One of the most essential components of mindfulness practice is engaging your senses all day long.
Whenever we daydream, we lose contact with our physical world. When we reflect too much on the future or too much on the past, we create an alternate reality that denies the beauty of each and every moment.
Sometimes we are working on something, but we are not working on that thing consciously. We are just "going through the motions." Rather than experiencing the richness of the world around us in during each activity, we proceed in a dull and dreary manner, half asleep.
Proceeding through life in such a way is often bad for our health, and especially for our spiritual development.
Mindfulness is the practice of attending to all of your primary senses constantly throughout the day.
Here are the five primary senses and how you can utilize them:
Practice using your sense of sight to observe things that are in front of you, things that you might not have noticed before. Notice all the objects and arrangements of things. Notice the colors of the objects. Notice the shape and form of things. Look other people in the face and practice really seeing them.
Practice using your sense of hearing to notice the times when you are so focused on an activity that you are not cognizant of the sounds around you. Notice the sounds of appliances in the other room — a dishwasher, a laundry machine, a microwave. Notice the sounds of the birds outside. Notice the sound of the cars passing by, and any distant sirens.
Notice the sensation of your body as it interacts with your environment. Notice the feeling of your arms resting atop a table as you are sitting or your feet on the ground upon which you are standing. Notice the feeling of your fingers wrapping around the handle of a mug as you pick it up. Notice the texture of things — wet, dry, rough, smooth.
Notice if you smell anything. When you are in a store, notice if the store smells like anything. When you are around food, practice smelling the food.
Practice savoring the taste of food. What flavor does the food possess?