Sitting in meditation last night, I had a rather pleasant sit. Sitting with a facilitator leading the sit, I followed from concentration into open awareness. As usual, my mind wandered. I was able to gently bring my mind back and avoid the judgement that I often have. In the traditional open awareness practice, we were instructed to note where our attention was. The facilitator included the examples of breath, physical sensation, thought, and sound. All was quite pleasant until the facilitator said, "For these last few minutes before the bell rings, put extra effort forth to focus."
As soon as this was said, anxiety took over. Although I was in the midst of a pleasant sit, the thought of ending the sit brought about great emotion. I had been able to bring my mind back and settle throughout the sit, but I began to struggle with the anxiety. It was slightly stronger than anything else I had experienced during my meditation, and my mind followed it for a bit. Bringing it back, I had an interesting insight.
I tried noting that my focus had turned to a feeling. However, it was rather abstract for me to see this anxiety as a feeling. I put effort forth to truly be presently aware, and found that the "feeling" rested greatly in my body. My heart rate had increased, which I could feel in my chest and my arms and my shoulders and neck became tense. Noticing the physical sensation, it truly was where the anxiety rested.
My mind also had a part in the anxiety, but it was far less obvious that it was in my body. When I heard that the sit was almost over, my mind habitually activated, and the anxiety manifested in my body. My conclusion with this experience was that the anxiety rested mostly in my body.
It is not always easy to identify where a feeling rests, or how it is present with us. I know when I have pleasant and unpleasant emotions, but can not often pinpoint where they rest. Physical pain is simple to locate, as are thoughts. Emotions have somewhat evaded my understanding. With this experience, I see how emotions are an interaction between my mind and body, and affect more than one part of me. Emotions are spread out throughout my human experience and thus harder to locate, but seeing how heavily they rest in the body, I hope to use this in my daily life dealing with emotions....