All just in note form – not properly organised
So please read the beginnings before you read this!

Animals sense of their world is experienced and understood by touching, smelling, tasting, listening, and seeing. I believe their inner body sense is also largely understood in terms of these senses.

I suspect also that our archetypal fully enlightened being would be aware with all five physical senses (and the mind), both internally and externally. simultaneously. I have to experiment – at first combining seeing and listening – sometimes seeing, smelling and tasting, sometimes smelling and listening.

A useful idea when building up to a whole sensory mindfulness, is that we can taste, see and listen in the womb. But we start smelling and we start making noises with our mouth at birth, when the breathing starts.

Sensing Inside The Body

It's essential to start with, to be able to feel our bones, muscles, flesh and skin from the inside. To touch inside our own body please read Body and Breathing and then please read Listening Inside and Seeing with Closed Eyes.

This is not anything mystical. Listening, seeing, smelling, and tasting all activate the awareness in individual and specific ways – they bring out new facets of awareness, possibilities we don't have with our brain guided awareness.

Digest the smells as described in Savouring Scents.
Taste as in Tasting Development Games.

Seeing with eyes closed

Lastly comes seeing with the eyes closed again. This is nothing mystical, but it is the only sense where i feel i could be accused of using my imagination. With the eyes closed i have a sensation of light in my whole head. I just have to go broadband, and it's there, often at first just infront and at the sides of my head ... and then with time, this sensation sometimes automatically spreads through my whole head, and sometimes my body.

I would like to argue that this is natural, but don't know how! Maybe it's something like a naturally occurring optical illusion. Parents, please ask your children. Other questions for children.

There is another very interesting aspect of seeing and inner vision. It might sound even more fanciful than the optical illusion above. I wouldn't mention it, except that i can remember doing something like it as a child, and it is very effective. I can also imagine that animals would not be able to rationalise that it can't happen ... and so might also 'suffer' from this same optical illusion.

I'm talking about the looking inside the body with a sort of x-ray vision. It's a visualisation of the sense of touch. You may find a mild general x-ray feeling without even trying. For some reason (maybe the more obvious bone to flesh relationship), it's easier to start feeling this sensation in the body rather than the head. You can intensify the sensation with practice, and by looking from different perspectives all over your body.

Obviously this involves a strong element of imagination, and although this is based in an actual feeling of touch inside, it still means it's open to all sorts of wierd influences, which i would like children to clarify. The effectiveness is that the body feels much larger than it actually is, there is a pleasant sense of emptiness, and it's very good for healing stiffnesses.

Seeing, listening, smelling, and tasting; – each have their own dimensions ... other aspects of our being alive ... other dimensions of what we are.

Two Modes – eyes open and closed

I have two different modes of meditation: one with the eyes open, usually sitting  – the other with the eyes closed, usually lying down.

Lying Down (Eyes Closed)
This starts with breathing expanding and contracting, then smelling, filling up and emptying out. Then listening inside my body is very effective, listening to the hands and feet, arms and legs, then central body. Listening to the legs and arms often the stomach rumbles. I notice light coming through the closed eyes, and sometimes it spreads, it's secondary. Sometimes i listen to the outside world ... i experiment ...

Eyes Open, Sitting
This starts with seeing and listening to the world outside, in the broadband way.

Once i've got the seeing and listening working together, and my thoughts have slowed down, then i often try and add the smelling to complete the broadband senses. But i experiment, maybe adding taste, or the tactile sense is easier at first ... can't say ... not enlightened ...


Animals don't generally understand mirrors – but they have broadbanding and touch from outside and i could well believe all the senses from the inside – this is a completely different way of feeling what 'i am'. I'm not trying to argue that it's better this way, my point is it's another dimension – it gives a new depth to our normal 'mirror' understandings.

It is a sense of reality and new worlds of feeling and being which i don't know well enough to explain. There's sometimes a feeling of oneness – sometimes emptiness – sometimes heat from the belly ... these are recurring feelings but at present i can only guess how to recreate them, they seem partially dependent on basic moods or attitudes. Often i feel nothing in particular, just a sense of solid peace.

Combining the sense of taste with broadband seeing (eyes open) gives me a sense of oneness. I think this is an important connection. I'll be experimenting ...

And that's as far as i'm sure of, and i wish i'd have known about all this 50 years ago. And i hope somebody else spends a few of their next 50 years developing it.

My Childhood Experiences

My experiences started when i was very young. It was habitual, at nights before sleep, i would breathe and feel my whole body expanding and contracting. There was nothing mystical and before i read anything about it. , i was very naive (i didn't even realise we had lungs till i was 17 or 18). And it was connected with a sense of seeing and hearing inside my own body.

The feeling of expansion and contraction would regularly lead to a loss of spacial sense, i would feel as big as the room or very very small, often as well with a floating feeling. This was happening from at least age 14. I'm not suggesting this is advisable, only interesting.

There was a feeling of reality and truth, and it was more interesting than anything i was learning in school, or from our culture – so when i found Taoism and then Buddhism with their breathing exercises, i immediately felt the connection, but really the sidetracks, the clever things 'honourable teachers' were suggesting ... were mostly useless detours.

So, unfortunately i started to lose the feeling when i was 18 - 19 - with so many fascinating astral worlds and chakras and hidden secrets to read about and experiment with; all of them so much more bright and attractive than those naive childhood experiences ... but really ... my original experience pre-18 was far more pure and real and simple than almost anything i've learnt since.

Over the years i've spoken with a number of teenagers, who lie on their backs and experience a sort of peace and completion, ... it's a 'just being' ... – and it seems to stop when 'real' life begins, with the multiplicity of wants, sex, work, learning, and being an adult.

I started remembering and reconnecting with these childhood experiences again about 12 years ago, ... by observing animals.

And, that's my story. I hope others, especially young people, can learn from my experience ... and spend a few of their next 50 years developing it. Contact me.

Back to Chapter 4 : Smelling and Tasting