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Satipatthana: The direct path to realization - Dhamma Wheel

Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Each week we study and discuss a different sutta or Dhamma text

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mikenz66
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Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:48 pm

Samvega has kindly offered to lead a discussion on Ven Anālayo's book about the Sattipathana Sutta:
Satipaṭṭhāna: the direct path to realization.

I will leave it up to Samvega to lead the discussion. Further details should follow shortly.

:anjali:
Mike

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Samvega
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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Samvega » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:54 am

By: Bhante Analayo

Image

Join us as we read Bhante Analayo's seminal book on early Buddhist meditation. We will read one chapter per week and hold a discussion to help each other gain insight.
When: Starting Monday, October 17th
Where:
How: Visit and register for an account. Pick up the book from your favorite bookseller and start taking notes on chapter 1. We'll go wherever the conversation takes as and we explore questions that might come up as you read, any realization or inspiration you might have, the pali background, and even points of controversy.

The book study will be held in the forum entitled "Study Group" under the parent forum called "Modern Theravada".


'a gem...I learned a lot from this wonderful book and highly recommend it to both experienced meditators and those just beginning to explore the path.'
Joseph Goldstein

... an indispensable guide ... surely destined to become the classic commentary on the Satipatthana.
Christopher Titmuss

The Satipatthana Sutta is the teaching on mindfulness and the breath and is the bases of much insight meditation practice today. This book is a thorough and insightful guide to this deceptively simple yet profound teaching.

'With painstaking thoroughness, Ven. Analayo marshals the suttas of the Pali canon, works of modem scholarship, and the teachings of present-day meditation masters to make the rich implications of the Satipatthana Sutta, so concise in the original, clear to contemporary students of the Dharma.

Unlike other popular books on the subject, he is not out to establish the exclusive validity of one particular system of meditation as against other's. Rather, his aim is to explore the sutta as a wide-ranging and multi-faceted source of guidance which allows for alternative interpretations and approaches to practice. His analysis combines the detached objectivity of the academic scholar with the engaged concern of the practitioner for whom meditation is a way of life rather than just a subject of study.

The book should prove to be of value both to scholars of Early Buddhism and to serious meditators alike. Ideally, it will encourage in both types of readers the same wholesome synthesis of scholarship and practice that underlies the author's own treatment of his subject.'
Bhikkhu Bodhi

About the Author
Ven. Analayo was born in Germany, was ordained in Sri Lanka in 1995 and completed his PhD on satipatthana at the University of Peradeniya in 2000. At present he is mainly engaged in the practice of meditation and amongst other things contributes to the Encyclopedia of Buddhism.

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Samvega
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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Samvega » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:13 am

Chapter One: General Aspects o fthe DIrect Path

1.1

Some thoughts on the originality of the Satipatthana sutta:

Analayo makes the point that "expositions on satipatthana are also preserved in the Chinese and Sanskrit, with intriguing occasional variations from the Pali presentations" (p.15). Looking in the footnotes it is noted that there are five additional versions in existence.

I'd like to note a couple of things. Analayo seems to intentionally avoid saying that there are different version of the sutta ITSELF, but instead notes that there are "other expositions" on the TOPIC. Just what are these "intriguing variations"? Ajahn Sujato makes that point that the main variations seem to stem from a gradual de-emphasizing of "concentration" meditation in favor of a strict "vipassana-only" approach. See Sujato's post on the topic here:

Analayo also holds the "refrain" part of the satipatthana sutta as centrally important. He notes in footnote 6 that the refrain is "indispensible". Sujato, on the other hand seems to treat the refrain with some disdain, calling it a "late addition". Would anyone like to add to this seeming contradiction between scholars?

1.2

Analayo makes the point that the sequence of a satipatthana's in the sutta is relevant to the way in which a natural practice unfolds. They start with the more gross and easily fixed upon aspects of the body, and procede the more fine and subtle contemplations. This isn't to say that satipatthana MUST be practiced in a certain order, only that it has a tendency to procede that way. In reality there will be some variance in the order in which your practice unfolds, and even the buddha himself continued to practice the grosser meditations after his enlightenment.

1.3

One need not spead one's meditation too thin between many satipatthana's. According to Analayo, several discourses. commentaries, and modern meditation teachers focus on a single satipatthana as a vehicle to full enlightenment. This seems to be possible a result of the habits that one forms during satipatthana practice, and how they will involuntarily carry over into other aspects of experience. It seems also to be possible to contemplate aspects from all four satipatthana's in any meditation object.

