Pali Term: Sati

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by Dmytro » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:56 am

Here's how Theravadin acariyas define 'sammāsati' and 'sati':

Sammā sarati, sammā vā tāya saranti, pasaṭṭhā sundarā vā satīti sammāsati, tassā upaṭṭhānacariyā.

Culaniddesa-Atthakatha 101

Sammā sarati, sammā vā tāya saranti, pasatthā sundarā vā satīti sammāsati.

Patisambhidamagga-Atthakatha 1.96

Sammā sarati, sammā vā tāya sarantīti sammāsati.

Dhammasangani-Atthakatha 124

Cirakatādimatthaṃ saratīti sati.

Sagathavagga-Atthakatha 1.252

Sarati etāya cirakatādimatthaṃ puggalo, sayaṃ vā saratīti sati, sā asammussanalakkhaṇā.

Suttanipata-Atthakatha 1.147

Sati ca sampajaññanti saratīti sati.

Mahaniddesa-Atthakatha 1.188

Saratīti sati.

Dhammasangani-Atthakatha 53

Satīti ārammaṇapariggahitasati.

Salayatanavagga-Atthakatha 2.390

Satīti upaṭṭhānaṭṭho.

Duka-Tika-Catukkanipata-Atthakatha 2.294

Sammāsati micchāsatiṃ tappaccanīyakilese ca pajahati, nibbānañca ārammaṇaṃ karoti, sampayuttadhamme ca sammā upaṭṭhāpeti, tasmā ‘‘sammāsatī’’ti vuccati.

Mulapannasa-Atthakatha 1.106

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:22 pm

Aloka wrote:.

In the section 'Right Practice.. Steady Practice' from "Food for the Heart", Ajahn Chah describes sati as recollection.
........This means that while standing we have sati, while walking we have sati, while sitting we have sati, and while reclining we have sati, -- consistently. This is possible. We put awareness into our standing, walking, sitting, lying down -- into all postures.
When the mind has been trained like this it will constantly recollect Buddho, Buddho, Buddho... which is knowing. Knowing what? Knowing what is right and what is wrong at all times. http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... .htm#flood
.
I'm not clear how "Buddho" fits in here - how does recollection of Buddho arises from awareness of posture, and how does this equate to knowing what is right and wrong? Does he mean that the chanting of "Buddho" is used as a support ( proxy? ) for mindfulness?
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by Dmytro » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:32 pm

porpoise wrote:I'm not clear how "Buddho" fits in here - how does recollection of Buddho arises from awareness of posture, and how does this equate to knowing what is right and wrong? Does he mean that the chanting of "Buddho" is used as a support ( proxy? ) for mindfulness?
This reminds me of SN 46.3 Sīlasutta:

Yasmiṃ samaye, bhikkhave, bhikkhu tathā vūpakaṭṭho viharanto taṃ dhammaṃ anussarati anuvitakketi, satisambojjhaṅgo tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhuno āraddho hoti; satisambojjhaṅgaṃ tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhu bhāveti; satisambojjhaṅgo tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhuno bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchati.

Dwelling thus withdrawn, one recollects the dhamma and thinks it over. Whenever, monks, a monk dwelling thus withdrawn recollects that dhamma and thinks it over, on that occasion the awakening factor of sati is aroused by the monk, on that occasion the monk develops the awakening factor of sati, on that occasion the awakening factor of sati comes to fulfillment through development in the monk.

And Mahanama sutta:

Imaṃ kho tvaṃ mahānāma buddhānussatiṃ gacchantopi bhāveyyāsi, ṭhitopi bhāveyyāsi, nisinnopi bhāveyyāsi, sayānopi bhāveyyāsi, kammantaṃ adiṭṭhahantopi bhāveyyāsi, puttasambādhasayanaṃ ajjhāvasantopi bhāveyyāsi.

