Again, very simple, and perhaps obvious both in a psychological and spiritual context. But also something I find helpful and fascinating just about every day. I often do this before falling asleep and after waking up, and also at times throughout the day.
I can explore what is here in sensation, either as an open exploration of the sense field.
Or if a specific symptom, emotion, mood, or anything else draws my attention, I can explore that.
What do I find when I bring attention to sensations? How does it show up in sensation? What is its sensation facet?
What is here as images overlaid on those sensations?
How do they combine? How do I experience the combination of the two?
What happens when I recognize the two as separate? What happens when I bring attention to the plain sensation?
What are images made up of? Are they substantial? Stable? Insubstantial? Fleeting? An object in space? Made up of space itself?
What are sensations made up of? Do they appear substantial? Dense? Real? Insubstantial? Ephemeral? As space itself?
This can be used on any symptom such as pain or nausea. It can be used to explore emotions or moods. It can be used to explore the sense of doer/observer.
It is easy for me to take my image overlays – my interpretations – as real and substantial, and then think, feel, and act as if these are true. When I explore the sensation facet separately, by bringing attention to plain sensation, it changes. I recognize what is here in simple sensation. I get curious about what sensation is. I may find that sensations are as space itself, ephemeral and insubstantial.
Something appears as pain. When I take it as pain, I get caught up in my images of pain which tends to create stress and stress thinking, feeling, and behavior. No problem there, but also good to notice. I recognize it as simple sensation. The effects of getting caught up in my images of it softens or falls away. I recognize sensation as temporary play of space itself.
By exploring this way, I notice what is already here. Sensations. Images.
I can also follow curiosity further.
How do I experience time? Where do I find it in the sense fields? Is this too images of past, future, and present, and images of continuity among these? Can I find time outside of my images?
What about space? When I close my eyes, do I see images of extent? Images of space used to map other images and whatever happens in the sense fields? Can I find space outside of my images?
Is there a sense of doer/observer here? Where is it located? How does it appear in sensations? What happens when I recognize its sensation facet? Does the doer/observer shift in space as this is happening? How does this one appear in sensations? How does the doer/observer appear as sensations combined with images? Is it content of experience? Is it different from any other content of experience? What happens when it is taken as “what I am”? What happens when it is recognized as content of experience?
Note: It can be helpful to include several more steps here to guide attention. Also, curiosity is what is behind all of this. A genuine curiosity about what is here in the sense fields. And this curiosity is the most valuable guide.
It is also very helpful to leave this open-ended. Whatever I find is what is real for me here and now. There is no need to try to fit it into expectations. To make it happen a certain way. When I explore, it is a new exploration. It will happen differently, and I don’t know in what way. Curiosity is my guide, also here.
- sensation facet
- explore what is there in sensation
- what is there in image
- how combine
- and what happens when recognized as separate + focus on plain sensation
- can be used for any symptom, including sense of doer/observer
I can explore what is here in sensation.
Sensations and images combining. What happens when this combination is taken as real and substantial. What happens when they are recognized as distinct. What happens when they are each recognized as made up of space itself.