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Cultivation of sampajañña

During Home Retreats, we take a specific period of time (days or weeks) when we bring an out-of-the-ordinary attention into our everyday activities coupled with an increase of formal meditation practice. By increasing the frequency and the total amount of time we practice vipassanā and/or samatha (concentration meditation), we anchor the retreat. What ties the practice together is the cultivation of sampajañña in our everyday activities. On Home Retreat sampajañña becomes the yogi’s primary meditation tool when not doing formal meditation.
      Tip: This particular Pāli term is pointed out and used because it is generally not understood and frequently often overlooked during formal retreat practice. In the footnotes there are very good definitions and references where you can study and become more familiar with how important this practice is. This is especially important for householders and the successful Home Retreat. In a nutshell, should you not choose to look it up and become familiar with what the term means in our everyday lives, sampajañña is a mental process where the yogi considers every speech and action through the filters of virtue and the Three Characteristics(ti-lakkhana). Without this conscious intention our practices become dry and silently separate us from the intentions that move us to practice.
Nyanaponika Thera
Nyanaponika Thera
During Home Retreat we use the fodder of habit patterns; when the mind needs to make a choice, we apply sampajañña or sati whenever possible. Each person will have differing spheres of blind habit and unique intense preferences. Habits and preferences are often strong and easily seen in relationship with food, sleep needs, sexual thinking/actions, and when and why we partake in entertainment.

Samatha: 1. Concentration meditation: Attending to a single object of meditation without interruption. 2. The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering, Chapter Seven, ‘Sammā-Samādhi’, Bhikkhu Bodhi.

Three Characteristics: (ti-lakkhana) 1. The Three Characteristics of existence, or signata, are Impermanence (anicca), suffering/dissatisfaction or misery (dukkha) and Not-Self (anattā). Buddhist Dictionary by Nyanatiloka. 2. In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are three characteristics of all existence and beings, namely impermanence (anicca), unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha), and non-self (anattā). These three characteristics are mentioned in verses 277, 278 and 279 of the Dhammapada. That humans are subject to delusion about the three marks, that this delusion results in suffering/dissatisfaction, and that removal of that delusion results in the end of suffering/dissatisfaction, are central themes in the Buddhist Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path. Wikipedia.

Abbreviations in footnotes: AN: Aṅguttara Nikāya, DN: Dingha Nikāya, MN: Majjhima Nikāya, SN: Saṃyutta Nikāya