Petting a dog, enjoying a bird’s tweets, eating a delicious chocolate … These little things of everyday life, when they are made aware of, are also a way to meditate.
If we are increasingly convinced of the benefits of meditation through all our five senses on health and emotional balance, many of us are convinced that it requires a special set of skills. It is wrong because meditation is not an intellectual activity reserved for the elite; it is within the reach of everyone.
Simply arrange a daily break for the muscular and nervous tension dissipate, and your mind will be liberated from all that clutter. There is a real link between the body and mind, successful meditation “disconnects” the mind by engaging our five senses. See, hear, touch, smell and taste in conscience are inherently meditative pauses.
Meditation is to use the observation of the senses to create the interior space of the present, to allow silence to take its place and become aware of which blocks the road to freedom and happiness.
There five sensory meditation exercises you should try applying. A flower, music, a pebble, a stick of incense and chocolate are the tools from which you can sharpen your perceptions, grow your vigilance and your inner sensitivity.
Perform each of the five meditations, one or two weeks, and then continue by returning to those you find difficult. To enjoy their benefits, participate regularly, regardless of the time morning or evening, but preferably at the same time. Choose a quiet room, airy, dress in loose, comfortable clothing and start meditating for half an hour, you will be conspicuously absent.
We are immersed in a culture of images that constantly bombards us visually. We often get a lot of information from what we see, but we rarely do we look deep within things.
The exercise tool: a flower
Sit down with your back straight, shoulders relaxed, your breathing is full and regular.
Focus your eyes to look at a flower, about two feet from you. First Look at the flower as a whole, its shape, its size, its color. Then close your eyes and mentally recreate the image you have recorded. Repeat until this representation is as accurate as possible.
Then proceed to a more detailed observation. Linger on petals, stem and leaves; memorize the different shades of colors, shapes and textures. Imagine yourself walking in its petals, where you are exploring the inside.
As the minutes, the infinitesimal must become infinitely large. As if the entire universe was contained in this flower.
Saturated noises, sounds, and aggressive pollution noises, we go on with our lives without taking the time to really listen to these sounds.
The exercise tool: music
Choose a disk that you like (Mozart symphony, birds singing, or flute of the Andes …).
Sit or lie down, with your eyes closed or half closed, your breath is full and deep, your muscles are relaxed. Start by letting yourself be lulled by the sounds. Music has the power to connect us directly to our unconscious and our imagination. Also, it can make us float free with the reminiscences and associations it provokes, and, like clouds in the sky, let them go.
Once your mind is free, return to your conscious breathing, sit in the regular movement of the “inhale-exhale” feel your heartbeat subside.
Then “enter” into the music, focus on rhythm, melody and instruments, flow up into it as if you were swimming in the open sea.
Visually and mentally, our society leaves less and less room for physical contact, touch is not a fundamental emotional need anymore…
The exercise tool: a stone
Place a stone in your hands, sit down, installed in a deep, regular breathing, your eyes are half-closed, and at the same time landed about a half meter ahead.
At the time you have to watch the stone. Become aware of its shape, volume, weight and texture. Roll it on the back of your hands, lock it in your palms, and slide it between your fingers. Touch its surface with your fingertips, wrap both hands. Vary the rhythms, sometimes very slowly (millimeter progress), sometimes faster. Feel the stone getting hotter and wetter as you handle it. Continue until you have a very accurate visual representation of the inner stone. Appropriate it until you feel it belongs to you and your conscience is held entirely in your hands.
The sense of smelling is directly connected to our limbic brain, the origin of our emotions. This explains the extraordinary power of scents on the body and mind.
The exercise tool: an incense stick
Choose a Japanese incense, the subtlest and most natural or featuring 100% natural reference in soothing scent (lotus, lavender, lilies and pink).
Burn a stick of incense that is put about a meter in front of you and get comfortable while sitting, close your eyes or keep them half-closed. Relax your muscles and regulate your breathing. The perfume has a very strong suggestive power, do not be surprised to be assailed by images, memories or thoughts; welcome them and let them pass.
Inhale deeply the scent, view its journey in your nose, throat and lungs and then exhale by repeating the journey in reverse, imagining that you reject all your tensions, your fears and ruminations.
Feel your skin absorb the delicate fragrance from every pore, let yourself be enveloped by it, feel the sensation of pleasure and relaxation by absorbing this smell completely.
The way we eat says a lot for our relationship to pleasure. Quality, slowness and consciousness are notably absent from our tables.
The exercise tool: chocolate
Meditation and chocolate, the association has something to join all those whose spiritual life rhymes with rigorous asceticism. But taking the time to savor your food is a way to show gratitude towards life. Meditation of taste is not only a celebration of the five senses (pay attention to the shape of chocolate, its noise when you take a bite, it releases the fragrance, its texture and finally to its flavor), but also a way to raise awareness of the complex relationship we have with food.
That is why it is important, during this exercise, to identify the emotions that rise up in you: impatience, frustration, guilt, comfort. This type of meditation has to remind us that we are human beings of flesh and mind, emotions and reason, and that welfare is in the right measure: either in excess or in deprivation.