Not that there was ever any doubt! But it is easy to lose the connection between our bodies and our minds when we are on the run all day 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. We fail to fully experience what our bodies are telling or showing us.
Ever pushed yourself to the point of frazzled nerves or exhaustion and didn’t realize how tired you were? (Good example.)
We get a lot of sensations every day from our bodies and its various organs, parts, and our senses. Our senses connect us to the external world. How many corporeal messages or sensations are we actually paying attention to?
Do you know when your brain is telling you to take a break? Do you sometimes stop and just smell the air, listen to the birds, or go barefoot and feel the grass or sand under your feet?
One part of meditation is a true awareness of what our bodies are feeling or sensing. One of the first steps to meditation is to be aware of what part of your body is tense, acknowledge the tension and let it go.
One fall day I experienced an afternoon filled with the adventure of sensations and realized it was a form of meditation by “being in the moment” with my senses.
The Sense of Touch
On my way to lunch at a local restaurant I walked around an outdoor shopping center. 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 a tangled mess. The warmth of my coat was protective and comforting against the wind’s force. My hands were pocketed, 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, obviously cold with only a sweater on. I nodded and smiled at her. She smiled back.
There are several trees at the front third of the large, long parking lot of the shopping center. They are very huge, very old oak trees protected since 1993.
But there is one tree surrounded by parked cars, set about 4 feet high on a mound of soil with a concrete-block wall to protect the mound and tree.
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.
This tree is majestic and seems to rise as a living being out of the ground into which it is safely anchored and from which it is fed.
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
A new and unidentified bird’s call strained my memory to recall the kind of bird whose song matched this one’s.
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? Let’s not forget a “sense” of humor.)
I heard the loud rustling of the leaves and tree limbs, large and small, as they brushed against each other; thousands of leaves and branches in harmony with the direction of the wind at that second. First blowing one way and then blowing another.
The Sense of Taste and Sight
Then since I was hungry and had a craving for Asian food. The Japanese Restaurant was right across from the tree. I had not eaten there in years and decided it was to be 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. The simple beauty of the food was a delight to my eyes.
To my surprise there was a tiny paper umbrella stuck in the 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 reveled 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 I was for these precious moments of pleasure in my world.
I need to do that again, and soon! Try it sometime. Be in the moment and connect to your body and everything around you.