the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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DooDoot
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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by DooDoot » Fri May 31, 2019 11:12 pm

ToVincent wrote: Ah ok !
Yet "in conformity with" comes from the PTS.
I am sitting on a bus now, travelling to a community meeting. When I return home, later, I will research to see if there is a contextual difference between “passi” & “anupassi” in the suttas.
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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:59 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:12 pm
ToVincent wrote: Ah ok !
Yet "in conformity with" comes from the PTS.
I am sitting on a bus now, travelling to a community meeting. When I return home, later, I will research to see if there is a contextual difference between “passi” & “anupassi” in the suttas.
No luck above. OK. I misread Sujato. The following appears to be the meaning:
Sujato wrote:The prefix anu- suggests ‘following, conforming, after’, and lacks the analytical sense of vi-. It is a mode of contemplation that ‘conforms’ to the relevant context; thus anupassanā is normally the second member of a compound where the first member defines the specific subject of meditation: ‘contemplation of…’.

page 203 http://santifm.org/santipada/wp-content ... Sujato.pdf
Buddhadasa wrote:
apupassana - lit: watching closely

page 346 http://dhammatalks.net/Books3/Buddhadas ... nasati.pdf
http://dhammatalks.net/Books3/Buddhadas ... nasati.pdf
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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frank k
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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by frank k » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:09 am

Anyone know chinese explain whether the interpretation of the cryptic formula in the Chinese agama parallel to MN 10
is the same as my interpretation? (seeing body as body means seeing the body according to reality as it actually is, rather than how Theravada Cmy sees "body in body" as meaning you contemplate body in isolation of the 3 other frames of 4sp).

chinese sarvastivada MA 98 || MN 10 (B. Analayo trans.)
“Now I, being the Tathāgata of the present, free from attachment and fully awakened, have attained unsurpassable and complete awakening by abandoning the five hindrances, which defile the mind and weaken wisdom, by dwelling with the mind well established in the four satipaṭṭhānas, and by cultivating the seven factors of awakening.


“What are the four? [They are]
the satipaṭṭhāna of contemplating the body as a body, in the same way [the satipaṭṭhāna] of contemplating feelings [as feelings],
[the satipaṭṭhāna of contemplating] mind [as mind], and
the satipaṭṭhāna of contemplating dharmas as dharmas.

https://suttacentral.net/ma98/lzh/taisho
「云何為四?觀身 如身念處,如是觀覺、心、法如法念處。云何觀 身如身念處?比丘者,行則知行,住則知住,坐 則知坐,臥則知臥,眠則知眠,寤則知寤,眠 寤 則知眠寤。如是比丘觀內身如身,觀外 身如身,立念在身,有知有見,有明有達, 是謂比丘觀身如身。復次,比丘觀身如身, 比丘者,正知出入,善觀分別,屈伸低昂,儀 容庠序,善著僧伽梨及諸衣鉢,行住坐臥,眠 寤語默皆正知之。如是比丘觀內身如身, 觀外身如身,立念在身,有知有見,有明有 達,是謂比丘觀身如身。

for reference, this is how I translate and interpret the Pali 4sp formula:
Meaning of the cryptic 4sp🐘 formula
He abides, continuously seeing the body as a body, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
He abides, continuously seeing the experienced-sensations as experienced-sensations, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
He abides, continuously seeing the mind as mind, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
He abides, continuously seeing the ☸Dhamma as ☸Dhamma, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:52 am

frank k wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:09 am
Anyone know chinese explain whether the interpretation of the cryptic formula in the Chinese agama parallel to MN 10
is the same as my interpretation? (seeing body as body means seeing the body according to reality as it actually is, rather than how Theravada Cmy sees "body in body" as meaning you contemplate body in isolation of the 3 other frames of 4sp).

chinese sarvastivada MA 98 || MN 10 (B. Analayo trans.)
“Now I, being the Tathāgata of the present, free from attachment and fully awakened, have attained unsurpassable and complete awakening by abandoning the five hindrances, which defile the mind and weaken wisdom, by dwelling with the mind well established in the four satipaṭṭhānas, and by cultivating the seven factors of awakening.


