Word of the Buddha
We are in the middle of Right Mindfulness, the seventh factor of the Noble Eightfold Path. We are on page 70, Contemplation on Dhamma Objects (dhammÈnupassanÈ). The ‘seventh factor’, Right Mindfulness, means being mindful of the body, being mindful of the feelings, being mindful of mind or consciousness, and being mindful of dhamma objects. This is the fourth of the foundations of mindfulness.
“But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of mind-objects?” The PÈÄi word here, as you see, is ‘dhammÈnupassanÈ’. The PÈÄi word ‘dhamma’, as I have told you repeatedly, is very difficult to translate into any language. Here also I think it is impossible to translate this word into English, into Burmese, or whatever. As you will see the word ‘dhamma’ here covers many things - the five hindrances, the five groups of existence (khandhas), the six sense bases, the seven elements of enlightenment, and the Four Noble Truths. These are all called ‘dhamma’ here. So it is better to say dhamma objects rather than mind objects because the word ‘mind objects’ cannot cover all these subjects treated under dhammÈnupassanÈ. If we say ‘mind objects’, there is the question whether it is object of mind or mind as an object. In both ways it is unsatisfactory. If it is object of mind, then everything is the object of mind. Body is object of mind, feeling is object of mind, and so on. If we say mind is the object, then the subjects treated here include not only mind or consciousness, but also other things as well. We should leave it untranslated and call it ‘dhamma objects’ rather than calling it ‘mind objects’, or ‘mental objects’, or whatever.
This section deals with what is designated as ‘dhamma’. From this section we know that here ‘dhamma’ means many things, actually everything in the world except the supramundane types of consciousness and NibbÈna. That is because supramundane consciousness and NibbÈna are not the objects of vipassanÈ meditation. VipassanÈ meditation only takes the mundane objects as objects. When we practice vipassanÈ, we try to observe, we try to be mindful of the mundane consciousness, or the physical body which is mundane, sometimes mental states, all mundane. That is because only when we keep ourselves mindful of mundane objects, can we see their impermanence and so on. The objective of vipassanÈ is to see the impermanence of things. So we must exclude supramundane things as objects of vipassanÈ meditation or from dhamma objects.
The first subsection deals with the five hindrances. I think that most of you are familiar with these five hindrances because if you have been to retreats a talk about the five hindrances is always given.
“He knows when there is ‘Lust’ in him: ‘In me is lust’; knows when there is ‘Anger’ in him: ‘In me is anger’; knows when there is ‘Torpor’ and ‘Sloth’ in him: ‘In me is torpor and sloth’; knows when there is ‘Restlessness’ and ‘Mental Worry’ in him: ‘In me is restlessness and mental worry’; knows when there are ‘Doubts’ in him: ‘In me are doubts’. He knows when these hindrances are not in him: ‘In me these hindrances are not’: He knows how they come to arise; knows how, once arisen, they are overcome; and he knows how they do not arise again in the future.” This is how a yogi must observe or how a yogi must be mindful of the five hindrances as and when they arise in his mind. All of them will not arise at the same time. When there is the first one, kÈmacchanda (lust), there is no dosa (anger).
The first one is called ‘kÈmacchanda’ in PÈÄi. It is translated as lust. It is attachment or greed. Sometimes it may not be strong attachment or strong greed, but that also is called ‘kÈmacchanda’. So ‘lust’ here should be understood in that sense. When you practice meditation, you want to achieve something. That wanting, that desire, is called ‘kÈmacchanda’ here. That is why when I give instructions I always say: Please do not have any expectations because expectations are themselves hindrances and so they have to be eliminated. When there is expectation or greed, or craving, or attachment, or whatever, a yogi must know: It is in me. It is in my mind. When it has disappeared, he must know: Now it is not in me. It has disappeared.
The next one is anger or vyÈpÈda - so anger, ill will, resentment, and also discouragement, depression. All these are included in vyÈpÈda. We may be upset when somebody makes noise or maybe there is noise from airplanes. Sometimes we may be angry with ourselves because we cannot practice properly. We cannot get concentration and so on. There are lots of reason for a yogi to get angry. Sometimes we are just depressed. We are discouraged because we cannot keep our minds on the meditation object. When there is such anger, such depression, such discouragement, then a yogi must know: It is in me. It has arisen in my mind. When he pays attention to the anger, the anger disappears. When it disappears, he must know that it has disappeared or that it is not in him now.
