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#1 RobertK



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Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:45 AM

Guide for developing the Foundations of Mindfulness

A Guide for developing the Foundations of Mindfulness

キキキ Contemplation on the Postures キキキ

Achan Prani Samreungrat

She delivered this talk on March 5th, 2524 (1981 C.E.)
at Vivatta Insight Practice Institute
Ayutthaya, Thailand

namo tassa bhagavato arahato samm・sambuddhassa
Homage to the Exalted One, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One

The contemplation-grounds for the practice of Insight (vipassan・kammatth穗a )
Good people, who have conviction (saddh・ and interest in practicing for the purpose of getting away from the endless cycle of death and birth (samsara-vatta), must consider carefully the reason why they want to practice Dhamma, the method leading out of the cycle of suffering (samsara-dukkha). 填sing what method and practicing how, do I get away from this cycle?・According to the authorities [the P稷i Canon and its Commentaries] one must practice the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (4 satipatth穗as), which are the contemplation of body (k窕a), the contemplation of feeling (vedan・, the contemplation of mind (citta) and the contemplation of mind-objects (dhamma). Body, feeling, mind and mind-objects are the four objects (穩ammana, or vatthu) to be contemplated. The contemplation of body is the contemplation of physical phenomena (rupa): walking-rupa, sitting-rupa, lying-rupa and standing-rupa; this is mindfulness regarding the body (k窕anupassan・satipatth穗a).

Therefore, if one has the intention to practice, a correct understanding needs to be developed in advance: one must be sure to know for what reason the practice is going to be undertaken. This first step concerns the development of a proper understanding (yoniso manasik穩a). If one starts the practice because one desires to acquire merit, desires peace, desires to develop certain insight, desires to see heaven or hell, etc. (ayoniso manasik穩a), then one is off-track. Hence the importance of carefully considering 預nd studying・before the practice takes place; this is the way to develop a correct understanding. First one must start by knowing what physical phenomena (rupa) are and what mental phenomena (n穃a) are, and what is the methodology needed to contemplate them: How should one contemplate? How should one apply awareness (manasik穩a) when walking, standing, sitting or lying down? It is necessary to contemplate a priori the cause (yoniso manasik穩a): for what reason is one to walk, stand, or sit? If it is necessary, one walks or sits, if it is not, one does not.

哲ecessary・or 渡ecessity・means that the posture cannot be endured (sitting or walking, standing or lying down is no longer tolerated). The posture can be changed when one is really being oppressed by dukkha 耀tiffness and/or aching・ but one must know for what reason one is going to change. When one changes to recuperate, to feel comfortable or likewise, one is creating aiding conditions (paccaya) for defilement (kilesa) to arise. This means one must know the method to prevent defilement, so that it cannot arise in any given object. Defilement always depends on the four postures [for its arising]. An example is when one desires to walk, stand, sit or lie down, to get comfortable. The thinking desires to sit or lie down to get comfortable. Just this is defilement; it is a consequence of the wrong feeling/perception about the reason [why one changes], and it is a condition for the occurrence of [further] defilement. Defilement, therefore, is dependent on defilement for its arising, in this way creating more and more cycles of birth and death, which is the endless continuation of dukkha. The truth is that although one does not want to sit, one has to sit; although one does not want to lie down, one has to lie down. Matter-of-factly one can see how impossible it would be if one were to only sit or only lie down without changing the posture at all. Walking, standing, sitting, or lying down after some time inevitably bring about stiffness and/or aching.

The truth regarding the various postures is that they are all dukkha, dukkha in the sense that one is compelled to change all the time for the sake of easing something. Stiffness and aching are dukkha-vedan・[unpleasant feeling]. But when one changes, when one eases dukkha, one thinks that one wants to recuperate, to feel comfortable, but one never realizes that one is changing solely to ease dukkha, that dukkha is forcing us to change all day, all night. Even when sleeping, at the very moment of waking up, one has to make a movement right away because the stiffness and/or aching are already present. When the previous posture/gesture is not bearable anymore, one is forced to ease dukkha [i.e. to change]. When there is stiffness and/or aching, one dislikes it: this is aversion (dosa). When one changes with the aim to recover, one likes it: this is attachment (lobha). Therefore, before changing, one has to contemplate the reason why one is to change. Before the change takes place one should be aware that it is necessary to change because the present posture is not endurable, and that one changes to ease dukkha, not to recuperate from or to get comfortable.

Please try to contemplate every posture/gesture in this manner.

典he one who knows・ or 鍍he one who contemplates・ must become aware that nama is 鍍he one who knows・ If one focuses only on rupa, one cannot become aware that nama is of 鍍he one who knows・ 鍍he one who contemplates・ Therefore, when one does not know who is seeing, the mind (citta) knows in a non-conscious way (it knows nothing about itself). One also needs to be aware of what rupa is being known: is it sitting-rupa or lying-rupa? This is the way one should know, so that the misunderstanding that all rupas are the same does not arise.

