Our theme of vigilance is revealing something about the elusive feeling center. Last Tuesday many tried to describe what emerged when in this type of vigilance meditation as we rested in curiosity and stillness without expectation.
We can come to know the sensation of the body on a profound level with the use of this practice. It is the foundation by which greater openings can occur. It takes us out of our heads and grounds us in an energy required for presence. If we do this practice not only in our meditation but out and about in life, it yields the emergence of something within us that we did not know before.
We wrestle with thought until we don’t, but we start questioning what thought is and how it pervades the air space. Many found they are now able to recognize what is thought, how it interrupts, and that it is not feeling and that it does not hold sensation in our body!
We are not trying to stop thought, but maintain our sense of awareness. This is something outside of thought that must be developed.
Now sitting in sensation, we seek to understand the feeling center.
We often mistake reaction for feeling. Emotions swirling inside us that take up lots of energetic space are narratives that have hijacked the circuitry of the feeling center.
The feeling center’s proper capacity cannot be known until we detangle the emotions from it and recognize attachment for what it is. Only then can a softening, a preciousness, and noble truth come to the surface. We discover the true nature of feeling through awareness and vigilance.
This will lead us to discriminate between thought and feeling.
For more on that, please see my blog: Meditative Vigilance
In practice, nothing earth shattering may result from our day to day practice of vigilance. There is a cumulative effect which frees us from the stranglehold of identification with thought. Studying how we “think” feeling in regular everyday circumstances is also a means by which we might catch ourselves.
Study lack of acceptance of what is.
Study self-pity and loss.
Study the inability to let go.
These are determinants of a captured feeling center. It has no space to actually function as a center in which truth and acceptance can be experienced. We cannot soften to what is actually happening within us.
The walls around our hearts are so fortified by this circuitry that we have no notion of what the feeling center actually does.
We keep ourselves in “conditioned check” in order not to feel the pain while simultaneously averting the preciousness of life. We have no connection or empathy for each other. We are guarded, full of fear, and stave off vulnerability of any sort.
Last week, when we asked around the circle to describe the feeling center during our meditation, many offered some vague experience that was hard to put into words. Some had physical sensations to help describe it. Some described that they could not sense it at all.
These are common answers I have heard over the past 20 years.
However, there were some who described a tenderness, a preciousness, and a realization of truth and knowing that emerged. This is often accompanied by inexplicable tears or a certain rawness. There is a sense of authenticity and vulnerability that is unlike what we know as reaction. It emerges without cue, without searching for it, without making it happen.
It is a knowing from deep within.
Finding this center is like a valve opening that reveals something more to us.
When those tears come, they are tender, inexplicable, and knowing. A new truth is uncovered and we are a little more free of the confines of the reactive self.
Lastly, we cannot seek to make this happen. We can only abide over and over, sometimes for years, and suddenly something gives way within us. Something surrenders that we did not have the power to do before. A veil is lifted.
We can then sit with sensation, feeling and vigilance to become the divine vehicle we were meant to be. From this place, we have a chance to open to a world filled with grace and authentic knowing that goes beyond any kind of emotion and the many laws confining our everyday experience. We are primed for spiritual bliss that enters at the least expected moment. For more, please read my blog on Divine Fusion and the Kesdjan Body.