Relationship between vedanā and citta

This is one the major points of confusion for me. Of course there’s an apparent relationship between vēdanā and citta but ,there is a part of it that remains obscure. even in the satipatthana sutta contemplation of feelings is followed by the contemplation of the mind. this is what i understand about the relationship between these two;

mind which is with lust,aversion and delusion is a result of reacting to pleasant ,unpleasant and neither pleasant nor unpleasant .(respectively) the mind which is without lust,aversion and delusion is the result of not reacting to pleasant,unpleasant and neutral feeling.(respectively)
the underlying tendency of pleasant feelings is the mind rooted with lust. the underlying tendency of unpleasant feelings is the mind rooted with aversion .the underlying tendency of neither pleasant nor unpleasant is the mind rooted with delusion.

i hope my interpretation was some what close . i would humbly accept if there are any faults.

this interrelationship between these two makes it difficult to contemplate on the refrain part of the satipatthana meditation. is the yogi’s suppose to contemplate on the feelings and the mind respectively, or is the yogi’s suppose to contemplate on them randomly?

1 Like

It is not easy to separate the four frame of references.
They are conjoined not dis-joined.
The most important factor is to know the state of your mind.
When you sit, say you have a knee pain.
So it is a combination of Rupa (hardness) feeling (unpleasant) citta (aversion) and Dhamma (five aggregate)

1 Like

It is not easy to separate the four frame of references.
They are conjoined not dis-joined.
The most important factor is to know the state of your mind.
When you sit, say you have a knee pain.
So it is a combination of Rupa (hardness) feeling (unpleasant) citta (aversion) and Dhamma (five aggregate)

Exactly! :relaxed:

Good stuff Deeele. What do you think could be an alternative way of saying the above without referring to a ‘subconscious mind’?

The reason I ask is that I remember I once read that EBTs tend not to support this understanding of things arising from a third-level/independent and subconscious level of mind but indeed to arise co-dependently in the context of a avijja-driven ‘being’. Please do not take this as a trigger for debate, this is not my intention. :slight_smile:

Thanks. I used the term ‘subconscious mind’ very loosely, with no intended reference to the Pali. That being said, MN 64 appears to definitely refer to a ‘subconscious’ mind, when it states a new born child has no self-view yet the underlying tendency to self-view lies within their mind.

For a young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘identity,’ so how could identity view arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to identity view lies within him. MN 64

These underlying tendencies (anusaya) obviously must be ‘stored’ somewhere when they have not arisen into consciousness (experience). That seems why there are called ‘underlying’ & why they ultimately are ‘uprooted’ (SN 45.42) in arahantship (since their roots lie below the surface).

Bhikkhus, if wanderers of other sects ask you: ‘For what purpose, friends, is the holy life lived under the ascetic Gotama?’—being asked thus, you should answer them thus: ‘It is … for the uprooting of the underlying tendencies SN 45.42

:slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks for the sutta exposition , deeele :relaxed: your involvement made me to understand something better.since I am not familiar with many suttas ,the conclusions that I arrive at are mostly based on meditative experiences therefore they might not be considerably accurate. But ,

MN 44 :

Q23. Tendencies underlying Feelings

“But for pleasant feeling, Noble Lady, what tendency underlies it, for unpleasant feeling what tendency underlies it, for neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling what tendency underlies it?”

“For pleasant feeling, friend Visākha, the tendency to passion underlies it, for unpleasant feeling the tendency to repulsion underlies it, for neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling ignorance underlies it.”

the underlying tendency of pleasant feelings is the mind rooted with lust. the underlying tendency of unpleasant feelings is the mind rooted with aversion .the underlying tendency of neither pleasant nor unpleasant is the mind rooted with delusion.

@Deeele
Underlying tendencies (‘anusaya’) do not refer to vedana.

Am I wrong? :confused: I hope you would forgive me for my ignorance but ,would you kindly explain the difference between the underlying tendencies mentioned in the sutta and the underlying tendencies which I presented.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

thanks deeele. i appreciate your humble attitude! :slight_smile:

@Deeele
Therefore, it seems defilements of the citta do not necessarily require vedana to condition them. Some defilements are conditioned by sense contact & vedana (e.g. craving at 8th link of dependent origination) and some defilements appear to arise without sense contact & vedana (e.g. 1st link of dependent origination) . – yes, i do agree with you. :slight_smile:

Coming back to satipatthana , are we suppose to contemplate on vedana separately from citta ( e.g. contemplating on vedana initially and then proceeding to the contemplation of citta ) ? or… are we suppose to contemplate them randomly?

