Mindful Weekend: Sensations

Why not bask in the sun during your practice this weekend?
Why not bask in the sun during your practice this weekend?

This weekend, I invite you to play with mindfulness to sensation. In a nutshell, this process involves investigation of a sensation (pleasant or unpleasant) as if you’ve never encountered it before. It is a great opportunity to use beginner’s mind to approach an experience as if it is novel. Once you bring your attention fully to the sensation, try using the sensory qualities as your present-moment anchor.  You may even find that mentally labeling aspects of the sensation is useful; breaking it down into basic sensory terms as you connect with the experience.

Here are some ideas for you to explore with your five senses.

Touch:

Stroking your cat or dog’s fur

Folding towels

Washing your hands

Holding a cup of coffee or tea

The breeze on your skin

Smell:

Household cleaning products

Fresh laundry

The outdoors

Incense

Taste:

Something crunchy

Something spicy or sour

Something minty

Sound:

Soft or loud music

Ambient noise

Water

Laughter

Sight:

A candle’s flame

Different colors of pens or paper

Bubbles

Shadows

Not only is this practice an interesting way to explore more fully the sensations that surround us, it is also useful for self-soothing when overwhelmed by distress. Psychologist Marsha Linehan, developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, suggests that seeking out sensations (especially pleasurable sensations) and experiencing them more fully in this way can be useful in managing emotional crisis.

If you’d like, let me know what you try or what other ideas I should add to this list. Wishing you a wonderful and mindful weekend.

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