Miccha-sati - meaning

what Reverend Mahasi wrote?

Wrong mindfulness is the recollection of worldly matters and unwholesome deeds of the past. Some remember the unwholesome things they did when they were young, their companions, the placesthey visited, their happy days, and so forth. They may be likened to cows chewing the cud at night. These recollections are wrong mindfulness. However, it is not wrong mindfulness when one recognises the mistakes of the past, repents, and resolves not to repeat them in future. Such repentance is right mindfulness. Some monks think of their parents, relatives, native places, and the companionsof their childhood. They recall how they spent their days as laymen. They think of what they have to do for so-and-so. All these recollections of the past are wrong mindfulness. Laymen need not reject thoughts about their sons, daughters, etc., for such recollections are natural. However, while meditating, the meditator should note and reject them. As he sits in his retreat at the meditation centre, noteing the rising and falling of the abdomen or his other bodily movements, “sitting”, “touching”, etc., the meditator recalls what he did formerly, his sayings and doings in his youth, his friends, etc. These are wrong mindfulness and have to be noted and rejected. Some old men and women think of their grandchildren. While noteing their thoughts, they have mental visions of the children near them and they fancy they hear the children calling them. All these have to be noted and expelled. Some meditators felt compelled to return home because they could not overcome these unwholesome thoughts. A meditator’s spiritual effort is often thwarted by wrong mindfulness. In the final analysis a wrong recollection is not a distinct element of consciousness. It is a collection of unwholesome elements in the form of memories concerning worldly and unwholesome things of the past.
Which I presume RobertK disagrees with?

Robert: as the Sayadaw points out there is no such ‘distinct element ‘ as miccha sati.
why is it given that name in the suttas that talk about the wrong path.
this is because the other factors such as miccha-ditthi , miccha-samadhi, etc are actual realities with their ‘opposites’ samma-ditthi, samma-sammadhi and so on.It destroys tHE symmetry of the sutta to exclude sati.

In the sallekha sutta commentary (which I think thE sayadaw took some points from)it says about miccha-sati that

In truth, miccha sati is not
specific to a particular dhamma, but it is a name for the 4
akusala khandha, which arises in one who thinks of the
past. When the Buddha said, “Bhikkhu, the Tatagatha
said that there is miccha sati not that there isn’t.
There is sati in those who thinks of gaining sons, gaining’”O
The Buddha meant the
arising of the fake (artificial, untrue, etc.) sati…

I took this from a ThaI translation so it might be a bit clumsy

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As there is Samma Sati for Sama Samadhi, there is Micca Sati for Micca Samadhi - like a hunter aiming the gun at an animal that is unaware of the situation.

Maybe the factor is actually wrong concentration, miccha-samadhi, in this case?

Yes. You see some people eat something and feel the taste and say ‘so good’ etc. There they are concentrated on the taste. We do this quite often unknowingly. Often such concentration is short.

I think it’s good to analyse the hunter’s psychological condition during the hunt.

Concentration/focus on the wrong thing with the wrong reason and the wrong mentality with the wrong expectation. Once the intention is wrong, everything seems to be wrong. Ill will driven by lust for flesh is predominant here. A strong desire to destroy or kill an animal is very obvious if the mind of the hunter is analysed.

Does that happen to every hunter every time he/she hunts? Perhaps not because intention can be different. A tigress kills to eat and/or to feed its cubs. Ill will and good will happen together in this scenario.

You might know this story of a butcher during Buddha time. He killed a cow everyday for sale. His wife cooked the tongue for his dinner everyday. One day the tongue was also sold and not available for him. With anger he cut off a cow’s tongue and let his wife cook it. While eating the tongue his tongue fell off and he began to cry like that cow for seven days and he died.

I googled and found that story
Dhammapada Verses 235, 236, 237 and 238
Goghatakaputta Vatthu

The Dhammapada: Verses and Stories