TUESDAY, JULY 7, 3:00 PM
Notes to Shinzen’s second First Timer’s Session
MINDFULLNESS: THE SCIENCE OF SENSORY EXPERIENCE
ORDINARY SENSORY EXPERIENCE: There are 6 senses (Asian concept): Sights, sounds, touch, smell, taste, thought (mental experience). Thought is a sensory event. One can intentionally create talk/image of one’s choice.
BODY EXPERIENCE: It is good, when experiencing strange or painful emotions, to note interplay of FEEL, IMAGE, and TALK (henceforth to be referred to as FIT).
There is no word in the English language (or any other language) for the emotional body sensation that controls an unconscious person, causing them to act out in ways that increase discord, contradicts one’s self-interests, etc. For our purposes, we will assign the noun “FEEL” for this phenomenon (emotional body sensation). “TOUCH” is the noun we assign to all other body sensations. Smell and taste will be considered forms of TOUCH, as will muscle cramps, stomachaches, headaches, etc.
OBJECTIVE VISUAL EXPERIENCE: “SIGHT”
SUBJECTIVE VISUAL EXPERIENCE: “IMAGE”
OBJECTIVE AUDIO EXPERIENCE: “SOUND”
SUBJECTIVE AUDIO EXPERIENCE: “TALK”
OBJECTIVE SENSORY EXPERIENCE: “TOUCH”
SUBJECTIVE SENSORY EXPERIENCE: “FEEL”
We tend to have the easiest time controlling TALK, less control over IMAGE, and still less control over FEEL, though these latter two categories can be trained as well.
FEEL SPACE: Where emotions arise in body
IMAGE SPACE: Where one “sees” images
TALK SPACE: Where one “hears” talk
TALK can be purposefully controlled and tended to. One can similarly control and tend to IMAGE and FEEL.
“FOCUS IN”: Technique of passively noting/observing subjective space.
“FOCUS ON POSITIVE”: Technique of actively controlling subjective space.
One can create positive states through a variety of means. “MEHTA” (“May you know happiness and the roots of happiness…”) is a traditional way.
SENSORY MAKE UP: There are 7 choices, but you can only do one at a time.
The GOAL of this practice is to have better concentration, clarity and equanimity in one’s subjective world. The POSSIBLE SIDE BENEFITS are to have more pleasant feelings, more rational thinking, and a more positive outlook. There may be improvements in performance and behavior.
The practice is one of selectively noting and/or creating certain subjective states. It is NOT an attempt to repress the negative. If negativity arises, note it. If negativity arises too strongly, switch to FOCUS IN. We are not engaging in a battle between internal positive and negative mental states. One is not attempting to reject the “bad”: one is attending to the “good”.
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