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Satipatthana Sutta, Second Foundation: Feelings Unleashing Thoughts

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2010-11-23
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Feelings move quickly into a narrative that captures our attention and promotes further images, all with their own feelings and further story. The sense of “I” arises, and we are surrounded by feelings and reactions to feelings, giving us a sense of ourselves in time and space.  We call this life.


Papanca is the elaboration of a feeling (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral) into a story complete with emotional overtones. Notice that when an unpleasant feeling arises, a narrative appears, justifying the need to turn away and avoid this experience. With a pleasant feeling, the narrative takes the form of prolongation and the feeling that this experience is important to our lives. When a neutral feeling rises, our minds will lose interest and move toward a more entertaining fantasy. Be willing to halt this progression by picking a feeling tone and not allowing the mind to elaborate on it or lose connection with it. Rather, let the feeling be seen as a simple feeling calling for no further mental input.


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