I completely understand why comprehending mental fabrications is important but not bodily fabrications. I intend to work, eat, rest, breath, it just seems so simple I can’t grasp the concept.
Contemplating the body is usually for the sake of letting go of the passions. For example, to recall that the body is of the nature to get sick, to age, to die. That eventually we’ll all end up in the graveyard. Even now the body is unsatisfying. So why are we so attached to it? This kind of reflection can be very helpful
Calming bodily fabrication means calming the breath, and this naturally happens when one has mastered giving up unwholesome thoughts. The mind tranquilizes (passadhi) the body, when the mind is filled with joy from being free from defilements (5 hindrances).
- "He knows: ‘I have given up, renounced, let go, abandoned and relinquished [the defilements] in part’; and he gains enthusiasm for the goal, gains enthusiasm for the Dhamma, gains gladness connected with the Dhamma. When he is gladdened, joy is born in him; being joyous in mind, his body becomes tranquil; when his body is tranquil, he feels happiness; and the mind of him who is happy becomes concentrated.
- MN 7
I highly recommend reading MN 7 (a good translation), it explains step by step how Supermundane right view (seeing a being as 3 poisons) results in giving up the 5 hindrances which results in calming/tranquilizing the body sankhara.
Once you are concentrated and have samma samadhi, then you can see things as they really are and see the drawbacks of the 5 aggregates, i.e. as the suttas say “impermanent, a thorn, suffering, a disease, no-self.”
Of course, way before you get to that point you need to have perfect virtue and Supermundane right view.
Hi. This is an often unclear or debated subject because similar Pali terms seem to used differently yet there is not very much sutta explanation such as:
- kayasanhkaro (the bodily condition/process) meaning the in & out breathing (SN 41.6; MN 44).
- kayasankharam (bodily activities) meaning bodily actions generated by intention/choices (AN 3.23; SN 12.25).
- cittasankharo (the mental condition/process) meaning the perception & feeling that fabricate/condition the mind (SN 41.6; MN 44)
- manosankharam (mental activities) meaning mental actions generated by intention/choices (AN 3.23; SN 12.25).
It gets confusing; particularly when these terms are used in MN 118 (about anapanasati) or in SN 12.2 or SN 12.25 (about dependent origination).