This is a simple mindfulness meditation that you can do anywhere, anytime. By honing in on all of your senses, you easily become more aware and grounded in the present.
I started doing this meditation when I was seeing a psychologist many years ago to help me cope with my health struggles. She helped me tremendously, and taught me the power of self-awareness and self-compassion as essential tools for healing. One day she challenged me to stay in the present. I remember I was so worried about the future – would I ever feel better? How would I ever work again, or have a social life, or be a mom? She encouraged me to breathe, focus on my breath, and be more mindful of what was happening in that moment, as a way to get away from the “what if” worries.
I started experimenting with it on my own and found that if I focused on my five senses, I could naturally bring myself back to the present moment. After all, awareness of sensations is at the core of mindfulness.
A Sensation Meditation
1. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and gently bring your awareness to your breath. Don’t worry about ‘doing it right’, just breathe in a way that feels comfortable.
2. Slowly bring your focus to one of your senses at a time, whichever comes to mind first. Try to notice subtle sensations… energy flowing, tingling, or vibrations. If your mind starts to wander, which it absolutely will, just gently bring your focus back to your senses. Bring your awareness to:
- what you hear – is it quiet? Can you hear birds chirping or trucks roaring? Listen for a few moments. What does the ‘quiet’ air where you are sound like? Sit with this awareness for a few moments until you’re ready to move to the next sense.
- what you smell – are there any odors in the air? As you focus on smells, do you feel the air going in and out of your nostrils?
- what you feel – can you feel your heart beating? Do you feel your blood pumping through your arms, or any vibrations, tingling, or energy moving through your body? What does the air feel like as it touches your skin?
- what you taste – bad, good, what you had for lunch, etc. Just hold your attention there for a moment.
- what you see – if it’s darkness (if your eyes are closed) or if you see any colors or images showing through – what do you see? Leave your awareness there for a moment and watch the various colors and lights shining through your eyelids. When you feel like you can no longer hold your concentration on these sensations, slowly open your eyes.
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