"Mahanama, you should develop this recollection of the Buddha while you are walking, while you are standing, while you are sitting, while you are lying down, while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by danieLion » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:03 am

Remembering/recollecting is a function of awareness/knowing. Put another way, memory is a "sub-class" of the "general class" of knowledge. So, even if one is practicing sati in the canonically positivistic, strict definitionalist sense Reverend Thanissaro and Dmytro argue for, one is all ready enaged in an awareness practice (Gombrich--see quote above--asserts that the best overall translation of sati is "awareness".).

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by Dmytro » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:47 pm

George Dreyfus

Is Mindfulness Present-Centered and Nonjudgmental?
A Discussion of the Cognitive Dimensions of Mindfulness

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10. ... 011.564815" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"When specific references occur in the scientific literature to the Buddhist textual sources, these references often consist in noting that the term “mindfulness” is a translation of the Pāli term sati. In Buddhist theory, however,the term sati carries connotations of memory and remembrance, making attempts to understand mindfulness as a present-centered, non-elaborative, and non- judgmental attention appear inaccurate and confused (see Bodhi 2011; Dreyfus 2011). Indeed, the term “mindfulness” seems to have been chosen by early translators of the Pāli texts because they saw parallels not with a notion of non-judgmental present-centered attention but, rather, between the Christian ethical notion of conscience and the textual usage of sati in the context of holding in mind and being inspired by certain truths, for the sake of improvement of one’s ethical character (Gethin 2011). The broad usage of the term sati is perhaps best captured by the colloquial English notion of “minding.” The Pāli texts employ sati in reference to everything from “minding” one’s livestock (MN.I.117) to “minding” one’s meditation object in practices such as loving-kindness (Sn.26), in addition to using sati specifically in the context of mindfulness meditation or, more literally,in the establishment of sati (sati-upaṭṭhāna). In this general sense, sati clearly can involve elaborative and evaluative cognitive processes. In the role sati plays in the context of mindfulness meditation, however, the involvement of memorymay be of a more limited and specific kind."

From the Five Aggregates to Phenomenal Consciousness:Towards a Cross-Cultural Cognitive Science
by Jake H. Davis and Evan Thompson

http://www.academia.edu/2011639/From_th ... ve_Science" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by Dmytro » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:13 am

Hi Billymac,
I don't think anyone disputes that the definition of sati is "to remember" or "remembering".
I would dispute it. First, sati isn't a verb. Second, in the definition, sati means 'remembrance', in the sense of 'bearing in mind' and 'ability to remember'.

Katamañca, bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ? Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā.

"And what is the faculty of remembrance? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is endowed with memory, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago."

Indriya-Vibhanga sutta, (SN V 197-8 )

Definition of REMEMBRANCE
1 : the state of bearing in mind
2 a : the ability to remember

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/remembrance
Billymac29 wrote:How would the definition of "remembrance" fit into the beginning of ananapanasati?
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu araññagato vā rukkhamūlagato vā suññāgāragato vā nisīdati pallaṅkaṃ ābhujitvā, ujuṃ kāyaṃ paṇidhāya, parimukhaṃ satiṃ upaṭṭhapetvā
Here a monk, having gone into the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to an empty room, sits down cross-legged, keeps his body upright and setting mindfulness to the fore...

saying "..setting 'remembrance' to the fore.." makes no sense in english!!


"Setting mindfulness to the fore" doesn't make much sense as well.

However, when we take into account the original meaning of 'parimukham', the commentarial explanation makes perfect sense:

Pakatiassāsapakatipassāse nissāya uppannanimittampi assāsapassāsāti nāmaṃ labhati. Upaṭṭhānaṃ satīti taṃ ārammaṇaṃ upecca tiṭṭhatīti sati upaṭṭhānaṃ nāma.

'Sati upaṭṭhāna' means that 'sati', having approached, stays on that object-support (ārammaṇa) (i.e. the representation (nimitta) which has arisen due to natural in-and-out-breath).

