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Welcome to the teachings page of
The Dharma Centre of Winnipeg

Many thanks to the Dharma Japan website for
Maha-Satipatthana Sutta
and the introduction to Wong Kur.

Maha-Satipatthana Sutta
Four Foundations of Mindfulness

Thus Have I Heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Kuru country at a town of the Kurus named Kamma-Sadhamma. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: "Bhikkhus." - "Venerable sir," they replied. The Blessed One said thus:

"Bhikkhus, this is the one and only direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for the realization of Nibbana - namely the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.

"What are these four? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating feelings in the feelings, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating mind in the mind, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world.

1. Contemplation of the Body

(a) Mindfulness of Breathing

"And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating the body in the body? Here a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, sets his body erect, and established mindfulness in front of him, ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out. Breathing in long, he understands: ‘I breathe in long’; or breathing out long, he understands: ‘ I breathe out long.’ Breathing in short, he understands: ‘ I breathe in short’ ; breathing out short, he understands: ‘I breathe out short.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body .’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body.’ He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in calming the bodily formation’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out calming the bodily formation.’ Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice, when making a long turn, understands: ‘I make a long turn’; or, when making a short turn understands: ‘I make a short turn’; so too, breathing in long, a bhikkhu understands: ‘I breathe in long’…he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out calming the bodily formation.’

(b) The Four Postures

"Again, bhikkhus, when walking a bhikkhu understands: ‘I am walking’; when standing, he understands: ‘I am standing’; when sitting, he understands: ‘I am sitting’; when lying down, he understands: ‘I am lying down’; or he understands accordingly however his body is disposed.

"In this way he abides contemplating the body in the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body.

(c) Full Awareness

" Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is one who acts in full awareness when going forward and returning; who acts in full awareness when looking ahead and looking away; who acts in full awareness when flexing and extending his limbs; who acts in full awareness when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl; who acts in full awareness when eating, drinking, consuming food, and tasting; who acts in full awareness when defecating and urinating; who acts in full awareness when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and keeping silent.

"In this way he abides contemplating the body in the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body.

(d) Repulsiveness of The Body

"Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu reviews this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair, bounded by the skin, as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, large-intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil of the joints, and urine. Just as though there were a bag with an opening at both ends full of many sorts of grain, such as hill rice, red rice, beans, peas, millet, and white rice, and a man with good eyes were to open it and review it thus: ‘This is hill rice, this is red rice, these are beans, these are peas, this is millet, this is white rice’; so too, a bhikkhu reviews this same body…as full of many kinds of impurity thus: ‘In this body there are head-hairs…and urine.’

"In this way he abides contemplating the body in the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body.

(e) The Elements

"Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu reviews this same body, however it is placed, however disposed, as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element, the water element, the fire element and the air element.’ Just as though a skilled butcher or his apprentice had killed a cow and was seated at the crossroads with it cut up into pieces; so too, a bhikkhu reviews this same body…as consisting of elements thus: ‘In this body there are the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element.’

"In this way he abides contemplating the body in the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body.

(f) The Nine Cemetary Contemplations

"Again, bhikkhus, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, one, two, or three days dead, bloated, livid, and oozing matter, a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: ‘This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’

" In this way he abides contemplating the body in the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body.

"Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals, or various kinds of worms, a bhikkhu compares the same body with it thus: ‘This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’

"…That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body.

"Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, a skeleton with flesh and blood, held together with sinews…a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, held together with sinews…a skeleton without flesh and blood, held together with sinews…disconnected bones scattered in all directions - here a hand-bone, there a foot-bone, here a shin-bone, there a thigh-bone, here a hip-bone, there a back-bone, here a rib-bone, there a breast-bone, here an arm-bone, there a shoulder-bone, here a neck-bone, there a jaw-bone, here a tooth, there the skull - a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus:’This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’

"…That too is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body.

"Again, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground, bones bleached white, the colour of shells…bones heaped up, more than a year old…bones rotted and crumbled to dust, a bhikkhu compares this same body with it thus: ‘This body too is of the same nature, it will be like that, it is not exempt from that fate.’

[Insight]

"In this way he abides contemplating the body in the body internally, or he abides contemplating the body in the body externally, or he abides contemplating the body in the body both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in the body its arising factors, or he abides contemplating its vanishing factors, or he abides contemplating in the body both its arising and vanishing factors. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body.

2. Contemplation of Feelings

"And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu contemplating feelings in the feelings? Here, when feeling a pleasant feeling, a bhikkhu understands: 'I feel a pleasant feeling', when feeling a painful feeling, he understands: 'I feel a painful feeling'; when feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.' he understands 'I feel a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.' When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling, he understands: 'I feel a worldly pleasant feeling'; when feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling, he understands: 'I feel an unworldly pleasant feeling'; when feeling a worldly painful feeling, he understands: 'I feel a worldly painful feeling'; when feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: 'I feel a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling'; when feeling an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: 'I feel an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant-feeling.'