The third one is in PÈÄi thÊna-middha (sloth and torpor). It is popularly known as sleepiness. We experience sleepiness every now and then when we practice meditation. We just nod. When there is sleepiness in us, we must be aware of it or we must pay attention to it. We must make mental notes of it as ‘sleepy, sleepy, sleepy’. Just by making notes of or dwelling on the sleepiness, we may be able to get rid of it. If we cannot get rid of sleepiness that way, there are other ways. The best way is to just get up and practice walking meditation.
Student: Sloth implies laziness. Is that true for the PÈÄi?
Teacher: Yes it can be something like that. ‘ThÊna-middha’ actually means dullness of mind, dullness of consciousness and dullness of mental states.
The next one is uddhacca and kukkucca (restlessness and mental worry). Although they are said to be one hindrance here, they are two mental states. They do not arise together at the same moment, at the same time. Uddhacca accompanies which types of consciousness? Uddhacca accompanies all twelve types of akusala consciousness. Kukkucca arises only with the two types of consciousness accompanied by anger (dosa).
Here kukkucca is translated as mental worry and uddhacca is translated as restlessness. I think that I have talked about this before. ‘Uddhacca’ means the inability of the mind to be squarely on the object. It is not able to stick to the object. The literal meaning of uddhacca is shaking above or moving above. Kukkucca is actually remorse or regret. It is remorse for something wrong done in the past or something good not done in the past. I was thinking today whether there is physical worry. I think we should just say ‘worry’ because worry is always mental. If we prefer remorse, we will just say restlessness and remorse. When there is uddhacca, we should be mindful of it. When there is kukkucca, or worry, or remorse, we must be mindful of it. We must make notes of it. And then when it disappears, we must know that it has disappeared, that it is not in our minds.
The last one is doubt - doubt about the Buddha, Dhamma, Sa~gha, doubt about the practice. These are the five mental hindrances, but actually there are seven different mental states. Lust is lobha. Anger is dosa. ThÊna is one mental state. Middha is one mental state. Uddhacca (restlessness) is one mental state. Kukkucca is one mental state and vicikicchÈ is one mental state. All together there are seven mental states here.
Student: What is the difference between thÊna and middha?
Teacher: ThÊna is dullness of consciousness (citta) and middha is dullness of mental states (cetasikas).
He knows when these hindrances are in him and he knows when these hindrances are not in him. Then he knows how they come to arise, why they arise. These are unwholesome mental states. When there is wrong or unwise reflection, they arise. Sometimes he knows that there is unwise attention or unwise reflection, and so there is lust in him and so on. He knows that once they are arisen, they are overcome by wise reflection or how they can be avoided. “He knows how they do not arise again in the future.” When a person becomes an Arahant, he eradicates these all together, so they will not arise in him again.
Now let us look at the notes. For example, ‘Lust’ arises through unwise thinking on the agreeable and delightful.” When we see something agreeable and delightful and we are not wise, then we will be attached to it. Attachment arises through unwise thinking. “It may be suppressed by the following six methods: fixing the mind upon an idea that arouses disgust (seeing the disgusting nature of things); contemplation of the loathsomeness of the body (like head hair, body hair); controlling one’s six senses.” ‘Controlling the six senses’ does not necessarily mean closing your eyes or closing your ears. ‘Controlling the six senses’ means taking care not to get unwholesome consciousness through the six sense doors. If you see something, try not to get attachment or anger through the eye door. That is called ‘controlling the senses’. “Moderation in eating; friendship with wise and good men; right instruction. Lust and anger are forever extinguished upon attainment of AnÈgÈmÊship.” ‘AnÈgÈmÊship’ means the third stage of enlightenment. “ ‘Restlessness’ (uddhacca) is extinguished by reaching Arahantship; ‘Mental Worry’ by reaching SotÈpanaship.” Abhidhamma scholars do you agree with that? What is ‘mental worry’? Kukkucca. It is destroyed when one becomes an AnÈgÈmÊ. So ‘SotÈpanaship’ should go and be replaced with ‘AnÈgÈmÊship’.
Student: Why in this passage do they use the phrase ‘in me’? Doesn’t that reinforce the sense of self?
