Vedananupassana in vipassana
This is the second section of Vipassana meditation as taught by the Buddha. Various types of sensations can be experienced from moment to moment. The feelings of the body are continuous. But we are not wakening to realize those sensations consciously. Lord Buddha wants you to be alert and active all the time. Our consciousness has slept. We are not alert to the phenomena happening in the body. This is the chapter where you need to realize your body as it is through the level of feelings or sensations.
Sometimes, questions arise- what sensation is. The feeling of heat, warmth, or cold in the body is a type of sensation. When somebody or something touches you, you feel a sensation of touch. Similarly, a touch of your own cloth is also a sensation. Feeling of heaviness or lightness in the body is also a type of sensation. Feeling of pain, pleasure, numbness, perspiration, etching, throbbing, rubbing, etc. are also sensations. There are countless types of sensations. Every single sensation cannot be counted nor can it be named. Whatever you experience within your body from the top of your head to the base of your feet, is a sensation.
Generally, human has a reactive habit. We cling to pleasure and hate pain. Here, according to the teaching of Buddha, you are not supposed to crave the pleasant sensation nor do you abhor the unpleasant sensation. Just experience the sensation as it is since it is not permanent. Everything keeps changing.
How Practitioner Observes?
And how, a practitioner dwells observing, again and again, that sensations of the body (vedana) are just feelings or sensations (not mine, not I, not self but just as phenomena)?
In this teaching, when a pleasant sensation arises, he recognizes, “I am undergoing a pleasant sensation,” when a disagreeable sensation arises, he senses, “I am experiencing a disagreeable sensation,” and when a feeling that is neither pleasant nor disagreeable arises, he knows, “I am feeling a sensation that is neither pleasant nor displeasing.”
He knows when he is having a good sensation that is related to sense pleasures, or when he is having a pleasant feeling that is unrelated to sense pleasures, he knows, “I am experiencing a happy sensation that is unrelated to sense pleasures.”
He recognizes whether he is having an unpleasant sensation related to sense pleasures by revealing, “I am experiencing an unpleasant sensation related to sense pleasures,” or when he is having an unpleasant sensation unrelated to sense pleasures by observing, “I am experiencing an unpleasant unrelated to sense pleasures.”
Pleasent & Unpleasent Moment
When a practitioner is experiencing a sensation that is neither pleasant nor unpleasant but connected with sense pleasures, they can be aware of it by saying, “I am experiencing a feeling that is neither pleasant nor unpleasant but for the sensation associated with sense pleasures,” or they can say, “I am experiencing a feeling that is neither pleasant nor unpleasant but is not associated with sense pleasures.”
Therefore, he keeps experiencing feelings in himself as just feelings (not his, his, or his own, but just as phenomena); he also keeps experiencing feelings in others as just feelings, or he keeps experiencing feelings in both himself and others as just feelings. He continues to see the cause and the actual manifestation of feelings, the reason and the actual dissolution of feelings, or both the real manifestation and the causes of both the actual manifestation and dissolution of feelings.
In conclusion, he is acutely aware that only feelings exist (not I, not mine nor permanent, but a phenomenon). That awareness is only for gradually developing mindfulness and insight (vipassana). He lives without attaching to anything in the world because he has disassociated himself from craving and incorrect beliefs. So, he lives viewing feelings as just feelings again and over again.
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