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In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta tom moylan 3/20/15 4:20 PM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Chris M 3/21/15 1:46 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta CJMacie 3/21/15 3:56 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Chris M 3/21/15 7:06 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta CJMacie 3/22/15 8:16 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Chris M 3/24/15 5:08 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Nicky 3/24/15 6:42 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Chris M 3/24/15 6:43 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Nicky 3/25/15 6:04 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Matt 3/26/15 8:22 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta CJMacie 3/27/15 7:28 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Nicky 3/27/15 7:58 PM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Psi 3/27/16 6:54 PM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta CJMacie 3/24/15 7:42 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta tom moylan 3/21/15 2:32 PM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Not Tao 3/21/15 11:03 PM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta tom moylan 3/22/15 4:39 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta CJMacie 3/22/15 8:50 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Not Tao 3/22/15 10:56 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Nicky 3/23/15 11:23 PM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta CJMacie 3/22/15 8:19 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Pål 3/22/15 4:30 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Eelco ten Have 3/22/15 1:19 PM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta CJMacie 3/23/15 6:39 PM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Eelco ten Have 3/24/15 2:12 PM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta CJMacie 3/25/15 12:47 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Ross Alan Keller 3/26/15 10:45 AM
RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta Nicky 3/26/15 4:32 PM
In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/20/15 4:20 PM
howdy friends,
i just wanted to post a small praise of the Satipatthana Sutta and my recommendation of it as both a base of great personal knowlege and an excellent basis for both individual sits and as a long term guide to progress.

i love its comprehensive and progressive format, moving from the gross to the subtle and sweeping the range of the buddhas insights and lists.

for my money the far and away best treatment and interpretation of it was done by the venerable analyo in his book Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization http://www.amazon.com/Satipatthana-The-Direct-Path-Realization/dp/1899579540

There is also a very valuable series of talks on dharmaseed.org by Josepf Goldstien which uses this book as a guide to the talks.  I downloaded them as mp3s and have listenened to them many times.  I know that some don't find Josephs Teachings particularly deep, but after 'hearing between the lines' and comparing his lectures to my own experience and beliefs, I consider his teachings to be excellent, engaging and often very rich in wisdom.

Here is a link to those: http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/6162/

For anyone just interested in Reading the sutta, here is a good translation from accesstoinsight by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html

hopefully someone gets as much enjoyment out of this as i have.

cheers

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/21/15 1:46 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
hopefully someone gets as much enjoyment out of this as i have.

I certainly have Tom. I second how great all the above material you’ve referenced is. I’ll also add Analayo’s later addition to his Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization, that is Perspectives on Satipatthana. http://www.amazon.com/Perspectives-Satipatthana-Bhikkhu-Analayo/dp/190931403X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426916636&sr=1-1&keywords=perspectives+on+satipatthana . Both these works are now the benchmark commentaries on Satipatthana. Joseph Goldstein has also released a publication based on his excellent series of talks you referenced, although I haven’t read it yet.  

Satipatthana, which is the Buddha’s unique contribution to the contemplative world, doesn’t seem to get a great deal of mention on this forum, which is quite unusual, as ultimately the practice is Satipatthana and vipassana (insight) is the result. That and the cultivation of the Seven Factors of Awakening.

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/21/15 3:56 AM as a reply to Chris M.
The topic was discussed as some length back in the last couple of months of 2014, though more under the rubric of what is mindfulness (sati).

Analayo (through both his books) argues decidedly for mindfulness as "bare awareness", though his arguments are by no means water-tight, more interpretation than hard textual evidence.

Than-Geof (Thanissaro Bhikkhu) has argued pointedly for another interpretation of sati, also citing tons of evidence, and specifically countering the "bare awareness" school. See: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/rightmindfulness.pdf

Rupert Gethin published an interesting essay considering the history of English translations of 'sati', and takes a sort of middle ground about the 20th-21st-century emphasis on "bare awareness". (On some definitions of mindfulness; Gethin, R. M. L. 2011 In : Contemporary Buddhism.12, 1, p. 263 - 279. I downloaded this for free some months ago. Now when I look on-line I find it only can be bought. Anyone wants to see it I can email it as attachment.)

Besides the issue of how sati is defined (as in Satipatthana), there's the issue of the relationship between insight (vipassana) and samadhi (also much discussed, off and on, here in DhO) in the early, pre-sectarian versions of the suttas, and how the emphasis shifted towards the later period of editing, shaping the suttas towards the stricter vipassana idea. Ajahn Sujato's book "A History of Mindfulness" presents a detailed consideration of this, with a more comprehensive survey of the formation of the suttas, and in particular the theory that the notion of anapanasati (as in the sutta by that name) and it's use of samadhi was earlier and more practice-oriented. The Satipatthana Sutta (and the Maha- one in DN) were fashioned quite late in the period of forming and editing the suttas, and more along sectarian lines. See the details in his book ("A History of Mindfulness -- How insight worsted tranquillity in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta") at:
http://santifm.org/santipada/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/A_History_of_Mindfulness_Bhikkhu_Sujato.pdf

Note: Analayo's and Sujato's interpretations of the significance of Satipatthana and the nuances of sati (mindfulness) differ, but they both pursue research into the history of canonical material, and across not just the Pali sources, but also the Chinese and Tibetan, and they work together in this, mentioning and supporting each other's research. The differences between relatively mainstream interpretations are often exaggerated into hot debates more by "followers" who identify with or take overly seriously such views.

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/21/15 7:06 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
The topic was discussed as some length back in the last couple of months of 2014, though more under the rubric of what is mindfulness (sati).

Analayo (through both his books) argues decidedly for mindfulness as "bare awareness", though his arguments are by no means water-tight, more interpretation than hard textual evidence.

