The Analysis of the Ways of Attending to Mindfulness

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Explanation of the Contemplation of the Body

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And how does a monk dwell contemplating (the nature of) the body in the body in regard to himself?

Here a monk in regard to himself - from the sole of the feet upwards, from the hair of the head down, bounded by the skin, and filled with manifold impurities - reflects (thus): Note that contemplation of the body is being discussed in terms of the Paṭikkūlamanasikāraṁ and, equally important, no other meditation is mentioned in this section, showing it to be, at the very least, the basic practice associated with Contemplation of the Body. 01

There are in this body:

hairs of the head, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin,
flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys,
heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs,
intestines, mesentery, undigested food, excrement,
bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat,
tears, grease, spit, mucus, synovial fluid, urine.

He practices, develops, makes much of that sign, and fixes its definition, This is an odd formation which the commentary defines as suvavatthitaṁ. I take it the first three verbs in this sentence relate to nimittaṁ, and that the last one relates to svāvatthitaṁ.02 and after he has practised, developed, made much of that sign, and fixed its definition, he focuses his mind on another’s body.

And how does a monk dwell contemplating (the nature of) the body in the body in regard to another?

Here a monk in regard to another’s body - from the sole of the feet upwards, from the hair of the head down, bounded by the skin, and filled with manifold impurities - reflects (thus):

There are This parses as atthi assa kāye, which can only mean there are in his body, ruling out any other meaning, such as the external part of one’s own body.03 in his body:

hairs of the head, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin,
flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys,
heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs,
intestines, mesentery, undigested food, excrement,
bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat,
tears, grease, spit, mucus, synovial fluid, urine.

He practices, develops, makes much of that sign, and fixes its definition, and after he has practised, developed, made much of that sign, and fixed its definition, he focuses his mind on his own and on another’s body.

And how does a monk dwell contemplating (the nature of) the body in the body in regard to himself and in regard to another?

Here a monk in regard to himself and another - from the sole of the feet upwards, from the hair of the head down, bounded by the skin, and filled with manifold impurities - reflects (thus):

There are Comm: there are in the body is said because it is not certain whether his own body or another’s body is meant.04 in the body:

hairs of the head, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin,
flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys,
heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs,
intestines, mesentery, undigested food, excrement,
bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat,
tears, grease, spit, mucus, synovial fluid, urine.

Thus a monk dwells contemplating (the nature of) his own and another’s body in the body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

(Word Analysis)

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‘Contemplating.’ Herein, what is contemplation? That which is wisdom, knowing, ...pe... investigation, deep investigation, investigation of (the nature of) things, Here we see how terms are defined according to their synonyms in the early texts, which can sometimes reach great lengths as every word felt to be connected may be added to the list, even if they are repetitions, and if they appear in collocated lists the whole list is inserted, for which reason paññā appears twice by itself, as well as eight times in compounds in this particular definition. 05 discernment, discrimination, differentiation, We see here how collocations are easily made in Pāḷi through the addition of prefixes (upasagga), which slightly change or intensify the meaning. Producing similar lists in translation sounds unnatural in English where word-repetition is normally avoided, but then it is also difficult to find synonyms.06 erudition, skilfulness, subtlety, Abstract formations from paṇḍita, kusala and nipuṇa respectively.07 clarification, thoughtfulness, consideration, breadth, intelligence, guidance, insight, full awareness, examination, Patoda means a stick, or more particularly a goad. I can find no definition in Pāḷi or Sanskrit that would give the meaning that is demanded by the context here, nor does the commentary help here or elsewhere.08 wisdom, the Faculty of Wisdom, the Strength of Wisdom, These are the only two categorisations that appear in the thirty-seven bodhipakkhiyadhammā that mention wisdom (paññā) in their lists.09 the sword of wisdom, height of wisdom, light of wisdom, lustre of wisdom, flame of wisdom, treasure of wisdom, This is a list of metaphors for wisdom, with one or two exceptions (e.g. paññāsatthaṁ is found in Ap. 40. vs 108, paññāpāsādo in Dhp 28). They do not appear to have been used in the texts though that is what one might have expected. 10 non-delusion, investigation of (the nature of) things, Right View: this is called ‘contemplation.’

