The Feel In technique. In this guided meditation we explore emotional body-type sensations. I sometimes think of the inner system as being a bit wild. Our “inner wild”. Becoming familiar with this side of experience in a non-judgemental way, without the need to psycho-analyze, resist, or condemn can lead to deeper insights into ourselves as a sensory system. It also serves as a critical mechanism for skillfully intercepting emotionally-driven behavioral reactions (ex: I feel agitated in a conversation and then snap at someone).
So I thought we'd do a little intentional exploration of the inner side of feel. So we tend to categorize in unified mindfulness, the sensory experience into three categories see here and feel, and each of these have an inner and an outer component. And feel in can be a little bit different to work with. It's the most different of the three in that we're talking about something that can be. Unfamiliar pretty unfamiliar, uh, in the form of emotional body type sensation. So typically we can recognize emotions and sometimes they appear in the head and sometimes they have a body type of reflection or response. Those can all be represented in the body in different ways. So. Being able to tune in and pay attention to those emotions, uh, to detect them, but also to explore them in a way to increase the familiarity around them. We start to stretch our skillset to some degree. So in a technique, like feel in the focus range is the inner side of body, emotional body, and anything that would be outside, uh, of that, like a sight or sound mental talk, mental image that would be considered out of range. So today we're gonna focus on the "feel in" side. So that's the range and the technique is going to be recognizing any type of emotional body sensation, acknowledging that, and then we'll use noting and labeling. So noting is the acknowledgement. Yes, I recognize there is something here, emotional in flavor. And maybe I will call it curiosity or, um, agitation or whatever you want your palette of, of vocabulary. However, it fits onto that emotion, uh, and you can label it using the label "feel". And then we continue to either recognize that same emotion. We go through that process again. Or we let that go and look for some new, emotional type sensation. Like a standard appreciation technique, if there is generally no activity or low activity, so I'm looking for something emotional and I don't detect it, we'll recognize that as "restful" and we can note and explore the restfulness, the absence or generally low activity of any kind of emotional sensation in the feel in space and apply the label "rest" to that. So we can continue to soak in the rest that we detect, if there's low activity and anytime we detect some activity, we can apply the label "feel". So it's either feel, or rest are two labels for this as options. And so let's give it a shot. Assume a posture, give yourself a stretch. You might stretch the shoulders, the arms, and then relax them. You might relax the muscles around the face and you might take a couple of deep breaths just to get into meditation mode. And now bring the attention to the body, specifically the inner side of the body, this emotional type body experience. And let's see if we can detect anything that we might consider emotional in nature. So common places to look might be to start with the face. You might explore the chest, the stomach, but emotions can be anywhere. You can jump around in your search, or you can be methodical about it. Maybe starting at the head, body sweeping downward towards the feet. Give that a try. If you come across something that might be emotional in nature, acknowledge it, and then apply the label "feel" if you'd like to. If you detect relatively low activity in one of these areas that you're looking for, you might acknowledge that as well. You can apply the label "rest" if that's the case. So, if I were to demonstrate what this might sound like, applying labels, let's say I am doing a light body sweep, looking for emotional sensations. I detect something that might be emotional in nature. I might let my attention linger on that for a moment. Maybe explore qualities like intensity size, shape location, and then I'd apply the label feel. And then I would move on or stay with that same sensation and explore it. We've got options. Continue to explore emotional body sensation and note to either feel or rest. If you experience mental talk or sights or sounds those would be considered out of range. So we can just put those in the background. Don't have to stop them. Not suppressing anything, just allowing it to be in the background while we turn the attention towards the inner feel space. And as sort of a default, if something is a little bit uncertain where. It might be emotional body, or it might be physical body. We're gonna default to physical body on that one. So if you're not sure it's not inner emotional and you can return to searching for inner, emotional. By keeping the attention in a focus range in this case, the feel in space, the inner feel space, we're developing concentration, allowing our attention be directed in a way that we intend. And by recognizing something as emotional. or as restful or as not emotional or restful, that's developing the sensory clarity. Developing concentration in this way is known to increase relaxation. Also improves attention. And working the sensory clarity skill like this helps us develop insight. We learn more about ourselves as a system And allowing any of the experiences to happen, pleasant, unpleasant, neutral, both, welcoming and allowing what I call the "inner wild", our inner wild, that's developing equanimity. This can be really helpful as we start to build relationships with our experience. And that helps us take better action. We can recognize experiences as they occur or try to as close to as they occur. And then rather than react, we can choose to skillfully respond. This reduces suffering. So one more minute here, just continue to explore inner feel. As we draw this meditation to a close, see if you can carry any of the positive affect into the day and anything that was maybe less pleasant see if we can greet that with some acceptance And I hope you have a wonderful day.