Have you ever had the experience of being physically in one location, but your mind is traveling a mile a minute somewhere else? Such a separation of mind and body is a normal experience for many people. Our society has convinced us that we need to be in a constant state of productivity, and the fear of “not getting it all done” prevents us from being able to relax into the here and now. However, to not be aware of our experience in the present moment means that we are missing out on what it means to really live authentically.
Life only happens in the present moment. Our power lies in the present moment, as does our humanity and our ability to tap into the essence of what it means to be alive. Given the world we live in, it makes sense that we have developed the mental habits of analyzing the past and anticipating the future. The thing is, these habits are not healthy, nor do they reflect the reality of life as it currently exists. Not being present increases anxiety, which not only affects the nervous and endocrine systems of the body, it prevents you from being fully engaged in life. Getting stuck in the mind’s ability to jump between the past and the future disconnects us from the fact that it is primarily through our bodies - our senses - that we exist and interact in the life in this moment in space and time.
Luckily, there is an easy way to tap into the present moment and to begin to live more authentically.
What does it really mean to be present? Our experience of any situation is determined by how we process sensory input through our senses - smell, taste, touch, sound, and sight. By paying attention to each of these senses, we can connect fully to what is happening right here, right now. Paying attention to each specific sense allows for direction and concentration that make this process easier. Anchoring ourselves to the present moment through our senses then opens up our ability to connect with our sixth sense - the subtle perception of the energy of the universe.
Instantly Connect with the Present Moment: 6 Sense Meditation
You can do this meditation wherever you are, whether sitting, lying down, standing, or walking. If you’ve never meditated before it will be easier to start in a stationary position, either sitting or reclining. Unless you are doing a walking meditation, close your eyes.
Take a deep inhale and a deep exhale. Allow your energy to drop down from the mental sphere and into the physical realm.
Begin to become aware of your body’s position in space. Feel the parts of yourself that make contact with the surface below you. Notice the feeling of your clothing on your skin. Feel the hairs on your arms and on your head. Feel the air around you, noticing the presence of absence of a breeze. Notice how your body responds to your breath. Feel your belly expand and your chest lift on the inhale, notice your belly contract and chest lower on the exhale. Continue paying attention to the bodily sense of feeling for one minute.
Now, connect to your sense of hearing. Notice any sounds that you become aware of as they travel through space into your inner ears. Try to hear sounds as far away as possible. Notice any sounds you hear outside, letting your awareness move from sound to sound, resisting the urge to create a story about any one sound. Begin to bring your awareness closer to you, noticing any sounds in the room around you. Become aware of the sound of your inhale and the sound of your exhale. Connect with the sound of the thoughts inside your head. Be aware of the sense of sound for one minute.
Bring your awareness now to your senses of smell and taste. First noticing any scents that may be lingering in the room, or on your body. The smell of your shampoo, deodorant, or perfume. Maybe no scent at all. Notice the sensations in your mouth, becoming aware of any lingering tastes, perhaps from something you recently ate or drank. Notice the natural taste of your saliva. Pay attention to each sense, smell and taste, for one minute each.
Allow your attention to move to your sense of sight. If eyes are open, notice the colors, textures, images around you. Notice anything that is moving, seeing how movement changes color and light. If your eyes are closed, notice any colors or shapes behind the eye lids. Perhaps you see moving patterns behind your eyelids, or images in your third eye. Connect with your sense of vision for one minute.
Connect now to your sixth sense, your subtle perception ability. Become aware of the energy moving through your body in the form of you breath, you blood circulating through your system, neurochemicals sending messages through your nervous system. Imagine that you can feel each of the trillions of cells that make up your body vibrating with energy. Become aware of the energy outside your body, moving towards your awareness through different vibrational frequencies. Bring your attention to the center of your chest, and visualize a white light. As you inhale, imagine this light expanding through you, and as you exhale feel it soften out beyond the boundary of your body. Continue this visualization until you feel ready to let go of visualization and simply rest in the spaciousness of your awareness, being aware of the energy inside and around you.
To come out of the meditation, connect back to your breath, bow your chin towards your chest and flex your feet. Make a fist with your right hand, place it under your navel and cover it with your left hand, and fold forward, grounding your energy back into the body.
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