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Quiet the Mind by Tuning into Your Senses

May 28, 2012

Dish washing meditationWhen I wake up to songs playing in my head, it usually means one of three things: 1) its a really good tune, 2) its trying to tell me something, or 3) I have a restless mind and its time to meditate.  Number three often prevails.

However, in our busy lives, its hard to find time every morning to sit on the cushion.  Certainly, the urgency of preparing for work and getting the kids out the door to school often trumps the necessity of meditative practice time.

What I’ve found is that meditation doesn’t have to be confined to the cushion.  You can practice throughout the day by tuning into your five senses.

At this very moment, what are you hearing?  What are you feeling?  Even if its just the keys on your keyboard, the feel of those keys goes unnoticed.  Even if its just the hum of your air conditioner, that sound goes unnoticed.  By honing into these senses, your brain will start to flatline and get more peaceful.  Try it.

How about taste?  We eat so fast that we don’t taste our food any more.  Try eating smaller bites and really try to analyze what you’re tasting.  Spend 30 seconds on each bite of Ben & Jerrys and you’ll not only enjoy it more, you’ll probably eat less!

You want a good meditative activity?  Try dishes, something there is no shortage of.  What does the water feel like?  The soap?  Play attention to the sound of dishes placed into the dishwasher.  Pay attention to the feel of which muscles are firing to place them there.  Suddenly, a mundane task like dishes is a chance to calm your nerves.

Even if you practice this ‘senses’ meditation, your mind will stray back to your restless thoughts.  No worries.  No drama.  Even if you’re able to get five seconds of peace, that’s a victory!  Next time it might be ten seconds.  Any break in obsessive thoughts patterns is a positive step.

You don’t have to wait for cushion time to quiet the mind.  Pay attention to your senses and enjoy a meditative practice throughout the day.


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