Just a slight change in perception can give you a vastly different perspective!
Those of you who follow the blog regularly, know that I like to bring meditation into every day life (and eventually, into every moment of every day).
I’ve been noticing the significant changes in my experience when I focus on different areas of the body.
A Taoist might say that I’m changing myself by directing Qi (chi) to different organs, meridians, chakras, etc.
A neurologist might say that shifting focus causes neuro-chemical changes in the body, which we can sometimes feel…
These are two unique, but not mutually exclusive opinions on what happens when we begin to play with focus!
If you have never taken time to focus in on different areas of your body, then now is an excellent time to start:
- Allow yourself to relax…
- Plan to keep your attention on each area for at least a minute (or longer if you like)
- Pay attention to your head… all the physical sensations you feel in and around your head
- Zero in on the eyes… and the sensations around the eyes
- Focus in on the ears, and the sensations in and around them.
- Direct your focused attention to the nose and the sensations around the nose and sinuses
- Focus your awareness inside your mouth and on your tongue
- Now allow your awareness to drift down to your neck
- then your shoulders and arms
- your chest
- your stomach
- your hips
- your thighs
- your knees
- your calves
- your ankles
- your feet
- now focus globally on the entire body… notice the sensations that arise… you can move the focus inward, keep it near the skin, or remain aware of both
Any of these can be a meditation in itself… for example, sometime when you are in a restaurant… just relax, close your eyes and focus in on your nose… pay attention to your sense of smell… note any sensations that arise in your body while focusing on your sense of smell… does your waitress/waiter have on perfume/cologne? Can you tell what the people near you are eating without looking (just by smell)? Can you tell by scent if someone nearby has ordered an alcoholic drink? You will notice that there is quite a bit you are always picking up with your sense of smell (and all your other senses) that is just outside your conscious awareness, until you begin to pay attention!
There are many other ways to play with your perception through body sensations, you can try any of these, or you can enjoy making up your own!
Once you are comfortable with connecting to different parts of your body… try it when you are conversing with someone… what’s it like to talk to a friend while you focus on the sensations in your feet?
Now try it while you perform a task you normally don’t care for… what do you feel in your stomach area while you are washing the dishes… do the sensations change as you direct more focus there?
The next time you go out to a movie with someone (whether friend, family, significant other, etc.), imagine what the movie is like through their eyes… imagine you can see through their eyes… hear through their ears… and feel what they feel as you both watch the movie together…
Any moment of your life can become a meditation…
The more you engage in these meditations, the more you will deepen and broaden your perceptions, your perspective, and your very ability to perceive.