Than-Geof (Thanissaro Bhikkhu) has argued pointedly for another interpretation of sati, also citing tons of evidence, and specifically countering the "bare awareness" school. See: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/rightmindfulness.pdf

Rupert Gethin published an interesting essay considering the history of English translations of 'sati', and takes a sort of middle ground about the 20th-21st-century emphasis on "bare awareness". (On some definitions of mindfulness; Gethin, R. M. L. 2011 In : Contemporary Buddhism.12, 1, p. 263 - 279. I downloaded this for free some months ago. Now when I look on-line I find it only can be bought. Anyone wants to see it I can email it as attachment.)

Besides the issue of how sati is defined (as in Satipatthana), there's the issue of the relationship between insight (vipassana) and samadhi (also much discussed, off and on, here in DhO) in the early, pre-sectarian versions of the suttas, and how the emphasis shifted towards the later period of editing, shaping the suttas towards the stricter vipassana idea. Ajahn Sujato's book "A History of Mindfulness" presents a detailed consideration of this, with a more comprehensive survey of the formation of the suttas, and in particular the theory that the notion of anapanasati (as in the sutta by that name) and it's use of samadhi was earlier and more practice-oriented. The Satipatthana Sutta (and the Maha- one in DN) were fashioned quite late in the period of forming and editing the suttas, and more along sectarian lines. See the details in his book ("A History of Mindfulness -- How insight worsted tranquillity in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta") at:
http://santifm.org/santipada/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/A_History_of_Mindfulness_Bhikkhu_Sujato.pdf

Note: Analayo's and Sujato's interpretations of the significance of Satipatthana and the nuances of sati (mindfulness) differ, but they both pursue research into the history of canonical material, and across not just the Pali sources, but also the Chinese and Tibetan, and they work together in this, mentioning and supporting each other's research. The differences between relatively mainstream interpretations are often exaggerated into hot debates more by "followers" who identify with or take overly seriously such views.

Thanks Chris, you are obviously across much of the modern commentary and differing of opinions in regards to Satipatthana. I’m also aware of all these ongoing discussions and have read most of the material you allude to. Another great resource on Satipatthana is The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Nyanaponika Thera (1954), which I’m sure you are aware, is the originator of the ‘controversial’ term “bare awareness”. If not, you maybe should put this on your reading list and see if you think it really is that controversial.
 
Anyway, I certainly don’t want to get bogged down in all these so-called controversies that have been well and truly thrashed out, as they can become academic distractions to a large extent, all though they can also help illuminate Satipatthana practice if you don’t get caught up in the minutiae and if you’re not looking for an excuse to put it into practice on and off the cushion.  But to cut through all the noise, I often go back to read the sutta directly, which just keeps on revealing more and more depth and this is what shapes my practice.
 
The so-called controversies really aren’t that great and the great leveller is actually putting mindfulness into practice, then the seeming paradoxes of the different camps tend to melt away in the face of this.
 
Although I haven’t posted a lot on this forum I have been reading the Dharma Overground since early 2011, and though you claim Satipatthana has been recently discussed it certainly hasn’t had the prominence it should on a forum dedicated to practice, because ultimately it is the most comprehensive instruction on mindfulness in ALL it’s applications and manifestations there is, and clearly it has been conspicuous by its absence. Kudos to tom moylan for posting the resources and drawing attention to Satipatthana and for your above summary of the complex issues that seems to be ongoing and infinite. In fact it’s not surprising that there is so much debate surrounding Satipatthana, a topic so vast, the Buddha himself once said he could field questions for a hundred years continuously and not repeat himself:

 “Suppose that they continuously asked me about the four foundations of mindfulness and that I answered them when asked and that they remembered each answer of mine and never asked a subsidiary question or paused except to eat, drink, consume food, taste, urinate, defecate and rest in order to remove sleepiness and tiredness. Still the Tathagata's exposition of the Dhamma, his explanations of factors of the Dhamma, and his replies to questions would not yet come to an end, but meanwhile those four disciples of mine with their hundred years' lifespan would have died at the end of those hundred years.”
 
Source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.012.ntbb.html

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/21/15 2:32 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hi Chris J.
I think that the differences in the definitions of sati aren't that great.  You mentioned that Analyo defines it as bare awareness.  I think he points out that the differing objects (body, feelings, mind, dharmas) should be observed in a limited fashion, that is, limited to the bare awareness that these objects exist, are arising and passing away, are not satisfying and are not self. 

One thing that is not often clearly explained is that there are several aspects to sati.  One aspect is knowing the object but not allowing oneself to be carried away with further associations that one may have to that object.  That is a 'limiting function' of sati.  Another aspect is a tacic objectification function.  That can sound contradictory in a non-dual practice where the goal is not to draw lines between subject and object but in this practice there is a function of sati which does just that.  An object arises, is known and categorized into its generic form and perhaps its basic charachteristics acknowleged.  This functionally stops proliferation so that one can continue with the next object.

I haven't read Thanissaro's treatise but have downloaded it and will.  Thanks for that!

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/21/15 11:03 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
The satipatthana sutta ties in right effort - "a monk is ardent, alert, and able to remember, abandoning greed and distress in reference to the world." This seems to be lost in the term Bare Awareness, and also in modern Vipassana Meditation instructions, which usually emphasize watching perceptions non-judgementally to develop equanimity. Sati is often tied to right effort in the suttas, and it seems like the main point of it is to keep a frame of reference in order to see when defilements are arising, and thus stop them as soon as possible.

I think the sutta is useful in an encyclopaedic sense, since it's obviously cobbled together from many other places, but it definately has an agenda and I think that agenda distorts what the original words are supposed to mean, especially the ending.

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/22/15 4:30 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
When we're talking satipatthana, how do you interpret "sabba kaya patisamvedi"? Has been translated to lots of completely different things. I currently go with "experiencing the whole process" but Thanissaro translates it as "the entire (physichal) body", which is a really advanced instruction for one coming before the attainment of piti and sukha. I don't know any pther sutta where sabba means whole/entire though, so Buddhadasa's variant: "experiencing all bodies" makes sense too although that's also really advanced.

