This is Part 3 of a 3-part series on Mindfulness
If you have been reading this series you will have become aware that being mindful is becoming aware of the sensations of the moment. For me, this attitude of attention and awareness enhances the richness of everyday life. It brings meditation off the cushion and into everyday awareness.
It also doesn’t mean that everything that has happened before is no longer relevant. In fact the past helps to form our experience of the present.
A natural progression in notice moment by moment sensations is to become more aware of the inner sensations.
Some of the myriad of things I have noticed when I feel within are:
- An uncomfortable feeling in the stomach, a bit churned up
- A feeling of expansion and openness at the heart, a feeling of joy
- A feeling of tightness or a ‘lump’ in the throat
- A feeling of flowing and ease at the throat
- A clear headed feeling, aware of thoughts rolling over
- Feelings of joy, feelings of frustration … oh too many feelings to write down
One thing I have noticed is that if we spend all the time ‘in our heads’ we can more easily ignore the messages that the subtle body sends us.
When we develop being mindful we are more open to the messages of the subtle body. So life becomes even richer and awareness even more finely tuned.
What do the above examples mean anyway?
Feelings in the Gut
Gut sensations have to do with getting things done and having the will (or not) to do things.
My teacher once said she felt tight in the gut until she made a difficult phone call, and after that the tightness dissipated. It doesn’t have to be anything major! But awareness is so useful.
Feelings in the Heart
We all know the pain of lost love or the ache of loss. And hopefully also the heart-expanding, joyful feeling of love.
These feelings are very real aren’t they? But when we are caught up in our head we can miss these life-affirming signals!
Feelings in the Throat
Could it be that the ‘lump’ or tightness in the throat relates to not being able to say what you want to say, or not knowing how to say something? Feeling that your voice doesn’t count?
And could the easeful throat indicate ease of communication – both receiving and giving? You know how some people are just so much easier to communicate with, you understand each other.
Feelings in the 'Head-space'
Of course the head is the area of wisdom.
It is also where we create all those thoughts of anger, frustration, stress at things not being as we want them and so on.
Meditation is the key.
I find I am not so likely to be aware of my inner world if I do not take the time to be quiet.
Just as we can notice body sensations both inner and outer, we can also notice the sensation of being aware of thoughts rolling around in the mind.
My mind is very good at keeping me from experiencing inner sensations.
I have described previously how chanting somehow takes awareness away from my thinking space and into the feeling space. (You can read that post here: http://waverleyyoga.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/what-is-chanting-and-why-would-i-want.html) I then become aware of loving spaciousness. I find that dancing does this too!
Eventually we see that we can be mindful of the mind. We can watch the thoughts arise and then slip away.
Perhaps we see that even that old familiar sense of ‘me’ is just a thought as well.
What? Yes I have spoken about that in another blog Simple and obvious once you know, but truly profound
When we take the time to meditate, we develop mindful awareness that we can then take off the mat and into everyday life.
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