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Satipaṭṭhāna

Satipaṭṭhāna (Pāli, sati-upaṭṭhāna, ‘the establishing or setting up of mindfulness’; Skt., smṛtiupasthāna). The system of meditation based on mindfulness (sati), set forth by the Buddha in a discourse (sutta) of that name (Dīgha Nikāya 2. 290–315; Majjhima Nikāya 1. 55–63), and regarded as the one scheme of practice indispensable to the realization of nirvāna. It consists of mindfulness directed successively upon the four objects which together represent the total range of the individual's experience of himself: his body (kāya), feelings (vedanā), mind (citta), and mental concepts (dhamma).

The practice of satipaṭṭhāna counteracts the tendency to confuse the ego with the body, feelings, mind and mental concepts by disclosing just ‘the body in the body, feelings in feelings, mind in mind, and mental concepts in mental concepts’. Consequently, traits of the ego's behaviour resulting from this confusion, such as discontent (domanassa), dissolve away. They are replaced by a correct comprehension (jñāṇa) and recollection (paṭissati) of the way things are.

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