Close this search box.

Satipatthana Sutta, Fourth Foundation: Discerning the Self

See all series | See all talks

Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2011-12-13
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Discernment must ultimately understand the nature of self completely. Awareness saw in the Third Foundation how the self was born from a feeling and elaborated on with thought forming the story and image of “I.” Even though that process is now understood (wisdom), still, because of its tremendous momentum, there may be a residual belief in the self when it arises. Discernment wears down that residual belief by tracking the sense of self through all its manifestations until there is no longer the belief in self even though there is the occasional arising of self.


The sense of self is a story believed. The story of “me” is an incomplete fable. “I will be fulfilled after …” is the logic of the mind. The “me” exists because of desire. Fulfillment never arrives because desire is future oriented and overlooks the present. This week examine what is lacking in your life. Has acquisition ever ended in complete satisfaction? Turn toward the longing itself, the need to have or be more than you are now. Feel it in your body and how it plays into your mental scripts of dissatisfaction or inadequacy. Do not allow your story to justify the sense of incompleteness. Stop the future search in its tracks by saying, “Let contentment be found here and now, in the middle of longing, not in its absence.” 


Link to view on Vimeo:

TalkID=919 SeriesID=42

Scroll to Top