Your Senses, Your World

Here’s a fun and easy way to learn more about yourself, the world around you, and your relationship with your surroundings. Just pause and tune in to your senses one at a time—wherever you are, in lots of different environments. It will awaken you to experiences and truths you’ve probably been ignoring.

You can tune in to your senses indoors and outdoors, in places you love and in places you don’t like so much. You can do it in a minute, or you can bask in it for half an hour. It’s a particularly good idea to do this in places where you spend a lot of time.

The more you tune in to your senses, the more you’ll appreciate the world around you, and the better you’ll understand your own personal preferences. You’ll become more aware of how you respond to your environment, and of what you want to have more and less of around you.

You can do this sitting, standing, or lying down—whatever makes it easiest for you to take in your surroundings and observe your responses.

Here is a sensory awareness meditation I like to use. You might want to record it and play it for yourself, but if you read it through a few times you can probably recreate it in your mind and even get creative with it.

Feel the pull of gravity and let your eyes gently close. Take a deep breath and let it out. Take another breath and notice how the air smells. Turn your head gently from side to side and notice if there are different smells in other directions. Notice how you feel about each of these smells. Just notice; no need to make anything of it.

Now bring your awareness to your entire skin. Notice how your skin feels under your clothing… where it’s exposed to the air… Does the air feel warm? Cool? Moist? Dry? Moving? Still? Do you have any emotional response to how the air feels?

Now tune in to what you hear. What sounds are near you, and which are far away? Notice steady background sounds as well as intermittent sounds. Notice how you feel about each sound.

Now gradually open your eyes, keeping them unfocused. Look around and view your world as light and dark, color, shapes. Notice where your eyes are drawn. Now let your eyes focus and look around again. What do you see that pleases you? What displeases you? How spacious or enclosed is this place? Overall, how does this place feel to you?

When you do this meditation, do you notice things around you that you hadn’t noticed before? How does this change your perceptions and how you feel?

The more you do this, the richer your inner store of environmental wisdom will become and you’ll be able to apply this wisdom in making choices about your surroundings. Post some comments here about your experiences with this awareness meditation, and come to for more discussion.

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