Wednesday, November 27, 2019

B. Sujato's translation of 'situational awareness' for 'sampajano' is inadequate

Re: Situation awareness

Post by frank k » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:09 am
Dhammanando wrote: 
Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:56 pm

English renderings of sampajañña are of broadly three kinds. The rendering "clear comprehension" (or some synonym of this) is usually used by those translators who accept the Abhidhamma's treatment of sampajañña as a mode of paññā:
It doesn't need Abhidhamma support to justify that interpretation.
AN 4.41 defines sampajano as :
STED S&S💭 definition custom built for in-jhāna usage
Now look in AN 4.41, the 4 developments of samadhi sutta, and once again you see the same definition of sampajano as in SN 47.35, the one that fits jhāna perfectly in terms of the most obvious things one would investigate from such a still and refined state of mind.
AN 4.41 third of four exercises, for sati and sampajaññāya
Katamā ca, bhikkhave, samādhi-bhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā
{and} what, *********, concentration-development, when developed (and) pursued,
Sati-sampajañ-ñāya saṃvattati?
(to) mindfulness-(and)-clear-comprehension (it) leads?
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno
Here, monks, a-monk:
viditā vedanā uppajjanti,
known (are) feelings (as they) arise,
viditā upaṭṭhahanti,
known (as they are) attended-upon,
viditā abbhatthaṃ gacchanti.
known (as they) go to} disappear.
viditā saññā uppajjanti,
known (are) perceptions (as they) arise,
viditā upaṭṭhahanti,
known (as they are) attended-upon,
viditā abbhatthaṃ gacchanti.
known (as they) go to} disappear.
viditā vitakkā uppajjanti,
known (are) thoughts (as they) arise,
viditā upaṭṭhahanti,
known (as they are) attended-upon,
viditā abbhatthaṃ gacchanti.
known (as they) go to} disappear.
Ayaṃ, bhikkhave, samādhi-bhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā
This, *********, concentration-development, when developed (and) pursued,
Sati-sampajañ-ñāya saṃvattati.
mindfulness-(and)-clear-comprehension (it) leads-to.

That same passage also occurs:

AN 7.38 contains same fragment from AN 4.41
MN 111 is really just a more detailed version of AN 7.38 and AN 4.41
AN 7.39 same as AN 7.38 except talking about Sariputta instead of monk
AN 8.9 S&S definition for Ven. Nanda, same as AN 4.41
DN 33.7 S&S definition same as AN 4.41
MN 111 for four jhanas and first 3 formless attainments
MN 123 marvellous quality of the Tathāgata:
SN 47.35 sati defined as 4sp, sampajano same as AN 4.41
Early Theravada Commentary
KN Paṭis, 1. mahāvaggo, 3. ānāpānas-sati-kathā
MN 18 what he feels, he perceives, thinks (compare to AN 4.41)

So in conclusion, 'situational awareness' is a poor translation for it fails to adequately address the important function of sati and sampajano in 3rd jhana, where 'situational awareness of physical postures, etc.' is a marginal feature at best.

sati simplified, B. Analayo's misinterpretations

The best advice I can give anyone, beginner or not, is forget about MN 10 and DN 22 (the suttas people tend to default to as the definitive reference on the subject), and ignore what most of the so called experts are saying about mindfulness. Instead, read the first 10 suttas in SN 47, the satipatthana samyutta, carefully, and repeatedly. Those 10 suttas in SN 47, and you can rely on Thanissaro's excellent book, "right mindfulness" as the best reference manual on the topic, although there are a couple of issues I have it. But those two sources will give you a safe base to work from.

@frankk Can you expand further on what is problematic in [B. Analayo's] viewpoint? I haven't fully delved into his work, but from what I have seen, it has been extremely well-put and well-founded.
I had no intention to contradict your answer. Merely to add. In my personal practice I read from Thai Ajahns, including Ajahn Geoff, but I can see how others would find it dense at first.

Could you also comment our your qualms with Thanissaro Bhikku "Right Mindfulness"? I'm very interested to hear your viewpoint

 With B. Analayo, his views on sati tend to stray a little too close or outright agree with some of the serious modern misconceptions and misunderstandings about what 'sati' is. Ideas such as, "choiceless awareness", "bare present moment awareness", "mindfulness is broad, jhana is 'one pointed'", "sati is non judgemental", etc. Much of his analysis written in his books is straightforward interpretation of suttas, no problem with that, but in some important areas to justify his misinterpretation of sati, he'll make some really nonsensical illogical reading of a sutta passage to justify his interpretation.

