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(Skt.; Pāli, satipaṭṭhāna). ‘The establishment of mindfulness’. One of the most ancient and fundamental schemes of meditational practice. As taught in the Pāli Canon, the practice consists of attending mindfully to four things in turn: the body (kāya), feelings (vedanā), mind (citta) and mental concepts (dhammā). The meditator focuses on the four with ‘clear comprehension’ (sampajañña) paying attention to the various physical and mental processes that are taking place. Through observing the rising and passing away of physical, emotional, and mental phenomena the meditator comes to understand that there is no eternal self or soul (ātman) and that his identity is composed of temporary configurations of impermanent elements.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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