Archivio tag | discorsi del buddha

La vedova mite e i tre mercanti


La vedova Mite e i Tre Mercanti

C’era una volta una vedova solitaria che era molto povera,andò in montagna che vide degli eremiti di un gruppo religioso. Allora la donna si riempì di gioia, e pronunciando lodi,disse: “Ogni bene, sacerdoti santi! Ma mentre altri danno cose preziose come cose che le grotte dell’ oceano produce, io non ho nulla da offrire.”
Avendo così parlato ed avendo cercato invano qualcosa da dare, si ricordò che qualche tempo prima aveva trovato in un mucchio di letame due rami, per cui li prese e li offrì in dono ai monaci nella carità.
Il superiore dei monaci, un santo che sapeva leggere i cuori degli uomini, ignorando i doni ricchi di altri, riflettendo sulla profondità della fede nel cuore di questa povera vedova e desiderando stimarla giustamente per il suo merito religioso, scoppiò con voce piena in un canto. Alzò la mano destra e disse: “Reverendi monaci partecipare!” e poi continuò:
“I rami poveri di questo vedova
Per tutti gli usi sono più degni
Di tutti i tesori degli oceani
E la grande ricchezza della terra .
Come un atto di pura devozione
Ha fatto un atto pio;
Ha raggiunto la salvezza,
Essa è libera da avidità egoista “.
La donna potentemente rafforzata nella sua mente da questo pensiero, disse: “E ‘ come il Maestro dice:. Quello che ho fatto è tanto, come se un uomo ricco dovesse rinunciare a tutte le sue ricchezze”
E il maestro ha detto: “Fare delle buone azioni è come accumulare tesori”, e ha esposto questa verità in una parabola:
“Tre commercianti intrapresero i loro viaggi ciascuno con la sua ricchezza, uno ha guadagnato molto, il secondo tornò con la sua ricchezza, e il terzo ritornò a casa dopo aver perso la sua ricchezza Ciò che è vero nella vita comune si applica anche alla religione..
“La ricchezza ha ha raggiunto un uomo, il guadagno è il cielo, la perdita della sua ricchezza significa che un uomo rinascere in uno stato inferiore, come un abitante dell’inferno o come un animale Questi sono le strade aperte al peccatore.
“Colui che riporta la sua ricchezza, è come uno che è nato di nuovo come uomo. Coloro che attraverso l’esercizio delle varie virtù diventano padroni di una casa pia rinascereranno come uomini, tutti gli esseri raccoglieranno i frutti delle proprie azioni. Ma chi accresce la sua ricchezza è come uno che pratica le virtù eminenti. Il virtuoso, l’ uomo eccellente raggiunge in cielo allo stato glorioso degli dei “.

Storia buddhista


The Widow’s Mite and the Three Merchants

THERE was once a lone widow who was very destitute, and having gone to the mountain she beheld hermits holding a religious assembly. Then the woman was filled with joy, and uttering praises, said, “It is well, holy priests! but while others give precious things such as the ocean caves produce, I have nothing to offer.”
Having spoken thus and having searched herself in vain for something to give, she recollected that some time before she had found in a dung-heap two coppers, so taking these she offered them as a gift to the priesthood in charity.
The superior of the priests, a saint who could read the hearts of men, disregarding the rich gifts of others and beholding the deep faith dwelling in the heart of this poor widow, and wishing the priesthood to esteem rightly her religious merit, burst forth with full voice in a canto. He raised his right hand and said, “Reverend priests attend!” and then he went on:
“The poor coppers of this widow
To all purpose are more worth
Than all the treasures of the oceans
And the wealth of the broad earth.
As an act of pure devotion
She has done a pious deed;
She has attained salvation,
Being free from selfish greed.”
The woman was mightily strengthened in her mind by this thought, and said, “It is even as the Teacher says: what I have done is as much as if a rich man were to give up all his wealth.”
And the teacher said: “Doing good deeds is like hoarding up treasures,” and he expounded this truth in a parable:
“Three merchants set out on their travels each with his wealth; one of them gained much, the second returned with his wealth, and the third one came home after having lost his wealth. What is true in common life applies also to religion.
“The wealth is the state a man has reached, the gain is heaven; the loss of his wealth means that a man will be reborn in a lower state, as a denizen of hell or as an animal. These are the courses that are open to the sinner.
“He who brings back his wealth, is like to one who is born again as a man. Those who through the exercise of various virtues become pious householders will be born again as men, for all beings will reap the fruit of their actions. But he who increases his wealth is like to one who practices eminent virtues. The virtuous, excellent man attains in heaven to the glorious state of the gods.”

