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Extracts and Sayings of The Fruits of the Contemplative Life

The first chapter below consists of Buddhist wisdom that relates to "The Fruits of the Contemplative Life," Samannaphala Sutta, DN 2. It is followed by sayings and extracts from "The Roots of the Uposatha," Muluposatha Sutta, AN 3.70.

Most of these extracts and sayings are attributed to Buddha (563?–483? BCE). After his yogic enlightenment he devoted 45 years to sharing his teachings. Some cornerstones can be rendered as "Suffering can be ended," and "Right livelihood favours contemplation" [well implied]. Today, estimatedly 300-500 million people profess a Buddhist faith. There are many variants.


Four "Steps" (Jhanas) on the Way Lightly Rephrased

1. Quite withdrawn a contemplative enters and remains in the first jhana, which is rapture and pleasure accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. The contemplative permeates this very body with rapture and pleasure. - Buddha mod

2. With the stilling of directed thought and evaluation, the contemplative enters and remains in the second jhana, which is rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness, and internal assurance. There is nothing of the contemplative's entire body that is not pervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure. - Buddha mod

3. With the fading of rapture, the contemplative remains in equanimity, mindful and alert, and physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters and remains in the third jhana, which is equanimous and mindful: he has a pleasurable abiding. - Buddha mod

4. With the abandoning of pleasure and stress the able practitioner enters and remains in the fourth jhana, which is purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure nor stress. He sits with a pure, bright awareness. Permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness is a fruit of the contemplative life. - Buddha mod

Source: "The Fruits of the Contemplative Life," Samannaphala Sutta, DN 2



Buddhist Teachings

Most of these sayings and statements tie in with statements of Buddha as recorded in the Digha Nikaya (DN). There is a link to it at the bottom of the page.

LoA concentrated mind becomes mindful and more unperturbed

From developing a concentrated, pure mind one may wield manifold supranormal powers: Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space. He dives in and out of the earth as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land. Sitting cross-legged he flies through the air like a winged bird. - Buddha de

Some priests and contemplatives maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, including lowly arts. - Buddha

By directing and inclining his steadied, well concentrated mind to knowledge of the awareness of other beings, he knows the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He discerns a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion. He discerns a restricted mind as a restricted mind, an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind. And he discerns an excelled mind [one that is not at the most excellent level] as an excelled mind. He discerns a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind. - Buddha

It is well to abstain from damaging seed and plant life. - Buddha de

A good man dwells without covetousness. - Buddha

The good one abstains from running messages and errands for people. - Buddha de

The noble one prefer a secluded dwelling, sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore. - Buddha de

With his mind thus concentrated, purified, steady, and unperturbed, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of passing away and re-appearance of things. - Buddha de

A great man abstains from abusive speech. He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart. - Buddha de

LoBacking up an inward-turning, undisturbed, concentrated mind matters - it tends to clarify itself from inside

Through pleasure the mind should become concentrated. - Buddha de (3)

Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, we should dwell undisturbed, with our minds inwardly stilled. - Buddha

A fine person abstains from watching vanity shows and from heedless and idle games. - Buddha de

It is very good to abstain from the taking of life for the welfare of all living beings. - Buddha mod

If there were a pool of water in a mountain glen – clear, limpid, and unsullied – where a man with good eyesight standing on the bank could see shells, gravel, and pebbles, and also shoals of fish swimming about and resting, and it would occur to him, "This pool of water is clear, limpid, and unsullied." With his mind thus concentrated and well purified, one directs and inclines the well steadied mind to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations and the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' - Buddha

LoFocusing one's mind well brings about many pleasures, increase of alertness is one of many

A good man lives not by stealth but by means of a self that has become pure. - Buddha de (5)

By means of the heavenly eye, purified and surpassing the human eyes – he sees beings and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their karma. . - Buddha

Endowed with this noble restraint over the sense faculties, the sturdy monk is inwardly sensitive to the pleasure of being blameless. - Buddha mod

Incline the concentrated mind well - and to knowledge. - Buddha mod

A fit man finds little interesting in philosophical discussions. - Buddha mod

For a monk, wrong livelihood includes such as consecrating sites for construction. . - Cf. Buddha

