Sensory persuits

I remember being totally struck one year by a woman I met when I was on holiday in France. She seemed to be deeply appreciative of each and every thing she was experiencing. At the breakfast table in the gîte, where all the guests ate together in the morning, she would extol the virtues of the jam and the bread made by the owner. It was clear she could savour the tastes and smells to an extent that far surpassed the experience of the rest of us. She also regularly referred to the beauty of the surrounding gardens, making detailed comments about the vegetation that clearly indicated she had noticed, and hugely appreciated, an array of flowers, garden ornaments, etc. It was captivating to see and hear her. I felt in awe of her – grateful to her. My partner of the time didn’t feel that way at all. He complained that: “She’s so exaggerated!” But, for me, I immediately recognised something very unique in that woman – the ability to deeply appreciate the inputs her sensory organs were offering her. The memory of her has remained in my mind for over a decade. At the time I didn’t know about Tantra (although I was on a spiritual path). Now, I would most certainly identify her as a person who was capable of living her life tantrically. Seeing her ability to connect with her senses, I became profoundly aware of how cut off I was from my own. Well, no more cut off than the majority of persons, perhaps. However, seeing her, I knew I didn’t want to be like the majority of people, who were missing out on so many subtle facets of physical-plane existence because they weren’t able to really experience their senses – due perhaps to their imprisonment in ego identification, including ongoing contemplation of what other people were thinking about them in any given moment.

Many people consciously, or unconsciously, aware of the barrenness of their daily non-sense lives seek to find relief by resorting to drugs, sex, adventure sports, gambling, etc. They crave excitement and the chance to feel really alive, perhaps. Yet, the simple act of giving full attention to the stimuli presented to our sensory organs in everyday circumstances can open the existential door to a new outlook/feeling about life and awareness of who we intrinsically are – beyond what is most obviously apparent.

Sam Red, 18 May 2015


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