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Satipatthana Sutta: Intention and Mindfulness of Breath

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Teacher: Tim Geil
Date: 2016-05-03
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



The Satipatthana Sutta is one of the primary suttas addressing our meditation practice. As with all suttas, we must realize what the Buddha actually taught has been interpreted, altered and translated in the last 2600 years. Our own practice and direct seeing becomes an important aspect of interpreting a sutta. Yet our own experience isnt’t the complete picture.

In the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, the intention for practicing mindfulness meditation is established and wed with investigation. Understanding this intention shapes how we practice. The first instructions in this sutta point toward a steady, non-influencing relationship to the breath as an object of mindfulness.


Read the first section of the Satipatthana Sutta (MN 10), found at Begin each meditation period with the intention to “overcome sorrow and lamentation, to bring about the disappearance of pain and distress, to attain the right method, and to realize Unbinding.” How does this intention affect your practice?


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