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 Taste and the Act of Eating :
- Putting something in your mouth, pay attention to the taste. Keep it in your mouth, and notice all the taste sensations.
- Lick a lollipop or something else. Notice just the sensations to taste.
- Eat a meal, or even a part of a meal, paying attention to the taste of each mouthful.
Observe Urges to do Something :
When you are feeling an urge to do something impulsive,
- “Urge-surf” by imagining that your surges are a surfboard and you are standing on the board, riding the waves.
- Notice any urge to avoid someone or something
- Scan your entire body, and notice the sensations. Where in the body is the urge?
- When you are chewing your food, notice when you have the urge to swallow.
Come back tomorrow for more inspiration of practising observation.