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Monday, June 8, 2009

Wellness: Meditation - Using Your Senses

In the prior post, I explored how to use and develop visualization in your meditative practice in the Safe Place (or Relaxing Place) meditation.

What about the other senses? How can you use your imagination to include your other senses in the Safe Place meditation?

What we don't always realize is that we use our senses in our imagination all the time without even realizing it. Whether we're thinking about eating a delicious piece of warm apple pie a la mode or sucking on a lemon, aren't we engaging our sense of taste and smell?

Let's explore this. Close your eyes and think about sucking on a lemon. What happens when you do this? For most people, they sense the bitter, tart taste and it makes their mouth water. How does this happen when we might not be any where near a lemon? Well, when you think about sucking on lemon, your brain sends a signal to your mouth and your mouth waters. This is another way that we see the mind-body connection.

What about imagining sound? If we imagine the sound of chalk scratching a blackboard--that sound that makes us cringe, don't we usually react, even though we haven't even heard the sound? Another example is when you hear a catchy song or jingle and you've got the song going around in your head, sometimes even when you don't want it. You're not actually hearing the sound. You're imagining it, but your mind is experiencing it as if it is hearing it.

So, this shows us that we already have the ability to imagine our senses, and we can use these techniques to develop our senses to use in meditation. It doesn't matter what you use to practice. Use things that are easy for you so that when you practice using your five senses in meditation, you'll be more deeply immersed and relaxed in your meditation.

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