The meanings of the terms sabbakāyapaṭisaṃvedī and kāyasaṅkhāra


What are the (specific) meanings of the terms sabbakāyapaṭisaṃvedī and kāyasaṅkhāra in the satipatthana and anapanasati sutta?

I undertand that there have been different interpretations of these terms from experts.

My thinking is that there is qualitative difference between the breath and the (physical) body when they are taken as the object of awareness. So to say that the breath is the body or part of the body is neither here nor there.

On the contrary it’s a crucial step, they are combined. Part B of the Anapanasati sutta :

"I tell you, monks that this- the in-&-out breath- is classed as a body among bodies, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focussed on the body in & of itself- "

When focus upon the breath is attained, in Buddhist terms that becomes a separate “body.” This recognition is an important skill in “subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.” That’s why in the preceding Part A first tetrad step 3, the practitioner must train themselves in sensitivity to the entire body as preparation.

In the suttas the breath is always considered in the context of the entire body:

“winds that course through the limbs, in-breath and out-breath”

—Majjhima Nikaya 140

In modern terms strictly speaking this is incorrect, but broadly it means air is a vital requirement for bodily function. In the order in this sutta air is next to space and consciousness, so represents an exalted body awareness.

Take a look at “Appendix 11: Ānāpānasati Revisited” in What You Might Not Know about Jhāna & Samādhi.

This link is too difficult for me to open. In respect to the original question, sabbakāyapaṭisaṃvedī is explained in the Khuddaka Nikāya as follows:

Kathaṁ “sabbakāyapaṭisaṁvedī assasissāmī”ti sikkhati, “sabbakāyapaṭisaṁvedī passasissāmī”ti sikkhati? Kāyo ti dve kāyā— nāmakāyo ca rūpakāyo ca. Katamo nāmakāyo? Vedanā, saññā, cetanā, phasso, manasikāro, nāmañca nāmakāyo ca, ye ca vuccanti cittasaṅkhārā— ayaṁ nāmakāyo. Katamo rūpakāyo? Cattāro ca mahābhūtā, catunnañca mahābhūtānaṁ upādāyarūpaṁ, assāso ca passāso ca, nimittañca upanibandhanā, ye ca vuccanti kāyasaṅkhārā— ayaṁ rūpakāyo.


Based on the above, “sabba” means “all” and “kāya” is plural.

Kāyasaṅkhāra literally refers to the breathing (SN 41.6).

My thinking is the opposite to the above. The breath & the physical body have the same quality when taken as the object of awareness. If the breath is calm, the physical body will be calm. If the breath is agitated, the physical body will be agitated. The quality of the physical body conforms to the quality of the breath, which is why the breath is called kāyasaṅkhāra (the condition of/for the body) and why SN 41.6 says the breath is tied/bound with the body (kāyappaṭibaddhā). :slightly_smiling_face:

Try this: What You Might Not Know about Jhāna & Samādhi (