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Satipatthana Sutta - The Foundations of Mindfulness

Thus I have heard. At one time the Blessed One was living among the Kurus at Kammasadamma, a market town of the Kuru people. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: 'Monks', and they replied to him, 'Venerable Sir'. The Blessed One spoke as follows:-
This is the only way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of Nibbana, namely the four Foundations of Mindfulness. What are the four?
Herein a monk lives contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covertness, and grief; he lives contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating mind states in mind states, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covertness and grief.

Contemplation of the Body

Mindfulness of Breathing
And how does a monk live contemplating the body in the body?
Herein, monks, a monk having gone to the forest, to the foot of a tree or to an empty place, sits down, with his legs crossed, keeps his body erect and his mindfulness alert.
Ever mindful he breathes in and mindful he breathes out. Breathing in a long breath he knows 'I am breathing in a long breath'; breathing out a long breath, he knows ' I am breathing out a long breath'; breathing in a short breath, he knows, 'I am breathing in a short breath'; breathing out a short breath, he knows ' I am breathing out a short breath'.
'Experiencing the whole (breath-) body, I shall breathe in', thus he trains himself. 'Experiencing the whole (breath-) body, I shall breathe out', thus he trains himself. 'Calming the activity of the (breath-) body, I shall breath in', thus he trains himself. 'Calming the activity of the (breath-) body, I shall breathe out', thus he trains himself.
Just as a skilful turner or turner's apprentice, making a long turn, knows 'I am making a long turn', or making a short turn, knows, 'I am making a short turn', just so the monk, breathing in a long breath, knows 'I am breathing in a long breath'; breathing out a long breath, knows 'I am breathing out a long breath'; breathing in a short breath, knows ' I am breathing in a short breath'; breathing out a short breath, knows ' I am breathing out a short breath. Experiencing the whole (breath-) body, I shall breath in', thus he trains himself; Experiencing the whole (breath-) body, I shall breathe out', thus he trains himself. 'Calming the activity of the (breath-) body, I shall breathe in', thus he trains himself. 'Calming the activity of the (breath-) body, I shall breathe out', thus he trains himself.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally [another's], or he lives contemplating the body in the body, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, [the body, the nasal aperture and mind], or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body [the destruction of the body and nasal aperture and the ceasing of mental activity], or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; 'The body exists' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.


Postures of the Body
And further, monks, a monk knows when he is going 'I am going'; he knows when he is standing 'I am standing', he knows when he is sitting 'I am sitting'; he knows when he is lying down 'I am lying down'; or just as his body is disposed so he knows it'.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally [another's], or he lives contemplating the body in the body, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body [ignorance, craving, kamma, food and general characteristics of originating], or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body [disappearance of ignorance, craving, kamma, food and general characteristics of originating], or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; 'The body exists' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.


Mindfulness with Clear Comprehension
And further, monks, a monk, in going forward and back, applies clear comprehension; in looking straight on and looking away, he applies clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, he applies clear comprehension; in wearing robes and carrying the bowl, he applies clear comprehension; in eating, drinking, chewing and savouring, he applies clear comprehension; in attending to calls of nature, he applies clear comprehension; in walking, in standing, in sitting, in falling asleep, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, he applies clear comprehension.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally [another's], or he lives contemplating the body in the body, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; 'The body exists' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.


Reflection on the Repulsiveness of the Body
And further, monks, a monk reflects on this very body enveloped by the skin and full of manifold impurity, from the sole up, and from the top of the head-hair down, thinking thus: 'There are in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidney, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestine, mesentery, throat, faeces, bile, phlegm, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucus, synovial fluid, urine'.
Just as if there were a doubled-mouthed provision bag of various kinds of grain such as hill rice, paddy rice, green gram, cow-peas, sesamum and husked rice, and a man with sound eyes, having opened that bag, were to take stock of the contents thus: - This is hill rice, this is paddy rice, this is green gram, this is cow-pea, this is sesamum, this is husked rice. Just so, monks, a monk reflects on this very body enveloped with the skin and full of manifold impurity, from the soles up, and from the top of the head-hair down, thinking thus: There are in this body body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidney, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestine, mesentery, throat, faeces, bile, phlegm, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucus, synovial fluid, urine.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally [another's], or he lives contemplating the body in the body, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; 'The body exists' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.


