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Kāyagatāsati Sutta

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Kāyagatāsati Sutta

Preached at Jetavana, on how to cultivate mindfulness of body so that it may produce abundant fruit and the ten blessings that result there from (M.iii.88ff).

This sutta, like the ānāpāpa, is really only a sectional presentation of the Satipatthāna Sutta.

For the special nature of this sutta see the Vibhanga Commentary (p.226).



The Kāyagatāsati Sutta (Skt. Kāyasmṛti; Mindfulness Immersed in the Body, MN 119) is a Pali Buddhist Sutta which outlines the development of mindfulness through contemplation of the body in order to reach Jhana.

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Summary

The Kayagatasati sutta stresses the need for constant awareness of the body's position, "When walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.' When standing, he discerns, 'I am standing.' When sitting, he discerns, 'I am sitting.' When lying down, he discerns, 'I am lying down. The Sutta also outlines the practice of "reflections on repulsiveness of the body" (Patikulamanasikara). In this practice a meditator reflects on various parts of the body (nails, hair, bodily organs, fluids) and noting their impurity. The Sutta also recommends meditation on the impermanence of the body and death by contemplating human corpses in various states of decomposition. "Furthermore, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground — one day, two days, three days dead — bloated, livid, & festering, he applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate'". The Sutta then explains the attainment of the first four rupa Jhanas, states of calm concentration reached through meditation.

Finally, the Sutta outlines the ten benefits of these practices which are as follows:

        (1) Conquering displeasure & delight
        (2) Conquering fear & dread
        (3) Resistance to temperature, pain and the elements.
        (4) Attainment of the four Jhanas
        (5) "Manifold supranormal powers" (ex. walking on water, walking through walls)
        (6) Supernatural hearing
        (7) Psychic powers - knowing the "awareness of other beings"
        (8) Recollection of past lives
        (9) Seeing "by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human"
        (10) "Through the ending of the mental effluents, he remains in the effluent-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known and made them manifest for himself right in the here & now."

Source

Wikipedia:Kāyagatāsati Sutta