Discourse on the Applications of Mindfulness

At one time the Lord was staying among the Kuru people in the township of the Kurus called Kammāssadhamma. While he was there, the Lord addressed the monks, saying:

“Monks.”

“Revered one,” these monks answered the Lord in assent. The Lord spoke thus:

“There is this one way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrows and griefs, for the going down of sufferings and miseries, for winning the right path, for realising Nibbāna, that is to say, the four applications of mindfulness. What are the four? Herein, monks, a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly conscious (of it), mindful (of it) so as to control the covetousness and dejection in the world; he fares along contemplating the feelings in the feelings, ardent, clearly conscious (of them), mindful (of them) so as to control the covetousness and dejection in the world; he fares along contemplating the mind in the mind, ardent, clearly conscious (of it), mindful (of it) so as to control the covetousness and dejection in the world; he fares along contemplating the mental objects in the mental objects, ardent, dearly conscious (of them), mindful (of them) so as to control the covetousness and dejection in the world.

Contemplating the Body in the Body

And how, monks, does a monk fare along contemplating the body in the body? Herein, monks, a monk who is forest-gone or gone to the root of a tree or gone to an empty place, sits down cross-legged, holding his back erect, arousing mindfulness in front of him.

Mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.

Whether he is breathing in a long (breath) he comprehends, ‘I am breathing in a long (breath)’; or whether he is breathing out a long (breath) he comprehends, ‘I am breathing out a long (breath)’; or whether he is breathing in a short (breath) he comprehends, ‘I am breathing in a short (breath)’; or whether he is breathing out a short (breath) he comprehends, ‘I am breathing out a short (breath).’

He trains himself, thinking: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body. He trains himself, thinking: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body.’

He trains himself, thinking: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the activity of the body.’ He trains himself, thinking: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the activity of the body.’

Monks, it is like a clever turner or turner’s apprentice who, making a long (turn), comprehends, ‘I am making a long (turn)’; or when making a short (turn) comprehends, ‘I am making a short (turn).’ Even so, monks, does a monk who is breathing in a long (breath) comprehend, ‘I am breathing in a long (breath)’; or when breathing out a long (breath) he comprehends, ‘I am breathing out a long (breath)’; or when breathing in a short (breath) he comprehends, ‘I am breathing in a short (breath)’; or when breathing out a short (breath) he comprehends, ‘I am breathing out a short (breath).’

He trains himself with the thought: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body.’

He trains himself with the thought: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body.’

He trains himself with the thought: ‘I shall breathe in tranquillising the activity of the body.’

He trains himself with the thought: ‘I shall breathe out tranquillising the activity of the body.’

In this way, monks, he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, a monk, when he is walking, comprehends, ‘I am walking’; or when he is standing still, comprehends, ‘I am standing still’; or when he is sitting down, comprehends, ‘I am sitting down’; or when he is lying down, comprehends, ‘I am lying down.’ So that however his body is disposed he comprehends that it is like that.

Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, a monk, when he is setting out or returning is one, acting in a clearly conscious way; when he is looking in front or looking around is one, acting in a clearly conscious way; when he has bent in or stretched out (his arm) is one, acting in a clearly conscious way; when he is carrying his outer cloak, bowl and robe is one, acting in a clearly conscious way; when he is eating, drinking, chewing, tasting is one, acting in a clearly conscious way; when he is obeying the calls of nature is one, acting in a clearly conscious way; when he is walking, standing, sitting, asleep, awake, talking, silent, he is one acting in a clearly conscious way. Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, a monk reflects on precisely this body itself, encased in skin and full of various impurities, from the soles of the feet up and from the crown of the head down, that: ‘There is connected with this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, serum, saliva, mucus, synovic fluid, urine.’

Monks, it is like a double-mouthed provision bag that is full of various kinds of grain such as hill-paddy, paddy, kidney beans, peas, sesamum, rice; and a keen-eyed man, pouring them out, were to reflect: ‘That’s hill-paddy, that’s paddy, that’s kidney beans, that’s peas, that’s sesamum, that’s rice.’

