What is "situational awareness"?


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In my own reading, I’ve found “knowingly” to capture what modern commentators have said about sampajāno/samapaj- . With the clarity of such, I think, implied by the context.

This probably isn’t good as a translation; I’m not a translator. Just sharing what makes sense to me.

Personally, I think of “situational awareness” as too external, in an “on alert” self-defense kind of sense. I think it’s interesting to note that the lists for sampaj- all have to do with the body and not with anything external.

Furthermore, when a mendicant is walking they know: ‘I am walking.’ When standing they know: ‘I am standing.’ When sitting they know: ‘I am sitting.’ And when lying down they know: ‘I am lying down.’
Whatever posture their body is in, they know it.

Furthermore, a mendicant acts with situational awareness when going out and coming back; when looking ahead and aside; when bending and extending the limbs; when bearing the outer robe, bowl and robes; when eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting; when urinating and defecating; when walking, standing, sitting, sleeping, waking, speaking, and keeping silent.

Quotes are from MN10, but I think these were probably preliminaries to mindfulness meditation originally.