Sometimes you wish to express about things which can be felt through intuition, but either your capacity for expression falls short, or language itself isn’t enough to express what you feel. When I’m trying to explain something which I feel is very true but very difficult to explain I begin mumbling, then I pause and I say: you know what, these things cannot be explained. If there is a moment of silence, I usually experience the sensation accompanied with imagery, and the idea finds it’s verbal counterpoint by the way of metaphor and I can express it clearly. Often I’m amazed at the eloquence with which my mouth speaks. It doesn’t seem to be me who is speaking.
When I’ve felt the incapacity to express the idea, instead of mumbling I’ve asked for a couple of seconds to think it out, but this doesn’t work, I can hear in my mind saying think of something, think of something, think of something, and the resulting moment is quite awkward. The sensation accompanied by imagery occurs in a moment of inner and outer silence, it’s living the intuition again in a way that is easier to share.
It seems, if our mind is constantly chattering, it is unable to notice the movements of the soul. This is a modern disease: if you ask someone how do you feel? they will reflectively respond good. Then ask no, how do you really feel?, and they will either mutter what their mind is saying yeah I’m really fine, I did this and this and I’m good. A truly sincere answer would require a moment of inner and outer silence for self observation, it is similar to the observation that happens during a body scan.
Us humans have imaginary dog tails, and if we could see them, many of us would walk around with our tail between our legs. For some of of us it’s impossible to know that wether we are anxious because having our tail between our legs is our normal way of being. This is why some many meditative disciplines put emphasis on the root chakra, this is where our imaginary dog tail curls up. This is experienced as a tightness of the sphincter. It is possible that we may not notice it is tight because we go about life with our tail between our legs, and that requires a special kind of work, but for the time being let us simply notice if we’re being uptight or anal about things. Anxiety seeks security.
We can move on to the gut, below the navel, sometimes just noticing it gives us a sensation of nausea. That’s disgust. How it translates to human emotion is a bit different, you may experience disgust if you are informed that your pet died, for example. Emotions are seldom experienced in their pure form, so the death may combine sadness (experienced in the heart) and disgust (experienced in the gut) which would combine to grief.
Butterflies felt in the gut with a relaxed tail and a happy heart can be experienced as romantic excitement, but butterflies with an anxious tail can spell and impeding sense of doom.
The heart is, I think, one of the most challenging organs to attune to. Sadness and happiness are not a single spectrum, they can be experienced simultaneously (in the form of nostalgia). Experienced independently, the heart tends to leap out or to sink depending on the emotion.
Then the face is the mirror of all the emotions, but almost impossible to observe without a mirror. Only through prolonged meditation you have access to information in the face. I personally experience anger in my eyes and my nose, but I suspect this may be idiosyncratic.
This is not meant to be a detailed map of the emotions one can find during meditation. If anything, it is a sketch of the things I have personally observed and they should be verified by the reader. The Dalai Lama commissioned an interactive website on emotions if you’d like to check it out. This map is a bit more detailed, but it must still be accompanied by inner work.