Teacher: In PÈÄi it is clearly stated that it is in me. It is inside me. “Atthi me ajjhattaÑ kÈmacchando.” That means in my mind there is lust. ‘In me’ means in my mind.
Next is the five groups of existence called ‘khandhas’. You know that there are five khandhas. “And further, the disciple dwells in contemplation of the dhamma objects, namely of the five ‘Groups of Existence’. He knows what ‘Corporeality’ is, how it arises, how it passes away” and so on. The first group is r|pa or corporeality. That is just matter, matter in our bodies and it can also mean matter outside. ‘When he contemplates on matter, he knows what matter is’ really means he knows that there is this material form only and no other. That is how a yogi knows corporeality or r|pa. When he contemplates on r|pa, he knows this much is r|pa and there is no other. ‘No other’ means there is no other thing we can call a ‘permanent entity’ and so on. ‘How it arises, how it passes away’ means its arising and its passing away. If we pay attention, then we will see its arising and also its disappearance.
“He knows what ‘Feeling’ is, how it arises, how it passes away.” You are very familiar with feelings when you practice meditation, especially painful feeling. There is pain here and there, or itching, or numbness, and so on. When there is such feeling, then you are to be mindful of that feeling. This much is feeling and there is no further. That means there is no other thing which feels or which makes us feel. There is just feeling.
Then the next one is perception (saÒÒÈ). I have talked about saÒÒÈ many times. it is making a mark so that we recognize it when we experience it again.
The next one is mental formations (sa~khÈra). This also is a very difficult word to translate. Mental formations are sa~khÈra. Those mental states other than feeling and perception are called ‘mental formations’. Lust is a mental formation. Anger is a mental formation. Mindfulness is a mental formation. Wisdom or understanding is a mental formation. When there are mental formations or when there is one of these mental formations, we are to understand or we are to be mindful of it.
“He knows what ‘Consciousness’ is.” Consciousness is here viÒÒÈÓa. It is the awareness of the object. As I said before, in the teachings of the Buddha mind is composed of two things. One is consciousness or awareness of the object. The other is mental states which accompany consciousness. Here consciousness is the object of meditation. When there is consciousness - there is always consciousness, but sometimes it is not prominent at the present moment. So we may not be aware of consciousness every time we practice meditation. Sometimes consciousness becomes prominent. So at that moment we are to be mindful of consciousness. There is no other agent or whatever which makes us conscious or which is conscious of the object.
These are the five aggregates. They are popularly called ‘the five aggregates’. The five groups or the five aggregates are the same.
Next is the sense bases. There are twelve of them. There are six internal and six external. The six internal and external sense bases are what? Eye and visual object is one pair. Ear and sound is another pair. Nose and odors, tongue and taste, body and bodily impressions, mind and dhamma objects are the other pairs. These are the six pairs or the twelve sense bases. They are called ‘sense bases’ because depending upon eye and visual object consciousness arises. Depending upon the eye and the visual object the fetter (‘Fetter’ means unwholesome mental states.) arises in dependence on them. That means when there is the eye and there is the visible object, there is seeing consciousness, and depending upon these, there can be what is called a ‘fetter’. That means we see something and we take it to be ‘mine’ or ‘ours’. Sometimes we see something and we are angry with it. When anger arises or when attachment arises, a fetter is said to have arisen independence on them, that is on the eye and the visible object.
“He knows how the fetter comes to arise.” It is due to unwise reflection that the fetter arises. “He knows how the fetter is overcome.” Due to wise reflection it disappears or it is avoided. “And how the abandoned fetter does not arise again in the future.” That is by the attainment of enlightenment the fetters will not arise in him again. This also he comes to be mindful of. Sometimes he may become mindful of the eye: Oh, because of the eye we see. Or sometimes we may be mindful of the objects. And sometimes we are mindful of the fetter or mental defilements which arise depending upon the eye, the visual object, the ear, sound and so on. Sometimes we dwell on or we are mindful of these sense bases.