Reflection on the Material Elements
And further, monks, a monk reflects on this very body, however it be placed or disposed, by way of the material elements: 'There are in this body the element of solidarity (earth), the element of fluidity (water), the element of heat (fire) and the element of gas (air).
Just as if, monks, a clever cow-butcher or his apprentice having slaughtered a cow and divided it into portions, should be sitting at the junction of four main roads, in the same way, a monk reflects on this very body, as it is placed or disposed, by way of its material elements: 'There are in this body the solid, fluid, heat and gas elements.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally [another's], or he lives contemplating the body in the body, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; 'The body exists' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.


The Nine Cemetery Contemplations
And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body dead one, two, or three days; swollen, blue and festering, thrown in the charnel ground, he then applies this perception to his own body thus; 'truly, also my own body is of the same nature; such it will become and will not escape it'.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally [another's], or he lives contemplating the body in the body, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; 'The body exists' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.


And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground, being eaten by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals or by different kinds of worms, he then applies this perception to his own body thus; 'truly, also my own body is of the same nature, such it will become and will not escape it'.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally [another's], or he lives contemplating the body in the body, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; 'The body exists' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.

And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton with some flesh and blood attached to it, held together by tendons, he then applies this perception to his own body…………………….

And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton blood besmeared and without flesh, held together by tendons, he then applies this perception to his own body…………………….

And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton without flesh and blood, held together by tendons, he then applies this perception to his own body…………………….

And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to disconnected bones, scattered in all directions - here a bone of the hand, there a bone of the foot, a shin bone, a thigh bone, the pelvis, spine and skull, he then applies this perception to his own body…………………….

And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to bleached bones of conch shell like colour, he then applies this perception to his own body…………………….

And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to bones, more that a year old, lying in a heap, he then applies this perception to his own body…………………….

And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to bones gone rotten and become dust, he then applies this perception to his own body thus: 'Truly, also my own body is of the same nature, such it will become and will not escape it'.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally [another's], or he lives contemplating the body in the body, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; 'The body exists' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.


Contemplation of Feelings

And how, monks, does a monk live contemplating feelings in feelings?
Herein, monks, a monk when experiencing a pleasant feeling knows, 'I experience a pleasant feeling'; when experiencing a painful feeling, he knows, 'I experience a painful feeling; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling, he knows, 'I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling', When experiencing a pleasant worldly feeling knows, 'I experience a pleasant worldly feeling'; when experiencing a pleasant spiritual feeling, he knows, 'I experience a pleasant spiritual feeling'; when experiencing a painful worldly feeling, he knows, 'I experience a painful worldly feeling; when experiencing a painful spiritual feeling, he knows, 'I experience a painful spiritual feeling'; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful worldly feeling, he knows, 'I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful worldly feeling'; when experiencing a neither-painful-nor-pleasant spiritual feeling he knows, 'I experience a neither-pleasant-nor painful spiritual feeling'.

Thus he lives contemplating feelings in feelings internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating feelings in feelings externally [another's], or he lives contemplating feelings in feelings, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in feelings [ignorance, craving, kamma, sense impression and the general characteristics of originating], or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in feelings [the disappearance of ignorance, craving, kamma, sense impressions and the general characteristics of originating] or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in feelings. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; 'Feelings exist' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the feelings in feelings.


Contemplation of Mental States
and mental habits

And how, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental states in mental states?
Herein, monks, a monk knows the mental state with lust, as lust; the mental state without lust, as without lust; the mental state with hate, as with hate; the mental state without hate, as without hate; the mental state with ignorance, as with ignorance; the mental state without ignorance as without ignorance; the shrunken or rigid/indolent mental state, as the shrunken mental state; the distracted or restless mental state, as the distracted state; the developed mental state as the developed mental state; the undeveloped state of mind as the undeveloped state; the mental state with some other mental state superior to  it, as the state with something mentally superior higher; the state of mind with no other mental state superior to it, as the state with nothing mentally higher; the concentrated state of mind as the concentrated state; the un-concentrated state on mind as the un-concentrated state; the state of mind free from defilements, as the free state; the unfree state of mind as the unfree state.

Thus he lives contemplating mental states in mental states and mental habits internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating mental states and habits in mental states externally [another's], or he lives contemplating mental states and habits in mental states, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in mental states and habits [ignorance, craving, kamma, body and mind], or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in mental states and habits [the disappearance of ignorance, craving, kamma] or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in mental states and habits. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; ' Mental states and habits exist' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the mental states in mental states.