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/22/15 4:39 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
'Ardent' implies energy, 'Alert' implies constant watchfulness, 'Able to remember' speaks directly to perception.  I see 'Bare Awareness' as an atttempt to describe the the 'right effort' to subdue wanton proliferation of thoughts.  So I think you are right about that but wouldn't limit it to the 'defilements'. 

The good , the bad and the ugly are treated the same.  They are noticed and dropped.  That the last patana specifically deals with the hindrances etc. shows clearly that 'bare awareness' is not free from thought but as you suggest, is a framework, or adjustable view, through which the current focus of practice is made clear and tamed of proliferation. That one of the goals of meditation is to be equanimous with what arises is, to me, no condemnation of it. 

Also, your opinion about it being 'obviously cobbled together' is provocative but I'd like to know what you mean by it.  What's the agenda?  What do you mean with 'especially the end'?

CheersTom

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/22/15 8:16 AM as a reply to Chris M.
Chris M(3/21/15 7:06 AM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)

"Another great resource on Satipatthana is The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Nyanaponika Thera (1954), which I’m sure you are aware, is the originator of the ‘controversial’ term “bare awareness”. If not, you maybe should put this on your reading list and see if you think it really is that controversial."

Thanks for the reference, which I haven't yet read, though the one book of his I've read was deeply impressive (Abhidhamma Studies – Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness and Time). I've read, a couple of times, Rupert Gethin's paper, which goes into the historical context of Nyanponika's take on sati (in the 1954 book, which, however, Gethin dates as 1962 – probably second printing).

Gethin p.266ff:
"Nyanaponika in fact offers an account of mindfulness that is influenced by his understanding of the technical account of the process of perception (cittavıthi) found in developed Theravada systematic thought (
abhidhamma). Mindfulness, he tells us, is no ‘mystical’ state; rather
'In its elementary manifestation, known under the term ‘attention’, it is one of the cardinal functions of consciousness without which there cannot be perception of any object at all.' (Nyanaponika 1962, 24)

Nyanaponoka is referring not to samma-sati, but to a stage of mental adverting or turning attention in the abdhidhamma's phenomenological micro-analysis of the mechanism of consciousness, which is below the threshold of conscious control (as per below)

"Nyanaponika does not say which, if any, technical Pali term ‘attention’ corresponds to. In a note (1962, 112) he indicates that he is referring to a stage in perception known as avajjana, ‘turning towards (the object)’. Certainly in technical abhidhamma terms this is among the barest kinds of attention there is; curiously in abhidhamma terms the mental quality of sati is not in fact present at this stage in the process of perception, something that Nyanaponika, who certainly had a sound grasp of abhidhamma, must have been well aware of. What he is perhaps referring to is the abhidhamma understanding of ‘bringing to mind’ or ‘paying attention’ (manasikara), which is a feature that is understood to be present in all acts of awareness; moreover, how we initially turn our attention towards objects of perception, despite its being below the threshold of conscious control, is understood to play a crucial part in conditioning our subsequent emotional responses to objects of perception; that is, as governing whether we do in fact respond with ‘mindfulness’.What Nyanaponika seems to be suggesting here is that the manner of our initial attention to objects of perception is the seed of mindfulness."

p.267:
"Nyanaponika’s understanding of mindfulness as bare attention appears to have been widely influential. And while he may have been careful to present it as merely an elementary aspect of the practice of mindfulness and to distinguish it from a fuller understanding of mindfulness proper—right mindfulness as a constituent of the eightfold path— there has sometimes been a tendency for those who have written on mindfulness subsequently to assimilate it to ‘bare attention’. "


So, the understanding generally held today is a sort of misunderstanding of Nyanaponika's intention. He did, in the decade prior to publishing that book, study meditation with Sayadaw Mahasi, but Mahasi also was a master of the Abdhidhamma, as are most Burmese Sayadaws. Mahasi though, in his popular methodology, meant largely for lay people, didn't explicitly teach Abdhidhamma. As Nyanaponika points out (in the Abhidhamma book mentioned above), Abhidhamma mastery is prerequisite for becoming "Sayadaw" ("teacher") because it conditionsprofound and exact understanding of Dhamma, but teaching / learning Abdhidhamma itself is a specialty, and not that easy.

Gethin goes to demonstrate that 20th-21st-century "bare-awareness" as sati is not to be found in the definitions from early Buddhism, nor in any commentaries etc, until the modern era.

Note, this is simply historical analysis. It doesn't say this or that understanding is wrong or right. The modern view can well be seen as a new commentarial tradition, making meaning appropriate for this age. Just as earlier commentarial tradition made meaning of the earlier suttamaterial appropriate for the various ages between 2500 years ago and today.

And so this is all not to promote controversy, but to clarify perspective, for those interested. And has nothing to do with the pragmatics of practice.

As you state:
"… Satipatthana has been recently discussed it certainly hasn’t had the prominence it should on a forum dedicated to practice, because ultimately it is the most comprehensive instruction on mindfulness in ALL it’s applications and manifestations…"

That (in red) is certainly true, as Analayo's books thoroughly document.

I, for one, find it valuable to have a wealth and breadth of interpretations of sati and satipatthana (e.g. across a spectrum from Analayo to Sujato, etc.). Not to have to argue or decide which is "the real truth", but to have multiple references, models to help shed light, where they fit, on my experiences in practice.

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/22/15 8:19 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
re: tom moylan (3/21/15 2:32 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)

"I think that the differences in the definitions of sati aren't that great…One thing that is not often clearly explained is that there are several aspects to sati."

Well put. There are multiple interpretations that bring out this or that aspect in greater detail to help grasp and practice for those to whom it may appeal. And to help my or your practice, a particular view or interpretation doesn't have to be "absolute truth" that one needs to convince others of; nor do other interpretations have to be "wrong."