The next section is the seven elements of enlightenment or the seven factors of enlightenment. In PÈÄi they are called ‘bojjha~ga’. “And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the dhamma objects, namely of the seven ‘Elements of Enlightenment’.” So they are called ‘Factors of Enlightenment’, or ‘Elements of Enlightenment’, or ‘Members of Enlightenment’. When we say ‘Members of Enlightenment’, or ‘Factors of Enlightenment’, or ‘Elements of Enlightenment’, we mean both the elements of enlightenment and the elements leading to enlightenment. When we practice meditation, these factors more or less arise in our minds. Until we get enlightenment, these factors are those that lead to enlightenment. They are not yet the factors of enlightenment. They are the factors that lead us to enlightenment. So they can be called ‘the Factors of Enlightenment’. At the moment of enlightenment they arise. They are true factors of enlightenment at the moment of enlightenment. Before the moment of enlightenment when we practice meditation, these factors arise in our mind. They are also called ‘Factors of Enlightenment’ because they are factors that lead to enlightenment. Otherwise how can we develop these factors of enlightenment? If we take them to be real enlightenment, then we don’t have to do any more because we have reached enlightenment already. These factors are those that lead to enlightenment and also that arise together with enlightenment.
There are seven of them. The first one is, as you know, mindfulness. The second one is the ‘investigation of the law’. It is vague. What is ‘investigation of the law’? ‘Investigation of the law’ really means seeing things as impermanent, suffering and soulless. So it is not really investigation, but understanding through investigation. Actually you just dwell on something. For example, you see something and you say ‘seeing, seeing, seeing’. When you see in your mind the arising and disappearing of that object and come to know that it is impermanent, suffering and soulless, then you are said to have this factor of enlightenment in your mind. The ‘second factor of enlightenment’ (dhammavicaya) means the correct understanding of the dhammas, the correct understanding of the miscellaneous formations. They are called ‘miscellaneous formations’, that is mind and matter which is the object of vipassanÈ meditation. So here in fact ‘dhamma’ means nÈma and r|pa. Dhammavicaya is correct understanding of nÈma and r|pa. And ‘correct understanding’ means understanding as impermanent, suffering and soulless.
Student: It’s not a discursive contemplation.
Teacher: Right. No it is not.
Student: It’s more like a realization of the three marks.
Teacher: Yes. That’s right. In the Commentaries it is explained that the ‘dhamma’ here means the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths comprise everything. Everything in the world is contained in the Four Noble Truths. With reference to vipassanÈ meditation we can say that the miscellaneous formations, nÈma and r|pa, are called ‘dhamma’ here. ‘Investigation’ means not just investigating, but understanding correctly mind and matter.
The third one is energy (viriya). The third one, energy, must not be too much nor too little. Energy must be balanced. If there is too much viriya (energy), you become restless and lose concentration. When there is too little energy, you go to sleep. The energy must be neither too much, nor too little, just balanced.
The next factor is pÊti (enthusiasm). We get one more translation of pÊti here. PÊti is translated as rapture, joy, happiness, and so on. So here Venerable ©ÈÓamoli has translated it as enthusiasm, but on page 74 he translated it as rapture. It is better to retain the PÈÄi word ‘pÊti’. It is not included in feeling. That is why it is translated by one author as pleasurable interest. It is very close to happiness (sukha), being happy. However it is not included under the heading of feeling. Sukha which is a feeling is one thing and pÊti is another although they arise together at the same time. You experience pÊti when you practice meditation. Sometimes your hair may stand on end. Sometimes you feel shaking of the body and so on. These are manifestations of this factor pÊti. Sometimes you feel very good.
The next one is tranquillity (passaddhi). It is tranquillity of both body and mind. After pÊti tranquillity comes.
The next one is concentration (samÈdhi). SamÈdhi is the mind being with or on the meditation object for a long time.
The last factor is equanimity (upekkhÈ). This element of enlightenment, upekkhÈ, is evident when the yogi reaches the higher stages of vipassanÈ knowledge. When a person reaches such stages, he doesn’t have to make much effort. It is like effortless mindfulness. You don’t have to make effort for your mind to be on the object. You don’t need much effort . It is just on the object at every moment. That is called ‘equanimity’ or ‘upekkhÈ’.
“He knows when it is not in him.” When any one of these elements is in him, he must be mindful of it. When they are not in him, he must be mindful of their absence. “he knows how it comes to arise, and how it is fully developed.” It is fully developed when one attains enlightenment. These are the seven factors of enlightenment.
