Vedana is the pali word for the contact we make with everything – it is the raw feeling state that we experience when we taste, touch, smell or take hold of anything with body or mind. We can’t choose our vedana – it just happens in dependence our our senses and conditioning.
What we can choose however are our responses to vedana and this is where the training of meditation is gold!
Consider this quote from the study chapter we had last Sunday with our Coogee Dharma study group;
“Freedom is what Buddhism is all about. We learn to bear the discomfort of a crowded train without getting ourselves into a bad mood, to enjoy the pleasure of a good meal without having to have seconds, to fill the tedium of decorating our bedroom without running out to buy lots of chocolate. This is going to be difficult. Like so many aspects of practice, we need to ‘keep our respective hopes for the future within moderate, very moderate, limits’. We need to be realistic. But if we train ourselves to notice vedana, we will gradually get better at catching the feelings out of which we build our emotions. As we do this, we will experience, at least from time to time, a new creative space opening between the pressures around and within us and our choices. The potential of freedom is always present. We can experience it at any moment.”