The truth is that sitting-rupa and lying-rupa are different from each other, and standing-rupa and walking-rupa are different from each other. It is not true that they are the same rupa, because each rupa has its own 堵esture・[its own particular way of manifesting itself]. So who is sitting or who is lying down must be known in the gesture [i.e. in the posture]. In terms of gesture, each rupa is different from one another. If the practitioner does not become aware that the sitting posture is sitting-rupa, or that the lying posture is lying-rupa, etc., then the disintegration of the perception of compactness (ghanasa・ will not take place because one has always perceived that walking, standing, sitting and lying down is 的・or 杜e・悠 wish to sit so then I sit, I wish to lie down so then I lie down・since one firmly clings to them as a 都elf・ as 杜y self・

Therefore, it is a necessity for the practitioner to know that when contemplating sitting睦upa, sitting is rupa. Lying down is rupa, standing is rupa, walking is rupa. This is how the perception of compactness (i.e. the idea of massiveness) disintegrates, or loses cohesion, and the idea of self does not arise.

The aim of this practice is the eradication of the idea/feeling of self and the wrong view that is causing the adherence to 鍍his is self・and 鍍his is my self・ This is why one needs to study in order to develop a correct understanding of the namas-rupas happening throughout the various sense-doors ・both internally and externally: what nama is and what rupa is must be known. This is most important, because this is what eradicates wrong view: the attachment that wrongly perceives things as 都elf・and 杜y self・ This misunderstanding its not particularly about the body and the postures, it exists generally throughout body and mind, 傭oth internally and externally・because when there is a 都elf・[internal], there has to be a 杜ine・[external]. Therefore, with the intention of developing a correct understanding about the practice 傭efore actually starting to practice・the practitioner must study about rupa-nama happening at the various sense-doors: such as rupa-nama through the eye-door, the ear-door, etc. Below is a concise explanation about this, specifically in the sense of practice, to be memorized easily. For example, through the eye-door, what is nama and what is rupa?

through the eye-door seeing is nama the color is rupa

through the ear-door hearing is nama the sound is rupa

through the nose-door smelling is nama the smell is rupa

through the tongue-door tasting is nama the taste is rupa

through the body-sense
-knowing hardness, softness, heat, cold, motion, pressure is nama
-hardness, softness, heat, cold, motion, pressure are rupa

through the mind-door (mano)
thinking, pondering, liking, disliking, sleepiness, irritation,
annoyance, laziness, fear, boredom, worry, and so forth are nama

Sitting, lying down, standing and walking are known through the mind, are not known through the eyes or seen through the eyes. During practice one must know through the heart/mind (mano). The heart/mind (citta) is the one who knows, the one who contemplates.

The practitioner needs to memorize in advance all that has just been explained. It is necessary for it to be known, memorized and also understood, because it is extremely important to the person wishing to be free from dukkha. It is a fundamental basis for the practice, because some wrong views reside in rupa, others in nama. For example:

Through the eye the wrong view is: 的 see・ 熔ne takes seeing-nama as self

Through the ear the wrong view is: 的 hear・熔ne takes hearing-nama as self

Through the nose the wrong view is: 的 smell・熔ne takes smelling-rupa as self

Through the tongue the wrong view is: 的 taste・熔ne takes tasting-rupa as self

Through the body-sense the wrong view is: 的 am cold・ 的 feel hot・nbsp; 熔ne takes coldness-rupa,
heat-rupa, hardness-rupa, softness-rupa, etc. for self

Through the heart/mind everything is grasped entirely with wrong view because defilement is in the mind [it is a mental factor]. How is it viewed wrongly? Wrong view is 的・悠 walk, I stand, I sit, I lie down, I see, I hear, I smell, I taste, I feel cold, I feel hot, I feel comfortable, I like it, I don稚 like it, I love, I detest, I hate, I feel angry, etc.; Lord Buddha calls this view att穗uditthi [都elf-view・or 砺iew that self exists脳. One feels one is a self; this view is called sakk窕aditthi [菟ersonality-belief・or 兎mbodiment view脳.

Love, gladness, desire to get, desire to know, desire to see, desire to hear, desire to smell, desire to taste, desire to know about this and that 預ny kind of desire・is lobha (tanh・ craving). Craving and wrong view (ditthi) are the first two important things that must be abandoned by anyone who wishes to get away from the cycle of dukkha. As long as one does not abandon them, one is obliged to wander on in birth, old age (decay), sickness and death, which is the round of dukkha (vatta-dukkha) that is endlessly repeating itself, birth after birth, old age after old age, illness after illness, death after death. Being born time and again, aging time and again, getting sick time and again, dying time and again: one is caught burning in the fire of dukkha and defilement perpetually.

If the question arises: 展hat benefit is there in being born as a human being?・Rebirth in the condition of a human being is the result of merit, of ethically wholesome action (kusala-kamma) done in the past. Once in a great while birth as a human being has the chance to occur. Therefore, being born in the condition of a human being and meeting with the Lord Buddha痴 teaching can be considered as the greatest fortune. Lord Buddha handed over his legacy to the current generation of people of integrity. It is for the Lord Buddha痴 assemblies to help each other to maintain this superb legacy. What is this legacy? The Four Foundations of Mindfulness. For this reason, those interested in practicing have to listen, read and study thoroughly the method of practice in order to achieve a good understanding prior to the practice. Also one has to know that the cultivation of mental development (bh穽an・ based on The Four Foundations of Mindfulness is for stepping away from birth, i.e. for the eradication of this entire mass of suffering 溶ot to get happiness and comfort. Once the practitioner knows the reason for walking, standing, sitting and lying down, he can proceed to the next step.

