Mindfulness

“There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings… mind… mental qualities in & of themselves—ardent,2 alert,3 & mindful4—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world

…..

Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained (simply) to the extent of knowledge & recollection. And he remains independent, unsustained by [not clinging to] anything in the world.

The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)

Abandoning the Hindrances

“Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness & alertness, and this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded dwelling: a wilderness, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a forest grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

“Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will & anger, he dwells with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will & anger. Abandoning sloth & drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth & drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth & drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness & anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness & anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.

when these five hindrances are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a debt, a sickness, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when these five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as unindebtedness, good health, release from prison, freedom, a place of security. When he sees that they have been abandoned within him, gladness is born. In one who is gladdened, rapture is born. Enraptured at heart, his body grows calm. His body calm, he is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated.

To Lohicca
Lohicca Sutta (DN 12)

The Four Jhānas

“Quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.

….

“And further, with the stilling of directed thought & evaluation, he enters & remains in the second jhāna… the third jhāna… the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. He sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness.

To Lohicca
Lohicca Sutta (DN 12)

Insight Knowledge

“With his mind thus concentrated, purified, & bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge & vision… to creating a mind-made body… to the modes of supranormal powers… to the divine ear-element… to knowledge of the awareness of other beings… to knowledge of the recollection of past lives… to knowledge of the passing away & re-appearance of beings… to the knowledge of the ending of effluents. He discerns, as it is has come to be, that ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the way leading to the cessation of stress… These are effluents… This is the origination of effluents… This is the cessation of effluents… This is the way leading to the cessation of effluents.’ His heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, is released from the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge, ‘Released.’ He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’

To Lohicca
Lohicca Sutta (DN 12)

“Those in whom
phenomena are unpenetrated,
who may be led
by the teachings of others:
Asleep are they;
they haven’t awakened.
It’s time for them
to awaken.”

The Buddha:

“Those in whom
phenomena are well-penetrated,
may not be led
by the teachings of others.
Awakened
through right knowing,
they go among the discordant
harmoniously.”

Unpenetrated
Appaṭividitā Sutta (SN 1:7)

“Here there’s no taming
for one fond of conceit,
no sagacity
for one unconcentrated.
One dwelling alone in the wilderness
heedlessly
won’t cross over beyond
Deaths’ realm.

The Buddha:

“Abandoning conceit,
his mind well-concentrated,
well-aware, everywhere
released,1
one dwelling alone in the wilderness
heedfully:
He will cross over beyond
Death’s realm.

Fond of Conceit
Manakāma Sutta (SN 1:9)

“Living in the wilderness,
staying peaceful, remaining chaste,
eating just one meal a day:
why are their faces
so bright & serene?”

The Buddha:

“They don’t sorrow over the past,
don’t long for the future.
They survive on the present.
That’s why their faces
are bright & serene.
From longing for the future,
from sorrowing over the past,
fools wither away
like a green reed cut down.”

The Wilderness
Arañña Sutta (SN 1:10)

Three Modes of Investigation

“Monks, a monk who is skilled in seven bases and has three modes of investigation is fulfilled & fully accomplished in this Dhamma & Vinaya—the ultimate person.

There is the case where a monk discerns form, the origination of form, the cessation of form, the path of practice leading to the cessation of form. He discerns the allure of form, the drawback of form, and the escape from form.

“He discerns feeling.… He discerns perception.… He discerns fabrications.…

“He discerns consciousness, the origination of consciousness, the cessation of consciousness, the path of practice leading to the cessation of consciousness. He discerns the allure of consciousness, the drawback of consciousness, and the escape from consciousness.

“He discerns consciousness, the origination of consciousness, the cessation of consciousness, the path of practice leading to the cessation of consciousness. He discerns the allure of consciousness, the drawback of consciousness, and the escape from consciousness.

“And what is form? The four great existents [the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property] and the form derived from them: this is called form. From the origination of nutriment comes the origination of form.1 From the cessation of nutriment comes the cessation of form. And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of form, i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. The fact that pleasure & happiness arise in dependence on form: That is the allure of form. The fact that form is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: That is the drawback of form. The subduing of desire-passion for form, the abandoning of desire-passion for form: That is the escape from form.

