You probably heard the story of a group of blind men who, when asked to describe an elephant, each gave a detailed personal account of their feelings.
It is a great story. It shows how our interpretations sometimes are based on personal experiences. But don’t be afraid; I promise I will not ask you to go into the ZOO and touch animals with your eyes closed.
What we are doing today is an essential exercise in exploring textures. The most important cornerstone for this practice is trying to see/feel without describing or engaging your mind beyond the simple act of Recognition. And it goes like this:
- Set a timer to either five minutes or ten minutes.
- Use one of your hands and slowly touch your other hand.
- Move from the hand towards your elbow, slowly, feeling your arm. Pay attention to the temperature, the smoothness, the roughness of the skin, etc. Do this three times.
- Next, do the same with the other hand. Again, remember not to judge or criticize what you feel; we are just trying to feel without engaging our minds.
- Now place both hands on your laps and feel the texture of your clothes. For example, if you are wearing shorts, try to feel the temperature of your thighs. Spend some time doing this, just feeling.
- Next, grab something that is in front of you and try to feel its surface. It could be a fruit, a glass of water, a book, or a table. Just try to feel its texture.
- Try to do this with as many things as possible. Make sure you are not describing how the texture feels to yourself. Remember not to overthink. Just experience the surface.
During these five days of experiencing simple states of meditation, we will take the time each day to practice one or more of these exercises.
Today is all about texture explorations. Do it as often as you can. Remember, you don’t need to be sitting. Practice the same texture exploration with plants, trees, sand, a rock, and your lover’s face. And again, make sure not to think about it too much. Simply explore the surface.
Take as long as you need and be present. That is the only requisite. Do not travel to yesterday’s concert or plan next month’s trip to Alaska. Instead, be here and just feel the texture.