Even so, monks, does a monk reflect on precisely this body itself, encased in skin and full of various impurities, from the soles of the feet up and from the crown of the head down, that: ‘There is connected with this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, serum, saliva, mucus, synovic fluid, urine.’ Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally.; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, a monk reflects on this body according to how it is placed or disposed in respect of the elements, thinking: ‘In this body there is the element of extension, the element of cohesion, the element of heat, the element of motion.’

Monks, even as a skilled cattle-butcher, or his apprentice, having slaughtered a cow, might sit displaying its carcass at the cross-roads, even so, monks, does a monk reflect on this body itself according to how it is placed or disposed in respect of the elements, thinking: ‘In this body there is the element of extension, the element of cohesion, the element of heat, the element of motion.’ Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, as a monk might see a body thrown aside in a cemetery, dead for one day or for two days or for three days, swollen, discoloured, decomposing; he focuses on this body itself, thinking: ‘This body, too, is of a similar nature a similar constitution, it has not got past that (state of things).’ Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, a monk might see a body thrown aside in a cemetery, and being devoured by crows or ravens or vultures or wild dogs or jackals or by various small creatures; he focuses on this body itself, thinking: ‘This body too is of a similar nature a similar constitution, it has not got past that (state of things).’ Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, as a monk might see a body thrown aside in a cemetery a skeleton with (some) flesh and blood, sinew-bound; he focuses on this body itself, thinking: ‘This body too is of a similar nature a similar constitution, it has not got past that (state of things).’ Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, as a monk might see a body thrown aside in a cemetery fleshless but blood-bespattered, sinew-bound; he focuses on this body itself, thinking: ‘This body too is of a similar nature a similar constitution, it has not got past that (state of things).’ Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, as a monk might see a body thrown aside in a cemetery without flesh and blood, sinew-bound; he focuses on this body itself, thinking: ‘This body too is of a similar nature a similar constitution, it has not got past that (state of things).’ Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body.; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, as a monk might see a body thrown aside in a cemetery the bones scattered here and there, no longer held together: here a bone of the hand, there a foot-bone, here a leg-bone, there a rib, here a hip-bone, there a back-bone, here the skull; he focuses on this body itself, thinking: ‘This body too is of a similar nature a similar constitution, it has not got past that (state of things).’ Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, a monk might see a body thrown aside in a cemetery: the bones white and something like sea-shells a heap of dried up bones more than a year old, he focuses on this body itself, thinking: ‘This body too is of a similar nature a similar constitution, it has not got past that (state of things).’ Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally, or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body.; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

And again, monks, a monk might see a body thrown aside in a cemetery: the bones gone rotten and reduced to powder; he focuses on this body itself, thinking: ‘This body, too, is of a similar nature a similar constitution, it has not got past that (state of things).’ Thus he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body externally, or he fares along contemplating the body in the body internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he fares along contemplating origination-and-dissolution things in the body; or, thinking, ‘There is the body,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus too, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating the body in the body.

Contemplating the Feelings in the Feelings

And how, monks, does a monk fare along contemplating the feelings in the feelings? Herein, monks, while he is experiencing a pleasant feeling he comprehends: ‘I am experiencing a pleasant feeling;’ while he is experiencing a painful feeling he comprehends, ‘I am experiencing a painful feeling’; while he is experiencing a feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant he comprehends: ‘I am experiencing a feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant.’ While he is experiencing a pleasant feeling in regard to material things he comprehends, ‘I am experiencing a pleasant feeling in regard to material things; While he is experiencing a painful feeling in regard to material things he comprehends, ‘I am experiencing a painful feeling in regard to material things; while he is experiencing a feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant in regard to material things he comprehends: ‘I am experiencing a feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant in regard to material things; While he is experiencing a pleasant feeling in regard to non-material things he comprehends, ‘I am experiencing a pleasant feeling in regard to non-material things; While he is experiencing a painful feeling in regard to non-material things he comprehends, ‘I am experiencing a painful feeling in regard to non-material things; while he is experiencing a feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant in regard to non-material things he comprehends: ‘I am experiencing a feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant in regard to non-material things; Thus he fares along contemplating the feelings in the feelings internally, or he fares along contemplating the feelings in the feelings externally, or he fares along contemplating the feelings in the feelings internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the feelings, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the feelings, or he fares along contemplating origination-dissolution-things in the feelings; or, thinking, ‘There is feeling,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating feelings in the feelings.

