The Fourth Frame of Reference
March 29, 2009

Ajaan Lee often made the point that when you’re focused on the breath, you don’t have just the first frame of reference or the first foundation of mindfulness. You have all four right there. The breath is the body in and of itself. That’s the first frame of reference. The feelings of pleasure or pain that you’re encountering as you deal with the breath count as feelings in and of themselves. That’s the second. As for the mind state you’re trying to develop, you find that it’s either defiled or not. Or as you get further into this third frame of reference, you start noticing when the mind is concentrated or when it’s not; when it’s expanded or enlarged, or when it’s not; whether it’s released or not; whether it’s ever been excelled or not.