Buddha story

Vivi adesso


Vivi adesso 

Non inseguire il passato, non crearti aspettative per il futuro. Perche’ il passato non esiste piu’ e il futuro non esiste ancora. Da’ attenzione alle cose cosi’ come sono in questo istante – proprio qui e proprio ora – senza farti tirar dentro, senza vacillare. Cosi’ ti devi esercitare. Devi stare attento oggi, perche’ domani, chissa’, potrebbe esser troppo tardi. La morte arriva all’improvviso e non vuol sentir ragioni. Se vivrai cosi’, con attenzione, giorno e notte, allora si’ che potrai dirti saggio.

Bhaddekaratta Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya 131

You Just live now

You shouldn’t chase after the past or place expectations on the future. What is past is left behind. The future is as yet unreached. Whatever quality is present you clearly see right there, right there. Not taken in, unshaken, that’s how you develop the heart. Ardently doing what should be done today, for — who knows? — tomorrow death. There is no bargaining with Mortality & his mighty horde. Whoever lives thus ardently, relentlessly both day & night, has truly had an auspicious day: so says the Peaceful Sage.

Bhaddekaratta Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya 131

Discorso del Buddha sulle due frecce


Discorso del Buddha sulle due frecce (Sallena Sutta).

“Meditatori, sia l’uomo ignorante che l’uomo saggio che percorre il sentiero percepiscono sensazioni piacevoli, spiacevoli e neutre. Ma qual’è la differenza tra i due, ciò che li caratterizza?
Facciamo l’esempio di una persona che, trafitta da una freccia, ne riceva una seconda, sentendo quindi il dolore di entrambe le ferite. Ecco, la stessa cosa accade quando un ignorante, che non conosce l’insegnamento, viene a contatto con una sensazione spiacevole e – come reazione – si preoccupa, si agita, piange, grida, si batte sul petto, perde il senso della realtà. Quindi egli fa esperienza di due dolori: quello fisico e quello mentale. Gravato dalla sensazione spiacevole, reagisce con avversione e, con questo atteggiamento, inizia a creare in sè un condizionamento di avversione.
Infatti, quando prova queste sensazioni negative, egli cerca il diletto in qualche sensazione piacevole, perchè – da persona ignorante quale è – non sa rispondere correttamente ad una sensazione spiacevole se non cercando riparo nel piacere dei sensi. E quando comincia a godere di un piacere, allora comincia ad instaurarsi in lui un condizionamento al desiderio, alla bramosia.
Egli è completamente inconsapevole di come vadano le cose, non sa cioè che le sensazioni sono impermanenti, non sa quale sia l’origine della bramosia verso di esse, non conosce il pericolo che rappresentano, e non sa quale sia la via per non esserne schiavi.
Questa sua incapacità crea dentro questo tipo di uomo un condizionamento di ignoranza. Provando sensazioni piacevoli, spiacevoli o neutre, l’ignorante, rimanendone condizionato, lontano dalla verità, è soggetto alla nascita, alla morte, alla vecchiaia, ai turbamenti, alle sofferenze, alle negatività. L’ignorante è così destinato all’infelicità.
Invece l’uomo saggio, che percorre la via della verità, quando prova una sensazione spiacevole, non si preoccupa, non si agita, non piange, non urla, non si batte il petto, non perde il senso della realtà.
È come chi venga trafitto da una sola freccia e non da due, percependo solo un tipo di sensazione spiacevole, quella fisica e non quella mentale. Colpito così da questa sensazione, non reagisce con avversione, e così non si forma in lui un condizionamento all’avversione. Inoltre non cerca rifugio in una sensazione piacevole per sfuggire quella spiacevole che sta vivendo. Egli sa, da persona saggia che è sulla via della verità, come ripararsi dalla sensazione sgradevole senza cadere nel piacere dei sensi. Così evita di creare un condizionamento di bramosia e desiderio. Egli comprende la realtà così come essa è effettivamente, del perenne sorgere e passare delle sensazioni, di quale sia l’origine della bramosia verso esse, del pericolo che essa costituisce e del modo di uscirne. Avendo dunque la perfetta e completa comprensione della realtà, egli non permette che si formino in lui questi condizionamenti di ignoranza.
Quindi il meditante impara a rimanere equanime e distaccato qualora si manifestino sensazioni piacevoli, spiacevoli e neutre. Così facendo, chi cammina sulla via del retto insegnamento, rimane distaccato anche dalla nascita, dalla vecchiaia, dalla morte, dai turbamenti, dalle sofferenze e dalle negatività. Egli è equanime davanti a tutte le sofferenze. Questa è la differenza tra il saggio e l’ignorante.
L’uomo saggio, concretamente addestrato nella pratica del retto insegnamento, rimane equanime di fronte alle sensazioni gradevoli e sgradevoli che sorgono nella sua persona”.

