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Satipatthana Sutta, Second Foundation: Neutral Feelings

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2010-11-09
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Neutral feelings pervade our life when we try to maintain a high level of intensity for our life’s purpose and meaning. Busyness is an indication of this dependency, but as soon as the energy decreases below an established threshold, our mind wonders, and we become dull, listless, and uninterested. Awareness has not waned in the slightest, but we have been conditioned to stop paying attention.


Feelings set a tone for how you perceive. Neutral feelings seem to indicate that the moment is uninteresting and unworthy of your attention. Usually we depend upon stimulation and entertainment to keep life exciting, but interest can also be aroused from questioning why the moment seems so dull and lifeless when awareness is accessible right here and now. The heart gets interested in what seems to be blocking its aliveness. Prove to yourself that awareness is present even in the dullest of moments. This week instead of acting from the dullness and thereby confirming its truth, or applying counter measures to eliminate it, sit and be patient. Ask, “Is awareness dull in this moment?” Do not believe the thoughts of dullness. A lack of interest is a defense against being here and now. It cannot maintain itself if you refuse to leave here and now.


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