The Foundations of Vipashyana

Insight Through Feelings 2/4

The four close applications of mindfulness—to the body, to sensations, to mental events, and to all phenomena at large—are the basis of the practice of Vipashyana or insight meditation. Matthieu Ricard provides guidance what vipashyana practice consists of.

First, with Mindfulness of the Body, we closely mind the body and breath; we relax and ground ourselves in physical presence. This provides the necessary grounding for a second subtler step, which is to explore our feelings. Through the Mindfulness of Feelings, we step by step enhance our self-awareness against habitual reactions and their effects. Instead of reacting on the spot, we gain more ability to choose our response rooted in clarity. 
Learning to apply mindfulness to feelings is especially beneficial if our identification with these feelings is strong. We can embark on an endless roller-coaster of positive and negative feelings, depending on the causes and conditions we find ourselves in. Our mind itself consists of an endless series of thoughts feeding our memories, feelings, imaginations and projections of the future. The challenge with attachment to feelings is that everything around us is constantly changing, most of it being out of our control.
Discover the course: Mindfulness of Feelings.

Artwork: Yahne Le Toumelin, Les Portes du Paradis, 1978


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