Launching the practice
While sitting, one is aware of the sitting posture and one is aware that one is being aware of sitting-rupa. While lying down, one is aware of the lying posture and one is aware that one is being aware of lying-rupa. While standing, one is aware of the standing posture and one is aware that one is being aware of standing-rupa. While walking, one is aware of the walking posture and one is aware that one is being aware of walking-rupa 謡alking is manifested through the pacing movement. Before one changes from one posture to another or before one does any simple minor movement, one needs to know the reason, and one needs to have mindfulness (sati) all the time. If one changes unmindfully, then one lets it pass; but if one is being mindful, then it is necessary to know what is causing one to move or to change. Why is it necessary to make a change? The stiffness and/or aching are forcing one not to stay with the given posture. If it is truly necessary one should change , but one must know that one is changing to ease dukkha. The awareness has to be like this. One must have this kind of feeling/awareness in every posture. One does not change without awareness. Wisdom (pa・ cannot arise if one changes without awareness. Knowing dukkha is a factor for wisdom to arise. Wisdom in Buddhism knows that which is true: dukkha. Dukkha is a reality, a truth (sacca-dhamma).

At the time of eating one should contemplate in advance: 展hy does one eat?・Is it possible not to eat? In fact, it is impossible because of hunger. Hunger breeds discomfort. Hunger forces one to eat. Not to eat is unbearable. One must contemplate according to reality: one eats because one has to ease dukkha, not because it is delicious.

After eating, one has to wash the utensils one used for eating. One must contemplate on the necessity for washing them. What if one does not wash them? Can one eat using the unwashed utensils in the next meal?

What is the reason why one drinks water? One drinks because of the dry throat and the thirst: this is dukkha. One drinks to ease dukkha.

Why does one need to take a shower? Is it possible not to take a shower? One must be aware of the actual reason why one takes a shower and then afterwards one goes ahead and takes a shower. One does not take a shower just to follow one痴 habit; maybe one is used to taking a shower in the morning when waking up and does it automatically. It is not forbidden for the practitioner to take a shower, but one just needs to know in advance the reason why one is doing it.

Changing clothes? Is it possible to go without changing clothes? Why? Must one wear clothes? Can one not wear clothes? Normally one wears clothes to look nice and puts on clothing for the sake of beauty, thus one selects this or that color. Instead, clothes are used because of the sense of shame, to protect the body against cold and sun, and to keep insects from biting us.

Can one wear unwashed clothes that one wore already? One surely cannot. Why does one wash clothing? People normally wash their clothes to make them clean, thinking that the clothes are dirty. The truth is that the clothes are dirty because one has worn them, right? Is it really the clothes that are dirty, or is it oneself? Please observe these matters carefully.

When defecating or urinating, one has to contemplate in advance the reason why one has to do it and what would happen if one would not do it (surely one cannot). When one walks to the toilet one has to be mindful of walking-rupa, or of the dukkha of having to ease dukkha.

Why does one washes one痴 face or brushes one痴 teeth? Can one not do it?

At night, the time comes when it is necessary to sleep, the body has to rest. Knowing the reason why one goes to sleep, one lies down being aware of lying-rupa. One should fall asleep with the wish in one痴 heart to wake up. Whenever one wakes up, one should try to be mindful of lying-rupa right away. Before getting up one must contemplate on the reason, 展hat is causing me to get up?・Also how many times is one turning around before falling asleep? Please be aware of your actions.

Normally, when doing something, one wants it done fast. Once it is done, one is happy. Right then, one looks for something else to do. This is done automatically out of habit. The practitioner cannot do things in this way. For example: one thinks one has to finish eating and finish washing the dishes so that one can resume ones sitting meditation. Don稚 do it like this, don稚 think in this manner. Do not harbor the feeling/idea that one is a kammatth穗a-person: a 杜editator・or a 菟ractitioner・

One should not do walking-kammatth穗a , or sitting-kammatth穗a. When one is walking-kammatth穗a, one is not walking naturally. Sitting-kammatth穗a is sitting unnaturally. One should sit normally as one usually does: sitting to ease the stiffness. One walks naturally: to ease the stiffness, to ease dukkha. One walks neither in a hurry nor in an artificial way (one walks as if taking a walk). This has to be accompanied with mindfulness and clear comprehension (sati-sampajaa): being aware of the walking posture and knowing that it is walking-rupa. Everything one does should be done a little slower than usual, which does not mean that one 僧akes it up・ i.e. does it artificially. Anything one does should be done one at a time, one by one. Things are not done simultaneously. For instance: at the same time the hand is getting the food, the mouth is chewing, the eyes are staring elsewhere and the mind is aiming around. This is incorrect; one is lacking restraint (samvara). The practitioner must always have restraint, at all times.