Sallatha Sutta: The Arrow
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Alternate translation: Nyanaponika

“Monks, an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person feels feelings of pleasure, feelings of pain, feelings of neither-pleasure-nor-pain. A well-instructed disciple of the noble ones also feels feelings of pleasure, feelings of pain, feelings of neither-pleasure-nor-pain. So what difference, what distinction, what distinguishing factor is there between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person?”

“For us, lord, the teachings have the Blessed One as their root, their guide, & their arbitrator. It would be good if the Blessed One himself would explicate the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from the Blessed One, the monks will remember it.”

“In that case, monks, listen & pay close attention. I will speak.”

“As you say, lord,” the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, “When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical & mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, were to shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pains of two arrows; in the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical & mental.

“As he is touched by that painful feeling, he is resistant. Any resistance-obsession with regard to that painful feeling obsesses him. Touched by that painful feeling, he delights in sensual pleasure. Why is that? Because the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person does not discern any escape from painful feeling aside from sensual pleasure. As he is delighting in sensual pleasure, any passion-obsession with regard to that feeling of pleasure obsesses him. He does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, passing away, allure, drawback, or escape from that feeling. As he does not discern the origination, passing away, allure, drawback, or escape from that feeling, then any ignorance-obsession with regard to that feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain obsesses him.

“Sensing a feeling of pleasure, he senses it as though joined with it. Sensing a feeling of pain, he senses it as though joined with it. Sensing a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he senses it as though joined with it. This is called an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person joined with birth, aging, & death; with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is joined, I tell you, with suffering & stress.

“Now, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones, when touched with a feeling of pain, does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. So he feels one pain: physical, but not mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, did not shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pain of only one arrow. In the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. He feels one pain: physical, but not mental.

“As he is touched by that painful feeling, he is not resistant. No resistance-obsession with regard to that painful feeling obsesses him. Touched by that painful feeling, he does not delight in sensual pleasure. Why is that? Because the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns an escape from painful feeling aside from sensual pleasure. As he is not delighting in sensual pleasure, no passion-obsession with regard to that feeling of pleasure obsesses him. He discerns, as it actually is present, the origination, passing away, allure, drawback, and escape from that feeling. As he discerns the origination, passing away, allure, drawback, and escape from that feeling, no ignorance-obsession with regard to that feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain obsesses him.

“Sensing a feeling of pleasure, he senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of pain, he senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he senses it disjoined from it. This is called a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones disjoined from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is disjoined, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

“This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing factor between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person.”

The discerning person, learned, doesn’t sense a (mental) feeling of pleasure or pain: This is the difference in skillfulness between the sage & the person run-of-the-mill. For a learned person who has fathomed the Dhamma, clearly seeing this world & the next, desirable things don’t charm the mind, undesirable ones bring no resistance. His acceptance & rejection are scattered, gone to their end, do not exist. Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state, he discerns rightly, has gone, beyond becoming, to the Further Shore.

