Obsolete: Mindfulness in Bodily Activities

See: Exercises: Discerning the Body

Reference: The 12 Aspects of Mindfulness

After practicing some mindfulness with regard to breathing, one may start practicing mindfulness with regard to rest of the body.

Here are some excerpts from Satipatthana Sutta: The Foundations of Mindfulness.

(1)   Being aware of Body’s disposition

“And further, monks, a monk knows, when he is going, ‘I am going’; he knows, when he is standing, ‘I am standing’; he knows, when he is sitting, ‘I am sitting’; he knows, when he is lying down, ‘I am lying down’; or just as his body is disposed so he knows it.”

(2)   Clearly comprehending Body’s activity

“And further, monks, a monk, in going forward and back, applies clear comprehension; in looking straight on and looking away, he applies clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, he applies clear comprehension; in wearing robes and carrying the bowl, he applies clear comprehension; in eating, drinking, chewing and savoring, he applies clear comprehension; in walking, in standing, in sitting, in falling asleep, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, he applies clear comprehension.”

(3)   Reflecting on the composition of the Body

“And further, monks, a monk reflects on this very body enveloped by the skin and full of manifold impurity, from the soles up, and from the top of the head-hairs down, thinking thus: ‘There are in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidney, heart, liver, midriff, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucus, synovial fluid, urine.’
“Just as if there were a double-mouthed provision bag full of various kinds of grain such as hill paddy, paddy, green gram, cow-peas, sesamum, and husked rice, and a man with sound eyes, having opened that bag, were to take stock of the contents thus: ‘This is hill paddy, this is paddy, this is green gram, this is cow-pea, this is sesamum, this is husked rice.’ Just so, monks, a monk reflects on this very body enveloped by the skin and full of manifold impurity, from the soles up, and from the top of the head-hairs down, thinking thus: ‘There are in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidney, heart, liver, midriff, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucus, synovial fluid, urine.’”

(4)   Reflecting on Material Elements

“And further, monks, a monk reflects on this very body, however it be placed or disposed, by way of the material elements: ‘There are in this body the element of earth, the element of water, the element of fire, the element of wind.’
“Just as if, monks, a clever cow-butcher or his apprentice, having slaughtered a cow and divided it into portions, should be sitting at the junction of four high roads, in the same way, a monk reflects on this very body, as it is placed or disposed, by way of the material elements: ‘There are in this body the elements of earth, water, fire, and wind.’”

(5)   Contemplating upon the Impermanence of Body

“(a) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body dead one, two, or three days; swollen, blue and festering, thrown in the charnel ground, he then applies this perception to his own body thus: ‘Verily, also my own body is of the same nature; such it will become and will not escape it.’
“(b) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground, being eaten by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals or by different kinds of worms, he then applies this perception to his own body thus: ‘Verily, also my own body is of the same nature; such it will become and will not escape it.’
“(c) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton with some flesh and blood attached to it, held together by the tendons…
“(d) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton blood-besmeared and without flesh, held together by the tendons…
“(e) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton without flesh and blood, held together by the tendons…
“(f) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to disconnected bones, scattered in all directions here a bone of the hand, there a bone of the foot, a shin bone, a thigh bone, the pelvis, spine and skull…
“(g) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground, reduced to bleached bones of conch like color…
“(h) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground reduced to bones, more than a year-old, lying in a heap…
“(i) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground, reduced to bones gone rotten and become dust, he then applies this perception to his own body thus: ‘Verily, also my own body is of the same nature; such it will become and will not escape it.’”

(6)   Adjunct to each of the contemplations above

“Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: “The body exists,” to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.”
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EXERCISE

PURPOSE:   To practice mindfulness in bodily activities.

  1. At all times be aware of the disposition of your body.

    In the words of Buddha:
    • Know, when you are going, “I am going”;
    • Know, when you are standing, “I am standing”;
    • Know, when you are sitting, “I am sitting”;
    • Know, when you are lying down, “I am lying down”;
    • Or just as your body is disposed so you know it.
  2. Carry out the activities of the body with clear comprehension.

    In the words of Buddha, apply clear comprehension
    • in going forward and back;
    • in looking straight on and looking away;
    • in bending and in stretching;
    • in wearing robes and carrying the bowl;
    • in eating, drinking, chewing and savoring;
    • in walking, in standing, in sitting, in falling asleep, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence.
  3. Reflect on the composition of the body, what the body is enveloped by, and what is inside it.

    In the words of Buddha, reflect on the body thinking thus: 
    ‘There are in this body
    • hair of the head,
    • hair of the body,
    • nails, teeth, skin, flesh,
    • sinews, bones, marrow, kidney,
    • heart, liver, midriff, spleen,
    • lungs, intestines, mesentery, gorge,
    • feces, bile, phlegm, pus,
    • blood, sweat, fat, tears,
    • grease, saliva, nasal mucus,
    • synovial fluid, urine.’
  4. Reflect on the material elements (Solidity, Fluidity, Heat and Motion) of the body.

    In the words of Buddha, reflect on the body by way of the material elements:
    ‘There are in this body
    • the element of earth,
    • the element of water,
    • the element of fire,
    • the element of wind.’
  5. Contemplate upon the impermanence of your own body as and when you come across instances of death.

    In the words of Buddha:
    ‘Verily, also my own body is of the same nature; such it will become and will not escape it…’
    • a body dead one, two, or three days; swollen, blue and festering, thrown in the charnel ground, 
    • a body thrown in the charnel ground, being eaten by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals or by different kinds of worms, 
    • a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton with some flesh and blood attached to it, held together by the tendons,
    • a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton blood-besmeared and without flesh, held together by the tendons,
    • a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton without flesh and blood, held together by the tendons,
    • a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to disconnected bones, scattered in all directions here a bone of the hand, there a bone of the foot, a shin bone, a thigh bone, the pelvis, spine and skull,
    • a body thrown in the charnel ground, reduced to bleached bones of conch like color,
    • a body thrown in the charnel ground reduced to bones, more than a year-old, lying in a heap,
    • a body thrown in the charnel ground, reduced to bones gone rotten and become dust.
  6. Do not add anything to this exercise, such as,

    • Harboring specific expectations
    • Making the mind blank
    • Suppressing thoughts, feelings and emotions
  7. Continue contemplating the body, for what it is, internally and/or as observed externally.

  8. Be mindful of the origination factors in the body, and/or the dissolution factors in the body.

  9. Be mindful that body exists to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness.

  10. Live detached, and cling to nothing in the world.

  11. Let  this exercise be effortless. 

  12. Do this exercise until it becomes a natural part of you.

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Further references: KHTK Mindfulness

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Comments

  • vinaire  On September 20, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    I have revised this MINDFULNESS IN BODILY ACTIVITIES Exercise to adhere more closely to what Buddha recommended.

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