time required: 5+ minutes
materials: journal, pen
Find a quiet and comfortable space where you won't be disturbed indoors or outdoors. Sit or lie down in a relaxed position. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and begin to isolate your attention on each of your five senses and what comes to mind in the process. The steps are listed below - please read through them and scroll down for an audio version if you would like to be guided through the meditation.
TOUCH - Notice the weight of your body against the surface you are on, the temperature of the room, the texture of your clothes, and the sensations you feel. Pay attention to any points of tension in your body and let them go.
SOUND - Listen to the sounds around you. Isolate and focus on each sound as it comes and goes. Identify whether it's near or far. What are the qualities of that sound? What might it be? Pay attention to any thoughts or memories that emerge, no matter how random they may seem.
SMELL - Bring awareness to your sense of smell and notice any scents in the air. Try and isolate and identify each one. Smells have a more direct link to memory and emotion than any of the other senses, so take note of thoughts that come up for this sense in particular.
TASTE - Pay attention to the taste in your mouth. Imagine your favorite food, and focus on what it would taste like in your mouth and what it would be like to savor it. Again, notice your thoughts.
SIGHT - Imagine the environment that you are in, sensing what is around you even though your eyes are closed. If you made a sketch of what is around you, what would it look like? Lastly, slowly open your eyes and observe the colors, shapes, and play of light and shadow in your immediate surroundings.
Once you have gone through each of your senses, take a final deep breath in and exhale slowly. Pay attention to the sense of calm and presence you feel following the exercise. Record your thoughts in your journal. No details are insignificant, including any random thoughts, emotions, or "Proustian moments" (see below). You may refer back to these notes later in the PATHWAY. Sensory meditation acts as a bridge between your outer experiences and your inner world, helping you explore and understand the depths of your being. Regular practice can lead to a profound sense of self-awareness, authenticity, and inner peace, so if this exercise resonated for you, it's a good one to consider practicing regularly.