Then, Bāhiya, here is how you should train: In touch, there will be just the touch; .....When there is, for you, in the touch just the touch; ........ then you are not by that. When you are not by that, then you are not there. When you are not there, then you are neither here nor beyond, nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering. (The Buddha Udāna 1.10)
Back: Insight 32: Mindfulness of Tasting.
Next: Cultivation 12: Disentangling Awareness.
During this meditation, you develop your sensitivity to movements of attention towards the experience of the sense door of touch to observe and develop an inclination in your mind to disentangle awareness from habitual grasping of the touched.
Learning to observe awareness of touch sensation creates a grounding for mindfulness within daily life and also the ability to observe attraction or aversion as they arise towards what is felt.
This sensitivity allows you to soften into your relationship towards what is felt, deconditioning any habitual pattern of attraction or aversion through mindful non-participation.
The sense door of touch also has a significant role to play in MIDL for observing the mind through its reflections that arise as touch sensation within the body such as vedana and emotional responses.
Conditions: Meditation is practiced in a lying position on a yoga mat or the floor. It is helpful to bring an understanding that some sensations within the body arise from the touch of the world, others arise due to the touch of the mind.
Step 1: Sit in meditation, gently closing your eyes.
Step 2: Establish mindfulness of your body as you lay in meditation.
Step 3: Start to develop sensitivity to areas of touch such as the touch of the hands and body as it rests on the floor.
Step 4: Increase sensitivity to touch of your clothing, the touch of air on your skin.
Step 5: Increase your awareness of your whole body as a mass of sensations, as a body listening to the world through touch.
Step 6: At this point you can start to experiment by bringing first pleasant and then unpleasant memories to mind.
Step 7: Disentangle your awareness from the sensory world by developing nirvikalpa samadhi (stillness) as in Meditation 43 for the rest of your meditation session, continuing to incline your mind towards letting go of sensory experiencing.
You are ready to progress to Cultivation 12: Disentangling Awareness when:
You can clearly experience:
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