My disagreement with B. Thanissaro has to do with his interpretation of Dhamma in the 7sb awakening factors, and Dhamma anupassana as the 4th of the 4sp satipatthanas. I've written about it here on

Meaning of the cryptic 4sp🐘 formula

He abides, continuously seeing the body as a body, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
He abides, continuously seeing the experienced-sensations as experienced-sensations, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
He abides, continuously seeing the mind as mind, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
He abides, continuously seeing the ☸Dhamma as ☸Dhamma, [as it actually is, according to reality]...
🔗proof & details

In contrast, most people interpret the 4sp formula to mean:
1. he contemplates a body meditation subject among many body meditation subjects to choose from...
2. he contemplates a feelings meditation subject among many feelings meditation subjects to choose from...
3. he contemplates a 'mind' meditation subject among many 'mind' meditation subjects to choose from...
4. he contemplates a 'phenomena' meditation subject among many 'phenomena' meditation subjects to choose from...

Also on the blog, if you search between 2019 nov and may, I've written several articles on how 'Dhamma' should be left untranslated because it often straddles several meanings. In the English translations of B. Bodhi and B. Thanissaro, by translating 'dhamma'  in the 7sb awakening factor and 4th frame of satipatthana (Phenomena, qualities, mental qualities, etc.) is highly problematic. This is not really their fault, it's because they regard MN 10 and DN 22 as the authoritative interpretation of sati, and those two suttas were distorted by late Theravada Abhidhamma biases.

Monday, November 25, 2019

relationship between sati, iddhipada, arahantship

Re: Can you develop Iddhipada by Satipathana?

Post by frank k » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:40 am
You need sati developing any path factor. The 4sp satipatthana are the nimittas/signs of samadhi. The 4ip iddhipada, all have 'samadhi' embedded in their formula. And the 4 types of ip, if you study those words carefully, the first 2 figure prominently in the right effort formula (chanda, virya). So in a sense, the 4ip are describing how right effort and right sati are developed to produce right samadhi. If you compare the 4ip extended formula with AN 6.29 and AN 5.28, by studying the role of the development of luminosity for knowledge and vision, and the lack of piti and sukha mentioned in the 4ip, and the easy accessability of the 6 abhinna from developing 4ip, then it becomes clear the 4ip are ways to purify a fourth jhana to the point of being able to attain 6 abhinna. And since the destruction of the asavas (the 6th abhinna) is arahantship, then this is why the Buddha in the SN 51 iddhipada suttas say that all brahmans, ascetics, etc, that have become arahants who did so by means of 4ip.

SarathW wrote: 
Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:43 pm
Can you develop Iddhipada by Satipathana?
If yes, how?

Four bases of magical/mental/supernatural power (cattāro iddhipādā)[edit]
1.Will (chanda, S. chanda)
2.Energy (viriya, S. vīrya)
3.Consciousness (citta, S. citta)
4.Examination (vīmaṁsa or vīmaŋsā, S. mimāṃsā ... hamm%C4%81

Monday, November 18, 2019

how to avoid indulging in pleasure of hot showers

interesting question from

I follow Yuttadhammo's tradition and I wanted to know how to prevent the pleasure I get in taking showers. Everytime I take them, I have a clinging to the warmth of the water and the feeling of it.
How do I prevent this or come to disattach from the experiences I have in showering and getting pleasure from it?
the-buddha traditions tipitaka personal-experienceshareeditflagasked yesterday

you may be under dressed, insufficiently warm all the times you're not in a comfortable hot shower. Wear more layers, keep your body warm, do enough cardiovascular and other physical exercises everyday (at least 30min) to improve your base body temperature and overall physical health. Then when you step in a hot shower, it won't feel like anything especially comfortable. When your reserve energy is strong, you feel like you could eat or not eat, sleep or not sleep, get a massage or a hot shower and it will just feel neutral, nothing special. But if you lack nutrients, you will be ravenously hungry, you lack body heat, hot showers will feel great, if you lack good circulation, a massage and hot shower will feel great, etc.

On the mental cultivation side of things, develop kusala habits to replace akusala habits. Before I take a shower, I resolve to not waste water, get in and out quickly just to get the job done. Probably that's less than 1 minute of water running, 3-4 minutes of rubbing, drying, etc. Also, there's no need to lather a thick layer of soap everywhere on the body, or even a thin layer. You just need to make sure to use enough soap on the areas that actually need it, and this way you don't dry out your skin and nutrients in the skin. Once you form good habits, it just becomes automatic and you don't even have to think or fight temptation. And if you take care of the physical health aspect as described above, your health will be robust enough where you don't even feel temptation of the pleasure of hot showers.