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What is the difference between Satipatthana and Bhavana?

Updated: Apr 9, 2022

Buddhist philosophy for Mind Management

Coach Sirisa SCH Saengchai, PCC

Satipaṭṭhāna (Pali; Skt: smṛtyupasthāna) is an important Buddhist term that means "the establishment of mindfulness" or "presence of mindfulness," or alternatively "foundations of mindfulness," aiding the development of a wholesome state of mind. The Buddhist tradition, especially Theravada Buddhism applies mindful attention to four domains, 1.- the body,2.- feelings,3.- the mind, and4.- key principles or categories of the Buddha's teaching (dhammās),[1] are thought to aid the elimination of the five hindrances (and the development of the seven aspects of wakefulness.

The five hindrances are:[2][3][4][5]

1. Sensory desire (kāmacchanda): seeking pleasure through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and physical feeling.

2. Ill-will (vyāpāda; also spelled byāpāda): feelings of hostility, resentment, hatred, and bitterness.

3. Sloth-and-torpor (thīna-Siddha): half-hearted action with little or no effort or concentration.

4. Restlessness-and-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca): the inability to calm the mind and focus one's energy.

5. Doubt (vicikiccha): lack of conviction or trust in one's abilities.

the Seven Factors of Awakening (Pali: satta bojjhaṅgā or satta sambojjhaṅgā; Skt.: sapta bodhyanga) are:

· Mindfulness (sati, Sanskrit smrti). To maintain awareness of reality, in particular the teachings (dharma).

· Investigation of the nature of reality (dhamma vicaya, Skt. dharmapravicaya).

· Energy (viriya, Skt. vīrya) also determination, effort

· Joy or rapture (pīti, Skt. prīti)

· Relaxation or tranquility (passaddhi, Skt. prashrabdhi) of both body and mind

· Concentration, (samādhi) a calm, one-pointed state of mind,[1] or clear awareness

· Equanimity (upekkha, Skt. upekshā). To accept reality as-it-is (yathā-bhuta) without craving or aversion.

This evaluation of seven awakening factors is one of the "Seven Sets" of "Awakening-related states" (bodhipakkhiyadhamma).

The Pali word bojjhanga is a compound of bodhi ("awakening," "enlightenment") and anga ("factor").[2]

Satori (悟り) is a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, "comprehension; understanding".[1] It is derived from the Japanese verb satoru.[2][3]

In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori refers to a deep experience of kenshō,[4][5] "seeing into one's true nature". Ken means "seeing," shō means "nature" or "essence".[4]

Satori and kenshō are commonly translated as enlightenment, a word that is also used to translate bodhi, prajñā and Buddhahood.

Satori means the experience of awakening ("enlightenment") or apprehension of the true nature of reality.[3][6] It is often considered an experience that cannot be expressed in words.[6] While the term satori is derived from the Japanese verb "to know" (satoru), it is distinct from the philosophical concept of knowledge as it represents a transcendence of the distinction between one that knows and knowledge.[3


Bhāvanā (Pali;[1] Sanskrit, also bhāvana[2]) literally means "development"[3] or "cultivating"[4] or "producing"[1][2] in the sense of "calling into existence".[5] It is an important concept in Buddhist practice (Patipatti). The word bhavana normally appears in conjunction with another word forming a compound phrase such as citta-bhavana (the development or cultivation of the heart/mind) or metta-bhavana (the development/cultivation of lovingkindness). When used on its own, bhavana signifies contemplation and 'spiritual cultivation' generally.

Thus, the Bhavana is a method or process or activity to support one to reach Satipathana. The Bhavana is similar to The Pray which is the method to mindfully bring all one’s attention to one’s insight. It is the process to gain concentration to obtain self-awareness and existence at that moment. From this self-awareness, one will be able to reach and understand oneself as well as the true nature of reality which is thought by the Buddha as Satipatthana.

How does Mindfulness create world peace?

Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

Peace means freedom from disturbance and no harmful conflict. It could simply apply to tranquility, harmony, contentment, and composure. Being peaceful would allow one to consciously move along his/her activities without fear.

World peace is a state or period in which there is no war, or a war has ended. World peace or world war may be decided by merely some groups of people who are not aware of the impact.

Since peace is a status of mind that might be discovered by each individual.

Mindfulness would be a carrier or a process to bring one’s mind to go for peace. But the individual mindset is also important and requires good knowledge of the true nature, positive thinking, and wisdom to reach peace of mind through the process of mindfulness. The positive mindset as a principle of living would be cultivated and guided by the religion, Buddhism, and would be developed by the individual learning, awareness, and enlightening.

As a sample, one has knowledge of the principle of living and a positive mindset, he or she would have awareness and consciously work with others (Performing appropriate role, no corruption) and consciously live in the society (Saving environment, people respect, awareness). The process of this mindfulness would allow one to reach peace of mind.

However, may the majority of people have the knowledge of the Principle of living and being mindful for living their lives, the mindfulness would be norm for most of human being. Mindfulness would eliminate the tension of each individual and as well would allow the ones to discover peace of mind.

Mindfulness creates world peace.

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