Mindfulness of the Body

This class uses the Buddha’s teachings on mindfulness of the body as a strategy for calming the mind and developing liberating insight. A direct, moment-to-moment knowing of sensations is often obscured by the mind’s habitual conceptualizing. We will explore several of the Buddha’s instructions designed to transform the mind’s understanding of embodiment, and release the mind from the pain of unnecessary grasping. Participants will be expected to use the teachings as a focus of their meditation and daily practice.


2015 Meditations and Talks


Study Resources

Please review these insight dialogue guidelines from Gregory Kramer as a support for learning how to use the small practice groups and large group discussions as insight practice:

Introducing the Guidelines

Nanda’s Vision, translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
From the Therigatha (Verses of the Elder Nuns) 82-86

Sick, putrid, unclean:
look, Nanda, at this physical heap.
Through contemplation of the foul, develop your mind,
make it one, well-centered.
As this [your body], so that. As that, so this.
It gives off a foul stench, the delight of fools.
Considering it thus, untiring, both day & night, I, with my own discernment dissecting it, saw.
And as I, heedful, examined it aptly, this body — as it actually is — was seen inside & out.
Then was I disenchanted with the body & dispassionate within: Heedful, detached, calmed was I. Unbound.

The Nine Cemetery Contemplations (from http://silentmindopenheart.org)

This meditation from the Satipatthana Sutta aids in breaking one’s attachment to one’s body and to the bodies of others. As long as there is any attachment, there will be suffering. With these contemplations, one realizes that oneself and everyone else will come to the same end. After viewing the corpse, one applies that consideration to one’s own body. It breaks or shatters that complacent thought: “I’m going to live forever.” “This body will continue on for all eternity.” When that happens, irritation or anxiety arises. Then, a sense of detachment arises — a realization that the body is based on causes and conditions and it will be gone when those causes and conditions are no longer present. The end result of this meditation is sense of lightness or happiness; that one is not bound up forever with this body.

The following pictures of a corpse in various stages of decomposition may be used in applying The Nine Cemetery Contemplations: http://silentmindopenheart.org/docs/cemetery/Death.html

Resources from 2010 Course