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Is it the case that a quiet mind can best execute Sati-Sampajañña because there are no interfering thoughts disturbing it?

If the answer is yes, should the main concern in day-to-day life be to tranquilize the mind, to think and keep wisdom in mind, or even both?

Regards

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In respect to meditation, the quiet mind is the end result of the execution of Sati-Sampajañña. The role of Sati-Sampajañña in meditation is to ensure there are no interfering thoughts.

As for daily life, the role of Sati-Sampajañña is to ensure or remember Right Speech, Right Action & Right Livelihood are performed in respect to daily activities.

Sati-Sampajañña does not only have one outcome. I suggest to read MN 117, which describes how Sati-Sampajañña is used in relation to each factor of the Path.

In summary:

  • In meditation, Sati-Sampajañña ensures the mind has Right View & Right Thought that leads to Right Concentration.

  • In daily life, Sati-Sampajañña ensures Right Speech, Right Action & Right Livelihood are maintained when interacting with others.

For example, from MN 117:

One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.

One is mindful to abandon wrong resolve & to enter & remain in right resolve: This is one's right mindfulness....

One is mindful to abandon wrong speech & to enter & remain in right speech: This is one's right mindfulness....

One is mindful to abandon wrong action & to enter & remain in right action: This is one's right mindfulness.....

One is mindful to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter & remain in right livelihood: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right livelihood.

  • I think in your summary you forgot for daily life & meditation Right Effort, no? – Val Mar 19 at 19:03
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Absence of thoughts is different than the awareness being roused.

For example, a bad day in Samsara can make one more aware of dukkha, and can rouse the awareness that one has dukkha and not clear release and knowing. This is a better place to start from: rousing the awareness, and setting mindfulness front and center. Ultimately Samsara is Nirvana.

Knowing this will quiet thoughts. One needs to be discontent, dissatisfied with samasara on the dukkha side. If one can find the quiet that rises up to overcome dukkha, that's a day-to-day practice.

"Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving [taṇhā, "thirst"] which leads to re-becoming, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there; that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for becoming, craving for disbecoming.

Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, non-reliance on it.

Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is this noble eightfold path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration."

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Saṭipatṭhāna has many levels, such as Sīla, Khaṇika Samādhi, Taruṇa Vipassanā, Balava Vipassanā, Ariya Magga.

Sīla, Khaṇika Samādhi and Taruṇa Vipassanā do not require a quiet mind, so the practitioner can do it in day-to-day life.

Upacāra Samādhi, Appanā Samādhi (Lokiya Jhāna), Balava Vipassanā, Ariya Magga (Lokuttara Jhāna) require a quiet mind because...

  1. Upacāra Samādhi mind and Appanā Samādhi mind (Lokiya Jhāna) know only one object, unleashing five string objects, but Sīla and Khaṇika Samādhi minds know those both five string objects and unleashing five string objects, so they can't upgrade to be Upacāra Samādhi mind, Appanā Samādhi mind.
  2. Balava Vipassanā mind knows only the last vanished Vipassanā-Mind and it's three characteristics as object, but Taruṇa Vipassanā knows five string objects too, so it can't upgrade to be Balava Vipassanā.
  3. Ariya Magga mind (Lokuttara Jhāna) knows only Nibbāna, but Sīla, Khaṇika Samādhi, Taruṇa Vipassanā, and Balava Vipassanā minds know the other objects too, so they can upgrade to be Ariya Magga.

So, the definition of the meditation is:

All the wisdom of one who has attained (appanā), is, wisdom by means of development.

The meditation is the cessation of all suffering, not only the present suffering. If the meditation is not strong enough, it can ceases only the present suffering and keeps the future suffering going on.

Daily life Vipassanā is good and the practitioner should do it, but Nibbāna is the best, so only doing good is not enough to enlighten Nibbāna.

See KN Paṭisambhidāmagga, Visuddhimagga, DN Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasutta.

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