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Neutral Sensations

Hi Everyone

For a while now I have been observing this process John talks about involving the moving attention to a neutral sensation like the breath. For me, the breath is not always experienced as a neutral sensation because there are so so many spiritually based past associations with the breath. It is somtimes really hard to move attention to the breath and not expect " something to happen" . Even though I dont feel that old sense of urgency or aversion in the moving of attention, the expectation that something will happen as a result of "attending to the breath" still comes up like an old unhelpful friend.For some people with a history of respiratory issues that could be a very loaded focus for attention. For someone with a trauma history, moving attention to the breath can be a terrifying experience....certainly not neutral. I have found that neutral sensations are totally available if I look around for a bit. For example, I often will awaken through the night. Sometimes there may be anxiety or preoccupations but often I am just awake and alert. If I choose to move attention to a neutral sensation, in those situations, I find that the feeling of my body making contact with the bed or my head making contact with the pillow feels neutral. During the day I might choose to move my attention to the feeling of my tongue in my mouth (I first heard that from John in one of his podcasts) or to the sensations in my feet which might feel like a neutral focus for attention...... And at times, for what ever reason, the breath might appear to be more neutral. I guess what I am finding is that the neutrality of a sensation, like everything, is always changing so I find it is helpful to look around for a bit and see what feels neutral. I then move attention to that particular sensation and see, overtime, how that influences subsequent experience.

Paul

 

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