Practitioners are inclined to want calmness, they are looking for peace, and this is not appropriate. When one desires to see rupa clearly, one gets annoyed when wandering mind (uddhacca) occurs. One should realize instead that wandering mind is nama, and it is also a mind-object (dhamma) , a mental object that is showing reality. Not having proper consideration (yoniso manasik穩a) is a factor for defilement. Practicing correctly is when one is aware of wandering mind 楊nowing that wandering mind is nama・and then one comes back again to contemplate the existing rupa in the present moment. When one comes back to know rupa one must do so with sikkhati (observation). This kind of observation is able to discern if one is practicing correctly or incorrectly.

Entering the working-ground (kammatth穗a)
When entering the working-ground one should bear in mind that one comes here to train . Hoping, wanting and arranging/directing this and that is defilement. As long as defilement is present wisdom cannot arise because the mind is rather following defilement. When practicing for the eradication of dukkha, one must become familiar with dukkha and defilement, and understand the method to extinguish defilement. Do not think that a still or silent mind is a mind without defilement. This is not true. An unmoving peaceful mind does not know what is what; this is called delusion (moha-kilesa). The satisfaction of: 徹h! My mind is so quiet, it痴 not going anywhere・is greed (lobha北ilesa) and wrong view (ditthi-kilesa). Greed and wrong view happen in this way. The development of The Foundations of Mindfulness is not for the purpose of calmness but for becoming aware of what is correct in accordance with the true state of the nature of things (sabh穽a). The nature of the mind is to be aware of an object 謡ith the tendency of knowing it incorrectly. This is due to the fact that one is conditioned to know incorrectly; therefore, one must train oneself into knowing correctly. One has to start training in another direction: in knowing ourselves by ourselves, not in knowing things outside. Mostly we know about others, about their business. About the business within we are not aware.

While eating, one hand is getting the food, the mouth is chewing and the eyes are staring with curiosity at the dishes: 展hat curry is this? Is it good or not?・When taking a shower one does it quickly, when washing the dishes one does it in haste. Whatever one does, one does it as in a hurry. This is because one is used to doing things in this way 預utomatically. When doing things in a hurry, mindfulness cannot follow.

The development of Insight (vipassan・ is to know about nama-rupa. Knowing nama-rupa is to know about dukkha. Knowing dukkha is to know about the abandonment of craving. For this reason, one must know where craving arises, when does it arise, what does it depend on for its arising, and why does it arise.

Craving arising through the eye depends on visible object, i.e. color [for its arising]

Craving arising through the ear depends on sound

Craving arising through the nose depends on odor

Craving arising through the tongue depends on flavor

Craving arising through the body-sense depends on tactile object

Craving arising through the mind depends on mind-object

Craving depends for its arising on these six places. Craving is nama. Why does craving arise? It arises because of the wrong understanding about the cause [reason], about the true state of the nature of things (sabh穽a). Wrong understanding perceives/feels things not in accordance to what is real, it serves as an aiding condition (paccaya) for the arising of craving. Comprehending dukkha is the abandonment of craving. Craving wants happiness [pleasure]. Craving whispers to the mind. Craving desires a new posture because it sees the new posture as happiness. When the change of posture takes place without knowing that it is done for the sake of easing dukkha, then craving-satisfaction immediately gets the chance to arise in the new posture. When knowing that the change is to ease dukkha, then craving-satisfaction finds it impossible to arise in the new posture. When the new posture is not an aiding condition for the arising of craving, the old posture that was dukkha 用ain and/or aching・would not be an aiding condition for the arising of dissatisfaction (dosa). When feeling comfortable 葉hat is, satisfied・it is called lobha [greed/attachment: liking]. When feeling uncomfortable 葉hat is, dissatisfied・it is called dosa [aversion: disliking].

When there is a headache, a stomachache, or any bodily sickness there may be, one should see nama: see that the unpleasant feeling is nama (nama-pain). This is to abandon the idea that it is 杜e・who feels the pain, feels the physical sickness, etc. Where is the sickness? One should know that the physical sickness is not in the mind, but in the body. The dukkha that arises from the physical sickness should be recognized as nama and should be cured with medicine. This is not the same dukkha that arises from the postures; the dukkha that arises because of walking, sitting, etc. for some time, must be recognized in the rupa. Which rupa is dukkha, is it walking-rupa or is it sitting-rupa? When nama is dukkha, one should know which nama is dukkha. When there is stiffness and/or aching from walking or standing, one changes the posture to ease it. However, when dukkha arises from physical sickness, one cures it with medicine; and in this case the unpleasant mental feeling (dukkha-vedan・ is what is to be contemplated, not rupa. By knowing that each posture is dukkha, one is able to expel the craving that is dependent of the different postures [for its arising]. Knowing 用rior to changing the posture・the reason why one is to change, that is, knowing that one changes to ease dukkha, is the way to expel craving from arising in the new posture, because craving sees the new posture as a field for happiness, consequently it desires a new posture. As one goes on contemplating every posture in this manner one sees that they are all dukkha, that absolutely no happiness can be found. Craving is hope [for happiness]. When contemplating in this manner hope is hopeless, it has no place to depend on anymore: every single rupa is realized as dukkha, not even one 預nywhere・can be seen as happy (sukha). Craving, therefore, gives up all its longing, and the perverted understanding (vipall龝a) 葉hat sees the body as beautiful and rupa-nama as happy, permanent and self謡ill also be absent from the mind.

