Take a deep breath to clear your mind’s eye and hone in on the vision of your actual eyes. You may focus on a single object or on the landscape as a whole. Try to see without labeling: what colors do you notice? Are they bright or dull? You may even practice this exercise with your eyes closed and simply be aware of the contours of light coming through your eyelids. Try not to analyze the details of what you’re seeing, but rather be a passive observer as your senses take the lead.
After a few minutes slowly bring your attention from your eyes to your ears and take in the sounds around you: what do you hear? How do the quality of the sounds differ? How do they make you feel? At this time you may even notice your heartbeat in your ears. Spend a few minutes just listening letting your ears ‘swallow whole’ the sounds around you.
When you feel ready, bring your awareness to the center of your face as you focus on your sense of smell. Just as with taste, you may sense something sweet or bitter. Try not to focus on a single scent. The olfactory sense is strongly associated with memory – are you suddenly being transported to a childhood summer or a holiday party? Perhaps you are smelling something familiar. Use this time to breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Now transfer your attention south to your tongue. This is a natural progression as the senses of smell and taste are so connected. Sense the taste within your mouth: is there a sweetness or bitterness? Perhaps it is neutral. After a while, you may even discover a specific food craving. Rest in whatever you sense as it is empowering to simply be aware. Remember that your job here is to be a passive observer and let your senses take the lead.
Lastly, disperse your awareness to the surface of your skin. You may start to notice the clothes on your body and even the temperature of the air: are your clothes soft or loose fitting? Is the air around you cool or warm? Try to let your focus wander around your body as different parts of your body may be experiencing different sensations. Start with your head and travel down to your feet to help you feel grounded. When you feel ready bring your attention to where you are using all of your senses as you return to reality. Do you feel calmer? More aware? Celebrate your senses’ power to help you feel alive and present in this moment.