Let's get physical (with Vedana)
"Physical" in this article will refer to an experience felt through the anatomical flesh and blood body.
Thesis: Vedana in the EBT, when unqualified, is emphasizing the physical aspect.
There are several numbered classification schemes for Vedana (khandha). By far the most common is the 3-fold (sukha, dukkha, a-dukkham-a-sukham). The 5-fold is most precise, it adds somanassa and domanassa (mental happiness and mental unhappiness) to clearly differentiate the 3 physical from the 2 mental feelings. There are several more classification schemes, but analyzing these two is sufficient to arrive at an interesting conclusion.
I had always thought that when talking about the 3 feelings (vedana), the Buddha was primarily emphasizing the mental aspect of feeling, that the physical part was a less important effect, and that mind being "the forerunner (Dhammapada first 2 verses)" was the cause and the important aspect of vedana to focus on.
The English translation "feeling" also has connotations of emotional (mental) things, so that probably colored my perception of Vedana.
Then I examined the EBT more closely to see exactly if physical or mental was the emphasis, and what to assume as a "default". Meaning, if you see dukkha, sukha, would you assume by default that they are physical, or mental, or has both? I discovered to my surprise it's clearly physical that is emphasized in Vedana Khandha, which leads me to conclude that the Buddha is taking the physical as the default assumption for 3-fold vedana.
I base this conclusion on carefully reading through all 31 suttas in SN 36 Vedana Samyutta, assuming this should give an accurate representation of how Vedana is treated in the entire EBT. If there are EBT suttas outside of SN 36 that point to a different conclusion, I'd be happy to have them pointed out to me.
In total, there are 7 suttas out of 31 where vedana is explicitly said to originate from the body. 2 more sutta state the vedana has phassa (contact) as its origination. Now, from 12ps (dependent origination) we know contact is not happening unless the internal sense bases are present. For bodily contact, body is a necessary condition for contact to happen, so to originate in contact, it must also originate in body. So 9 out of 31 suttas make an explicit connection of vedana originating in the physical. The other suttas don't explicitly specify whether the feeling is physical or mental, or both (except the 2 and 5-fold suttas).
Sutta SN 36.5 in particular is the clincher. First, it shares the same passage of SN 47.2 in the 4sp Samyutta. It's defining S&S (sati and sampajano). When those two words are together, sati is referring to 4sp (4 mindful establishments), and sampajano is referring to clear comprehension in whatever activities one is doing (walking, talking, eating, etc). The phrase S&S appears 4 times in right mindfulness, once for each satipatthana. S&S appears explicitly in the 3rd jhāna, so by deduction it must be accessible in 1st and 2nd jhāna.
Back to sutta SN 36.5, this is what's going on when a meditator is practicing S&S: “Bhikkhus, while a bhikkhu dwells thus, mindful and clearly comprehending, diligent, ardent, and resolute, if there arises in him a pleasant feeling, he understands thus: ‘There has arisen in me a pleasant feeling. Now that is dependent, not independent. Dependent on what? Dependent on this very body. But this body is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen. (kiṃ paṭicca? imameva kāyaṃ paṭicca.) So there's the word kāya (body), explicitly stated as the prerequisite and origin of the 3 type of feelings, and it's happening while one is in first, second, third jhāna, and any time one is doing samma sati, AKA 4sp (4 satipatthana). Vedana by default is bodily in origin, so in the 4 jhānas, this is completely coherent when we see both body (kāya) and vedana is physical. When abhidhamma redefines kāya as "body of mental things", then if vedana is physical and it's originating from a body of mental things, that's pretty absurd, illogical. And with the four jhānas being rupa, not arupa, the EBT text are very straightfoward and clear it's the anatomical body that one experiences when "body" is referred to in the jhāna formulas.
So in the cases of other EBT passsages when you come across a 3-fold scheme, the safest would be assume vedana has both a physical and mental component. But based on reading SN 36, it seems safe to also assume the emphasis is on physical as the default, with mental "darts" which follow the first being seen as a secondary side effect and not the main focus.
suttas using 3 fold vedana scheme where anatomical body is the cause of vedana
sutta #4, 6, 7, 12, 13
SN 36.4 Pātāla: Bottomless Abyss: painful feeling specified as bodily (sārīrikāya dukkhāya vedanāya)
SN 36.6 Salla: Dart: Ordinary person experiences a dukkha vedana as a painful physical feeling, followed by a mental painful feeling (so dve vedanā vedayati — kāyikañca, cetasikañca.). Ariya-savako only gets struck by the first dart (physical)
SN 36.7 Gelañña 1: Sick-ward 1: sati & sampajāno defined exactly same as SN 47.2. Then, it walks through 3 types of feeling each dependent on anatomical body (imameva kāyaṃ paṭicca). Finally, the investigation of vedana takes you all the way to Nirvana, while in satipatthana, with lamp simile.
SN 36.8 Gelañña 2: Sick-ward 2: same as previous sutta, except instead of body (kāya), substitute in contact (phassaṃ paṭicca).
SN 36.10 Phassa-mūlaka: Contact-as-root: 3 types of feelings all rooted and originated from contact (phassa). simile of 2 fire sticks not touching.
SN 36.12 Ākāsa 1: Sky 1: 3 types of feelings compared to various kinds of wind blowing to sky, vedana connect to body ( kāyasmiṃ vividhā vedanā uppajjanti), and again vedana expressed as bodily in verse (“tathevimasmiṃ kāyasmiṃ)
SN 36.13 Ākāsa 2: Sky 2: same as Sky 1 sutta, without verse.
SN 36.14 Agāra: guest-house: 9 fold vedana scheme (like SN 36.31 and MN 10 vedana-anupassana), originating from body (kāyasmiṃ vividhā vedanā uppajjanti)
SN 36.21 Moḷiyasīvaka: (name of wanderer): Some outsiders held wrong view that all diseases are due to Kamma. Buddha explains kamma is just one of eight possible causes. Bile, phlegm, and also wind, Imbalance and climate too, Carelessness and assault, With kamma result as the eighth. (7 out of 8 are bodily ailments)
vedana scheme not three fold
sutta #14: 9 fold scheme, but it's based on 3 basic ones, and then multiplied by 3 to get 9. One set of 3 is the sukha of jhāna, which is bodily
sutta #21: 8 types of causes of vedana, last one is kamma, the first 7 have to do with bodily illness.
sutta #8, 10 connnect them with "contact" (phassa). remaining 5 suttas in vagga don't qualify whether vedana is physical or mental.
The 2-fold vedana scheme differentiates between physical and mental.
See "4nt→ SN→ SN 36" for short description summarizing all 31 suttas in that Samyutta.