Topic 5: Developing a richness of experience

Developing a broad range of sense experience and objectivity about our situation

There are always sensations of pleasure and pain going on in our body to different degrees but an unconscious filtering process can over-ride our actual experiences so we don’t feel them, even though they are still going on. You can use your meditation and general mindfulness practice to broaden your range of experience in terms of the sensations of pleasure and pain. In the practice of mindfulness you come back to the direct experience of what is actually happening and develop a capacity and ability to stay with a wide range of experience without cutting off from what is actually going on or adding an unrealistic mental interpretation of what is going on.

An important aspect of this direct and broad experience of sensations is that it gives you the ability to notice when your mind and emotions adds to what is happening by building up an interpretation and story about what is happening and start to take you out of objective awareness. From a series of more difficult sensations it is possible that  a momentum of pessimistic and morose states of mind can take you over without you at first noticing it, this slide can make you feel down and out of touch with a wider perspective which might include positive potential. The wider the range of actual sensations is the more likely you will catch the tendency to fall into or build a negative story about what is happening.

On the other hand a series of pleasurable experiences can trigger an unrealistic and over optimistic view of your situation in which you also miss the whole picture. You can get into an excited over ebullient state which is not based on what is actually happening and also miss the bigger picture.

A broad range of experience

When something needs attention

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