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McKmike
14 Jun 11, 11:37
Has anyone here a definition of what is meant by clear comprehension (Sampajañña) as it appears in the Satipatthana sutta. it is twinned with Mindfulness (Sati) so I have presumed it is bare attention, seeing what is there, but this comprehension is emphasized by "clear" so does this imply something further

BuckyG
14 Jun 11, 12:23
Hi McKmike,
Ajahan Sumedho interprets sati sampajañña as "intuitive awareness, apperception [perception with recognition]; literally, 'mindfulness and clear understanding'" (Intuitive Awareness). Sampajañña is defined at Access To Insight as, " Alertness; self-awareness; presence of mind; clear comprehension;" sati as "mindfulness, self-collectedness, powers of reference and retention. In some contexts, the word sati when used alone covers alertness (sampajañña) as well" (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/glossary.html#s). Ajahn Sumedho elaborates:
Sampajañña is a word translated into English as 'clear comprehension', which is so vague and even though it says 'clear', it doesn't give me a sense of that clarity. When you have clear definitions of everything, then you think you have clear comprehension. So that's why we don't like confusion, isn't it? We don't like to feel foggy, confused or uncertain. These kind of state we really dislike, but we spend a lot of time trying to have clear comprehension and certainty. But sati-sampajañña includes fogginess, includes confusion, it includes uncertainty and insecurity. It's a clear comprehension of the appreciation of confusion--recognizing it's like this. Uncertainty and insecurity are like this. So it's a clear comprehension or apprehension of even the most vague, amorphous or nebulous mental conditions (Intuitive Awareness, pp. 19-20). :bunny:

Element
14 Jun 11, 12:31
hi McK

the Pali word 'sampajanna' has a similar root as the word 'panna' (wisdom). so it not only means to comprehend something clearly (for example, to see the meditation object clearly) but it also means to comprehend things according to the Dhamma and the Dhamma path

a good word that describes sampajanna is 'circumspection'


Sampajañña (nt.) [fr. sampajāna, i. e. sampajānya] attention, consideration, discrimination, comprehension, circumspection

Description of it in detail at DA i.183 sq.=VbhA 347 sq., where given as fourfold, viz. sātthaka˚, sappāya˚, gocara˚, asammoha˚, with examples. Often combined with sati, with which almost synonymous, e. g. at D i.63; A i.43; ii.44 sq.; v.115, 118.

Pali Dictionary (http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/contextualize.pl?p.3.pali.1878274)

;D

The fourfold sampajanna mentioned above is described below:

http://i56.tinypic.com/2qip89f.png

;D

Of these fourfold sampajanna, Ajahn Buddhadasa emphasises sampajanna as 'wisdom in action'


In order to fulfill our duty we must have in our possession four very important dhammas, four Dhamma tools. These four tools of Dhamma are sati (reflective awareness or mindfulness), sampajanna (wisdom-in-action or ready comprehension), panna (wisdom or knowledge) and samadhi (concentration). Having these four tools will enable us to develop life.

The four comrade dhammas are sati, panna, sampajanna, and samadhi. You will recall from the first lecture that while we live within this world the four comrade dhammas will enable us to subdue all threats. With them we can get rid of dukkha. Whether inside or outside the monastery, we must use these four comrades to live. First, we have sati (reflective awareness mindfulness). When a sense object makes contact, sati is there and brings panna (wisdom) to the experience. Once it arrives, panna transforms into sampajanna (wisdom-in-action), the specific application of wisdom required by the situation. Then, samadhi’s power and strength are added to sampajanna. With them we are able to conquer every kind of object that comes in through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. The four comrade dhammas are unsurpassed guardians. They watch over and protect us just like God. If we practice Anapanasati we will acquire the four comrade dhammas.

*****************

sampajanna, wisdom-in-action, ready comprehension, clear comprehension: the specific application of panna as required in a given situation.

ANAPANASATI - MINDFULNESS WITH BREATHING
Unveiling the Secrets of Life: a Manual for Serious Beginners
(http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Br eathing.htm)

SATI
Sati (mindfulness, reflective awareness, recollection) is the quick awareness and recall of the things which must be recalled. It must be as quick as an arrow. We also can describe sati as a vehicle or transport mechanism of the fastest kind. This most rapid transport doesn't carry material things, it carries wisdom and knowledge. Sati delivers paññä (wisdom) in time to meet our needs. Through the practice of mindfulness with breathing, sati is trained fully.