The fit one dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth and drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. - Buddha de

Abandoning ill will and anger, the good man dwells with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. - Buddha de

With his mind thus concentrated, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the recollection of previous homes (meaning: past lives). He recollects manifold past lives, and in their modes and details. - Buddha

The good man, abandoning divisive speech he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord. - Buddha de

Good health, not being in prison, freedom, a place of security, these make some people glad, nay, enraptured, nay, tranquil - and hence sensitive to pleasure. - Buddha de ✪ 

It is well to abstain from forms of scheming and persuading. They include improper ways of trying to gain material support from donors. - Buddha de

Having crossed over uncertainty, he suffers no perplexity with regard to skilful mental qualities. - Buddha

The fine man acts with alertness: Going forward and returning, he acts with alertness. When looking toward and looking away. When bending and extending his limbs. When carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe, and his bowl. When eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting. When urinating and defecating. When walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and remaining silent, he acts with alertness. - Buddha de

The good man speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal. - Buddha de

The fair man speaks words worth treasuring. They are reasonable and may be circumscribed. - Buddha de

The fine man cleanses his mind. - Buddha de

The good man abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver. - Buddha de

The great man cleanses his mind of covetousness. - Buddha de

The great one abstains from idle chatter. - Buddha de

Priests and contemplatives are to abstain from such lowly arts as forecasting defeats while living off food given in faith. - Buddha de

The strong monk is inwardly sensitive to the pleasure of being blameless. - Buddha de

With his mind well concentrated and inclined to the divine ear ---the contemplating one knows, "That is the sound of kettledrums, that is the sound of small drums, that is the sound of conchs, that is the sound of cymbals, and that is the sound of tom-toms." - Buddha

A good man abstains from the use of false scales, deception, and fraud. - Buddha de

The nobly content monk takes only his barest necessities along. - Buddha

The proper monk is mindful and alert. - Cf Buddha (7)

The pure man, while living off food given in faith, abstains from collecting debts, making investments and loans, and bringing forth flames from the mouth. - Cf Buddha

He hears – by means of the inner ear – both kinds of sounds: divine and human, whether near or far. - Buddha de

There seems to be little gain in talking about lowly topics and thoughtless debates. - Cf Buddha


  1. A well concentrated mind enters one's heart.
  2. A fit way of living backs up the gentle heart (life-core) within.
  3. Focusing adequately favours recall and recollections after time, and helps the mind's auto-cleaning work from within as well.
IN NUCEConcentrate on, to gain a favourable living attuned to your deep heart.


More - From the Muluposatha Sutta

Abstain from false speech. - Buddha

Buddha is an expert with regard to the world. - Buddha mod

By recollecting the Tathagata [i.e., Buddha] the mind should be calmed, and joy arise, and defilements of the mind abandoned. - Buddha de

It is owing to Brahma that one's mind is calmed. - Buddha

It should do well to abandon imposing seats and beds. - Cf Buddha

Kingship over human beings is a meagre thing when compared with heavenly bliss. - Buddha

One should indeed abstain from fermented and distilled liquors that cause heedlessness. - Buddha

One should not tell a lie. - Buddha

One should refrain from the sexual act that is the villager's way. - Buddha

The defiled mind can also be cleansed by recollecting solid virtues and living with them. - Buddha de

The defiled mind ought to be cleansed through the proper technique. - Buddha de

The Sangha [Community] of the Buddha's disciples consists of those who have practiced well, straight-forwardly, methodically, and masterfully. Such disciples should be worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, and merit. - Buddha mod

Those who speak the truth and hold to the truth are reliable, and no deceivers. - Buddha de


Buddha Sayings according to Digha Nikaya, including Anguttara Sutta and Muluposatha Sutta, Buddhist lore, Buddhism, Literature  

The Fruits of the Contemplative Life, Samannaphala Sutta, DN 2

The Roots of the Uposatha, Muluposatha Sutta, AN 3.70

Pali Canon collections:

AN - Anguttara Nikaya (Collection of Discourses arranged according to numbers)

DN - Digha Nikaya (Collection of Long Discourses)

MN - Majjhima Nikaya (Collection of Middle-Length Discourses)

SN - Samyutta Nikaya (Collection of Kindred Sayings)


Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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