21st January 2009
Satipatthana is the part of the Eightfold path we know as Right Mindfulness but mindfulness according to Satipatthana at least is twofold because of the translations and the sutta itself. So lets look at aspects of the different translations meaning as the sutta puts it.
Foundations of Mindfulness
"There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body feelings... mind... & mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.
There are four things repeated throughout the Satipatthana sutta, these being ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.
“Ardent” means dedicated
“Alert” means watchful
“Mindful” means Remembered
“Putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world” means being on the eightfold path
So the Four Foundations are us being dedicated to watching the mind while recollecting what the object of meditation is while putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world or “Dedicated watchfulness of staying on the Middle Path”
Frames of Reference
The frames of reference are the Meditation Objects found in the Satipatthana Sutta
The Body, The Feelings, The Mind, and The Mental Objects, or Dhammas
How are we to know the Meditation Objects?
"In this way he remains focused internally on the Body, The Feelings, The Mind, or The Mental Objects in & of itself, or externally on the Body, The Feelings, The Mind, or The Mental Objects in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the Body, The Feelings, The Mind, or The Mental Objects in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body….., on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body…., or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body….. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body……' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body…. in & of itself.
The Mental Objects are this is a hindrance, this is clinging, this is sense object to do with the eye, ear, nose, taste, touch, and thought which arises and passes away, this is a factor of awakening be it Mindfulness, analysis of qualities, persistence, rapture, serenity, Concentration, & equanimity, this is a Noble Truth - this is Dukkha, and its origin, and its passing, and this is the Noble Eightfold Path of Right view, Right intention, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness, Right concentration.
Well what does this have to do with Kamma? Satipatthana in its aspect of Frames of reference is bringing the foundations of mindfulness we cultivate outwards. With what ever we do we should be mindful, no matter what it is if we are mindful we do not do things on impulse, we reflect before, during, and after everything, we keep the precepts, and Metta present, the factors of Enlightenment grow and we become more and more liberated from the constraints of the world.
Meditation the Buddha taught isn't fancy breathing, or imagination, but seeing what is in THAT moment, reflecting on how things are in this reality, and living in a manner which is neither one extreme or the other, but is living in reality.