The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta is the most influential scripture in Buddhist meditation. It is the foundation text for the modern schools of ‘vipassanā’ or ‘insight’ meditation. The well-known Pali discourse is, however, only one of many early Buddhist texts that deal with mindfulness. This is the first full-scale study to encompass all extant versions of the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, taking into account the dynamic evolution of the Buddhist scriptures and the broader Indian meditative culture. A new vision emerges from this groundbreaking study: mindfulness is not a system of ‘dry insight’ but is the ‘way to convergence’ leading the mind to deep states of peace.
Serenity and insight are the two great wings of Buddhist meditation. They each have a special role to play in the path to Awakening. While some modern approaches seek to marginalize serenity in favor of ‘dry’ insight, the Buddha’s own discourses place serenity right at the center of the path. This book collects virtually all the significant passages on this topic that are found in the early discourses, carefully elucidated for the modern reader.
How monastics, especially nuns, are trained at Santi Forest Monastery, in accordance with the original Vinaya, and incorporating the best modern practices.
The basis of insight meditation is the contemplation of impermanence, suffering, and not-self. Yet even here we are faced with a tricky interpretive problem: for while all saṅkhāras are said to be impermanent and suffering, all dhammas are said to be not-self. Why this subtle, enigmatic shift, and what are the implications for meditation?
While the Satipaṭṭhana Sutta is often claimed to be the most important of the Buddha’s teachings, close textual analysis reveals that it is a composite text, with substantial differences between the many existing versions. The use of the fundamental term dhamma in fact reveals the text to be part of the early Abhidhamma movement.
Fifteen hundred years ago, Buddhist nuns from Sri Lanka braved the long sea voyage to China in order to introduce the authentic bhikkhuni ordination lineage. Here are their stories, translated from the ancient Chinese histories.