The Ten Recollections

Frangipani FlowerThe ten recollections are:

The recollection of the Buddha is practised by calling to mind the virtues of the Buddha.

The recollection of the Dhamma is practised by calling to mind the virtues of the Dhamma.

The recollection of the Sangha is practised by calling to mind the virtues of the Sangha.

Note: These first three recollections are as enumerated in the traditional formulas. See The Mirror of the Dhamma (BPS Wheel No. 54 A/B, 1984), pp. 5-8. A copy of The Mirror of the Dhamma may be downloaded here by clicking on The Mirror of the Dhamma – wh054.

The recollection of morality is the practice of mindfully recollecting the special qualities of virtuous conduct, considered as untorn and free from bleach and blemish.

The recollection of generosity involves mindful recollection on the special qualities of generosity.

The recollection of the devas is practised by mindfully considering: “The deities are born in such exalted states on account of their faith, morality, learning, generosity, and wisdom. I too possess these same qualities.” This meditation subject is a term for mindfulness with the special qualities of one’s own faith, etc., as its object and with the devas standing as witnesses.

The recollection of peace is contemplation on the peaceful attributes of Nibbana.

The recollection of death is contemplation of the fact that one’s own death is absolutely certain, that the arrival of death is utterly uncertain, and that when death comes one must relinquish everything.

Mindfulness occupied with the body is contemplation of the thirty-two repulsive parts of the body – hairs of the head, hairs of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, etc.

Mindfulness of breathing is attentiveness of the touch sensation of the in-breath and out-breath in the vicinity of the nostrils or upper lip, wherever he air is felt striking as one breathes in and out.

Source: Bodhi, Bhikkhu, ed. A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma. Onalaska, WA: BPS Pariyatti Editions, 1999. (Pages 333, 336.)