Sensing is a vital foundation for inquiry in at least three ways:
1. Sensing grounds your experience
You can be in touch with your thougths and emotions, even live in the moment as they are happening, and get spun along in all sorts of ways. However connecting with your immediate sensations really gives you the best way of discovering what is going on. For example, your mind might be busy spinning around about what to do in a particular situation, and you might be feeling anxious and preoccupied with it. It’s easy to get swept away with the anxiety or the mental problem solving. However when you directly sense your body, you might notice that you feel butterflies in your tummy, and the more you stay with it, you might feel some kind of emptiness there. Directly sensing and exploring the absence will most immediately transform the experience in a way that trying to solve it mentally or emotionally will not. Every emotion that you have, every reaction, and every moment of presence manifests in a sensate way, and sensing your body is the most direct and clear way to contact it and to explore it in a way that will allow it to open up.
2. Sensing keeps you in touch as your go about your life
Much of the material for your inquiry will arise as you go about living your life, in your interactions and relationships, at work, at home and at play. The more you are sensing yourself as you go about these activities, the more you can be in touch with yoru experience and notice how your experience affects you and where you are coming from in meeting your experience. This is essential at the start so that you can actually be in touch with the various responses and reactions that arise in you as you go about life. Then you can bring them to your inquiry practice at a later time. And it’s essential as you progress in order to bring your presence, and the depth of who and what you are into your life.
3. Sensing is the true doorway to presence
Knowing yourself as the living, palpable presence that you are is deeper than the usual emotions, the conventional thoughts or self images, deeper than the ordinary sensations of the body, and deeper even than your psychological conditioning. But it is discovered through cultivating your capacity to sense your body. At some point you will recognise that the sensation in your chest, for example, is not exactly just a physical sensation . Maybe there is an actual sensation of bubbly, lightness and happiness that you can actually sense right there, or a sensation of tender warm kindness and sadness with something that has happened. This is the beginning of knowing your presence, the depth of your inner ocean.