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Using Mindfulness to Combat Memory Loss, Early Alzheimers or Dementia: Helpful Video Advice from Buddhist Teacher Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, with the full Satipatthana Sutra

Using Mindfulness to Combat Memory Loss, Early Alzheimers or Dementia: Helpful Video Advice from Buddhist Teacher Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, with the full Satipatthana Sutra

In the third of a new video series, Venerable Acharya Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, Spiritual Guide for Gaden for the West, answers a student’s question about memory loss:

What advice would you give for a student who is concerned with memory loss, or the onslaught of early Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Full transcript below, together with the full Satipatthana Sutra below (The Way of Mindfulness):

 

 

Transcript

Mindful walking is a helpful practice for memory loss. Here Venerable Zasep Rinpoche walks mindfully with a student in Tasmania at Dorje Ling.

“Advice for people who are losing memories or suffering some form of dementia. This is a tough one. Hard one. I think it depends on the person, but generally speaking, mindfulness practice is very helpful. Mindfulness of breathing. Or sitting meditation, walking meditation, standing meditation, reclining meditation — those are very important

As you know I spent almost two years in Thailand. I studied Theravadan Buddhist meditation. Mindfulness meditation. And I found sitting, standing, walking, reclining, those four mindfulness meditations very helpful. It is mentioned in the Satipatthana Sutra.* The Mindfulness Sutra.

Buddha says, “O Bhikkhu, when you are standing, you should know you are standing. O Bhikkhu, when you are sitting, you should know you are sitting. O Bhikkhu, when you are walking, you should know you are walking.  When you are reclining, you should know you are reclining. Even when you are drinking water you should know you are drinking water.

(The Full Satipatthana Sutra is at the end of this feature.)

Venerable Zasep Rinpoche

So, always try to be mindful, and be in the moment. And relax. That will be very helpful. It’s hard to, regain completely, memories, but at least it will help prevent losing memory, or declining further and further. It helps!

I think for people who are losing memories, and suffering from dementia, we can do a lot of things, I would say. That person should get some help. For example, natural medicines and herbs, like Tibetan medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, things like that can help. Also, try to get some good sleep. Sleep is very important.

People who are suffering from losing memories also suffer from fear. Fear of losing mind. They can even be desperate and sort of chaotic. Anxiety attacks. What’s next? What’s next? I’ve lost my keys. I’ve lost my reading glasses. I might lose my passport. That’s why mindfulness of sitting, walking, standing is very helpful. Getting some good sleep. Take some natural remedies and herbs will be very good.

We do have a practice, in the Tibetan tradition. Manjushri practice. White Manjushri practice is very helpful. You could receive initiation of White Manjushri, and then you say the White Manjushri mantra. White Manjushri practice will help for recovering and preventing memory loss.

(Rinpoche indicated he will probably spend more time with Buddha Weekly for a video on White Manjushri for memory loss in his spring 2017 visit to Toronto, Gaden Choling.)

Satipatthana Sutra

The Discourse on the Arousing of Mindfulness

“Thus have I heard.

Buddha taught mindfulness in the Satipatthana Sutra.

At one time the Blessed One was living in the Kurus, at Kammasadamma, a market-town of the Kuru people.

Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus as follows: “This is the only way, O bhikkhus, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of Nibbana, namely, the Four Arousings of Mindfulness.”

THE FOUR AROUSINGS OF MINDFULNESS

“What are the four?

“Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending (it) and mindful (of it), having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating the feelings in the feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending (them) and mindful (of them), having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness, ardent, clearly comprehending (it) and mindful (of it), having overcome in this world covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects, ardent, clearly comprehending (them) and mindful (of them), having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief.”

  1. THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY

Mindfulness of Breathing

“And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating the body in the body?

Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere. Here Zasep Rinpoche mindfully meditates by a river. From the film “Please Come Again: The Reincarnation of Zasep Tulku Rinpoche.”

“Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, gone to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty place, sits down, bends in his legs crosswise on his lap, keeps his body erect, and arouses mindfulness in the object of meditation, namely, the breath which is in front of him.

“Mindful, he breathes in, and mindful, he breathes out. He, thinking, ‘I breathe in long,’ he understands when he is breathing in long; or thinking, ‘I breathe out long,’ he understands when he is breathing out long; or thinking, ‘I breathe in short,’ he understands when he is breathing in short; or thinking, ‘I breathe out short,’ he understands when he is breathing out short.