3. Contemplation of States of Mind

"And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind in the mind? Here a bhikkhu understands mind affected by lust as mind affected by lust, and mind unaffected by lust as mind unaffected by lust. He understands mind affected by hate as mind affected by hate, and mind unaffected by hate. He understands mind affected by delusion as mind affected by delusion, and mind unaffected by delusion as mind unaffected by delusion. He understands contracted mind as contracted mind, and distracted mind as distracted mind as distracted mind. He understands exalted mind as exalted mind, and unexalted mind as unexalted mind. He understands surpassed mind as surpassed mind, and unsurpassed mind as unsurpassed mind. He understands concentrated mind as concentrated mind, and unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated mind. He understands liberated mind as liberated mind, and unliberated mind as unliberated mind.

"In this way he abides contemplating mind in the mind internally, or he abides contemplating mind in the mind externally, or he abides contemplating mind in the mind both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in mind its arising factors, or he abides contemplating in mind its vanishing factors, or he abides contemplating in mind both its arising and vanishing factors. Or else mindfulness that 'there is a mind' is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind in the mind.

4.Contemplation of Mental Objects

(a) The Five Hindrances

"And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mental objects in the mental objects? Here a bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the five hindrances. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the five hindrances? Here, there being sensual desire in him, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is sensual desire in me’; or there being no sensual desire in him, he understands: ‘There is no sensual desire in me’; and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen sensual desire, and how there comes to be the abandonment of unarisen sensual desire; and how there comes to be the abandonment of arisen sensual desire, and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned sensual desire.’

"There being ill will in him…There being sloth and torpor in him…There being restlessness and remorse in him…There being doubt in him, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is doubt in me’; or there being no doubt in him, he understands: ‘There is no doubt in me’; and he understands how there comes to be the arising of unarisen doubt, and how there comes to be the abandoning of arisen doubt, and how there comes to be the future non-arising of abandoned doubt.

(b) The Five Aggregates

"Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging? Here a bhikkhu understands: ‘Such is material form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance, such is perception, such its origin, such its disappearance; such are the formations, such their origin, such their disappearance; such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.’

"In this way he abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the five aggregates affected by clinging.

(c) The Six Sense-Bases

"Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the six internal and external bases. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the six internal and external bases? Here a bhikkhu understands the eye, he understands forms, and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter, and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter, and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter.

"He understands the ear, he understands sounds…He understands the nose, he understands odours…He understands the tongue, he understands flavours…He understands the body, he understands tangibles…He understands the mind, he understands mind-objects, and he understands the fetter that arises dependent on both, and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen fetter, and how there comes to be the abandoning of the arisen fetter, and how there comes to be the future non-arising of the abandoned fetter.

"In this way he abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects internally, externally, and both internally and externally…And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the six internal and external bases.

(d) The Seven Factors of Enlightenment

"Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the seven factors of enlightenment . And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the seven factors of enlightenment ? Here, there being the mindfulness enlightenment factor in him, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is the mindfulness enlightenment factor in me’; or there being no mindfulness enlightenment factor in him, he understands: ’There is no mindfulness enlightenment factor in me’; and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen mindfulness enlightenment factor, and how the arisen mindfulness enlightenment factor comes to fulfilment by development.

"There being the enlightenment factor of investigation in him…There being the enlightenment factor of energy in him…There being the enlightenment factor of rapture in him…There being the enlightenment factor of tranquility in him…There being the enlightenment factor of concentration in him…There being the enlightenment factor of equanimity in him, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is the enlightenment factor of equanimity in me’; and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity in him, he understands: ‘There is no enlightenment factor of equanimity in me’; and he also understands how there comes to be the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity, and how the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity comes to fulfilment by development.

"In this way he abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects internally, externally, and both internally and externally… And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the seven factors of enlightenment .

(e) The Four Noble Truths

"Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the Four Noble Truths. And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of the Four Noble Truths? Here a bhikkhu understands as it actually is: ‘This is suffering’; he understands as it actually is: ‘This is the origin of suffering’; he understands as it actually is: ‘This is the cessation of suffering’; he understands as it actually is: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’

[Insight]

"In this way he abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects internally, or he abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects externally, or he abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in mind objects their arising factors, or he abides contemplating in mind-objects their vanishing factors, or he abides contemplating in mind-objects both their arising and vanishing factors. Or else mindfulness that ‘there are mind-objects’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides independent, clinging to naught in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in the mental objects in terms of The Four Noble Truths.

"Bhikkhus, if anyone should develop these Four Foundations of Mindfulness in such a way for seven years, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return.

"Let alone seven years, bhikkhus. If anyone should develop these Four Foundations of Mindfulness in such a way for six years…for five years…for four years…for three years…for two years…for one year, one of two fruits could be expected for him either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return.

"Let alone one year, bhikkhus. If anyone should develop these Four Foundations of Mindfulness in such a way for seven months…for six months…for five months…for four months…for three months…for two months…for one month…for half a month, one of two fruits could be expected for him, either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return.

"Let alone half a month, bhikkhus. If anyone should develop these Four Foundations of Mindfulness in such a way for seven days, one of two fruits could be expected for him: either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return.

"So it was with reference to this that it was said:’Bhikkhus, this is the one and only direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for the realization of Nibbana - namely, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.’

That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

What is Wong Kur? (pdf)

Two very good introductory articles to Wong (literally translated as 'empowerment'):

•  An Introduction to Wong Kur (by Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche)
•  On Receiving Initiation Into the Vajrayana Path (by His Holiness Sakya Trizin)