The Serenity of the Senses
I feel that it is important to make things as simple as possible. How to manage the endless complexity and frustration? One of the best tools we have is what is called “the serenity of the senses.” We find that when we really pay attention to what are senses are taking in that we always have access to mindfulness and wisdom beyond our current understanding.
Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Each sense shows us this very moment. We end up finding that serenity is a state that radiates outward. Realizing this gives safety, the understanding that we are not held hostage to the acts of others. Serenity is an orientation that we do not have to develop, but allow to manifest, simply by paying close attention right now.
Is there the sound of a plane over head? Is the furnace running? How can you tell? Is it sound, or a subtle rumble you can feel. Is there some sense of smell? How do you clothes feel on your body: what is the texture of the table you are sitting at?
The senses are like rivers that all lead to the same into the sea. They all find themselves emptying into the central consciousness. It sometimes helps to use the language of one sense to describe another. What kind of texture can you sense with your eyes? What is the color of certain sounds? What can you see with you hands?
The beauty of this process is that the senses help us to get out of our own way. By paying attention to the most subtle sensation in any given moment, we find we can release doubt without knowing answers and can release prejudice by interrupting the incessant internal dialogue that must be present to reinforce it.
This is easy, not hard to do. Develop the daily practice of simply paying attention, as vividly as you can. You will find that in doing so you will change your world, be more inspired and less afraid. This is the gift of the serenity of the senses.