Satipatthana, excellent teaching based on EBT's

I’ve recently found the teachings of Luang Por Dhammavuddho. He is an excellent teacher who bases his teachings directly on the EBT’s (words of the Buddha). As such, his presentations have a simmilar structure to Ajahn Brahmalis sutta classes.

The below teaching is very clear and detailed. Where the Suttas stop short of detailed explanations, he uses the Vissudhimagga as a supplement - but clearly articulates which is which and explains his rationale.

This particular teaching is in two parts.


The shortcoming in Ajahn Dhammavuddho’s approach is he does not understand the function of the fourth foundation of mindfulness, which contains five categories under the overarching structure of the four noble truths. He interprets this as simply dhamma as teaching, suggesting it has to be studied, and objects to Bikkhu Bodhi’s more active interpretation of dhamma as ‘phenomena’. His is a lame interpretation of dhamma in the context of the four foundations, as ‘studying dhamma’ does not cause the fourth foundation to interact with the other three. It is not believable to suggest the five categories are to be simply studied and remain inactive rather than being applied.

Here it is shown how the fourth foundation is to be brought to bear on experience, so warranting the name “contemplation of phenomena”:

“What this satipatthãna is actually concerned with are specific mental qualities (such as the five hindrances and the seven awakening factors), and analyses of experience into specific categories (such as the five aggregates, the six sense-spheres, and the four noble truths). These mental factors and categories constitute central aspects of the Buddha’s way of teaching, the Dhamma. These classificatory schemes are not in themselves the objects of meditation, but constitute frameworks or points of reference to be applied during contemplation. During actual practice one is to look at whatever is experienced in terms of these dhammas. Thus the dhammas mentioned in this satipatthãna are not “mental objects”, but are applied to whatever becomes an object of the mind or of any other sense door during contemplation”—“ Satipatthana”, Analayo.

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I actually understood him to be saying pretty much the same thing. But thank-you for the notice. I’ll listen to it again keeping this in mind.


Early text does not necessarily mean Authentic . The fourth foundation strange classification as five categories appears unnatural . Analayo explanation on the dhamma as not mental objects but as references to contemplation sounds off centre .

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From DN33 we have that observations are about the “rise and fall”. So rather than attending to a form or a feeling, we understand that a feeling is arising or falling. It’s more abstract than “this is a feeling”:

And what is the way of developing immersion further that leads to the ending of defilements? A mendicant meditates observing rise and fall in the five grasping aggregates. ‘Such is form, such is the origin of form, such is the ending of form. Such are feelings … perceptions … choices … consciousness, such is the origin of consciousness, such is the ending of consciousness.’ This is the way of developing immersion further that leads to the ending of defilements.

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In Analayo’s second Satipatthana book where he looks at the parallels he concludes that dhammanupassana is all about learning to abandon the five hindrances and develop the seven factors of awakening. The other stuff was probably added in later.

The task of the fourth satipaṭṭhāna is to monitor the mind on the path to liberation. The two essential components of this path are overcoming the hindrances and cultivating the factors of awakening. - Perspectives on Satipaṭṭhāna, 176



I understand this to be as Karl outlines above about seeing the arising and falling, and that this is watching/contemplating the dhamma in action.

I thought Ven Dhammavuddho was very clear about this in the second video.


Sorry, I haven’t actually watched the video. I was just pointing out to Gene that if the categorization in the full Satipatthana sutta seems strange, that might be because it isn’t original, and that originally dhammanupassana was simply about the hindrances and awakening factors.

I am actually interested in the video, and Ven Dhammavuddho. And like the venerable, I’m a fan of the EBT approach but also like to check out the Visuddhimagga and other sources at times. So thanks for posting.



This is also the conclusion of Ven. Sujato’s satipatthana work:
Only 5 Hindrances and 7 Awakening Factors in the 4th.


I think it would really be a good idea if one actually watched the videos before commenting on some theoretical idea of what they may contain…

That way the comments will be relevant to the OP

:anjal: :dharmawheel:


The EBT’s words are in fact not the ‘words of the Buddha’. They are just texts, some early, some late editions. As for the teachings of Satipatthana, the earlier texts are found in the SN 47 Satipatthana Samyutta and SN 54 Anapana Samyutta; e.g. SN 47.2, SN 54.1. (Choong Mun-keat, The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism, pp. 215-216, 225-227).


Thank you, and if anyone actually watched the video before commenting you’d see that those texts are discussed… very frustrating to deal with suppositions and assumptions.

I wanted to share a useful resource, and that is done. As such, I’m closing the tread as it’s purpose has been achieved, and this discussion is not relevent to the OP

And yes I’m aware that the Buddha did not say these words - that they are texts of his teachings - but they are often referred to as the words of the Buddha…