Buddhism, Mindfulness, Zen, Zen practice

Pleasant? Unpleasant? Neutral?

I feel that the smell of a gardenia is pleasant.

I feel that the looks of a maggot are unpleasant.

I feel that the taste of water is neutral.

When practicing mindfulness, we become aware of our feelings.  We notice or take a look at our feelings.  We think about what is happening outside and inside of us, in our mind and our body, and around us.   These feelings that we notice are simple and basic.  We look to see if something that we experience through our senses (what we see, hear, smell, taste, or touch) is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.  We just notice.  We don’t judge and say that is good or bad.  We don’t slip into a story.  We ask ourselves, “Is this pleasant?  Is this unpleasant?  Is this neutral, neither pleasant nor unpleasant?

When I hear a bird singing, I notice in the moment that I feel that the noise is pleasant.  That is all.  I just notice that I find it pleasant.  When I walk on the street and a loud motorcycle goes by me, I feel that the noise is unpleasant.  When I hear a noise that I feel is not pleasant and is not unpleasant, I notice that it is neutral.

That is the practice of mindfulness with feelings.

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