Anapanasati Sutta: Discorso sulla consapevolezza del respiro



ANAPANASATI SUTTA Discorso sulla consapevolezza del respiro

La presenza mentale del respiro, monaci, coltivata e regolarmente praticata, è di gran frutto e di gran beneficio. La presenza mentale del respiro, coltivata e regolarmente praticata, porta a compimento i quattro fondamenti della presenza mentale; i quattro fondamenti della presenza mentale, coltivati e regolarmente praticati, portano a compimento i sette fattori di illuminazione; i sette fattori di illuminazione, coltivati e regolarmente praticati, portano a compimento la saggezza e la liberazione.
E in che modo coltivata e regolarmente praticata, la presenza mentale del respiro è di gran frutto e beneficio?
Quanto a questo, monaci, un monaco, recatosi nella foresta, ai piedi di un albero o in un luogo deserto, siede con le gambe incrociate, mantiene il corpo eretto e l’attenzione vigile. Consapevole inspira, e consapevole espira.

I. Prima tetrade (Contemplazione del corpo)

1. Inspirando un lungo respiro, egli sa, “Io inspiro un lungo respiro”; espirando un lungo respiro, egli sa, “Io espiro un lungo respiro”.
2. Inspirando un breve respiro, egli sa, “Io inspiro un breve respiro”; espirando un breve respiro, egli sa, “Io espiro un breve respiro”.
3. “Sperimentando l’intera estensione (del respiro) io inspirerò”, così egli si esercita; “Sperimentando l’intera estensione (del respiro) io espirerò”, così egli si esercita.
4. “Calmando la funzione corporea (della respirazione) io inspirerò”, così egli si esercita; “Calmando la funzione corporea (della respirazione) io espirerò”, così egli si esercita.

II. Seconda tetrade (Contemplazione delle sensazioni)

5. “Sperimentando l’estasi io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.
6. “Sperimentando la felicità io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.
7. “Sperimentando le funzioni mentali io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.
8. “Calmando le funzioni mentali io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.

III. Terza tetrade (Contemplazione della mente)

9. “Sperimentando la mente io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.
10. “Rallegrando la mente io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.
11. “Concentrando la mente io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.
12. “Liberando la mente io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.

IV. Quarta tetrade (Contemplazione degli oggetti mentali)

13. “Contemplando l’impermanenza io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.
14. “Contemplando il distacco io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.
15. “Contemplando la cessazione io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.
16. “Contemplando la rinuncia io inspirerò (espirerò)”, così egli si esercita.

In tal modo, monaci, coltivata e regolarmente praticata, la presenza mentale del respiro porta gran frutto e grande beneficio.

