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MN.10 and The body in the body. - Dhamma Wheel

MN.10 and The body in the body.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
vinasp
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MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby vinasp » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:37 pm

Hi everyone,

The Satipatthana Sutta, The Foundation of Mindfulness MN.10

In the Middle Length Discourses, Bhikkhu Bodhi tranlates a certain sentence
as follows:

" What are the four? Here bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating the
body as a body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away
covetousness and grief for the world." [ page 145 ]

What is of interest to me here is the phrase : " ... the body as a body."
Are we certain that this is the correct translation?

Regards, Vincent.

chownah
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby chownah » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:55 am


vinasp
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby vinasp » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:17 am

Hi chownah, everyone,

In Thus Have I Heard, the Long Discourses of the Buddha, by Maurice Walshe,
he translates as follows:

" What are the four? Here, monks, a monk abides contemplating body
as body, (631) ardent, clearly aware and mindful, ..."

Note 631 reads:

" Kaye kayanupassi viharati : lit.'contemplating the body in the body',
and with similar repetitive formulations for the other three
'foundations'. ..."

The note continues by quoting an explanation by a commentator.

Walshe translates as 'body as the body' instead of the literal meaning.
Does anyone know of any translations which use the literal phrase 'the
body in the body'?

Regards, Vincent.

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Cittasanto
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:49 am

Translatord differ in how they translate based on several things, from personal preference to wording, or grammar, to there take on the validity of the commentaries, or philosophical understanding of the teachings, or there preference in regard to the philosophical model they use to understand the teachings, but do these translations really say anything different?
essentially no, they are saying "this is the way this reference is so contemplate it as such"!

I translate this line in two different ways

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati,
“Mendicants, in this existence, ‘a meditator abides contemplating the body as just a body,

or

Iti ajjhattaṃ vā kāye kāyānupassī viharati,
You should also abide contemplating the body as a collection of parts regarding yourselves (internally,) or

and my footnote to the first

An alternative translation of ‘kāye kāyānupassī viharati, etc.,’ maybe ‘abide contemplating the body in the body, etc.,’ which indicates that it is only, the specific reference being used that is the object, not another reference such as feelings, mental qualities, or mental phenomena. However, both translations indicate that it is just reference being referenced, not a male, female, ones own body… rather simply what it is, as it is.
A third alternative is given within the text, which I believe to be in-keeping with the 'insight' aspect, rather than the 'tranquillity' aspect reflected here.

The second translation is from the insight refrain within the body section and the first from the introduction, and both are essentially saying the same thing just the emphasis on the style of practice has changed because the actual section is obviously referring to a development of insight rather than the stock phrase of the introduction which could be used as a basis of practice for either but I felt having a more tranquillity slant more appropriate, as the phrase implies more to me this in the context, but this is just my personal interpretation, not that of the vast majority in regard to phraseology.

The words are known well enough and to some extent known through existing use within language (Thai and Sri Lankan languages (at least) are influenced by Pali or use pali words although in some cases the meaning has adapted through time) it is quite feasable to understand what is being said accurately, but the best way to be certain is to study the language itself there are a great many study books and courses which would be of assistance to this!


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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retrofuturist
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:10 am

Greetings,

I think whatever answer or approach one comes up with, it would need to be compatible also with the "internal" vs "external" vs "internally & externally" refrain that occurs in this sutta too.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby santa100 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:57 am

Footnotes from Nyanasatta Thera (ref: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nysa.html )

1. The repetition of the phrases 'contemplating the body in the body,' 'feelings in feelings,' etc. is meant to impress upon the meditator the importance of remaining aware whether, in the sustained attention directed upon a single chosen object, one is still keeping to it, and has not strayed into the field of another contemplation. For instance, when contemplating any bodily process, a meditator may unwittingly be side-tracked into a consideration of his feelings connected with that bodily process. He should then be clearly aware that he has left his original subject, and is engaged in the contemplation of feeling

4. 'Internally': contemplating his own breathing; 'externally': contemplating another's breathing; 'internally and externally': contemplating one's own and another's breathing, alternately, with uninterrupted attention. In the beginning one pays attention to one's own breathing only, and it is only in advanced stages that for the sake of practicing insight, one by inference at times pays attention also to another person's process of breathing.

