Obsolete: Mindfulness in Feelings

See: Exercises: Discerning the Mind

Reference: The 12 Aspects of Mindfulness

After one has established mindfulness with regard to the activities of the body, one may start focusing on feelings to establish mindfulness with regard to them. One locates a feeling that is uppermost in the mind and then immerses oneself completely in it. One looks at the nature of the feeling whether it is worldly or spiritual, whether it is pleasant, painful or neutral. One closely observes significance mixed with that feeling and acknowledges it non-judgmentally for what it is.

Here are some excerpts from Satipatthana Sutta: The Foundations of Mindfulness.

“And how, monks, does a monk live contemplating feelings in feelings?
“Herein, monks, a monk when experiencing a pleasant feeling knows, ‘I experience a pleasant feeling’; when experiencing a painful feeling, he knows, ‘I experience a painful feeling’; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling,’ he knows, ‘I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling.’ When experiencing a pleasant worldly feeling, he knows, ‘I experience a pleasant worldly feeling’; when experiencing a pleasant spiritual feeling, he knows, ‘I experience a pleasant spiritual feeling’; when experiencing a painful worldly feeling, he knows, ‘I experience a painful worldly feeling’; when experiencing a painful spiritual feeling, he knows, ‘I experience a painful spiritual feeling’; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful worldly feeling, he knows, ‘I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful worldly feeling’; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful spiritual feeling, he knows, ‘I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful spiritual feeling.’
“Thus he lives contemplating feelings in feelings internally, or he lives contemplating feelings in feelings externally, or he lives contemplating feelings in feelings internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in feelings, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in feelings, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors in feelings. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought, ‘Feeling exists,’ to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus, monks, a monk lives contemplating feelings in feelings.”

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EXERCISE

PURPOSE:   To practice mindfulness with regard to feelings and sensations.

  1. At all times be aware of your feelings.

    In the words of Buddha:
    • Know when you experience a pleasant feeling, ‘I experience a pleasant feeling’;
    • Know when you experience a painful feeling, ‘I experience a painful feeling’;
    • Know when you experience a neutral feeling, ‘I experience a neutral feeling’;
    • Know when you experience a pleasant worldly feeling, ‘I experience a pleasant worldly feeling;
    • Know when you experience a pleasant spiritual feeling, ‘I experience a pleasant spiritual feeling;
    • Know when you experience a painful worldly feeling, ‘I experience a painful worldly feeling;
    • Know when you experience a painful spiritual feeling, ‘I experience a painful spiritual feeling;
    • Know when you experience a neutral worldly feeling, ‘I experience a neutral worldly feeling;
    • Know when you experience a neutral spiritual feeling, ‘I experience a neutral spiritual feeling;
  2. Look at the feeling that is uppermost in your mind. Look at what is right there associated with it. Do not go digging for information by trying to remember.

  3. See if that feeling has a location in, or on, some part of the body. The feeling may appear not to have any location, or it may appear to be throughout the body. Sometimes the feeling may appear to have a location in the space around the body. In any case, spot the location if there is one.

  4. If there is some medical condition associated with the feeling, make sure you are following the proper medical procedures.

  5. Become thoroughly immersed in the feeling  at its location and feel it unconditionally. The feeling may seem to move to different locations. Thoroughly feel it at whatever location you find it.

  6. If any thoughts or considerations appear during this process notice them mindfully, and accept them for what they are.

  7. If a picture appears during this process then look at it for what it is. You may make a copy just like it and place it next to it. You may even make more copies until you feel you have enough. Then simply dispose of all these copies in any manner you wish. If some part of a picture is still remaining then repeat this step.

  8. Continue experiencing the feeling without resistance as long as it is there. Be mindful of the thoughts, considerations, pictures, ideas, etc., that flow along with the feeling. The feeling will finally reduce and go away as you practice mindfulness.

  9. Continue with the next feeling that is now uppermost in the mind from step 2 forward. If there is no specific feeling to take up then simply go back to step 1.

  10. Continue contemplating feelings internally and/or as observed externally.

  11. Be mindful of the origination factors in feelings, and/or the dissolution factors in feelings.

  12. Be mindful that feelings exist to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness.

  13. Live detached, and cling to nothing in the world.

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Further references: KHTK Mindfulness

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Comments

  • Leif  On September 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Thanks for this essay and instruction. This is very good for me right now.

  • vinaire  On September 20, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    I have revised this MINDFULNESS IN FEELINGS Exercise to adhere more closely to what Buddha recommended.

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