A couple of days ago I wrote a bit about mindfulness and awareness. We can use mindfulness and awareness practices in our exploration of the senses, and we’ll be doing just that here on the blog over the coming days! Hope you can join us!
Mindfulness is the aspect that brings us to a particular sense. Awareness is what discerns the unique qualities therein. So that is how we’ll be navigating the different senses and as we go through each of the five senses, we’re mindful of a different object of focus, a different sense. Finally, after spending a little time with each sense, we can then layer or allow all five to shine in the present moment.
This kind of totality or allowing what is already there to be seen is a kind of acknowledging. We’re not creating an experience of awareness of the senses, we’re realizing or recognizing or acknowledging that all along, our whole life, the senses have been shining. It is as if the Buddhas have been smiling and wanting to help us all the time, but we haven’t been able to see them.
So in this practice we see our senses as like Bodhisattvas or Buddhas, as our teachers, as our friends, as our family, and we’re giving attention to them as opposed to overemphasizing attention on our own thoughts, which revolve around our own concern. We’re making our world bigger by the bridge that connects us to the world, which is our senses. We’re using mindfulness and awareness together.
Our habitual mind likes having patterns and anything that is below that threshold that can be handled by some sort of autonomic response. We tend to ignore the information below that threshold. It’s not relevant to our day-to-day navigation, or so it seems. But if we lower the water level we see what is there at low tide. There are all these barnacles and starfish and whatnot. They were always there, but when the water is higher we think “I don’t know there is anything there. I don’t think there is.” Then when we lower that threshold and go a little more subtle with our senses we realize there is a lot there.
Doing the five senses meditation will hopefully be helpful in that regard, of increasing our sensitivity.
I am encouraging you to each day focus on one of the senses as you do that meditation in the morning. So the idea here being that the day of sight, throughout the day you would think about and flash on sight and then experience sight, stay with the raw, bare experience of sights. Be curious about it. It’s sight day, then sound day, then smell day, then taste day and touch day and then thinking day.
Hopefully this will help you look at different slices of your experience. We’ll still be always doing the 5/5/5 meditation, sight, sound, smell, taste, touch for five seconds each, and then layering all five. This kind of practice is a great way of connecting both with the totality of what we’re doing, but emphasizing a certain sense on each day can also help us go a little deeper.
Good luck with your journey and exploration of your world through your senses and coming back to your senses in the present moment.
This is part of a whole series! Have a look…
Come Back To Your Senses Introduction
Come Back To Your Senses – Sight
Come Back To Your Senses – Sound