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/22/15 8:50 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
(to Not Tao)

Also, your opinion about it being 'obviously cobbled together' is provocative but I'd like to know what you mean by it.  What's the agenda?  What do you mean with 'especially the end'?



He might be referring to Ajahn Sujato's hypothesis in "A History of Mindfulness", where he spends 50 or 100 pages or so comparing all the pieces of text in the Satipatthana (and the Mahasatipatthana) Sutta with similar pieces of text from all over the map, and in Chinese versions, to show that the sutta is encyclopedic in nature, but in the way of a very late (he posits ca. 20 BCE) catch-all of sati objects and techniques. And that this synthesis was done to support an emerging sectarian view in which vipassana was to become the primary focus, and samadhi put into the backgound.

I think 'especially the end' may refer to the part at the end where the Maha-satipatthana Sutta (D 22) differs from, enlarges upon the Satipatthana Sutta (i.e. what's or used to be generally known as M 10).

Curiously, Sujato points out that the Burmese (vipassana world-headquarters), around the time of the 5th Council, officially banished the Satipatthana Sutta (M 10) and substituted the exact duplicate of the Maha-satipatthana Sutta (D 22) in the Buremese version of the Pali Canon.

He comments (p 298)
"This canonical innovation is extraordinary. While it is common for a word or phrase to slip between the cracks, I don’t know any other place where a large body of text has been moved, obviously in fairly recent times. No doubt this editorial innovation was designed to further exaggerate the already excessive status of the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta. But the result is rather the reverse — such clumsy mishandling leaves all-too-obvious fingerprints at the scene of the crime. ... There is a Pali work called Saṁgāyanapucchāvissajjanā which gives the questions and answers on the texts as spoken in the Council, although it doesn’t say which Council — presumably it is the Fifth or Sixth. This also includes the ‘Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta’ in the Majjhima, and has the temerity to assert that because of its great usefulness to meditators this text was recited ‘twice’ ‘in detail’ [i.e. identical texts in both the MajjhimaNikaya and the DighaNikaya] by the redactors in ancient times. While most other discourses rate a bare mention in this work, the Mahā (sic!) Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta is distinguished by detailing the contents of the meditation exercises."

(Reads like politics!)

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/22/15 10:56 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
'Ardent' implies energy, 'Alert' implies constant watchfulness, 'Able to remember' speaks directly to perception.  I see 'Bare Awareness' as an atttempt to describe the the 'right effort' to subdue wanton proliferation of thoughts.  So I think you are right about that but wouldn't limit it to the 'defilements'. 

The good , the bad and the ugly are treated the same.  They are noticed and dropped.  That the last patana specifically deals with the hindrances etc. shows clearly that 'bare awareness' is not free from thought but as you suggest, is a framework, or adjustable view, through which the current focus of practice is made clear and tamed of proliferation. That one of the goals of meditation is to be equanimous with what arises is, to me, no condemnation of it. 

Also, your opinion about it being 'obviously cobbled together' is provocative but I'd like to know what you mean by it.  What's the agenda?  What do you mean with 'especially the end'?

CheersTom


Well, the sutta is written like a story where the Buddha sits down one day, complements his monks for their good mindfulness, then gives his entire teaching in long form and ends by saying by practicing just what was explained, the listener will reach enlightenment in a short time. This sutta leaves a great deal out though, and it makes a lot of connections that the buddha doesn't make in other places, so it seems like an attempt to streamline the whole teaching into one specific meditative practice - which is very different from how the Buddha usually talks about things.

You bring up one of the distortions of the Buddha's teaching in your post. The Buddha did not say to treat the good, bad, and ugly equally. He said skillful mental states, like jhana, should be cultivated, and defilements, like anger, greed, craving, and sensual desire, should be abandoned quickly as soon as they're noticed. Mindfulness is usually described as the watchful presence that understands what state the mind is in so right effort can be applied to either abandon the state or cultivate it further.

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/22/15 1:19 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
There is also a very valuable series of talks on dharmaseed.org by Josepf Goldstien which uses this book as a guide to the talks.  I downloaded them as mp3s and have listenened to them many times.  I know that some don't find Josephs Teachings particularly deep, but after 'hearing between the lines' and comparing his lectures to my own experience and beliefs, I consider his teachings to be excellent, engaging and often very rich in wisdom.

Here is a link to those: http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/6162/

Thanks for this link. I am enjoying it very much.
Even though it seems to be a controversial Sutta. Listening to how Joseph Goldstien uses it as a framework which he then uses to talk about his experiences, parctices and insights make it a gem on its own.
I'd like to think that that may just be the purpose of those that wrote the sutta.

With Love
Eelco

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/23/15 6:39 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
The following article includes extensive and well-documented analysis of the Satipatthana Sutta, from quite a different perspective:

Mindfulness Revisited: A Buddhist-Based Conceptualization

Ronald E. Purser and Joseph Milillo

Journal of Management Inquiry
published online 12 May 2014
http://jmi.sagepub.com/content/24/1/3

(This site charges $32 for the pdf of the whole article. I got it for free earlier, maybe thru ACADEMIA.EDU, which isn't hard to join, but can't find it there today. I can email/attach the pdf (23 pages) if anyone's interested, or post the text here (ca 34 pages in Windows .doc format))


Abstract
Recent scholarship on mindfulness has narrowly focused on attention enhancement, present-moment awareness, and its stress reduction effects. Moreover, current operational definitions of mindfulness in the literature differ considerably from those derived from classic Buddhist canonical sources. This article revisits the meaning, function, and purpose of Buddhist mindfulness by proposing a triadic model of “right mindfulness.” A Buddhist-based conceptualization of right mindfulness provides both a theoretical and ethical corrective to the decontextualized individual-level construct of mindfulness that has informed the organizational theory and practitioner literature. We argue that a denatured mindfulness divorced from its soteriological context reduces it to a self-help technique that is easily misappropriated for reproducing corporate and institutional power, employee pacification, and maintenance of toxic organizational cultures.

