The Factors Leading to Enlightenment - Satipatthana has three meanings

The word satipatthana has three meanings: 
1. The objects sati is aware of, thus, a paramattha dhamma, a nama dhamma or a rupa dhamma. These are classified as the four satipatthanas.  2. Sati cetasika that arises together with kamavacara citta accompanied by panna (nana-sampayutta), and which is aware of the objects of mindfulness, the four satipatthanas. 3. The Path the Samma-sambuddha and the ariyan disciples have developed.
The development of the ariyan Eightfold Path is actually the development of the four satipatthanas. It is the development of awareness and right understanding of the characteristics of realities, as they appear one at a time in our daily lives, through the sense-doors and through the minddoor. Mindfulness is not easy and in the beginning it cannot often arise. The reason is that ignorance, clinging and all the other akusala dhammas have been accumulated for an endlessly long time in the cycle of birth and death. And also in this life, from the time we were born, defilements have been accumulated each day. The person who correctly understands cause and result of realities knows that he needs great patience and perseverance so that he is able to listen to the Dhamma, to study it carefully and to consider it. Only thus can one have understanding of the realities that appear through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the bodysense and the mind-door.
By listening and considering the right conditions are being accumulated for the arising of satipatthana, awareness and investigation of the characteristics of the realities that are appearing. In this way realities can be known as they are. Through awareness of realities one will directly understand the truth in conformity with what one has learnt and understood intellectually, namely, that all dhammas, including satipatthana and the factors of the Eightfold Path, are anatta (non-self). Satipatthana can arise when there are the right conditions, that is, when maha-kusala citta accompanied by panna has arisen time and again, and panna has thus been accumulated. Then people will not deviate anymore from the right Path. They will not follow a practice other than being aware of, noticing and considering the nama dhammas and the rupa dhammas appearing through the six doors.
The person who develops panna is truthful, sincere with regard to his own development. When satipatthana arises he knows that that moment is different from forgetfulness of realities. When satipatthana arises there cannot yet immediately be clear understanding of the characteristics of nama and rupa. Panna develops only very gradually.

Topic 237