he feels an unhappy feeling connected with the world, he knows he is feeling an unhappy feeling connected with the world; when he feels an unhappy feeling unconnected with the world, he knows he is feeling an unhappy feeling unconnected with the world. When he feels a neither happy nor unhappy feeling connected with the world, he knows he is feeling a neither happy nor unhappy feeling connected with the world; when he feels a neither happy nor unhappy feeling unconnected with the world, he knows he is feeling a neither happy nor unhappy feeling unconnected with the world.

‘In this way he lives watching feelings within as feelings, or he lives watching feelings without as feelings, or he lives watching feelings within and without as feelings. He lives watching the way things arise in the case of feelings; or he lives watching the way things pass in the case of feelings; or he lives watching the way things arise and pass in the case of feelings. Furthermore, his mindfulness that there are feelings is established so that there is knowledge and recollection in full degree; he lives independently, not holding on to anything in the world. This is how a monk lives watching feelings as feelings.

‘And how does a monk live watching mind as mind? Here, a monk knows a mind affected with desire as a mind affected with desire; he knows a mind unaffected with desire as a mind unaffected with desire. He knows a mind affected with hate as a mind affected with hate; he knows a mind unaffected with hate as a mind unaffected with hate. He knows a mind affected with delusion as a mind affected with delusion; he knows a mind unaffected with delusion as a mind unaffected with delusion. He knows a dull mind as a dull mind; he knows a distracted mind as a distracted mind. He knows a higher mind as a higher mind; he knows a lower mind as a lower mind. He knows an inferior mind as an inferior mind; he knows a superior mind as a superior mind. He knows a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind; he knows an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind. He knows a mind that is freed as a mind that is freed; he knows a mind that is not freed as a mind that is not freed.

‘In this way he lives watching mind within as mind, or he lives watching mind without as mind, or he lives watching mind within and without as mind. He lives watching the way things arise in the 60 case of mind; or he lives watching the way things pass in the case of mind; or he lives watching the way things arise and pass in the case of mind. Furthermore, his mindfulness that there is mind is established so that there is knowledge and recollection in full degree; he lives independently, not holding on to anything in the world. This is how a monk lives watching mind as mind.

‘And how does a monk live watching qualities as qualities? Here, a monk lives watching qualities as qualities in terms of the five hindrances. How? When sense desire is present in him, a monk knows it is present in him, and when it is not present in him he knows it is not present in him. And so, when it has not arisen, he knows how sense desire arises; when it has arisen, he knows how it is abandoned; and when it has been abandoned, he knows how it will not arise in the future.

‘When hostility is present in him, a monk knows it is present in him, and when it is not present in him he knows it is not present in him. And so, when it has not arisen, he knows how hostility arises; when it has arisen, he knows how it is abandoned; and when it has been abandoned, he knows how it will not arise in the future.

‘When dullness and lethargy are present in him, a monk knows dullness and lethargy are present in him, and when they are not present in him he knows they are not present in him. And so, when they have not arisen, he knows how dullness and lethargy arise; when they have arisen, he knows how they are abandoned; and when they have been abandoned, he knows how they will not arise in the future.

‘When agitation and worry are present in him, a monk knows they are present in him, and when they are not present in him he knows they are not present in him. And so, when they have not arisen, he knows how agitation and worry arise; when they have arisen, he knows how they are abandoned; and when they have been abandoned, he knows how they will not arise in the future.

‘When doubt is present in him, a monk knows it is present in him, and when it is not present in him he knows it is not present in him. And so, when it has not arisen, he knows how doubt arises; when it has arisen, he knows how it is abandoned; and when it has been abandoned, he knows how it will not arise in the future.

‘In this way he lives watching qualities within as qualities, or he lives watching qualities without as qualities, or he lives watching qualities within and without as qualities. He lives watching the way things arise in the case of qualities; or he lives watching the way things pass in the case of qualities; or he lives watching the way things arise and pass in the case of qualities. Furthermore, his mindfulness that there are qualities is established so that there is knowledge and recollection in full degree; he lives independently, not holding on to anything in the world. This is how a monk lives watching qualities as qualities in terms of the five hindrances.

‘Again, monks, a monk lives watching qualities as qualities in terms of the five aggregates of attachment. How? Here a monk thinks, “Such is physical form, such its arising, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its arising, such its disappearance; such is conceiving, such its arising, such its disappearance; such are volitional forces, such their arising, such their disappearance; such is consciousness, such its arising, such its disappearance.”

‘In this way he lives watching qualities within as qualities … This is how a monk lives watching qualities as qualities in terms of the five aggregates of attachment.

