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Book: The Satipaṭṭhānasutta

Chapter: Contemplation of Phenomena (dhammānupassanā)

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44666


Chapter 5, the most extensive of all, takes up the contemplation of mental and physical phenomena (dhamma). Firstly, the five hindrances (i.e., sense desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, and doubt) that commonly arise in meditation practice are introduced, the causes and conditions for their arising are outlined, and their relation to the five faculties and the five factors of meditative absorption (jhāna) are discussed. Then the five aggregates of clinging are comprehensively examined and how, if not mindfully observed, they allow the defilements to arise and proliferate. A large section is dedicated to the sense spheres and the fetters (saṃyojana) that arise within them. The differences between fetters, defilements (kilesa) and taints (āsava) are discussed and then each of the ten fetters is separately examined. This chapter also includes important discussions on the contemplation of the seven factors of awakening which, when fully developed, are the foundation for liberation. The last section of this chapter presents the well-known four noble truths, paying special attention to the noble eightfold path.

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