|"The aim of my presentation will be to investigate what mindfulness practice is about according to the early Buddhist discourses. These discourses have been preserved in the Pali Nikayas, in the Chinese Agamas, and at times also in Sanskrit fragments and sutra quotations preserved in Tibetan. From a historical viewpoint, these discourses represent the earliest layer of Buddhist textual material and thus take us back as close as possible to the original instructions delivered by the Buddha.
In these texts, we find two basic expositions:
1) the fourfold establishment of mindfulness taught in general;
2) the threefold establishment of mindfulness associated with the Buddha himself.
First, I will examine the fourfold establishment of mindfulness, based on the way it is depicted in the different extant versions of the Discourse on Mindfulness and the Discourse on Mindfulness of Breathing. Then, I will compare these to the threefold establishment of mindfulness. Through such comparison, I hope to arrive at key aspects of Buddhist mindfulness practice according to the earliest available textual sources at our disposition." |