The Discourse about the Ways of Attending to Mindfulness

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Contemplation of (the Nature of) Things

The Section about the Factors of Awakening

Moreover, monks, a monk dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things, in the seven factors of Awakening. Bojjhaṅga > Bodhy + aṅga, Bodhi + aṅga. From √ budh, the primal meaning of which is to awaken. Through development bodhi also means to understand, hence the alternative translation Enlightenment. The commentary allows for both meanings: the seven harmonious qualities by which he completely awakens, rises from the sleep of the corruptions, or penetrates the Truths, those harmonious qualities are (called) Complete Awakening.01

And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things, in the seven factors of Awakening? When we look at the structure of this section we can see that it follows the same model as the Hindrances above. These two sections appear to be the earliest and most original form of the Dhammānupassanā, to which the others were later added in the centuries following the parinibbāna.02

Here, monks, a monk having the Mindfulness factor of Complete Awakening in himself knows “there is the Mindfulness factor of Complete Awakening in myself”; or, not having the Mindfulness factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is no Mindfulness factor of Complete Awakening in myself”. How there is an arising of the Mindfulness factor of Complete Awakening that has not arisen – that he knows; and how there is fulfilment of the development of the Mindfulness factor of Complete Awakening that has arisen – that also he knows.

Having the Investigation of the (nature) of things Again here we can see a play on words, because dhamma, which is the Teaching of Lord Buddha, is also the true nature of things, and ultimately they are not different from one another, but in translation we have to choose the meaning that is most important to convey.03 factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is the Investigation of the (nature) of things factor of Complete Awakening in myself”; or, not having the Investigation of the (nature) of things factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is no Investigation of the (nature) of things factor of Complete Awakening in myself”. How there is an arising of the Investigation of the (nature) of things factor of Complete Awakening that has not arisen – that he knows; and how there is fulfilment of the development of the Investigation of the (nature) of things factor of Complete Awakening that has arisen (until) it comes to fulfilment SN Bojjhaṅgasaṁyuttaṁ (46.2) asks how this factor comes to fulfilment, and answers: there are, monks, things that are wholesome and unwholesome, blameworthy and blameless, despicable and excellent, things that resemble the dark and the bright, herein he should be one who makes much of wise reflection (on these things).04 –that also he knows.

Having the Energy factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is the Energy factor of Complete Awakening in myself”; or, not having the Energy factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is no Energy factor of Complete Awakening in myself”. How there is an arising of the Energy factor of Complete Awakening that has not arisen – that he knows; and how there is fulfilment of the development of the Energy factor of Complete Awakening that has arisen – that also he knows.

Having the Joyful-Interest factor of Complete Awakening Comm: these eleven things lead to the arising of the Joyful-Interest factor of Complete Awakening: recollection of the Buddha; recollection of the Dhamma, Saṅgha, virtue, generosity, and the gods; recollection of peace; avoidance of rough people; association with admirable people; reflection on discourses that inspire confidence; and being intent upon it (not: the inclination towards joy, as translated in Way [pg. 163], which is too passive - deliberately cultivating it is what is meant). Pīti is defined as fivefold: slight joyful-interest, momentary joyful-interest, reoccurring joyful-interest, transporting joyful-interest, suffusing joyful-interest. The common translation of pīti as rapture would seem to apply only to the last of these.05 in himself he knows “there is the Joy factor of Complete Awakening in myself”; or, not having the Joyful-Interest factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is no Joyful-Interest factor of Complete Awakening in myself”. How there is an arising of the Joyful-Interest factor of Complete Awakening that has not arisen – that he knows; and how there is fulfilment of the development of the Joyful-Interest factor of Complete Awakening that has arisen – that also he knows.

Having the Calmness Passaddhi is derived from the verb passambhati, calms, quiets, allays. Another word used in this discourse from the same root is passambhayaṁ (present participle from causative passambheti) in the Ānāpānapabbaṁ at the beginning of the Contemplation of the Body section.06 factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is the Calmness factor of Complete Awakening in myself”; or, not having the Calmness factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is no Calmness factor of Complete Awakening in myself”. How there is an arising of the Calmness factor of Complete Awakening that has not arisen – that he knows; and how there is fulfilment of the development of the Calmness factor of Complete Awakening that has arisen – that also he knows.

Having the Concentration factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is the Concentration factor of Complete Awakening in myself”; or, not having the Concentration factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is no Concentration factor of Complete Awakening in myself”. How there is an arising of the Concentration factor of Complete Awakening that has not arisen – that he knows; and how there is fulfilment of the development of the Concentration factor of Complete Awakening that has arisen – that also he knows.

Having the Equanimity factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is the Equanimity factor of Complete Awakening in myself”; or, not having the Equanimity factor of Complete Awakening in himself he knows “there is no Equanimity factor of Complete Awakening in myself”. How there is an arising of the Equanimity factor of Complete Awakening that has not arisen – that he knows; and how there is fulfilment of the development of the Equanimity factor of Complete Awakening that has arisen – that also he knows.

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Thus he dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things in regard to himself, or he dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things in regard to others, or he dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things in regard to himself and in regard to others, or he dwells contemplating the nature of origination in things, or he dwells contemplating the nature of dissolution in things, or he dwells contemplating the nature of origination and dissolution in things, or else mindfulness that “there are (various) things” is established in him just as far as (is necessary for) a full measure of knowledge and a full measure of mindfulness, and he dwells independent, and without being attached to anything in the world.

In this way, monks, a monk dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things, in the seven Factors of Awakening.

The Section about the Factors of Awakening is Finished