‘Again, monks, a monk lives watching qualities as qualities in terms of the six internal and external spheres of sense. How? Here, a monk knows the eye and he knows visible forms; he also knows the fetter that arises dependent on the two. And so he knows how a fetter which has not arisen arises, he knows how a fetter that has arisen is abandoned, he knows how a fetter that has been abandoned will not arise in the future. A monk knows the ear and he knows sounds … A monk knows the nose and he knows smells … A monk knows the tongue and he knows tastes … A monk knows the body and he knows objects of touch … A monk knows the mind and he knows ideas; he also knows the fetter that arises dependent on the two. And so he knows how a fetter which has not arisen arises, he knows how a fetter that has arisen is abandoned, he knows how a fetter that has been abandoned will not arise in the future.

‘In this way he lives watching qualities within as qualities … This is how a monk lives watching qualities as qualities in terms of the six internal and external spheres of sense.

‘Again, monks, a monk lives watching qualities as qualities in terms of the seven constituents of awakening. How? When mindfulness is present in him as a constituent of awakening a monk knows it is present in him, and when it is not present in him he knows it is not present in him. And so, when it has not arisen, he knows how mindfulness arises as a constituent of awakening; when it has arisen, he knows how it is brought to full development.

‘When investigation of qualities is present in him as a constituent of awakening a monk knows it is present in him, and when it is not present in him he knows it is not present in him. And so, when it has not arisen, he knows how investigation of qualities arises as a constituent of awakening; when it has arisen, he knows how it is brought to full development.

‘When energy is present in him as a constituent of awakening a monk knows it is present in him, and when it is not present in him he knows it is not present in him. And so, when it has not arisen, he knows how energy arises as a constituent of awakening; when it has arisen, he knows how it is brought to full development.

‘When joy is present in him as a constituent of awakening, a monk knows it is present in him, and when it is not present in him he knows it is not present in him. And so, when it has not arisen, he knows how joy arises as a constituent of awakening; when it has arisen, he knows how it is brought to full development.

‘When tranquillity is present in him as a constituent of awakening, a monk knows it is present in him, and when it is not present in him he knows it is not present in him. And so, when it has not arisen, he knows how tranquillity arises as a constituent of awakening; when it has arisen, he knows how it is brought to full development.

‘When concentration is present in him as a constituent of awakening, a monk knows it is present in him, and when it is not present in him he knows it is not present in him. And so, when it has not arisen, he knows how concentration arises as a constituent of awakening; when it has arisen, he knows how it is brought to full development.

‘When equanimity is present in him as a constituent of awakening, a monk knows it is present in him, and when it is not present in him he knows it is not present in him. And so, when it has not arisen, he knows how equanimity arises as a constituent of awakening; when it has arisen, he knows how it is brought to full development.

‘In this way he lives watching qualities within as qualities … This is how a monk lives watching qualities as qualities in terms of the seven constituents of awakening.

‘Again, monks, a monk lives watching qualities as qualities in terms of the four noble truths. How? Here, a monk truly understands what suffering is, he truly understands what the arising of suffering is, he truly understands what the cessation of suffering is, he truly understands what the practice leading to the cessation of suffering is.

‘In this way he lives watching qualities within as qualities, or he lives watching qualities without as qualities, or he lives watching qualities within and without as qualities. He lives watching the way things arise in the case of qualities; or he lives watching the way things pass in the case of qualities; or he lives watching the way things arise and pass in the case of qualities. Furthermore his mindfulness that there are qualities is established so that there is knowledge and recollection in full degree; he lives independently, not holding on to anything in the world. This is how a monk lives watching qualities as qualities in terms of the four noble truths.

‘Now, monks, if anyone should cultivate these four ways of establishing mindfulness in this way for seven years, one of two results can be expected for him: knowledge here and now, or, if some trace of attachment still remains, the state of non-return. Let alone seven years, if anyone should cultivate these four ways of establishing mindfulness in this way for six years … for five years … for four years … for three years … for two years … for one year. Let alone one year, if anyone should cultivate these four ways of establishing mindfulness in this way for seven months, one of two results can be expected for him: knowledge here and now, or, if some trace of attachment still remains, the state of non-return. Let alone seven months, if anyone should cultivate these four ways of establishing mindfulness in this way for six months … for five months … for four months … for three months … for two months … for one month … for a fortnight … Let alone a fortnight, if anyone should cultivate these four ways of establishing mindfulness in this way for seven days, one of two results can be expected for him: knowledge here and now, or, if some trace of attachment still remains, the state of non-return.