Perversion (vipall龝a-dhamma) is the view that sees in a distorted way, blurred, different from what is real. It can be compared to how a man whose mind is possessed perceives the world. In terms of the constituent parts of a system (anga-dhamma), perversions may be of view (ditthi-vipall龝a), thought (citta-vipall龝a) or memory (sa・vipall龝a), which is seeing distortedly, knowing distortedly and remembering distortedly respectively. However, perversion has four objects:

1 The perversion of beauty (subha-vipall龝a) regards what is impure (ugly: asubha) as pure or beautiful.
2 The perversion of happiness (sukha-vipall龝a) regards what is suffering (dukkha) as happiness-yielding.
3 The perversion of permanence (nicca-vipall龝a) regards what is impermanent (anicca) as permanent.
4 The perversion of self (att・vipall龝a) regards what is without self (anatt・ as 杜e・or 杜ine・

The 4 perversions arise all the time. When ditthi views thing distortedly, citta follows by knowing also distortedly and then sa・by remembering distortedly. As long as these perversions still exist, one will be under darkness forever.

The defilements of greed, aversion and delusion arise in us all day long because one has ignorance (avijj・ not-knowing) and understands things through perversion. Just these four perversions are the fundamental root-causes that support defilements. And, what is one ignorant of and understands perversely? The true reason why one does things, i.e. that everything one does is to ease dukkha. Please do examine profoundly this fact of life.

Having no food to eat is dukkha. Having no medicine when one is sick is dukkha. Having no clothes to cover the body is dukkha. Having no dwelling to protect oneself from the sun and rain is dukkha. Having to be in haste busily earning a living, like nowadays, is because of dukkha itself 様ooking for money to buy food, to buy whatever, again, it is for [nothing else other than] the easing of dukkha. However, one does not see the truth of this. One thinks that the more money one earns, the more happiness one gets; but the truth is that the more one has the more dukkha one has, due to the fear of robbery, the fear of being cheated, and the need to keep and maintain. This is obvious dukkha, but one does not see it. Worry, fear, concern for this, concern for that, fear of this, fear of that; fear of sickness, fear of death, fear of difficulty, fear of poverty, and hundreds and thousands more. And what about the dukkha caused by sickness? And what about the dukkha caused by our own defilements? And what about the dukkha caused by the defilements of others? Dukkha and trouble are within oneself all the time. Once one has eased dukkha, one feels glad and happy. When dukkha occurs, then one is in trouble: one runs to see the fortuneteller, one asks gods and deities for help.

If through contemplation one verily gets an insight into cause-and-effect, then profound confidence in the teaching of Lord Buddha will arise. It would not be necessary to look for other things as a refuge; one would have confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Ariya Sangha . Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha would be our true refuge. Lord Buddha teaches us to make ourselves one痴 own refuge . If one has oneself as the true refuge, there is no need to look for help in a god or a goddess 熔ne can never be sure whether they can help us or not.

Buddhism arose in the world because Siddhattha renounced his royal throne for the search of freedom until he attained a thorough insight-knowledge of the Four Noble Truths (ariya-sacca) . He preached his teaching to good people for them to be able to attain the same knowledge. Due to the fact that one does not have a thorough knowledge of the Four Noble Truths one still cannot go beyond dukkha. Actually the Noble Truths exist within all of us, but we do not know it. What are the Noble Truths? The Noble Truths are rupa-nama 謡hich is nothing else but the five aggregates (5 khandas) themselves, which in brief are: the rupa-aggregate which consists of walking, standing, sitting and lying down, or the whole body itself; and the nama-aggregate that consists of four: a feeling-aggregate (vedan・khanda), a perception-aggregate (sa・khanda), a mental formations-aggregate (sankh穩a-khanda), which is comprised of fifty elements, and a consciousness-aggregate (vi穗a-khanda). Together they are called 鍍he five aggregates・ However, among the fifty elements comprising the mental formations-aggregate, there is one that is samudaya-sacca [the Truth of the Origin], the rest are all dukkha-sacca [the Truth of Suffering]. The one element that is the Truth of the Origin is greed (lobha), i.e. craving (tanh・ .

Human beings are born with the five aggregates; this is why every human being embodies two Noble Truths in himself already: one is the Truth of Suffering, the other is the Truth of the Origin 葉he defilement that originates [creates] dukkha in us . Lord Buddha teaches that there are Four Noble Truths: Dukkha, Samudaya, Nirodha and Magga [Suffering, Origin, Cessation and Path respectively], and that in order to cultivate the path one must practice in accordance with the duty of each Noble Truth:

Dukkha-sacca its duty is that it must be known [i.e. fully understood]
The Truth of Suffering

Samudaya-sacca its duty is that it must be abandoned
The Truth of the Origin

Nirodha-sacca its duty is that it must be realized
The Truth of Cessation

Magga-sacca its duty is that it must be cultivated
The Truth of the Path

Our duty is to know dukkha in the postures, both mayor and minor , because the Four Truths are interrelated. Knowing that one is forced by the dukkha in the posture to change to ease dukkha, is the way to prevent craving from arising in the new posture (this is the abandonment of craving). Craving does not like dukkha; therefore, the new posture would not be a factor for craving to arise. Craving conceives the new posture as happiness; therefore, it desires to change, it desires a new posture. When this fact is known correctly, craving cannot enter and reside in the new posture. This is why knowing dukkha is the abandonment of craving. This is saying that the practice is following the duty of the Four Noble Truths: at the moment of knowing Dukkha and [i.e.] abandoning Tanh・ one is realizing Nirodha and cultivating Magga .

