Dhamma Letter No. 48

Study of Cittanupassana in Vipassana Meditation

The mind, which is included with Dhamma, can be defined as the five aggregates (五蘊) which are:

  1. Form (rūpa, 色)

  2. Feelings (vedanā, 受)

  3. Perceptions (saññā, 想)

  4. Mental action (sankhāras , 行)

  5. Consciousness (viññāṇa, 識)

It has a very close relationship with the acting structure of existence and cognition explained by the 18 bases worlds which are 12 bases of worlds and 6 sense consciousness of worlds. There are 6 internal sense bases (Eyes, Ears, Nose, Tongue, Body, Mind, 眼耳鼻舌身意), 6 external sense bases (Visibility, Sound, Odor, Taste, Touch, Mental Objects) in 12 bases.

It represents a dynamic structure which is Dependent Origination that develops into five aggregates through the contact between the three foundation:

6 internal sense bases, 6 external sense bases, and 6 sense consciousness (Eye consciousness, Ears consciousness, Nose consciousness, Tongue consciousness, Body consciousness, Mind consciousness)

As such, in Vipassana practices, the meditative body that observes the body and observes feelings cannot be observed and separated from the functions of the mind.

Although it can be said that each of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness is integrated into the practice of all (Body, Feeling, Mind, and Dhamma), I believe that the practice of Kayanupassana (Mindfulness of the body), Vedananupassana (Mindfulness of the feeling), Cittanupassana (Mindfulness of the mind) and Dhammanupassana (Mindfulness of the Dhamma) should be done correctly— step by step.

In this sense, although the role of the practice of Cittanupassana (Mindfulness of the mind) is a vitally important step of the Four Foundations, it has not been investigated in depth for the purposes of Vipassana meditation research so far.

In Mahayana Buddhism, the mind or consciousness has been dealt with in various ways through Confucianism and other Buddhist ideas from various angles.

In fact, now that the Vipassana meditation practice of early Buddhism is becoming common, there is a need to study all steps of this method in more detail.

Currently, Vipassana meditation has developed in the West as Mindfulness Meditation and is being applied in various ways in Western psychiatry. I believe, however, that the Buddha's meditation is at its root and for the proper understanding of Buddhism, centered on mind observation. Therefore Cittanupassana (Mindfulness of the mind) is in a very important position to be integrated, practiced, and researched further.

Through this study, I have prepared in hopes that it will be helpful to many modern people who are interested in Vipassana meditation or Mindfulness meditation.

To be continued…

With Metta,

Ayyā Kosallā & Mahāpajāpatī Bhikkhunī Sangha
Edited by Euna Bonovich 


If you have any questions related to dhamma & meditation, please feel free to ask. You can reach Ayya Kosalla directly at Bhikkhuni.Kosalla@gmail.com . 

법에 대한 질문이 있으신 분은 위의 이메일 주소로 질문을 남겨주세요.

이번 주부터 연재되는 위빠사나명상의 마음관찰에 대한 논문을 한글 원본으로 읽고 싶으신 분은 클릭해서 다운로드 받을 수 있습니다. (네이버에 PDF 첨부)

The Korean Dhamma Letter is here 담마레터.


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Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu! 
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!

​Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!  
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!

Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !