What do you feel? The first thing that happens when asked this question is that you think about it. Then your mind goes in one direction and you think about that further. The moment thought or intellect comes into the question of feeling, imagination rises and feelings are distorted.
The images that your imagination will provide your conscious thought are based on past events and the formation of your personal way of viewing the world. That combines with your personal distortion of your mind, if you are a positive or a negative type of person for example.
All this takes an event and provides a different event in your subjective view of what you think really happened, and how to react.
To be asked or think about what you feel will change that feeling. To just observe and know, is the way to experience the real feeling. But then you cannot express it in words because looking for the words requires the use of intellect and that causes distortion.
How can we overcome this and learn to feel without distorting the feeling? By not thinking and just feeling. Observe without thought, do not try to express or understand. When you try to tell someone how you feel, or if you want to know what the feeling was, that requires intellectual analysis and quantification. In order to convey a thought, we have to first take the thought, identify it with some words or comparison experiences, then talk about it in relation to those words or previous events.
That takes every experience and emotion and reduces it to its nearest memory cell in the machine of your mind. We have formed into this way of being because when we are kids, we are constantly told to say what we mean, “Tell me what you are feeling”, “I don’t understand you” etc. So instead of just feeling and being, we are made to think in ways that the adults can understand what we are talking about or going through. In this way, the process of communication is developed flawed right from the start.
We then grow up knowing how to speak indeed, but comparatively to a full experience of the world, very limited in what we can express.
The oddity is that the hardest thing to do is to not think and only feel.
Yet that is actually the simplest thing to do.
Thinking takes effort.
Experiencing takes no effort, it is happening constantly, automatically.
Thinking requires connection to past events to identify the current situation. Experiencing is what it is, as it is, now.
The reason it is hard not to think is that thinking gives us a wall to lean on while we determine our next action. The wall is our past events. Its mortar is our mal-formed personality with all its defects drawing from subjective imagination.
If we lean on a wall with wet paint, we shall become that colour. In this way, our life experiences repeat themselves.
New experiences do not have a wall to lean on, they are a cliff to fall off and see where you fall. And furthermore, you cannot call for help because you don’t know how.