1 Like

Hello together,
this is my first reply here.
If you interpret Citta (in most cases) as the affective process (or emotional process ) of the activity mind,
like Bhante Punnaji it does (and mano as the cognitive process) there would be no confusion anymore.
In the Satipatthana Sutta you observe the Body (Kaya), the Feelings (Vedana), the Emotions (Citta) and the
Thoughts (Dhamma). Then you see that the Feelings that you feel (pleasant or unpleasant or neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant (neutral)) but also the Thoughts (what you think) are the conditions for Emotions ( for example greed, lust, hate etc.) and how these Emotions effect the Body (for example tensions).
In Dependent Origination the Feelings (Vedana) are the condition for Tanha. And if you interpret Tanha (like
Bhante Punnaji it does) with the emotional reaction you can see that the Feelings are the condition for Citta
(the emotional process of the mind).
Then it is also clear, that when someone comes out of sanna-vedayita-nirodha (the cessation of sensations and feeling) the first what is experienced are the Sensations (Sanna is interpreted as Sensations) and Feelings (Vedana). And this is the base for Citta-sankhara.

kind greetings
Erik

chitta vithi? any sutta evidence for chitta vithi or cognitive process? to my knowledge this mentioned in the abhidhamma scriptures not in the suttas.

In this case the cognitive process of the mind is not borrowed from the abhidhamma scriptures (chitta vithi). Mano is the cognitive process and it is a psychologic term. (Bhante Punnaji studied also psychology and borrowed it from there). You can also say that Mano is the rational thinking.

[quote=“nibbanakamo, post:12, topic:3591”]
In the Satipatthana Sutta you observe the Body (Kaya), the Feelings (Vedana), the Emotions (Citta) and the Thoughts (Dhamma). [/quote]

MN 118 describes the Dhamma as observing impermanence (unsatisfactoriness & not-self), the fading away of craving & Nibbana.

MN 10 includes within the Dhamma as observing the four noble truths, the five aggregates, seven factors for awakening, six sense spheres, etc.

These objects of observation do not appear to be “thoughts”.

MN 43 & MN 44 appear to define perception (sanna) & feeling (vedana) as the ‘citta-sankhara’ itself rather than the “base” for citta-sankhara.

perception and feeling is citta sankhara … MN 44

in the case of a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, his kaya sankhara have ceased & subsided, his vaci sankhara … his citta sankhara have ceased & subsided, his vitality is not exhausted, his heat has not subsided, & his [five sense] faculties are exceptionally clear… MN 43

:seedling:

[quote=“nibbanakamo, post:12, topic:3591”]
If you interpret Citta (in most cases) as the affective process (or emotional process ) of the activity mind, like Bhante Punnaji it does (and mano as the cognitive process) … [/quote]
This distinction may be valid however I struggle to discern how ‘vedana’ is related to ‘mano’.

:seedling:

As i mentioned before that it is important to discern what you think (or better: how you think) ->

Thanissaro Bhikkhu translated Dhamma as mental qualities whereas Bhikkhu Bodhi translated Dhamma as mind objects.

My Interpretation: You are focused on how you observe the four noble truths, the five aggregates, seven factors for awakening, six sense spheres, etc. (on the quality of your thoughts). If they (thoughts) are not emotional coloured you can discern the observation objects pure. If they are emotional coloured (influenced by Citta) you can see it by observing Kaya and/or Vedana and/or Citta.

I wrote:

The outcoming of sanna-vedayita-nirodha is (singular) the base for Citta-sankhara.
(Otherwise there would be written: And they are the base for Citta-sankhara.)

Sorry, but i don’t know where the lack of clarity is. Mano cognises Vedana as Vedana (Feelings). Vedana is the condition for Tanha (emotional reaction) with Citta as its
emotional process (affective process) of the mind. Citta influences (coloured) Mano.
Recognizable on vicikicchā, what is often translated as doubt. But Bhante Punnaji interpret it as the drifting apart of Citta and Mano. (The emotions want something other than the rational thinking). But guess who wins mostly?

any sutta evidence for citta vithi , deeele? :confused:

Based on MN 118, it is possible ‘Dhamma’ may refer to ‘Dhamma-Truth’ or ‘Dhamma-Law’ (rather than mental qualities or mind objects - see AN 3.136) since, in MN 118, ‘dhamma’ refers to fully & continuously observing the three characteristics, the 3rd noble truth & the nature of nibbana.