Contemplating Mind in the Mind

And how, monks, does a monk fare along contemplating mind in the mind? Herein, monks, a monk knows intuitively the mind with attachment as a mind with attachment;

he knows intuitively the mind without attachment, as a mind without attachment;

he knows intuitively the mind with hatred, as a mind with hatred;

he knows intuitively the mind without hatred, as a mind without hatred;

he knows intuitively the mind with confusion, as a mind with confusion;

he knows intuitively the mind without confusion, as a mind without confusion;

he knows intuitively the mind that is contracted, as a mind that is contracted;

he knows intuitively the mind that is distracted, as a mind that is distracted;

he knows intuitively the mind that has become great, as a mind that has become great;

he knows intuitively the mind that has not become great, as a mind that has not become great;

he knows intuitively the mind with (some other mental state) superior to it, as a mind with (some other mental state) superior to it;

he knows intuitively the mind with no (other mental state) superior to it, as a mind with no (other mental state) superior to it;

he knows intuitively the mind that is composed, as a mind that is composed;

he knows intuitively the mind that is not composed, as a mind that is not composed;

he knows intuitively the mind that is freed, as a mind that is freed;

he knows intuitively the mind that is not freed, as a mind that is not freed.

Thus he fares along contemplating the mind in the mind internally, or he fares along contemplating the mind in the mind externally, or he fares along contemplating the mind in the mind internally and externally,or he fares along contemplating origination-things in the mind, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in the mind, or he fares along contemplating origination-dissolution-things in the mind.; or, thinking, ‘There is mind,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating mind in the mind.

Contemplating Mental Objects in Mental Objects

And how, monks, does a monk fare along contemplating mental objects in mental objects? Herein, monks, a monk fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the five hindrances. And how, monks, does a monk fare along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the five hindrances? (1) Herein, monks, when a subjective desire for sense-pleasures is present a monk comprehends that he has a subjective desire for sense-pleasures; or when a subjective desire for sense-pleasures is not present he comprehends that he has no subjective desire for sense-pleasures. And in so far as there comes to be an uprising of desire for sense-pleasures that had not arisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there comes to be a getting rid of desire for sense-pleasures that has arisen, he comprehends that. And in so far as there comes to be no future uprising of desire for the sense-pleasures that has been got rid of, he comprehends that. (2) Or when ill-will is subjectively present a monk comprehends that he has ill-will subjectively present; or when ill-will is subjectively not present he comprehends that he has no subjective ill-will. And in so far as there comes to be an uprising of ill-will that had not arisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there comes to be a getting rid of ill-will that has arisen, he comprehends that. And in so far as there comes to be no future uprising of ill-will that has been got rid of, he comprehends that. (3) Or when sloth and torpor is subjectively present a monk comprehends that he has sloth and torpor subjectively present; or when sloth and torpor is subjectively not present he comprehends that he has no subjective sloth and torpor. And in so far as there comes to be an uprising of sloth and torpor that had not arisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there comes to be a getting rid of sloth and torpor that has arisen, he comprehends that. And in so far as there comes to be no future uprising of sloth and torpor that has been got rid of, he comprehends that. (4) Or when restlessness and worry is subjectively present a monk comprehends that he has restlessness and worry subjectively present; or when restlessness and worry is subjectively not present he comprehends that he has no subjective restlessness and worry. And in so far as there comes to be an uprising of restlessness and worry that had not arisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there comes to be a getting rid of restlessness and worry that has arisen, he comprehends that. And in so far as there comes to be no future uprising of restlessness and worry that has been got rid of, he comprehends that. Or when restlessness and worry is subjectively present a monk comprehends that he has restlessness and worry subjectively present; or when restlessness and worry is subjectively not present he comprehends that he has no subjective restlessness and worry. And in so far as there comes to be an uprising of restlessness and worry that had not arisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there comes to be a getting rid of restlessness and worry that has arisen, he comprehends that. And in so far as there comes to be no future uprising of restlessness and worry that has been got rid of, he comprehends that. (5) Or when doubt is present subjectively he comprehends that he has subjective doubt; or when doubt is not present subjectively he comprehends that he has no subjective doubt. And in so far as there is an uprising of doubt that had not arisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there is a getting rid of doubt that has arisen, he comprehends that; and in so far as there is in the future no uprising of the doubt that has been got rid of, he comprehends that.

