Learning & Practice

Satipatthana Sutta: Feelings

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.”

[...]

Feelings

"And how, friends, how do we in regard to feelings abide contemplating feelings?

  • Here, when feeling a pleasant feeling, we know, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling';
  • when feeling an unpleasant feeling, we know, 'I am feeling an unpleasant feeling';
  • when feeling a neutral feeling, we know, 'I am feeling a neutral feeling.'
  • When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling, we know, 'I am feeling a worldly pleasant feeling';
  • when feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling, we know, 'I am feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling';
  • when feeling a worldly unpleasant feeling, we know, 'I am feeling a worldly unpleasant feeling';
  • when feeling an unworldly unpleasant feeling, we know, 'I am feeling an unworldly unpleasant feeling';
  • when feeling a worldly neutral feeling, we know, 'I am feeling a worldly neutral feeling';
  • when feeling an unworldly neutral feeling, we know, 'I am feeling an unworldly neutral feeling.'"

Refrain

“In this way, regarding contemplating the feelings in the feelings,

  • We abide contemplating feelings internally, we abide contemplating feelings externally, and we abide contemplating feelings both internally and externally.
  • We abide contemplating the nature of arising of feelings, we abide contemplating the nature of passing away of feelings, and we abide contemplating the nature of both arising and passing away of feelings.
  • And, mindfulness that 'there is a feeling' 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 feelings in the feelings.”

[...]

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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