“We do not need to practice to enjoy the blue sky”.
Thich Nhat Hahn
(He’s a contemporary Vietnamese Buddhist monk,
a peace activist and writer).
Beautiful words. But how could they help us all in our
daily lives? What wisdom can be distilled and turned into
a practical balm for the anxious moments of our lives?
I am always keen to find the relaxation technique in the
heart of the sometimes obscure teachings of the wise.
And I see it this way. We are born with senses.
Most of us are blessed with hearing; sight; a sense of smell
and touch. Most of us have speech. Thich Nhat Hahn says
we don’t need to practice to enjoy these senses.
He implies that they just work for us, which they do.
I don’t know about you though, but I have noticed that
senses can get dulled. We tune them out. In rushing we fail to
breathe properly. Gulping, we fail to savour the flavour of
our food and drink. Shy of contact, we don’t linger in a
hug or look. Sometimes we avoid an extra kind word or
Busy with our internal list of ‘things to do’ we fail to slow
down and notice the blossom on the trees; a child
skipping in the street, or just the way we feel right at that
Just for today, try this relaxation technique.
Choose a sense to savour. Any one you like. Pamper that sense:
breathe some new life into it by focussing on it and
indulging it with a little extra time and awareness.
Play with it a little and see how it feels.
That’s all. Just let your senses work for you. And the picture
at the top of this blog is a snippet of blue sky, taken in the U.K.
by me on a late winter’s day, to remind me to do the same.
Today I have chosen one of my guided meditations
to recommend to you. It’s downloadable as an mP3, so
even if you rarely get outside, or time is short, you can
have a quick listen and get in touch with your senses
wherever you are: