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What is the difference between mindfulness and investigation?


#1

Mindfulness and the investigation are the first two factors of enlightenment. What is the difference?
http://chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php?title=Seven_Factors_of_Enlightenment


#2

Without mindfulness, investigation can’t occur - or it will just be further delusion and conditioned views. Eg. Without being mindful one can never see the arising and ceasing of thoughts or feelings - without that one can’t see the changeability and unsatisfactoriness of thoughts and feelings, without which one is not motivated to look for a ‘true’ investigation - behind delusion and conditioning, which is required for proper investigation to take place, and thus to the possibility of lessening delusion and seeing things the way they really are :slight_smile:

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/mn118/-1

“Bhikkhus, that is how mindfulness of breathing, developed and cultivated, fulfils the four foundations of mindfulness.

Fulfilment of the Seven Enlightenment Factors

“And how, bhikkhus, do the four foundations of mindfulness, developed and cultivated, fulfil the seven enlightenment factors?

“Bhikkhus, on whatever occasion a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world—on that occasion unremitting mindfulness is established in him. On whatever occasion unremitting mindfulness is established in a bhikkhu—on that occasion the mindfulness enlightenment factor is aroused in him, and he develops it, and by development, it comes to fulfilment in him.

“Abiding thus mindful, he investigates and examines that state with wisdom and embarks upon a full inquiry into it. On whatever occasion, abiding thus mindful, a bhikkhu investigates and examines that state with wisdom and embarks upon a full inquiry into it—on that occasion the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor is aroused in him, and he develops it, and by development it comes to fulfilment in him.

“In one who investigates and examines that state with wisdom and embarks upon a full inquiry into it, tireless energy is aroused. On whatever occasion tireless energy is aroused in a bhikkhu who investigates and examines that state with wisdom and embarks upon a full inquiry into it—on that occasion the energy enlightenment factor is aroused in him, and he develops it, and by development it comes to fulfilment in him.


#3

Agree.
But I like toknow the diffrence. They both sound the same to me.


#4

Ok so mindfulness involves the looking, seeing and identification of the subject part - and investigation involves the analysing part which leads to insights


#5

If you read Satipathana and Anapanasati you will find investigation in there as well.
So Dhamma Vicaya is somethigng additionla I suppose.


#6

You can apply mindfulness and investigation to everything, every single tiny little thing that makes up action, thought, feeling and perception in our lives :slight_smile:


#7

I seem to be on a sutta roll. There are quite a few, but I like this section of MN 48


And what, monks, is that view which is ariyan, leading onwards, and which leads him who acts according to it to the complete destruction of anguish? Herein, monks, a monk who is forest-gone or gone to the root of a tree or gone to an empty place, reflects like this; ‘Now, have I a subjective obsession, not got rid of, owing to which I, if my mind were obsessed by it, could not know, could not see (things) as they really are? (1) If, monks, a monk is obsessed by addiction to sense-pleasures, to this extent is his mind obsessed. (2) If, monks, a monk is obsessed by malevolence, to this extent is his mind obsessed. (3) If, monks, a monk is obsessed by sloth and torpor, to this extent is his mind obsessed. (4) If, monks, a monk is obsessed by restlessness and worry, to this extent is his mind obsessed. (5) If, monks, a monk is obsessed by doubt, to this extent is his mind obsessed, to this extent is his mind obsessed. (6) If, monks, a monk centres his thought on this world, to this extent is his mind obsessed. (7) If, monks, a monk centres his thought on the world beyond, to this extent is his mind obsessed. (8) If, monks, a monk, disputatious, quarrelsome, contentious, lives wounding with the weapons of his tongue, to this extent is his mind obsessed. He comprehends thus: ‘I have no subjective obsession, not got rid of, owing to which I, if my mind were obsessed by it, could not know, could not see (things) as they really are; my thought is well directed towards awakening as to the truths.’ This is the first knowledge won by him, ariyan, transcendental, not in common with average men.

This is Bikkhu Bodhi’s translation of the relevant passage

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, considers thus: ‘Is there any internal enthrallment unabandoned in me that, enthralled with which, my enthralled mind would not know or see things as they actually are?’ If a monk is enthralled with sensual passion, then his mind is enthralled. If he is enthralled with ill will, then his mind is enthralled. If he is enthralled with sloth and torpor, then his mind is enthralled. If he is enthralled with restlessness and anxiety, then his mind is enthralled. If he is enthralled with uncertainty, then his mind is enthralled. If a monk is absorbed in speculation about this world, then his mind is enthralled. If a monk is absorbed in speculation about the other world, then his mind is enthralled. If a monk is given to arguing and quarreling and disputing, stabbing others with weapons of the mouth, then his mind is enthralled.

