Our brains process reality through a filter of attentions and associations (eg. chair, building, tree, etc.). These filters, developed over time through culture, coding, and experience, can limit our freedom to explore and evolve our internal/external lives. Sense scrolling is a insight mindfulness meditation designed to loosen immediate associations, heighten senses, and give our filters the flexibility to deepen/change the way we experience our world. This insight mindfulness meditation can be performed in under 3 minutes, anywhere you can be still with your eyes closed.
Step 1 – Smell: Close your eyes (for steps 1 – 4) and focus on your breathing. Take 5 deep nose breaths and concentrate on the smell and temperature of the air. Your entire world is limited to that smell. Define it’s layers and overall character.
Step 2 – Taste: Focus only on taste. Explore your mouth with your tongue and define the current balance of salty/sweet/sour/bitter. This taste is your world – hopefully a minty one. (note: this step, combined with step 4, can also be performed during any meal to focus and enhance the experience)
Step 3 – Hearing: Your world is only the surrounding air vibrations. Try to differentiate all distinct areas of sound and pinpoint their locations, moving clockwise from back left to center front to back right. Separate the layers of sound from low frequency to higher pitched vibrations. You’ll be shocked by your acuity!
Step 4 – Touch: Your body becomes your world. Is there any air flowing across your skin? What is it’s temperature? What is your temperature? Pick 2 or 3 parts of your body and focus on them one at a time. What are the internal/external sensations. Are your toes touching the end of your shoe? Are strands of hair blowing across your face? Are you putting more of your weight on one knee?
Step 5 – Sight: Starting with only a dark empty world, open one eye. Concentrate on colour contrasts (yellow leaves against a blue sky), shapes (single leaf), highlight/shadow, and repeating patterns (building windows). Now open the other eye to experience the wonder of full depth of field. Look for motion patterns and perspective distances. Now add your other senses. This is your world – and it’s magical!
Note: Over time, besides giving you greater freedom of perspective and attentions, sense scrolling mindfulness meditation will actively heighten your senses and give you the ability to focus acutely on any of the five in almost any situation. You’ll be able to walk familiar route as a soundscape, smellscape, coulourscape, rather than just a landscape. Trying a new food will become a fully engaging adventure. And sex… well, let’s not even go there~wink.
8 thoughts on “Sense Scrolling – 3 minute blank canvas mindfulness meditation”
Thanks Lynn! Love your comments! I’ve been sense scrolling for just over a year now, whenever I need to hit the Reset Button. No joke, it’s made my walk to work a whole new experience – you’d be surprised at how smell can be so different every city block. And this morning, there was the most amazing leaf/sky contrast on the side of the bike path. It prompted me to want to share my little brain training secret and write this post.
Best of luck with the multi-tasking madness!!
wink indeed! just reading your piece brought me to a place of calm and wide-awakeness – thank you for this mind massage/body awakening in the middle of multi-tasking madly off in all directions!
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I am definitely trying this. Thanks, Cymbria!
… just don’t do it while crossing the street 😉
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