As human beings each of us are born with a physical body, a vessel to live in during our lifetime. We have our bodies for our entire life. Our physical body allows us to have interaction with the external world. When we are young our senses provide wondrous experiences. Time passes and we begin to take the wonderful experiences our senses provide for granted. We know what a flower smells like. We know the sound and smell of rain. We have seen many sun rises. Yet, the bliss provided by our senses is always present whenever we pause to notice. In this week’s blog I thought I would remind us about the bliss our senses provide along with being the doorway to higher consciousness.
Sight provides us with the opportunity to visually interact with our world. With our eyes, we see our parents for the first time. We see the earth’s myriad manifestations of colour in the grass, trees, sky, mountains and snow. Our first sunrise is an awe inspiring experience. Lying on our backs in the summer grass we stare off into the vast blue sky that sparks our imagination. Sight allows us to see our beloved, which warms our hearts and fills our soul. With sight we are able to see and observe ourselves, which is one of the greatest gifts leading to high awareness.
The fragrance of world adds to our visual stimulation by providing new dimensions of experience. The smell of a rose. The fresh air after a summer’s rain. The smell of an orange being peeled. The variety of fragrances provided by spices and the offensive odor of decaying garbage. Smells fill our oral factory with unseen dimensions of experience that colours our perspective of the world.
Taste provides a third element to our experience of the world. As young children we try to put everything into our mouth to understand it. Some tastes we like and others repel us. Most of us love sweet or salty things. Our taste buds are much more sensitive when we are young, creating very clear reactions of like and dislike to new flavours. Over time, our palate becomes more sophisticated and selective. During our elder years, our taste buds have diminished leaving flavors become challenging to sense. Yet, the impact of taste can be so strong that the mere mention of a favourite dessert can cause us to salivate.
Hearing is one of our first senses to develop. A new born child will know the sound of his/her mother’s voice or become soothed by laying close his/her mother’s heartbeat. Hearing can comfort us, as when we hear the voice of a parent, or raise alarm when we hear scary sounds. Hearing allows us to communicate beyond body language. It allows us to share complex ideas, thoughts and experiences. Yet, our brains still rely upon primordial body language and tone to convey the majority of communications between people.
Touch is the final physical sensory. We use it to experience and understand the physical world. As a child we love to touch everything. Our body’s receptors are very sensitive at an early age. Over time we become less excited by the touch of new things. We know what the grass feels like. We have touched a flower and been pricked by a rose stem. Yet, the need for physical touch with another human being remains strong throughout our lifetime. We often look for and seek out the physicality of another human being in our attempt to remind us of the feeling of love, our natural state of being.
Our senses provide us with insight into the world around us. It has been said that the physical body is a temple. It is the vessel through which we experience the world. Without it we could not experience the bliss of being human. The gentle touch of a cool breeze upon your face. The aroma of a field of wild flowers. The awe inspiring beauty of a sunrise and sunset or the stunning exhilaration of a summer storm. Through the body we experience feelings of love, anger, sadness and joy. It protects us from the elements, the heat and the cold, while keeping us healthy. We are so connected to our bodies that we have trouble seeing a distinction between our conscious awareness and our physical form. Yet, in death, it is only our consciousness that is eternal. Like all manifestations, decay and impermanence eventually take a solid hold releasing our physical body back into the form from which we came.
While we are in a physical body, we should celebrate the bliss of being human. One never knows when you will smell your last flower. When you will see you final sunrise or hold the hand of a beloved. Our bodies provide wonderful opportunities to experience bliss. The ordinary and mundane are truly not so common. We are here for such a short time. Celebrating each opportunity to smell a rose, eat some food, feel the grass on your feet or experience love must not be taken for granted. Incarnating into this existence is a gift to be treasured, moment-to-moment.
So the next time you see a sunrise stop for just a little bit longer to take it in. Spend a bit more time smelling the flowers or starring off into the deep blue sky. In doing so, you will be present to the moment of what is and experiencing the bliss of being human.