Section headings:

Mindfulness Within the Buddhist Tradition
Satipa
ţţhāna Sutta
Right Mindfulness
Triadic Mindfulness Model


The Concept of Mindfulness Within Organizational Theory
Mindfulness Is Not Reducible to a Psychological Trait
Mindfulness Is Not Equivalent to Bare Attention

Mindfulness Is Not Equivalent to Nonjudgmental Awareness

Denaturing Mindfulness: Trends in Current Practice

Contributions and Conclusion

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/23/15 11:23 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
'Alert' implies constant watchfulness,

The Pali is 'sampajanna', which means it belongs to the wisdom faculty, thus 'clear comprehension' or 'ready wisdom'. The translation 'alert' is completely wrong & zombie-ish. emoticon

The mind by its very own nature is watchful thus no effort is required to be watchful. The only effort required is to keep the mind free from the hindrances to natural watchfulness. emoticon

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/24/15 5:08 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
Chris M(3/21/15 7:06 AM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)

"Another great resource on Satipatthana is The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Nyanaponika Thera (1954), which I’m sure you are aware, is the originator of the ‘controversial’ term “bare awareness”. If not, you maybe should put this on your reading list and see if you think it really is that controversial."

Thanks for the reference, which I haven't yet read, though the one book of his I've read was deeply impressive (Abhidhamma Studies – Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness and Time). I've read, a couple of times, Rupert Gethin's paper, which goes into the historical context of Nyanponika's take on sati (in the 1954 book, which, however, Gethin dates as 1962 – probably second printing).

Gethin p.266ff:
"Nyanaponika in fact offers an account of mindfulness that is influenced by his understanding of the technical account of the process of perception (cittavıthi) found in developed Theravada systematic thought (
abhidhamma). Mindfulness, he tells us, is no ‘mystical’ state; rather
'In its elementary manifestation, known under the term ‘attention’, it is one of the cardinal functions of consciousness without which there cannot be perception of any object at all.' (Nyanaponika 1962, 24)

Nyanaponoka is referring not to samma-sati, but to a stage of mental adverting or turning attention in the abdhidhamma's phenomenological micro-analysis of the mechanism of consciousness, which is below the threshold of conscious control (as per below)

"Nyanaponika does not say which, if any, technical Pali term ‘attention’ corresponds to. In a note (1962, 112) he indicates that he is referring to a stage in perception known as avajjana, ‘turning towards (the object)’. Certainly in technical abhidhamma terms this is among the barest kinds of attention there is; curiously in abhidhamma terms the mental quality of sati is not in fact present at this stage in the process of perception, something that Nyanaponika, who certainly had a sound grasp of abhidhamma, must have been well aware of. What he is perhaps referring to is the abhidhamma understanding of ‘bringing to mind’ or ‘paying attention’ (manasikara), which is a feature that is understood to be present in all acts of awareness; moreover, how we initially turn our attention towards objects of perception, despite its being below the threshold of conscious control, is understood to play a crucial part in conditioning our subsequent emotional responses to objects of perception; that is, as governing whether we do in fact respond with ‘mindfulness’.What Nyanaponika seems to be suggesting here is that the manner of our initial attention to objects of perception is the seed of mindfulness."

p.267:
"Nyanaponika’s understanding of mindfulness as bare attention appears to have been widely influential. And while he may have been careful to present it as merely an elementary aspect of the practice of mindfulness and to distinguish it from a fuller understanding of mindfulness proper—right mindfulness as a constituent of the eightfold path— there has sometimes been a tendency for those who have written on mindfulness subsequently to assimilate it to ‘bare attention’. "


So, the understanding generally held today is a sort of misunderstanding of Nyanaponika's intention. He did, in the decade prior to publishing that book, study meditation with Sayadaw Mahasi, but Mahasi also was a master of the Abdhidhamma, as are most Burmese Sayadaws. Mahasi though, in his popular methodology, meant largely for lay people, didn't explicitly teach Abdhidhamma. As Nyanaponika points out (in the Abhidhamma book mentioned above), Abhidhamma mastery is prerequisite for becoming "Sayadaw" ("teacher") because it conditionsprofound and exact understanding of Dhamma, but teaching / learning Abdhidhamma itself is a specialty, and not that easy.

Gethin goes to demonstrate that 20th-21st-century "bare-awareness" as sati is not to be found in the definitions from early Buddhism, nor in any commentaries etc, until the modern era.

Note, this is simply historical analysis. It doesn't say this or that understanding is wrong or right. The modern view can well be seen as a new commentarial tradition, making meaning appropriate for this age. Just as earlier commentarial tradition made meaning of the earlier suttamaterial appropriate for the various ages between 2500 years ago and today.

And so this is all not to promote controversy, but to clarify perspective, for those interested. And has nothing to do with the pragmatics of practice.

As you state:
"… Satipatthana has been recently discussed it certainly hasn’t had the prominence it should on a forum dedicated to practice, because ultimately it is the most comprehensive instruction on mindfulness in ALL it’s applications and manifestations…"

That (in red) is certainly true, as Analayo's books thoroughly document.

I, for one, find it valuable to have a wealth and breadth of interpretations of sati and satipatthana (e.g. across a spectrum from Analayo to Sujato, etc.). Not to have to argue or decide which is "the real truth", but to have multiple references, models to help shed light, where they fit, on my experiences in practice.

Hi Chris,

Thanks for taking the time to respond in such depth and to post the analysis of Gethin on Nyanaponika Thera’s term “Bare Attention” – much appreciated. I particularly think this assessment:

“… in abhidhamma  terms the mental quality of sati is not in fact present at this stage in the process of perception […] What Nyanaponika seems to be suggesting here is that the manner of our initial attention to objects of perception is the seed of mindfulness."

does seem to be in line with Nyanaponika Thera’s definition from The Heart of Buddhist Meditation (1996):
 
“What is Bare Attention?

