Pali Formulae

The view on which this work is based is that the passages of the suttas which are reported to be the most often repeated by the Buddha in all the four Nikāyas can be taken as indicating what he considered as being the most worthy of interest in his teaching, and at the same time as what represents with most accuracy his actual words. Eight of them are expounded in the Gaṇaka-Moggallāna Sutta (MN 107) and described as the Sekha Paṭipadā or Path for one under Training, which practically leads the neophyte all the way to the fourth jhāna.

Sekha Paṭipadā - The Path for one under Training

Twelve formulae that define step by step the main practices prescribed by the Buddha. It is of fundamental importance for anyone wishing to progress successfully, because it contains the instructions that will enable the meditator to set up the indispensable conditions for an efficient practice.

Ānāpānassati - Awareness of the Breath
The practice of ānāpānassati is highly recommended by the Buddha for all kinds of wholesome purposes and here you can understand quite precisely the instructions he gives.
Anussati - The Recollections
Here we have the standard description of the Buddha (≈140 occ.), the Dhamma (≈90 occ.) and the Sangha (≈45 occ.).
Appamāṇā Cetovimutti - The boundless liberations of the mind
The Buddha often praises the practice of the four appamāṇā cetovimutti, which are reputed for bringing protection against dangers and for being a way leading to Brahmaloka.
Arahatta - Arahantship
This is the stock formula by which the attainment of arahantship is described in the suttas.
Ariya Sīlakkhandha - The noble aggregate of virtue
Various rules to be followed by bhikkhus.
Arūpajjhānā - The Formless Jhānas
Here are the stock formulae describing the absorptions of samādhi beyond the fourth jhāna, which are referred to in late Pali litterature as arūpajjhānas.
Āsavānaṃ Khayañāṇa - Knowledge of the destruction of the āsavas
Knowledge of the destruction of the āsavas: arahantship.
Bhojane Mattaññutā - Moderation in food
Moderation in food: knowing the proper amount to eat.
Cattāro Jhānā - The four jhānas
The four jhānas: having a pleasant abiding.
Indriyesu Guttadvāratā - Surveillance at the entrance of sense faculties
Guard at the entrance of sense faculties: sense restraint.
Jāgariyaṃ Anuyoga - Dedication to wakefulness
Dedication to wakefulness: day and night.
Kammassakomhi - I am my own kamma
This formula explicits one of the foundation stones of the Buddha's teaching: a subjective version of the law of cause and effect.
Nīvaraṇānaṃ Pahāna - Removal of hindrances
Removal of the hindrances: overcoming obstructing mental states.
Pabbajjā - The going forth
The going forth: how one decides to renounce the world.
Pubbenivāsānussatiñāṇa - Knowledge of the recollection of former living places
Knowledge of the recollection of former living places: remembering one's past lives.
Satipaṭṭhāna - Presence of Awareness
These are the formulae by which the Buddha defines in brief what the four satipaṭṭhānas are (≈33 occ.).
Satisampajañña - Mindfulness and thorough understanding
Mindfulness and thorough understanding: an uninterrupted practice.
Satta saddhammā - Seven good qualities
Seven fundamental qualities that have to be mastered by the trainee in order to be successful. Four of these qualities appear also among the five spiritual indriyas and the five balas.
Sattānaṃ Cutūpapātañāṇa - Knowledge of the rebirth of diceased beings
Knowledge of the rebirth of diceased beings.
Sīlasampatti - Accomplishment in virtue
Accomplishment in virtue: a careful observance of the Pātimokkha rules.
Vivitta Senāsanena Bhajana - Resorting to secluded dwellings
The choice of a proper place and the adoption of the proper physical and mental posture is another sine qua non condition of successful practice.

Bodhi leaf