A significant component in more fully experiencing and understanding the dimensions of being is the linkage of sensations, perception, and orientation/direction.
The senses register quality such as hot or cold, soft or rough, salty or sweet. Those designations of attribute, then, are associated with other similar or different attributes and designations of particularity. We call this process perception. Perception has additional factors but let’s stay with the simplicity of what’s being highlighted here. The linkage of sensations (senses) and perception orient the individual to do or not do, to want or not want, to acquire or leave behind, to combat or quell, be jealous or not care, etc.
For example, the sensation of being physically infirmed immediately affects the perceptions of what can be accomplished and what cannot by one’s self which orients some people to let go, let be, go with the flow, or to apathy, depression, frustration, or anger. That individual has felt directed by the circumstance of physical infirmity and responded in any of these ways or combination of them.
The sensation of sweet perceived by some people orients them to eat more; for others the sensation of salty does the same. If the sensation of hot is perceived, then the person is directed away from harm. If the sensation of cold is perceived, and the person puts on a sweater (directed).
In meditation practices (sitting, walking, etc.), the practitioner experiences all manner of sensations. He or she senses various subtle qualities, dimensions, or guides, etc. As phenomena, these are the same as sensing hot or cold, sweet or sour. It is important to understand that these inner sensings are no different than outer sensings. The mechanisms are the same, the linkage of sensation and perception is the same, and in all cases the individual is oriented/directed by the sensation-perception combination. The sensation of tranquility or smoothness of emotion-thought orients the practitioner to sustain and support that smoothness of mind-emotion. With the experience of luminosity or clarity or brightness or vividness in meditation the practitioner feels that the meditation session is going well, is working so to speak. The experience of expanding or expansive, of grace or blessing or guidance, all direct and orient the practitioner in one’s practice – and like sweet or salty and eating more – the meditator sustains his or her meditation through these perceived positive or joyful experiences.
Our inner experiences orient us just as do our outer experiences. The senses are neutral in their process, perception is also neutral. It is the sense of self in meditation and a refined experience as well as in a common daily experience that judges the experience (sensation-perception) as favorable or non, preferred or to be rejected, etc.
This is easily evidenced and recognized, should one chose, as one proceeds through one’s day. Give it a try today. Notice the linkage of sense/sensation – perceiving/perception – resulting in being oriented or directed.