Bare Attention is the clear and single-minded awareness of what actually happens to us and in us, at the successive moments of perception. It is called 'bare', because it attends just to the bare facts of a perception as presented either through the five physical senses or through the mind which, for Buddhist thought, constitutes the sixth sense. When attending to that sixfold sense impression, attention or mindfulness is kept to a bare registering of the facts observed, without reacting to them by deed, speech or by mental comment which may be one of self-reference (like, dislike, etc), judgement or reflection. If during the time, short or long, given to the practice of Bare Attention, any such comments arise in one's mind, they themselves are made objects of Bare Attention, and are neither repudiated nor pursued, but are dismissed, after a brief mental note has been made of them.”

Now whether Gethin is right about an abhidhammic interpretation I can’t say, not being familiar with abhidhamma. But importantly, from my own experience, I think his description of “Bare Attention” is the mode of sati-sampajanna (mindfulness & clear comprehension) in which objects arising are “attended” to and very much in line with what’s expressed in the Satipatthana Sutta. I think this is the very essence of Satipatthana practice – the neither supressing nor entertaining of objects, thoughts, feelings, internal commentary, etc, so there is no investing in a self, reification of a self or any identification of a self with the object, that would otherwise occur by being enmeshed with the object.  It is indeed stepping away from the object to observe it “arise, pass away, arise and pass away” establishing the key awakening factor of equanimity enabling non-reactivity (non-clinging/non-aversion).
 
The attitude of non-intervention or as Nyanaponika describes as being “neither repudiated nor pursued” is plainly evident in the below passage from the Satipatthana Sutta:

“And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu abide contemplating mind as 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 as 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. 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 as mind internally, or he abides contemplating mind as mind externally, or he abides contemplating mind as mind both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in mind its nature of arising, or he abides contemplating in mind its nature of vanishing, or he abides contemplating in mind its nature of both arising and vanishing. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is mind’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating mind as mind.”

I think the key point here is that what Nyanaponika Thera defines as “Bare Attention” being the attitude and approach to Satipatthana practice is amply reflected in its instructions. Now whether it is an apt description for “mindfulness” is more an academic concern and a matter of semantics, than a real practical consideration. You can tell by the way The Heart of Buddhist Meditation is written that he was strongly grounded in its practice, and that’s what is of importance from a practice point of view.  
 
This is how my experience of Satipatthana has unfolded, and the more I reflect on it, having read back over his definiton after four years or more, “Bare Attention” really captures its essence.

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/24/15 6:42 AM as a reply to Chris M.
There is no common term in Pali that equates to 'bare attention'. Attention that is devoid of wisdom, i.e., "bare", is not Buddhist. Mindfulness means to 'remember' rather than to pay attention or observe. Mindfulness may remember to keep the mind free from judging & reacting but the actual awareness or experiencing of objects is not mindfulness.  emoticon

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/24/15 6:43 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
There is no term in Pali that equates to bare attention.

Yes I think you are right Nicky. Mindfulness is an very inadequate term for Sati too.

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/24/15 7:42 AM as a reply to Chris M.
re: Chris M (3/24/15 3:08 AM as a reply to Chris J Macie)

"
I think the key point here is that what Nyanaponika Thera defines as “Bare Attention” being the attitude and approach to Satipatthana practice is amply reflected in its instructions. Now whether it is an apt description for “mindfulness” is more an academic concern and a matter of semantics, than a real practical consideration. You can tell by the way The Heart of Buddhist Meditation is written that he was strongly grounded in its practice, and that’s what is of importance from a practice point of view.
"

I just ran across a further bit of information about Nyanaponika's use of "bare awareness" in:
"Mindfulness Revisited: A Buddhist-Based Conceptualization"
    by Ronald E. Purser and Joseph Milillo
(mentioned above: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5700969#_19_message_5702439)

p.10
"Bhikkhu Bodhi, a Theravadin monk, Buddhist scholar, and translator of major texts from the Pāli Canon, as well as a long-time student of Nyanaponika Thera (whom Weick and Putnam rely on for many of their descriptions), noted that Nyanaponika never intended for mindfulness (sati) to be translated as “bare attention.”10"

Footnote 10:
"Bhikkhu Bodhi (2006) recalled that when Ven. Nyanaponika would read statements about “bare attention” as interpreted by some of the neo-Vipassanā teachers, he would sometimes shake his head and say, in effect, “But that’s not what I meant at all!” (p. 7)."

Your statement (above) is correct in that practice is the bottom line. Also in pointing to the issue of samma-sati (original mindfulness) as often, these days, gets lost in the appropriation of the term 'mindfulness' in senses that actually have more to do with an ethically neutral sort of attention-control training, and that neither G. Buddha nor Thera Nyanaponika would want to have anything to do with.

It does involve concerns as to study (academic) and meaning (semantics), but these concerns are "real" in the sense that semantic sloppiness and even intentional exploitational misinterpretation are becoming the dominant image of 'mindfulness' for hundreds of millions of people just now getting to know the term in senses contrary to the original meaning(s).

(That article cited above is about the best at pointing all that out, particularly the mis-interpretated 'mindfulness' as now broadly being applied in commercial and military spheres. And the article goes in detail into the various Pali terms relating to sati, e.g. sampajjana, maniskara, etc.)

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/24/15 2:12 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
howdy friends,
i just wanted to post a small praise of the Satipatthana Sutta and my recommendation of it as both a base of great personal knowlege and an excellent basis for both individual sits and as a long term guide to progress.

i love its comprehensive and progressive format, moving from the gross to the subtle and sweeping the range of the buddhas insights and lists.

for my money the far and away best treatment and interpretation of it was done by the venerable analyo in his book Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization http://www.amazon.com/Satipatthana-The-Direct-Path-Realization/dp/1899579540


An as far as I can tell a legal free copy of this book can be downloaded here.
http://www.budaedu.org/ebooks/6-EN.php
scroll down to EN345.

