Learning & Practice

Satipatthana Sutta: Dhammas - The Six Sense-Spheres

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 Six Sense-Spheres

"Again, friends, how do we in regard to the dhammas, abide contemplating the dhammas in the dhammas? Here in regard to the dhammas we abide contemplating the dhammas in terms of the six sense-spheres. And how do we in regard to the dhammas abide contemplating the dhammas in terms of the six sense-spheres?

  1. Here we know the eye, we know the eye-objects, and we know the fetter that arises dependent on both, and we also know how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.
  2. We know the ear, we know the sound, and we know the fetter that arises dependent on both, and we also know how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.
  3. We know the nose, we know the smell, and we know the fetter that arises dependent on both, and we also know how the unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.
  4. We know the tongue, we know the taste, and we know the fetter that arises dependent on both, and we also know how an unarisen fetter can arise, how the arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.
  5. We also know the body, we know the sensations, and we know the fetter that arises dependent on both, and we also know how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.
  6. We know the mind, we know the objects of mind, and we know the fetter that arises dependent on both, and we also know how an unarisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed, and how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.

Refrain

“In this way, regarding contemplating the dhammas in the dhammas in terms of the six sense-spheres,

  • 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 six sense-spheres.”

[...]

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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