"He discerns that, ‘There is no enthrallment unabandoned in me that, enthralled with which, my enthralled mind would not know and see things as they actually are. My mind is well directed for awakening to the truths.’ This is the first knowledge attained by him that is noble, transcendent, not held in common with run-of-the-mill people.

Can’t find the way to look for different translations at SC after the new version - will work it out :slight_smile:


Do you have faith in celibacy?
#8

What I am trying to clarify is that Sati (mindfulness) already include investigation as far as I know.
why Sati and Dhammavicaya are separated into seven factors of enlightenment?


#9

In my understanding, investigation is not included in mindfulness. They are separate parts of the process.

Perhaps someone has clearer words than mine to continue this :slight_smile:


#10

I am talking about Satipathana and Anapanasati.


#11

I think it is analogous to the scientific method. First you observe and gather data, then you analyse and look for patterns and relationships. With this analogy the 3 marks would be equivalent to theories to be tested.
So basically you do some satipatthana practice, and then reflect on what you have noticed. With experience the reflection becomes more intuitive, like you’re just noticing more. An obvious example is mental states changing quickly.


#12

Now my conclusion is quite different.
I think Satipathana and Anapanasati include both mindfulness and investigation.
However, for seven enlightenment factors, it was separated.
ie: Mindfulness+investigation=Satipathana or Anapanasati


#13

Hi @SarathW1

MINDFULNESS AND INVESTIGATION ARE DIFFERENT AND THEY ARE ALL INCORPORATED IN THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH.

  1. FOUR ESTABLISHINGS OF MINDFULNESS ARE THE CONTENT OF RIGHT MINDFULNESS.

Where are the four establishings of mindfulness in the four noble truths? As stated in DN 22 (Thanissaro - “The Blessed One said: “This is the direct path … in other words, the four establishings of mindfulness. … mental qualities in & of themselves … And how does a monk remain focused on the body in & of itself?”),

the description of four establishings of mindfulness (four frames of reference) is exactly the same as that of right mindfulness - the seventh factor of the noble eightfold path. So the four establishings of mindfulness are the content of right mindfulness.

  1. THE SEVEN FACTORS FOR AWAKENING IS ANOTHER WAY TO PRESENT PART OF THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH.

the seven factors for awakening shows the process from right mindfulness to right concentration.

  1. Mindfulness:

Mindfulness means to keep something in mind, to remember, not to forget.

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body … mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused”)

Mindfulness as a factor (the first) for awakening is about four establishings of mindfulness, which belong to right mindfulness - the seventh factor of the noble eightfold path.

  1. Analysis of qualities:

Investigation means thinking, evaluating, examining objects that are kept in mind.

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “Remaining mindful in this way, he examines … analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening becomes aroused”)

Analysis of qualities as a factor (the second) for awakening is mental activities: thought, comprehension, discernment, which belong to right view and right resolve (this is also directed thought and evaluation in the first jhana.) - the first and second factor of the noble eightfold path.

3. Persistence:

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “In one who examines, analyzes, … persistence as a factor for awakening becomes aroused.”)

Persistence as a factor (the third) for awakening belongs to right efforts - the sixth factor of the noble eightfold path.

4. Rapture:

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “ In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture … rapture as a factor for awakening becomes aroused”)

Rapture as a factor (the fourth) for awakening is a rapture not of the flesh. This is rapture in the first jhana (absorption), born of seclusion. Secluding from sensual pleasure and unskilful phenomena (qualities) has directed thoughts and evaluation as tools. This is shown in MN 19, after the section of how to direct the mind with thoughts away from unskilful qualities (Thanissaro - “[beginning] … In the same way, I simply kept myself mindful of ‘those qualities.’”), the result is “Unflagging persistence was aroused in me, and unmuddled mindfulness established. My body was calm & unaroused, my mind concentrated & single.”. This is the process: mindfulness - analysis of qualities (directed thoughts and evaluation) - persistence - rapture - calm - concentration. So, directed thoughts and evaluation are requisite condition for rapture, these three factors are in the first jhana. The first jhana (absorption) belongs to right concentration - the eighth factor of the noble eightfold path.

5. Calm:

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “For one enraptured at heart, the body … calm as a factor for awakening becomes aroused”)

Calm (serenity, tranquil) as a factor (the fifth) for awakening is for both the mind and body. From this, pleasure arises on the body, as stated in SN 12.23 (Thanissaro - “The knowledge of ending in the presence of ending has its prerequisite … Conviction”). This pleasure arises from calm, calm arises from rapture of not the flesh, so this pleasure is in the first jhana (absorption), born of seclusion. The first jhana belongs to right concentration - the eighth factor of the noble eightfold path.

6. Concentration:

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “For one who is at ease—his body calmed—the mind … concentration as a factor for awakening becomes aroused.”)