With Love
Eelco

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/25/15 12:47 AM as a reply to Eelco ten Have.
re: Eelco ten Have (3/24/15 2:12 PM as a reply to tom moylan.)

"An as far as I can tell a legal free copy of this book can be downloaded here.
http://www.budaedu.org/ebooks/6-EN.php
scroll down to EN345."


Nice catch, Eelco. Lots of good stuff at that site.

True enough, PDF texts offered at that site are "…printed and donated for free distribution…" by a Buddhist educational foundation in Taiwan. and "… strictly for free distribution, it is not for sale."

I recall that Analayo is "… researcher at Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Taiwan." (from wikipedia bio), and works closely with Chinese scholars on studying the 'agamas' (Chinese correlates to the Pali Canon).

Had I only known a year ago, could have saved $30 buying my copy of his first Satitthana book.

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/25/15 6:04 AM as a reply to Chris M.
Chris M:
Nicky:
There is no term in Pali that equates to bare attention.

Yes I think you are right Nicky. Mindfulness is an very inadequate term for Sati too.

I did not say 'mindfulness' is inadequate. 'Mindfulness' is fine.

I recently provided the following anology to a person has similar ideas of 'bare awareness':

There is an out door banquet of food. Your job is the watch over the food and to not allow flies to settle on the food. Your job is to fan the flies off the food or squat the flies. Mindfulness is not watching the food. Mindfulness is also not fanning or squating the flies.

Mindfulness is remembering each time a flies goes near to food to wave the fly away.

The goal of Buddhist meditation is to be aware of breath/body, feelings, mental states & dhammas. Yet mindfulness is not awareness itself but, instead, remembering to be aware (rather than being forgetful & distracted).

While employing mindfulness certainly leads to bare (non-judging; non-clinging) awareness,  mindfulness is not bare awareness itself.

This distinction is very subtle and requires introspection. emoticon

~~What is sammasati? Sati means to bear in mind or bring to mind. Sati is the state of recollecting, the state of remembering, the state of non-fading, the state of non-forgetting. [Vbh.105, 286]

 

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/26/15 8:22 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:

I recently provided the following anology to a person has similar ideas of 'bare awareness':

There is an out door banquet of food. Your job is the watch over the food and to not allow flies to settle on the food. Your job is to fan the flies off the food or squat the flies. Mindfulness is not watching the food. Mindfulness is also not fanning or squating the flies.

Mindfulness is remembering each time a flies goes near to food to wave the fly away.

The goal of Buddhist meditation is to be aware of breath/body, feelings, mental states & dhammas. Yet mindfulness is not awareness itself but, instead, remembering to be aware (rather than being forgetful & distracted).

While employing mindfulness certainly leads to bare (non-judging; non-clinging) awareness,  mindfulness is not bare awareness itself.

This distinction is very subtle and requires introspection. emoticon

~~What is sammasati? Sati means to bear in mind or bring to mind. Sati is the state of recollecting, the state of remembering, the state of non-fading, the state of non-forgetting. [Vbh.105, 286]

 

So, good concentration is apparent when the flies never get between me and the food?

And good mindfulness is apparent when I manage to notice when the fly is on the food within a short time?

I've got more questions about this, but I wanna take this slow. emoticon

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/26/15 10:45 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Atapi (on top of it, dutiful, ardent) sampajano (alert, attentive) satima (remember, keep in mind) are the three factors for establishing reference to phenomena. The four reference points or foundations to/of our experience are body and feeling mind and mental qualities. And the reason we are relating to phenomena in this way is to bring about a sense of dispassion, disenchantment for clinging to that which is incostant & stressful and therby not fit to be regarded as I, me, or mine. As a result craving ceases and one knows release. This is the Buddhas response to all your integration questions. Samsara spins in opposition to the wheel of Dharma, as dharma leads one out of refreshing those feedback loops 

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/26/15 4:32 PM as a reply to Ross Alan Keller.
Ross Alan Keller:
...sampajano (alert, attentive)...

Sorry to bang the same drum but 'sampajanno' (similar to the Pali words 'panna' and 'nana') refers to wisdom.

Excellent 4 minute video here about: 'Sati Sampajanna': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAWoQuw89Tc

~~The second dhamma is sampajanna.  Sampajanna is wisdom as it meets up with and immediately confronts a problem, as it deals with and wipes out that problem -- this is wisdom-in-action. It is only that wisdom specifically related and applied to a particular situation or event. Nonetheless, you may have come across a variety of translations for "sampajanna," which can be rather confusing. We recommend that you remember it as "wisdom-in-action." Even better, learn the Pali word about which there is no doubt. The word "wisdom" encompasses many meanings and understandings, we can't even begin to estimate its content. However, the word "sampajanna" is far more limited in its meaning. It is exactly that wisdom directly needed for the problem that confronts us. Active wisdom isn't general, it is a matter of particulars

~~We can compare Dhamma with the medicine chest in our house. In it we store a wide variety of drugs, pills, capsules, ointments, powders, and syrups for possible use. When we're actually sick, we must choose from among the many the one drug which will be effective in treating our ailment. We can't take them all; we take just what is needed to cure our illness here and now. The same is true for Dhamma.

Understand that there's an incredible amount of what we call Dhamma and paññä , but that we only apply a little bit at a time. We apply just that portion which can take care of the immediate situation. Know how to use the Dhamma, the paññä , which is exactly relevant to our situation and problem. The Dhamma or wisdom which controls that situation and problem is what we call "sampajanna."

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Natural_Cure_for_Spiritual_Disease2.htm



RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/27/15 7:28 AM as a reply to Nicky.
re: Nicky (3/25/15 6:04 AM as a reply to Chris M.)

"The goal of Buddhist meditation is to be aware of breath/body, feelings, mental states & dhammas. Yet mindfulness is not awareness itself but, instead, remembering to be aware (rather than being forgetful & distracted).  While employing mindfulness certainly leads to bare (non-judging; non-clinging) awareness,  mindfulness is not bare awareness itself."