‘This is the reason it was said that this is a path leading directly to the purification of beings — to passing beyond sorrow and grief, to the disappearance of pain and discontent, to finding the proper way, to the direct experience of nibbana — namely, the four ways of establishing mindfulness.’

This is what the Blessed One said. Gladdened, those monks felt joy at the Blessed One’s words.

—————————————————————————

Bhikkhu Anālayo (2003). Satipaṭṭhāna: The Direct Path to Realization.

TRANSLATION OF THE SATIPAṬṬHĀNA SUTTA (MN 10) [1] Bhikkhu Anālayo

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Kuru country at a town of the Kurus named Kammāsadhamma. There he addressed the monks thus: “Monks.” “Venerable sir,” they replied. The Blessed One said this:

[DIRECT PATH]

“Monks, this is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of dukkha and discontent, for acquiring the true method, for the realization of Nibbāna, namely, the four satipaṭṭhānas.

[DEFINITION]

“What are the four? Here, monks, in regard to the body a monk abides contemplating the body, diligent, clearly knowing, and mindful, free from desires and discontent in regard to the world. In regard to feelings he abides contemplating feelings, diligent, clearly knowing, and mindful, free from desires and discontent in regard to the world. In regard to the mind he abides contemplating the mind, diligent, clearly knowing, and mindful, free from desires and discontent in regard to the world. In regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas, diligent, clearly knowing, and mindful, free from desires and discontent in regard to the world.

[BREATHING]

“And how, monks, does he in regard to the body abide contemplating the body? Here, gone to the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut, he sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, and established mindfulness in front of him, mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.

“Breathing in long, he knows ‘I breathe in long,’ breathing out long, he knows ‘I breathe out long.’ Breathing in short, he knows ‘I breathe in short,’ breathing out short, he knows ‘I breathe out short.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body,’ he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in calming the bodily formation,’ he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out calming the bodily formation.’

“Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice, when making a long turn, knows ‘I make a long turn,’ or when making a short turn knows ‘I make a short turn’ so too, breathing in long, he knows ‘I breathe in long,’… (continue as above).

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body internally, or he abides contemplating the body externally, or he abides contemplating the body both internally and externally. Or, he abides contemplating the nature of arising in the body, or he abides contemplating the nature of passing away in the body, or he abides contemplating the nature of both arising and passing away in the body. Or, mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world.

“That is how in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body.

[POSTURES]

“Again, monks, when walking, he knows ‘I am walking’; when standing, he knows ‘I am standing’; when sitting, he knows ‘I am sitting’; when lying down, he knows ‘I am lying down’; or he knows accordingly however his body is disposed.

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body internally … externally … both internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in the body. Mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body.

[ACTIVITIES]

“Again, monks, when going forward and returning he acts clearly knowing; when looking ahead and looking away he acts clearly knowing; when flexing and extending his limbs he acts clearly knowing; when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl he acts clearly knowing; when eating, drinking, consuming food, and tasting he acts clearly knowing; when defecating and urinating he acts clearly knowing; when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and keeping silent he acts clearly knowing.

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body internally … externally … both internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in the body. Mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body.

[ANATOMICAL PARTS]

“Again, monks, he reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair, enclosed by skin, as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘in this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, bowels, mesentery, contents of the stomach, faeces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil of the joints, and urine.’

“Just as though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of many sorts of grain, such as hill rice, red rice, beans, peas, millet, and white rice, and a man with good eyes were to open it and review it thus: ‘this is hill rice, this is red rice, these are beans, these are peas, this is millet, this is white rice’; so too he reviews this same body.… (continue as above).

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body internally … externally … both internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in the body. Mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body.

[ELEMENTS]

“Again, monks, he reviews this same body, however it is placed, however disposed, as consisting of elements thus: ‘in this body there are the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element’.

“Just as though a skilled butcher or his apprentice had killed a cow and was seated at a crossroads with it cut up into pieces; so too he reviews this same body.… (continue as above).

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body internally … externally … both internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in the body. Mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body.

[CORPSE IN DECAY]

“Again, monks, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground – one, two, or three days dead, bloated, livid, and oozing matter … being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals, or various kinds of worms … a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together with sinews … a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, held together with sinews … a skeleton without flesh and blood, held together with sinews … disconnected bones scattered in all directions … bones bleached white, the colour of shells … bones heaped up, more than a year old … bones rotten and crumbling to dust – he compares this same body with it thus: ‘this body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’[2]

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body internally … externally … both internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in the body. Mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how in regard to the body he abides contemplating the body.