When you practice meditation and you have fairly good concentration, you have these mental factors or these factors of enlightenment arising in your mind. First there is viriya (energy). You make effort for your mind to be on the object. Then your mind hits the object squarely. That is mindfulness. When mindfulness is good, there is concentration. Together with concentration there is pÊti or feeling good, or joy, or enthusiasm, or something like that. And then comes tranquillity of body and mind. Also when there is concentration, there is correct understanding or right seeing of the objects. That means one sees the objects as impermanent and so on. When concentration is good, you don’t have to make much effort and so you are indifferent to making effort. That is equanimity. These factors arise in a yogi at every moment that he applies mindfulness to the object, at almost every moment of meditation. So he knows when they are in him and when they are not in him. And also he knows how it is fully developed. It is fully developed when he attains enlightenment.
Next is the Four Noble Truths. “And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the dhamma objects, namely of the ‘Four Noble Truths’. He knows according to reality, what Suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Origin of Suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Extinction of Suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Path is that Leads to the Extinction of Suffering.”
This book is about these Four noble Truths. The first one is called ‘The Noble Truth of Suffering’. Everything in the world - consciousness, mental factors, r|pa - is suffering, belongs to the First Noble Truth. When you practice meditation, you are experiencing the First Noble Truth. Whatever we do is to be understood as suffering because suffering is defined as that which is impermanent. Whatever is impermanent is suffering. Everything in the world is impermanent. So everything in the world is suffering. ‘He knows according to reality what suffering is’ means he knows that it is suffering. Consciousness is suffering. Mental states are suffering. Material properties in our bodies are suffering and so on.
“He knows according to reality, what the origin of suffering is.” Buddha said that the origin of suffering is craving. So craving is the origin of suffering.
The third is the extinction of suffering. That is NibbÈna. He knows NibbÈna as the extinction of suffering.
The Fourth Noble Truth is the Path that leads to the extinction of suffering, the Noble Eightfold Path, the eight factors of Path.
When a person sees the Four Noble Truths directly or face to face, then actually he becomes enlightened. At the moment of enlightenment a yogi is said to see all Four Noble Truths. During meditation before the moment of enlightenment also a yogi may understand these Four Noble Truths, but his understanding reaches the highest point, the highest level when he becomes enlightened.
“Thus he dwells in contemplation of dhamma objects either with regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He beholds how the dhamma objects arise, beholds how they pass away, beholds the arising and passing away of the dhamma objects. ‘Dhamma objects are there’.” That means there are only dhamma objects and nothing more, like a permanent entity. “This clear awareness is present in him, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness; and he lives independent (not clinging to anything) unattached to anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the dhamma objects.”
So now we come to end of actually the SatipaÔÔhÈna Sutta. In this Sutta the Buddha deals with four contemplations - contemplation of body, contemplation of feelings, contemplation of consciousness, contemplation of dhamma objects. At the conclusion the Buddha said that the only way that leads to the attainment of purity, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, to the end of pain and grief, for entering upon the Right Path, for the realization of NibbÈna, is the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Buddha said that these Four Foundations of Mindfulness are the only way for the attainment of purity of mind and so on.
“These four contemplations of SatipaÔÔhÈna relate to all the five Groups of Existence, namely: 1. The contemplation of corporeality relates to r|pakkhandha.” Is that correct? The contemplation of corporeality relates to r|pakkhandha. That’s right. “2. The contemplation of feeling, to vedanÈkkhandha (‘VedanÈkkhandha’ means aggregate of feeling.); 3. The contemplation of mind, to viÒÒÈÓakkhandha (the aggregate of consciousness); 4. The contemplation of dhamma objects, to saÒÒÈ - and sa~khÈra-kkhandha.” ‘SaÒÒÈ’ means perception and ‘sa~khÈra’ means mental formations. Is that correct? The fourth contemplation relates to saÒÒÈ and sa~khÈra khandha. Is that correct? What about the five hindrances? And then the five groups of existence? It is all khandhas, not only sa~khÈra and saÒÒÈ. So the contemplation of dhamma objects applies to all five groups of existence, not just to saÒÒÈ and sa~khÈra.