Concentration as a factor (the sixth) for awakening is exactly concentration in the second jhana (absorption), which belongs to right concentration - the eighth factor of the noble eightfold path.

7. Equanimity:

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “He carefully watches the mind thus concentrated … equanimity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused.”)

Equanimity as a factor (the seventh) for awakening is exactly equanimity in the third jhana (absorption), which belongs to right concentration - the eighth factor of the noble eightfold path.

8. Evaluating the seven factors for awakening:

So, now it is clear that the seven factors for awakening shows the process from right mindfulness to right concentration. Hence, the seven factors for awakening is another way to present part of the noble eightfold path.

Here we see the arising order of seven factors for awakening different from that of eight factors of the noble eightfold path.

  • Firstly, MN 118 (Thanissaro - “And how are the four establishings of mindfulness developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination? …This is how the four establishings of mindfulness are developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination.”)

shows the arising order of the seven factors for awakening. Mindfulness as a factor for awakening (right mindfulness) is a requisite condition for analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening (right view and right resolve), which is a requisite condition for persistence as a factor for awakening (right efforts), which is a requisite condition for rapture, calm, concentration, equanimity as factors for awakening (right concentration). So, the order here is right mindfulness - right view and right resolve - right efforts - right concentration.

  • Secondly, MN 117 (Thanissaro - “Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? In one of right view, right resolve comes into being … In one of right knowledge, right release comes into being.”) points out the arising order of the noble eightfold path (with extension to right knowledge/insight and right release): right view - right resolve - right speech - right action - right livelihood - right effort - right mindfulness - right concentration - right knowledge - right release.
  • Thirdly, SN 12.23 (Thanissaro - “The knowledge of ending in the presence of ending has its prerequisite … Conviction”) shows the arising order of the path to awakening: conviction - joy - rapture - serenity (calm, tranquil) - pleasure - concentration - knowledge & vision of things as they have come to be - disenchantment - dispassion - release - knowledge of ending.

The arising order of seven factors for awakening in MN 118 corresponds to the arising order of the path to awakening in SN 12.23. Equanimity as a factor for awakening is the process “concentration - knowledge & vision of things as they have come to be - disenchantment - dispassion - release”. Conviction is based on right view, which is acquired through analysis of qualities.

However, the arising order of the noble eightfold path in MN 117 is different. The arising order of seven factors for awakening can be paraphrased as “right mindfulness - right view and right resolve - right effort - concentration”. So right mindfulness has jumped from the position between right effort and right concentration to the position even before right view. Does this contradict the statement in MN 117 that “right view is the forerunner” and the regular arising order of the noble eightfold path?

No! Mindfulness as a factor for awakening (right mindfulness) sets up new area to look into, research and find out new discernment (right view and right resolve). But before you practice right mindfulness, be mindful of four establishings (body, feeling, mind, phenomena), what drives you to do so? It is right view of a brief look at the four noble truths to understand that practicing right mindfulness is needed to fill in the gap between knowing dependent co-arising (i.e. release means cessation of ignorance and craving) and actually achieve release.

This issue is raised in SN 12.68 (Thanissaro - “My friend, although I have seen properly with right discernment, as it has come to be, that ‘The cessation of becoming is unbinding,’ still I am not an arahant … but he would not dwell touching it with his body”). Even right discernment that “The cessation of becoming is unbinding” is not sufficient to release, you need to practice mindfulness to actually end ignorance and let go of craving, hence released. So, of course right view is the foundation for all other factors of the noble eightfold path, the starting point of the path itself. But, right mindfulness also strengthens, widens, deepens right view with new discernment. So these two factors complement each other.

To sum up, there is no contradiction here between the arising order of seven factors for awakening and the arising order of the noble eightfold path. Once again for confirmation, the seven factors for awakening connects right mindfulness to right concentration. That means the seven factors for awakening are another way to present a part of the noble eightfold path.

C. MINDFULNESS OF IN-&-OUT BREATHING IS ACTUALLY INTEGRATED INTO THE FOUR ESTABLISHINGS OF MINDFULNESS

First of all, mindfulness of in-&-out breathing in MN 118 is also about body, feeling, mind, phenomena (mental qualities), and has the same starting point as practicing four establishings of mindfulness in DN 22 - Thanissaro: “There is the case where a monk—having gone to the wilderness, … Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.”

7.7.1. Body:

Both DN 22 - Thanissaro and MN 118 - Thanissaro have the same description of breathing with regard to the body: “Breathing in long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in long’ … ‘I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.’”.

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “On whatever occasion a monk breathing in long discerns … I tell you, monks, that this—the in-&-out breath—is classed as a body among bodies … body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.”)

confirms that practicing mindfulness of the breath is actually practicing remaining focused on the body in & of itself (four establishing of mindfulness) because the in-&-out breath is classed as a body among bodies.