“‘Experiencing the whole body, I shall breathe in,’ thinking thus, he trains himself. ‘Experiencing the whole body, I shall breathe out,’ thinking thus, he trains himself. ‘Calming the activity of the body, I shall breathe in,’ thinking thus, he trains himself. ‘Calming the activity of the body, I shall breathe out,’ thinking thus, he trains himself.

“Just as a clever turner or a turner’s apprentice, turning long, understands: ‘I turn long;’ or turning short, understands: ‘I turn short’; just so, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, when he breathes in long, understands: ‘I breathe in long’; or, when he breathes out long, understands: ‘I breathe out long’; or, when he breathes in short, he understands: ‘I breathe in short’; or when he breathes out short, he understands: ‘I breathe out short.’ He trains himself with the thought: ‘Experiencing the whole body, I shall breathe in.’ He trains himself with the thought: ‘Experiencing the whole body, I shall breathe out.’ He trains himself with the thought: ‘Calming the activity of the body I shall breathe in.’ He trains himself with the thought: ‘Calming the activity of the body I shall breathe out.’

“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-things in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in the body. Or indeed his mindfulness is established with the thought: ‘The body exists,’ to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world. Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

The Modes of Deportment

For some, standing meditation is a necessary Buddhist practice either due to lack of alertness, of physical pain during sitting. Buddha Weekly explores how to use standing meditation for mindfulness.

“And further, O bhikkhus, when he is going, a bhikkhu understands: ‘I am going’; when he is standing, he understands: ‘I am standing’; when he is sitting, he understands: ‘I am sitting’; when he is lying down, he understands: ‘I am lying down’; or just as his body is disposed so he understands it.

“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-things in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things, in the body. Or indeed his mindfulness is established with the thought: ‘The body exists,’ to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world.” Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

The Four Kinds of Clear Comprehension

“And further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, in going forwards (and) in going backwards, is a person practicing clear comprehension; in looking straight on (and) in looking away from the front, is a person practicing clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, is a person practicing clear comprehension; in wearing the shoulder-cloak, the (other two) robes (and) the bowl, is a person practicing clear comprehension; in regard to what is eaten, drunk, chewed and savored, is a person practicing clear comprehension; in defecating and in urinating, is a person practicing clear comprehension; in walking, in standing (in a place), in sitting (in some position), in sleeping, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, is a person practicing clear comprehension.

“Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally… and clings to naught in the world. Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

The Reflection on the Repulsiveness of the Body

Meditating on the body.

“And further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu reflects on just this body hemmed by the skin and full of manifold impurity from the soles up, and from the top of the hair down, thinking thus: ‘There are in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, fibrous threads (veins, nerves, sinews, tendons), bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, contents of stomach, intestines, mesentery, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, solid fat, tars, fat dissolved, saliva, mucus, synovic fluid, urine.’

“Just as if, O bhikkhus, there were a bag having two openings, full of grain differing in kind, namely, hill-paddy, paddy, green-gram, cow-pea, sesamum, rice; and a man with seeing eyes, having loosened it, should reflect thinking thus: ‘This is hill paddy; this is paddy, this is green-gram; this is cow-pea; this is sesamum; this is rice.’ In the same way, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu reflects on just this body hemmed in by the skin and full of manifold impurity from the soles up, and from the top of the hair down, thinking thus: ‘There are in this body: hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, fibrous threads (veins, nerves, sinews, tendons), bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, contents of the stomach, intestines, mesentery, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, solid fat, tears, fat dissolved, saliva, mucus, synovic fluid, urine.’

“Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body, internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

The Reflection on the Modes of Materiality (Elements, Dhatu)

“And further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu reflects on just this body according as it is placed or disposed, by way of the modes of materiality, thinking thus: ‘There are in this body the mode of solidity, the mode of cohesion, the mode of caloricity, and the mode of oscillation.’

“O bhikkhus, in whatever manner, a clever cow-butcher or a cow-butcher’s apprentice, having slaughtered a cow and divided it by way of portions, should be sitting at the junction of a four-cross-road; in the same manner, a bhikkhu reflects on just this body, according as it is placed or disposed, by way of the modes of materiality, thinking thus: ‘There are in this body the mode of solidity, the mode of cohesion, the mode of caloricity, and the mode of oscillation.’

“Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

Cemetery Contemplation 1

Zasep Rinpoche meditating in a cemetery.

“And further, O bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu, in whatever way, sees a body dead, one, two, or three days: swollen, blue and festering, thrown into the charnel ground, he thinks of his own body thus: ‘This body of mine too is of the same nature as that body, is going to be like that body and has not got past the condition of becoming like that body.’

“Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

Cemetery Contemplation 2

“And, further, O bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu, in whatever way, sees, whilst it is being eaten by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals or by different kinds of worms, a body that had been thrown into the charnel ground, he thinks of his own body thus: ‘This body of mine, too, is of the same nature as that body, is going to be like that body, and has not got past the condition of becoming like that body.’

“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-things in the body or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in the body. Or indeed his mindfulness is established with the thought, ‘The body exists,’ to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent, and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

Cemetery Contemplation 3

“And, further, O bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu, in whatever way, sees a body, thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton together with (some) flesh and blood held in by the tendons, he thinks of his own body thus: ‘This body of mine, too, is of the same nature as that body, is going to be like that body, and has not got past the condition of becoming like that body.’

“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-things in the body or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in the body. Or indeed, his mindfulness is established with the thought, ‘The body exists,’ to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent, and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

Cemetery Contemplation 4

“And, further, O bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu, in whatever way, sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a blood-besmeared skeleton without flesh but held in by the tendons, he thinks of his own body thus: ‘This body of mine, too, is of the same nature as that body, is going to be like that body, and has not got past the condition of becoming like that body.’

“Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

Cemetery Contemplation 5

“And, further, O bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu, in whatever way, sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton held in by the tendons but without flesh and not besmeared with blood, he thinks of his own body thus: ‘This body of mind, too, is of the same nature as that body, is going to be like that body, and has not got past the condition of becoming like that body.

“Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

Cemetery Contemplation 6

“And, further, O bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu, in whatever way, sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to bones gone loose, scattered in all directions — a bone of the hand, a bone of the foot, a shin bone, a thigh bone, the pelvis, spine and skull, each in a different place — he thinks of his own body thus: ‘This body of mine, too, is of the same nature as that body, is going to be like that body, and has not got past the condition of becoming like that body.’

“Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

Cemetery Contemplation 7

“And, further, O bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu, in whatever way, sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to bones, white in color like a conch, he thinks of his own body thus: ‘This body of mine, too, is of the same nature as that body, going to be like that body and has not got past the condition of becoming like that body;’

“Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

Cemetery Contemplation 8

“And, further, O bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu, in whatever way, sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to bones more than a year old, heaped together, he thinks of his own body thus: ‘This body of mine, too, is of the same nature as that body, is going to be like that body and has not got past the condition of becoming like that body.’

“Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

Cemetery Contemplation 9

“And, further, O bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu, in whatever way, sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to bones gone rotten and become dust, he thinks of his own body thus: ‘This body of mine too, is of the same nature as that body, is going to be like that body and has not got past the condition of becoming like that body.’

“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-things in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought, ‘The body exists,’ to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.”

  1. THE CONTEMPLATION OF FEELING
Zasep Tulku Rinpoche emphasizes a point on mindfulness of body meditation during a weekend retreat on mindfulness.

“And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating feeling in feelings?

“Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu when experiencing a pleasant feeling, understands: ‘I experience a pleasant feeling’; when experiencing a painful feeling, he understands: ‘I experience a painful feeling’; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling, he understands: ‘I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling’; when experiencing a pleasant worldly feeling, he understands: ‘I experience a pleasant worldly feeling’; when experiencing a pleasant spiritual feeling, he understands: ‘I experience a pleasant spiritual feeling’; when experiencing a painful worldly feeling, he understands: ‘I experience a painful worldly feeling’; when experiencing a painful spiritual feeling, he understands: ‘I experience a painful spiritual feeling’; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful worldly feeling, he understands: ‘I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful worldly feeling’; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful spiritual feeling, he understands: ‘I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful spiritual feeling.’

“Thus he lives contemplating feelings in feelings internally, or he lives contemplating feeling in feelings externally, or he lives contemplating feeling in feelings internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-things in feelings, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in feelings, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in feelings. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: ‘Feeling exists,’ to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating feeling in feelings.”

  1. THE CONTEMPLATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

“And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating consciousness in consciousness?

Contemplating consciousness.

“Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate; the consciousness without hate, as without hate; the consciousness with ignorance, as with ignorance; the consciousness without ignorance, as without ignorance; the shrunken state of consciousness, as the shrunken state; the distracted state of consciousness, as the distracted state; the state of consciousness become great, as the state become great; the state of consciousness not become great, as the state not become great; the state of consciousness with some other mental state superior to it, as the state with something mentally higher; the state of consciousness with no other mental state superior to it, as the state with nothing mentally higher; the quieted state of consciousness, as the quieted state; the state of consciousness not quieted, as the state not quieted; the freed state of consciousness as freed; and the unfreed state of consciousness, as unfreed.

