August 18, 2014
This issue is now obsolete. For latest references please see: KHTK Mindfulness. The specific reference that updates this issue is The 12 Aspects of Mindfulness.
This was part of a basic series of essays, which started this blog. These essays were later revised and the original versions were deleted. However, these essays were then added back to maintain a complete record.
The basic idea introduced in this essay is experience mental reactions fully without resisting them when they are naturally presented by the mind.


This is the first part of the second essay, EXPERIENCING. Experiencing is deeper looking. Suppose a dog is running toward you and you feel afraid. If you simply experience that fear caused by that dog without avoiding, resisting or suppressing it, you may find that you are able to handle the situation much better even as it develops.

This essay provides some exercises to develop the skill of EXPERIENCING. Briefly, this skill may be summed up as:


Feelings, emotions, sensations, etc., are flows because they out pour or discharge. One “looks” at such flows by experiencing them without resisting. This lets them out pour and discharge.

Here are some examples of these flows:

(a)   Feelings: confusion, love, disgust, etc.

(b)   Emotions: grief, fear, anger etc.

(c)   Sensations: tingling, dizziness, hot and cold, etc.

(d)   Efforts: any effort to do, or not do something, such as an effort to run, or not to move.


Exercise 2-1   


1.    Observe the feelings or emotions that appear as you start to face it.

2.    Experience those feelings and emotions without resisting or suppressing them.

When the mind brings up some feeling or emotion as an immediate response to the environment, it is safe to experience it.

To safely experience the mind, do not think or push the mind in any direction.

Usually it is much easier to experience positive flows, such as, love, enthusiasm and well-beingness; and rather difficult to experience negative flows, such as, guilt, fear and pain. But, when such flows come up in immediate response to something, they are safe to experience.

In response to looking at things in the environment, the mind will immediately bring up only those feelings, emotions and efforts that are safe to experience.

One may encounter uncontrolled thinking in the mind. But, as one looks and experiences the environment, without thinking or resisting, that uncontrolled thinking starts to calm down.

To experience a flow, simply stay with it without avoiding it, resisting it, or suppressing it back. Dive right into the very center of it and feel it without adding anything. As you stay with it, the uncomfortable intensity of the flow would lessen and eventually disappear.


Exercise 2-2   

Move around the house leisurely, and look at various objects, touching and feeling them. Experience them without resisting until you can unconditionally accept their presence.


Exercise 2-3

Go for a walk in the neighborhood. Look and notice things. Experience them without resisting until you can unconditionally accept them being there.


Exercise 2-4

Go to a coffee shop, sit there and observe the surroundings and other people. Experience whatever feelings come up until you no longer are avoiding, resisting or suppressing anything from yourself.


Exercise 2-5

Look at your family album or any old pictures that you may have kept.  As feelings and emotions come up, experience them without avoiding, resisting or suppressing them.


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