“For further details about SatipaÔÔhÈna see the Commentary to the discourse of that name, translated in The Way of mindfulness, by Bhikkhu Soma.” That book is a translation of the Commentary to the SatipaÔÔhÈna Sutta and also of the Sutta itself. It was written by Bhikkhus Soma. I think it is available maybe through the VihÈra Book Store.
Next is NibbÈna through ÈnÈpÈnasati. The MahÈ SatipaÔÔhÈna Sutta deals with the four foundations of mindfulness, that is contemplation of the body and so on. There is another Sutta in the Majjhima NikÈya (The Collection of Middle Length Sayings) called ‘The ŒnÈpÈnasati Sutta’. In that Sutta the Buddha deals with breathing meditation, not all four foundations of mindfulness in detail like in the MahÈ SatipaÔÔhÈna Sutta although reference is made to the four foundations. In that Sutta the Buddha described breathing meditation more fully than in the MahÈ SatipaÔÔhÈna Sutta. In the MahÈ SatipaÔÔhÈna Sutta breathing meditation is described in four ways. Do you remember that? “When he breathes long, he knows: I breathe long. When he breathes short, he knows: I breathe short.” So there is long breath and short breath. And ‘making clear the whole breath-body’ and then ‘calming the breath’ - these are the four methods treated in the MahÈ SatipaÔÔhÈna Sutta. In the ŒnÈpÈnasati Sutta twelve more methods are described.
“Watching over In- and Out-breathing, practiced and developed, brings the four “Foundations of Mindfulness’ to perfection.” So practicing breathing meditation will bring the four foundations of mindfulness to perfection.
“The four foundations of mindfulness, practiced and developed, bring the seven ‘Elements of Enlightenment’ to perfection; the seven elements of enlightenment, practiced and developed, bring ‘Wisdom and Deliverance to perfection.”
“But how does Watching over In- and Out-breathing, practiced and developed, bring the four ‘Foundations of Mindfulness’ to perfection?” Then there is a list - 1,2,3,4 - which are the same as those mentioned in the beginning of the MahÈ SatipaÔÔhÈna Sutta.
“I. Whenever the disciple 1. Mindfully makes a long inhalation or exhalation, or 2. Makes a short inhalation or exhalation, or 3. Trains himself to inhale or exhale whilst experiencing the whole (breath-) body (or making clear the whole breath-body), or 4. Whilst calming down this bodily function (i.e. the breath) - at such a time the disciple dwells in ‘contemplation of the body’, full of energy, comprehending it, mindful, (SayÈdaw omitted ‘after’.), subduing worldly greed and grief.” I want to leave out the word ‘after’ out. It is not after subduing but at the same time subduing. If we say ‘after subduing greed and grief’, what is the use of meditation? If we have already subdued greed and grief, there is no purpose in practicing meditation. Here we should take it to mean subduing at the same time greed and grief. That means when you practice meditation, you are aware of the breath, and no attachment or whatever can come to your mind. When you are dwelling on the breath saying ‘in, out, in, out’, you are at the same time overcoming or getting rid of attachment. We do not need ‘after’ here, so ‘subduing worldly greed and grief’. “For inhalation and exhalation I call one amongst the corporeal phenomena.” The breathing in and out belongs to the group of corporeality because it is air and air belongs to material properties.
Now we have the second group. “II. Whenever the disciple trains himself to inhale or exhale 1. Whilst feeling rapture (pÊti) or 2. Joy (sukha), or 3. The mental functions (cittasa~khÈra), or 4. Whilst calming down the mental functions - at such a time he dwells in ‘contemplation of the feelings’, full of energy, clearly comprehending them, mindful, (‘After’ must go.) subduing worldly greed and grief. For the full awareness of In- and Out-breathing I call one amongst the feelings.” The second has to do with feeling. PÊti is truly not feeling, but it is associated with feeling. So we have “whilst feeling rapture, or joy, or the mental functions, or whilst calming down the mental functions.”
