Satipaṭṭhāna Mūla

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  • Preamble

This is the path to con­ver­gence, monks & nuns, for the puri­fic­a­tion of beings, for sur­mount­ing sor­row & lam­ent­a­tion, for end­ing bod­ily & men­tal suf­fer­ing, for under­stand­ing the way, for wit­ness­ing Nib­bana: that is, the four satipaṭṭhānas. What four?


  • The four satipatthanas

Here, a monk or nun abides con­tem­plat­ing a body in the body intern­ally, he abides con­tem­plat­ing a body in the body extern­ally, he abides con­tem­plat­ing a body in the body intern­ally & externally​—​ardent, clearly com­pre­hend­ing, mind­ful, hav­ing removed desire & aver­sion for the world. He abides con­tem­plat­ing a feel­ing in the feel­ings intern­ally, he abides con­tem­plat­ing a feel­ing in the feel­ings extern­ally, he abides con­tem­plat­ing a feel­ing in the feel­ings intern­ally & externally​—​ardent, clearly com­pre­hend­ing, mind­ful, hav­ing removed desire & aver­sion for the world. He abides con­tem­plat­ing a mind in the mind intern­ally, he abides con­tem­plat­ing a mind in the mind extern­ally, he abides con­tem­plat­ing a mind in the mind intern­ally & externally​—​ardent, clearly com­pre­hend­ing, mind­ful, hav­ing removed desire & aver­sion for the world. He abides con­tem­plat­ing a dhamma in the dham­mas intern­ally, he abides con­tem­plat­ing a dhamma in the dham­mas extern­ally, he abides con­tem­plat­ing a dhamma in the dham­mas intern­ally & externally​—​ardent, clearly com­pre­hend­ing, mind­ful, hav­ing removed desire & aver­sion for the world.


  • Contemplation of the body

And how, monks & nuns, does a monk or nun abide con­tem­plat­ing a body in the body?

Here, a monk or nun reviews this very body up from the soles of the feet and down from the tips of the hair, bounded by skin and full of many kinds of impur­it­ies thus: ‘In this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kid­neys, heart, liver, spleen, lungs, dia­phragm, large intest­ines, small intest­ines, con­tents of the stom­ach, fae­ces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spit, snot, oil of the joints, and urine.’ Just as if there was a bag with an open­ing at both ends, full of vari­ous sorts of grain, such as hill rice, red rice, mung beans, peas, mil­let, and white rice, a man with good eyes were to open it up and review it thus: ‘This is hill rice, this is red rice, these are mung beans, these are peas, this is mil­let, this is white rice.’ In just the same way, a monk or nun reviews this very body up from the soles of the feet and down from the tips of the hair, bounded by skin and full of many kinds of impur­it­ies thus: ‘In this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kid­neys, heart, liver, spleen, lungs, dia­phragm, large intest­ines, small intest­ines, con­tents of the stom­ach, fae­ces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spit, snot, oil of the joints, and urine.’

Mind­ful­ness of the body is well estab­lished for the sake of know­ledge & vis­ion. One abides inde­pend­ent, not grasp­ing at any­thing in the world. That is how a monk or nun abides con­tem­plat­ing a body in the body.


  • Contemplation of feelings

And fur­ther, monks and nuns, how does a monk or nun abide con­tem­plat­ing a feel­ing in the feelings?

Here, when feel­ing a pleas­ant feel­ing a monk or nun under­stands: ‘I feel a pleas­ant feel­ing.’ When feel­ing an unpleas­ant feel­ing he under­stands: ‘I feel an unpleas­ant feel­ing.’ When feel­ing a neither pleas­ant nor unpleas­ant feel­ing he under­stands: ‘I feel a neither pleas­ant nor unpleas­ant 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 unpleas­ant feel­ing he under­stands: ‘I feel a car­nal unpleas­ant feel­ing.’ When feel­ing a spir­itual unpleas­ant feel­ing he under­stands: ‘I feel a spir­itual unpleas­ant feeling.’

When feel­ing a car­nal neither pleas­ant nor unpleas­ant feel­ing he under­stands: ‘I feel a car­nal neither pleas­ant nor unpleas­ant feel­ing.’ When feel­ing a spir­itual neither pleas­ant nor unpleas­ant feel­ing he under­stands: ‘I feel a spir­itual neither pleas­ant nor unpleas­ant feeling.’

Mind­ful­ness of feel­ings is well estab­lished for the sake of know­ledge & vis­ion. One abides inde­pend­ent, not grasp­ing at any­thing in the world. That is how a monk or nun abides con­tem­plat­ing a feel­ing in the feelings.


  • Contemplation of the mind

And fur­ther, monks and nuns, how does a monk or nun abide con­tem­plat­ing a mind in the mind?

Here a monk or nun under­stands mind with lust as ‘mind with lust’. He under­stands mind without lust as ‘mind without lust’.

He under­stands mind with anger as ‘mind with anger’. He under­stands mind without anger as ‘mind without anger’.

He under­stands mind with delu­sion as ‘mind with delu­sion’. He under­stands mind without delu­sion as ‘mind without delusion’.

He under­stands con­trac­ted mind as ‘con­trac­ted mind’. He under­stands dis­trac­ted mind as ‘dis­trac­ted mind’.

He under­stands exal­ted mind as ‘exal­ted mind’. He under­stands unex­al­ted mind as ‘unex­al­ted mind’.

He under­stands sur­passed mind as ‘sur­passed mind’. He under­stands unsur­passed mind as ‘unsur­passed mind’.

He understands mind in samādhi as ‘mind in samādhi’. He under­stands mind not in samādhi as ‘mind not in samādhi’.

