Hadayavatthu / kayanupassana

dear dhamma elders & friends,

respectful greetings & much metta!

i am curious & want to understand how the vipassana traditions which follow the kayanupassana kammatthana tradition feel the hadayavatthu. they work only with kayasamphassaja vedana yet feel the vedana at hadayavatthu.

i am curious & want to understand what is happening in abhidhammic terms.

are the kayanupassana meditators knowing the opaque hadayavatthu dasaka rupa kalapas thorough kayavinnana?

kindly help.

with respect and much metta,



Nina Van Gorkom seems to suggest that the hadayavatthu is the rupa for the internal of the 17 mind moments… The kaya-rupa itself is only the rupa proper for the initial moments of contact, after which the object is internalized into the mind and based on the hadayavatthu. So, yes, all viññana (even kaya) involve the hadavatthu as part of the process… Unless I’ve misunderstood something… which is basically par for the course :sweat_smile: Happy to be corrected…

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Anjali! Sirsa Namami Venerable!
Sangham Saranam Gacchami!
Veneration & Greetings to the Sangha!

I pondered over my own question & felt that my question itself was wrong!

Vipassana traditions like Sayagyi U Ba Khin & Goenkaji are actually teaching Kayanupassana (Sampajanna pabbam) + Vedananupassana - with more emphasis on kayasamphassaja vedana as the beginning point.

i would like to put the feeling of Hadayavatthu Rupa (or to be more exact - yam rupam) and Bhavanga under Vedananupassana. Yam rupam felt through manosamphassaja vedana.

kindly correct my mistakes, venerable.

theoretical abhidhamma teachers tend to deny that vipassana meditation is possible!!!
that poses a big problem! Your wise opinion will help. how is bhavanga & yam rupam felt? what is your opinion?

with regards at the feet of the sangha,


I’ve also heard Abhidhamma teachers say that samatha is impossible :man_shrugging: And yet somehow people get enlightened anyway! :joy:

So, in my opinion, just ignore the haters and focus on what you can feel: the breath, the body, sensations, etc. Eventually, if your samādhi gets good enough, you’ll start to perceive the more subtle workings of consciousness for yourself.

At that point, thinking “was that bhavanga?” will just be a hindrance. So, if you have to label those feeings when you get there, “pleasant,” “painful,” or “neutral” will suffice, as the satipaṭṭhāna sutta recommends.

Namely, when bhavanga is seen and recognized, it’s felt as a kind of terrifying, existential feeling (“knowledge and vision of the way things are”) which eventually (if you keep going) will drive the mind towards revulsion, dispassion, letting go and release from the viññana cycle.

Then, once you’re enlightened, there will be plenty of time (and personal experience!) to geek out on the Abhidhamma! Until then, my opinion is to stick to the suttas and whatever meditation objects you can feel :wink:

Like (personal confession time), I have never been able to identify the 7 enlightenment factors in my own mind. Perhaps because I don’t have any of them :joy: Or perhaps because I am still not confident I can identify them accurately. For whatever reason, mindfulness of the enlightenment factors has yet to be a useful satipaṭṭhāna for me. Thankfully there are plenty of others, such as mindfulness of the bodily postures or of the five hindrances, which I can confidently identify as they happen. So I just stick to those and if ever I get a good sense of the enlightenment factors (and get any of them!) then maybe I’ll be mindful of them… but until then… “sitting, typing, …” Hope that helps :smile: