SUMMARY OF FIRST EXERCISES

At best  – go outside – where things are moving and changing randomly, ... surprisingly, ... amazingly, ... then:

Seeing

 – extract from Going on the Lookout
Find a blank wall, or a monotonous area of sky, anything which has no focal point, and fix your eyes on it – but look at and concentrate on all the interesting things happening everywhere else. It is especially stimulating to pay attention around the periphery.

Listening

 – extract from The Simple Sense of Now
Because sounds are often quiet or quick, and especially nowadays with the constant noise of machines, it is necessary to listen out, to listen actively.

Listen out for changes. Listen out for sudden sounds, nearby and in the distance. Animals listen out for quick warning signs, such as bangs, but even quiet sounds, like a twig snapping, are important.

It depends on where you are and what sort of background noises there are, but i often find it useful to listen out for children and dogs. At night for hedgehogs and owls. You might not hear them, that's irrelevant, listening out for them is the vital part.

If you do these first two exercises as well as you can, for one minute a day, for a week, i guarantee you'll have some unusual experience of wholeness, and/or stopping the thoughts for a second.

Going Panoramic

 – extract from The Exploration of Panoramic Exercises
All the exercises are good to do for half a minute a day. The smelling exercise needs a minute. So it should take about two minutes all together.

Short periods reduce the concentrated work-load, make it easy, make it fun. Firstly, if it's interesting or enjoyable you'll want to repeat it. Also, short regular periods of stimulation will act as a catalyst: they are the best way to tell your subconscious "it's time to remember".

Smelling and Tasting

 – extract from Mindfulness of Breathing and Smelling
If you concentrate exclusively on incoming scents, you will soon get dizzy. Noticing the contrasting smell of your own out breath, regulates the speed of breathing.

Tasting and smelling are intrinsically connected. The following exercise separates the 'in-smell' and 'out-taste', so that the contrasts become clearer.

As you breathe out, open your mouth very slightly, with the lips just touching and you will taste your out-breath.

Then leave the lips very slightly open, and 'smell-in' through your nose. As you 'smell-in', something will close off like a valve at the back of your mouth. This will give you the impression that the 'in-smell' fills behind the cheek bones, the middle, top, and back of your head.

'Smell-in' through your nose and 'Taste-out' through your mouth

Let the residue of the in-smell and the out-taste build up - in the nostrils, nasal canals, head, etc., and the mouth, throat, etc., - over a period of five breaths, - savour those taste and smell residues.

Please continue with The Value and The Effects

Back to Chapter One : The Panoramic Senses