Does vedana mean body sensation?

Does vedana mean body sensation or
emotion such as anger , jealousy ,
joyful etc ?

There is vedana associated with everything that you perceive.

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The feeling that arises from contact with visual forms, sounds, odors, and tastes is always a neutral feeling. (looking at an ordinary stone , listening to
a ringing from alarm clock ,
smells from sea breeze ,
tasting a piece of bread , etc)
Pleasant or unpleasant feelings
do not always follow in relation
to these four sense perceptions;
but for body touchings and mind impressions sometimes
accompanying soothing ,
pleasant , unpleasant ,
irritation and neutral .

Many consider vedana as “feeling-tone” of relatively bare sensory (i.e. the “6” senses) contact – simply attracting (“pleasant”), repelling (“unpleasant”), or neither. A basic function in living organisms that’s more or less hardwired. From the simplest amoeba to the intricacy of the human sensory-nervous system, every sensory stimulation automatically evokes a feeling-tone. At the simplest level – the ameoba – does this contact (chemical detection) signal something maybe to eat? Or maybe something that wants to eat me? Or doesn’t matter.

What we commonly call emotions are considered relatively complex reactions, sankharas, perhaps triggered by the feeling-tone, but then built up further with perceptions (sanna) that name and categorize the stimulus, and then remembered associations, and so on. Could call it self-related elaboration (e.g. using Antonio Damasio’s sense of the “autobiographical self” with all those personal memories, associations, etc.). Also possibly related to papanca, as it’s a form of proliferation and intimately connected with the self/identity.


So , vedana simply means sensation ?

emotions is sankhara ?
and is follow
by perception (naming ?) ?

Isn’t that after senses in contact
with the object will give rise to
vedana following by sanna and
then sankhara ?

[quote=“James, post:5, topic:5725, full:true”]

So , vedana simply means sensation ? [/quote]
The bare initial reaction to sensation.

Contact (phasa) evokes feeling-tone reaction (vedana); that triggers, gets elaborated by “perception” mechanism (sanna – association with name, meanings, etc.); then further built-up, combined with other memories, intentions, etc. into more elaborate sankhara (fabrications), etc.

Contact --> feeling tone is built-in, “biological”, so to speak. The further processing and elaboration are “optional”. In an “awakened” mind there’s no kamma-producing reaction; just “functional” dealing with the situation.

But then there’s “cessation of feeling and perception”. That “feeling” is the mental reaction that takes place immediately following the bare (5-sense door) contact. The 5-sense feeling-tone (vedana) is built into organisms; the succeeding mental mirror of it can be avoided.

This is found in abhidhamma analysis, where there are enumerated six vedana: the three built into the 5-sense-door stimulation (pleasant/unpleasant/neither); plus the three corresponding vedana (mentally pleasant/unpleasant/neither) that occur in the immediately following , 6th-sense-door mental reaction. These latter reactions are optional, not instantiated in awakened awareness.

Does it include thinking and memory ?

Those are more complex, built out of perceptions (naming, identifying “what it is”). There’s a bit of memory to that, but “thinking and memory” implies more complex fabrications:

“Thinking about it, I remember also this or that related experience; then putting those together, it may bring to mind yet others, or trigger a reaction, a bias that adds more mental feeling tone that gets more complex and triggers other memories, becomes emotion.”

“This is good or this is bad, because of this or that; therefore I must react so or so…”.

And that then, is often already gone way beyond the sensation way back at the beginning.

As in a famous quotation by Mark Twain: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

“Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them.”

Body sensations, such as stress, as taught in Goenka meditation, are sankharas (mental formations). They a physical manifestations of greed, hatred & delusion.

However, if a leg is broken, or skin is cut, or mosquito bite… this pain is vedana (feeling).


Bodily feelings termed as Sukha and Dukha.
Mental feelings are termed as Somnasa and Domnasa.
There is natural feeling as well.

For the sake of explaining so to differentiate it.

So, body sensation or vedana arises
out of senses contact with objects ,
does the mind in contact with mind object also give rise to bodily sensation ?

I would say yes.
Body and mind lean against each other.

How then the body sensation
arises when the mind cognise
an object ?
For example , if one’s
perceiving one mind is boring ,
The sensation arise
in which part of the body ?

In a human being the five aggregates (khandha) co-exist: that is ruupa (matter), vedanaa (feeling), sanya (perseption), sankhaara (karmic formations), (consciousness), like the thumb and the four fingers of a hand. Ruupa is physical, the other four aggregates are mental (naama)…

So vedana (feeling) is always mental, never physical. But it can arise (together with other states) on a physical object (five sense impressions), as well as a mental object (a thought, a concept, a phenomena, Pali: dhammaa - in plural)). In the Abhidhamma it is classified as a mental factor (cetasika): Emotions, even strong or violent ones, or peaceful, amiable ones, are always associated with mental objects. They are also “vedana”, but then associated with other mental factors, which yield positive or negative kamma for the future.

“Sensations” as the object of Vipassana meditation are subtle kinds of feeling (or sometimes not so subtle, depending on the nature of attention developed, or the nature of the connected sankhaaras). They are fine bodily feelings, which are ignored by the normal human mind, which is jumping quickly from object to object (monkey mind).

Sensations in this sense are bodily feelings (mental factor vedana arising on the physical object body -kaaya-), but they are not the only type of vedanaa. … Vedana (feeling) is even associated with supramundane consciousness (citta or that takes nibaana as object. Nibbaana is not a type of consciousness, but it can be an object of consciousness. The type of vedana (feeling) associated with this supramundane consciousness is, of course, very subtle and refined, much higher than the Jhaanic states.

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Let me apply the Law of Conditioned Relations (pa.t.thaana) to this:
If a positive mind (kusala citta) arises in relation of a positive mental object (like recollecting good things done before) there arise simultaneously a whole host of associated mental factors (including vedana/feeling), all of them wholesome (kusala), as well as matter generated by consciousness (cittaja ruupa). The feeling/vedana associated with this thought moment is a mental factor/cetasika. It is not a bodily sensation.

The pleasant warm bodily feeling, you may experience in connection with this thought is caused by this mind-generated matter, which has just arisen. This matter will last for 17 thought moments (life span of a rupa-kalaapa). It is NOT the object of the same thought-moment, but of a succeeding thought moment closely following it.

However, the preceding thought moment with the mental object (the memory of a good deed) is the cause for the succeeding thought moment with the material object (the consciousness-generated matter).

But it is true, that mind and matter support each other in a human being. Even the previous thought moment (the positive mind remembering a positive mental object), is causally connected to matter, as it occurs in a living human being, who has a physical body with a physical brain, which is the material basis for this thought. Several of the 24 modes of relationship apply between this body and the mental activity with a mental object.

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Good explanation.
Wellcome to the Abhidhamma club.
I am pleased you are here.

[quote=“akincana, post:15, topic:5725, full:true”]
…So vedana (feeling) is always mental…[/quote]

Agreed, in the sense that it’s always some form of reaction, reactive quality of mind (cetasika of citta). Analogous perhaps to “Beauty [a form of pleasure] is in the eye [mind] of the beholder”

So , if one look at a tree and eye consciousness arises ( ie. Seeing)
and immediately after that
we call it " tree" , this is called
perception (naming) ?

@Deeele @cjmacie

Isn’t above statement
is not the same ?