Patisambhidamagga-Atthakatha 2.509

I have already given you this quote. If you don't understand it, please do ask questions, otherwise there's not much I can do.
Buddha's teaching is a non-trivial science, with some complicated notions.
Considering no one on here is a linguistics expert (and from the sight of some interpretations, not very skilled in reading comprehension [at least in english]), we shouldn't be making such outlandish statements saying certain people are right and others are wrong.


I agree that, since this forum is dedicated to Pali language, the claims should be substantiated by Pali glosses, and there should be no outlandish statements. And the posts should be read carefully.

As Mike wrote, "this area is intended to be for technical discussion of Pali, not discussion of meditative experience."
So by using 'remembering' we are just using the closest meaning we have in english. He has said it doesn't give the word justice or it's truest meaning.
Surely 'remembering' (instead of 'remembrance') does not fit well, for example, in:

Atthi kāyo'ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti, yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya.

"Or his remembrance that 'There is a body' is established to the extent of knowledge & bearing in mind.

Atthi vedanā ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya paṭissatimattāya.

Or his remembrance that 'There are feelings' is established to the extent of knowledge & bearing in mind.

Atthi cittanti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti, yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya.

Or his remembrance that 'There is a mind' is established to the extent of knowledge & bearing in mind.

Atthi dhammā'ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti. Yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya.

Or his remembrance that 'There are mental qualities' is established to the extent of knowledge & bearing in mind."

Maha-satipatthana sutta, DN 22

Seyyathāpi bhikkhave gimhānaṃ pacchime māse sabbasassesu gāmantasambhatesu gopālako gāvo rakkheyya. Tassa rukkhamūlagatassa vā abbhokāsagatassa vā satikaraṇīyameva hoti: etaṃ gāvoti. Evameva kho bhikkhave satikaraṇīyameva ahosi: ete dhammāti.

"Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been gathered into the village, a cowherd would look after his cows: While resting under the shade of a tree or out in the open, he simply maintains remembrance of 'those cows.' In the same way, I simply maintained remembrance of 'those mental qualities.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by danieLion » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:16 am

Hi Dmytro,

Does sati have a verb form? An adjective form?

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by Dmytro » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:10 am

Hi Daniel,
danieLion wrote:Does sati have a verb form?
Sarati - http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :3849.pali
danieLion wrote:An adjective form?
Satimant - http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :2995.pali

There's a verse in Suttanipata with an example of application in practice:

‘‘Athāparaṃ pañca rajāni loke, yesaṃ satīmā vinayāya sikkhe;
Rūpesu saddesu atho rasesu, gandhesu phassesu sahetha rāgaṃ.

And then there are in the world the five kinds of dust for whose dispelling, mindful he should train: with regard to forms, sounds, tastes, smells, & tactile sensations he should conquer passion.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Mahaniddesa explains satimā here as 'endowed with sati'.

Satīmāti yā sati anussati paṭissati sati saraṇatā dhāraṇatā apilāpanatā asammussanatā satindriyaṃ satibalaṃ sammāsati satisambojjhaṅgo ekāyanamaggo – ayaṃ vuccati sati. Imāya satiyā upeto samupeto upagato samupagato upapanno samupapanno samannāgato. So vuccati satimā.

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by badscooter » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:32 pm

Dmytro wrote:Hi Billymac,
I don't think anyone disputes that the definition of sati is "to remember" or "remembering".
I would dispute it. First, sati isn't a verb. Second, in the definition, sati means 'remembrance', in the sense of 'bearing in mind' and 'ability to remember'.

Katamañca, bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ? Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā.

"And what is the faculty of remembrance? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is endowed with memory, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago."

