Exploring the Senses

All mindfulness practices are about facilitating that shift from “doing” to “being” mode. A simple way to do this is to use our senses. We can do this practice when we are out and about, at home, or lying in bed.


Sense Awareness

1. Sight: What is in your line of vision right now? Perhaps notice the colours—how light affects a colour so that it becomes more than just a hue. Notice how it is made up of multiple tones and even includes different colours. How many different shades of white can you see? How many different colours can you see within white? Name them.

When you are ready, let go of Sight and move your attention to Sound. 

2. Sound: Imagine that the body is a radar picking up any sound that comes its way. Each sound is made up of a collection of notes; some make pleasing combinations, but others are more strident and unpleasant. Notice whether there is a physical response to a sound. If you find yourself creating a story about a sound, acknowledge it and let it go. We are simply tuning into the music of the universe right now. When you are ready, let go of Sound and move your attention to Smell.

3. Smell: Take a deep breath in through the nose. What do you notice? Continue to breathe in and explore scents and smells —liking, not liking, and indifference. When you are ready, let go of Smell and move your attention to Taste.

4. Taste: Become aware of any lingering taste or flavor in the mouth—is there a hint of something? Maybe not. Simply explore, without any expectation of finding anything. When you are ready, let go of Taste and move your attention to Touch.

5. Touch: Become aware of the different textures in contact with your skin. How do they feel? How many can you name? We may experience the touch of objects or clothing, or perhaps the environment—a cold draft against the skin. Become aware of how they may change or of others that come and go…

6. Finish by taking a moment to become aware of the body as a whole.


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