Is Vipassana body scan meditation in the EBT?

I remember being to a Vipassana retreat and listening to the recordings of the teacher. He mentioned that the technique of body scan was an ancient technique that the Buddha himself used. Is this stated in the EBT?

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I am not sure it is stated in the form in which it is usually found in modern guided meditations now a days but it is mentioned in MN 119 under various ways of meditating on the body SuttaCentral
In particular, the part:

Furthermore, a mendicant examines their own body, up from the soles of the feet and down from the tips of the hairs, wrapped in skin and full of many kinds of filth.

It seems as though the first part of the sentence is taken (now a days) and instead of asubha contemplation, it is geared towards noting and tranquilizing bodily formations aspects. It is possible that a body scan method is there somewhere in the EBTs and others on the forum will know for sure.

The other scenario where the whole body being involved is mentioned (from toes to head) is when piti, sukha, etc. are to be spread throughout the body. It comes up later in the same sutta.

They drench, steep, fill, and spread their body with rapture and bliss born of seclusion. There’s no part of the body that’s not spread with rapture and bliss born of seclusion.

Hope this helps.
With Metta


Examining head to toe for sensations? No. It’s a modern invention. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but to claim it as an ancient technique is false.

It’s true that we generally get general advice about meditation in the EBTs. Specific techniques like the scanning method, not so much.


Thanks to both of you! I have read quite a few suttas on meditation now but have yet to find anything similar to the body scan S N Goenka talks about. I just figured that I’d ask you guys here who seem to have an uncanny knowledge of all the suttas! :grinning: