SENSATIONAL SAVORING: A Guide to Daily Mindfulness Meditation
SIGHT-SEEING in Daily Life
by Michele Klink
Your senses are the windows to the world you see, but do you realize that you don’t see the world as it truly is? You see it through how you are, your mental field, your memories, your perspectives, your experiences and so on. Distractions and overstimulation causes overwhelm and lack of focus. It’s all too common nowadays. You have to see everything around you at once when driving to remain safe. Noises inundate daily living. Tastes are bombarded by mindless, quick eating. Frankly, your senses get tired. Fatigue dulls the senses and therefore dulls your view of the outside world. And ultimately, this prevents us from seeing the world as it truly is, it’s True Nature.
Further, you live in a loop of desire while taking in the sum of the sensations, your looking for good or bad, pleasure or pain, etc. Sensory input is processed and you chase after the pleasurable, desirable sensations. It’s only natural and human! What is this key to move out of this loop of desire and toward sensational peace, ease and contentment? The senses control the mind. But through the senses, you can train the mind! In a sense, we have to come back to our senses so we can see what is really there. Make sense?
How do we do this? Little by little, step by step, practice without attachment to outcome or expected end result. In other words, practice Mindfulness by focusing on one thing. Keep senses awake and experience purity of that sense without a story attached to it. Simply focus on one of the senses. Observe the impressions or stories you attach to it. Investigate it. What are you perceiving? What experience do you desire? Watch the mind-stuff, the monkey mind in its play. Allow it, notice, experience it fully. Then, soften and recede your mind chatter and move into pure observation and witnessing. Finally, with practice and time, the smaller awareness become bigger. The expanded consciousness collects and will get bigger than the sense. Then we see clearly.
Let’s choose SIGHT. In my Yoga classes and especially my Yoga Teacher Trainings, I teach practices to focus the mind called Dharana (Sanskrit for concentration). One of the senses, SIGHT, is associated with a Sanskrit word named DRISHTI, Dri, means a view, a vision. Drishti means a focused gaze with techniques to develop concentration.
On your Yoga mat: practice any of the following drishtis while practicing your poses (asanas):
Nasagrai Drishti, gaze at the tip of the nose, used in cobra or upward dog.
Nabi Chakra Drishti, gaze at navel, used in downward facing dog
Hastagrai Dristhti, gaze at the hands or tips of fingers, used in Triangle, Warrior ll
Angusta Ma Dyai, gaze at thumbs, used in Warrior l.
Off your Yoga mat and in your daily life.
For 2 minutes, mindfully choose ONE visual impression. A beautiful image, a scene in nature, a favorite color, a flower petal, a candle. After two minutes, close your eyes, and continue to visualize the same thing. This leads the mind to focus then ultimately to a deep state of concentration. When the mind is focused and stilled, more is revealed.
Pause and witness the unfolding of your experience for 2 minutes. Do this at least 3 times per day, at each meal, and even with an in-between snack. This simple daily practice, 6 minutes of Taste Mindfulness Meditation, will bring you to deeper meaning and fulfillment with food. Trust me on this. Silence is golden and focus is foundational.
The key practice to begin with is to take a DEDICATED 2 MINUTES of MINDFULNESS. Set a timer! It is best not to be random about it as your mind will wander off in distraction. It has to start as a dedicated practice.
In summary, focus on ONE sense. Investigate. Discern, Observe. Return to FOCUS and soften sensory awareness by releasing thoughts and stories attached to it. Start to WITNESS and let an expanded awareness take form. Let bigger conscious awareness move in. Let that consciousness become bigger than the sense. Remain in the expanded consciousness.
Learn to savor the senses in the purest form and meditation will happen naturally. Pure peace, joy, love emerge spontaneously. When you become mindful of individual moments, you are capable of savoring the fullness of ANY moment. Life takes on a curious and insightful new meaning. You can enjoy the sacredness of life experiences through the senses. Insights arise naturally from deeper realms due to this other angle of focus. Meditation, anytime and anywhere, becomes accessible, whether bombarded by the social distractions or in a peaceful serene place. You may then arrive at seeing the world as it truly is, not colored by our perceptions, but pure beauty and grace. OM