Awareness of Feelings

This was our second session.

We recapped the framework for thinking about ourselves

This time we focused on our feelings, what that means and how to be aware of them.

We practised Sitting Meditation and Walking Meditation

and then we had tea… 

Practise Again..

This is the 15 minute sitting meditation we practised

If possible try and find time to sit once a day.

It seems like a lot – 15 minutes a day!

Maybe you could swap it for something less helpful.

I will leave that up to you…

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Some ideas about Feelings

Feelings are our emotional state at the time of awareness.

The emotion may have been triggered some time ago and is still with us. Sometimes emotions are very persistant if the trigger is frequent or very significant.

Try not to judge feelings as ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’. Typically we might say the feeling of Anger is bad but Love is good; but that is not always the case. Sometimes anger will stir you into action even to being brave when you otherwise would not act. Similarly we have all experienced love influencing us in ways that are not helpful.

Gardens

I love my garden and I am often tending to my flower beds and pulling up weeds. Weeds are defined as any plant that is the ‘wrong’ plant  in the flower bed. I am forever pulling up creeping buttercups. I know them on sight and will tear them up. However there are times when I see a lawn of cut grass peppered with the yellow sparkles of buttercups and they can bring me joy. Who would not want to check if a child likes butter by seeing if the flower reflected under their chin.

With ‘wrong’ feelings that cause suffering such as Anger and Fear, they are my big two, it is tempting to rip them out of our awareness or shut them up. The trouble is they never seem to go away. Instead we could welcome them into  our awareness as friends. Sitting in the presence of our fear or anger without judgement will almost certainly reduce the suffering it is causing you.

Dogs

Another love of mine is my two dogs. Again being with your feelings can be like being in control of a pack of dogs. Some feelings can be volatile and chaotic like excitable dogs. They can bark and carry on and you might think how am I ever going to control this lot.

Patiently sitting with them is a surprisingly good technique for both dogs and feelings. No need to shout at them or lock them away. Just a calm steady presence and they will begin to calm themselves down. It is not that you are ‘doing’ anything, just being there is enough sometimes. It can be a waiting game because some emotional states are pretty intense, and they take a long time to settle down but in the end nothing is permanent. Even the fiercest Rottweiler can become a loyal companion.


How we look at ourselves

Play Video

The Model

This film (it’s a bit long at 30 minutes, sorry) explains the first part of the techniques and ideas we are learning for our sitting meditation.

It is helpful as a recap or an introduction.

This might seem a lot to it at the beginning but with regular practice it will become very familiar. 

Remember just like swimming we are not gong to dive in and do lengths on day one. There is much kicking and paddling to do first.

The Body

Breathing in – Breathing Out

Breathing Deeper – Breathing Slower

Aware of the Body – Calm the Body

Feelings

Aware of Feelings – Calm Feelings

Alive – Joy

Mind

Perceptions – ? – Thinking

Aware of Mind – Calm Mind

Meditating – Happy

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This framework is based on 

‘The Full Awareness of Breathing’

breathe!

you are alive

is a very easy to follow explanation of the sutra.

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