Beginning Class Week 2

This week the focus is on the 2nd Foundation of Mindfulness – mindfulness of feeling tones (pleasant, unpleasant and neutral which is neither pleasant nor unpleasant).  Becoming aware of the way our likes and dislikes control our behavior is one of the first steps in seeing the true nature of being human.  Every object observed by the senses; every experience we have and every thought is connected to a feeling tone.  Feeling tones are the force behind our reactions in life.  Mindfulness of feeling tones invites you to pay attention to your reactions and impulses  It means noticing how you simply push away or dismiss that which you do not like; constantly look for or expect pleasurable experiences and pretty much ignore everything else.  By paying attention to the feeling tones we are learning to become aware a crucial aspect of mindfulness – we are become aware of “grasping”.  Grasping is the root cause of all suffering.  Learning to see the feeling tones behind your actions will show suffering and the end of suffering.

Keep this practice simple.  You may find that you notice a lot of unpleasantness over the next two week.  Just notice it.  Unpleasantness is not about you.  It is about being human.  Practicing pausing before pushing away the unpleasant or being willing to let go of a pleasant experience will help you see the freedom in this practice. This is your practice! Experiment with it.  See if you can notice how quickly your feeling tones change throughout the day.  See if you can even notice a neutral feeling tone.  Again, you can do this within a second or two – while walking to a meeting; at the gas station or siting in the car.

Don’t forget to practice keeping your attention on now two things you do every day and spend at least 15 minutes every day in meditation.

With a deep bow to your practice…
Tuere

PRACTICING WITH FEELING TONES

Start with a body scan from the top of the head to bottom of feet
Notice your forehead and release any tension by softening
Move to your eyes, cheeks and jaw – release any tension by softening
Move to your throat and shoulders – release any tension by softening
Move to your arms, elbows and hands – release any tension by softening
Move to your back and release any tension by softening
Move to your chest and release any tension
Pay attention to your breathing – the rising and falling of the chest
Move to your stomach and release any tension
Again, pay attention to your breathing – to expanding of the belly
Move to your bum, thighs and legs – release any tension by softening
Move to your feet, notice the top and bottom and release any tension by
softening
Return your attention to your breathing
As you are sitting, you’ll notice that various sensations arise in the body – the
temperature, touching, sounds – allow your attention to move to whatever sensation becomes predominant
If the sensation goes away, return your attention to breathing or sitting and wait
If the sensation remains, notice whether you consider if pleasant, unpleasant or neutral
Notice what happens if you think the sensation pleasant or unpleasant
If you are not sensing anything, notice how you feel generally
Do you feel pleasant, unpleasant or neutral
Notice if you are having any reaction
Notice also if there is not particular reaction
Let your reaction be your object of this meditation

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