This is the reason why those interested in getting away from dukkha should try to contemplate this nama-rupa. This nama-rupa itself is the truth of suffering (dukkha-sacca). However, one has to see the bodily unpleasant feeling first. To see the Truth of Suffering itself, very powerful wisdom is required. Bodily unpleasant feeling is dukkha that can be eased; the Truth of Suffering can only be known, not eased. Lord Buddha says that beings do not see dukkha because they do not contemplate the postures. After changing position, one feels happy, thus craving likes it. The perception of compactness eclipses the impersonal nature of things (anatt・, which results in seeing what is not self as self. Continuity (santati) eclipses impermanence, which results in seeing what 殿rises and ceases moment by moment・as permanent.

When coming to practice (kammatth穗a) it is necessary to bear in mind that one comes here to do a training 熔ne does not come to see rupa-nama, to attain path-result (magga-phala), to become a teacher, nor for any other purpose・these are all factors for craving to arise. One needs to comprehend this correctly so that defilements do not enter to abide. As long as defilements exist, wisdom cannot have the chance to arise to know reality. The fact is that the practitioner should train himself properly; if the cause is correct, there is no need to worry about the result. Even if the practitioner does not want to see, he will see. However, [for this to happen] one has to have the namas & rupas as a teacher first; it is nama-rupa what will teach us [not the other way around]. The most important thing is that first one must stop wanting. When desire ceases, the end of dukkha is reached.

The postures are contemplated because they are one of the working-grounds (kammatth穗as) used for contemplation, that is, 鍍he contemplation of the body for the application of mindfulness (kayanupassan・satipatth穗a)・ Lord Buddha teaches the Foundations of Mindfulness in four categories: (1) contemplation of body, (2) contemplation of feeling, (3) contemplation of mind, (4) contemplation of mind-objects. Lord Buddha teaches in this way due to the fact that beings have different preferences 葉hey have different dispositions (carita): craving disposition (tanh・carita) and wrong view disposition (ditthi-carita). It is not the same in the case of Tranquility Practice (samatha) where Lord Buddha enumerates six dispositions. For Insight Practice (vipassan・ Lord Buddha teaches only two kinds which can be further divided in four:

1 craving disposition with weak wisdom
2 craving disposition with strong wisdom
3 wrong view disposition with weak wisdom
4 wrong view disposition with strong wisdom

・The contemplation of body is suitable for those with a craving disposition with weak wisdom
・The contemplation of feeling is suitable for those with a craving disposition with strong wisdom
・The contemplation of mind is suitable for those with a wrong view disposition with weak wisdom
・The contemplation of mind-objects is suitable for those with a wrong view disposition with strong wisdom

If classified under the context of the abandonment of the four perversions (vipall龝a):

The contemplation of body is for the abandonment of the perversion of beauty.
The contemplation of feeling is for the abandonment of the perversion of happiness.
The contemplation of mind is for the abandonment of the perversion of permanence.
The contemplation of mind-objects is for the abandonment of the perversion of self.

Lord Buddha established the principles of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness in a reasonable 田ause-and-effect・manner as a means for abandoning the four perversions. Therefore, as the practitioner develops a proper understanding in line with the reality of the true state of nature (sabh穽a-dhamma), the wrong understanding that is causing the perversion 葉hat is dependent on nama-rupa・will decrease gradually until it is completely eradicated.

Perversion cannot be eradicated through Tranquillity Practice (sam稘hi, i.e. concentration) or through the Practice of Virtue (s精a: morality). Only through Insight Practice (vipassan・ can it be eradicated, because vipassan・(insight-wisdom) alone is able to penetrate into the truth of nama-rupa. To develop Insight it is necessary to study in order to elaborate a proper understanding of nama-rupa so that one is able to conceive the truth of nama-rupa. As mentioned earlier, the methodology for apprehending nama-rupa has to be in line with the principles of the Foundations of Mindfulness.

Developing the Foundations of Mindfulness is nothing other than developing the Noble Eightfold Path (8 maggas). The development of the Noble Path 幼omposed of eight parts・is the development of morality, concentration and wisdom (s精a, sam稘hi & pa・.

The yogi (yog穽acara: practitioner) must know the following:
1 he must be on his own, eat on his own, and sleep on his own
2 he must not talk nor converse; if talking happens to be necessary, he must have mindfulness while doing it, too much talking is a cause for restlessness
3 sleeping must be moderate, if it is not necessary to sleep during the day time he should avoid it; too much sleep is a cause for sloth & torpor, when these become too strong the mind looses perseverance, and then concentration and wisdom (sam稘hi & pa・ have no chance to arise.
4 he must keep himself away from the 登bstacles・(palibodha), which are all various kinds of worries and concerns. In the context of not doing what is not necessary, when developing khamatth穗a , it means to do only what is really necessary: eating, bathing, defecating, urinating, and sitting, lying down, standing and walking・this kinds of things. Letting the mind follow unnecessary objects is opening the door to defilements 幼ovetousness and unpleasant mental feeling [abhijj・& domanassa] ・to arise and dominate.

