I have the following question regarding Vipassana:

From time to time I get unpleasant emotions. And instead of diving into them, I find a place to sit and concentrate on the sensation that this feeling causes. After some time, there is no trace of a negative feeling :)

The question is: Is it ok at such moments not to shift attention all over the body, but simply to focus on a certain sensation? Does it violate the technique?

  • "After some time, there is no trace of a negative feeling...", to see the three perceptions, that's Vipassana, yes. And all four frames of references, in what ever perspective are highly valid for such a gain.
    – user11235
    Apr 28 '20 at 16:55

As per sutta i think this would be classed 'a concentration development leading to mindfulness & alertness' as well as 'mindfulness of feelings'.

Both are related to what is nowadays called Vipassana. The Vipassana movement has several factions which practice differently, most notably Mahasi method variations and the Goenka method.

Even if it violates a technique, it doesn't make it a bad practice.

Whether it violates a particular technique or not is a moot point, as mindfulness of feelings would be included.

If however one isn't verbalizing the 'noting' that would make some teachers say you aren't practicing 'our method' which has noting as a distinctive characteristic.

Same with body scanning, some might hold that it is a distinctive attribute of the technique and if you aren't doing it then you are doing something else.

If you want to practice a particular technique then you should stick to the technique. Otherwise you can deviate and train as you see fit.


Every sensation leads to latent tendency. Missing a sensation means this give the chance of certain latent tendency to arise as awareness of a sensation gives us the chance to stop the sensation progressing to latent tendencies (quoted below) and unwholesome Roots (Pahāna Sutta below) among other negativities like craving (Dependent Origination), concept proliferation (Madhu,piṇḍika Sutta), etc.

(1) the latent tendency to lust reinforced by being attached to pleasant feelings;

(2) the latent tendency to aversion reinforced by rejecting painful feelings;

(3) the latent tendency to ignorance reinforced by ignoring neutral feelings;

Pahāna Sutta

And what is the latent tendency of beings?

There are the seven latent tendencies:

(1) the latent tendency of sensual lust;

(2) the latent tendency of aversion;

(3) the latent tendency of conceit;

(4) the latent tendency of wrong view;

(5) the latent tendency of doubt;

(6) the latent tendency of lust for existence;

(7) the latent tendency of ignorance.

That which in the world is pleasant and likable, there the tendency to sensual lust of beings lies latent.

That which in the world is unpleasant and unlikable, there the tendency to aversion of beings lies latent.

Thus in these two states, ignorance continuously occurs, and so too conceit, wrong view and doubt.

This is the latent tendency to beings.

Introduction to Pahāna Sutta. Found in Sangīti Sutta, Cha,chakka Sutta, Anusaya Sutta, Patisambhida,magga, Vibhanga.

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