Satipatthana Sutta Translation

A POETIC

INTERPRETIVE

TRANSLATION

OF THE

SATIPATTHANA SUTTA

 

©2017 Jason Siff (originally self-published in 1997)

All rights reserved. Permission must be obtained to use this material in any form whatsoever, including public readings, study groups, or Dharma groups.

Parts One, Two, & Three will be published at a later date. Here is Part Four:

 

1

How does

a person

meditate

as one who looks deeply into

fundamental truths within mental processes?

Here,

he meditates

on the five-walled cage

that imprisons him in samsara.

How does

a person

meditate

to remove the walls of this cage?

He knows,

I am seeking out sensual pleasures,

or causing harm,

or becoming apathetic and lazy,

active and care-worn,

or doubting

the truth of this teaching.

I know when one of these barriers is present,

that it is present,

and when one of them is absent,

that it is absent.

I know how it is,

that when one of these has not yet arisen,

it will arise again;

and how it is,

when arisen,

it will be abandoned;

and how it is

when completely abandoned,

it will not arise

ever again.

 

2

Here,

On another aspect of this practice,

a person

meditates

as one who looks deeply into

the fundamental truth within the process

of becoming

and possessing

the five aggregates.

How?

This is my physical form;

it has an origin

and an end.

This is my ability to feel;

it too has an origin

and an end.

This is my ability to perceive;

it too has an origin

and an end.

This is my way of being;

it too has an origin

and an end.

This is my knower of the field;

it too has an origin

and an end.

 

3

How does

a person

meditate

as one who looks deeply into

the fundamental truth of the process

of the six

internal and external

realms.

He knows

the organ of sight

and visual objects;

the organ of hearing

and sounds;

the organ of smell

and scents;

the organ of taste

and flavors;

the organ of touch

and sensations;

the organ of mind

and its cognitions.

He knows

that upon both parts of each pair

coming together,

in an instant,

a trap ensnares him.

He knows

this process:

the arising of

the dormant traps,

the abandoning of

the arisen traps,

and the non-arising of

the abandoned traps

ever again.

 

4

How does

a person

meditate

as one who looks deeply into

the fundamental truth of

the process

of the seven limbs

of wisdom?

He knows

when he is aware,

now

and in recollection.

He knows

when he is

investigating into the true nature

of his experience.

He knows

when he is

courageous

and applies himself.

He knows

when he is

flooded with purified

feelings of rapture.

He knows

when he is

calmed, comfortable

and at peace inwardly.

He knows

when he is

within a higher state

of consciousness,

his mind unified,

absorbed,

malleable and light.

And he knows

when he is

looking on,

peacefully,

with wisdom guiding

his vision.

He knows,

When any one of these

limbs of wisdom

is within me,

it leads me onward.

And when none of these

limbs of wisdom

are within me,

I remain where I am.

He knows

how a dormant

limb of wisdom

comes to arise,

and how

an arisen limb of wisdom

can be made to flourish

thoroughly

and fully.

 

5

On another aspect of this practice,

a person

meditates

as one who looks deeply into

the fundamental truth of

the four-fold knowledge

of his noble quest.

What are the four truths

of his noble quest?

He knows,

as a truth

anchored deep within his heart,

Knowing reveals pain.

He knows,

This pain has its source.

He knows,

This pain has its death.

And

He knows,

This is the path that ends this pain.

 

 

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