When these basic things have been understood, the development of Insight can begin.

As it has been mentioned before, developing insight is to contemplate nama-rupa because all cankers and defilements (龝avas and kilesas) depend for their arising on nama-rupa, as a result of the not-knowing regarding the truth of nama-rupa. Not-knowing is because not-contemplating. This is why when practicing Insight it is indispensable to contemplate nama-rupa in order to know it as it really is: impermanent, etc. When knowing this, love and infatuation with nama-rupa will loosen up. Also the desire to be born will be gone as a result of seeing the danger/harm (bhaya) inherent in birth. One will gradually get away from this whole mass of suffering.

According to what Lord Buddha teaches in the Discourses (Sutta), Suffering as a Noble Truth is: birth, old age, death, sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair; contact with what is disliked, separation from what is liked, and not getting what one wants; in short, the five aggregates. Lord Buddha mentions eleven elements altogether in the manner of the Discourses. The Truth of Suffering mentioned in the Discourses is not different from the Truth of Suffering mentioned in paramattha , because in the Discourses Lord Buddha also mentions the characteristics of the true state of nature (sabh穽a-dhamma). For example: 屠穰ipidukkha・means 澱irth is dukkha・ Once the Truth of Suffering in the manner of the Discourses has been translated to the form of paramattha, the answer to the question: Whose birth (j穰i) is this? Who arises (j穰i) in a new birth (j穰i)?, is: It is the birth of consciousness, mental concomitants, and matter (of citta, cetasika and rupa).

The same applies to 登ld age (decay)・and 電eath・
Who decays? Citta, cetasika and rupa.
Who dies? Citta, cetasika and rupa.

The remaining eight components of the Noble Truth of Suffering 耀orrow, lamentation, pain, grief, despair, contact with what one does not like, separation from what one likes, not getting what one wants・are in themselves the manifestations of lust, aversion and unpleasant feeling (r稟a, dosa and dukkha-vedan・. Lord Buddha summarizes this as the dukkha derived from the five aggregates-of-attachment (5 up稘穗a-khanda). In fact, the five aggregates are nothing but citta, cetasika & rupa.

The practitioner does not have to worry that by only contemplating the body he will not be able to eradicate defilements and reach path-result (magga-phala), or that he will not be able to see the other objects of contemplation: feeling, mind and mind-objects. By contemplating the body, the truth is that feeling, mind and mind-objects will also be seen because the Four Foundations of Mindfulness are interrelated.

While one is contemplating the postures, stiffness and/or aching caused by lying down, standing, sitting or walking for some time, will surely occur. Stiffness and/or aching are dukkha-vedana (unpleasant feeling). While contemplating a posture and stiffness and/or aching arise, dislike for the stiffness and/or aching will surely occur. When the posture has just been changed there will be no more unpleasant feeling, so satisfaction with the pleasant feeling will surely occur. While contemplating the postures, the mind will surely wander: thinking, drifting, pondering about this, about that. It will sometimes follow things from the past: thinking of things that have already happened. Other times it will follow things about the future, such as: planning to do generous deeds 耀upporting a monastery, giving robes to the monks, building Buddha images, building a kuti for khamatth穗a [meditation hut]・, thinking about this, thinking about that・planning to tell your father, mother and relatives to come to meditate・etc. This shows how defilement is always pulling one away from the present object. The present object is extremely important. When the hindrances (n茁aranas) are happening in this way, the mind cannot pay attention to rupa, which is the present object ・it cannot stay fixed. Thinking and immediate perception (吐eeling・ still cannot be differentiated.

・Contemplating the body is k窕anupassan・
・When aching or comfort arises, and wisdom sees it and recognizes it as a rupa or as a nama, then it is vedan穗upassan・[contemplation of feeling].
・When aching occurs, dislike arises; this is dosa (aversion). When one changes into a new posture, the aching is healed and satisfaction (liking) arises; this is lobha (attachment). When this is contemplated with the wisdom that knows it as nama, it is cittanupassan・[contemplation of mind].
・While one is thinking about something, or drifting away, and one becomes aware of it, sometimes one does not like it, other times one does. It is when one likes it that one wants to continue following the story until the end before coming back to see rupa. Sleepiness, depression, discouragement, may also arise; or other times doubt: 泥id the Lord Buddha really exist? Does Nibb穗a really exist?・If these objects are contemplated with the wisdom that knows them as nama, then it is dhammanupassan・[contemplation of mind-objects].
This is why the practitioner does not need to worry that by only contemplating rupa defilements cannot be eradicated. By contemplating rupa one also sees feeling, mind and mind-objects, and one reaches path-result and Nibb穗a, if one does the correct causes in line with the principles of practice until wisdom arises. The realities (dhammas) just mentioned are all interrelated. The reason why the Buddha teaches four different foundations for developing mindfulness is because different beings have different preferences and different dispositions.

