Thread: Some aspects of mindfulness from the suttas

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    Global Moderator Element's Avatar
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    Some aspects of mindfulness from the suttas

    Dear friends

    At today's zoom meeting, we mentioned & discussed the following aspects of mindfulness from the Pali suttas:

    1. Mindfulness as 'remembering' to practice & keep in mind various aspects of the Path, such as:

    One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness.

    One is mindful to abandon wrong resolve & to enter & remain in right resolve: This is one's right mindfulness.

    One is mindful to abandon wrong speech & to enter & remain in right speech: This is one's right mindfulness.

    One is mindful to abandon wrong action & to enter & remain in right action: This is one's right mindfulness.

    One is mindful to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter & remain in right livelihood: This is one's right mindfulness.

    MN 117
    2. Mindfulness as 'remembering' to keep the mind free from greed, distress and clinging, as follows:

    There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings... mind... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

    And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world.

    MN 10
    3. Mindfulness as 'remembering' to keep the mind free from wrong view of self; so to view the body as 'body', feelings as 'feelings', mental states as 'mental states' and dhammas as 'dhammas':

    Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

    Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

    Or his mindfulness that 'There is a mind' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

    Or his mindfulness that 'There are dhammas' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

    MN 10
    The above aspects of mindfulness are in addition to the basic task of mindfulness to keep the mind in a state of 'contemplation' or 'watching' ('anupassana') the body/breath, feelings, mind and dhamma principles.

    Kind regards


  2. #2
    Global Moderator Element's Avatar
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    We also discussed 'sampajanna', often translated as 'clear comprehension'. The suttas explain little about 'sampajanna', apart from the following:

    And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu exercise clear comprehension? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is one who acts with clear comprehension when going forward and returning; when looking ahead and looking aside; when drawing in and extending the limbs; when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl; when eating, drinking, chewing his food, and tasting; when defecating and urinating; when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, speaking, and keeping silent. It is in such a way that a bhikkhu exercises clear comprehension.

    MN 10; SN 47.2
    And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu exercise clear comprehension? Here, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu feelings are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. Thoughts are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. Perceptions are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu exercises clear comprehension.

    SN 47.35
    'Sampajanna', with the suffix 'anna', belongs to the wisdom faculty. It means much more than simply being aware of things but it importantly means understanding the significance of things and how they conform with the path or with conduct.

    The commentaries discuss 'sampajanna' as follows:

    what the Buddha meant by sampajañña, the Pali commentaries analyze it further in terms of four contexts for one's comprehension:

    * clear comprehension of purpose (Pāli: sātthaka): refraining from activities irrelevant to the path.

    * clear comprehension of suitability (sappāya): pursuing activities in a dignified and careful manner.

    * clear comprehension of domain (gocara): maintaining sensory restraint consistent with mindfulness.

    * clear comprehension of non-delusion (asammoha): viewing in accordance with the true nature of reality (see three characteristics).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampaj...cal_commentary
    The following video explains mindfulness & clear-comprehension quite well:

    Last edited by Element; 27 Apr 21 at 04:07.

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    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Thanks very much Element!


  4. #4
    Your input is greatly appreciated, thanks Element!

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    Forums Member PhillyG's Avatar
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    Thanks Element for the comprehension.

  6. #6
    Global Moderator Element's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone.

  7. #7
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    I like the Dhammapada... there is a whole chapter about being mindful:

    21. Heedfulness is the path to the Deathless. Heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful die not. The heedless are as if dead already. [3]

    22. Clearly understanding this excellence of heedfulness, the wise exult therein and enjoy the resort of the Noble Ones. [4]

    23. The wise ones, ever meditative and steadfastly persevering, alone experience Nibbana, the incomparable freedom from bondage.

    24. Ever grows the glory of him who is energetic, mindful and pure in conduct, discerning and self-controlled, righteous and heedful.

    25. By effort and heedfulness, discipline and self-mastery, let the wise one make for himself an island which no flood can overwhelm.

    26. The foolish and ignorant indulge in heedlessness, but the wise one keeps his heedfulness as his best treasure.

    27. Do not give way to heedlessness. Do not indulge in sensual pleasures. Only the heedful and meditative attain great happiness.

    28. Just as one upon the summit of a mountain beholds the groundlings, even so when the wise man casts away heedlessness by heedfulness and ascends the high tower of wisdom, this sorrowless sage beholds the sorrowing and foolish multitude.

    29. Heedful among the heedless, wide-awake among the sleepy, the wise man advances like a swift horse leaving behind a weak jade.

    30. By Heedfulness did Indra become the overlord of the gods. Heedfulness is ever praised, and heedlessness ever despised. [5]

    31. The monk who delights in heedfulness and looks with fear at heedlessness advances like fire, burning all fetters, small and large.

    32. The monk who delights in heedfulness and looks with fear at heedlessness will not fall. He is close to Nibbana.
    Here...

    Last edited by Esho; 27 Apr 21 at 23:16.

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