We further deepen our practice on noticing feeling tone (“vedana” in Pali) and what precedes and accompanies it. Do you notice unpleasant feeling tones arising around certain thoughts like “this meditation is taking forever”, accompanied by the restless need to quit? Or maybe there were beliefs such as “my mind keeps wandering, I suck at meditation.” What experiences accompanied those beliefs eg feelings of defeat? The purpose of this practice is to take a step back and watch for the whole chain of reactions surrounding feeling tones, recognizing that they are natural outcomes of the mind and body, and simply acknowledging them without needing to get caught up.
The practice ends with a reading of Wendell Berry’s poem The Peace of Wild Things.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Duration: 22 mins
Guide: Noelle Lim
Image credit: Caleb Woods, Unsplash