Not that there was ever any doubt! It is so easy to neglect ourselves and therefore our bodies when we are on the run all day long driving here and there, working, checking our cell phones, worrying about our children, where we have to go next or what we have to do next.
Many experienced meditators teach that closing our eyes and truly listening to our breathing as the air flows through our lungs helps us connect with our bodies. But we do not have to sit still with eyes closed to meditate.
Awareness is a truly acquainting ourselves with our bodies in ways other than pain, hunger, thirst, fatigue or feeling hyper. Our senses are more than just a way to connect with our world, it is a way to connect with our bodies. Yesterday I experienced an afternoon of a form of meditation by “being in the moment”with my senses.
The Sense of Touch or Feeling
I was outside at a nearby shopping center the other day. The wind was pretty gusty and had a chill to it. Since I had on a warm coat I reveled for several minutes in feeling the crispness of the wind on my face, cool and refreshing as opposed to the wintry blasts often experienced during the wintry months.
I felt the wind whipping my hair into tangled mess. The warmth of my coat was protective and comforting against the winds’ force. My hands were pocketed and felt snug and warm as I stood there looking and listening.
The Sense of Sight
I saw leaves propelled in every direction by the wind. People’s hair and clothing whipping around from the gusts. A woman sitting outside the store where she worked was taking a cigarette break, hunched over and cold looking with only a sweater on. I nodded and smiled at her. She smiled back.
There are several trees protected by our town at the front third of the large, long parking lot. They are oak trees protected by our town in the proposal for the shopping center in 1993. But these trees were old when the shopping center was planned. But there is one tree surrounded by parked cars, set about 4 feet high on a concrete-block walled off mound.
I have always been a tree lover and have always loved this tree. So I admired it’s structure, strength and expansive beauty and snapped this picture with my phone.(See https://joyful2beeblogs.com/2016/03/14/people-and-trees/ )
This tree is majestic and seems to rise like a living being out of the ground into which it is safely anchored and fed from.
Actually when you think about it, the tree is a living being. Its trunk has knotholes which may have housed squirrel families at one time or was the place where a huge limb was broken off by a strong wind.
How many years has this tree been there? The tree is well over a hundred years old. What history has it seen and survived?
The Sense of Hearing
An unidentified bird’s call which I had not heard before strained my mind to try to remember what bird sounded like that.
I not only heard leaves blowing around on the sidewalk of the shopping center as I walked between shops but I heard the wind whistling around my ears, (or was it through my ears?).
I heard the loud rustling of the limbs, large and small, of the trees as they brushed against each other, thousands of leaves and branches in harmony with the direction of the wind at the second. First blowing one way and then blowing another.
Large Protected Oak Tree
The Sense of Taste and Sight
Then since I was hungry I had a craving for Asian food. The Japanese Restaurant was there right across from the tree. I had not eaten there in years and decided it was the place for my supper.
I ordered Teriyaki Salmon with Miso soup, a small salad with ginger dressing, and a bowl of rice. It was all arranged so pleasantly on the plate with a large, orange, softened smooth carrot, accompanied by a single, large stalk of fresh green broccoli slightly cooked on the side.
To my surprise there was a tiny paper umbrella poked into a most unusually sliced orange which delighted my senses when I looked at and tasted it.
They only brought out chopsticks and I was too proud to ask for a fork or spoon. I prided myself on knowing how to eat with chopsticks. So picking up little pieces of the delicious fish flesh with a sweet savory sauce I tasted every bite as a hard earned, special treat.
My tongue was reveling in its wonderful flavor and texture. A prayer of thanks to God and good wishes to the salmon for a good life wherever his soul went, escaped my lips.
Feels So Good!
I felt so good, so connected by my senses to the stimuli of the world I live in that I was reminded how alive I felt and how thankful that I had those precious moments of pleasure in my world.
I need to do that again, and soon!