I received an email invite from a local Buddhist group that's holding a "Dhammanusati practice". In part it stated "Of the meditation practices, one of the most important practices is called Dhammanusati, the Contemplation of the Dharma". It was described as an ancient form of deep listening.

Dhammanusati looked to me like a typical Pali word and I thought I'd have no problem googling it and getting more information. But the only things that came up were a few blogs and videos and no results at all on the sites I usually rely on.

Is this a Pali word? Is it more commonly known by a different name? From the email I have a pretty good idea of what the practice involves. It's actually the word itself that is curious to me due to the lack of information online about it. Thanks for any information. :)

2 Answers 2


There's a word Anussati


Anussati (f.) [Sk. anusmṛti, fr. anu + smṛ, cp. sati] remembrance, recollection, thinking of, mindfulness. A late list of subjects to be kept in mind comprises six anussati -- ṭṭhānāni, viz. Buddha˚, Dhamma˚, Sangha˚, sīla˚, cāga˚, devatā˚, i. e. proper attention to the Buddha, the Doctrines, the Church, to morality, charity, the gods. Thus at D iii.250, 280 (cp. A i.211); A iii.284, 312 sq., 452; v.329 sq.; Ps i.28. Expanded to 10 subjects (the above plus ānāpāna -- sati, maraṇa -- sati, kāyagatā -- sati, upasamânussati) at A i.30, 42 (cp. Lal. Vist 34). For other references see D i.81; S v.67 = It 107 (anussaraṇa at latter pass.); A iii.284, 325, 452. Ps i.48, 95, 186; Pug 25, 60; Dhs 14, 23, 1350 (anussati here to be corr. to asati, see Dhs. trsl. 351); Sdhp. 225, 231, 482. See also anuttariya (anussat -- ânuttariya)

  • 2
    Thank you Chris! It seems likely they meant dhamma anussati. It threw me off seeing it as one word as I wasn't familiar with anussati. Very helpful. :)
    – Robin111
    May 9, 2015 at 2:01
  • Apparently words are compounded as they are in German.
    – ChrisW
    May 9, 2015 at 2:07
  • It took a bit to find because I started by looking for a word like "nusati" ... but the two a are ellided ... like, for example, they can't tell whether it's tatha-gata or tatha-agata.
    – ChrisW
    May 9, 2015 at 2:14
  • 2
    This document discusses the Practical Grammar of the Pali language. There's a section on compounded words.
    – ruben2020
    May 9, 2015 at 3:47
  • 3
    It should be a long ā... dhammānussati May 9, 2015 at 9:14

Dhamma - one of the four foundations of mindfulness. Sati - mindfulness

So Dhammanusati probably means mindfulness of the dhamma. They probably mean dhammanupassana when using that word.

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