Perfezionare i fondamenti della presenza mentale

E coltivata in che modo, regolarmente praticata in che modo, la presenza mentale del respiro porta a perfezione i quattro fondamenti della presenza mentale?
I. Ogni volta che un monaco, mentalmente presente, inspira ed espira un lungo respiro o un breve respiro; o quando si esercita a inspirare ed espirare mentre sperimenta la funzione corporea (della respirazione); o ancora, mentre calma questa funzione, in quel momento, monaci, egli dimora praticando la contemplazione del corpo sul corpo, ardente, chiaramente comprendendo e mentalmente presente, avendo vinto il desiderio e l’angoscia nei riguardi del mondo. Poiché appunto, monaci, inspirare ed espirare rientra fra i processi corporei.
II. Ogni volta che il monaco si esercita a inspirare ed espirare mentre sperimenta l’estasi, o mentre sperimenta la felicità, o mentre sperimenta le funzioni mentali, o mentre calma le funzioni mentali, in quel momento, monaci, egli dimora praticando la contemplazione della sensazione sulle sensazioni, ardente, chiaramente comprendendo e mentalmente presente, avendo vinto il desiderio e l’angoscia nei riguardi del mondo. Poiché appunto la piena attenzione all’inspirare e all’espirare rientra fra le sensazioni.
III. Ogni volta che un monaco si esercita a inspirare ed espirare mentre sperimenta la mente, o mentre rallegra la mente, o mentre concentra la mente, o mentre libera la mente, in quel momento egli dimora praticando la contemplazione della mente sulla mente, ardente, chiaramente comprendendo e mentalmente presente, avendo vinto il desiderio e l’angoscia nei riguardi del mondo. Poiché appunto, chi difetta di presenza mentale e di chiara comprensione, non può sviluppare la presenza mentale del respiro.
IV. Ogni volta che un monaco si esercita a inspirare ed espirare contemplando l’impermanenza, il distacco, la cessazione o la rinuncia, in quel momento egli dimora praticando la contemplazione degli oggetti mentali sugli oggetti mentali, ardente, chiaramente comprendendo e mentalmente presente, avendo vinto il desiderio e l’angoscia nei riguardi del mondo. Avendo saggiamente lasciato cadere desiderio e angoscia, osserva con perfetta equanimità.
La presenza mentale del respiro, monaci, coltivata e regolarmente praticata in questo modo, porta a perfezione i quattro fondamenti della presenza mentale.
E in che modo i quattro fondamenti della presenza mentale, coltivati e regolarmente praticati, portano a perfezione i sette fattori di illuminazione?
Ogni volta che un monaco dimora nella contemplazione del corpo, delle sensazioni, della mente e degli oggetti mentali, ardente, chiaramente comprendendo e mentalmente presente, si stabilisce in lui una presenza mentale inoffuscata, in quel momento si instaura in lui il fattore di illuminazione ‘presenza mentale’; in quel momento il monaco sviluppa il fattore di illuminazione ‘presenza mentale’; in quel momento raggiunge la perfezione nello sviluppo del fattore di illuminazione ‘presenza mentale’.
Permanendo in un tale stato di presenza mentale, egli accortamente indaga, esplora ed esamina in dettaglio il rispettivo oggetto; così facendo, si instaura nel monaco il fattore di illuminazione ‘investigazione della realtà’; in quel momento il monaco sviluppa il fattore di illuminazione ‘investigazione della realtà’; in quel momento raggiunge la perfezione nello sviluppo del fattore di illuminazione ‘investigazione della realtà’.
Mentre egli accoratamente indaga, esplora ed esamina in dettaglio quell’oggetto, si instaura un’instancabile energia. E quando si instaura un’instancabile energia, in quel momento il monaco sviluppa il fattore di illuminazione ‘energia’; in quel momento egli raggiunge la perfezione nello sviluppo del fattore di illuminazione ‘energia’.
In chi è dotato di energia si produce un’estasi spirituale. E quando in un monaco dotato di energia si produce un’estasi spirituale, in quel momento si instaura in lui il fattore di illuminazione ‘estasi’; in quel momento il monaco sviluppa il fattore di illuminazione ‘estasi’; in quel momento egli raggiunge la perfezione nello sviluppo del fattore di illuminazione ‘estasi’.
Il corpo e la mente di chi è rapito dall’estasi si acquietano. E quando il corpo e la mente di chi è rapito dall’estasi si acquietano, in quel momento si instaura in lui il fattore di illuminazione ‘quiete’; in quel momento il monaco sviluppa il fattore di illuminazione ‘quiete’.
La mente di qualcuno che gode di quiete gioiosa diventa concentrata. E quando la mente di un monaco che gode di quiete gioiosa diventa concentrata, in quel momento si instaura in lui il fattore di illuminazione ‘concentrazione’; in quel momento il monaco sviluppa il fattore di illuminazione ‘concentrazione’; in quel momento egli raggiunge la perfezione nello sviluppo del fattore di illuminazione ‘concentrazione’.
Alla mente così concentrata egli guarda con perfetta equanimità. E mentre guarda alla sua mente con perfetta equanimità, in quel momento si instaura in lui il fattore di illuminazione ‘equanimità’; in quel momento il monaco sviluppa il fattore di illuminazione ‘equanimità’, in quel momento egli raggiunge la perfezione nello sviluppo del fattore di illuminazione ‘equanimità’.
I quattro fondamenti della presenza mentale, coltivati e regolarmente praticati in questo modo, portano a perfezione i sette fattori di illuminazione.
E in che modo i sette fattori di illuminazione, coltivati e regolarmente praticati, portano a perfezione la saggezza e la liberazione?
Quanto a questo, monaci, un monaco sviluppa i fattori di illuminazione presenza mentale, investigazione della realtà, energia, estasi, quiete, concentrazione ed equanimità, fondati sulla serenità, fondati sul distacco, fondati sulla cessazione, culminanti nella rinuncia.
I sette fattori di illuminazione, coltivati e regolarmente praticati in questo modo, portano a perfezione la saggezza e la liberazione.
Così parlò il Sublime. Lieti in cuore, i monaci gioirono delle parole del Beato.

