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“This is the entire spiritual life, Ananda, that is, good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship. When a monk has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path.”
~ The Buddha
SN 45:2



Satipatthana Sutta

Bhante Gunaratana

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The Satipatthana sutta, which is known in English as The Four Foundations of Mindfulness, contains the Buddha’s basic set of instructions for vipassana meditation. The Satipatthana is wide ranging in its scope but very consise it its presentation. Understanding exactly what is being said often requires additional study. This MP3 CD contains over 25 hours of Dhamma talks by Bhante Gunaratana which present a thorough explanation of each section of this important Sutta.

You cannot request the talks or meditations as seperate CD's.

Contents of this MP3 CD:

Dhamma talks by Bhante Gunaratana

  • Introduction and setting

    The setting of the sutta; the importance and objectives of vipassana.

  • The body - breath

    The meaning of the Pali word Satipatthana in detail. The fundamental steps in vipassana meditation. Importance of body posture. Mindfulness of the breath.

  • The body - breath #2

    Mindfulness of the breath continued. The meaning of the "insight" refrain. The relationship of mindfulness to the five aggregates. Coping with the five hindrances.

  • The body - postures

    Mindfulness of body postures and the specifics of doing standing and walking meditation. An overview of the full awareness section and a detailed explanation of the meaning of "full awareness".

  • The body - clear comprehension

    The four parts of clear comprehension (sampajanna). Mindfulness of the body deportments

  • The body - parts

    Mindfulness of the 32 parts of the body – "Going against the grain"

  • The body - elements

    The four elements (dhatu) in general, and in the body

  • The body - death

    Death and the nine charnel ground contemplations

  • The feelings

    Mindfulness of feelings

  • The mind

    Mindfulness of the mind

  • Dhamma - Five Hindrances

    An explanation of the five hindrances based on the original Sutta texts rather than on the commentaries. The talk describes the similes used by the Buddha to illustrate the hindrances and how the hindrances arise.

  • Dhamma - Five Hindrances #2

    How we nourish and maintain the hindrances through our activities.

  • Dhamma - Five Hindrances #3

    A very thorough description of various ways we can rid ourselves of the hindrances.

  • Student question

    Must we practice all fourteen of the mindfulness exercises in the Satipatthana Sutta in order to reach path and fruition?

  • Dhamma - Five Aggregates

    The five aggregates versus the five aggregates of clinging and the five aggregates of suffering. The importance in these differences of tanha (desire), mana (comparing and conceit), ditthi (incorrect view).

  • Dhamma - Five Aggregates #2

    The similes illustrating the Five Aggregates. A further explanation of the importance of tanha, mana, and ditthi.

  • Dhamma - Five Aggregates #3

    A very precise definition of each aggregate; rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana.

  • Student question

    Without psychic abilities how can one contemplate the body, feelings, and mind objects of others externally?

  • Dhamma - Ten Fetters

    A precise definition of samyojana (fetter). A detailed description of how the dhatus (elements) interact giving rise to our bodies and minds. A description of the ten further interactions which give rise to samyojana and our connection to the world. The importance of yoniso manasikara (mindful reflection) for weakening fetters. A further explanation of sankilaisa (dangers). The difference between fetters and hindrances.

  • Dhamma - Ten Fetters #2

    The students ask a number of practical questions about the ceasing of (nirodha) and abandoning of (nissarana) unskillful metal states and the fetters. The three elements of effort are outlined. The arising of samyojana (fetter) through the same ten stages in all of the six senses is explained.

  • Dhamma - Ten Fetters #3

    Continued description of how to weaken the fetters through mindful attention. Story of Vepacitti Asura's bondage. A discussion of the specifics of how the fetters arise from the senses and how they can fade away. Craving and ignorance as the two root fetters. The stages of enlightenment.

  • Dhamma - Factors of Enlightenment

    One should not just memorize the list but should practice these factors. Special attention is paid to the first factor, which is mindfulness. The discussion of the mindfulness enlightenment factor is expanded to reference other sections of the Maha Satipatthana Sutta.

  • Dhamma - Factors of Enlightenment #2

    Importance of energy in establishing the factors of Enlightenment. A detailed description is given of the enlightenment factors and the transitions between them.

  • Dhamma - Factors of Enlightenment #3

    A very detailed discussion of the connections between the Enlightenment Factors and the Eightfold Path.

  • Dhamma - Four Noble Truths

    There is an initial summary of the four aspects of mindfulness. Discussion of birth, aging, and death in each aggregate as the source of suffering. Three types of craving: for sensual pleasure, for existence, and for non-existence.

  • Dhamma - Four Noble Truths #2

    Starts by answering a student question about the kammic consequences of suicide. The origins and implications of craving are described in detail.

  • Dhamma - Four Noble Truths #3

    Continuation of the discussion on craving and its arising from sixty mental and physical elements. Four ways to gain stream entry.

  • Summary and conclusion

    The sutta's promise of success and inevitable elimination of fetters through the noble eightfold path. Four stages of enlightenment. Final summary.

Additional material on this CD

  • The full text of the Maha Satipatthana Sutta, Digha Nikaya 22

    This is a trilinear edition, in PDF format, presenting the Pali text, English translation, and English gloss, with an introduction prepared by Piya Tan of The Pali Center, Singapore.

  • "A Buddhist Dictionary"

    The well known manual of Buddhist terms and doctrines by Nyanatiloka Mahathera in PDF format.