The Buddha said “All phenomena converge on feelings (vedana).”
The word feeling, in Buddhist teachings, refers to three reactions to our experiences—pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings. Most of us spend much of our lives pushed and pulled around by either the desire to have pleasant experiences or the desire to avoid unpleasant ones. Or else we are bored when we experience neither. In all three reactions, the experience of vedana sets off a stream of activity that is often unskillful.
The Buddha understood that these three feeling tones of experience are unavoidable and that, in the absence of awareness, they are the source of craving and compulsiveness which lead to suffering. He also taught that through mindfulness of the feeling tone of our experience, we can develop skills such as patience, compassion, and understanding that uplift the heart and help us to step out of our reactive patterns.
This program is appropriate for both new and experienced meditators. We will explore how to work skillfully with the feeling tones of experiences in formal practice and daily life. Everyone is welcome.
Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, by Joseph Goldstein, is a helpful guide for this investigation.
Ron Denhardt has practiced Insight Meditation and in the Zen tradition since 1989. He has been teaching at CIMC since 2006, where he teaches the Elders’ Group and other classes. He also teaches meditation at colleges, adult education centers, and other community organizations. Ron has a strong interest in somatic practices and neuroscience. He finds it very heartening when practitioners realize personal freedom is possible and that their own freedom will be beneficial to all.