Awareness of feelings is another aspect of ourselves which we can be aware of. Feelings here include the pleasant feelings, unpleasant and neutral feelings we have towards bodily sensations, thoughts, emotions, states of mind, and the objects of our senses. This meditation includes placing or allowing our attention to focus on any feelings which may arise in the moment. We remain aware of these feelings without identifying, getting caught up in the story of, and blindly reacting to these feelings with craving or aversion. We learn to be aware of feelings and their temporary nature in a detached and non-judgemental manner.
During these meditations, we may find ourselves habitually reacting with craving to pleasurable feelings and reacting with aversion to unpleasant feelings. When we become aware that this is occurring within us, we come back to just being aware in an non-judgemental manner. Each time we bring ourselves back to just being aware of whatever is happening in the present moment, we find less energy is spent investing in reacting to our feelings. We also become aware of the process in which we identify and react to objects within our consciousness.
Some feelings may arise due to some sensations you feel in your body. For example, you may be aware of an unpleasant feeling due to itching sensations within the body. You may be aware of pleasant feelings due to a subtle tingly vibration occurring within the body. You may be aware of a neutral balanced feeling due to bodily sensations which you are aware of but don’t attach importance to. Whatever the bodily sensation is, be aware of how we unconsciously label these feelings as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. We may also be aware of how we crave for pleasant sensations, suppress unpleasant sensation and ignore neutral sensations. You are aware of how this cycle of identification and reaction creates miserable states of mind. You are aware of whatever bodily feelings occur within you.
Feelings may be associated with thoughts, states of mind and emotions. We remain aware of these associations and whether there is a pleasant, unpleasant or neutral feeling.
You are the awareness in which feelings arise, stay for some time and pass.
You are the awareness in which identification and reaction also happens.
You are the changeless awareness which is aware of change.
Feelings are continually arising, staying for some time and then passing. These feelings are constantly occurring within us and continually change with time. The source of these feelings may arise from the bodily sensations, thoughts, emotions and states of mind. There may be a mixture of different feelings occurring within us in our present experience, from different aspects of ourselves. We remain aware of these feelings and give them space to naturally arise and pass. We shouldn’t judge or react to certain feelings, as being positive or negative. If we do react or judge, we should remain aware of this also. The more we learn to see things as they are from a place of detached and non-judgmental awareness, the less we are unconsciously pulled by such feelings.
TECHNIQUES TO PRACTICE AWARENESS OF BODILY SENSATIONS
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