The Perfection of Wisdom - Insight develops through satipatthana



Before panna can become accomplished to the degree of attaining the different stages of insight knowledge, we should begin to understand that our life evolves in accordance with kamma and that there is no escape from the conditions for the arising of citta, cetasika and rupa. We should have a firm understanding of kamma and the factors which are the conditions for life to evolve each day, bound up as it is with joy and sorrow. We are sometimes delighted and thrilled, and sometimes depressed or afraid; at times our expectations come true, at times we are disappointed, there are pleasant and unpleasant events. There are birth, old age, sickness and death. We live in ignorance, but when panna arises in daily life, it is able to consider the characteristics of realities and to understand them as not a being, a person or self, but only realities which arise because of their own conditions.

Nama, the element which experiences, arises all the time in our life. We are so used to experiencing objects that we do not realize, when we see at this moment, that seeing is a reality which experiences, or when sound appears and we are hearing at this moment, that hearing is a reality which experiences. Satipatthana is awareness of the dhammas which are real in our daily life, and through satipatthana panna can further develop to the degree of realizing the stages of insight. When the khandha of rupa appears, sati can be mindful of it. When the  khandha of consciousness appears, which experiences an object through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the bodysense or the minddoor, sati can be mindful. However, there should be awareness and understanding also of the khandhas of feeling, of remembrance (sanna) and formations (sankharakkhandha). If there is no understanding of all five khandhas, defilements cannot be eradicated.

If satipatthana does not arise in our daily life, and panna does not investigate the characteristic of each reality that appears, it is impossible to eliminate wrong view. When remembrance or perception arises, or when there are conditions for liking or for detesting something, for wholesome thinking or for evil thinking, panna can realize that all these phenomena are truly not self. They are realities each with their own characteristic.


Topic 280