FOUNDATIONS OF ZEN 11: Four Foundations of Sati (Lucid Awareness)

Instructor: Peg Syverson
September 5-October 10, 2019

Location: Appamada

If you have ever wondered how to meditate, where to start and how to direct your mind and heart toward awakening, the Satipatthana Sutta provides the Buddha’s direct instructions. Here is a collection of the teachings of the Buddha on meditation, organized and clearly explained. The title of this teaching translates as the presence of mindfulness, or attending with mindfulness, sati. This word is usually translated as “mindfulness,” but that does not convey the totality of body, mind, and heart that come into that light of full awareness. Instead, it implies a mental activity, and that is certainly not what the Buddha intended. The Satipatthana Sutta is a rich and practical resource and training in meditation for both newcomers and experienced practitioners. Our guide and text will be Satipatthana Meditation: A Practice Guide, by Analayo, a contemporary monk, scholar, and teacher in the Vipassana tradition. This sutra is a foundational text in that tradition.

During this six week course we will meet Thursday evenings from 7:00-8:30 starting September 5 and continuing until October 10. We will discuss the text and our experience with the meditation practices outlined there. The discussion will be followed by an optional 20 minute practice period, ending at 9:00. We will make this class available by Zoom and class meetings will be recorded.

Class meetings:

  1. September 5: Introduction to the Satipatthana Sutta, definition of terms, the structure of the sutta, and the practice in relation to Zen

  2. September 12: Contemplation of the Body

    • Anatomy

    • Elements

    • Death

    • Open awareness: Practice

  3. September 19: Contemplation of Feeling

    • Reactivity

    • Body and pain

    • Worldly and unworldly feelings

    • Impermanence

    • Open awareness: Practice

  4. September 26: Contemplation of Mind

    • Lust, anger, and delusion: what are defilements?

    • Contracted and distracted

    • Higher states of mind

    • Opening of the heart

    • Distorted perceptions

    • Open awareness: Practice

  5. October 3: Contemplation of Hindrances

    • Sensual desires

    • Anger

    • Sloth and torpor

    • Restlessness and worry

    • Doubt

    • Absence of the hindrances

    • Open awareness: Practice

  6. October 10: Contemplation of Awakening Factors

    • Mindfulness

    • Investigation of Dhammas

    • Energy

    • Joy

    • Tranquility

    • Concentration

    • Equipoise: balance

    • Open awareness: Practice

Zoom meeting ID: 790276661. Link: