Learning & Practice

Satipatthana Sutta: Dhammas - Seven Factors of Awakening

Direct Path

Thus have I heard. On one occasion, the Buddha addressed a gathering of monks, "Friends," he began. "Venerable, Sir," they replied. And the Buddha said:

“Friends, this is a direct path that leads to the purification of hearts and minds, for the overcoming of unhealthy stress, depression and anxiety, for the transformation of suffering and discontentment, for attaining the noble path, for the realization of health, well-being, freedom, and awakening; specifically, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.”

Definition

“What are the Four Foundations of Mindfulness?

Here, friends, regarding the body: we abide, contemplating the body, diligent, clearly knowing, and mindful, free from desires and discontent concerning the world.

Regarding feelings: we abide, contemplating feelings, diligent, clearly knowing, and mindful, free from desires and discontent concerning the world.

Regarding the mind: we abide contemplating the mind, diligent, clearly knowing, and mindful, free from desires and discontent concerning the world.

Regarding dhammas: we abide contemplating dhammas, diligent, clearly knowing, and mindful, free from desires and discontent concerning the world.”

[...]

Dhammas: The Seven Factors of Awakening

"Again, friends, how do we in regard to the dhammas, abide contemplating the dhammas in the dhammas? Here in regard to dhammas we abide contemplating the dhammas in terms of the seven factors of awakening. And how do we in regard to the dhammas abide contemplating the dhammas in terms of the seven factors of awakening?

  1. Here, if the mindfulness awakening factor is present in us, we know, 'there is the mindfulness awakening factor in me'; if the mindfulness awakening factor is not present in us, we know, 'there is no mindfulness awakening factor in me'; we know how the unarisen mindfulness awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen mindfulness awakening factor can be perfected by development.
  2. If the investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor is present in us, we know, 'there is the investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor in me'; if the investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor is not present in us, we know, 'there is no investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor in me'; we know how the unarisen investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen investigation-of-dhammas awakening factor can be perfected by development.
  3. If the energy awakening factor is present in us, we know, 'there is the energy awakening factor in me'; if the energy awakening factor is not present in us, we know, 'there is no energy awakening factor in me'; we know, how the unarisen energy awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen energy awakening factor can be perfected by development.
  4. If the joy awakening factor is present in us, we know, 'there is the joy awakening factor in me'; if the joy awakening factor is not present in us, we know, 'there is no joy awakening factor in me'; we know how the unarisen joy awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen joy awakening factor can be perfected by development.
  5. If the tranquility awakening factor is present in us, we know, 'there is the tranquility awakening factor in me'; if the tranquility awakening factor is not present in us, we know, 'there is no tranquility awakening factor in me'; we know how the unarisen tranquility awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen tranquility awakening factor can be perfected by development.
  6. If the concentration awakening factor is present in us, we know, 'there is the concentration awakening factor in me'; if the concentration awakening factor is not present in us, we know, 'there is no concentration awakening factor in me'; we know how the unarisen concentration awakening factor can arise, and we know how the arisen concentration awakening factor can be perfected by development.
  7. If the equanimity awakening factor is present in us, we know, 'there is the equanimity awakening factor in me'; if the equanimity awakening factor is not present in us, we know, 'there is no equanimity awakening factor in me'; we know how the unarisen equanimity awakening factor can arise, and how the arisen equanimity awakening factor can be perfected by development.

Refrain

“In this way, regarding contemplating the dhammas in the dhammas in terms of the seven factors of awakening,

  • We abide contemplating the dhammas internally, we abide contemplating the dhammas externally, and we abide contemplating the dhammas both internally and externally.
  • We abide contemplating the nature of arising in the dhammas, we abide contemplating the nature of passing away in the dhammas, and we abide contemplating the nature of both arising and passing away in the dhammas.
  • And, mindfulness that 'there are dhammas' is established in us to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness.
  • And we abide independently, without clinging to anything in the world.

That is how we abide, contemplating the dhammas in the dhammas in terms of the seven factors of awakening.”

[...]

Prediction

"Friends, if we develop these four satipatthanas in such a way for seven years, one of two fruits could be expected for us:

  1. Either we realize full awakening here and now,
  2. Or, if there is a trace of clinging left, we enter 'never returning', having established the necessary conditions leading to full awakening.

Let alone seven years ... six years ... five years ... four years ... three years ... two years ... one year ... seven months ... six months ... five months ... four months ... three months ... two months ... one month ... half a month ... if we develop these four satipatthanas in such a way for seven days, one of two fruits could be expected for us:

  1. Either realize full awakening here and now,
  2. Or, if there is a trace of clinging left, enter 'never returning', having established the necessary conditions leading to full awakening.

And so, with reference to these things, it was said:

Direct Path

“Friends, this is a direct path that leads to the purification of hearts and minds, for the overcoming of unhealthy stress, depression and anxiety, for the transformation of suffering and discontentment, for attaining the noble path, for the realization of health, well-being, freedom, and awakening; specifically, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.”

That is what the Buddha said. The monks were satisfied and delighted by his words.

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