MN 118 states:

Bhikkhus, on whatever occasion a bhikkhu trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in contemplating impermanence’; trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out contemplating impermanence’; trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in contemplating fading away’; trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out contemplating fading away’; trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in contemplating cessation’; trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out contemplating cessation’; trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in contemplating relinquishment’; trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out contemplating relinquishment’—on that occasion a bhikkhu abides contemplating dhamma as dhamma, ardent, fully aware and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. Having seen with wisdom the abandoning of covetousness and grief, he closely looks on with equanimity. That is why on that occasion a bhikkhu abides contemplating dhamma as dhamma, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. MN 118

Since this dhammanupassana concludes with: “seeing with wisdom…he closely looks on with equinimity”, it appears it does not refer to thoughts since ‘equanimity’ is not generally defined as ‘knowing thoughts’.

Since it also refers to the actual abandonment of covetousness & grief, it seems it cannot refer to the five hindrances.

As for MN 10, monks including possibly Ajahn Sujato have questioned its authenticity. For example, since most suttas refer to the abandoning of the five hindrances before meditation, it seems illogical observing the five hindrances would form part of the final (4th) satipatthana.

The word ‘dhamma’ has multiple meanings & possibly Thanissaro & Bodhi have not selected the appropriate meaning for the context. The very fact their respective translations & that of Punnaji are in conflict shows the meaning is not established and each of us must guess the meaning.

In short, it seems dhammanupassana is definitely not about observing thoughts. ‘Mental qualities’ seems to be obviously wrong (since impermanence is not a mental quality) & ‘mind objects’ is obviously better since it can refer to the nature of mind objects (i.e., impermanence, not-self, mere objects) plus include Nibbana since Nibbana is also a mind object or sense “sphere” (per Ud 8.1). My personal preference or guess here is ‘Dhammanupassana’ refers to the observing of Ultimate Truth.

Regards :slight_smile:

It is amazing that if you try to translate a term of modern psychology back into Pali you wonder that you never heard or read it before.
To interpret the term Mano, Bhante Punnaji uses “cognitive process” because he think that it is very close to the meaning. Our language, or better the english/american language (as also my german language ) is very different of the Pali language and most people trust in the translating efforts of people like Rhys Davids and other. So also Bhante Punnaji admits that he changes sometimes his translation words and search for words that would fit better to show us the meaning.
In reference to it: You wrote:

Ever heard or read in Pali the term “meditation”? That what we call today meditation was in these early days: cultivation of the mind.

but you also wrote:

[/quote]

Then:

I can not remember where i wrote that thoughts mean only knowing thoughts.
As i mentioned in my previous reply it is important how (and on what) you think.
If you think with equanimity you can observe the object pure and not disturbed (coloured) by Citta (“emotional process” … but take care by tranlating this term into Pali :slight_smile: )
That means that it is important what object you choose to think on: If you take for example
the three characteristics, the 3rd noble truth & the nature of nibbana but also the image (not only the visuell image) of the Buddha it reduces the influence of Citta to a minimum (at least to nothing). So the quality of the thinking is also important. And so it is also “possible” to interpret Dhamma as thoughts.

Satipatthana -> Sati uppa thana means: to bring the attention inside (because mostly the
attention directs outwards). Nothing more.
Please show me where it is mentioned that the five hindrances are abondoned before meditation (cultivating the mind). That would be paradox.
Is it possible that you mixed up meditation with Jhana?
If you would interpret that the 4 observing parts (Kaya, Vedana, Citta, Dhamma) are steps
( what seems to me when you said [quote=“Deeele, post:19, topic:3591”]
part of the final (4th) satipatthana
[/quote]

and you would interpret that Dhammanupassana refers to the observing of Ultimate Truth
and you don’t want to see that the abandonment of covetousness & grief has reference to the five hindrances, then it would seem illogical.
But when you interpret that the observing parts (Kaya, Vedana, Citta, Dhamma) are interconnected and influences each other (and this should be also discerned) and the five hindrances show it in the “meditation” also, and you interpret Dhamma as thoughts (on what and how you think) then there would be no need to questioning the authenticity
of MN 10 (Satipatthana Sutta).

