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Lifestyle & Wellbeing

In this guided meditation we tap into the energy of our senses.

This mindfulness practice is all about pointing our attention towards different senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and our thoughts. This practice can really help us to find some calm and relaxation during our day.

This guided meditation was written for one of our Powerful Pause meditation sessions, where we come together to meditate every few weeks. If you’re a Performer member you can take advantage of these free sessions (please ensure you’re opted in to receive our emails for upcoming dates and booking information).

30-minute listen. We recommend listening to this meditation with headphones on.

Listen to other Powerful Pause meditations.

Meditation Transcript

Bea Grist, Mental Health and Wellbeing Manager: So today we’ll be doing a meditation where we’ll be tuning into the energy of our senses. This mindfulness practice is all about pointing our attention towards different senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and our thoughts. This practice can really help us to find some calm and relaxation during our day. When we take time to consciously rest we stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which is the part of us that controls the body’s ability to relax. When we’re relaxed, the body is also able to heal. So by taking this time we’re helping our body to do what it needs to do such as digesting food. So if you notice yourself salivating or your tummy gurgles or makes a noise whilst you’re meditating please know that’s a sign you are relaxing.

I am here to guide you
But this is your practice
So please always listen to what you need
If your body feels uncomfortable at any point then please just move.
We’ll begin by starting in our body, so let’s find a comfortable seat.
Place your feet on the floor, your hands on your thighs, and sit upright in an alert and comfortable way.
You may like to have a cushion behind your back
Just helping you to sit up straight
Some of us have a tendency to allow our head to tip forward
But you really want to make sure that the head is resting or aligning over the heart
With your neck nice and long
Just allowing your arms to rest softly wherever is comfortable
You may want to cover yourself with a blanket.

And wherever you are just closing your eyes if that feels ok. You can also lower your gaze if you prefer.
Pause for a moment, and bring your attention to your physical sensations.
Notice how your feet feel on the floor, notice your hands on your thighs, and notice how your seat feels on a chair or on a cushion.
Notice your spine, if it’s resting on the chair or slightly off your chair, and now notice your clothing on your body. Notice where you feel your clothing: is it tight or loose? Coarse or soft
Just scanning through and noticing all the physical sensations of your body in the space you’re in.
Notice your skin and if you feel any coolness or heat on your skin.
Maybe also noticing the temperature of the room or space you’re in.
And just becoming aware of your breathing
Placing your attention on the fact that you are breathing

And just noticing that
How does it feel to breathe today?
Becoming aware of your inhale and your exhale
Just noticing how the breath is moving in and out
As it enters and leaves the tips of your nostrils
Just following the inhale and the exhale.

And let’s take a nice deep breath in here
And let it go
Breathing in
And releasing
Just letting go of your morning or day so far
And arriving into this time
Time for you.

So let’s use this time to give the mind a rest
This is like a Storytime for the nervous system
Taking this time to be with all parts of you that need to be heard
Allowing yourself to step back
To let go for these 45 minutes
And just be.

Breathing in through your nose
And out through your mouth
Breathing in
And releasing

As you exhale notice any tension in the body
And on the inhale keep your awareness with the breath
Try to keep your body still if you can
If you notice yourself becoming a bit twitchy
Just bring yourself back to stillness

And focus on the inhale and exhale.
When things in the world and our lives can feel out of control
We can remember that the breath is a place we can always come back to
It’s like an anchor in a stormy sea.

By taking this time
We’re prioritising ourselves
It can feel hard to do that sometimes
Especially if we have a lot going on in our lives
But we can always choose to stop
To put down our phone or our to-do list
And switch off the distractions from the outside world for these 45 minutes.
In doing so we allow ourselves to step back for a moment
Let’s take a deep breath in here together
And sighing it out
Breathing in
And releasing.

Now, turn your attention away from your body and towards your sense of sound.
Pause to notice sound coming from afar.
Fine-tune your attention to notice what’s happening way outside of your immediate surroundings.
Perhaps you hear traffic, or a plane, or birds.
Perhaps you don’t hear any sounds far out, but you do hear sounds in your immediate surroundings, so notice that.
Is it somebody moving in another room or speaking outside your door?
Maybe it’s just the hum of the air conditioner or the heat.
With this practice of mindfulness, we’re building the capacity to notice more.

Right now we’re just noticing sound.
Bring your awareness even closer and notice the sound of your body, and of your breath.
You may notice your body making sounds in your stomach, like gurgling, or notice when you take a big breath in and how your clothes shift.
Get really detailed here in the micro sounds in and around you.