Instructions the Buddha gives to the practitioner:
1 not to do anything that it is not necessary for mental development
2 not to talk with anybody
3 not to socialize
4 not to give more importance to sleeping than to developing the mind
5 not to delight in the taste of food
6 to keep sense-restraint (samvara) seriously

-Odds and Ends
While contemplating one needs to always apply observation (sikkhati), as well as awareness of the one who contemplates. Where is the one who contemplates? One has to know who is contemplating, and also know what rupa is being contemplated, for example: sitting-rupa, etc. Most practitioners tend to know only that it is a rupa, without knowing what rupa it is. This is because when contemplating they are not aware of what rupa or what nama is being contemplated. They know in a 砥nconscious・way, that is, without knowing what [or who] is contemplating. They aim their minds at knowing in rupa, grasping the posture, without knowing what rupa that posture is. When practicing like this, rupa and nama cannot be separated, because they appear to be adhered to each other, as if clustered in a lump.

If one goes on like this, one may become peaceful and quiet, but that is all, nothing more. This is called concentration or tranquility, calm (sam稘hi); it is when the mind does not move anywhere and the knowing is kept 妬nside the mind・ This matter is of vital importance; sam稘hi is misleading in that it leads one into thinking that one is stepping forward into high levels of insight-knowledge. If somebody came and said that this is not the way of insight (vipassan・, the practitioner would get upset, most probably feel offended and leave. For this reason, the Dhamma-instructor (kaly穗amitta) would rather not speak straightforwardly; he would not tell the practitioner that what he is doing is not correct. He would rather remain silent in order to protect the practitioner痴 confidence (saddh・. The practitioner may even insult the teacher thinking that he does not have the knowledge that he himself has, therefore deducing that the teacher is not able to help him. This can be detrimental for the practitioner: he is doing an unskillful action (akusala kamma). Particularly if the teacher is a person possessing a type of special high virtue (guna-dhamma), the unskillful action will hinder the practitioner from developing the mindfulness-wisdom (sati-paa) that sees the cause-and-effect of reality as mentioned in the scriptures. When the practitioner cannot see this cause-and-effect even through the study of the scriptures, then it is impossible to correct his practice 擁t all ends up turning into wrong view (micch・ditthi ). It is important to have knowledge of the scriptures (pariyatti: theory) before starting the practice (patipatti). When one applies this correct understanding to the practice, then the practice will be fruitful 洋ore or less・and one will get some flavor, some feeling, that one has never gotten before.

Most practitioners aim for the result 葉hey want a result・ about the cause [of the result] they don稚 care so much. Therefore, when they start to practice, they have a tendency to 殿rrange・things [to 吐abricate脳 hoping to see things as they heard they should be, or as they themselves think they should be. At some places they are told to 渡ot do・and to 兎mpty their hearts of intention・ Then they make an effort to 渡ot do・and to 兎mpty their hearts of intention・ Sometimes they make the effort to 渡ot do・ other times to 兎mpty their hearts of intention・ After doing this for some time they have no idea of how to practice at all. If they never had a correct understanding of cause-and-effect their practice will just deteriorate. If they who have never discovered the correct awareness were to let go of this 殿rranging・ 電irecting・ 吐abricating・things, they would see objects of contemplation that they have never seen before show up by themselves. All this [trouble] is due to the habits one carries along. In fact, when practicing, one is training in order to allow the correct understanding to arise by itself, not by one making it happen. If one tries to make it happen, the correct knowledge will not arise. It cannot arise due to being hindered by the self. The correct knowledge will arise only when there is not-self. Practicing through fabricating is not difficult at all. It is practicing without fabricating which is extremely difficult. Whoever comes to practice aims at fabricating something, and if on top of this they have been taught to practice in the 吐abricating something・way, then for sure they will fabricate it big.

填mm・practicing without fabricating anything, then why practice at all?・Some people think like this. Nevertheless, the fact is that there is a task here, but the task is to not do. The task is to see. A seeing-task. It is like when one is seeing somebody else, only that here one sees with the heart/mind. One sees but also observes. One does it without wishing to do it right and without worrying that it might end up wrong. One just works on doing the correct cause by following the logical instructions: the place that defilement depends on for its occurrence is the place where one has to recognize it. One practices like this until defilement has no place to depend on, until rupa-nama is known as such as to become one痴 teacher. That is when vipassan・will surely happen. It is not difficult ・one makes it difficult.

Translated from the Thai language by Rodrigo Aldana and Wiangchai Watcharanirun
under supervision of Achan Prani Samreungrat

#2 mike


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Posted 17 May 2007 - 02:58 AM

Hi Robert,

Fascinating stuff, could you tell me in brief why you felt it worth repeating here?

Thanks in advance,


#3 RobertK



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Posted 17 May 2007 - 06:55 AM

HI Mike
I put it here as I saw the site was a free one, it might diasppear, good to have a variety of teachings. Acharn Sujin was student of Acharn naeb.

#4 mike


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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:34 PM

Right you are, Robert, and thanks again.