The Four Paths to Mindfulness (Satipatthana)
I. Contemplating the Physical Body:
3. Clear comprehension
4. The elements of earth, wind, water, fire, space
5. Bodily waste and hygiene
6. One's own mortality.
II. Contemplating Sensations:
Pleasant, unpleasant, neutral.
III. Cognition and the Mental States:
(un) Developed; (un) Absorbed; (un) Freed
IV. Mental Objects:
5 Aggregates of clinging
Material form, Sensation, Perception, Formations, Cognition
6 Senses (thought is 6th)
7 Factors of Enlightenment
Mindfulness, Investigation, Effort, Joy,
Tranquility, Concentration, Equanimity
4 noble truths
The brain produces four main types of brain wave which are shown by EEG readings. Each type of brain wave produces the listed effects at specific frequencies:
Beta Brain Waves (13-30 cycles per second). The fastest, representing the most intense state of alertness. The result of heightened mental activity. Maximum mind power. All five external senses, logical mind, memory from the five senses & logical thinking.
Alpha Brain Waves (8 to 12 cycles per second) This brain wave indicates a relaxed state of mind.. State of relaxed alertness, good for inspiration and learning facts fast. A meditative mind. In this state tap into internal “antenna” like qualities. Visions, powerful ideas, mindless creation of the incredible. Internal feeling & sensations.
Theta Brain Waves (4 to 8 cycles per second) Deep meditation. Deep inward thought. This is associated with life-like imagination. High state of mental concentration. A magical mind. Internal pictures / visualisation. Intuition, inner guidance. Access to unconscious material. Dreaming.
Delta Brain Waves (0.5 to 4 cycles per second) Deep dreamless sleep. Deep relaxation. State of oneness, whole body feeling. Pure being & will.
Studies have shown that learning in Alpha State enhances the performance of students. It also develops the interest of studies in students more than they have ever learned in tense environment. Frequent gaps of 2 to 3 minutes after every 30 minute study period relaxes their minds and the alpha state will prove its efficiency with great ease and fun. But learning is more than just absorbing information, so changing the state of mind to operate Beta, Alpha and Theta is most likely to produce the best learning, cognition and creativity, while also staying in a relaxed state.
Exercises to access the brain wave states
I have developed the exercises below to attain the separate specific brain waves which can then be added together as you desire. All four at once is quite an experience!
Beta brain wave — Become hyper aware of your 5 senses, notice what you can smell, the taste in your mouth, what your hands are touching, become acutely aware of what you hear and see. Having done this you will know that you are in beta due to the intense external input and the total lack of awareness of your body, feelings or sensations.
Alpha brain wave — Try the following exercise first with your eyes open & then repeat it with your eyes closed. Take a deep breath, hold it and notice the sensations as your heart beats three times, relax & breath out — repeat 3X. Breathe in and out slowly to a count of 4, as you do so notice how your body feels —relaxed & warm.
Theta brain wave — do this after the alpha brain wave exercise. Close your eyes and visualise a sacred cup where your heart is (or another object of your choice) hold this picture for several minutes. Breathe in and out slowly.
Delta brain waves — do this after the other exercises, become aware & notice a warm sensation in your heart, now this sensation flow down and then spread out until it fills all of your body — one sensation.
Fuse, or making offerings;
Jikai, or keeping the precepts;
Ninniku, or enduring insult and persecution without anger;
Shojin, or ceaseless effort;
Zenjo, or focus, control of mind, and;
Chie, or wisdom.
Normal ranges for blood pressure in adult humans are:
Systolic: less than 120 mmHg (2.32 psi or 15 kPa)
Diastolic: less than 80 mmHg (1.55 psi or 10 kPa)
1. Faith (Saddha-Indriya)
2. Energy (Viriya-Indriya)
3. Mindfulness (Sati-Indriya)
4. Concentration (Samadhi-Indriya)
5. Understanding or wisdom (Panna-Indriya)
Text talks about combining these with the seven factors of enlightenment
The four Brahma-vihaaras ("divine abidings"), also called the four "boundless (appamańńa) states," are:
1. Loving-kindness (mettaa),
2. Compassion (karu.naa),
3. Sympathetic Joy (muditaa),
4. Equanimity (upekkhaa).
Footnote 1 of the text:
Bojjhanga (=bodhi-anga, lit. "limb of enlightenment") or sambojjhanga.
The seven bojjhangas are so called (SN 46.5) "because they lead to enlightenment" (bodhi).
1. Mindfulness (sati-sambojjangha),
2. Investigation of (Mental and Physical) States (dhamma-vicaya-s.),
3. Energy (viriya-s.),
4. Rapture (piiti-s.),
5. Tranquillity (passaddhi-s.),
6. Concentration (samaadhi-s.),
7. Equanimity (upekkhaa-s.).
The text makes it clear that of these the first, mindfulness, is the most important, since it is valuable in all circumstances, whereas the others are not always appropriate.
Sagatha-vagga — The Section of Verses (contains samyuttas 1-11)
Nidana-vagga — The Section on Causation (12-21)
Khandha-vagga — The Section on the Aggregates (22-34)
Salayatana-vagga — The Section on the Six Sense Bases (35-44)
Maha-vagga — The Great Section (45-56)