Now turn your attention toward your sense of smell.
What can you smell?
Maybe you can’t smell anything?
Or perhaps it’s very subtle
Maybe you can smell your laundry powder on your clothes
If you’re by a window you might be able to smell something outside
Notice that as your mind starts to settle and your nervous system starts to steady, that you start to shift into a more awake and aware state of being, where your senses light up.
Often we can notice things that we don’t notice when we’re living from our busy mind.

Turn your attention to your sense of taste.
Notice if you taste anything, perhaps the remnants of your toothpaste or your coffee.
Perhaps there is a lack of taste.
Try to notice your sense of taste throughout the day.
It will help you to remember to notice taste when you’re actually eating or drinking.

Let’s move to our sense of touch
So take your thumb and first finger and very gently rub the fingertips together slowly
See if you can do it with such attention that you feel the ridges of your skin
Do your fingers feel soft or rough?
Just noticing the texture of your skin
Do your fingers feel soft or rough?
And the uniqueness of your skin
No one else has exactly the same textured skin as you.
Move your attention to your sense of sight. Open your eyes for a moment, and take in what’s around you.
Notice what’s happening way out beyond your immediate sight, such as the wide-open space, the sky, the trees, and the walls that are far from you.
Notice colours and textures, movement and stillness.
Notice your peripheral vision, what’s happening right out from your sides that you’re not really looking at but you can kind of sense are there.
You’re expanding your capacity to see by focusing your attention on this sense.
Come in a little more closely to your immediate surroundings, not too close but sort of halfway.
Notice colours, textures, objects, people, movement, stillness, or light.
For example, how the light is landing on different objects, or the floor, or the walls, or the trees.
No need to label what you’re seeing, just notice.

Now bring it in even closer.
Notice your immediate surroundings right in front of you, right around the floor in front of you.
The walls, the sky, or the way the light is hitting the world in your immediate surroundings.
This practice of mindfulness is strength-building.
We’re building strength in our capacity to recognize our senses and to heighten our senses, in what I like to call high-definition sensory awareness. 

Close your eyes once more. As you close your eyes, notice your mind.
Notice the thoughts that come and go across your mental screen.
They could be big thoughts or little thoughts, happy thoughts, or not-so-happy thoughts.
Is the mind busy jumping ahead, restless? Perhaps it’s calm?
Are the thoughts busy or slow?
Perhaps the same thought keeps coming up over and over again
You don’t need to label them. You’re just noticing.
Just as smells come and go, thoughts come and go.
Just as goosebumps arise and dissipate, so do thoughts.
In many ways, our thoughts can be considered our sixth sense.

Let’s come back to the breath now
Breathing in
And breathe out
And just placing your attention on the fact you are breathing.
As you breathe in
The belly is expanding and rising
And as you breathe out
The belly is falling back down
This will help to send a message to the brain that you are relaxing

Say to yourself:
‘I am relaxing’
‘I am letting go’
I’m now going to name a sense and I want you to fully bring your full attention to that sense, just for a few breaths.
Just allow yourself to be completely present with that sense.
If thoughts arise
You don’t need to try and block them out
or dismiss them
Just acknowledge the thought
And then watch it float away
Like a soft, harmless cloud.

Tuning your sense of sound now for a few breaths
Noticing your sense of taste now
Noticing the mind and any thoughts that might be present
Sensing into your sense of smell now
And finally opening the eyes and bringing your awareness to your sense of sight

Closing the eyes now
And coming back to your breathing again
Just becoming aware of your natural breathing pattern
And just following it
As it flows in and out
Like waves rolling up and down
Letting go of controlling the inhale or the exhale
Focus on each exhalation
Expanding, contracting.
So just deepening the breath
Feeling a sense of taking in fresh new air
The lungs expanding
The body expanding
Breathing in calmness
Breathing in peace
And allowing it to nourish every part of your body.

And let’s give the mind plenty of space now
Just for a few breaths
So if the mind wants to think, let it think
Giving the mind lots of space to think and do whatever it wants.

We can always switch from doing to being
And find the gift in the present moment.
And know that this place
is always available to you.

Soon we’ll bring this meditation to a close
And to do this we’re just going to tune into one of our senses again
So pick either sound, sight, smell, taste or touch
And just allow yourself to be completely present with that sense
just for a few breaths
Giving all your attention to that sense for these few breaths.

So let’s take a deep breath in here
And release
Let’s do that again
Breathing in through the nose
And sighing it out
Let’s do that one more time
So breathing in
And sighing it out
And just noticing how you feel
Staying present
And as you move in and out of your day today
Just notice your senses.
Let’s slowly come back into this time, this space
And just becoming aware of your surroundings and the room that you’re in
And then when you’re ready
Just slowly opening the eyes if they’ve been closed
And just taking as much time as you need to come back.

Main photo by Warren Wong via Unsplash