Contemplation of Mental Objects

And how, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental object in mental objects.

The five hindrances
Herein, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances.
How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in mental objects of the five hindrances?
Herein, monks, when sense desire is present, a monk knows, 'There is sense desire in me', or when sense-desire is not present, he knows, 'there is no sense desire in me'. He knows how the arising of the non-arisen sense desire comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen sense desire comes to be; and he knows how the non arising in the future of the abandoned sense desire come to be.
When anger is present, a monk knows, 'There is anger in me', or when anger is not present, he knows, 'there is no anger in me'. He knows how the arising of the non-arisen anger comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen anger comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned anger comes to be.
When lethargy or laziness is present, a monk knows, 'There is lethargy and laziness in me', or when lethargy or laziness is not present, he knows, 'there is no lethargy or laziness in me'. He knows how the arising of the non-arisen lethargy or laziness comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen lethargy or laziness comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned lethargy or laziness comes to be.
When agitation and worry are present, a monk knows, 'There is agitation and worry in me', or when agitation and worry are not present, he knows, 'there is no agitation or worry in me'. He knows how the arising of the non-arisen agitation and worry comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen agitation and worry comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned agitation and worry comes to be.
When doubt is present, a monk knows, 'There is doubt in me', or when doubt is not present, he knows, 'there is no doubt in me'. He knows how the arising of the non-arisen doubt comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen doubt comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned doubt comes to be.

Thus he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally [another's], or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in mental objects [wrong reflection], or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in mental objects [right reflection] or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in mental objects. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; ' Mental objects exist' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the mental objects in mental objects of the five hindrances.

The five aggregates (comprising the personality or self) of clinging
And further, monks, a monk lives contemplating the mental objects in the mental objects of the five aggregates of clinging.
How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects of the five aggregates of clinging?
Herein, monks, a monk thinks, 'This is material form; thus is the arising of material form; and thus is the disappearance of material form'. 'This is feeling; thus is the arising of feeling; and thus is the disappearance of feeling.' 'Thus is perception and memory; thus is the arising of perception and memory; and thus is the disappearance of perception and memory.' 'Thus are mental formations; thus is the arising of mental formations; and thus is the disappearance of mental formations.' 'Thus is consciousness; thus is the arising or consciousness; and thus is the disappearance of consciousness'.

Thus he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally [another's], or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in mental objects or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in mental objects. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; ' Mental objects exist' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the mental objects in mental objects of the five aggregates of clinging.


Six Internal and six external sense-bases
And further, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the six internal and the six external sense bases.
How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the six internal and six external sense-bases?
Herein, monks, a monk knows, the eye and visual forms, and the fetter that  arises dependent on both (the eye and visual forms) [The ten principal fetters are: the illusion of self, scepticism, attachment to rules and rituals, sensual lust, ill will, craving for fine corporeal existence, craving for un-corporeal existence, conceit, restlessness and ignorance.] He knows how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be.
He knows the ear and sounds….the nose and smells…..the tongue and flavours……the body and tactile objects…..the mind and mental objects, and the fetter that  arises dependent on both.[The ten principal fetters are: the illusion of self, scepticism, attachment to rules and rituals, sensual lust, ill will, craving for fine corporeal existence, craving for un-corporeal existence, conceit, restlessness and ignorance.] He knows how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be.

Thus he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally [another's], or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in mental objects, [ignorance, craving, food, kamma] or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in mental objects [the disappearance of ignorance, craving, kamma] or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in mental objects. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; ' Mental objects exist' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the mental objects in mental objects of the six internal and six external sense-bases.


