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MBSR – Awareness of our senses

Intention – Practising waking up to automatic pilot, befriending the body as we gather our scattered minds into the senses.
Attention – Practising bringing the attention back, gently turning towards our experience at this moment.
Attitude – Curiosity, openness (beginners mind) acceptance and kindness.

Guided Meditation – Awareness of our senses

Settling into a comfortable seated position. The spine upright – the head balanced.
Placing the hands on the lab or the thighs. Palms up or down?
What supports our attentive and curious posture best – while giving us stability?
And when ready slowly turning our attention to the eyes.

Seeing – awareness of the sense of seeing
allowing the eyes to linger rather than moving quickly
Gently greeting all visual sensations without judgement
what do we see?
Seeing textures – colours – shapes
things close by – far away
if you find yourself drawn into thought, gently coming back to just seeing without judging
seeing without naming
Maybe closing the eyes
Seeing what can be seen from behind the eyelids.

Smelling – awareness of the sense of smell
Keeping the eyes closed, allowing ourselves to smell.
Exploring the air coming in and out of our nostrils.
Pleasant? Unpleasant? Neutral?
maybe a connection to a smell.
Greeting it, recognizing it and then letting it go again.
Letting go of the judgement that might be there.
is there one fragrance or many?
If there are no smells, what do no smells smell like?

Feeling Physical Sensations – Awareness of the sense of touch
Which sensations can be noticed as we sit? Where can they be noticed?
Hot – cool – warm
pain – tingling – no sensation
MAybe many sensations at the same time
fluffy – soft – pressure
internal sensations – external sensations
Exploring not to label the sensations as good or bad – even sensations of pain or discomfort
Simply sensing into what is here right now
As best we can – accepting that this is how it is right now
Knowing that it will change.

Hearing – awareness of the sense of hearing
What are we hearing? Which sounds are present?
Rather than naming/ understanding the sound – focusing on the presence and texture of the sounds
Noticing how sounds arrive – stay for a while – then go
they have a start – a beginning – and an end
are they low pitched? – High pitched?
Loud – soft – close by – far away?
Can silence be heard?

Tasting – awareness of the sense of taste
Picking up a glass of water, taking a sip, what do we notice?
Just like with the raisin exercise, noticing the taste, texture, is there a smell?
Is it cool, warm, refreshing?
letting the describing words fade away allowing us to explore the sensations
when we have swallowed how far down can we sense the water?
When does it leave our awareness?
Maybe taking another sip
is your experience the same or different?

Expanding – awareness of the whole of our experience
Awareness of all our senses
The multitude of sensations
Pausing for a moment to reflect on practising gathering the scattered mind into the senses
Do we normally gather ourselves onto our senses in this way,
if it feels different, how?
What’s different?
Being curious about our experience during this practice without judging

As we draw this practice to a close, breathing into the whole body
breathing down into the ground
gently expanding our attention into the room
becoming aware of the place where we sit before opening the eyes
feeling the room around us
and when ready opening the eyes

the sensing practice is now complete