Mindfulness and the Senses

Last night at sunset, we had an amazing online mindfulness session focusing one of the five senses. To be mindful, your attention needs to rest on one thing, putting to one side any thoughts from the past or worries about the future. It is easier than it sounds and you only have to practice for 10 minutes to see some rewards for your efforts. You are likely to experience feelings of calm, rest and peacefulness. You may even start to feel rejuvenated, able to think more clearly and make decisions more carefully. You may also learn something about your senses and their contribution to your life.

There are many methods of mindfulness and meditation. I offer you a simple method spread over 5 days at 10 minutes per day. Each one works with a sense and you choose which one you work with each day. It is best to set your watch or clock to 10 minutes each time so that you know when it is time to stop.

3 Breaths: Before each session sit upright to allow your breathing to be deeper than normal. Relax your shoulders and take a deep breath to comfortable lung capacity. Allow the out breath to be longer than the in breath. Do 2 more of these. You will take these 3 breaths before and after each practice.

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Sense of Taste: Set your timer for 10 minutes. Have a small piece of fruit or chocolate or any food treat that you particularly like. Close your eyes and take the 3 breaths (above). Open your eyes long enough to take the piece of food and place it in your mouth, then close your eyes again Do not chew. Just allow the piece of food to melt in the mouth. Experience the flavours as they change in contact with the taste buds and saliva. When the timer goes off, you can chew or swallow the food. Then take 3 more deep breaths, allowing the out breath to be longer than the in breath. Wriggle your fingers and your toes, open your eyes and allow yourself a moment to be fully aware of your surroundings. Thats it !

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Sense of Hearing: Sit somewhere safe where you will not be disturbed. Its great if you have a garden, but if not you can do this listening to the sounds of the traffic. Set your timer for 10 minutes, close your eyes and complete the 3 breaths (above). Simply listen to the sounds of nature (or vehicles) around you. Hopefully you can find some bird song (my personal favourite). Listen carefully to the sounds, give them your full attention. If you hear conversation from people around, just ignore them and focus more intently on the sounds you have chosen for this practice. When the timer sounds, take 3 more deep breaths, allowing the out breath to be longer than your in breath. Wriggle your fingers and your toes, open your eyes and allow yourself a moment to be fully aware of your surroundings. Thats it !

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Sense of Smell: This one can be so much fun. Find a smell you really love. You might want to sit safely near the kitchen while food is cooking. Close your eyes and take the 3 breaths allowing the out breath to be longer than the in breath. Take your attention to the smells around you. With each breath allow your nose to detect different smells as the food changes with the effect of the heat on it. (Roast dinner meditation is amazing !) When the timer sounds, take 3 more deep breaths, allowing the out breath to be longer than the in breath. Wriggle your fingers and your toes, open your eyes and allow yourself a moment to be fully aware of your surroundings. Thats it !. Please take reasonable precautions during this meditation, pans can burn dry in 10 minutes so take care.

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Sense of Touch: Find a piece of fabric that has a nice feel to it. Maybe furry, silky, cosy or even a rougher texture. You could use grass or carpet, or you may even wish to lie on your bed and experience the feel of the sheets on your skin or your face on your pillow. If you are lying down, please ensure that you can breathe easily and take a deep breath. Set your timer. Close your eyes and take the 3 breaths. . Become aware of the contact between your fingers and the surface you have chosen. Just experience the sense of touch. If your mind wanders just bring it back to the sensations. When the timer sounds, take 3 more deep breaths, allowing the out breath to be longer than the inbreath. Wriggle your fingers and your toes, open your eyes and allow yourself a moment to be fully aware of your surroundings. Thats it !.

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Sense of Sight: This is the one from last night. Find yourself a comfortable place to sit where you can see the sky. Today I am looking at a clear blue sky with not a cloud in view. This kind of beautiful sky is actually much more tricky to be mindful on. Best days for this practice have a few clouds to watch. Night time skies are great as there is always a twinkle or two to keep your attention interested. If your mind starts to wander, just take your attention back to the sky. Be like K in the film Men in Black because the sky really is beautiful. So, set the timer, close your eyes for a moment, then open them and look up at the sky. When the timer sounds, close your eyes and take 3 more deep breaths, allowing the out breath to be longer than the in breath. Wriggle your fingers and your toes, open your eyes and allow yourself a moment to be fully aware of your surroundings. Thats it !.

These 5 sessions can help you to start a mindfulness practice and learn a little more about your senses. Our very existence as humans relies on the senses for communication to and from the body we live in, so exploring their strengths and weaknesses is a valuable part of our daily lives. I hope you enjoy the sessions above. It can be easier to have a teacher guide you into and out of mindfulness so if you feel that you would like to have that guidance please do contact me for details of our current online sessions.

Namaste

Jo

Published by SattvicBliss

Natural Health Specialist & Teacher specialising in Yoga, Ayurveda & Polarity Therapy.

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