Exploring the Four Satipatthanas [Audio]

Exploring the Four Satipatthanas, by Bhikkhu Analayo:

We are aware of the body in the sitting posture. And we allow the mind to rest in the body, just as the body rests in the cushion. This is the hub of the wheel of our practice. Whole body awareness. That simple knowing, there is a body, there’s whole body awareness, you can maintain while moving through the four satipatthanas, and then moving on into the world as a support for the continuity of our mindfulness. Resting with mindfulness, on this whole body.

And without losing this whole body awareness, and when we do lose it, coming back to it, we move to through the four satipatthanas. We start with the three (3) body contemplations, ___, elements and ___ contemplations. We simplify, just take, skin, flesh and bones.

So we start with the skin. You’re aware of the skin in the head area. Today, we stand, you’re able to feel it, or just knowing it is there from the head, to the throat, neck, shoulders, both shoulders, simultaneously, the arm, upper arms, lower arms, hands, ___, skin, ___, front of the torso, upper part, lower part, back of the torso, upper part, lower part, hips, and the ___, skin, upper legs, lower legs, and feet. ___ this whole body is covered with skin.

Flesh, we start from the feet. Fleshy parts in the feet. Moving up, lower limbs, upper limbs, hips, inner torso, upper torso, both hands, lower arms, upper arms, shoulders, neck, and fleshy parts in the head. ___ this whole body in the sitting posture of the fleshy parts in this body, just flesh.

Bones. Starting from the head, in our way of our skull, neck bones, shoulder bones, upper arm, bones in the lower arm, bones in the hands, chest area, ___ spinal cord, bones in the upper area, in the upper leg, lower leg, and feet. And we are way of this whole body, of the bones of this whole body, of the skeleton. And we are way of this whole body, made up of skin, flesh, and bones. With the understanding, each of these parts of this body have an important function to keep the body alive, but none of them is sexually attractive. This body is not ___. It is not sexually attractive.

And we move on to the elements. Earth, water, fire, and wind. Hardness, fluidity in ___, temperature, and motion. Earth element—is found throughout the whole body, but the parts that we can most easily experience it are the bones. So we start again in our way of earth element in the head, in particularly evident in the skull, but ___ the whole head. Earth element in the head, and it moves down, shoulders, upper arms, lower arms, hands, upper torso, lower torso, hip area, upper limb, lower legs, and feet. And we are way of this whole body, the ___, solidity, earth element, ___.

Water—liquidity, fluidity, cohesion, found throughout our body, but particularly evident in the fleshy parts of the body. The blood, the different bodily liquids. Start from the feed, and way of the fact that it’s feed ___ by liquidity, fluidity, cohesion by the water element. And from the feet upwards, lower legs, upper legs, hips, lower torso, upper torso, hands, lower arms, upper arms, shoulders, neck, and head. And we are aware of this whole body in the sitting posture, provided by the water element– ___.

Fire element. Temperature, heat, warmth pervades the entire body, but we are particularly, easily to notice for us at the skin level. Start with the head, a way of the head, and a way of the head being provided by some temperature, some warmth or coolness, a way of temperature. As a manifestation of the fire element. From the head to the shoulders, upper arms, lower arms, hands, upper torso, lower torso, hips, upper legs, lower legs, and feet. And we are aware of this whole body in the sitting posture as pervaded by the fire element– ___.

Wind element. Any kind of motion. Wind element found throughout the whole body, but the part that you must easily can notice it is the breath. Start from the feet. A way of the fact that the feet ___ by motion by the wind element. From the feet, to the lower legs, upper legs, hips, lower torso, upper torso, hands, lower arms, upper arms, shoulders, neck, and head. And we are where of this whole body in the sitting posture, ___ by the wind element.

Earth, water, fire and wind. ___. This is the constitution of this body made up of the ___ four, exactly the same ___ nature outside, not different. Nothing special about this body. Nothing I can truly ___, just the process of solidity, fluidity, temperature and motion. ___ this body ___ it is not something I can ___, it is not something that provides us ___ from the creation of the sense of identity. This body ___, not self.

___ contemplation. Awareness of the mortality of this body. This body is going to die. This body is going to die. No escape. It is destined to die and fall apart. And if it will down in the open. It would go through the stages of decay, the ___ and the ___. And if you wish for a moment, any ___ of the images that you find useful. Maybe a skull or a skeleton, just to remind us what ___ nature of this body. And we are aware of the breath. When every inner ___, a way of the fact this could be my last breath. You can’t be sure. It could be the last.

And with every outbreath, we every escalation, we let go, we relax. Letting go, relax. If you find this practice is too agitating, make more emphasis on the outbreath. Just letting go and relaxing. If we find this practice is not really stirring up ___ mortality, make it more importance to the environment to the fact that this could be the last. And even if it is not the last, it is certainly one breath closer to death.

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