I doubt that Nibbana is a sense sphere because as in Ud 8.1 is said:

[qoute]
no sphere of neither perception nor non-perception, no this world, no world beyond, neither Moon nor Sun. There, monks, I say there is surely no coming, no going, no persisting, no passing away, no rebirth It is quite without support, unmoving, without an object,—just this is the end of suffering.
[/quote]

I do not recall disputing Punnaji’s distinction between mano & citta.

These are not described as objects of thinking (vitakka). They are described as objects of observation (anupassi). Each of the satipatthana is said to represent objects of observation (anupassi) rather than thinking.

As I originally answered on this topic, my view is they are not connected, in terms of a dependent arising. They are only connected it terms of when the earlier satipatthana disappears the later satipatthana appears.

MN 118 describes kaya, vedana, citta & dhamma are each consecutively calmed. When kaya is calmed (i.e., ceases to be the primary meditation object) vedana arises; when vedana is calmed (i.e., ceases to be the primary meditation object) citta arises; when citta is calmed, i.e., purified & released, the Truth of impermanence in its foremost clarity arises as the meditation object.

This is what is described in MN 118, as follows:

[4] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.’

[5] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.’

[8] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming citta sankhara [i.e., rapture].’

"[9] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.’

[12] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in releasing the mind.’

[13] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.’

[15] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in focusing on cessation.’

I made the distinction in my original post here that the relationships between vedana & citta are different in the different contexts of Dependent Arising & Satipatthana, since Dependent Arising describes the path of accumulating suffering & Satipatthana describes the path of purification from (de-accumulating) suffering.

Dependent Origination is the path of conditioning & Satipatthana is the path of unconditioning or deconditioning.

Ud 8.1 states: “There is that sphere (āyatanaṃ) monks, where there is no earth…” etc.

Atthi, bhikkhave, tadāyatanaṃ, yattha neva pathavī Ud 8.1

With metta :seedling:

I’m not sceptical about the sphere:
I doubt that Nibbana is a “sense” sphere …

It was an explanation referring the theme citta vithi (and the: never heard and read about it). By the way, i would translate cognitive process as mano vithi. :slight_smile:

I should also mention that Bhante Punnaji interpret vitakka and vicara also in another way as it is usual done.
Vicara is interpreted as questioning and Vitakka as answering.
-> For example: What is this? (Vicara)
This is Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta. (Vitakka)
And both (Vitakka and Vicara) are constituents (among others) of thinking.
Mano (cognitive process) is a constituent of thinking. So discerning is a constituent of thinking. So observing is a constituent of thinking.

It is obvious that you can have only one meditation object in this moment. Therefore there are 4 parts (Kaya, Vedana, Citta, Dhamma). But you can see that for example the tension in this Body (Kaya) is created by Citta (emotional process) and you can discern that the Feeling (Vedana) is unpleasant and this Citta is created by an unwholesome thought
(Dhamma) (for example: I hate him because he hit me)
These are moments of different meditation objects (Kaya, Vedana, Citta, Dhamma). Sure. But you can come back to Kaya (when you for example relax the tension) and discern that there is no tension anymore. The Feeling (Vedana) is pleasant and Citta (emotional process) is calmed by the thought: “relax the tension and don’t think furthermore about what he did to me”.

Before that sphere you experience Vedana.

If you would interpret the calming of Vedana with (because where else should Vedana be calmed in your quote):

i would ask why Buddha didn’t say: I will breathe in calming pleasure.
(before he mentioned pleasure):

(pleasure is a feeling (Vedana))

If citta sankhara is interpret as Sanna and Vedana (sensations and feeling) Vedana is fully calmed only in sanna-vedayita-nirodha (the cessation of sensations and feeling). In all spheres before that sphere you experience Vedana.

You could see the Dependent Origination in 2 ways:

  1. If this is then that is
  2. If this is not then that is not
    So you can see it as the path of conditioning or as the path of unconditioning.

If you see the Dependent Origination in the first way i mentioned (Dependent Arising)(If this
is then that is) i can not see how and where suffering is accumulated. If something is accumulated it was less in the past, is more now and will be still more in the future.
If you see it like this you interpret the Dependent Origination as a temporal order. But this is a wrong view. The Dependent Origination is a logical order where suffering originates with Tanha. Tanha is the condition for Upadana. In other words the emotional reaction is the condition for personification.

Greetings
:slight_smile:

But the sutta definitely states it is a sphere or sense object. Please re-read the sutta & consider again. Also, if Nibbana was not a sense object, how could the Buddha have known or described it?

