Learning & Practice

Satipatthana Sutta: Parts of the Body

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.”

[...]

Parts of the Body *

“Again, friends, we are aware, experiencing the body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the head. Aware, experiencing the exterior of the body from surface of the skin, to the bones deep within.

This body, with the presence of purities and impurities, with unwell parts and well parts, and with a variety of subtle and pronounced sensations ...

With that being so: 'in this body, we are aware of the region of the toes, feet, lower legs, upper legs, pelvis, buttocks, genitals, abdomen, lower back, diaphragm, mid-back, chest, upper back, fingers, hands, lower arms, upper arms, shoulders, lower neck, upper neck, chin, lips, mouth, cheeks, nose, eyes, back of head, forehead, top of head, and all other parts of the body that can be known. And too, aware of the body as an interconnected whole.”

Refrain

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

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

[...]

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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