5 Sense Meditation – A guided practice to bring you into the present moment

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Gemma Clarke

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5 sense meditation

Did you ever wish that you could sharpen your senses – to see a little further, hear more clearly, smell more strongly, taste more distinctly or simply feel a little more in life?

In a world full of rushing people, with sounds, smells, and sights zooming by in flying colors, now is the time to focus on one sense at a time to take life in more fully. You can do this by trying a meditation practice for the five senses.

What is a Meditation Practice?

Meditation is the act of arriving fully in the present moment. It is a tool used to train the mind to move from a place of rushing thoughts into a space of calmness.

You may experience many negative thoughts, worries, and fears coming in and out of your awareness daily. In fact, the average person has over 6000 thoughts per day. That’s a lot of time spent thinking, but how much of it do you spend thinking about the here and now? This is where meditation can help.

Meditation, either guided or unguided, allows you to drop into a deep state of relaxation for both the body and the mind. But, just like exercise and training the physical body, meditation practice should be done regularly if you want to get better at it. The question is – what specific outcome are you seeking through your meditation practice?

If you are seeking to develop more present-moment awareness, then you should explore a five-sense meditation.

How can I use my five senses during meditation?

To use your five senses fully, you can focus on each sense, one at a time, to enhance the perception of each one.

Doing this in a meditative state will allow you to feel each sense more deeply. It will also help you to drop into the present moment and really experience the world as it is happening around you. By noticing your surroundings, you will get to experience life more fully.

A guided Five-Sense Meditation Practice for you to try:

You can do this meditation either seated, laying down, or even walking down the street.

If you choose to sit for this meditation, you might like to use a meditation cushion for your hips, to set yourself up in maximum comfort. Make sure your phone is turned off, and you are in a space where you can completely relax.

Alternatively, if you choose to try this meditation when you are outside walking, or even moving around the house, know that you might feel a bit more active after the session. In this case, try to stay present with yourself throughout the meditation and really connect with the senses that you are identifying.

Begin by taking a few slow breaths to drop in

Just as you would begin any mindfulness or meditation practices, it is important to start with the breath.

Take a few deep breaths and really feel yourself arrive in the moment. Notice your pattern of breathing, and how your deep breath is moving in and out of your body. Feel how your belly and chest are moving in response to your breath.

Use these first moments, for around about a minute, to simply notice the racing thoughts that may be happening in your head. Tune into what you are currently feeling and explore the physical sensations in your body.

Step 1. Look – Identify 5 things you can see

Now, with your eyes open, but your gaze soft, take a look around the room or space you are in. Whether you have chosen to walk, or you are resting on the ground, use this moment to notice what is in your surroundings. Notice colors and shapes, and all things that your sense of sight can absorb right now.

In your mind, you can name these five things that you see. You can name the color, the items, the person walking down the street, or the pictures in the room.

When you have identified five things with your sense of sight, you can choose whether to continue the rest of this meditation with your eyes closed or if you prefer to keep the eyes open, make sure the gaze is soft and gentle.

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Step 2. Listen – Identify 4 sounds you can hear

Now, time to activate your ears. Listen carefully to the sounds you can hear, both near and far, that are in your field of awareness. Keep a strong singular focus on sound, and try to identify four different sounds that you can hear right now.

Do you hear sharp sounds or dull sounds? Can you hear yourself breathing and perhaps a car driving far in the distance?

What sound do you hear in the room that you are in? Is there a conversation happening in the vicinity of your ears?

Do you hear the sound of music coming from your neighbor’s place? Or can you hear the sound of a small animal rustling along the forest floor?

As you listen to these sounds near and far, how sharp do you think your hearing is?

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When you have heard four different sounds coming from different places, it is time to move on to the next sense of feeling.

Step 3. Feel – Identify 3 things you can feel

Identify three things that you can feel. These could be ways that your skin feels – for example, the different textures of your clothes on your body, or the floor beneath your feet.

This sense of feeling could also be coming from inside, your inner feelings – for example, do you feel happy or have a sense of compassion? Do you have feelings of anxiety or are you content, sitting here in this stillness?

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Try to name three different feelings that are happening to you right now. When you have found three, it’s time to use your sense of smell.

Step 4. Smell – Identify 2 things you can smell

Now, use your nose to identify two distinct smells. Can you smell the freshly cut grass outside or the freshly baked food in the oven?

Can you smell the laundry detergent on your washed clothes or the oak wood from your grandparent’s chair?

Can you notice the difference between the cinnamon and the clove in your mug of tea?

How can you use your sense of smell to drop you into a certain place and time? Notice the subtle scents that are alive in your home. They might be pleasant, such as the perfume of your partner or the dried roses on the table. Or you might smell something a bit more neutral, such as the smell of your warm skin after sitting in the sun. Really notice the details.

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Step 5. Taste – Identify 1 thing you can taste

The fifth and final sense is that of taste. Tune in now, and notice how your tongue rests on the roof of your mouth.

Perhaps in your mouth is the taste of the lunch that you just enjoyed. Or maybe you feel your mouth watering as you catch yourself dreaming about what you will eat next.

Try to notice the taste buds on your tongue and what they are still holding onto. What taste lingers in your mouth?

Or if you haven’t eaten in a while, maybe ask yourself, how does your breath taste?

When you have identified the taste that is currently in your mouth, you can name it, and then release the focus.

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You have now successfully tuned your body and mind into a place of mindfulness and awareness. By noticing the senses in your body, you have heightened your presence in this very moment. This guided meditation is one that you can connect with often to improve all of your senses.

When and Why to Meditate Daily

For the best benefits, you should try to do this guided meditation daily. It doesn’t matter if it is the first activity in the morning, halfway through your day, or just before bed. The most important thing is to use this guided meditation to notice the world around you. Meditation has many benefits, and the more frequently you include meditation practices into your daily routine, the quicker you will experience the benefits.

Why should you meditate daily?

  • To calm your nervous system
  • To bring mindfulness and awareness to your life
  • To have a deeper connection to your surroundings, both people and places
  • To become a happy and more positive person
  • To spend less time on your phone and more time enjoying your physical surroundings

Whether you choose to walk or sit for this five senses meditation practice, the benefits will largely increase the quality of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the five senses meditation practice?

Five senses meditation is a practice for cultivating mindfulness and present-moment awareness. This is done by focusing on what you see, hear, feel, smell, and taste.

Can this five-sense meditation improve my senses?

Yes, by focusing on each of your senses, one at a time, you are heightening your awareness of each of the singular sensations. This, in turn, creates more clarity in your mind and physical body as you begin to notice the full expression of your senses.

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About Gemma Clarke

Gemma Clarke is a certified and experienced yoga & meditation instructor. She has been practicing meditation since 2014 and teaching since 2018. Gemma specializes in yoga and mindfulness for emotional wellbeing, and she has taught in Thailand, Cambodia, and the UK. Gemma is passionate about sharing her expertise and experience with meditation to inspire others to live more mindfully, becoming happier, healthier, and calmer. Follow me: Instagram | LinkedIn

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