Pay attention to the senses and stimuli obtained from them and discover a whole new world of happiness.
Sensual awareness and sensuality certainly have nothing to do with self-gratification, immorality, or overindulgence. Our senses provide the information by which we base all of our intuitive thoughts, creativity, and desires, as well as our clear problem solving ability.
They help us to determine what is right and what is wrong for us far better than any holy book, psychologist, or pop culture. By becoming fully present in our sensual perceptions we become more sensitive to our passions, our inner compass, our personal truth, or what we call our core values, which are true and authentic and are not influenced by the values and judgments of others.
Imagine you’re in a job that is unfulfilling and has been for several years. However, on paper that job is prestigious and everyone envys your position. You know that something has to change but you don’t know what. The years pass by but you feel stuck and have no idea what to do. Or imagine that you are running ragged between work, the commute, children, meetings, scarfing down fast food, never being able to start that new hobby or get some needed exercise, then lying wide awake at night fretting about the next hectic day.
You know something has to change because this is unhealthy, you are exhausted, and it is beginning to show, but you continue to make no changes because you are being a superhero. Your mind is racing a mile a minute and you just cannot make a decision on how to make life better. These are just simple examples of how life can be when we become disconnected from our core values.
Reconnect to your core values
In our hectic culture, many of us just cannot sit and meditate with a clear mind for long periods of time. In this instance, sensuality just serves as a different form of meditation that is a far more accessible means to reconnect with what is authentic inside of us, allowing us to observe our condition from a neutral, relaxed perspective. Either we’re too busy to fully recognise our core values or have become too accustomed to letting outside influences guide our desires to easily make decisions that correctly align our actions with them.
Through sensuality, the more engaging and pleasurable the experience, the more easily we can stay in that state of being which allows our core values and passions to surface. The key is to actively use our senses enough to keep us present, but yet not so much as to overwhelm us, just relaxing enough to quiet the mental chatter.
We must become aware of our sensations without thinking about them, by giving all sensations, both the pleasurable and unpleasant, a place to simply BE. Just observe them and release them, until they cease to cloud our thoughts. Essentially you give attention to your body-mind connection, the bridge between the body and the mind. Since all thoughts originate with the senses, get them working together in harmony and see what happens!
Getting started with sensual meditation
Although sensual awareness as a meditation may be a more easily accessible form of meditation, it still takes practice. Some very simple practices to get started:
- Find a quiet spot and sit comfortably.
- If necessary, make the environment more inviting with candles, incense, dimmed lighting, or fresh flowers.
- No need to close your eyes but it helps to relax the eyelids.
- Begin with slow deep breathing, expanding the ribcage and filling the entire abdomen with nourishing oxygen and releasing the used air and clutter with each exhalation.
- Try not to think about anything, and as the thoughts arise, just release them and relax. Don’t try too hard. Just go with the flow.
- Notice what you hear. Notice what you see. Notice how you feel. Notice what you smell. Notice what you taste.
- Be aware of your sensations and notice a sense of calm connectedness.
Experiment with your sensual meditations in various locations and activities over a month’s time. There is much more to sensual awareness, and regular practice is needed to experience the full intensity of benefits.
Discover an increased ability to think clearly and creatively in all aspects of your life; discover solutions to problems you may have been struggling with; generate more laughter and fun in your life; experience increased self-confidence; and become more relaxed with yourself, with less stress! Learn about the concepts of balancing male and female energies within; understand the chakras, and using the universal energy so necessary to benefit from a rich sensual engagement with the world.
– Lisa Branscomb, J.D. is the founder of LifeBliss Solutions, Life Coaching from a Tantric Perspective.