@Srinath In your feeling-being days, wouldn’t the purity of experiencing feelings with full attention be spoiled when contemplation happened as you experienced feelings?

If I don’t contemplate, make mental notes and put my understanding in the larger puzzle of feelings by making sense of feelings as they occur, the clarity fades when I try to recall later. But if I contemplate while feelings occur, the process of seeing feelings gets muddled.

Could you please share your experience?

@henryyyyyyyyyy @claudiu and others, how do you go about it?!

There are different levels of depth of experiencing feelings.

One of the most significant realizations for me was that I am experiencing emotions 100% of the time when I am not in a PCE, so all the times when I previously would have thought I was ‘fine/normal,’ there is a subtle emotion of some kind running. That means there is always something to notice, even when I am as you say doing contemplation or some other action that requires attention. I can’t always be giving emotions 100% full attention (as in, sitting on a mat with my eyes closed).

The way I see it is, at every one of those levels there are useful things to be noticed and useful dots to connect that will later serve as part of a very large, broad, and lucid understanding of ‘me.’

Richard talks about making great use of the newly-awakened groggy half-dream state, and the half asleep state when falling asleep as a way to observe emotions clearly in action. Those states are useful for extremely clearly seeing ‘I’ in action:

Also, much use can be made of what is known as hypnagogic (pre-dormient) and hypnopompic (post-dormient) states which occur, respectively, in the drowsiness stage of intermediate consciousness preceding sleep or in the semiconscious state of transitional consciousness preceding waking … of the two the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago found the pre-dormient state the easier to manifest.

Those observations later serve observations made when, for example, 3 beers deep and arguing with someone (aka, ‘occupied/distracted.’).

Or, sitting bored waiting for a bus.

Or, studying for an examination.

In all of those states there is still ‘me’ in action, and you will have more or less ‘directed attention’ to give to your psychic world, but there is always something to notice. With more and more noticing and dots connected, it becomes more and more obvious, so eventually it is very clear what ‘I’ am doing even when otherwise ‘occupied.’

Part of what is happening when “the process of seeing feelings gets muddled” is, ‘I’ am ‘bailing out’ of the situation: some part of ‘me’ doesn’t like what’s happening, and decides to sabotage the process: “this is too much!!” “I can’t handle this!”

“Muddled” itself, is an emotion: what is going on there? What is Kiman doing?

I’m interested to see what the others say, and what your results are!


I avoid repeating much of what @henryyyyyyyyyy said. I only add, with respect to gradations, that Richard basically distinguishes between pure contemplation and reflective contemplation -“considered contemplation combined with fascination”- (Selected Correspondence: Contemplation).

Since the process you describe cannot be that of pure contemplation, what I can contribute about reflective contemplation does not coincide with your experience (provided I am understanding correctly what you conveyed):

If I contemplate reflectively, the process of seeing feelings gets clearer, not muddier (the closer I get to pure contemplation, the clearer it becomes). But at the same time the feelings themselves (good and bad) are weakened, which logically makes them “more difficult” to observe.

However, since my main purpose is not to remember those feelings at a later moment but to enjoy and appreciate that moment of being alive, I believe that reflective contemplation thus collaborates with that purpose (ideally moving on to pure contemplation, of course).


To add: the purpose of reflective contemplation is not to feel the feelings themselves in that moment, but to use memory & thought to connect dots & understand the overall picture better.

(though it is possible to use both forms of contemplation in interesting ways: I often find myself alternating eg start thinking about something, realize I need to ‘go into’ the feeling, see some stuff, realize I need to ‘get clear’ to think more clearly, etc)

Richard: I took myself up the hill into a pine plantation that I particularly favoured as a contemplative place and spent an hour and a half digging deep into my psyche to regain my ‘surrender’ … to get my autonomy back.

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@Kiman are you saying that contemplation introduces artifice into the experience of feelings?

Yes, I think that does happen initially but with time it gets easier to reflect without distorting feelings with intellectualisation. This is one of the reasons I wouldn’t recommend getting carried away by investigation.

I wouldn’t use purity here as feelings are not pure and the word purity implies actuality or something close to it.