These are notes from Joseph Goldstein’s book “Mindfulness”.
These notes are from Chapter 5 on Contemplating the Four
There is a refrain that occurs 13 times in the sutra. An abbreviated version is thus:
In this way, in regard
to the body (feelings, mind, dhammas) one abides contemplating
the body (feelings,
mind, dhammas) internally, or one abides contemplating externally, or one
abides contemplating both internally and externally.
contemplating the nature of arising in the body (feelings, mind, dhammas)…. The
nature of passing away in….or the nature of both arising and passing away in.
‘there is a body’ (feelings, mind, dhammas) is established in one to the extent
necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness.
And one abides
independent, not clinging to anything in the world…
Reminding us again and again to:
Contemplate our experience internally,
externally and both
Contemplate the nature of impermanence – the
arising, the passing away, and both the arising and passing away in regard to
Establishing enough mindfulness to recognize
simply what is unfolding moment to moment – without mental commentary – and to
remain mindful of what’s happening.
Abiding without clinging to anything that enters
our realm of experience.
externally and both
Noticing internally are experiences like the sensations of
the breath or different sensations in the body like heat, cold, tightness, or
pressure. To notice something
externally is to notice other people’s bodily actions or breathing. Especially important with this
“noticing” is to bare note which
means to observe things without an added commentary or judgement. Sometimes noticing things externally
includes noticing other’s people concentrated practice and allowing that to
inspire our own practice. Buddha suggests that we associate with people who are mindful and concentrated.
Noticing things internally and externally simultaneously is
actually a very profound and insightful mind. This is observation that goes beyond the distinction of self
and other and the insight that other people’s experience are our own.
The Tathagata is translated as one thus gone. This means that a practitioner knows and actualizes impermanence. Each phenomena or moment is in the process of arising
and passing away and we don't cling to anything.
That being so, Ananda,
remember this too as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Tathagata. For the Tathagata feelings are known as
they arise, as they are present, as they disappear. Perceptions are known as they arise, are present, and
disappear. Thoughts are known as
they arise, are present and disappear.
Remember this too, Ananda, as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the
impermanence, the mind becomes disenchanted. Becoming disenchanted, one becomes dispassionate. And
through dispassion, the mind is liberated.
Disenchanted – waking up from the
spell of enchantment, waking up into a fuller and greater reality
Disillusioned – a reconnection
with what is true, free of illusion, not the same as discouraged or
Dispassionate – a mind of great
openness and equanimity, free of grasping, not that we are indifferent or apathetic.
A sustained contemplation of impermanence leads to a shift
in the way we experience reality.
see through the illusions of stable existence
in what is perceived and what is perceiving.
Buddha makes a distinction between the
Establishment of mindfulness
And the development of the establishment of
awareness of impermanence becomes even more predominant that the object itself.
the movement of
Mindfulness of content to
Mindfulness of process
is the stage moving towards wisdom and awakening
begin to open to the unconditioned, nibbana when we start to see everything as
Labels: arising and passing away, impermanence, Joseph Goldstein"s Mindfulness, mindfulness, Satipatthana Sutra, tathagata