Hello Sanghamitta, all
A little more - from Nina van Gorkom:
The term sati-sampajanna is composed of the word sati, mindfulness or awareness, and the word sampajanna which means discrimination or comprehension. The commentary to the Dialogues of the Buddha (Digha Nikaya), the Sumangalavilasini, explains that there is a fourfold sampajanna. These aspects make it clear that there are different levels of sati-sampajanna. They are the following kinds of sati-sampajanna:
1. satthaka-sampajanna ¤ comprehension with regard to the purpose
2. sappaya-sampajanna ¤ comprehension of what is suitable, fitting
3. gocara-sampajanna ¤ comprehension of the object
4. asammoha-sampajanna ¤ comprehension of non-delusion
Satthaka-sampajanna, comprehension with regard to the purpose, pertains to our bodily health as well as to the growth of kusala and understanding. The Buddha was considerate of the monk's bodily and mental welfare. The monk was taught to have comprehension of the purpose with regard to the taking of almsfood and the use of the other requisites. There are rules for the monks with regard to the use of them. He should not use them with attachment. We read in the Visuddhimagga (I, 85) about the way he should use almsfood:
'Reflecting wisely, he uses almsfood neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor for smartening nor for embellishment, but only for the endurance and continuance of this body, for the ending of discomfort, and for assisting the life of purity: "Thus I shall put a stop to old feelings and shall not arouse new feelings, and I shall be healthy and blameless and live in comfort." '
The monk will use almsfood just as a sick man uses medicine. He will put a stop to the feeling of hunger and he will not indulge in immoderate eating.
The Buddha, on the day of his enlightenment, stopped fasting and he took the rice-gruel which was offered to him by Sujata. He had understood that the undertaking of severe ascetical practices was not the Middle Way.
Also laypeople can apply to a certain extent, in their own situation, some of the rules of training for the monks. When there is sati-sampajanna while we are eating, it knows the right purpose of the taking of food. We do not have to think all the time what the purpose is of what we are doing. When sati-sampajanna arises it knows the right purpose. When there is clear comprehension with regard to the purpose of the taking of food, there are conditions not to indulge in food, but to take it as a medicine for the body. One can find out what is right for one's health. One should not torture oneself by staying too long in one position of the body. Some people have desire for tranquillity and they are hoping to be able to develop it to a high degree by sitting for a long time. When there is clear comprehension with regard to the purpose one will not torture oneself, one will stretch at the right time or change one's posture.
Sati-sampajanna with regard to the purpose is necessary for the development of kusala and right understanding. When we visit the good friend in Dhamma who explains the Dhamma in the right way, or when we visit the holy places in India it can be done with sati-sampajanna with regard to the purpose, namely the development of right understanding.
We read in the Gradual Sayings (Book of the Tens, Chapter XVIII, § 4) about aim and not-aim. The Buddha said to the monks:
'And what, monks, is not aim?
'Taking life, taking what is not given, wrong conduct in sexual desires, falsehood, slander, bitter speech, idle babble, coveting, harmfulness and wrong view. This, monks, is called not-aim.'
We then read that the abstaining from akusala kamma is aim.
Sati-sampajanna with regard to the purpose sees the benefit of kusala and the disadvantage of akusala. When other people speak in a harsh way to us we think immediately of ourselves, of our own interest. What is really useful to ourselves? When sati-sampajanna arises it sees the benefit of patience and lovingkindness, it sees the benefit of all kinds of kusala. When other people are unkind they give us an opportunity to cultivate patience and endurance. We need sati-sampajanna with regard to the purpose in daily life. If one wants to develop calm (samatha) one needs sati-sampajanna which knows the benefit of kusala and which sees the disadvantage of attachment to the sense objects. When one has desire for tranquillity the citta is akusala, but one may not notice it. In order to develop calm which is wholesome there must be sati-sampajanna which realizes the disadvantage of desire. So long as there is desire one will not reach the goal.
For the development of the Eightfold Path sati-sampajanna with regard to the aim is necessary. We read in the Gradual Sayings (Book of the Tens, Chapter XIV, § 4) that the Buddha said to the monks that the factors of the wrong path are not-aim. As regards aim, we read:
'And what, monks, is aim?
'Right view, right thinking, right speech, right action, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration, right knowledge and right release....'
When one follows the wrong path there is no sati-sampajanna. When one develops the right path there is clear comprehension with regard to the aim. The goal is the eradication of wrong view and all the other defilements. If one develops the right path one will eventually reach the goal.
We believe that right understanding of nama and rupa is what we value most highly in life, but is this true? We should be sincere and get to know our own accumulations. Don't we find our work and our relaxation more important than the development of right understanding? If there is sati-sampajanna which sees the value of awareness of realities right understanding can develop during the time we are working and also during the time of relaxation. There are nama and rupa all the time, no-matter where we are. There can be a beginning of the study of them when they appear. We do not have to go to a quiet place and change our usual way of life in order to develop understanding. When there is desire for awareness it will hinder the development of understanding of our life, of our accumulations. We have accumulated attachment to pleasant things, we like to go to concerts or watch T.V. We should learn to see that in such situations there are only dhammas, realities, which arise because of their own conditions. If we do not get to know lobha as it is, as only a conditioned reality, enlightenment cannot be attained and defilements cannot be eradicated.http://www.dhammastudy.com/WIBS3.html