Mindfulness of feelings meditation involves watching your feelings as an indifferent and disinterested spectator instead of constantly judging and labeling them.
You wonder how is it possible to not label a feeling. After all, love is love and anger is anger. When things don't go according to plan, one gets mighty frustrated...how can you not feel the frustration at that time?
Well, the answer lies in breaking the connection between us and the reaction a particular feeling generates in us.
Let me try and explain with an example.
Imagine a person watching a game of football. If I tell you that he is impartial to both sides, do you think the outcome of the game will affect him in anyway?
I am sure that he will neither get elated nor dejected at any one team winning the game.
We have to adopt a similar attitude toward our feelings. We have to become an impartial observer and stop indulging the 'nicer' ones or rejecting the 'unpleasant' ones.
When you sit for your meditation, embrace any feeling that arises in its pure form by accepting the feeling just as it is, without developing a craving or an aversion toward it.
Refrain from classifying the feeling as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, enticing or repugnant, rather, simply observe it for what it is.
Become aware of its intensity and duration and of any affects it has on your body. Does it change your breath? Does it make you breathe quicker or slower? Does it cause sensations anywhere?
You will notice that a 'weak' feeling quickly fades away, while a 'strong' one lingers and may even overwhelm you, but even that cannot last forever and ultimately fades away.
No feeling, weak or strong, can stay permanently. It arises and falls. To be replaced by another feeling, and then another.
Anger, hate, frustration, love, joy, happiness, guilt, sadness, envy - let these feelings come and go.
Avoid getting swept away by the pleasant one and getting all worked up about the unpleasant one. Treat them with equal dispassion.
The usual automatic reaction of craving or aversion to our feelings needs to be replaced by mindful awareness. The less we fall prey to our 'auto-mode' of living, the more space we will create for awareness to take root and flourish.
After practising the three mindfulness meditations of body, feelings and mind, try the mindfulness of phenomena meditation.
Be consciously aware of the perpetual coming and going of all things!
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