“Thus he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness internally, or he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness externally, or he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-things in consciousness, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in consciousness, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in consciousness. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: ‘Consciousness exists,’ to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness.”

  1. THE CONTEMPLATION ON MENTAL OBJECTS
  2. The Five Hindrances

“And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating mental objects in mental objects?

“Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances.

“How, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances?

“Here, O bhikkhus, when sensuality is present, a bhikkhu knows with understanding: ‘I have sensuality,’ or when sensuality is not present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have no sensuality.’ He understands how the arising of the non-arisen sensuality comes to be; he understands how the abandoning of the arisen sensuality comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned sensuality comes to be. When anger is present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have anger,’ or when anger is not present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have no anger.’ He understands how the arising of the non-arisen anger comes to be; he understands how the abandoning of the arisen anger comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned anger comes to be. When sloth and torpor are present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have sloth and torpor,’ or when sloth and torpor are not present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have no sloth and torpor.’ He understands how the arising of non-arisen sloth and torpor comes to be; he understands how the abandoning of the arisen sloth and torpor comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned sloth and torpor comes to be. When agitation and worry are present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have agitation and worry,’ or when agitation and worry are not present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have no agitation and worry.’ He understands how the arising of non-arisen agitation and worry comes to be; and he understands how the abandoning of the arisen agitation and worry comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned agitation and worry comes to be. When doubt is present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have doubt,’ or when doubt is not present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have no doubt.’ He understands how the arising of non-arisen doubt comes to be; he understands how the abandoning of the arisen doubt comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned doubt comes to be.

“Thus he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects, internally, or he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects, externally, or he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-things in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in mental objects, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in mental objects. Or his mind is established with the thought: ‘Mental objects exist,’ to the extent necessary for just knowledge and remembrance and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the five hindrances.”

  1. The Five Aggregates of Clinging

“And, further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the five aggregates of clinging.

“How, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five aggregates of clinging?

“Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu thinks: ‘Thus is material form; thus is the arising of material form; and thus is the disappearance of material form. Thus is feeling; thus is the arising of feeling; and thus is the disappearance of feeling. Thus is perception; thus is the arising of perception; and thus is the disappearance of perception. Thus are the formations; thus is the arising of the formations; and thus is the disappearance of the formations. Thus is consciousness; thus is the arising of consciousness; and thus is the disappearance of consciousness.’

Thus he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects, internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the five aggregates of clinging.”

  1. The Six Internal and the Six External Sense-bases

“And, further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the six internal and the six external sense-bases.

“How, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the six internal and the six external sense-bases?

“Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the eye and material forms and the fetter that arises dependent on both (eye and forms); he understands how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he understands how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be. He understands the ear and sounds and the fetter that arises dependent on both (ear and sounds); he understands how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he understands how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be. He understands the organ of smell and odors and the fetter that arises dependent on both (the organ of smell and odors); he understands how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he understands how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be. He understands the organ of taste and flavors and the fetter that arises dependent on both (the organ of taste and flavors); he understands how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he understands how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be. He understands the organ of touch and tactual objects and the fetter that arises dependent on both (the organ of touch and tactual objects); he understands how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he understands how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be. He understands consciousness and mental objects and the fetter that arises dependent on both (consciousness and mental objects); he understands how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he understands how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be.

“Thus he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects, internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the six internal and the six externally sense-bases.”

  1. The Seven Factors of Enlightenment

“And, further, o bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the seven factors of enlightenment.”

“How, o bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the seven factors of enlightenment?”