“What are the four? [They are]
the satipaṭṭhāna of contemplating the body as a body, in the same way [the satipaṭṭhāna] of contemplating feelings [as feelings],
[the satipaṭṭhāna of contemplating] mind [as mind], and
the satipaṭṭhāna of contemplating dharmas as dharmas.

https://suttacentral.net/ma98/lzh/taisho
「云何為四?觀身 如身念處,如是觀覺、心、法如法念處。云何觀 身如身念處?比丘者,行則知行,住則知住,坐 則知坐,臥則知臥,眠則知眠,寤則知寤,眠 寤 則知眠寤。如是比丘觀內身如身,觀外 身如身,立念在身,有知有見,有明有達, 是謂比丘觀身如身。復次,比丘觀身如身, 比丘者,正知出入,善觀分別,屈伸低昂,儀 容庠序,善著僧伽梨及諸衣鉢,行住坐臥,眠 寤語默皆正知之。如是比丘觀內身如身, 觀外身如身,立念在身,有知有見,有明有 達,是謂比丘觀身如身。

for reference, this is how I translate and interpret the Pali 4sp formula:
Meaning of the cryptic 4sp🐘 formula
He abides, continuously seeing the body as a body, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
He abides, continuously seeing the experienced-sensations as experienced-sensations, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
He abides, continuously seeing the mind as mind, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
He abides, continuously seeing the ☸Dhamma as ☸Dhamma, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
Does this describe simultaneously seeing the reality of all four frames, and if so, how would this work in practice?
I have tried continously cycling through the four frames, moving attention between them, but I'm not sure if this approach is supported by the text. Otherwise you'd presumably have to focus on one frame at a time.
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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by DooDoot » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:01 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:52 am
I have tried continously cycling through the four frames, moving attention between them, but I'm not sure if this approach is supported by the text. Otherwise you'd presumably have to focus on one frame at a time.
It appears obvious the four satipatthana arise independent of volition or "trying". It appears each satipatthana is empty of thinking. For example, based on MN 118, it appears the 3rd satipatthana does not involve any thinking. MN 118 says:
On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out sensitive to the mind'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out satisfying the mind'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out steadying the mind'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out releasing the mind': On that occasion the monk remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I don't say that there is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing in one of lapsed mindfulness and no alertness, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, alert & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.
I imagine when the breathing is calmed (1st satipatthana), it is logical rapture (2nd satipattana) arises sequentially as a result of the calming of breathing (1st satipatthana) and none of this involves hindrances & thinking. Thus, logically, it would follow, the 3rd satipatthana will be understood once the 1st & 2nd satipatthana are mastered. Since the 4th satipatthana includes experiencing dispassion & nirodha, it appears obvious they occur in an ordered sequence. If they were random, as you appear to claim, why would the sutta writers bother numbering 16 steps of MN 118? :shrug:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by sentinel » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:23 am

DooDoot wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:01 am

I imagine when the breathing is calmed (1st satipatthana), it is logical rapture (2nd satipattana) arises sequentially as a result of the calming of breathing (1st satipatthana) and none of this involves hindrances & thinking. Thus, logically, it would follow, the 3rd satipatthana will be understood once the 1st & 2nd satipatthana are mastered. Since the 4th satipatthana includes experiencing dispassion & nirodha, it appears obvious they occur in an ordered sequence. If they were random, as you appear to claim, why would the sutta writers bother numbering 16 steps of MN 118? :shrug:
The above per your understanding is merely about practising samadhi part . It has no relevancy to the four noble truth ie the extinguishing of dukkha .
If 4 satipatthana is solely about breathing exercises , then one would not be able to achieve liberation .
:buddha1:

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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by frank k » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:10 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:52 am


Does this describe simultaneously seeing the reality of all four frames, and if so, how would this work in practice?
I have tried continously cycling through the four frames, moving attention between them, but I'm not sure if this approach is supported by the text. Otherwise you'd presumably have to focus on one frame at a time.
I'm not sure what you're asking, because the same question would apply to the other popular accepted interpretations of 4sp right?
When you practice the 4 aspects of right effort, you don't try to do all 4 simultaneously, you do the one that's the most appropriate for the moment. But at times 2 or more of the 4 can almost simulatenously, or in very quick sequence take place.
Similarly, if you're contemplating the 4 noble truths, there's no restriction to only do one to the exclusion of the other 3. If the sutta doesn't place any restrictions, I feel it's best not to arbitrarily impose one.

from the conclusion of my blog post:
Conclusion
When you consider all 5 exhibits, then it's hard to deny "seeing the body as it actually is according to reality", is the best interpretation of the cryptic formula in 4sp. Especially when SN 47.4, one of the most important fundamental suttas about the topic of 4sp, states it explicitly.

