Mindfulness and Our Senses

Butchart Gardens - Photo by Mary Jane Kasliner

How do our senses come into play when it comes to mindfulness? By and large, the first three layers of mindfulness hone in to our inner world (our sensations, emotions and thoughts). The forth layer of mindfulness opens up of our attention to the outside world. This is where our sensory system has a tremendous impact. We notice what we are seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. Intuitively, (our 6th sense) awakens in this process, if we allow it to. The process of this stage of mindfulness is being able to let life unfold around you and watching how you respond to the daily changes that will undoubtedly occur.

While walking through the Butchard Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, my sensory system was on a natural high. The magnificent colors, land typography, smells, sounds and textures swirled around my mind like a ballroom dance. My inner world was impacted by the external world, and in this case, in a positive way. Notice how I suggested the external world had a positive impact on my internal world. In other words, this type of mindfulness segues into a clinging to desire, not just to the environment, but also the sensations and thoughts the environment triggered.

The human condition is one where we gravitate towards the pleasant things in life and avoid the unpleasant. Mindfulness is the ability to relax and be open to both sides of the coin - taking the good with the not so good and remaining nonjudgmental either way. Easier said than done, but worth the effort to simply let things unfold and expect the pendulum to swing in both directions.

It's not to say you shouldn't imbue your environment with pleasant things. You should absolutely do that. It is far better to look at pleasant artwork, a beautiful plant or the wafting scent of sweet roses than not too. The point is to take in the external environment as a witness , as oppose to coveting it as a means to exist.

Mary Jane
Feng Shui Yoga Girl: www.fengshuiyoganj.com


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