‘Vedananam samudayam ca atthanganam ca assadam ca adinavam ca nissaranam ca yathabhutam viditva anupadavimutto, bhikkhave, tathagato.’
Digha-nikaya I.36, Brahmajala Sutta
‘Having experienced as they really are, the arising of sensations, their passing away, the relishing of them, the danger in them and the release from them, the Enlightened One, Monks, is fully liberated, free from ALL attachment.’
The first day of the Satipatthana Sutta course, now what is it? The Establishing of Awareness is ‘Satipatthana‘. The Discourse is ‘Sutta‘.
In this Discourse, Buddha, explains the only guaranteed method of purification of all beings, for the overcoming of sorrow, extinguishing of suffering, for walking the path of truth, for the realization of nibbana (liberation). There are 4 dimensions to our nature: the body and its sensations, the mind and its contents, thus providing the avenue for establishing awareness. These four-fold observations are;
- kayanupassana; observation of the body
- vedananupassana; observation of sensations
- cittanupassana; observation of the mind
- dhammanupassana; observation of contents of the mind
In order to work accurately at these four, the student must observe these directly within, keeping these points in mind;
- The reality of the body may be imagined by contemplation, but to experience it directly one must work with bodily sensations arising within it.
- The experience of the mind is attained by working with the contents of the mind.
- Mind and matter are so closely inter-related that the contents of the mnd ALWAYS manifest themselves as sensations in the body.
Therefore, observation of the sensations is the means to examine the totality of our being. There are 5 types of sensations;
- Sukha vedana; pleasant sensations
- Dukkha vedana; unpleasant sensations
- Somanassa vedana; pleasant mental feeling
- Domanassa vedana; unpleasant mental feeling
- Adukkhamasukha vedana; neither pleasant nor unpleasant sensations
It is essential to understand truths within ourselves, not merely on an intellectual level but by actual direct experience. In each of these observations one must meditate on the impermenance, the rising and passing away of all phenomena.