Awakening the Senses Meditation

 I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
—John Burroughs

This is a wonderful practice for spring! Remain receptive as you allow your senses to blossom.

Receive sound. Go outside. Stand or sit, and close your eyes. Touch your ears: feel the wrinkles and folds of the ears, lobes. Become aware of the ear canals, inner ears.   Let sounds come to you. Allow your hearing to be soft, spacious, and open.  Not needing to identify any sounds, let them make their way into your awareness as they will.  Birds, insects, automobiles, an airplane high above, rustling grass, people talking. Welcome everything in.

Receive sight. Touch your eyes: feel your eyelids, eyelashes, surface of the eyes, centers of the eyes, eye sockets. Allow your eyes to open and remain soft. View the world with your peripheral vision. Like a deer or a butterfly, remain sensitive and open to the world around you, taking in all the colors, light, and shadow, form and texture. Not focusing on any particular thing, allow the world to seep into your eyes.

Flow with your rhythm. Begin to walk. Stroll aimlessly, following an inner rhythm without trying to get anywhere.

Receive fragrance. Begin to notice scent in the air, the fragrances surrounding you. Without needing to identify scents, and without needing to label them as "good" or "bad", "pleasant" or "unpleasant", be guided by your nose. Imagine you are a dog with a large nose who is guided only by scent. You may like to get closer to things to receive their fragrance more fully.

Receive insight. Shift your awareness now to focusing your eyes on specific objects in your environment. Look for texture, color—anything interesting. Get closer to three objects, one at a time, to really study them. Touch and feel the textures, perhaps play gently with the object in your hands. For example, rub a maple seed between your palms, smell its fragrance, look at its texture and colors and its minute detail. Then toss it into the air! Let yourself explore and be playful.

Receive flavor. You may even find something in the environment to taste, like the white base of a blade of green grass, clover, dandelion leaf, violet, and so on. Experiment. Close your eyes as you allow your taste buds to receive the multi-layers of flavors.

After 20 minutes or so, notice what has happened to you, and how these experiences have enhanced your sense of sound, sight, smell, touch, taste, and time.

© Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. All rights reserved. To request permission to reprint, please e-mail

Jennifer Reis, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, LMT, creator of Five Element Yoga® and Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra, is a faculty member for the Kripalu Schools of Yoga and Integrative Yoga Therapy.

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