Mindfulness of Feeling Tone
Vedana is the Pali term used to describe a ‘feeling tone’
that arises when we come into contact with sense objects.
It results when our senses meet a sense object and we experience it as
attractive, neutral or unattractive.
For example, when we experience vedana through our eyes
we may see a beautiful flower and be attracted. This is pleasant vedana.
There is also unpleasant and neutral vedana, through which desire, grasping and becoming are stimulated. We want to possess what we desire.
This is true for all our senses and the objects they come in contact with –
sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thought.
Some of our thoughts are pleasant, some are neither pleasant nor unpleasant,
and some are unpleasant.
Through our practice we open to omnipresent sensitivity and
all the possibilities for pain, ugliness and unpleasantness.
Through mindfulness of vedana we begin to notice a desire arise
when seeing something beautiful and wanting it or
seeing something ugly and desiring to get rid of it.
This is the natural reaction on the sensory plane.
As we develop a reflective mind we can contemplate vedana
through our sensory organs and recognize ‘this is the way it is,’
there is nothing wrong, in fact it is okay.
Our response changes and we recognize there is pleasant, painful, and neutral.
We practice to accept things as they are rather than reacting
and moving towards or away.
Vedana is not to be confused with emotional feelings.