Although this is possible, Analayo recommends a balanced appoach of muttiple meditation exercises. He quotes Debes in footnote 21: "it may be possible to gain realization with one single exercise, but that one who has practised all of the them should still not realize awakening would seem to be impossible"

1.4

So if you don't want to spread yourself too thin in your practice, but still want to be balanced, how do you choose what to focus on? It appears that each satipatthana is suited to a different personality type. Analayo states that " The first two satipatthana's suit those with a more affective inclination, while the last two are recommended for those with a more cognitive orientation". These recommendations can also be applied to ones state of mind at the time, rather than ones overall personality type.

Each satipatthana is also individually more effective at dispelling a particular delusion. Contemplation of body for dispelling the delusion of beauty, feelings for the delusion of happiness in fleeting pleasures, mind for permanence, and dhammas for self.

1.5

Analayo contends that the more common translation of "ekayano" in the satipatthana sutta would place it's meaning as being a statement of dogma, that is, as satipatthana as "the only path". He presents and argument that there seems to be more evidence to translate the work as "direct" in the sense or "leading straight to the goal.

Interestingly, the commentaries don't resolve this issue, and they leave the interpretation of the word open. They leave it open to 5 possible interpretations. Why is this? Was there significant disagreement on the meaning even back then?

Analayo surveys the pali canon and it's use or lack of use to support his assertion. He also notes that using it in the sense of meaning "direct" makes more sense in context with the final passage of the satipatthana sutta, where it makes a prediciton about how fast one can become enlightened, and says that it is because it is "the direct path".

1.6

It turns out that the "Four Foundations of Mindfulness" is actually a mistranslation stemming from the commentaries. The commentaries derice sattipatthana from "patthana", which means foundation. Patthana, however, appears to be a late word that was not in use at the time of the discourses.

Analayo suggests "upatthana" as the root word, which means "placing near". Thus satipatthana would mean "attending with mindfulness" instead of "foundation of mindfulness.

It makes little difference in practice, but places less emphasis on the actual object. Analyo notes that these are more possible objects of mindfuless than those specifically listed in the satipatthana sutta.


Any thoughts/comments?

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Ben
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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:26 am

Thanks Samvega for following this up.
I will add some comments later when I have a bit more time.
I am looking forward to the discussion.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby 8fold » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:43 am

...
Last edited by 8fold on Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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octathlon
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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby octathlon » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:21 pm

Thanks for conducting this study topic, Samvega. I will be following along. :reading:

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Sacha G » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:06 pm

Hi,
I don't have Ven. Analayo's book for the moment, but will receive it in some days. However what I remeber from Ven. Sujato's opinion on the Satipatthana, is that the section on the body is (exclusively?) concerned with the 32 parts and the 4 elements, and the section on the Dhammas with the 5 hindreances and the 7 Factors of Awakening.
:juggling:
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Beneath the Wheel » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:33 pm


Sacha G
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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Sacha G » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:37 pm

ok
I meant the "proto-satipatthana", as (supposedly) uttered by the Buddha.
As for the way ven. Analyo breaks the (current) satipatthana sutta, it is the way the sutta is actually divided.
:anjali:
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Dmytro » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:53 am

This book is heavily influenced by the "bare attention" (aka "choiceless awareness") approach of Ven. Analayo's teacher, Ven. Nyanaponika. The "choiceless awareness" was first introduced by Krishnamurti, and modified by Ven. Nyanaponika.

Since the "choiceless awareness" doesn't have support in Buddha's words, reading it in the Satipatthana sutta is misguiding.

The Buddha's words themselves present quite different description of Satipatthana:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5656#p88181

Other misconceptions of this book include:

- presenting the sixteen ways of Anapanasati as sixteen cosecutive steps;

- interpretation of 'parimukham' as 'in front'

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5636


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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby danieLion » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:21 pm

Thanks Samvega and contributors.
How did I miss this? I just finished this book and am waiting on snail-mail to deliver me my copy (the one I have now is a library book).
I will participate as much as I can.
Daniel :heart:

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Samvega » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:23 pm

I wanted to let you guys know that I haven't forgotten about the book, I've just been busy this week. I'm a teacher and it's the end of a grading quarter which means lots of work for me! I'll get the next chapter up in a couple of days.

Till then, feel free to start without me. :)

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:45 pm

No problem, It's good to have time to read and reflect... :reading:

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby James the Giant » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:57 pm

Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Gena1480 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:58 pm

i'm reading this book right now
i have to say very good book

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby cooran » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:21 am

Hello Samvega, all,

Finally, the book arrived from Amazon! :woohoo:

Now I can study along with the rest of you.

Who else is studying Satipatthana - The Direct Path to Realization by Ven Analayo?

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby bodom » Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:31 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Sylvester » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:18 am


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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Dmytro » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:51 am



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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

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