The Satipaṭṭhāna Method

November 19, 2022

[revised 12/2/2022] Suppose you want to do something really well, maybe wash the dishes, ride a bicycle, write a report, identify the birds feeding in your back yard, play a tune. What mental resources do you require? First, you need to bring the relevant knowledge and skills to bear; they are always there, even for the simplest task. Second, you need to be very attentive to the circumstances in which you are performing the task. Third, since you want to do the task really well, you need to muster attention and concern to bear on the task. Fourth, you need to let go of all distractions to your attention and concern.


What I have described is what I call the ‘satipaṭṭhāna method.’ It is a method that when developed and cultivated turns into the skill of doing things skillfully. Learning this skill is critical to Buddhist practice. The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta goes beyond the method: it outlines a fourfold practice task, along with this four-factored method which is applied in the performance of that task:

Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, and recollective, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending, and recollective, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating mind in mind, ardent, clearly comprehending, and recollective, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, and recollective, having put away covetousness and grief for the world.
(MN 10 i56)

. . .  MORE: SatipatthanaMethod

Rethinking the Satipaṭṭhāna

March 18, 2022


A podcast series on
the Establishment of Mindfulness
Bhukkhu Cintita
starts Friday, March 18

Find it HERE

Talks on Samādhi

February 4, 2022

The following is another series of talks that has appeared in my two-year-old podcast series, found on the audio and video page and many podcast hosts.


4. Samadhi and right view (2/2). How is it possible to develop knowledge and wisdom based on right view from within samadhi? This is the art of balancing vipassana with jhana.

3. Samadhi and right view (1/2). The attainment of wisdom attributed to samādhi is generally called knowledge and vision. However, the question remains controversial how knowledge and vision are related to right view, i.e., to Dharma, for how can understanding of something cognitively complex be brought into the stillness of samadhi?

2. Pleasurable abiding in samadhi. Pleasurable abiding in the progressively unfolding factors of delight, tranquility and samaadhi is a karmic fruit that we enjoy when we are engaged in wholesome practice of all kinds. It has the important function of informing our practice of the difference between worldly and suprmundane pleasure.

 1. The context of samadhi. Far from the common characterization of samadhi (concentration) as a difficult and specialized practice of samatha, what we find in the Suttas is that samadhi arises quite spontaneously in a wide variety of practice contexts. It is a rather bread-and-butter factor in Buddhist practice.

Interview with Bhikkhu Cintita: “Sitagu Sayadaw, the coup and Burmese Buddhism”

January 27, 2022


Please click on the image to hear the interview.

Talks on the Buddhist life and the Buddhist path

January 20, 2022

Continuing to offer an overview of my weekly podcasts for the last two years, I offer the two series that supplement my book  Buddhist Life/Buddhist Path.

Buddhism began with the Buddha, a towering figure who lived some hundred generations ago, taught for forty-five years, developed a huge following of ascetics and householders, kings and paupers, and left behind a vast corpus of teachings, astonishingly profound and comprehensive, consistent, brilliantly coherent and still intelligible today. His teachings span not only the higher training of meditation, psychology and the path to awakening, but also practical advice on virtue, harmony, community and basic human values. He left behind a culture of peace and awakening and a monastic community that persist to this day. These talks on the Buddhist Life and Buddhist Path are based on the earliest stratum of scriptural sources, on early Buddhism. They supplement Book One of the text  Buddhist Life/Buddhist Path: foundations of Buddhist based on earliest sources, and it is recommended that these talks be heard in conjunction with reading the text.

There are two sets of podcasts, one called Buddhist Life and the other Buddhist Path:


Twelve talks, click on the image. These encompass instructions for leading an upright, virtuous and devoted Buddhist life, a life rooted in basic Buddhist values, which constitute the prerequisites for the Buddhist Path.

Twelve talks, click on the image. These encompass the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path, that is, systematic training in virtue, wisdom and equanimity and toward awakening.

Audio: What did the Buddha think of women?

January 12, 2022

I have been quietly reposting my podcast to this site since the beginning of COVID on THIS PAGE. I thought I would start highlighting some of these posts for the sake of my blog subscribers, starting with:

What did the Buddha think of women


Buddhism is widely known throughout the world as a religion of peace and kindness. It is  less known as a religion of gender-equality. Yet that the Buddha would harbor the slightest bit of ill-will toward women, flies in the face of the complete awakening of the Buddha. These talks are based on an essay found HERE.

Part two. Last week’s talk demonstrated the exemplary support the Buddha provided to women’s practice. This week we will look at a controversial text, describing with the origin of the nun’s sangha, that at first sight seems to paint a starkly contrasting picture of the Buddha.

Part one. Buddhism is not widely known as a religion of gender-equality. But the early the discourses show repeatedly that the Buddha had the deepest kindness and respect for women, as particularly evident in his treatment of the nun’s Sangha.

more of BC’s talks

New Book: Dependent Coarising, meaning construction in the twelve links

June 15, 2021


Finally I am able to announce the publication of the book that has been in the works for several years. I thank many for the support I have received in this project.

