Last Updated: October 20th, 2018

Awareness in touch

The nervous system is a gateway to the world, acting as our conduit for sensory experience. The way our nerve endings send sensations through every inch of our body does not end at the tips of our fingers or the last layer of skin. Every wave of heat that ripples through us from across the room is a reminder of our interconnectedness. Too often we draw a line where we end and the outside world begins. Just as we can feel the sparkle of static from simple proximity, so too can we extend our senses to all our surroundings. This sensory empathy is a wonderful method to approach something as simple as touch with a mindful spirit.

We hold a pen as an extension of our hand, yet how often do we appreciate its graceful flow over paper as our own? We treat our palms to the soothing texture of laundry, yet diminish the experience as a chore. However simple it may seem, the idea of touching something with a conscious and appreciative nature will turn any activity into a deeper, mindful experience. We can transform routine tasks into more involved and aware experiences by acknowledging each moment’s clear and potent sentiency. By staying grateful for the tickle of fresh grass between our toes or the warm kindle from a burner, we little by little encourage thankfulness for every experience we treat our bodies to.

Point of view

The sense of sight is a powerful experience and strongly shapes our outlook on the world. It is at once a conductor of light and colour as well as a powerful communication tool. When reacting to our surroundings and the things we see, we often fail to observe things the way they really are. Our sight is easily marred by planning for the future and thinking of the past. It becomes easy then to cast our gaze downwards and inwards away from the world around us. A mindful eye is one that can watch without recourse to such refuge.

A simple tilt of the head, deep breath and wide-eyed gaze towards the world around us will reconnect our sight to the world and invite others to make more visual contact. Such a step gives our busy mind a well deserved pause and arouse things in a whole new light. The same walk home can be different every day if approached in such a way. Stronger eye contact with the colourful architecture of our environment will bring forth greater appreciation of the visual spectacle that is before us at all times.

Bells of mindfulness in the home

Turn these everyday occurrences into reminders to come back to the present moment. Start with one bell until it becomes grounded in your mindfulness practice, then add others. Bells of mindfulness can be anything you choose, so feel free to experiment with whatever works best for you.

  • walking through doorway
  • walking up or down stairs
  • phone ringing
  • alarm clock buzzing
  • brushing teeth
  • washing hands
  • taking a shower
  • putting on clothes
  • opening fridge
  • eating or drinking
by Francois Murphy