Seven Factors of Enlightenment

And further, monks, a monks lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the seven factors of enlightenment.
How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the seven factors of enlightenment?
Herein, monks, when the enlightenment-factor of mindfulness is present, the monk knows, 'The enlightenment factor of mindfulness is in me', or when the enlightenment factor of mindfulness is absent, he knows, 'the enlightenment factor of mindfulness is not in me'; and he knows how the arising of the non arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness comes to be; and how the perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness comes to be.
When the enlightenment-factor of investigation of mental objects is present, the monk knows, 'The enlightenment factor of investigation of mental objects is in me', or when the enlightenment factor of investigation of mental objects is absent, he knows, 'the enlightenment factor of investigation of mental objects is not in me'; and he knows how the arising of the non arisen enlightenment factor of  investigation of mental objects comes to be; and how the perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment factor of investigation of mental objects comes to be.
When the enlightenment-factor of energy is present, the monk knows, 'The enlightenment factor of energy is in me', or when the enlightenment factor of  energy is absent, he knows, 'the enlightenment factor of energy is not in me'; and he knows how the arising of the non arisen enlightenment factor of energy comes to be; and how the perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment factor of energy comes to be.
When the enlightenment-factor of joy is present, the monk knows, 'The enlightenment factor of joy is in me', or when the enlightenment factor of joy is absent, he knows, 'the enlightenment factor of joy is not in me'; and he knows how the arising of the non arisen enlightenment factor of joy comes to be; and how the perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment factor of joy comes to be.
When the enlightenment-factor of tranquillity is present, the monk knows, 'The enlightenment factor of tranquillity is in me', or when the enlightenment factor of tranquillity is absent, he knows, 'the enlightenment factor of tranquillity is not in me'; and he knows how the arising of the non arisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity comes to be; and how the perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity comes to be.
When the enlightenment-factor of concentration is present, the monk knows, 'The enlightenment factor of concentration is in me', or when the enlightenment factor of concentration is absent, he knows, 'the enlightenment factor of concentration is not in me'; and he knows how the arising of the non arisen enlightenment factor of concentration comes to be; and how the perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment factor of concentration comes to be.
When the enlightenment-factor of equanimity is present, the monk knows, 'The enlightenment factor of equanimity is in me', or when the enlightenment factor of equanimity is absent, he knows, 'the enlightenment factor of equanimity is not in me'; and he knows how the arising of the non arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity comes to be; and how the perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity comes to be.

Thus he lives contemplating mental object in mental states internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental states externally [another's], or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental states, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in mental objects or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in mental objects. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; ' Mental objects exist' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus, monks, a monk lives contemplating the mental objects in mental objects of the seven factors of enlightenment.


Four Noble Truths

And further, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the four noble truths.
How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the four noble truths?
Herein, monks, a monk knows, 'This is suffering/stress', according to reality – of being alive in a body, with change, due to previous actions (karma), due to mental habits and emotions; he knows, 'This is the origin of stress/suffering', according to reality –sensual craving, craving to be or not to be, belief in a permanent self; he knows, 'This is the cessation of suffering/stress', according to reality – letting go of cravings, desire, false beliefs, mental habits and concepts - leading to Nibbana; he knows, 'This is the road leading to the cessation of stress and suffering', according to reality – right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

Thus he lives contemplating mental object in mental states internally [one's own], or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental states externally [another's], or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental states, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in mental objects or he lives contemplating origination and dissolution factors in mental objects [the arising and passing of suffering/stress, craving and the Path]. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought; ' Mental objects exist' [without a self or abiding essence] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached [from craving and wrong views], and clings to naught in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the mental objects in mental objects of the four noble truths.

Truly, monks, whosoever practises these four Foundations of Mindfulness in this manner for seven years, then one of these two fruits may be expected by him: Highest Knowledge (Arahantship), here and now, or if some remainder of clinging is yet present, the state of Non-returning (to the world of sensuality).
O monks, let alone seven years. Should any person practise these four foundations of Mindfulness in this manner for six years…..for five years….for four years…..for three years…..two years…..one year, then one of these two fruits may be expected by him; Highest knowledge, here and now. Or if some remainder of clinging is yet present, the state of Non-returning.
O monks, let alone for a year. Should any person practise these Four Foundations of Mindfulness in this manner for seven months…..for six months….for five months….four months…..three months…..two months…..a month…..half a month, then one of these two fruits may be expected by him: Highest Knowledge, here and now, or if some remainder of clinging is yet present, the state of Non-returning.
O monks, let alone half a month. Should any person practice these Four Foundations of Mindfulness in this manner for a week, then one of these two fruits may be expected by him; Highest Knowledge, here and now, or if some remainder of clinging is yet present, the state of Non-returning.

Because of this was it said: 'This is the only way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of Nibbana, namely the Four 'Foundations of Mindfulness'.
Thus spoke the Blessed One. Satisfied, the monks approved of his words.


Satipatthana Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya, Sutta no.10

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