miccha sati

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#870

what Reverend Mahasi wrote?

Wrong mindfulness is the recollection of worldly matters and unwholesome deeds of the past. Some remember the unwholesome things they did when they were young, their companions, the placesthey visited, their happy days, and so forth. They may be likened to cows chewing the cud at night. These recollections are wrong mindfulness. However, it is not wrong mindfulness when one recognises the mistakes of the past, repents, and resolves not to repeat them in future. Such repentance is right mindfulness. Some monks think of their parents, relatives, native places, and the companionsof their childhood. They recall how they spent their days as laymen. They think of what they have to do for so-and-so. All these recollections of the past are wrong mindfulness. Laymen need not reject thoughts about their sons, daughters, etc., for such recollections are natural. However, while meditating, the meditator should note and reject them. As he sits in his retreat at the meditation centre, noteing the rising and falling of the abdomen or his other bodily movements, “sitting”, “touching”, etc., the meditator recalls what he did formerly, his sayings and doings in his youth, his friends, etc. These are wrong mindfulness and have to be noted and rejected. Some old men and women think of their grandchildren. While noteing their thoughts, they have mental visions of the children near them and they fancy they hear the children calling them. All these have to be noted and expelled. Some meditators felt compelled to return home because they could not overcome these unwholesome thoughts. A meditator’s spiritual effort is often thwarted by wrong mindfulness. In the final analysis a wrong recollection is not a distinct element of consciousness. It is a collection of unwholesome elements in the form of memories concerning worldly and unwholesome things of the past.
Which I presume RobertK disagrees with?

Robert: as the Sayadaw points out there is no such ‘distinct element ‘ as miccha sati.
why is it given that name in the suttas that talk about the wrong path.
this is because the other factors such as miccha-ditthi , miccha-samadhi, etc are actual realities with their ‘opposites’ samma-ditthi, samma-sammadhi and so on.It destroys tHE symmetry of the sutta to exclude sati.

In the sallekha sutta commentary (which I think thE sayadaw took some points from)it says about miccha-sati that

In truth, miccha sati is not
specific to a particular dhamma, but it is a name for the 4
akusala khandha, which arises in one who thinks of the
past. When the Buddha said, “Bhikkhu, the Tatagatha
said that there is miccha sati not that there isn’t.
There is sati in those who thinks of gaining sons, gaining'”O
The Buddha meant the
arising of the fake (artificial, untrue, etc.) sati..

I toOk this from a ThaI translation so it might be a bit clumsy

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