Meditation for sensory awareness
Now that a lot of restrictions are repealed, your daily life suddenly looks very different. You can go back to your daily workout in a busy gym, have a drink in your favorite bar or watch the latest movie in the cinema. It’s a bunch of impulses that you may not have experienced in a long time. You unconsciously let many stimuli pass you by, but still a lot has to be processed by your brain. Even when it comes to ‘nice’ stimuli!
You have probably experienced that you were ‘lived’ precisely by the many stimuli. You have a lot going on and you are not quite in the moment. This meditation exercise for sensory awareness can help with that. It teaches you to focus attention on your senses, and to be fully aware and in the moment, by observing with all your senses. The key to the NOW.
We start by observing and following the breath, and when we are sufficiently relaxed we extend this focus to everything that happens in and outside our body. Whenever we get lost in our thoughts, we return to our breath and refocus on our body and the environment. Read the steps below and practice the meditation. Do it together with someone or let someone guide you by reading the steps at a leisurely pace.
- Sit down, close your eyes and bring your attention to your breathing.
- Become aware of each inhalation and exhalation. Let your breath go by itself and don’t try to direct it.
- Notice how the air slowly flows in and out through your nose, going in, filling your lungs, and out again.
- Notice whether you’re breathing through your abdomen, diaphragm, or through the upper chest.
- When you feel comfortable after a few breaths, start focusing.
- For the first few breaths, focus on the sensations you perceive as the air enters through your nose or how the air fills your abdomen.
- Focus on the sensations you perceive as the air flows out through your nose or how your abdomen collapses as the oxygen leaves your abdomen. Let your breath go by itself and don’t try to direct it.
- Continue until you are totally relaxed and comfortable.
- Then expand your attention to the sound of your breathing.
- Listen carefully to the sounds around you. Consider them all equally important.
- Expand your attention further to your feeling. Feel the clothes you wear, the hair on your head, the muscles in your face, etc.
- Be aware of any sensation you perceive. Don’t judge, just observe.
- If your mind wanders to things like work or other daily worries, notice that and return calmly to the sensations you last noticed or to what you notice now.
- Expand your perceptions further to your sense of smell. Smell all the scents around you.
- Taste everything you can taste.
- Open your eyes slowly, but maintain a light focus and concentration. Observe everything you see.
- Take a moment to use all your senses. You are now fully present.
- Close your eyes again and draw all your senses back in. If something demands your attention, observe it and calmly return to what is striking you now. Continue to observe in silence for a moment.
- We return slowly. Feel your body weight in the chair or on the cushion where you sit.
- Finish the exercise.
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