It is thus that he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally, or he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in mental objects, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in mental objects, or he fares along contemplating origination-things and dissolution-things in mental objects; or, thinking, ‘There are mental objects,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus; monks, that a monk fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the five hindrances.

And again, monks, a monk fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the five groups of grasping. And how, monks, does a monk fare along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the five groups of grasping? (1) Herein, monks, a monk thinks, ‘Such is material shape, such is the arising of material shape, such is the setting of material shape; (2) such is feeling, such the arising of feeling, such the setting of feeling; (3) such is perception, such the arising of perception such the setting of perception; (4) such are the tendencies, such the arising of the tendencies such the setting of the tendencies; (5) such is consciousness, such the arising of consciousness, such the setting of consciousness.’ It is thus that he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally, or he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in mental objects, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in mental objects, or he fares along contemplating origination-things and dissolution-things in mental objects; or, thinking, ‘There are mental objects,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus; monks, that a monk fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the five groups of grasping.

And again, monks, a monk fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the six internal-external sense-bases. And how, monks, does a monk fare along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the six internal-external sense-bases? (1) Herein, monks, a monk comprehends the eye and he comprehends material shapes, and he comprehends the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he comprehends the uprising of the fetter not arisen before, and he comprehends the getting rid of the fetter that has arisen, and he comprehends the non-uprising in the future of the fetter that has been got rid of. (2) And he comprehends the ear and he comprehends sounds, and he comprehends the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he comprehends the uprising of the fetter not arisen before, and he comprehends the getting rid of the fetter that has arisen, and he comprehends the non-uprising in the future of the fetter that has been got rid of. (3) And he comprehends the nose and he comprehends smells, and he comprehends the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he comprehends the uprising of the fetter not arisen before, and he comprehends the getting rid of the fetter that has arisen, and he comprehends the non-uprising in the future of the fetter that has been got rid of. (4) And he comprehends the tongue and he comprehends flavours, and he comprehends the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he comprehends the uprising of the fetter not arisen before, and he comprehends the getting rid of the fetter that has arisen, and he comprehends the non-uprising in the future of the fetter that has been got rid of. (5) And he comprehends the body and he comprehends tactile objects, and he comprehends the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he comprehends the uprising of the fetter not arisen before, and he comprehends the getting rid of the fetter that has arisen, and he comprehends the non-uprising in the future of the fetter that has been got rid of. (6) And he comprehends the mind and he comprehends mental objects, and he comprehends the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he comprehends the uprising of the fetter not arisen before, and he comprehends the getting rid of the fetter that has arisen, and he comprehends the non-uprising in the future of the fetter that has been got rid of.

It is thus that he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally, or he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in mental objects, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in mental objects, or he fares along contemplating origination-things and dissolution-things in mental objects; or, thinking, ‘There are mental objects,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the six internal-external sense bases.