[FEELINGS]

“And how, monks, does he in regard to feelings abide contemplating feelings?

“Here, when feeling a pleasant feeling, he knows ‘I feel a pleasant feeling’; when feeling an unpleasant feeling, he knows ‘I feel an unpleasant feeling’; when feeling a neutral feeling, he knows ‘I feel a neutral feeling.’

“When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling, he knows ‘I feel a worldly pleasant feeling’; when feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling, he knows ‘I feel an unworldly pleasant feeling’; when feeling a worldly unpleasant feeling, he knows ‘I feel a worldly unpleasant feeling’; when feeling an unworldly unpleasant feeling, he knows ‘I feel an unworldly unpleasant feeling’; when feeling a worldly neutral feeling, he knows ‘I feel a worldly neutral feeling’; when feeling an unworldly neutral feeling, he knows ‘I feel an unworldly neutral feeling.’

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to feelings he abides contemplating feelings internally … externally … internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in feelings. Mindfulness that ‘there is feeling’ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world.

“That is how in regard to feelings he abides contemplating feelings.

[MIND]

“And how, monks, does he in regard to the mind abide contemplating the mind?

“Here he knows a lustful mind to be ‘lustful’, and a mind without lust to be ‘without lust’; he knows an angry mind to be ‘angry’, and a mind without anger to be ‘without anger’; he knows a deluded mind to be ‘deluded’, and a mind without delusion to be ‘without delusion’; he knows a contracted mind to be ‘contracted’, and a distracted mind to be ‘distracted’; he knows a great mind to be ‘great’, and a narrow mind to be ‘narrow’; he knows a surpassable mind to be ‘surpassable’, and an unsurpassable mind to be ‘unsurpassable’; he knows a concentrated mind to be ‘concentrated’, and an unconcentrated mind to be ‘unconcentrated’; he knows a liberated mind to be ‘liberated’, and an unliberated mind to be ‘unliberated.’

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to the mind he abides contemplating the mind internally … externally … internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in regard to the mind. Mindfulness that ‘there is a mind’ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world.

“That is how in regard to the mind he abides contemplating the mind.

[HINDRANCES]

“And how, monks, does he in regard to dhammas abide contemplating dhammas? Here in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the five hindrances. And how does he in regard to dhammas abide contemplating dhammas in terms of the five hindrances?

“If sensual desire is present in him, he knows ‘there is sensual desire in me’; if sensual desire is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no sensual desire in me’; and he knows how unarisen sensual desire can arise, how arisen sensual desire can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed sensual desire can be prevented.

“If aversion is present in him, he knows ‘there is aversion in me’; if aversion is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no aversion in me’; and he knows how unarisen aversion can arise, how arisen aversion can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed aversion can be prevented.

“If sloth-and-torpor is present in him, he knows ‘there is sloth-and-torpor in me’; if sloth-and-torpor is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no sloth-and-torpor in me’; and he knows how unarisen sloth-and-torpor can arise, how arisen sloth-and-torpor can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed sloth-and-torpor can be prevented.

“If restlessness-and-worry is present in him, he knows ‘there is restlessness-and-worry in me’; if restlessness-and-worry is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no restlessness-and-worry in me’; and he knows how unarisen restlessness-and-worry can arise, how arisen restlessness-and-worry can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed restlessnessand-worry can be prevented.

“If doubt is present in him, he knows ‘there is doubt in me’; if doubt is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no doubt in me’; and he knows how unarisen doubt can arise, how arisen doubt can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed doubt can be prevented.

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas internally … externally … internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in dhammas. Mindfulness that ‘there are dhammas‘ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world.

“That is how in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the five hindrances.

[AGGREGATES]

“Again, monks, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the five aggregates of clinging. And how does he in regard to dhammas abide contemplating dhammas in terms of the five aggregates of clinging?

Here he knows, ‘such is material form, such its arising, such its passing away; such is feeling, such its arising, such its passing away; such is cognition, such its arising, such its passing away; such are volitions, such their arising, such their passing away; such is consciousness, such its arising, such its passing away.’

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas internally … externally … internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in dhammas. Mindfulness that ‘there are dhammas‘ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world.

“That is how in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the five aggregates of clinging.

[SENSE-SPHERES]

“Again, monks, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the six internal and external sense-spheres. And how does he in regard to dhammas abide contemplating dhammas in terms of the six internal and external sense-spheres?

“Here he knows the eye, he knows forms, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.

“He knows the ear, he knows sounds, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.

“He knows the nose, he knows odours, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.

