Background: Experts, today, debate the precise number of senses that we actually have. Most agree that it is, in fact, more than 5.
However, the traditionally identified 5 senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste) are a good place to begin.
Like many mindfulness activities, this one is at its best when we try to discover something new though our sensations. Work at not phoning it in; be present to what is actually around you!
Spiritual Exercise 30A
- Breathe in slowly through the nose, and out through the mouth. Place your feet flat on the ground.
- Begin by noticing what you can see by being aware of what you are looking at now. Tune in, as fully as you can, to your vision. When you are ready, look around. Try to discover something new.
- Now, pay attention to the things you can hear. Listen for sounds you were unaware of. If their are sounds you often hear, listen deeply to them. Make an attempt to find something new in the characteristics of these common sounds.
- Now, pay attention to your sense of touch. Note how your body connects to wherever you are sitting. Tune into the feeling of the clothes as they hang on your body. Notice the temperature your neck is registering. Explore the textures of where your hands are with your finger tips.
- Breathe deeply in. Try and find scents in the air.
- Now, pay attention to the taste in your mouth.
- If you like, cycle through each of your senses again.
Background: The exercise that follows is a variation on the one above. This is a great thing to bring with you into the world. When seeking calm from invasions like panic attacks, this can be a very calming thing.
Spiritual Exercise 30B
- Notice 5 things you can see. Name each one.
- Notice 4 things you can hear. Wait for them to happen if there are not 4 things right away. Name each.
- Notice 3 sensations you can feel. Identify each one.
- Notice 2 smells in the air.
- Find one taste on your tongue.
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