Sensations as a test

 

Some teachers use how we experience sensations as a quick test for where we are.

Bring attention to where your foot meets the ground. (Or your hand on your thigh, or anything else.) What do you experience? Do the sensations belong to the body, with the floor on the other side of the boundary? Do they appear in space?

It seems that there are at least three possibilities for how these sensations are experienced.

Sensations may appear in space, with not much else happening. There is no sense of an I with an Other associated with it.

Sensations appear in space, but with an overlay of mental field activities such as an image of the body and the foot, and an image of the ground. But these mental field activities are seen as just that, imagined boundaries to aid our human self function in the world. They do not have substance.

Sensations belong to this foot, with the floor on the other side of that boundary. There is a strong sense of an I with an Other, and of the sensation/mental field gestalts (body, foot, floor) being real and substantial.

So to summarize: Sensations can appear in/as space, and that’s it. There are sensations, and mental field activity seen as just mental field activity. Or sensations are entangled with the mental field, and the gestalts are not seen as gestalts.

For me, I see that when I bring attention to it, sensations appear in and as space – with or without a mental field overlay, and although both are awareness itself, they are also distinct from each other. But sometimes in daily life, there is still the habit of taking the gestalts as real. (Beyond just a gestalt.)

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