The use of words has umptine subtle dimensions.

Nyanaponika's original use of "bare awareness" was proto, pre-sati, referring to the Abhidhammic micro-mind moment when attention "adverts" to stimulus ("sensation"), prior to recognition, naming, associations, and any (kammic or purely "functional") processing and registration. Sati, on a totally other level, is a multi-aspected complex fabrication.

In the sense (Nicky's) that sati leads to bare/non-judging etc. awareness, at the other end of a spectrum, "bare" here, I propose, refers to phenomena being clearly comprehended, not sullied by delusional proliferation, and in the same way "non-judging" as not superimposing delusional value (desirability, attachment).

On the other hand, sati encompasses remembering to attend carefully, and to discern (another sense of 'judging') skillful from not-so-skillful opportunities for action (intention).

The use of words (verbal intention and activity) is a prime example of where sati can, should be exercised.

(Anyone here not familiar with Than-Geof's humorous anecdote about signs one sees in the wilds of Alaska, alerting people to be mindful along the lines of "bear awareness"?)

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/27/15 7:58 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
re: Nicky (3/25/15 6:04 AM as a reply to Chris M.)

"The goal of Buddhist meditation is to be aware of breath/body, feelings, mental states & dhammas. Yet mindfulness is not awareness itself but, instead, remembering to be aware (rather than being forgetful & distracted).  While employing mindfulness certainly leads to bare (non-judging; non-clinging) awareness,  mindfulness is not bare awareness itself."

The use of words has umptine subtle dimensions.

Nyanaponika's original use of "bare awareness" was proto, pre-sati, referring to the Abhidhammic micro-mind moment when attention "adverts" to stimulus ("sensation"), prior to recognition, naming, associations, and any (kammic or purely "functional") processing and registration. Sati, on a totally other level, is a multi-aspected complex fabrication.


Unrelated to the use of words. Instead, it pertains to how one actually practises. If one thinks the practise is about "being aware", then one will actively try to look at objects, in a manner that is "staring", like a rigid zombie. But if one thinks the practise is about being "mindful of the dhamma", i.e., abandoning craving & clinging according to the Noble Truths, then one will merely & only practise letting go, without any effort to look at objects. This results in an enormous different in the method of practise. To enter the stream or be the stream, the mind must be fluid rather than rigid.

As for the elder German monk, if "bare awareness" is pre-sati, why equate 'original luminous mind' (pabhassara citta) with sati? emoticon

RE: In Praise of the Satipatthana Sutta
Answer
3/27/16 6:54 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
Chris J Macie:
re: Nicky (3/25/15 6:04 AM as a reply to Chris M.)

"The goal of Buddhist meditation is to be aware of breath/body, feelings, mental states & dhammas. Yet mindfulness is not awareness itself but, instead, remembering to be aware (rather than being forgetful & distracted).  While employing mindfulness certainly leads to bare (non-judging; non-clinging) awareness,  mindfulness is not bare awareness itself."

The use of words has umptine subtle dimensions.

Nyanaponika's original use of "bare awareness" was proto, pre-sati, referring to the Abhidhammic micro-mind moment when attention "adverts" to stimulus ("sensation"), prior to recognition, naming, associations, and any (kammic or purely "functional") processing and registration. Sati, on a totally other level, is a multi-aspected complex fabrication.


Unrelated to the use of words. Instead, it pertains to how one actually practises. If one thinks the practise is about "being aware", then one will actively try to look at objects, in a manner that is "staring", like a rigid zombie. But if one thinks the practise is about being "mindful of the dhamma", i.e., abandoning craving & clinging according to the Noble Truths, then one will merely & only practise letting go, without any effort to look at objects. This results in an enormous different in the method of practise. To enter the stream or be the stream, the mind must be fluid rather than rigid.

As for the elder German monk, if "bare awareness" is pre-sati, why equate 'original luminous mind' (pabhassara citta) with sati? emoticon
Hello everyone!!

Okay, a year and a day, or two days have passed, leap year?  Anyway, whatever Bare Attention is actually called, the actual experience and use of it is of great benefit for abandoning craving and clinging.  Does this section below clear up what Nyanaponika Thera meant by bare attention a little better??  
In ordinary life, if mindfulness, or attention, is directed to any object, it is rarely sustained long enough for the purpose of careful and factual observation. Generally it is followed immediately by emotional reaction, discriminative thought, reflection, or purposeful action. In a life and thought governed by the Buddha's teaching too, mindfulness (sati) is mostly linked with clear comprehension (sampajañña) of the right purpose or suitability of an action, and other considerations. Thus again it is not viewed in itself. But to tap the actual and potential power of mindfulness it is necessary to understand and deliberately cultivate it in its basic, unalloyed form, which we shall call bare attention.

By bare attention we understand the clear and single-minded awareness of what actually happens to us and in us, at the successive moments of perception. It is called "bare" because it attends to the bare facts of a perception without reacting to them by deed, speech or mental comment. Ordinarily, that purely receptive state of mind is, as we said, just a very brief phase of the thought process of which one is often scarcely aware. But in the methodical development of mindfulness aimed at the unfolding of its latent powers, bare attention is sustained for as long a time as one's strength of concentration permits. Bare attention then becomes the key to the meditative practice of satipatthana, opening the door to mind's mastery and final liberation.

Bare attention is developed in two ways: (1) as a methodical meditative practice with selected objects; (2) as applied, as far as practicable, to the normal events of the day, together with a general attitude of mindfulness and clear comprehension. The details of the practice have been described elsewhere, and need not be repeated here.[1]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/wheel121.html


The practice point is right during vedana arising and just before tanha arises in Dependent Origination, that is the abandoment or cessation point.  Training the mind to stay there is the whole trick, this is a key , if not the key, to the cessation of Dukkha in the mind moment stream.
This is not a philosophical statement or anything, I am really trying to point to something that is of benefit.

Psi