Class #2 Clarifying what you see when meditating
For this class, we want to clarify what happens when you close your eyes. In order to move to the next skill called "noting" in a mindfulness practice, it's helpful to know what you are seeing in order to practice the skill of "noting."
We'll explore the difference between a thought, emotion and body sensation, then learn how to "ground" through concentration, then discuss "noting" your experience as a mindfulness skill.
Some of these pictures are videos to see what I mean visually. Click away.
We discussed concentration last week and explored how hard it is to meditate. It's hard because so many thoughts, emotions and body sensations rush into our minds.
Today's class aims at helping you see what is rushing into your mind so you can eventually slow it down, note it, and see it rising and falling in your mind.
This practice takes us in the direction of being less identified or having less ego in life.
We reviewed concentration and came to the consensus that it's hard to do. We practiced "catching" and "holding" our concentration by striking the bell and holding onto the sound.
This was a way to understand concentration as a process of catching awareness and holding onto it just long enough to see it fade away.
In the class today we looked deeper into the meaning and consequence of things fading away.
1 What do you see?
We started the class with examining "what do we see" when we close our eyes. It is important to acknowledge how chaotic our minds are, without mindful training. I'm hoping you'll leave this course with realistic expectations about mindfulness so you'll continue to practice throughout your life.
Thoughts, emotions and body sensation continuously flow into our consciousness. This is a common experience for people who meditate. Even very experienced meditators have to keep working on their concentration.
First a word about symbols. The blue circle represents our cognition or thinking. We can "see" what we are thinking when we choose to step back from our thoughts mindfully. The red circle represents emotions and the green circle represents body sensations. This is tricky because emotions are physical sensations in or around the body. We need to recognize our emotions so we can make balanced rational decisions versus purely emotional decisions. We recognize our emotions by observing what happens in or around the body. This is subtly different than body sensations that are exclusively physical such as back aches, knee pain or hunger.
If we see the difference between these three domains we are less likely to be overwhelmed when we meditate.