Observe is noticing direct sensory experience. It’s what you feel, sense, see, taste, touch and hear without labeling it, reacting to it or judging it. This is tricky for most people at first; our minds want to label what is happening rather than just being with the bare sensations of an experience. When you practice the Observe mindfulness skill you are allowing your immediate experience to just happen – without pushing it away or trying to change it. Observe, like all the skills, is experiential. This means that intellectual understanding of the skill isn’t enough; you have to experience the skill for yourself to truly get it.
Here are some ideas for practising observing by coming back to your senses :
Observe Sounds :
- Stop for a moment and just listen. Listen to the texture and shape of the sounds around you. Listen to the silences between the sounds.
- If someone is talking, listen to the pitch of the voice, to the smoothness or roughness of the sounds, to the clarity or the mumbling of the speech, to the pauses between the words.
- Listen to music, observing each note as it comes and the spaces between the notes. Try breathing the sounds into your body and letting them flow out again on your out breath.
Observe Smells Around You :
- Breathing in, notice any smells around you. Bring something close to your nose, and notice the smells. Take it away, and then notice the smells again. Do they linger?
- When eating, notice the aroma of the food; when cooking, notice the aroma of the spices or other ingredients, when bathing, smell the soap or shampoo, when walking outside, notice the aroma of the air; when near flowers, bend down and “smell the roses.”
Come back tomorrow for more inspiration of practising observation. Till them here’s a post on self awareness exercises > https://empress2inspire.blog/2021/01/12/self-awareness-exercises/