This is Dependent Origination rather than Satipatthana. Satipatthana is the path to purification rather than the mental turmoil you are describing. To quote MN 10:

This is the direct path for the purification of beings… MN 10

To me, what you are describing is not vedanupassana or cittanupassana but part of kayanupassana, that is, the 3rd stage of MN 118 called ‘experiencing sabbe kaya (all kaya)’. Breathe is a kaya, body is a kaya and mind is a kaya, i.e., nama-kaya.

For me, experiencing how the mind affects the body is part of kayanupassana (despite rarely taught as such).

The Buddha defined the ‘citta sankhara’ as ‘feelings’ (vedana). Refer to MN 44.

For me, the Buddha used the term ‘citta sankhara’ because the 7th step of MN 118 is to experience how the pleasant feelings ‘condition/influence’ (‘sankhara’) the citta, such as make the citta greedy for , infatuated with or simply lose composure due to the pleasant feelings.

Please refer to the original post of @sandundhanushka, which mentions how pleasant feelings give rise to greed, unpleasant feelings give rise to hatred & neither feeling gives rise to ignorance.

These feelings ‘condition’ the citta to generate greed, hatred & delusion, which seems why the Buddha called feeling & perception the ‘citta sankhara’ (‘mind conditioner’).

In short, if it is experienced in Satipatthana how the citta is conditioned into greed, hatred & delusion by pleasant feelings, this experience is part of vedananupassana (step 7 of MN 118) rather than part of cittanupassana.

It is not “interpret” as sanna & vedana in MN 44. It is actually defined as sanna & vedana in MN 44.

I agree. But I did not post vedana is “fully” calmed. I posted that pleasant vedana ceases to be the primary meditation object, as is described in the jhana formulas, where the pleasant feelings are calmed & the citta is said to become clear & bright with the feeling of equanimity.

The reverse direction is ‘dependent cessation’ rather than ‘dependent origination’; just as the 3rd noble truth is called ‘cessation’ rather than the ‘origination of nibbana’. I have personally not read any suttas that call the reverse direction ‘dependent origination’. To quote SN 12.1:

And what, bhikkhus, is dependent origination? With ignorance as condition, formations come to be; with formations as condition, consciousness; with consciousness as condition, name-and-form; with name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases; with the six sense bases as condition, contact; with contact as condition, feeling; with feeling as condition, craving; with craving as condition, clinging; with clinging as condition, existence; with existence as condition, birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. This, bhikkhus, is called dependent origination. SN 12.1

Dependent Origination is called “the wrong way” or the “wrong path”. Please refer to SN 12.3.

My view is my view is not a wrong view. Please refer to SN 12.3 & MN 149 (below), which support my view that my view it is not a wrong view.

When one abides inflamed by lust, fettered, infatuated, contemplating gratification, then the five aggregates affected by clinging are built up (accumulate) for oneself in the future; and one’s craving—which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that—increases (accumulate). One’s bodily and mental troubles increase (accumulate), one’s bodily and mental torments increase (accumulate), one’s bodily and mental fevers increase (accumulate), and one experiences (accumulates) bodily and mental suffering. MN 149

To conclude, my primary purpose for answering the original question by @sandundhanushka on this topic was to suggest that cittanupassana is not about how the citta is conditioned into greed, hatred & delusion by feelings. Instead, cittanupassana is part of the purification process & cittanupassana occurs as the dominant object of meditation after the feelings have been calmed.

In other words, experiencing how the citta is conditioned into greed, hatred & delusion by pleasant feelings is part of vedananupassana (step 7 of MN 118) rather than part of cittanupassana (steps 9 to 12 of MN 118).

This purification process is well-described in the standard jhana formulas, which state:

With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous disappearance of joy and grief, I entered upon and abided in the fourth jhāna, which has neither-pain-nor-pleasure and purity of mindfulness due to equanimity… my concentrated mind (citta) was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady and attained to imperturbability… MN 4

With metta :seedling:

@Deeele
But the sutta definitely states it is a sphere or sense object. Please re-read the sutta & consider again. Also, if Nibbana was not a sense object, how could the Buddha have known or described it?

Whoah! Are you concluding that nibbana is a sense sphere :anguished: ? If so my friend ,you’re mistaken!

(post withdrawn by author, will be automatically deleted in 24 hours unless flagged)