By Community Meditation Teacher, Dana Wills
Our ability to experience and embody life depends on our ability to focus and feel.  We are training to do that each time we sit in meditation.  We are tuning into our feelings or present moment experience.  We are focusing on what is most important in the moment. To feel more deeply is to experience more deeply.  Are feeling and experiencing synonymous for you?

Consider the following questions so that you become increasingly mindful of the feeling quality of your meditation experience. Answering this series of questions in your meditation journal can be insightful.
  1. How do you transition into your seat, so that you can feel into your present moment experience? If you need new inspirations as you transition onto your cushion, you can use poetry, music, literature, podcasts, interviews, discussion – they are all gateways to feeling.
  2. How do we get out of the thinking mind and into a felt sense of 1) our environment, 2) our bodies, 3) our minds and 4) our breath?  Think of these four foundations of mindfulness as gateways to presence and acceptance.
  3. Why do you meditate?  One answer is to help you feel, or even that its primary intention is to connect you with your feelings.  Is this true for you?
  4. Do you avoid feeling?  Author Susan Piver shares that emotions are like tunnels, that you must go through them to get to the light on the other end.
  5. What inspires you to be consistent and come back?
  6. What kind of session fills you with gratitude?
  7. In your busy world, how do you shift from the head to the heart? How do you embody the words you hear, either in a guided meditation or the words in your own minds?
  8. Words help us transform thoughts into feelings and then into action.  Words make us available to our direct experience and help us remember what that experience is.  What words do you use to describe yourself or your meditation experience—generous, kind, judgmental, sad?
  9. Is it true for you—that you feel a good meditation session?
To feel more deeply is to experience more deeply.  I look forward to seeing you on the Community Meditation cushion.  Together we’ll sit, share and become increasingly mindful of the feeling quality of our practice.  See you soon!