According to the explanations given in the Commentaries this second part of the four groups has to do with jhÈnas. After attaining jhÈna by the practice of breathing meditation, the meditator enters into the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth jhÈna. When he enters into the jhÈna, he is experiencing pÊti. Also after entering into the jhÈna and emerging from it, he may take pÊti as an object of vipassanÈ meditation. So we have to understand in two ways feeling rapture, or experiencing rapture, or making clear rapture. The PÈÄi word is ‘paÔisaÑvedÊ’. The word ‘paÔisaÑvedÊ’ may mean experiencing. You know the word ‘vedanÈ’. In the word ‘vedanÈ’ there is ‘veda’. Also in paÔisaÑvedÊ there is ‘veda’. It can mean experiencing. However the Commentaries always explain this word as meaning ‘making clear’. That means clearly mindful of or clearly seeing. Actually it is not just experiencing, but clearly seeing, here pÊti. ‘Making clear or clearly seeing the rapture’ means entering the jhÈna or after emerging from the jhÈna taking pÊti as an object of vipassanÈ meditation. With joy (sukha) it is the same thing - entering into the jhÈna and then emerging from the jhÈna and taking sukha as an object of meditation.
Then there are the mental functions. What are the mental functions? ‘Mental functions’ means feelings and perceptions. These two are called ‘mental functions’ (cittasa~khÈra).
“Whilst calming down the mental functions (So making them subtle.) - at such a time he dwells in ‘contemplation of the feelings’.” So this has to do with jhÈnas.
In the first group it is samatha meditation and vipassanÈ meditation. In the second group also there can be both samatha and vipassanÈ meditation, but #II, #III and the others have to do with jhÈna.
“III. Whenever the disciple trains himself to inhale or exhale 1. Whilst experiencing the mind.” What is that, ‘experiencing the mind’? Oh, making clear the mind. That means seeing the jhÈna consciousness clearly. It also has to do with jhÈna. “2. Whilst gladdening the mind” - when you are glad there is pÊti and so on in your mind. So ‘gladdening the mind’ has to do with first jhÈna, second jhÈna, and third jhÈna. “3. Whilst concentrating the mind” - only when there is concentration, can there be jhÈna. ‘Concentrating the mind’ has to do with all four or five jhÈnas. “4. Whilst setting the mind free” - ‘setting the mind free’ means setting the mind free from hindrances by first jhÈna, setting the mind free from initial application (vitakka) by second jhÈna, setting the mind free from sustained application (vicÈra) by third jhÈna, setting the mind free from pÊti by the fourth jhÈna, setting the mind free from sukha by the fifth jhÈna. This is what is called ‘setting the mind free’. It is not setting the mind free all together from mental defilements. In this group ‘experiencing the mind’ has to do with all jhÈnas. ‘Gladdening the mind’ has to do with only first, second and third jhÈnas. ‘Concentrating the mind’ has to do with all jhÈnas. ‘Setting the mind free’ has to do with all jhÈnas.
“At such a time he dwells in ‘contemplation of the mind’, full of energy, clearly comprehending it, mindful, subduing worldly greed and grief. For without mindfulness and clear comprehension, I say, there is no Watching over In- and Out-breathing.”
“IV. Whenever the disciple trains himself to inhale or exhale whilst contemplating 1. Impermanence, or 2. The fading away of passion.” Let us rub out ‘of passion’. It is just fading away. ‘Fading away’ here means the momentary dissolution and also the absolute dissolution which is NibbÈna. When you practice meditation, you see your thoughts or whatever arise and disappear. During the moments of vipassanÈ you see the fading away of formations. At the moment of enlightenment you see the total fading away of mind and matter. So ‘contemplating fading away’ means both vipassanÈ and enlightenment. ‘Contemplation of impermanence’ means vipassanÈ.
“3. Extinction, or 4. Detachment” - the third one is just the same as the second one, fading away. They are synonyms. The forth one, ‘detachment’ means vipassanÈ as well as the enlightenment stages. Here the PÈÄi word is ‘paÔinissagga’. That word has two meanings - giving up and rushing towards, so giving up mental defilements, giving up mental formations and rushing towards NibbÈna.
There are four kinds of contemplation here - contemplating impermanence, contemplating fading away, contemplating extinction, and contemplating detachment or contemplation of giving up and rushing to. That just means vipassanÈ and enlightenment.
“At such a time he dwells in ‘contemplation of the dhamma objects’, full of energy, clearly comprehending them, mindful, subduing worldly greed and grief. Having seen, through understanding, what is the abandoning of greed and grief, he looks on with complete equanimity.”