http://www.lameditazionecomevia.it/anapanasatisutta.htm

MN 118 PTS: M iii 78
Anapanasati Sutta: Mindfulness of Breathing

translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2006–2011
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migara’s mother, together with many well-known elder disciples — with Ven. Sariputta, Ven. Maha Moggallana, Ven. Maha Kassapa, Ven. Maha Kaccana, Ven. Maha Kotthita, Ven. Maha Kappina, Ven. Maha Cunda, Ven. Revata, Ven. Ananda, and other well-known elder disciples. On that occasion the elder monks were teaching & instructing. Some elder monks were teaching & instructing ten monks, some were teaching & instructing twenty monks, some were teaching & instructing thirty monks, some were teaching & instructing forty monks. The new monks, being taught & instructed by the elder monks, were discerning grand, successive distinctions.

Now on that occasion — the Uposatha day of the fifteenth, the full-moon night of the Pavarana ceremony — the Blessed One was seated in the open air surrounded by the community of monks. Surveying the silent community of monks, he addressed them:

“Monks, I am content with this practice. I am content at heart with this practice. So arouse even more intense persistence for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. I will remain right here at Savatthi [for another month] through the ‘White Water-lily’ Month, the fourth month of the rains.”

The monks in the countryside heard, “The Blessed One, they say, will remain right there at Savatthi through the White Water-lily Month, the fourth month of the rains.” So they left for Savatthi to see the Blessed One.

Then the elder monks taught & instructed the new monks even more intensely. Some elder monks were teaching & instructing ten monks, some were teaching & instructing twenty monks, some were teaching & instructing thirty monks, some were teaching & instructing forty monks. The new monks, being taught & instructed by the elder monks, were discerning grand, successive distinctions.

Now on that occasion — the Uposatha day of the fifteenth, the full-moon night of the White Water-lily Month, the fourth month of the rains — the Blessed One was seated in the open air surrounded by the community of monks. Surveying the silent community of monks, he addressed them:

“Monks, this assembly is free from idle chatter, devoid of idle chatter, and is established on pure heartwood: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly that is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, an incomparable field of merit for the world: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly to which a small gift, when given, becomes great, and a great gift greater: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly that it is rare to see in the world: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly — the sort of assembly that it would be worth traveling for leagues, taking along provisions, in order to see.

“In this community of monks there are monks who are arahants, whose mental effluents are ended, who have reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, laid to waste the fetter of becoming, and who are released through right gnosis: such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of the five lower fetters, are due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, destined never again to return from that world: such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, and with the attenuation of passion, aversion, & delusion, are once-returners, who — on returning only once more to this world — will make an ending to stress: such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, are stream-winners, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening: such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to the development of the four frames of reference… the four right exertions… the four bases of power… the five faculties… the five strengths… the seven factors for awakening… the noble eightfold path: such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to the development of good will… compassion… appreciation… equanimity… [the perception of the] foulness [of the body]… the perception of inconstancy: such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

“Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, brings the four frames of reference to their culmination. The four frames of reference, when developed & pursued, bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination. The seven factors for awakening, when developed & pursued, bring clear knowing & release to their culmination.

Mindfulness of In-&-Out Breathing
“Now how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?

“There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.[1] Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

“[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in long’; or breathing out long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out long.’ [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in short’; or breathing out short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out short.’ [3] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'[2] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.’ [4] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'[3] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.’

