Exploring the Satipatthana Sutta: A Comprehensive Guide to Mindfulness

Exploring the Satipatthana Sutta Exploring the Satipatthana Sutta MS Bing Image Creator


The Satipatthana Sutta, also known as the "Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness," is a central teaching in the Theravada Buddhist period. But according to the research of Ven. Bikku Analayo, The Satipattana Sutta has been originated in the Pre-Theravada Buddist tradition. The sutta, found in the Pali Canon's Majjhima Nikaya, provides a practical and comprehensive guide for the cultivation of mindfulness and insight meditation. Attributed to the Buddha, the Satipatthana Sutta outlines four foundations of mindfulness that serve as the basis for developing insight into the true nature of reality.

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness

  1. Mindfulness of the Body (Kaya) In this first foundation, practitioners are instructed to cultivate mindfulness of the body through various meditation techniques. These practices include mindfulness of breathing (anapana sati), mindfulness of postures and activities (such as walking, standing, sitting, and lying down), mindfulness of the body's components, and mindfulness of the body's decomposition after death. By focusing on the body, practitioners develop awareness and understanding of impermanence, suffering, and the absence of a permanent self.

  2. Mindfulness of Feelings (Vedana) The second foundation of mindfulness involves observing the various feelings that arise in our experience. Feelings in Buddhism are categorized into three types: pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral. Practitioners are encouraged to observe these feelings without clinging to them or pushing them away, recognizing that all feelings are transient and ultimately unsatisfactory.

  3. Mindfulness of Mind (Citta) This foundation encourages practitioners to observe the mind and its different states, such as desire, aversion, delusion, distraction, or concentration. By cultivating mindfulness of the mind, practitioners can recognize the impermanent and ever-changing nature of mental states, helping them to let go of attachments and cultivate a balanced and equanimous mind.

  4. Mindfulness of Mental Objects (Dhamma) The final foundation focuses on observing mental objects, which include the Five Hindrances, the Five Aggregates, the Six Sense Bases, the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, and the Four Noble Truths. These mental objects represent various aspects of our experience and are essential for understanding the nature of suffering and the path to liberation.


Benefits of Practicing the Satipatthana Sutta

By cultivating the four foundations of mindfulness, practitioners can develop insight into the true nature of reality, leading to the uprooting of ignorance and the cessation of suffering. The Satipatthana Sutta serves as a comprehensive guide for those who seek to understand themselves and the world around them, ultimately leading to the attainment of Nibbana, the highest goal in Buddhism.


Difference between Sathipattana Vs Maha Sathipattana Sutta

The Satipatthana Sutta and the Mahasatipatthana Sutta are both important Buddhist discourses on mindfulness, with the latter being an extended version of the former. Both suttas outline the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, which are essential for the development of insight into the true nature of reality. The primary difference between the two lies in the inclusion of an additional section in the Mahasatipatthana Sutta.

  1. Satipatthana Sutta The Satipatthana Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 10) is a key discourse in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, providing a comprehensive guide for cultivating mindfulness and insight meditation. The sutta focuses on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness: mindfulness of the body (kaya), mindfulness of feelings (vedana), mindfulness of the mind (citta), and mindfulness of mental objects (dhamma).

  2. Mahasatipatthana Sutta The Mahasatipatthana Sutta (Digha Nikaya 22) is an extended version of the Satipatthana Sutta. It also covers the Four Foundations of Mindfulness but includes an additional section on the Noble Eightfold Path. This added section emphasizes the interconnectedness of mindfulness practice with the entire path leading to the cessation of suffering and the attainment of Nibbana.

In summary, the primary difference between the Satipatthana Sutta and the Mahasatipatthana Sutta is the inclusion of the Noble Eightfold Path in the latter. Both suttas are crucial in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, providing guidance for the cultivation of mindfulness and the development of insight into the true nature of reality.


The Satipatthana Sutta is a fundamental teaching in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, providing a detailed and practical guide to mindfulness practice. By cultivating mindfulness of the body, feelings, mind, and mental objects, practitioners can develop a deep understanding of the true nature of reality and progress on the path to liberation. The sutta serves as a roadmap for those seeking spiritual growth and the ultimate goal of Nibbana.

If you wish to read from the source, the best place you can go is the Sutta Central website and read the original discourses of the lord Buddha. Here is a link to an English translation of the same website: https://suttacentral.net/mn10/en/suddhaso?reference=none&highlight=false

Other than that, I would like to recommend bellow videos and take more time to dig deeper into this, but please remember that according to real Buddha's teaching, Knowledge (Suttamaya Panya) and intellectuality (Chinthamaya Panya) is important, but not necessary to become liberated or enlightened. The most important thing is experiencing. So Discover, learn, and most importantly EXPERIENCE (BAWANAMAYA PANYA), and then share. I wish one day you will be able to Exile your mind and body. So that you can become life, but not be part of life. Remember life is universal. It has no limit. When we are caged inside our mind and body, we only feel a small part of it for a small time period. To become life you, need to stop this circle of birth, death, and rebirth. Once you do that, there is no you, me, my, or I. it's become the whole universe or beyond that of life. It's a quantum level of thing that I can't explain myself. It can be discovered, learn, and experienced. But can share with anyone. They are a path to get into that place, but each one of us should start the journey ourselves. No one can do that for you. Buddha so us the path. What we should do is follow that path on our own and get to that place. When it's done, it will be your own unique experience that any language can not explain. The only language that can be explained is the language of our own sensation.

Mahasatipatthana Sutta Discourse by S.N Goenka

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The Satipatthana Sutta is found in the Majjhima Nikaya (Middle Length Discourses) of the Pali Canon, specifically as sutta number 10. The Pali Canon, also known as the Tipitaka, is the most complete extant early Buddhist canon and is traditionally regarded as the authoritative scripture in Theravada Buddhism.

The sutta is also repeated in the Digha Nikaya (Long Discourses) as the Mahasatipatthana Sutta (The Great Discourse on the Establishments of Mindfulness), sutta number 22, with a section on the Four Noble Truths that is not present in the Majjhima Nikaya version.

You can find both of these suttas in published editions of the Pali Canon, many of which have been translated into English and other languages. They are also widely available online on sites such as Access to Insight, SuttaCentral, and others.

The Sathipattana Sutta is found in the Sutta Pitaka, the second of the three main divisions of the Pali Canon. It is the longest sutta in the Sutta Pitaka, and it is considered to be one of the most important teachings of the Buddha. The sutta teaches the practice of mindfulness, which is the foundation of all Buddhist practices.

The Sathipattana Sutta can be found in the following places in the Pali Canon:

  • Digha Nikaya 22
  • Majjhima Nikaya 118
  • Samyutta Nikaya 56.11
  • Anguttara Nikaya 3.68
  • Theravādaṁ

The Sathipattana Sutta can also be found in the following translations:

  • The Pali Canon, translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi
  • The Teaching of the Buddha, translated by Walpola Sri Rahula
  • The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, translated by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The Foundations of Mindfulness, translated by Bhikkhu Analayo

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K Dinesh Kumara

Founder of PC World Online Magazine

I'm an educator, entrepreneur, and career guidance officer. I'm interested in ICT, psychology, financial literacy, meditation, and yogic sciences. My hobbies are discovering, learning, experiencing, sharing, and exiling.

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