Indriya-Vibhanga sutta, (SN V 197-8 )

Definition of REMEMBRANCE
1 : the state of bearing in mind
2 a : the ability to remember

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/remembrance
Yes "remember", "remembering", "remembrance" all have the same root word 'mem' which comes from the word meminisse which means to remember. It is also present in words like memory, memorandum, memento, etc..
Remember:
1: to bring to mind or think of again
2 archaic
a : bethink; b : remind
3a : to keep in mind for attention or consideration
b : reward
4: to retain in the memory
5: to convey greetings from
6: record, commemorate

intransitive verb
1: to exercise or have the power of memory
2: to have a recollection or remembrance
— re·mem·ber·abil·i·ty noun
— re·mem·ber·able adjective
— re·mem·ber·er noun
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/remember

With many synonyms to replace and interchange words with.
"And what is the faculty of remembering? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is endowed with memory, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago."
or
"And what is the faculty of awareness? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is endowed with memory, highly meticulous, aware & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago."
or
"And what is the faculty of recollection? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is endowed with memory, highly meticulous, recollecting & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago."
see? Just because you put a word you like to use in the sutta does not mean that is the only way one can say it. I could go on and on with synonyms and be perfectly acceptable.
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by badscooter » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:33 pm

Dmytro wrote:Hi Billymac,
Billymac29 wrote:How would the definition of "remembrance" fit into the beginning of ananapanasati?
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu araññagato vā rukkhamūlagato vā suññāgāragato vā nisīdati pallaṅkaṃ ābhujitvā, ujuṃ kāyaṃ paṇidhāya, parimukhaṃ satiṃ upaṭṭhapetvā
Here a monk, having gone into the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to an empty room, sits down cross-legged, keeps his body upright and setting mindfulness to the fore...

saying "..setting 'remembrance' to the fore.." makes no sense in english!!


"Setting mindfulness to the fore" doesn't make much sense as well.
sure it does! :) having your awareness of the present moment as priority. Bringing yourself to the present situation.
However, when we take into account the original meaning of 'parimukham', the commentarial explanation makes perfect sense:
As discussed elsewhere, parimukhaṃ is located in areas of the suttas without any mentioning of the breath or breathing so to interpret the use as not 'in front of the mouth or nose' (anatomical) is a valid one. However, if one chooses to use the commentarial view that is perfectly fine but it still needs rephrasing because "setting 'remembrance' to the front of the mouth or nose..." still does not make sense in english.
Dmytro wrote:
Considering no one on here is a linguistics expert (and from the sight of some interpretations, not very skilled in reading comprehension [at least in english]), we shouldn't be making such outlandish statements saying certain people are right and others are wrong.
I agree that, since this forum is dedicated to Pali language, the claims should be substantiated by Pali glosses, and there should be no outlandish statements. And the posts should be read carefully.

As Mike wrote, "this area is intended to be for technical discussion of Pali, not discussion of meditative experience."
I agree with the Pali glosses, however, since this is being interpreted in english I think rules of the english language should be adhered to. That includes the use of synonyms, and contextual understanding.

Also, if one is going to give a true definition of the term then I believe one has to take into account the way the term is used in all contexts, forms, and understandings...... including meditation practices.
Dmytro wrote:Surely 'remembering' (instead of 'remembrance') does not fit well, for example, in:

Atthi kāyo'ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti, yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya.

"Or his remembrance that 'There is a body' is established to the extent of knowledge & bearing in mind.

Atthi vedanā ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya paṭissatimattāya.

Or his remembrance that 'There are feelings' is established to the extent of knowledge & bearing in mind.

Atthi cittanti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti, yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya.

Or his remembrance that 'There is a mind' is established to the extent of knowledge & bearing in mind.

Atthi dhammā'ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti. Yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya.

Or his remembrance that 'There are mental qualities' is established to the extent of knowledge & bearing in mind."

Maha-satipatthana sutta, DN 22

Seyyathāpi bhikkhave gimhānaṃ pacchime māse sabbasassesu gāmantasambhatesu gopālako gāvo rakkheyya. Tassa rukkhamūlagatassa vā abbhokāsagatassa vā satikaraṇīyameva hoti: etaṃ gāvoti. Evameva kho bhikkhave satikaraṇīyameva ahosi: ete dhammāti.

"Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been gathered into the village, a cowherd would look after his cows: While resting under the shade of a tree or out in the open, he simply maintains remembrance of 'those cows.' In the same way, I simply maintained remembrance of 'those mental qualities.'
Sure it does... :)
Atthi kāyo'ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti, yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya.

"Or remembering that 'There is a body' is established to the extent of bare knowledge & continuous remembering.
or
Atthi kāyo'ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti, yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya.

"Or his awareness that 'There is a body' is established to the extent of bare knowledge & continuous awareness.
or
Atthi kāyo'ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti, yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya.

"Or recollecting that 'There is a body' is established to the extent of bare knowledge & continuous recollection.
or
Atthi kāyo'ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti, yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya.

"Or his remembrance that 'There is a body' is established to the extent of knowledge & bearing in mind.
these all adhere to the english rules of comprehension.

One is allowed to replace words in context and keep meaning or matter.
Last edited by DNS on Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: personal attack removed.
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by danieLion » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:22 pm

In MN 105 the Buddha "defines" mindfulness/sati as a probing knife with no mention of it's recollective function.

What say you to this, Dmytro?

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by Polar Bear » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:36 pm

"He is mindful, able to remember & recollect what was done & said a long time ago.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.dharmasalon.net/Writings/Min ... wisdom.pdf

http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/BMIMC% ... ulness.MP3

Remembrance really is a good translation for sati. In meditation, sati is remembering to stay aware/alert (sampajanna) of an aspect of experience in the present, e.g. remembering to stay aware of breathing as it is occurring in your experience.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... endas.html

John Peacock thinks "recollection of the present moment" is probably the best translation for sati and it is pretty good although sati does sometimes have to do with recollecting/remembering the past as shown above.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by Polar Bear » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:48 pm

danieLion wrote:In MN 105 the Buddha "defines" mindfulness/sati as a probing knife with no mention of it's recollective function.

What say you to this, Dmytro?
Actually, it's just called a probe not a knife.
The surgeon would cut around the opening of the wound with a knife and then would probe for the arrow with a probe.

"I have given this simile to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: the wound stands for the six internal sense media; the poison, for ignorance; the arrow, for craving; the probe, for mindfulness; the knife, for noble discernment; the surgeon, for the Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
In this case, sati would be remembering to see craving as an arrow, ignorance as a poison and then remembering to use discernment and the dhamma to remove the arrow and the poison. Of course, I suppose in this case sati may also be covering not just remembrance but also sampajanna whereas in more detailed descriptions the Buddha separates the two.

:namaste:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:54 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote: In this case, sati would be remembering to see craving as an arrow, ignorance as a poison and then remembering to use discernment and the dhamma to remove the arrow and the poison.
Which would keep one's practice solely in the realm of conceptual thinking.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Post by badscooter » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:05 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:
danieLion wrote:In MN 105 the Buddha "defines" mindfulness/sati as a probing knife with no mention of it's recollective function.

What say you to this, Dmytro?
Actually, it's just called a probe not a knife.
The surgeon would cut around the opening of the wound with a knife and then would probe for the arrow with a probe.

"I have given this simile to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: the wound stands for the six internal sense media; the poison, for ignorance; the arrow, for craving; the probe, for mindfulness; the knife, for noble discernment; the surgeon, for the Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
In this case, sati would be remembering to see craving as an arrow, ignorance as a poison and then remembering to use discernment and the dhamma to remove the arrow and the poison. Of course, I suppose in this case sati may also be covering not just remembrance but also sampajanna whereas in more detailed descriptions the Buddha separates the two.

:namaste:
In this case it says mindfulness is the probe.... Which means mindfulness, sati, is the tool used for investigation.
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

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