“[5] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.’ [6] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.’ [7] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.'[4] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.’ [8] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.’

“[9] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.’ [10] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in satisfying the mind.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out satisfying the mind.’ [11] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in steadying the mind.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out steadying the mind.’ [12] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in releasing the mind.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out releasing the mind.'[5]

“[13] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.’ [14] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.’ [15] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in focusing on cessation.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out focusing on cessation.’ [16] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.’

“This is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit.

The Four Frames of Reference
“And how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination?

“[1] On whatever occasion a monk breathing in long discerns, ‘I am breathing in long’; or breathing out long, discerns, ‘I am breathing out long’; or breathing in short, discerns, ‘I am breathing in short’; or breathing out short, discerns, ‘I am breathing out short’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out sensitive to the entire body’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out calming bodily fabrication’: On that occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this — the in-&-out breath — is classed as a body among bodies, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

“[2] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out sensitive to rapture’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out sensitive to pleasure’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out sensitive to mental fabrication’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out calming mental fabrication’: On that occasion the monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this — careful attention to in-&-out breaths — is classed as a feeling among feelings,[6] which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

“[3] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out sensitive to the mind’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out satisfying the mind’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out steadying the mind’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out releasing the mind’: On that occasion the monk remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I don’t say that there is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing in one of lapsed mindfulness and no alertness, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

“[4] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out focusing on inconstancy’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out focusing on dispassion’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out focusing on cessation’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out focusing on relinquishment’: On that occasion the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He who sees with discernment the abandoning of greed & distress is one who watches carefully with equanimity, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

“This is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination.

The Seven Factors for Awakening
“And how are the four frames of reference developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination?

“[1] On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“[2] Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, & coming to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“[3] In one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, persistence is aroused unflaggingly. When persistence is aroused unflaggingly in one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then persistence as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“[4] In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“[5] For one enraptured at heart, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body & mind of a monk enraptured at heart grow calm, then serenity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“[6] For one who is at ease — his body calmed — the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease — his body calmed — becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“[7] He carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

(Similarly with the other three frames of reference: feelings, mind, & mental qualities.)

“This is how the four frames of reference are developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination.

Clear Knowing & Release
“And how are the seven factors for awakening developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination? There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening… persistence as a factor for awakening… rapture as a factor for awakening… serenity as a factor for awakening… concentration as a factor for awakening… equanimity as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

“This is how the seven factors for awakening are developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

Notes

1.
To the fore (parimukham): The Abhidhamma takes an etymological approach to this term, defining it as around (pari-) the mouth (mukham). In the Vinaya, however, it is used in a context (Cv.V.27.4) where it undoubtedly means the front of the chest. There is also the possibility that the term could be used idiomatically as “to the front,” which is how I have translated it here.
2.
The commentaries insist that “body” here means the breath, but this is unlikely in this context, for the next step — without further explanation — refers to the breath as “bodily fabrication.” If the Buddha were using two different terms to refer to the breath in such close proximity, he would have been careful to signal that he was redefining his terms (as he does below, when explaining that the first four steps in breath meditation correspond to the practice of focusing on the body in and of itself as a frame of reference). The step of breathing in and out sensitive to the entire body relates to the many similes in the suttas depicting jhana as a state of whole-body awareness (see MN 119).
3.
“In-&-out breaths are bodily; these are things tied up with the body. That’s why in-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications.” — MN 44.
4.
“Perceptions & feelings are mental; these are things tied up with the mind. That’s why perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications.” — MN 44.
5.
AN 9.34 shows how the mind, step by step, is temporarily released from burdensome mental states of greater and greater refinement as it advances through the stages of jhana.
6.
As this shows, a meditator focusing on feelings in themselves as a frame of reference should not abandon the breath as the basis for his/her concentration.
See also: SN 54.8.

Provenance: ©2006 Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Transcribed from a file provided by the translator. This Access to Insight edition is ©2006–2011.
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How to cite this document (one suggested style): “Anapanasati Sutta: Mindfulness of Breathing” (MN 118), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 25 September 2010,

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