The Senses & Practice: A Study Guide.

It’s important during practice to be present. Regardless of whether you are meditating, praying, or creating, being aware and fully engaged deepens the connection between self and the moment. I would argue, it is equally important to do the same outside of a religious setting. In each day there is the possibility for discovery, learning, and even the divine. Without using all of our senses, this possibility may go unnoticed. Or perhaps not.

How many senses do you believe exist? Five? Six? More? (It’s ok to think there are only five!)

Why do you accept the existence of these senses? Is it because you have been told or because you perceive with them?

On a daily basis, how many senses do you actively use to perceive your environment?

Which senses are you neglecting and how might you begin to re-familiarize yourself with them?

Do you engage your senses during practice? Are some more important to you than others? Which ones and why?

Is it important to use earthly perception during your practice or is it better to focus on the beyond?

How do your senses affect your practice? Is the sound of prayer and scent of incense enough to create a sacred space or do you prefer to focus on touching objects or seeing an important symbol/icon?

What scents, sounds, feelings, tastes, and sights do you equate to daily life? How do you respond to these sensations?

What scents, sounds, feelings, tastes, and sights do you equate to practice? Are these necessary for you to be engaged in practice? (It’s ok to say yes. It’s ok to say no.)

What scents, sounds, feelings, tastes, and sights do you equate to the divine? Are these a part of your daily life? Practice? Or are they separate?

Could you use items which recall a sensation of importance more often or would this diminish the specialness of the moment? For example: If apples make you think of divine gifts and prayer in Autumn, is it appropriate to use apple-scented soap year-round to recall the feeling of the divine? Or does using the scented soap take away from the uniqueness of Autumn or lessen the precious moment of being fortunate enough have dishes that need cleaning?


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