With this contemplation he is endowed, truly endowed, having attained, truly attained, being possessed, truly possessed, furnished (with it). Because of this ‘contemplating’ is said.

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‘Dwells.’ Poses, moves, guards, persists, carries on, lives, dwells. Because of this ‘dwells’ is said.

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‘Ardent.’ Herein, what is ardour? Whatever mental exercise of effort Mental effort is said to distinguish it from mere bodily exercise of effort, (kāyiko viriyārambho) such as bodily mortification, etc., which was rejected by the Bodhisatta when he discovered the middle path.11 ...pe... exertion, great exertion, enterprise, endeavour, attempt, travail, vigour, courage, exertion that is not lax, not putting aside of (wholesome) desire, not putting aside of responsibility, being taken up with responsibility, effort, the Faculty of Effort, the Strength of Effort, Right Endeavour: The last three are categorisations that appear in the bodhipakkhiyadhammā, sammāvāyāmo being the sixth factor in the eightfold noble path.12this is called ‘ardour.’

With this ardour he is endowed, truly endowed, having attained, truly attained, being possessed, truly possessed, furnished (with it). Because of this ‘ardent’ is said.

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‘Full awareness.’ Herein, what is full awareness? The answer is exactly the same list of synonyms that occurred in the definition of anupassanā above, which shows the weakness of this way of working as it hardly discriminates one word from another, which is the important part in word definition.13 That which is wisdom, knowing, ...pe... investigation, deep investigation, investigation of (the nature of) things, discernment, discrimination, differentiation, erudition, skilfulness, subtlety, clarification, thoughtfulness, consideration, breadth, intelligence, guidance, insight, full awareness, examination, wisdom, the Faculty of Wisdom, the Strength of Wisdom, the sword of wisdom, height of wisdom, light of wisdom, lustre of wisdom, flame of wisdom, treasure of wisdom, non-delusion, investigation of (the nature of) things, Right View:
this is called ‘full awareness.’

With this full awareness he is endowed, truly endowed, having attained, truly attained, being possessed, truly possessed, furnished (with it). Because of this ‘full awareness’ is said.

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‘Mindful.’ Herein, what is mindfulness? That which is mindfulness, recollection, ...pe... recall, mindfulness, remembrance, bearing (in mind), not losing, not confusing, mindfulness, Sati has the unusual distinction of appearing three times in its own definition in this list, but the list is interesting in showing how much emphasis is placed, not on awareness, but good memory or recall, which is indeed its most basic meaning.14 the Faculty of Mindfulness, the Strength of Mindfulness, Right Mindfulness: this is called ‘mindfulness.’

With this mindfulness he is endowed, truly endowed, having attained, truly attained, being possessed, truly possessed, furnished (with it). Because of this ‘mindful’ is said.

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‘After removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.’ Herein, what is the world? For sure it is the world of his own body, the world of the five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment: this is called ‘world.’

Herein, what is avarice? That which is passion, passionateness, ...pe... fawning, compliance, enjoyment, passionate enjoyment, a passionate mind This appears to be a shortened collocation of the much longer definition of lobho that is found in Dhammasaṅgaṇī where there are 97 synonyms!15: this is called ‘avarice.’

Herein, what is sorrow? The word comes from du+manas, lit: bad mind(edness), its exact opposite is somanassa, su+manas, good mind(edness), or happiness.16 That which is mental disagreeableness, mental pain, disagreeableness born of contact with the mind, painful experience: disagreeableness born of contact with the mind, painful feeling: this is called ‘sorrow.’

Thus this avarice and this sorrow are removed from the world, expelled, quieted, calmed, allayed, gone down, settled down, destroyed, completely destroyed, dried up, completely dried up, brought to an end. Because of this ‘after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world’ is said.

Explanation of the Contemplation of the Body