And again, monks, a monk fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the seven links in awakening. And how, monks, does a monk fare along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the seven links in awakening? (1) Herein, monks, when the link in awakening that is mindfulness is present internally he comprehends that he has internally the link in awakening that is mindfulness; when the link in awakening that is mindfulness is not internally present he comprehends that he has not internally the link in awakening that is mindfulness. And in so far as there is an uprising of the link in awakening that is mindfulness that had not uprisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there is completion by the mental development of the uprisen link in awakening that is mindfulness, he comprehends that. (2) When the link in awakening that is investigation of mental objects is present internally he comprehends that he has internally the link in awakening that is investigation of mental objects; when the link in awakening that is investigation of mental objects is not internally present he comprehends that he has not internally the link in awakening that is investigation of mental objects. And in so far as there is an uprising of the link in awakening that is investigation of mental objects that had not uprisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there is completion by the mental development of the uprisen link in awakening that is investigation of mental objects, he comprehends that. (3) When the link in awakening that is energy is present internally he comprehends that he has internally the link in awakening that is energy; when the link in awakening that is energy is not internally present he comprehends that he has not internally the link in awakening that is energy. And in so far as there is an uprising of the link in awakening that is energy that had not uprisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there is completion by the mental development of the uprisen link in awakening that is energy, he comprehends that. (4) When the link in awakening that is rapture is present internally he comprehends that he has internally the link in awakening that is rapture; when the link in awakening that is rapture is not internally present he comprehends that he has not internally the link in awakening that is rapture. And in so far as there is an uprising of the link in awakening that is rapture that had not uprisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there is completion by the mental development of the uprisen link in awakening that is rapture, he comprehends that. (5) When the link in awakening that is serenity is present internally he comprehends that he has internally the link in awakening that is serenity; when the link in awakening that is serenity is not internally present he comprehends that he has not internally the link in awakening that is serenity. And in so far as there is an uprising of the link in awakening that is serenity that had not uprisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there is completion by the mental development of the uprisen link in awakening that is serenity, he comprehends that. (6) When the link in awakening that is concentration is present internally he comprehends that he has internally the link in awakening that is concentration; when the link in awakening that is concentration is not internally present he comprehends that he has not internally the link in awakening that is concentration. And in so far as there is an uprising of the link in awakening that is concentration that had not uprisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there is completion by the mental development of the uprisen link in awakening that is concentration, he comprehends that. When the link in awakening that is concentration is present internally he comprehends that he has internally the link in awakening that is concentration; when the link in awakening that is concentration is not internally present he comprehends that he has not internally the link in awakening that is concentration. And in so far as there is an uprising of the link in awakening that is concentration that had not uprisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there is completion by the mental development of the uprisen link in awakening that is concentration, he comprehends that. (7) When the link in awakening that is equanimity is present internally he comprehends that he has the link in awakening that is equanimity; when the link in awakening that is equanimity is not present internally, he comprehends that he has not the link in awakening that is equanimity. And in so far as there is an uprising of the link in awakening that is equanimity that had not uprisen before, he comprehends that; and in so far as there is completion by mental development of the uprisen link in awakening that is equanimity, he comprehends that.

It is thus that he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally, or he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in mental objects, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in mental objects, or he fares along contemplating origination-things and dissolution-things in mental objects; or, thinking, ‘There are mental objects,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the seven links in awakening.

And again, monks, a monk fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the four Ariyan truths. And how, monks, does a monk fare along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the four Ariyan truths? Herein, monks, a monk comprehends as it really is, ‘This is anguish’; he comprehends as it really is, ‘This is the arising of anguish’; he comprehends as it really is, ‘This is the stopping of anguish’; he comprehends as it really is, ‘This is the course leading to the stopping of anguish.’

It is thus that he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally, or he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally and externally; or he fares along contemplating origination-things in mental objects, or he fares along contemplating dissolution-things in mental objects, or he fares along contemplating origination-things and dissolution-things in mental objects; or, thinking, ‘There are mental objects,’ his mindfulness is established precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance, and he fares along independently of and not grasping anything in the world. It is thus, monks, that a monk fares along contemplating mental objects in mental objects from the point of view of the four Ariyan truths.

Whoever, monks, should thus develop these four applications of mindfulness for seven years, one of two fruits is to be expected for him: either profound knowledge here-now, or, if there is any residuum remaining, the state of non-returning. Monks, let be the seven years. Whoever, monks, should thus develop these four applications of mindfulness for six years, five years, four years, three years, two years, for one year, one of two fruits is to be expected for him: either profound knowledge here-now, or, if there is any residuum remaining, the state of non-returning. Monks, let be the one year. Whoever, monks, should thus develop these four applications of mindfulness for seven months, one of two fruits is to be expected for him: either profound knowledge here now, or, if there is any residuum remaining, the state of non-returning. Monks, let be the seven months. Whoever, monks, should thus develop these four applications of mindfulness for six months, five months, four months, three months, two months, for one month, for half a month… Monks, let be the half month. Whoever, monks, should thus develop these four applications of mindfulness for seven days, one of two fruits is to be expected for him: either profound knowledge here-now, or, if there is any residuum remaining, the state of non-returning.

What has been spoken in this way has been spoken in reference to this: ‘There is this one way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrows and griefs, for the going down of sufferings and miseries, for winning the right path, for realising Nibbāna, that is to say, the four applications of mindfulness.”

Thus spoke the Lord. Delighted, these monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Source: Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta MN 10  MN i 55 https://suttacentral.net/mn10

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