by Eric Harrison
A brilliant, new, secular explanation of the Buddha’s teachings on mindfulness Usually translated as The Foundations of Mindfulness, the Satipatthana Sutta – taken from the 2,500 year-old teachings of the Buddha himself – is the original ‘DIY manual’ on how to meditate and be mindful.
Just a few pages long, with 13 recommended practices, it provides the authority for the worldwide practice of mindfulness. However, this influential text has been neglected of late – not least because the common translation, in Victorian English, is virtually indecipherable. So, modern mindfulness students – focused instead on the Zen practice of ‘just sitting’ – risk missing the benefits of the Buddha’s more sophisticated approach.
In 1975, Eric Harrison retranslated the Satipatthana Sutta and made it the basis of his teaching career. Now, with his new translation and commentary – informed by a lifelong consideration of the Buddha’s original teachings – he makes mindfulness more accessible than ever, particularly to those coming to it not by way of Buddhism or prior meditation practice.
Eric Harrison is the author of seven books on meditation and mindfulness that have been translated into 13 languages and published in 15 countries. He began teaching meditation as a secular, science-based therapy decades ago – long before the modern mindfulness movement began – and has taught tens of thousands of students. He lives in Perth, Australia.