“He knows the tongue, he knows flavours, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.

“He knows the body, he knows tangibles, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.

“He knows the mind, he knows mind-objects, and he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also knows how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas internally … externally … internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in dhammas. Mindfulness that ‘there are dhammas‘ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world.

“That is how in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the six internal and external sense-spheres.

[AWAKENING FACTORS]

“Again, monks, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the seven awakening factors. And how does he in regard to dhammas abide contemplating dhammas in terms of the seven awakening factors?

“Here, if the mindfulness awakening factor is present in him, he knows ‘there is the mindfulness awakening factor in me’; if the mindfulness awakening factor is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no mindfulness awakening factor in me’; he knows how the unarisen mindfulness awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen mindfulness awakening factor can be perfected by development.

“If the investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor is present in him, he knows ‘there is the investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor in me’; if the investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor in me’; he knows how the unarisen investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor can be perfected by development.

“If the energy awakening factor is present in him, he knows ‘there is the energy awakening factor in me’; if the energy awakening factor is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no energy awakening factor in me’; he knows how the unarisen energy awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen energy awakening factor can be perfected by development.

“If the joy awakening factor is present in him, he knows ‘there is the joy awakening factor in me’; if the joy awakening factor is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no joy awakening factor in me’; he knows how the unarisen joy awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen joy awakening factor can be perfected by development.

“If the tranquillity awakening factor is present in him, he knows ‘there is the tranquillity awakening factor in me’; if the tranquillity awakening factor is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no tranquillity awakening factor in me’; he knows how the unarisen tranquillity awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen tranquillity awakening factor can be perfected by development.

“If the concentration awakening factor is present in him, he knows ‘there is the concentration awakening factor in me’; if the concentration awakening factor is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no concentration awakening factor in me’; he knows how the unarisen concentration awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen concentration awakening factor can be perfected by development.

“If the equanimity awakening factor is present in him, he knows ‘there is the equanimity awakening factor in me’; if the equanimity awakening factor is not present in him, he knows ‘there is no equanimity awakening factor in me’; he knows how the unarisen equanimity awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen equanimity awakening factor can be perfected by development.

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas internally … externally … internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in dhammas. Mindfulness that ‘there are dhammas‘ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world.

“That is how in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the seven awakening factors.

[NOBLE TRUTHS]

“Again, monks, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the four noble truths. And how does he in regard to dhammas abide contemplating dhammas in terms of the four noble truths?

“Here he knows as it really is, ‘this is dukkha‘; he knows as it really is, ‘this is the arising of dukkha‘; he knows as it really is, ‘this is the cessation of dukkha‘; he knows as it really is, ‘this is the way leading to the cessation of dukkha.’

[REFRAIN]

“In this way, in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas internally … externally … internally and externally. He abides contemplating the nature of arising … of passing away … of both arising and passing away in dhammas. Mindfulness that ‘there are dhammas‘ is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world.

“That is how in regard to dhammas he abides contemplating dhammas in terms of the four noble truths.

[PREDICTION]

“Monks, if anyone should develop these four satipaṭṭhānas in such a way for seven years, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or, if there is a trace of clinging left, nonreturning. Let alone seven years … 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 … half a month … if anyone should develop these four satipaṭṭhānas in such a way for seven days, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or, if there is a trace of clinging left, non-returning. So it was with reference to this that it was said:

[DIRECT PATH]

“Monks, this is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of dukkha and discontent, for acquiring the true method, for the realization of Nibbāna, namely, the four satipaṭṭhānas.”

That is what the Blessed One said. The monks were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

——————–

Notes:

[1] For my rendering of the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, I have mostly adopted the translation given in Ñāṇamoli (1995): pp.145–55. In a few instances, however, I have ventured to introduce my own renderings, based on the understanding gained in the progress of my research. In order to facilitate references to particular passages of the discourse, I have inserted a short headline above each section.

[2] In the actual discourse, each of the individual stages of the corpse in decay is followed by a full version of the “refrain”, which, for the sake of convenience, I have abbreviated here and in Fig. 1.1.

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Các bản dịch tiếng Anh khác:

1) Bhikkhu Sujato: https://suttacentral.net/en/mn10

2) Bhikkhu Thanisaro: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html

3) Nyanasatta Thera: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.nysa.html

4) Soma Thera: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tip…

5) Sister Uppalavanna: http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/2Majjhima-Nikaya/Majjhima1/010-satipatthanai-sutta-e1.html

6) U Jotika & U Dhamminda: https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/mahasati.htm

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satipatthana_Sutta

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