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Satipatthana translated by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi

posted Jul 8, 2013, 7:42 PM by Sung Yang   [ updated Jul 8, 2013, 7:42 PM ]
(1. Mindfulness of Breathing)

 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.133 On one occasion the Blessed One was
living in the Kuru country where there was a town of the Kurus named
Kammāsadhamma.134 There he addressed the bhikkhus thus:
“Bhikkhus.”—“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Blessed One said this:
 
2. “Bhikkhus, this is the direct path135 for the purification of beings
[56], for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the
disappearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for
the realisation of Nibbāna—namely, the four foundations of
mindfulness.136
 
3. “What are the four? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu137 abides
contemplating the body as a body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful,
having put away covetousness and grief for the world.138 He abides
contemplating feelings as feelings, ardent, fully aware, and mindful,
having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides
contemplating mind as mind, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having
put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides
contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects, ardent, fully aware, and
mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world.139
 
 
4. “And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating the body
as a body? Here a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or
to an empty hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his
body erect, and established mindfulness in front of him, ever mindful he
breathes in, mindful he breathes out. Breathing in long, he
understands: ‘I breathe in long’; or breathing out long, he understands:
‘I breathe out long.’ Breathing in short, he understands: ‘I breathe in
short’; or breathing out short, he understands: ‘I breathe out short.’140
He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body’; he
trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body.’141 He
trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation’; he
trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the mation’ ; he trains thus:
‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation.’142 Just as a
skilled lathe-operator or his apprentice, when making a long turn,
understands: ‘I make a long turn’; or, when making a short turn,
understands: ‘I make a short turn’; so too, breathing in long, a bhikkhu
understands: ‘I breathe in long’…he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out
tranquillising the bodily formation.’
 
5. “In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally,
or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally, or he
abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and
externally.143 Or else he abides contemplating in the body its nature of
arising, or he abides contemplating in the body its nature of vanishing,
or he abides contemplating in the body its nature of both arising and
vanishing.144 Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply
established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and
mindfulness.145 And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in
the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a
body.
 
(2. The Four Postures)
 
6. “Again, bhikkhus, when walking, a bhikkhu understands: ‘I am
walking’; when standing, he understands: ‘I am standing’; when sitting,
[57] he understands: ‘I am sitting’; when lying down, he understands: ‘I
am lying down’; or he understands accordingly however his body is
disposed.146
 
7. “In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally,
externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides
independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.

(3. Full Awareness)

8. “Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is one who acts in full awareness when
going forward and returning;147 who acts in full awareness when
looking ahead and looking away; who acts in full awareness when
flexing and extending his limbs; who acts in full awareness when
wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl; who acts in full
awareness when eating, drinking, consuming food, and tasting; who
acts in full awareness when defecating and urinating; who acts in full
awareness when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up,
talking, and keeping silent.
 
9. “In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally,
externally, and both internally and externally… And he abides
independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.
 
(4. Foulness—The Bodily Parts)
 
10. “Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the
soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair, bounded by skin, as
full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head-hairs,
body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow,
kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery,
contents of the stomach, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat,
tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil of the joints, and urine.’148 Just as

though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of many
sorts of grain, such as hill rice, red rice, beans, peas, millet, and white
rice, and a man with good eyes were to open it and review it thus: ‘This
is hill rice, this is red rice, these are beans, these are peas, this is
millet, this is white rice’; so too, a bhikkhu reviews this same body…as
full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head-hairs…
and urine.’
 
11. “In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body
internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he abides
independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.
 
(5. Elements)
 
12. “Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu reviews this same body, however it is
placed, however disposed, by way of elements thus: ‘In this body there
are the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air
element.’149 [58] Just as though a skilled butcher or his apprentice had
killed a cow and was seated at the crossroads with it cut up into
pieces; so too, a bhikkhu reviews this same body…by way of elements
thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element, the water element, the
fire element, and the air element.’
 
13. “In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body
internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides
independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.
 
(6–14. The Nine Charnel Ground
Contemplations)
 
14. “Again, bhikkhus, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside
in a charnel ground, one, two, or three days dead, bloated, livid, and
oozing matter, a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: ‘This
body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from
that fate.’150
 
15. “In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body
internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides
independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.
 
16. “Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a
charnel ground, being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs,
jackals, or various kinds of worms, a bhikkhu compares this same
body with it thus: ‘This body too is of the same nature, it will be like
that, it is not exempt from that fate.’
 
17. “…That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as
a body.
 