“Here, o bhikkhus, when the enlightenment factor of mindfulness is present, a bhikkhu knows with understanding: ‘I have the enlightenment factor of mindfulness’; or when the enlightenment factor of mindfulness is absent, he knows with understanding: ‘I have not the enlightenment factor of mindfulness’; and he understands how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness comes to be and how the completion by culture of the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness comes to be. When the enlightenment factor of the investigation of mental objects is present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have the enlightenment factor of the investigation of mental objects’; when the enlightenment factor of the investigation of mental objects is absent, he knows with understanding: ‘I have not the enlightenment factor of the investigation of mental objects’; and he understands how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of the investigation of mental objects comes to be and how the completion of culture of the arisen enlightenment factor of the investigation of mental objects comes to be. When the enlightenment factor of energy is present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have the enlightenment factor of energy’; when the enlightenment factor of energy is absent, he knows with understanding: ‘I have not the enlightenment factor of energy’; and he understands how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of energy comes to be and how the completion by culture of the arisen enlightenment factor of energy comes to be. When the enlightenment factor of joy is present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have the enlightenment factor of joy’; when the enlightenment factor of joy is absent, he knows with understanding: ‘I have not the enlightenment factor of joy’; and he understands how the rising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of joy comes to be and how the completion by culture of the arisen enlightenment factor of joy comes to be. When the enlightenment factor of calm is present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have the enlightenment factor of calm’; when the enlightenment factor of calm is absent, he knows with understanding: ‘I have not the enlightenment factor of calm’; and he understands how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of calm comes to be and how the completion by culture of the arisen enlightenment factor of calm comes to be. When the enlightenment factor of concentration is present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have the enlightenment factor of concentration’; when the enlightenment factor of concentration is absent, he knows with understanding: ‘I have not the enlightenment factor of concentration’; and he understands how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of concentration comes to be and how the completion by culture of the arisen enlightenment factor of concentration comes to be. When the enlightenment factor of equanimity is present, he knows with understanding: ‘I have the enlightenment factor of equanimity’; when the enlightenment factor of equanimity is absent, he knows with understanding: ‘I have not the enlightenment factor of equanimity’; and he understands how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity comes to be and how the completion by culture of the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity comes to be.

“Thus he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects internally… and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the seven factors of enlightenment.”

  1. The Four Truths

“And, further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the Four Noble Truths.

“How, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the Four Noble Truths?

“Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands: ‘This is suffering,’ according to reality; he understands: ‘This is the origin of suffering,’ according to reality; he understands: ‘This is the cessation of suffering,’ according to reality; and he understands: ‘This is the road leading to the cessation of suffering,’ according to realty.

“Thus he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects internally or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects internally and externally.”

“He lives contemplating origination things in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in mental objects, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in mental objects, or his mindfulness is established with the thought, ‘Mental objects exist,’ to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world.

“Thus, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating mental object in the mental objects of the Four Noble Truths.”

ASSURANCE OF ATTAINMENT

“O bhikkhus, should any person maintain the Four Arousings of Mindfulness in this manner for seven years, then by him one of two fruitions is proper to be expected: Knowledge (arahantship) here and now; or, if some form of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning (the Third Stage of Supramundane Fulfillment).

“O bhikkhus, let alone seven years. Should a person maintain these Four Arousings of Mindfulness, in this manner, for six years… for five years… four years… three years… two years… one year, then by him one of two fruitions is proper to be expected: knowledge here and now; or, if some form of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning.

“O bhikkhus, let alone a year. Should any person maintain these Four Arousings of Mindfulness, in the manner, for seven months, then by him one of two fruitions is proper to be expected: Knowledge here and now; or, if some form of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning.

“O bhikkhus, let alone seven months. Should any person maintain these Four Arousings of Mindfulness in this manner for six months… five months… four months… three months… two months… one month… half-a-month, then, by him one of two fruitions is proper to be expected: Knowledge here and now; or, if some form of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning.

“O bhikkhus, let alone half-a-month. Should any person maintain these Four Arousings of Mindfulness in this manner for a week, then by him one of two fruitions is proper to be expected: Knowledge here and now; or, if some form of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning.

“Because of this was it said: ‘This is the only way, O bhikkhus, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of Nibbana, namely, the Four Arousings of Mindfulness.”

Thus spoke the Blessed One. Satisfied, the bhikkhus approved of his words.”

 

* Satipatthana Sutta or Sutra is “The Way of Mindfulness”

 

About Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

Rinpoche is popularly known for his approachable teaching style, strong humor and teachings based on a long lineage of great lamas. His own gurus included the most celebrated of Gelug teachers: His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, His Holiness Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, Venerable Geshe Thupten Wanggyel, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Venerable Lati Rinpoche, Venerable Tara Tulku Rinpoche and Venerable Khalkha Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche.

Rinpoche is spiritual director of many temples, meditation centres and retreat centres in Australia, the United States and Canada. He was first invited to teach in Australia by Lama Thubten Yeshe in 1976.

More on Zasep Tulku Rinpoche>>

Gaden for the West Meditation Centres

Australia

  • Vajra Ling, Uralla, N.S.W.
  • Losang Gyalwa Mandala, Sydney, N.S.W.
  • Tenzing Ling Centre, Quamaa, N.S.W.
  • Dorje Ling Retreat Centre, Lorina Valley, Tasmania

Canada

United States

 

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