7.7.2. Feeling:

This section is different.

DN 22 (Thanissaro - “And how does a monk remain focused on feelings in & of themselves? There is the case where a monk, when feeling … ‘I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh.’”)

presents discernment of 3 types of feeling (pleasant, painful, neither pleasant nor painful) with regard to of the flesh or not of the flesh.

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.’ … I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.’”)

shows the practice to direct the mind positively, towards rapture, pleasure, discernment of mental fabrication, calm. These are to achieve concentration. Both discourses have discernment of rapture, pleasure in common. Maybe the original practice of mindfulness includes all of them with the breath, both discernment of every feeling that takes place and the training to direct the mind positively, heading to concentration.

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, ‘I will breathe in …&…out sensitive to rapture’… I tell you, monks, that this—careful attention to in-&-out breaths … feelings in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.”)

confirms that practicing mindfulness of the breath is actually practicing remaining focused on feelings in and of themselves (four establishings of mindfulness) because careful attention to in-&-out breaths is classed as a feeling among feelings.

7.7.3. Mind:

This section is also different.

DN 22 (Thanissaro - “And how does a monk remain focused on the mind in & of itself? There is the case where a monk, when the mind has passion … ‘The mind is not released.’”)

is about discernment of the mind’s state: passion/without passion, aversion/without aversion, delusion/without delusion, constrict/scattered, enlarged/not enlarged, surpassed/unsurpassed, concentrated/not concentrated, released/not released.

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.’ … ‘I will breathe out releasing the mind.’”)

shows a practice to direct the mind positively: discerning, gladdening, steadying, releasing the mind. This is towards concentration and release. Both discourses have discerning the mind in common. Maybe the original practice of mindfulness covers all of them combined, not only discernment but also training the mind towards concentration.

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “ On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out sensitive to the mind’ … I don’t say that there is mindfulness … the mind in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.”)

confirms that practicing mindfulness of the breath is actually practicing remaining focused on the mind in and of itself (four establishings of mindfulnesss) because there is no mindfulness of in-&-out breath in one of lapsed mindfulness and no alertness.

7.7.4. Phenomena/mental qualities:

This is different, too.

DN 22 (Thanissaro - “There is the case where a monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the five hindrances. … This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the four noble truths.”)

gives detailed explanation on how to remain focused on phenomena in & of themselves: five hindrances, five clinging-aggregates, six sense bases, seven factors for awakening, four noble truths.

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.’ … I will breathe out focusing on relinquishing.’”)

summarizes what property to focus on phenomena: inconstancy, dispassion, cessation, relinquishing.

All of these are found in DN 22: origination and passing away (inconstancy, cessation), and what to do with inconstant things: dispassion and relinquishing. This is training the mind towards concentration and release. Once again, the original practice of mindfulness might have actually incorporated all of them.

MN 118 (Thanissaro - “On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out focusing on inconstancy’; … He who sees with discernment … mental qualities in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.”)

confirms that practicing mindfulness of the breath is actually practicing remaining focused on phenomena/mental qualities in and of themselves (four establishings of mindfulness) because the one who sees with discernment the abandoning of greed and distress is one who watches carefully with equanimity.

7.7.5. Conclusion:

Can the in-&-out breath replace the whole section of each of the four establishings of mindfulness? No! All contents in each section of the four establishings of mindfulness in DN 22 have to be mindful of, not just the in-&-out breath. What is the purpose of right mindfulness? It is to be mindful of things in which ignorance and cravings are rooted, then to achieve right concentration, equanimity and this is release. So, the main content is the four noble truths and their ingredients, such as: dependent co-arising, five clinging-aggregates, six sense bases.

Once again, mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is actually integrated with four establishings of mindfulness, in other words, right mindfulness - the seventh factor of the noble eightfold path.

D. FINAL CONCLUSION

Mindfulness and investigation are different, but they are all incorporated into the practice of right mindfulness with the content of the four establishings of mindfulness.

For more information: https://goo.gl/rBf3i6


#14

Oh, I just thought about an example of the difference between mindfulness and investigation. Suppose a student is given homework on Friday. Then, on Saturday, he thinks “I have homework to be finished before Monday”. This reminder is a thing he keeps in mind, he is mindful of the homework the teacher gave on Friday. But the student doesn’t do the homework on Saturday, he’s just mindful that he has one but doesn’t investigate it to see if it’s about what, hard or easy, how to solve it, etc. Until Sunday evening, he finally looks at the homework. Of course he’s still mindful that he has homework to do, but this time, he really gets into it: reading the content, determining the question and task to do, analyzing it, thinking about solutions, etc. This is investigation.

Hope that helps
Cheers :smiley: