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Book: The Satipaṭṭhānasutta

Chapter: Contemplation of the Body (kāyānupassanā)

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44663


Chapter 2 presents the contemplation of the body (kāya); a major focus here is on the mindfulness of breathing. Special attention is paid to the interpretation of an enigmatic recurring passage in the Satipaṭṭhānasutta, instructing meditators to approach contemplation in different ways (i.e., contemplating either internally or externally or both, while paying attention to the arising or passing away of phenomena or both). Following on from this, other areas of the contemplation of the body are discussed: mindfulness of ways of movement (i.e., walking, standing, sitting, lying down) and clear comprehension of bodily activities. The last section discusses areas of mindfulness less practised today: the troublesomeness of the body, the four material elements along with an understanding of materiality in Buddhism and, finally, comments on contemplation of dead bodies.

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