“Watching oven In- and Out-breathing, thus practiced and developed, brings the four Foundations of Mindfulness to perfection.” So here there are 16 methods of meditation or contemplation on the in and out breathing are mentioned. Four methods are mentioned in the MahÈ SatipaÔÔhÈna Sutta, but the others are not mentioned there. They are mentioned in this Sutta, the ŒnÈpÈnasati Sutta. If you want to read the full description, this is the book, Mindfulness of Breathing, by Venerable ©ÈÓamoli. This book is actually the translation of those things pertaining to mindfulness meditation both the PÈÄi Texts and the Commentaries. This is a reliable translation of both the Texts and the Commentaries.
You can take these words just at face value. For example while feeling rapture you inhale and exhale. You may take it to mean that when you practice meditation, you must be joyful or you must have pÊti. So you infuse pÊti in your meditation on in and out breathing and so on. The real meaning is deeper than that. It is not just being happy when you practice meditation, but after getting jhÈnas, you enter into and get out of jhÈna and take pÊti as the factor of meditation and so on. If you want to understand the meaning of these or the explanation written by the traditional teachers in the traditional Commentaries, this is the book to read, Mindfulness of Breathing. It is published by the Buddhist Publication Society.
“But how do the four Foundations of Mindfulness, practiced and developed, bring the seven ‘Elements of Enlightenment’ (bojjha~ga) to full perfection?”
“1. Whenever the disciple dwells in contemplation of body, feelings, mind, and dhamma objects, strenuous, clearly comprehending them, mindful, subduing worldly greed and grief - at such a time his mindfulness is undisturbed; and whenever his mindfulness is present and undisturbed, at such a time he has gained and develops the Element of Enlightenment ‘mindfulness’ (sati-sambojjha~ga); and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.” When a person practices any one of these four foundations of mindfulness, sati will become undisturbed, present and well established. That is how the element of enlightenment which is mindfulness comes to be perfected.
“2. And whenever, whilst dwelling with mindfulness he investigates, examines and thinks over the “Law’ (dhamma).” That means he wisely sees the impermanent nature and so of things. “At such a time he has gained and develops the element of enlightenment ‘Investigation of the Law’ (dhammavicaya sanbojjha~ga); and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.”
The third is viriya (energy) and the fourth is rapture (pÊti). The fifth is passaddhi (tranquillity). The sixth is samÈdhi (concentration) and the seventh is upekkhÈ (equanimity).
“And thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.” So when you practice any one of the foundations of mindfulness, then these seven factors arise in your mind and they become strong and undisturbed. At the moment of enlightenment they reach fullest perfection. “The four Foundations of Mindfulness, thus practiced and developed, bring the seven elements of enlightenment to full perfection.
“And how do the seven elements of enlightenment, practiced and developed, bring Wisdom and Deliverance to full perfection?” ‘Wisdom and deliverance’ means enlightenment or the realization of NibbÈna.
“Herein the disciple develops the elements of enlightenment: Mindfulness, Investigation of the Law, Energy, Rapture, Tranquillity, Concentration, and Equanimity, based on detachment, on absence of desire, on extinction and renunciation.”
“The seven elements of enlightenment thus practiced and developed, bring wisdom and deliverance, to full perfection.” Wisdom and deliverance is explained in one Commentary to mean the destruction of mental defilements, NibbÈna. When the seven elements of enlightenment reach full perfection, then one realizes the destruction of all mental defilements and also at the end the destruction of all suffering.
“Just as the elephant hunter drives a huge stake into the ground and chains the wild elephant to it by the neck, in order unruliness, obstinacy and violence, and accustom him to behavior as is required amongst men: in like manner also should the noble disciple fix his mind firmly to these four Foundations of Mindfulness, so that he may drive out of himself his wonted worldly ways and wishes, his wonted worldly unruliness, obstinacy and violence, and win to the True and realize NibbÈna.” So we should tame the wild elephant of our mind by the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness. When the mind is tame, it is conducive to happiness. By the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness or by the application of the four foundations of mindfulness we can get control over our minds and ultimately eradicate the defilements and reach the perfection of wisdom or reach the final extinction of all suffering. This is the factor, SammÈ Sati (Right Mindfulness), the seventh factor in the Noble Eightfold Path.
We have one more factor to go, that is Right Concentration. So maybe in one more lesson we will finish this book. OK. Thank you.
SÈdhu! SÈdhu! SÈdhu!