SN 47.10
PTS: S v 154
CDB ii 1638
Bhikkhunivasako Sutta: Mindfulness
from The Nuns' Lodging
translated from the Pali by
Maurice O'Connell Walshe
Alternate translation: Olendzki
The Pali title of this sutta is based on the PTS (Feer) edition.


"In this, Aananda, a monk dwells contemplating the body,[1] ardent, clearly aware[2] and mindful, putting aside worldly desire and dejection.[3] As he thus dwells contemplating the body, some bodily object arises, or physical discomfort or mental drowsiness causes his mind to wander to external things. Then, Aananda, that bhikkhu's attention should be directed to some inspiring[4] object of thought. As he thus directs it to some inspiring object of thought, delight springs up in him. When he is thus delighted, rapture arises. When he experiences rapture, his body is calmed down. With body so calmed down, he experiences joy. Being joyful, his mind is concentrated. He reflects thus: 'The aim on which I set my mind has been achieved. Let me now withdraw my mind [from the inspiring object].' So he does so, without starting or continuing the thought-process.[5] And he is aware of being free from initial or sustained thought, inwardly mindful and joyful. [Similarly with feelings, state of mind and mind-objects.[6]]

"Such, Aananda, is the practice for the direction[7] of mind. And what, Aananda, is the practice for the non-direction of mind?

"A monk who does not direct his mind to external things[8] is aware: 'My mind is not directed to external things.' Then he is aware: 'My mind is not concentrated on before or after,[9] it is set free and undirected.' And then he is aware: 'I dwell in contemplation of the body, ardent, clearly aware and mindful. I am joyful.' [Similarly with feelings, state of mind and mind-objects.]

"This, Aananda, is the practice for the non-direction of mind."



Kaaye kaayaanupassii. Woodward translates: "dwells in body contemplating body (as transient)" (the bracketed words are Woodward's own-unnecessary addition) and similarly, e.g., I. B. Horner in her rendering of the Satipa.t.thaana Sutta (Middle Length Sayings [1954, PTS], sutta 10) has: "contemplating the body in the body." These and other similar renderings are perhaps unnecessarily literal versions of the Pali-idiom. But cf. Commentary on the Satipa.t.thaana Sutta: "Why is the word body used twice? For the sake of an unmixed determination (of the object of meditation). He (the meditator) does not contemplate the feelings, etc., in (regard to) the body, but just the body."
Sampajaano. Cf. SN 46.54, n. 3.
Abhijjhaadomanassa. Woodward's "the dejection in the world which arises from coveting" is another possible rendering (but see SN 35.203, n. 6).
Pasaadaniye. Woodward has "pleasurable" which is dangerously ambiguous, even though in a note he quotes SA [SN Commentary] as saying "such as the Buddha." The meaning is "that which inspires (faith, etc.)."
Vitakka-vicaara "initial and sustained thought," as rendered in the next sentence.
These are the four standard objects of mindfulness.
Pa.nidhaaya. The difference between the two kinds of meditation is that between concentration on an object (samaadhi) and "choiceless awareness," which is sati. See SN 35.204, n. 9. For a full account of this practice, see Nyanaponika Thera, The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, London 1962.
Such as the object previously envisaged. SA says kamma.t.thaanaa "the meditation object."
Woodward considers that "before" means the practice, and "after" means its goal, i.e., Nibbaana. More probably it means keeping his mind in the present moment, dwelling neither on the past nor on the future.