Meditate With Your Five Senses

Carolyn Gimian explores how we can find the essential space and aliveness within everyday activities.

Illustrations by Whooli Chen

Spring: the scent of apple blossoms, the chirping of birds, the riotous colors of tulips, the taste of fiddlehead ferns cooked in butter, the feel of new grass beneath bare feet—this idyllic picture is brought to you by your five senses!

To be alive is miraculous. To truly appreciate life, we need to perceive, to feel—to sense our world. We rely on our sense organs (our eyes, ears, noses, tongues, skin) to be sensitive to light, vibrations, touch, or the very molecules that make up scents and tastes and translate such stimuli into electrical signals that travel via the nervous system to areas in the brain. Those signals are then interpreted so we have fully formed perceptions.

It truly is astounding that we can communicate so intimately and accurately with the world by means of our senses. Yet we tend to take our senses for granted. Mindfulness helps us connect more directly with sense perceptions, bringing us into the present. In mindfulness meditation, by sitting quietly and attending to our breath, we slow down. We aren’t dragged around all the time by our thoughts. Mindfulness in everyday life provides an opportunity to pay extraordinary attention to ordinary sounds, sights, tastes,…


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About the author

Carolyn Gimian

Carolyn Gimian has been writing, editing, and teaching about meditation and mindfulness for more than thirty-five years. She is a regular contributor to Mindful magazine.