“For any contemplatives or brahmans who by directly knowing form in this way, directly knowing the origination of form in this way, directly knowing the cessation of form in this way, directly knowing the path of practice leading to the cessation of form in this way, directly knowing the allure of form in this way, directly knowing the drawback of form in this way, directly knowing the escape from form in this way, are practicing for disenchantment— dispassion—cessation with regard to form, they are practicing rightly. Those who are practicing rightly are firmly based in this Dhamma & Vinaya. And any contemplatives or brahmans who by directly knowing form in this way, directly knowing the origination of form in this way, directly knowing the cessation of form in this way, directly knowing the path of practice leading to the cessation of form in this way, directly knowing the allure of form in this way, directly knowing the drawback of form in this way, directly knowing the escape from form in this way, are—from disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, lack of clinging/sustenance with regard to form—released, they are well released. Those who are well released are fully accomplished. And with those who are fully accomplished, there is no cycle for the sake of describing them.

“And what is feeling? These six bodies of feeling—feeling born of eye-contact, feeling born of ear-contact, feeling born of nose-contact, feeling born of tongue-contact, feeling born of body-contact, feeling born of intellect-contact: This is called feeling. From the origination of contact comes the origination of feeling. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of feeling.… The fact that pleasure & happiness arise in dependence on feeling: That is the allure of feeling. The fact that feeling is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: That is the drawback of feeling. The subduing of desire-passion for feeling, the abandoning of desire-passion for feeling: That is the escape from feeling.…

“And what is perception? These six bodies of perception—perception of form, perception of sound, perception of smell, perception of taste, perception of tactile sensation, perception of ideas: This is called perception. From the origination of contact comes the origination of perception. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of perception. And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of perception.… The fact that pleasure & happiness arise in dependence on perception: That is the allure of perception. The fact that perception is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: That is the drawback of perception. The subduing of desire-passion for perception, the abandoning of desire-passion for perception: That is the escape from perception.…

“And what are fabrications? These six bodies of intention—intention with regard to form, intention with regard to sound, intention with regard to smell, intention with regard to taste, intention with regard to tactile sensation, intention with regard to ideas: These are called fabrications. From the origination of contact comes the origination of fabrications. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of fabrications. And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of fabrications.… The fact that pleasure & happiness arise in dependence on fabrications: That is the allure of fabrications. The fact that fabrications are inconstant, stressful, subject to change: That is the drawback of fabrications. The subduing of desire-passion for fabrications, the abandoning of desire-passion for fabrications: That is the escape from fabrications.…

“And what is consciousness? These six bodies of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, intellect-consciousness. This is called consciousness. From the origination of name-&-form comes the origination of consciousness. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness. And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of consciousness, i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. The fact that pleasure & happiness arise in dependence on consciousness: That is the allure of consciousness. The fact that consciousness is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: That is the drawback of consciousness. The subduing of desire-passion for consciousness, the abandoning of desire-passion for consciousness: That is the escape from consciousness.

“For any contemplatives or brahmans who by directly knowing consciousness in this way, directly knowing the origination of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the cessation of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the path of practice leading to the cessation of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the allure of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the drawback of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the escape from consciousness in this way, are practicing for disenchantment—dispassion—cessation with regard to consciousness, they are practicing rightly. Those who are practicing rightly are firmly based in this Dhamma & Vinaya. And any contemplatives or brahmans who by directly knowing consciousness in this way, directly knowing the origination of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the cessation of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the path of practice leading to the cessation of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the allure of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the drawback of consciousness in this way, directly knowing the escape from consciousness in this way, are—from disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, lack of clinging/sustenance with regard to consciousness—released, they are well released. Those who are well released are fully accomplished. And with those who are fully accomplished, there is no cycle for the sake of describing them.

“This is how a monk is skilled in seven bases.

“And how does a monk have three modes of investigation? There is the case where a monk investigates in terms of properties, investigates in terms of sense media, investigates in terms of dependent co-arising. This is how a monk has three modes of investigation.

“A monk who is skilled in seven bases and has three modes of investigation is fulfilled and fully accomplished in this Dhamma & Vinaya—the ultimate person.”

Notes: The term “seven bases” here can also mean the seven notes of the musical scale; and it is possible that the phrase “three modes of investigation” may also be borrowed from musical theory: It may refer to three ways of testing a musical scale once it has been tuned. Thus in this discourse the Buddha seems to be borrowing terms commonly used to describe a consummate musician and applying them to his description of a consummate meditator.

The Commentary singles out this discourse as one that entices a serious meditator to practice.

Seven Bases
Sattaṭṭhāna Sutta (SN 22:57)