Why is not stated that careful attention develops the 4 foundations of mindfulness?

Dear Friends

Why is not stated in the suttas that the 4 foundations of mindfulness are developed by careful attention while this is clearly stated for the 7 factors of awakening?


In AN 10.61, the Buddha says:


Dear Friends

In the suttas is stated that the 7 awakening factors are developed by careful attention, considering that mindfulness is one of them one would have expected that this should also apply for the development of the 4 foundations but I have never encountered such a reference. I wonder why.


notably contrary to this sequence: mindfulness and clear comprehension -> restraint of the sense faculties -> the three kinds of good conduct
the order of the factors in the Gradual training is reversed: the three kinds of good conduct -> restraint of the sense faculties -> mindfulness and clear comprehension

but the order of AN 10.61 to me seems more logical and progressive notwithstanding the word ‘Gradual’ as a heading for the second one


Here, ‘careful attention’ might possibly be better translated as ‘wise reflection’, which would refer to ‘reasoned thinking about’ the teachings that are heard, to ensure those teachings are logical & how they are to be implemented.

Some teachings seem to be in detail describing the entire path (AN 10.61; MN 118; etc) while other teachings seem to be in brief (SN 4.4) or are topic specific (SN 46.32; SN 46.35; SN 46.49).

‘Careful attention’ is found in SN 45.57 as a pre-requisite for the noble path, which includes the four foundations of mindfulness within it.

As far as I know, specific gradual training lists only show up in the MN & DN; the references in the SN & AN aren’t specific at all. I suspect the specific lists were put together with an additional emphasis on monastic training, which might account for the different order of these three items.

Otherwise, the nutriment list in the SN says this on the topic:

There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for the enlightenment factor of mindfulness: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness.

…less than helpful, but it does address the OP.

AN 10.61 could be the earliest version of something more detailed.

Dear Friends

Thanks for your useful answers.