The twelve links of dependent co-arising are touted traditionally as among the deepest teachings of the Buddha. Yet they have become misunderstood and marginalized as a support for actual practice. The epistemic approach of this book  restores the cognitive basis of this critical teaching, thereby recovering the subjectivity and insubstantiality fundamental to the early Buddhadharma, particularly  in revealing how we misperceive the world . It discusses each of the twelve links in detail and explains how they cohere into the process that keeps us entangled in saṃsāra. Each link thereby becomes a focus for practice toward liberation from the human dilemma.

This book is now available for download as a pdf HERE. Hardcopies will soon be available at the Sitagu Buddha Vihara library and at the Sitagu Dhamma Vihara (MN), and for order at printing cost from Ebook formats are also certainly forthcoming.




The Buddha’s method

March 26, 2021

I have to admit that on first encounter the early Buddhist texts struck me as abstruse and disconnected, and that – given their antiquity and obscure history – I fully expected them to remain so. With further engagement over time, however, I was delighted to discover a brilliant, methodical and consistent mind shining through those profound teachings and now marvel at how well time has treated these ancient texts. Among other things, I recognized the coherence of the Buddha’s methodology.

Every field of at least intellectual interest sets parameters for what it investigates and how it investigates it. We’ve had the scientific method since the seventeenth century that bounces between empirical discovery/verification of objective data, and hypothesis formation. Mathematics, art criticism, philosophy, law music, psychology and so on have methods appropriate to their fields, sometime explicitly stated, sometimes with an implicit culturally sustained understanding. The characteristic method reflects, but also shapes, the character of the respective field, by setting parameters on its scope of concern and on its means of explanation. It is the same with the Buddhadhamma

The Buddha’s method breaks down into four recognizable parameters, each of which the Buddha articulates explicitly and carefully. Bringing them together and then pointing out how they logically cohere is the task of the current paper. The parameters of the Buddha’s method are:

• Practicality. The Buddhadhamma serves to support practice and practice serves to bring benefit. What lies beyond that has little place in the Buddhadhamma.

• Subjectivity. The realm of Buddhadhamma, its practice and its benefit is the world as we experience it. Underlying mechanisms that stand behind our experience have a marginal role in Buddhadhamma.

• Insubstantiality. What we presume experientially to be true or to exist “out there” independently of our cognition of it is of dubious validity.

• Conditionality. Conditional relations constitute a privileged way to explain the world meaningfully without resort to underlying mechanisms.

MORE … Read the rest of this entry »

Dependent Co-arising Project

February 5, 2021

coarisingcovervt6For the last several years, I have been working on a project to better understand and clearly present perhaps the Buddha’s most profound and comprehensive teaching, that of dependent co-arising, identified by the Buddha with the Dhamma itself. Several years ago, I used to post a new essay each week to this blog. Since then I have undertaken a series of bigger projects, producing a few books, which can be found under “books” on this site. I apologize for neglecting my readership.

In any case, I am ready to announce some results of this project:

  • I am distributing a polished draft of the book whose cover appears to the left. Click on the image to download a copy as pdf.
  • I have begin a series of weekly podcasts, starting January 22, based on this text are found HERE.

I invite you make make use of these resources. Any feedback or discussion is welcome.



New On-line Classes

June 28, 2020

Saturday afternoons, July 11 – August 29, 2020

led by Bhikkhu Cintita

Kind words: adventures in being nice” (for kids, 7 – 12 years old), 1:00 – 1:50 pm

Are you a jackal or a giraffe? Giraffes are gentle creatures with super big hearts. They also have really really long necks and can see what is going on even far away. They’re nice. Jackals are greedy, fight over dead animals, and live close to the ground. They’re mean. We all have both in us, but as Buddhists we can learn to be more and more like giraffes by talking and listening to people the way giraffes do. (The topic of this class is much like that of the adult class, but explained for kids. We will begin each class with the refuges and precepts and conclude with sharing the merits.)

When we don’t agree: harmony through empathy” (adults/teens), 2:00 – 2:50 pm

We live with conflict at many levels, from family to politics, at work and while shopping. This class is about bringing harmony into our lives. These teachings are based largely on the Buddha’s Dharma and Vinaya – the Buddha gave special attention to how to maintain harmony in the Sangha. They also draw heavily from “Non-violent Communication” (NVC), a modern set of practical techniques employed successfully in conflict resolution throughout the world, which are remarkably consistent with the Buddha’s teachings. Both emphasize deep understanding. There will be some recommended readings.

Information and registration

These classes will be conducted on-line. Please install Zoom ( on your device. Email with the subject line “Zoom classes,” to register or ask questions. To register, include your name, where you live (city or state) and which class(es) you would like to enroll in. You will receive by email instructions for joining the even on-line, updates and course materials. STAY SAFE! – BC

Download flier