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satipatthana

in Buddhist philosophy, one of the preparatory stages of meditation practiced by Buddhist monks aiming for bodhi, or enlightenment. It consists of keeping something in mind constantly. According to the 4th- or 5th-century text Abhidharmakosa, there are four types of meditation of this kind: (1) the body is impure, (2) perception is the cause of pain, (3) the mind is transient, and (4) everything is without eternal substance. Practicing each of these meditations at first separately, then together, the adept leads himself to the more advanced stage of meditation. The purpose of these four types of meditation is to keep in mind that these bodily and mental functions have no eternal substance and thus to rid oneself of false views contrary to the contents of these four types of meditation. The samyak-smrti (right recollection), which is the seventh way of the noble Eightfold Path (aryastangamarga), is usually considered to refer to this smrtyupasthana.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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