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 Sensation of Touch on your Skin
- Stroke your upper lip with your fingernail. Stop stroking, and notice how long takes before you can’t sense your upper lip at all.
- When walking, notice the sensations of walking, your feet hitting the ground and rising up and down. Sometimes walk very slowly, and notice. Sometimes walk very fast and notice.
- When siting, notice your thighs on the chair. Notice the curve of your knees and your back.
- Pay attention to anything touching you :
– Try to feel your feet in your shows, your body touching your clothes.
– Feel your arms touching a chair.
– Notice the sensations of your hands.
- Touch something – the wall, a fabric, a table top, a pet, a piece of fruit, a person.
– Notice the texture of what you feel, notice the sensations on your skin.
– Try it again with another part of your body.
– Notice the sensations again.
- Focus your attention on the sensations in your chest, your stomach, or your shoulders.
- Focus your attention on a place in your body where your feel tight or tense.
- Focus your attention on the space between your eyes.
Come back tomorrow for more inspiration of practising observation.