Day 5 Sit Spot Challenge—How to Develop Sensory Awareness








Listening to Nature Image by juliejordanscott

Listening to Nature Image by juliejordanscott

 

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© 2013 Shanna Lea

 

 

Sensory meditation is doing what I described yesterday—using all your senses wherever you are, to keep tabs on your surroundings at all times.

Are you aware of your surroundings throughout the day?  Do you rely on your senses while you are shopping, driving, walking, gardening, as well as sitting in your sit spot?

In our modern society, we often forget to employ all of our senses wherever we are.  Not only do we possibly miss seeing a brief sighting of a fox in the park, but we also disregard the alarming bird calls down the way, missing out on seeing who the predator is—animal or human.

Developing your sensory awareness will make you a better:

  • Listener
  • Naturalist
  • Hunter
  • Tracker
  • Forager
  • Outdoors(wo)man
  • Homesteader
  • Gardener
  • Artist
  • Writer
  • The list goes on and on

 

How to Develop Sensory Awareness:

  • Sight awareness:  look around—what do you notice about colors, shapes and textures around you?  Notice the small as well as the large
  • Hearing awareness:  now close your eyes.  Cup your hands around the back of your ears.  What do you hear in front of you?  Now move your hands back a bit—what do you hear on each side of you?  Now cup your hands around the front of your ears—what do you hear behind you?  As you practice listening from each direction, notice what is the farthest sound you hear?  The closest?  Record your observations in your nature journal.
  • Scent awareness:  now, with your eyes either open or closed, smell the air.  What does the bark of the tree next to you smell like?  What about the soil?  If you slightly rub a flower or grass on your skin, what does that smell like?  What scents are on the breeze?  What’s the most obvious smell?  The faintest?
  • Touch awareness:  take off your shoes and feel the soil and grass between your toes.  What does it feel like?  What about the breeze on your skin?  What does your body temperature feel like?   Close your eyes and touch tree bark, leaves, flower petals or grains of sand.
  • Taste awareness:  stick out your tongue like a snake does.  What can you taste on the air?  Can you still taste what you last ate?  Take a snack to your Sit Spot and slowly and mindfully eat.   What does it taste like?  Or, if you are knowledgeable at foraging or can pick something from your garden, how does it taste differently eating outside than at the table?

Don’t despair if you don’t pick up a scent or feel like you are slow at some of the exercises.  Our modern society has conditioned us to ignore our natural surroundings in favor of short and constant blasts of media and worried thinking.  These skills take time to develop.  Practice them everyday, and when you’ve been doing it for a while, combine all your senses at once and see what happens!

For more information on developing your awareness skills, check out Kamana One Exploring Natural Mystery by Jon Young from the Wilderness Awareness School.

 

 



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