Exploring the 4 Core Types of Mindfulness in Buddhism

Mindfulness is an integral part of Buddhism divided into four core types: Kāya-smṛti (mindfulness of body), vedanā-sati (mindfulness of feelings), citta-sati (mindfulness of mind), dhammā-sati (mindfulness of principles/phenomena). Learn more about these types & ho

Exploring the 4 Core Types of Mindfulness in Buddhism

Mindfulness is an integral part of Buddhism, and it is divided into four core types. Kāya-smṛti, or mindfulness of the body, is the first type and involves recognizing the body as a body, something that is experienced as breathing and flesh and blood. The second type is vedanā-sati, or mindfulness of feelings, which refers to observing emotions and sensations without judgment or identification. The third type is citta-sati, or mindfulness of the mind, which is a different mind from the one that thinks, thinks, or makes judgments.

Lastly, dhammā-sati, or mindfulness of principles or phenomena, involves opening oneself to the world one experiences. The four unfold in a defined sequence, starting with the body as the crudest and culminating in the last, which is the most subtle. It is said that contemplation of the body (kayanupassana) comprises fourteen exercises, but since the last nine are simple variations of a single principle, in practice there are six. The next basis of mindfulness is the contemplation of feeling (vedananupassana).

The word “feeling” here does not refer to emotion, but to the naked affective tone of the experience, whether pleasant, painful, or neutral. In the early stages of contemplating feeling, one simply observes the different qualities of feelings as pleasant, painful, or neutral. One sees feeling as a naked mental fact, devoid of all subjective references. As the practice progresses, it is distinguished whether the feeling is worldly, which tends to attachment, or spiritual, which tends to detachment.

Over time, the focus shifts from the tone of feelings to the process of feeling in oneself

, which is revealed as an incessant flow of feelings that arise and dissolve, one after the other, without pause.

This marks the beginning of understanding impermanence, which nullifies greed for pleasant feelings, aversion for painful feelings, and illusion for neutral feelings. The third base is mindfulness of the mind or consciousness. The mind at this base is called cita. This is a different mind from the one that thinks, thinks, or makes judgments. Citta is more like consciousness or awareness.

The fourth foundation is Dharma mindfulness. Here we open ourselves to the whole world, or at least to the world we experience. There are many ways to describe the path from mindfulness of the body to subtle awareness of true essence of reality. The Four Foundations of Mindfulness Are One. The four foundations of mindfulness come from Satipatthana Sutta, a well-known Buddhist text that offers detailed meditation instructions.

All four are presented in sequence and range from most dense level of our meditation experience to most subtle. For example, our practice begins with mindfulness of body and breathing - our material world. As we go deeper we become aware of our inner world - our thoughts and feelings. At deepest levels of meditation conceptualization ends as does sense of separation between subject and object. There are endless ways to meditate on four foundations of mindfulness. This practice begins with breathing mindfulness.

As mind stabilizes mindfulness meditations can lead you to deeper contemplation and lead you to deep insight. Buddhists in Theravada tradition have never lost great importance of Mindfulness Discourse. Many people with no particular interest in rest of Buddhism have adopted mindfulness meditation and some psychologists have adopted mindfulness techniques as therapeutic practice. The following exercise called mindfulness and clear understanding applies mindfulness to various activities of daily living. Here monk who has gone to forest to foot of tree or empty place sits cross-legged keeps his body upright and his mindfulness alert. The last mindfulness exercise of body consists series nine contemplations on ground meditations on disintegration body after death VIII by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli or to Mindfulness Breathing by Monje Ñanamoli and to Heart Buddhist Meditation by Nyanaponika Thera. Regarding each contemplation text tells us that practitioner inhabits “ardent understanding with clarity and consciousness” having left aside longing and despondency with respect world. When practicing conscious breathing focus should be on tip nose or point upper lip immediately below where air current can be felt. We take note how thoughts and mental states apparently arise out nowhere last for while then disappear once again. Mindworks created its 9-Level Journey Wellness and other inspirational courses so you can enjoy full potential regular meditation practice. Here bhikkhus when illumination factor mindfulness present monk knows that illumination factor mindfulness in me or when enlightenment factor mindfulness absent knows that enlightenment factor mindfulness not in me; and he knows how emergence unemerged arises mindfulness lighting factor; and how perfection occurs development lighting factor arising from mindfulness. Buddhism offers many ways for us to explore our inner world through meditation practices such as mindful breathing and contemplation on impermanence. With regular practice we can gain insight into our true nature and find peace within ourselves.