I had an incredible moment today in my usually routine drive home from the grocery store. Although it’s winter here, the sun was streaming through my car windows and I suddenly felt it’s warmth on my arm and neck. It was deeply penetrating my skin as I absent mindedly scrolled through the radio stations and came upon the most beautiful classical music while the scent of my warm coffee hit me as I took a sip from the steaming cup.
I suddenly found myself saturated within a moment of time that had me frozen in my seat. So many senses were being stimulated simultaneously as a sense of peace flooded my heart; had my last breath come in that moment, they would have found me smiling.
The sun on my arm is what first caught my attention and it was a random mistake that the radio station settled on something so beautiful; yet the combination of those two things put me in such a state of awareness that I was sensitive to that smell of coffee as never before.
In that car seat, I intimately knew the power of “now”. I’d read about it, heard about it, and had seen more than one book title containing those words; yet I’m not sure I’d understood it on this level until this moment.
I was suddenly acutely aware of many things at the same time. When I stopped at another traffic light, my breath was taken away by a tree I pass daily without notice; back lit by the late afternoon sunlight.
While I do notice beauty on a regular basis, I’m as busy and distracted as anyone. This isn’t a constant occurrence, this was something uniquely special; all 5 senses were suddenly on high alert.
I wondered: did I just have a magic moment or is this what it’s really like to be in the present moment? Was it my attention to the senses that led me to this spot of bliss? What happens if throughout our days we stop and silently ask ourselves: “What do i smell right now? What do I hear? What am I physically feeling or touching? What do I taste? What am I seeing?”
Can we find ourselves anchored into the blissful and aware “now” through the portals of our senses? Perhaps our 5 senses are elusive doorways to the holy present moment.
There was a time in my life when I was traveling solo throughout the island of Bali. I was in my 20’s and found myself in the village of Ubud. Never before had all of my senses been assaulted by such beauty. Assault is the only word that can describe the crashing down upon me of the many sights, smells, sounds and tastes at once.
There was one afternoon while sitting by myself that I closed my eyes and counted the number of noises I heard in the moment~the number hit 14. The more I listened, the more I heard. Chimes, monkeys, motor scooters, children laughing, bells ringing, pots and pans being washed, honking, singing, birds chirping, dogs barking, roosters in the distance; it was more than my ears could handle. So much joy in those sounds when my attention was single focused on my hearing.
I played this game with myself throughout that trip with all of my senses through smells, sounds, colors, sights and tastes. 2 weeks later I returned home feeling more peaceful and looking more beautiful than I had in my entire life. Peace poured out of my face and I was blissed out for weeks.
It’s been years now since that trip; yet today in my car while sitting in traffic, I was transported through the portal of my own senses to a place of bliss. The “now”.
~photos all from freedigitalphotos .net
Trees by Prozac1, Baboons by Tom Curtis, Single tree and grass by Dan, lily by Arvind Balaraman, coffee by stimulationstatus.sugar.com