This interpretation, in the process of carrying out that instruction, the other popular interpretations would also be included for free as hitchhikers. Whereas the converse is not. In other words, the existing popular interpretations of the cryptic formula, very easily lead to a dry insight devoid of motivation and direction to realize the ultimate goal of Dukkha's cessation. Whereas the case of interpreting "seeing the body according to reality as dukkha", would necessarily involve picking a body contemplation meditation subject among the many body contemplation methods taught. That's some captain obvious insight you don't need a teacher to tell you, and especially you don't need it taught in a way that is cryptic and engenders doubt about the instruction and the practice.
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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by frank k » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:12 pm

Sentinel, did you have thoughts on how you interpret the MA passage? I noticed you posted some Chinese stuff earlier, so wondering how you understand the chinese here.
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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by sunnat » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:54 am

The correct meaning is understood by practice. Buddha explains to those established in virtue, monks : "And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating a body in body?..."

When done as instructed there will be contemplating body in body (or however that part is translated) and knowledge of the correct meaning will arise.

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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:37 am

frank k wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:10 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:52 am


Does this describe simultaneously seeing the reality of all four frames, and if so, how would this work in practice?
I have tried continously cycling through the four frames, moving attention between them, but I'm not sure if this approach is supported by the text. Otherwise you'd presumably have to focus on one frame at a time.
I'm not sure what you're asking, because the same question would apply to the other popular accepted interpretations of 4sp right?
When you practice the 4 aspects of right effort, you don't try to do all 4 simultaneously, you do the one that's the most appropriate for the moment. But at times 2 or more of the 4 can almost simulatenously, or in very quick sequence take place.
Similarly, if you're contemplating the 4 noble truths, there's no restriction to only do one to the exclusion of the other 3. If the sutta doesn't place any restrictions, I feel it's best not to arbitrarily impose one.

from the conclusion of my blog post:
Conclusion
When you consider all 5 exhibits, then it's hard to deny "seeing the body as it actually is according to reality", is the best interpretation of the cryptic formula in 4sp. Especially when SN 47.4, one of the most important fundamental suttas about the topic of 4sp, states it explicitly.

This interpretation, in the process of carrying out that instruction, the other popular interpretations would also be included for free as hitchhikers. Whereas the converse is not. In other words, the existing popular interpretations of the cryptic formula, very easily lead to a dry insight devoid of motivation and direction to realize the ultimate goal of Dukkha's cessation. Whereas the case of interpreting "seeing the body according to reality as dukkha", would necessarily involve picking a body contemplation meditation subject among the many body contemplation methods taught. That's some captain obvious insight you don't need a teacher to tell you, and especially you don't need it taught in a way that is cryptic and engenders doubt about the instruction and the practice.
SN47.4 is interesting, and it does seem to support your thesis. I agree it's best not to impose arbitrary restrictions on the way the four frames are used, and your comparison with the four factors of Right Effort is interesting here - use as appropriate!

I also think its best not to muddle up the four frames of satipatthana with the four tetrads of anapanasati. The structure looks similar, but it's an entirely different practice IMO. The four tetrads are clearly a progression, (from tranquility to insight), whereas the four frames (insight based on ovservation) can be practised in a variety of ways, in different circumstances.
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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by frank k » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:10 pm

I also think its best not to muddle up the four frames of satipatthana with the four tetrads of anapanasati. The structure looks similar, but it's an entirely different practice IMO. The four tetrads are clearly a progression, (from tranquility to insight), whereas the four frames (insight based on ovservation) can be practised in a variety of ways, in different circumstances.
http://lucid24.org/sn/sn54/sn54-002/index.html


study SN 54.2 carefully.
The Buddha is saying you can combine the practice of 16 APS with any of the 7sb factors . As sati is the first of the 7sb, that is giving you the license to use in a myriad of combinations.

7sb and 8aam, and also 5ind, are both causal sequence and independent factors that can be developed out of sequence. The same applies to 16 APS.
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Re: the real meaning of the cryptic formula in 4sp satipatthana

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:13 pm

frank k wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:10 pm
I also think its best not to muddle up the four frames of satipatthana with the four tetrads of anapanasati. The structure looks similar, but it's an entirely different practice IMO. The four tetrads are clearly a progression, (from tranquility to insight), whereas the four frames (insight based on ovservation) can be practised in a variety of ways, in different circumstances.
http://lucid24.org/sn/sn54/sn54-002/index.html


study SN 54.2 carefully.
The Buddha is saying you can combine the practice of 16 APS with any of the 7sb factors . As sati is the first of the 7sb, that is giving you the license to use in a myriad of combinations.

7sb and 8aam, and also 5ind, are both causal sequence and independent factors that can be developed out of sequence. The same applies to 16 APS.
I read SN54.2 as saying that you can practice the four tetrads of anapanasati (as an integrated practice) along with the seven factors of enlightenment. The two sets have quite a lot in common actually.
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