Itivuttaka: The Buddha’s Sayings

The Section of the Threes

85. Contemplating Foulness

This was said by the Lord…

“Bhikkhus, live contemplating the foulness of the body. Let mindfulness of breathing be inwardly well established before you. Live contemplating the impermanence of all formations.

“For those who live contemplating foulness in the body, the tendency to lust with regard to the element of beauty is abandoned. When mindfulness of breathing is inwardly well established before one, the tendencies of extraneous thoughts to produce vexation of mind remain no more. For those who live contemplating the impermanence of all formations, ignorance is abandoned and knowledge arises.”

Contemplating foulness in the body,
Being mindful of in-and-out breathing,
Ever ardent and seeing clearly
The calming down of all formations:

Such a bhikkhu who sees rightly
Is thereby well released.
Accomplished in knowledge, at peace,
That sage has overcome all bonds.