The Buddha identified four foundations of mindfulness (catuḥ-smṛtyupasthāna) as antidotes to four habitual misunderstandings that are the root of suffering in everyday life. These mistakes lead to distorted perceptions, thoughts, and views that generate mental afflictions (attachment, aversion, and indifference).
We mistake the body as pure and pleasant, but it is corruptible and painful.
We mistake feelings for genuine experiences, but they are reactive projections.
We mistake the mind for a real self, but it is a mere continuum of thoughts.
We mistake phenomena for external objects, but they are internal mental representations.
By closely inspecting the body, feelings, the mind, and phenomena, we abandon these habitual misunderstandings. —TN