6. The Teaching of Awareness (sati) in Corrado Pensa’s Thought

Teaching Awareness in the Buddhist Tradition - Essays in Honour of Professor Corrado Pensa - Chiara Neri

Chiara Neri [+-]
University of Cagliari
Chiara Neri, PhD, is Honorary Associate in Sanskrit Language and Literature at the University of Cagliari, Italy. Her research predominantly focuses on the study of Pāli canonical and commentarial literature from a linguistic, historical and philosophical point of view and on tracing the conjunctive and disjunctive linguistic-cultural connections between Vedic and Pāli canonical literature (specially with T. Pontillo). She has published numerous research papers in conference proceedings and international journals and a monograph: Compendio dell’essenza. Studio e traduzione di capitoli scelti del Sārasaṅgaha di Siddhattha Thera (Dell’Orso, 2020).

Description

Today the use of the term sati, ‘awareness,’ often translated as ‘mindfulness,’ has become very widespread, especially in some groups oriented to the well-being of their students from a psycho-physical point of view. This article will first briefly reconstruct the original idea of awareness (sati) as presented in the Pāli Canon and then analyse how it was interpreted by Professor Corrado Pensa, and why he thought sati was a key to understanding Buddhism itself. The image that emerges is that, although he has been a part of bringing mindfulness to the West, in contrast to some teachers who have tended to trivialize mindfulness and even divorce it from its Buddhist roots, he has very much been a vehicle for the transmission of the Burmese and Thai forest practice traditions, always embedding sati within the framework of Pāli Canonical texts.

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Citation

Neri, Chiara. 6. The Teaching of Awareness (sati) in Corrado Pensa’s Thought. Teaching Awareness in the Buddhist Tradition - Essays in Honour of Professor Corrado Pensa. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Oct 2023. ISBN 9781800503311. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=44238. Date accessed: 26 Nov 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.44238. Oct 2023

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