It is indeed HARD to just ignore feelings, even in a retreat, at least for me. There is a long discussion about Goenka’s technique in the meditation forum, and this is exactly what they do there: scanning the body from head to toes, observing the sukha and dukha vedana (kayika vedana), and maintaining a neutral mindset about them — no craving for sukha vedana and no aversion for dukha vedana, because all vedana come and go (or arise and pass away). Seeing this coming and going (or arising and passing) of vedana means beginning to see anicca.
Lal said: “The key is to truly understand that there is no “experiencer.” That will really help to suppress the “mind-made” vedana or samphassa-jā-vēdanā.”
Using this approach, if we feel a vedana (say a pain in the knee), instead of watching the “impermanent” nature of the pain, we can contemplate that there is no “feeler” behind that pain, right? That the pain is just kamma vipaka?
If that’s the case, I suppose we can extend that to the other senses? Take hearing as an example. Sometimes, I am bothered by surrounding noises while sitting. Will it be helpful to contemplate that there is no “hearer” involved.
To take this even further, I wonder if we can apply this to breathing. I still have a habit of doing breath meditation, although I’m learning to wean from it after reading the Meditation section. But, using this context, instead of doing breath meditation as a samatha method, is it ok to do it to contemplate that there is no “breather” behind the breathing?
Thank you all,