18–24. “Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a
charnel ground, a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together with
sinews...a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, held together with
sinews...a skeleton without flesh and blood, held together with
sinews…disconnected bones scattered in all directions—here a hand-
bone, there a foot-bone, here a shin-bone, there a thigh-bone, here a
hip-bone, there a back-bone, here a rib-bone, there a breast-bone,
here an arm-bone, there a shoulder-bone, here a neck-bone, there a

jaw-bone, here a tooth, there the skull—a bhikkhu compares this same
body with it thus: ‘This body too is of the same nature, it will be like
that, it is not exempt from that fate.’151
 
25. “…That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as
a body.
 
26–30. “Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a
charnel ground, bones bleached white, the colour of shells… bones
heaped up…bones more than a year old, rotted and crumbled to dust
[59], a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: ‘This body too is
of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’
 

(INSIGHT)
 
31. “In this way he abides contemplating the body as a body internally,
or he abides contemplating the body as a body externally, or he
abides contemplating the body as a body both internally and externally.
Or else he abides contemplating in the body its nature of arising, or he
abides contemplating in the body its nature of vanishing, or he abides
contemplating in the body its nature of both arising and vanishing. Or
else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to
the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he
abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That too is
how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body.
 

(CONTEMPLATION OF FEELING)
 
32. “And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating feelings
as feelings?152 Here, when feeling a pleasant feeling, a bhikkhu
understands: ‘I feel a pleasant feeling’; when feeling a painful feeling,
he understands: ‘I feel a painful feeling’; when feeling a neither-painful-
nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a neither-painful-nor-
pleasant feeling.’ When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling, he
understands: ‘I feel a worldly pleasant feeling’; when feeling an
unworldly pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel an unworldly pleasant
feeling’; when feeling a worldly painful feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a
worldly painful feeling’; when feeling an unworldly painful feeling, he
understands: ‘I feel an unworldly painful feeling’; when feeling a worldly
neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a worldly
neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling’; when feeling an unworldly neither-
painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel an unworldly
neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.’
 
(INSIGHT)
 
33. “In this way he abides contemplating feelings as feelings internally,
or he abides contemplating feelings as feelings externally, or he
abides contemplating feelings as feelings both internally and
externally. Or else he abides contemplating in feelings their nature of
arising, or he abides contemplating in feelings their nature of
vanishing, or he abides contemplating in feelings their nature of both
arising and vanishing.153 Or else mindfulness that ‘there is feeling’ is
simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge
and mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything
in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating feelings as
feelings.
 

(CONTEMPLATION OF MIND)
 
34. “And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind as
mind?154 Here a bhikkhu understands mind affected by lust as mind
affected by lust, and mind unaffected by lust as mind unaffected by lust.
He understands mind affected by hate as mind affected by hate, and
mind unaffected by hate as mind unaffected by hate. He understands
mind affected by delusion as mind affected by delusion, and mind
unaffected by delusion as mind unaffected by delusion. He
understands contracted mind as contracted mind, and distracted mind
as distracted mind. He understands exalted mind as exalted mind, and
unexalted mind as unexalted mind. He understands surpassed mind
as surpassed mind, and unsurpassed mind as unsurpassed mind. He
understands concentrated mind as concentrated mind, and
unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated mind. He understands
liberated mind as liberated mind, and unliberated mind as unliberated
mind.155
 
(INSIGHT)
 
35. “In this way he abides contemplating mind as mind internally, or he
abides contemplating mind as mind externally, or he abides
contemplating mind as mind both internally and externally. Or else he
abides contemplating in mind its nature of arising, [60] or he abides
contemplating in mind its nature of vanishing, or he abides
contemplating in mind its nature of both arising and vanishing.156 Or
else mindfulness that ‘there is mind’ is simply established in him to the
extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides
independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind.
 

(CONTEMPLATION OF MIND-OBJECTS)
 
(1. The Five Hindrances)
 
36. “And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-
objects as mind-objects?157 Here a bhikkhu abides contemplating
mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of the five hindrances.158 And
how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-
objects in terms of the five hindrances? Here, there being sensual
desire in him, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is sensual desire in me’;
or there being no sensual desire in him, he understands: ‘There is no
sensual desire in me’; and he also understands how there comes to be
the arising of unarisen sensual desire, and how there comes to be the
abandoning of arisen sensual desire, and how there comes to be the
future non-arising of abandoned sensual desire.’
 
“There being ill will in him…There being sloth and torpor in him…
There being restlessness and remorse in him…There being doubt in
him, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is doubt in me’; or there being no
doubt in him, he understands: ‘There is no doubt in me’; and he
understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen doubt, and
how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen doubt, and how there
comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned doubt.
 