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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby ground » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:53 am


chownah
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby chownah » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:09 am


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ground
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby ground » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:23 am

You may also interprete "internal" as meaning something like dwelling in the "experience from within" and "external" as meaning something like "analytically objectivying". In this way "experience from within" can only refer to oneself while "analytically objectivying" can refer to both oneself and others.

Kind regards

vinasp
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby vinasp » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:38 am

Hi everyone,

I think I see what this "internal body" is. The problem is finding the right
words to talk about it.

Everyone has a model of the world, and a model of their body. Without these
we would not be able to understand the world or act in an effective way.

This model is natural and harmless. But it can also be extended to include
misconceptions which result in suffering.

It is the extension which includes the misconceptions which needs to be
seen and understood.

I do not know if I should refer to this model as conceptual.

Ever since I first read the Satipatthana Sutta, I was puzzled as to how
awareness of the body would help to bring about enlightenment.

Now, it seems that it was never saying that at all. It was saying that one
should contemplate the internal ( conceptual? ) model of ones body.

Because that is where the misconceptions are.

I need to think about this. The idea is a new one for me, it came as a result
of some recent posts on another thread.

When discourses talk about there being "no eye", "no forms" and so on, I
speculated that they mean that the misconception of the eye, and the
misconception of forms, have ceased.

But these misconceptions do not exist on their own, they are part of a larger
model which is made of such misconceptions, hence an "internal" body.

Actually, an internal model of ones body and mind situated "inside" another
model of the external world.

Any criticism, suggestions or comments are most welcome.

Regards, Vincent.

chownah
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby chownah » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:49 am

Vinasp,
a comment
Instead of thinking that we have a model of the world maybe considering the Loka Suttas and the The All Sutta it would be better to consider that our entire experience of the world is a model.....and that really we have no way of knowing what it is modeling except to look at the model.....we create a model, call it the world, and then look at our model to try to determine what it is modeling. My view is that it is this process that we need to come to understand and not the contents of the model....I guess....but don't know for sure....just one view out of many....
chownah

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Cittasanto
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:52 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Sam Vara
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby Sam Vara » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:30 am

Retro's point that

"whatever answer or approach one comes up with, it would need to be compatible also with the "internal" vs "external" vs "internally & externally" refrain that occurs in this sutta too."

is a very important one, and I would like to hear more about how people see this. It might need to get dumped in a different thread.

Conceiving of the "internal" and "external" aspects of a body is possible, if we sort out what it refers to. It might mean the viscera and muscles as opposed to the skin; the sensations of the body as opposed to our conception of it; or the meditator's body as opposed to the bodies of others, either seen or recalled.

In the case of the other foundations of mindfulness which we are also required to focus upon, however, this seems less possible. For feelings, mind, and mental contents, there is no spatial inside and outside as there is for all bodies. The experience of some mental states would appear to be harder to differentiate from the conception of such states. And the mental states of others are (unless we talk in terms of inferences derived from their bodies and behaviours) inaccessible to me and most of those I know.

So any help as to the understanding of "internal"/"external" which is both meaningful and consistent across all four foundations?

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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby Brizzy » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:51 am

Ignorance is an intentional act.

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Cittasanto
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:46 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

vinasp
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby vinasp » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:43 pm

Hi everyone,

INTERNAL/ EXTERNAL

These are used in a special sense in the Satipatthana Sutta.

External means the actual thing, so "external body" means awareness of
the actual body.

Internal means the conceptual understanding of something, so "internal body"
means awareness of the conceptual understanding of the body.

The phrase "body in body" refers to either or both.

Regards, Vincent.

Brizzy
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby Brizzy » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:11 am

Ignorance is an intentional act.

vinasp
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby vinasp » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:08 am

Hi Brizzy,

Any textual (sutta) basis for my suggestion?

No, not that I am aware of, it was just a wild guess.

Regards, Vincent.

chownah
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby chownah » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:06 pm

vinasp,
I hope you take this as a kindly suggestion but it would be good if you could differentiate between what is a wild guess on your part and what is a statement declaring something to be a fact. For instance in the post the Brizzy asks about I really didn't have a clue that you were offering a wild guess with no scriptural support. I'm glad that Brizzy asked and you replied because I was getting ready to do a rather long and pointless post based on what I thought were your assertions but which turn out to be just wild guesses.
Just a suggestion.
chownah

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Sam Vara
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Re: MN.10 and The body in the body.

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:28 pm



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