He under­stands released mind as ‘released mind’. He under­stands unre­leased mind as ‘unre­leased mind’.

Mind­ful­ness of the mind is well estab­lished for the sake of know­ledge & vis­ion. One abides inde­pend­ent, not grasp­ing at any­thing in the world. That is how a monk or nun abides con­tem­plat­ing a mind in the mind.


  • Contemplation of dhammas

And fur­ther, monks and nuns, how does a monk or nun abide con­tem­plat­ing a dhamma in the dhammas?

Here, when there is sen­sual desire in him, a monk or nun understands: ‘There is sen­sual desire in me’. When there is no sen­sual desire in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no sen­sual desire in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen sen­sual desire comes to be. And he under­stands how the abandon­ing of the arisen sen­sual desire comes to be. And he under­stands how the non-arising in the future of the unarisen sen­sual desire comes to be.

When there is anger in him, he under­stands: ‘There is anger in me’. When there is no anger in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no anger in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen anger comes to be. And he under­stands how the abandon­ing of the arisen anger comes to be. And he under­stands how the non-arising in the future of the unarisen anger comes to be.

When there is sloth & tor­por in him, he under­stands: ‘There is sloth & tor­por in me’. When there is no sloth & tor­por in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no sloth & tor­por in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen sloth & tor­por comes to be. And he under­stands how the abandon­ing of the arisen sloth & tor­por comes to be. And he under­stands how the non-arising in the future of the unarisen sloth & tor­por comes to be.

When there is rest­less­ness & remorse in him, he under­stands: ‘There is rest­less­ness & remorse in me’. When there is no rest­less­ness & remorse in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no rest­less­ness & remorse in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen rest­less­ness & remorse comes to be. And he under­stands how the abandon­ing of the arisen rest­less­ness & remorse comes to be. And he under­stands how the non-arising in the future of the unarisen rest­less­ness & remorse comes to be.

When there is doubt in him, he under­stands: ‘There is doubt in me’. When there is no doubt in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no doubt in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen doubt comes to be. And he under­stands how the abandon­ing of the arisen doubt comes to be. And he under­stands how the non-arising in the future of the unarisen doubt comes to be.


When there is the awakening-factor of mind­ful­ness in him, he under­stands: ‘There is the awakening-factor of mind­ful­ness in me’. When there is no awakening-factor of mind­ful­ness in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no awakening-factor of mind­ful­ness in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen awakening-factor of mind­ful­ness comes to be. And he under­stands how the ful­fil­ment through devel­op­ment of the arisen awakening-factor of mind­ful­ness comes to be.

When there is the awakening-factor of invest­ig­a­tion of dham­mas in him, he under­stands: ‘There is the awakening-factor of invest­ig­a­tion of dham­mas in me’. When there is no awakening-factor of invest­ig­a­tion of dham­mas in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no awakening-factor of invest­ig­a­tion of dham­mas in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen awakening-factor of invest­ig­a­tion of dham­mas comes to be. And he under­stands how the ful­fil­ment through devel­op­ment of the arisen awakening-factor of invest­ig­a­tion of dham­mas comes to be.

When there is the awakening-factor of energy in him, he under­stands: ‘There is the awakening-factor of energy in me’. When there is no awakening-factor of energy in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no awakening-factor of energy in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen awakening-factor of energy comes to be. And he under­stands how the ful­fil­ment through devel­op­ment of the arisen awakening-factor of energy comes to be.

When there is the awakening-factor of rap­ture in him, he under­stands: ‘There is the awakening-factor of rap­ture in me’. When there is no awakening-factor of rap­ture in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no awakening-factor of rap­ture in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen awakening-factor of rap­ture comes to be. And he under­stands how the ful­fil­ment through devel­op­ment of the arisen awakening-factor of rap­ture comes to be.

When there is the awakening-factor of tran­quil­lity in him, he under­stands: ‘There is the awakening-factor of tran­quil­lity in me’. When there is no awakening-factor of tran­quil­lity in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no awakening-factor of tran­quil­lity in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen awakening-factor of tran­quil­lity comes to be. And he under­stands how the ful­fil­ment through devel­op­ment of the arisen awakening-factor of tran­quil­lity comes to be.

When there is the awakening-factor of samādhi in him, he under­stands: ‘There is the awakening-factor of samādhi in me’. When there is no awakening-factor of samādhi in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no awakening-factor of samādhi in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen awakening-factor of samādhi comes to be. And he under­stands how the ful­fil­ment through devel­op­ment of the arisen awakening-factor of samādhi comes to be.

When there is the awakening-factor of equan­im­ity in him, he under­stands: ‘There is the awakening-factor of equan­im­ity in me’. When there is no awakening-factor of equan­im­ity in him, he under­stands: ‘There is no awakening-factor of equan­im­ity in me’. And he under­stands how the arising of the unarisen awakening-factor of equan­im­ity comes to be. And he under­stands how the ful­fil­ment through devel­op­ment of the arisen awakening-factor of equan­im­ity comes to be.


Mind­ful­ness of dham­mas is well estab­lished for the sake of know­ledge & vis­ion. One abides inde­pend­ent, not grasp­ing at any­thing in the world. That is how a monk or nun abides con­tem­plat­ing a dhamma in the dhammas.

This is the path lead­ing to con­ver­gence, monks & nuns, for the puri­fic­a­tion of beings, for sur­mount­ing sor­row & lam­ent­a­tion, for end­ing bod­ily & men­tal suf­fer­ing, for under­stand­ing the way, for wit­ness­ing Nib­bana; that is, the four satipaṭṭhānas.