This is a continuation of notes from Joseph Goldstein’s book
On Chapter 9, Mindfulness of activities:
“Again, monks, when going forward and returning one acts clearly
knowing; when looking ahead and looking away one acts clearly knowing; when
flexing and extending one’s limbs one acts clearly knowing. . . when eating,
drinking, consuming food, and tasting one acts clearly knowing; when defecating
and urinating one acts clearly knowing; when walking, standing, sitting,
falling asleep, waking up, talking and keeping silent one acts clearly
'Clearly knowing' often translated 'clear comprehension'
Seeing precisely or seeing thoroughly with all of the
Five spiritual faculties:
All five spiritual faculties in balance.
Training in clear
motivation behind an action
What is the purpose of what we are
Is it of benefit to myself and
This is takes our mindfulness more
than simply knowing what we are doing.
Is what I’m doing skillful? Is it unskillful?
Our motivation are often complex or
made of conflicting motivations
This is the ethical dimension of
Encountering Mara- the embodiment
But unlike western religions, mara
is not the devil or Satan
Mara is seen to be the kind of the
highest heaven realm.
His mission is to keep us all
ensnared in his realm of samsaric attachments
Using seductive and confusing ploys
to accomplish this.
“Mara, I see you” is a phrase that
we can use when we are interrupting our patterns.
Know the suitability
of an action
Even if something is suitable and
Is it the appropriate time and
place for this action.
Particularly in speech
might be true but is it the right time to express it?
is the effect of our action on others?
What is appropriate for this time
Know the fields of
The four fields of practice are the
Body, feelings, mind, and different
categories of dharma
These are the proper domain of
Knowing which field we are in helps
us to practice restraint of the senses
Restraint or renunciation
allowing are minds to roam around in sense attachments
Renunciation is a kind of
Seeing clearly the three universal
Dukkha- unreliability, dissatisfaction, suffering
No centralized self
Nondelusion understands that with
all of the bodily actions mentioned, there’s no one there doing anything.
There’s doing without a doer
This sections shows the importance Buddha placed on monks
and nuns deporting themselves in a quiet and dignified manner.
stiff and contrived
a “carefree dignity”
Respect and grace in the way people
hold themselves and care for others.
Ending with the repeat of the refrain
Contemplate all these activities internally and
Seeing their nature to arise and pass away
Establishing mindfulness to the extent necessary
for bare noting and continuous mindfulness
Not clinging to anything in the world
Labels: buddhist discernment, Buddhist five faculties, Clear comprehension, Clearly knowing, Joseph Goldstein"s Mindfulness, Mara, mindfulness of activities, Satipatthana Sutra, skilful means