Why is this an important tool for meditation? How can we apply this to everyday life?
This is about the conscious withdrawal of energy from the senses to make the mind shush, so we can truly concentrate, and in this case, practice meditation.
With practice the effects of this meditation can create positive ripples throughout our lives.
The senses are constantly feeding us with information from what is happening outside of our body. In meditation for sense awareness, and sense withdrawal, we want to withdraw the mind from the external into the internal. We want the mind to be as absorbed as when we are reading, jogging, cooking, sewing or cleaning, completely unaware of what else is going on. But without the need to actually jog, or cook etc... For that shift to be accessible to us outside of physical activities.
Over time practices such as sense withdrawal become easier and more natural. And their effects longer lasting.
Working with the senses in this way recognised that we are, generally speaking, caught up in "stuff" and overstimulated by the constant bombardment of information we receive via them. When we come to sit down for meditation practice it is a good way to consciously work through what is still stimulating us, and then letting its input pass. We can use this to still the minds chattering's, and help us sit peacefully and in more comfort.
In everyday life... When we begin to be aware of the senses we can begin to slow down. We can seek to understand what we take in. By having a better understanding of what we take in via our senses we can choosing what to keep, and identify what may be causing distractions and discomfort for us.
We already filter most of what our senses feed us without realising. Being more aware of what we are taking in, and then being able to withdraw from what we know we don’t want to take in, can help us filter further.
Hopefully we stop being pushed and pulled by our subconscious, or conditioned, responses. And can then choose how to respond better. This is especially helpful in very stressful situations and time in our lives.
Where to start?
Simply find a comfortable position, seated or lying down. Can you feel your feet, touching the floor? What are your legs touching? What can you see? What can you smell? Do you notice anything else? Any sounds perhaps? Explore what is happening around you calmly, with steady breathing. Try to resit the urge to look in too much detail, just notice what you notice via which sense and keep exploring.
Going forward we would isolate each sense for further exploration. Visualisation exercises and, using sound meditations perhaps.
A really easy way you can also explore this meditation tool further is by simply going for a walk. Notice what you can hear, smell, how the earth feels beneath your feet as you walk, what you can reach (safely!) with your hands. What can you see? The colours, textures, the way the light changes.
I will post some practical exercises for Sense Withdrawal Meditations soon - join my free mailing list to make sure you don't miss them!
Happy sense withdrawal! Charlotte x
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