(INSIGHT)
 
37. “In this way he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects
internally, or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects
externally, or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects
both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-
objects their nature of arising, or he abides contemplating in mind-
objects their nature of vanishing, or he abides contemplating in mind-
objects their nature of both arising and vanishing. Or else mindfulness
that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent
necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides
independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms
of the five hindrances.
 
(2. The Five Aggregates)
 
38. “Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as
mind-objects [61] in terms of the five aggregates affected by
clinging.159 And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-
objects as mind-objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by
clinging? Here a bhikkhu understands: ‘Such is material form, such its
origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its
disappearance; such is perception, such its origin, such its
disappearance; such are the formations, such their origin, such their
disappearance; such is consciousness, such its origin, such its
disappearance.’


 
39. “In this way he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-
objects internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he
abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms
of the five aggregates affected by clinging.
 
(3. The Six Bases)
 
40. “Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as
mind-objects in terms of the six internal and external bases.160 And
how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-
objects in terms of the six internal and external bases? Here a bhikkhu
understands the eye, he understands forms, and he understands the
fetter that arises dependent on both; and he also understands how
there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter, and how there
comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter, and how there comes
to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter.
 
“He understands the ear, he understands sounds…He understands
the nose, he understands odours…He understands the tongue, he
understands flavours…He understands the body, he understands
tangibles…He understands the mind, he understands mind-objects,
and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both; and he
also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen
fetter, and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter,
and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned
fetter.
 
41. “In this way he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-

objects internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he
abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms
of the six internal and external bases.
 
(4. The Seven Enlightenment Factors)
 
42. “Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as
mind-objects in terms of the seven enlightenment factors.161 And how
does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in
terms of the seven enlightenment factors? Here, there being the
mindfulness enlightenment factor in him, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There
is the mindfulness enlightenment factor in me’; or there being no
mindfulness enlightenment factor in him, he understands: [62] ‘There is
no mindfulness enlightenment factor in me’; and he also understands
how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen mindfulness
enlightenment factor, and how the arisen mindfulness enlightenment
factor comes to fulfilment arisen mindfulness enlightenment factor
comes to fulfilment by development.
 
“There being the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor in
him162...There being the energy enlightenment factor in him…There
being the rapture enlightenment factor in him…There being the
tranquillity enlightenment factor in him…There being the concentration
enlightenment factor in him…There being the equanimity
enlightenment factor in him, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is the
equanimity enlightenment factor in me’; or there being no equanimity
enlightenment factor in him, he understands: ‘There is no equanimity
enlightenment factor in me’; and he also understands how there comes
to be the arising of the unarisen equanimity enlightenment factor, and
how the arisen equanimity enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by


development.163
 
43. “In this way he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-
objects internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he
abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms
of the seven enlightenment factors.
 
(5. The Four Noble Truths)
 
44. “Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as
mind-objects in terms of the Four Noble Truths.164 And how does a
bhikkhu abide contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms of
the Four Noble Truths? Here a bhikkhu understands as it actually is:
‘This is suffering’; he understands as it actually is: ‘This is the origin of
suffering’; he understands as it actually is: ‘This is the cessation of
suffering’; he understands as it actually is: ‘This is the way leading to
the cessation of suffering.’


(INSIGHT)
 
45. “In this way he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects
internally, or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects
externally, or he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects
both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in mind-
objects their nature of arising, or he abides contemplating in mind-
objects their nature of vanishing, or he abides contemplating in mind-
objects their nature of both arising and vanishing. Or else mindfulness
that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent
necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides
independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a
bhikkhu abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects in terms
of the Four Noble Truths.
 
(CONCLUSION)
 
46. “Bhikkhus, if anyone should develop these four foundations of
mindfulness in such a way for seven years, one of two fruits could be
expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a
trace of clinging left, non-return.165
 
“Let alone seven years, bhikkhus. [63] If anyone should develop
these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for six years…for
five years…for four years…for three years…for two years…for one
year, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final
knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-
return.
 
“Let alone one year, bhikkhus. If anyone should develop these four
foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven months…for six
months…for five months…for four months…for three months…for two
months…for one month…for half a month, one of two fruits could be
expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a
trace of clinging left, non-return.
 
“Let alone half a month, bhikkhus. If anyone should develop these
four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven days, one of
two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and
now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return.
 
47. “So it was with reference to this that it was said: ‘Bhikkhus, this
is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of

sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for
the attainment of the true way, for the realisation of Nibbāna—namely,
the four foundations of mindfulness.’”
 
 
That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and
delighted in the Blessed One’s words.
 


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