SAMPAJAÑÑA
The second dhamma is sampajanna. Sampajanna is wisdom as it meets up with and immediately confronts a problem, as it deals with and wipes out that problem -- this is wisdom-in-action. It is only that wisdom specifically related and applied to a particular situation or event. Nonetheless, you may have come across a variety of translations for "sampajanna," which can be rather confusing. We recommend that you remember it as "wisdom-in-action." Even better, learn the Pali word about which there is no doubt. The word "wisdom" encompasses many meanings and understandings, we can't even begin to estimate its content. However, the word "sampajanna" is far more limited in its meaning. It is exactly that wisdom directly needed for the problem that confronts us. Active wisdom isn't general, it is a matter of particulars.

The same holds for the word "Dhamma," which has an incredible variety of meanings, depending on how it is being used. When Dhamma is applied to solve a specific problem, event, or situation, there is a specific Dhamma particular to that situation. The meaning is limited to the occasion and its circumstances. In this case of Dhamma solving problems, the most precise and proper term is "dhamma-sacca" (Dhamma-Truth). Dhamma-sacca is the particular dhamma called for by the immediate situation with which we must cope, be it the onset of spiritual disease or exposure to the germs of spiritual disease. It is the use of just the right thing in a specific incident or event.

We can compare Dhamma with the medicine chest in our house. In it we store a wide variety of drugs, pills, capsules, ointments, powders, and syrups for possible use. When we're actually sick, we must choose from among the many the one drug which will be effective in treating our ailment. We can't take them all; we take just what is needed to cure our illness here and now. The same is true for Dhamma. Understand that there's an incredible amount of what we call Dhamma and paññä, but that we only apply a little bit at a time. We apply just that portion which can take care of the immediate situation. Know how to use the Dhamma, the paññä, which is exactly relevant to our situation and problem. The Dhamma or wisdom which controls that situation and problem is what we call "sampajanna."

THE NATURAL CURE
FOR SPIRITUAL DISEASE (http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Natural_Cure_for_Spiritual_Dise ase2.htm)

Element
14 Jun 11, 12:43
Has anyone here a definition of what is meant by clear comprehension (Sampajañña) as it appears in the Satipatthana sutta. it is twinned with Mindfulness (Sati) so I have presumed it is bare attention, seeing what is there, but this comprehension is emphasized by "clear" so does this imply something further
So, returning to the Satipatthana Sutta, it is as follows:

Herein (in this teaching) a monk lives contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating the mind in the mind, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief.

OR MORE CLEARLY


Bhikkhus, whenever a bhikkhu is one who lives constantly contemplating body in bodies... is one who lives constantly contemplating feeling in feelings ... is one who lives constantly contemplating mind in the mind ... is one who lives constantly contemplating Dhamma in dhammas, strives to burn up defilements, comprehends readily and is mindful, in order to abandon all liking and disliking toward the world; then the sati of that bhikkhu thus established is natural and unconfused.

So, in respect of the sutta, one 'clearly comprehends':

1. when the mind clearly sees the meditation objects (body/breath, feelings, mental states, Dhamma)

2. when the mind clearly sees/observes (contemplates) the meditation objects without covetousness and grief; without liking and disliking

So, the popular term 'bare attention' is one aspect of sampajanna, that is, observing without liking & disliking

As for 'sati' or 'mindfulness', this means 'recollection' or more simply 'to remember', 'to keep in mind'.

Mindfulness is not bare awareness. Mindfulness is to remember to keep the mind free from liking & disliking; to remember to keep or maintain the mind in a state of bare awareness; to keep Right View in the mind, etc.

So bare awareness is the result of mindfulness rather than mindfulness itself.


What is sammasati? Sati [mindfulness] means to bear in mind or bring to mind. Sati is the state of recollecting, the state of remembering, the state of non-fading, the state of non-forgetting. Sati means the sati that is a Spiritual Faculty, the sati that is a Spiritual Power, Sammasati, the Sati that is an Enlightenment Factor, that which is a Path Factor and that which is related to the Path. This is what is called sammasati." [Vbh.105, 286]

A simple metaphor is that of holding & pointing a flashlight upon a place where another must carry out some work during the night. It is mindfulness that remembers to keep the flashlight pointed upon the place of work. It is sampajanna that is the light coming out of the flashlight.

Kind regards

;D Element

McKmike
14 Jun 11, 12:55
Hi Element and BuckyG

Thanks for the replies, having quickly scanned them I am now not sure of the difference between Sampajañña and investigation ( Dhamma vicaya) as I understand it, investigation is part of the comprehension, seeing what is happening and allowing it to work its course, trying to clearly see.

Element
14 Jun 11, 13:25
Bhikkhus, how do the four foundations of mindfulness that one has developed and made much of perfect the seven factors of awakening?

Bhikkhus, whenever a bhikkhu is one who lives constantly contemplating body in bodies... is one who lives constantly contem*plating feeling in feelings ... is one who lives constantly contemplating mind in the mind ... is one who lives constantly contemplating Dhamma in dhammas, strives to burn up defilements, comprehends readily and is mindful, in order to abandon all liking and disliking toward the world; then the sati of that bhikkhu thus established is natural and unconfused.

