1st Edition

The Definition, Practice, and Psychology of Vedanā Knowing How It Feels

Edited By John Peacock, Martine Batchelor Copyright 2020
    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the importance of the topic of feeling tone’ (vedanā) as it appears in early Buddhist texts and practice, and also within contemporary, secular, mindfulness-based interventions.

    The volume aims to highlight the crucial nature of the ‘feeling tone’ or ‘taste of experience’ in determining mental reactivity, behaviour, character, and ethics. In the history of Buddhism, and in its reception in contemporary discourse, vedanā has often been a much-neglected topic, with greater emphasis being accorded to other meditational focuses, such as body and mind. However, ‘feeling tone’ (vedanā) can be seen as a crucial pivotal point in understanding the cognitive process, both in contemporary mindfulness and meditation practice within more traditional forms of Buddhism. The taste of experience, it is claimed, comes as pleasant, unpleasant, and neither pleasant nor unpleasant – and these ‘tones’ or ‘tastes’ inevitably follow from humans being embodied sensory beings. That experience comes in this way is unavoidable, but what follows can be seen in terms of reactivity or responsiveness.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Contemporary Buddhism.

    Introduction – Vedana: What Is in a ‘Feeling?’

    John Peacock and Martine Batchelor

    1. Hedonic Hotspots, Hedonic Potholes: Vedana Revisited

    Akincano M. Weber

    2. Defining Vedana: Through the Looking Glass

    Jayarava Attwood

    3. Why Be Mindful of Feelings?

    Bhikkhu Analayo

    4. Vedana or Feeling Tone: A Practical and Contemporary Meditative Exploration

    Martine Batchelor

    5. The ‘Sensation of Doubt’ in East Asian Zen Buddhism and Some Parallels with Pali Accounts of Meditation Practice

    Robert E. Buswell Jr

    6. Feelings Bound and Freed: Wandering and Wonder on Buddhist Pathways

    Anne C. Klein (Rigzin Drolma)

    7. Vedana and the Wisdom of Impermanence: We are Precipitants within the Experiments of the Universe

    Paul R. Fleischman

    8. Feeling is Believing: The Convergence of Buddhist Theory and Modern Scientific Evidence Supporting How Self Is Formed and Perpetuated Through Feeling Tone (Vedana)

    Judson A. Brewer

    9. Serious Illness, Overwhelmingly Unpleasant Feeling Tone of Life, and How Even Incipient Mindfulness Training May Sometimes Help

    Paul Grossman

    10. Vedana of Bias: Latent Likes and Dislikes Fuelling Barriers to Human Connection

    Anurag Gupta

    11. Vedana, Ethics and Character: A Prolegomena

    John Peacock


    John Peacock is a meditation teacher, scholar, and retired co-director of the master’s degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy at the University of Oxford, UK.

    Martine Batchelor is a former Buddhist nun, a meditation teacher, and author of a number of works on Buddhism. She is based in France.