Bhikkhus, whenever the sati of that bhikkhu thus established is natural and unconfused, then the mindfulness enlightenment factor (sati-sambojjhanga) is engaged by that bhikkhu and he develops it further and finally its development in him is perfected. That bhikkhu when mindful in such a way selects, takes up and scrutinizes these dhammas with wisdom.

Bhikkhus, whenever a bhikkhu is mindful in such a way, selects, takes up and scrutinizes these dhammas with wisdom; then the investigation of dhammas factor of awakening (dhammavicaya sambojjhanga) is engaged by that bhikkhu and he develops it further and finally its development in him is perfected. When that bhikkhu selects, takes up, and scrutinizes these dhammas with wisdom, unwavering energy is engaged by him.
hi McKm

The type of question you have raised is one reason why I have quoted Ajahn Buddhadasa. Ajahn Buddhadasa describes these things in a more specific way, to prevent too much 'overlap'.

'Sampajanna' is, for the most part, always co-joined with 'sati'. These are the basic foundations of practise. For example, the Buddha once taught sati, sampajanna, samadhi, moral shame and moral dread are the five gates to the Dhamma.

Thus sati-sampajanna is included as part of the sati-sambojjhanga (mindfulness factor of enlightenment). Here, mindfulness (sati) is applying basic understanding (panna) to bring the mind to a state of clear-comprehension (sampajanna).

Then when the mind has clear-comprehension, it can clearly see the meditation objects plus their characteristics or nature. Seeing the characteristics of the meditation objects clearly is dhammavicaya, which is very close to vipassana.

Returning to the metaphor of the flashlight, the flashlight is sampajanna, which shines light upon an object. Once the light is shone upon an object, the mind can see the features of the object, such as it is green, red, blue, stripped, smooth, dented, bent, etc. Seeing the features of the object is dhammavicaya.

So sati-sampajanna work together to manifest the state of bare awareness ("contemplation"/anupassana). Then bare awareness can see the features & characteristics of, say, the in breathing & out breathing, that is, whether the breathing is long, short, smooth, coarse, etc; how the different varieties of breathing affect the body and make the body feel; that the breathing has the nature of impermanence, arising & passing, etc; that the breathing does not have a "self" within it. Seeing/scrutinising the features of the object is dhammavicaya.

I hope that is helpful

Kind regards

;D

daverupa
14 Jun 11, 13:38
The Samyutta Nikaya defines clear comprehension as knowing the arising, persisting, and declining of feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. Sati is defined as satipatthana.

Element
14 Jun 11, 13:53
The Samyutta Nikaya defines clear comprehension as many things, such as clearly comprehending when one is walking, standing, looking aside, looking ahead, eating, drinking, chewing, etc. So in terms of the mind, clear comprehension is having the clarity & circumspection to be aware of a feeling, a perception, a thought, etc, when it arises (rather than after it arises or not at all), etc.

Please do not mix-up sampajanna with vipassana or dhammavicaya, that is, observing the arising & passing of the five aggregates according to their inherent nature.

In its most basic functioning (gocara-sampajanna), sampajanna merely means 'to know', 'to be there', 'awake', 'aware', as something arises, as it exists, as it ceases.

Please refer to AN 4.41 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.041.than.html), which differentiates the development of sati-sampajanna from vipassana.

As sampajanna is included within the description of satipatthana, it cannot be seperated from satipatthana. Sampajanna is included within the description of 'sati', in the texts you are referring to (such as SN 47.35). Sati can never be separated from sampajanna.

The sutta description of sati is like describing a flower, which has petals, leaves, stem, etc. The description of sampajanna is like describing the petals only. The petals remain part of the flower rather than something separate.

Regards

Element ;D

Element
14 Jun 11, 14:53
The Samyutta Nikaya defines clear comprehension as knowing the arising, persisting, and declining of feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. Sati is defined as satipatthana.
So if we refer to SN 36.7 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.007.nypo.html), sampajanna extends itself to asammoha sampajanna, namely, clearly comprehending the significance of what is occuring. Sampajanna is not just clearly comprehending the meditation object, just with bare awareness, but sampajanna is also comprehending the meditation object with reflective wisdom.


If a monk is thus mindful and clearly comprehending, ardent, earnest and resolute, and a pleasant feeling arises in him, he knows: 'Now a pleasant feeling has arisen in me. It is conditioned, not unconditioned. Conditioned by what? Even by this body it is conditioned. And this body, indeed, is impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen. But if this pleasant feeling that has arisen, is conditioned by the body which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen; how could such a pleasant feeling be permanent?'

;D