EXPERIMENTS and COMBINATIONSAll just in note form – not properly organised
Panoramic Body AwarenessPanoramic sensing is an attitude of being on the lookout for anything and everything happening. When i apply a panoramic sensing to body-awareness it's being on the lookout for anything and everything happening in my body – wanting to know what's happening... wanting to feel how it really feels inside.
One way to do this, is to ask your body "what's the truth?"
This fits with so many other ideas of "your body knows the truth" or "listening to your body" (listening in the practical sense of being open to it).
Sensing Inside The BodyListening Inside and Seeing with Closed Eyes is not anything mystical. Something must be happening with our listening and seeing, (smelling and tasting,) faculties, even when we're not aware of it.
We can taste, see and listen in the womb. But we start smelling and we start making noises with our mouth at birth, when the breathing starts.
I find this an incredibly useful idea when building up to whole body awareness - a whole sensory bodyfulness - first we develop an ability to taste, see, and listen.
Listening, seeing, smelling, and tasting all activate body awareness in individual and specific ways – they bring out new facets of awareness, possibilities we don't have with our brain guided awareness or our tactile awareness.
Developing the sense of tasteFirst we need to look at our sense of taste again, and i repeat some ideas from Tasting Basics and Development Games
Our own Body TasteOur sense of taste in our own body is all very samey compared to food. The differences and contrasts you notice will all be only vague, but these tinges of taste sensations are the parameters of our body-taste.
The roof of the mouth is salty, underneath the tongue is sweeter, roof of the mouth and inside the scalp are nutty (appropriate?), and downwards in the throat is watery, vaguely like rhubarb.
The lips are sometimes salty but sometimes rich... first i thought cherries, then raspberries... then i thought it's red – blue... blood? am i tasting blood there? – but it's definitely red! Then i tasted between my lips and teeth and thought its yellow almost a tinge of pineapple – I'd love to be guided by a child's drawing of the colours they can taste. (see Questions for Children). – Top of mouth is salty, (maybe silver) but under tongue is sweet, maybe blue.
From the area down in the gums between the lips and teeth, sidewards to in between the jawbones, it's rich, strong, seems to be always changing, sometimes vaguely like prunes... brown... Sometimes there's so much tension in this area between the jawbones, that it's not possible to taste there, it just feels warm. Trying to taste will relax the tension. Trying to taste is an effective way of relaxing any stiffness in the mouth.
Tasting inside my own body, i notice bones are more salty, flesh is sweeter, i don't now if this ties in with the taste of blood and maybe calcium in the bones, i really don't know.
After eating i can taste the food down my esophagus and spreading out across my stomach area – like an upturned 'T' shape. I find the taste of what i've eaten – if it's mild like tomatoes on toast – it takes a while till the feeling permeates my entire central body upper legs and upper arms. If i eat something like eggs, then my whole body quickly feels eggy ...
For several hours after a big rich meal, the taste of that meal digests throughout the whole body. This is an important experience for inner-body awareness. Taste your body before and after a meal.
If you're on three meals a day, there will always be a residual food taste, except in the mornings before breakfast, which is a shame. Practice fasting for a half day.
Combining the sense of body taste with panoramic seeing gives me a strong sense of oneness. This is an important connection.
An AlternativeOnce you feel you have a secure feeling with a constant consciousness of the residual 'in-scent' – then, start noticing the 'out-taste' again. Notice how the warmth of the out-taste comes up in the central area, and it seems to come directly from the stomach or even at times from the belly. And the in-smell is sensed everywhere else: in the top half of the head, and the sides and back of the head, neck, and body.
Combine the above two ideas and tell me what your children think about digesting and converting smells. This inborn all-pervading human sense. Remember, smelling is the active ingredient of breathing.
Seeing with eyes closed(i'm repeating myself from Listening Inside and Seeing with Closed Eyes needs to be paraphrased)
Lastly comes seeing with the eyes closed again. This is nothing mystical, but it is the only sense where i feel i could be accused of using my imagination. With the eyes closed i have a sensation of light in my whole head. I just have to go panoramic, and it's there, often at first just in front and at the sides of my head... and then with time, this sensation sometimes automatically spreads through my whole head, and sometimes my body.
I would like to argue that this is natural, but don't know how! Maybe it's something like a naturally occurring optical illusion. Parents, please ask your children. Other questions for children.
There is another very interesting aspect of seeing and inner vision. It might sound even more fanciful than the optical illusion above. I wouldn't mention it, except that i can remember doing something like it as a child, and it is very effective. I can also imagine that animals would not be able to rationalise that it can't happen... and so might also 'suffer' from this same optical illusion.
I'm talking about the looking inside the body with a sort of x-ray vision. It's a visualisation of the sense of touch. You may find a mild general x-ray feeling without even trying. For some reason (maybe the more obvious bone to flesh relationship), it's easier to start feeling this sensation in the body rather than the head.
Seeing, listening, smelling, and tasting; – each have their own dimensions... other aspects of our being alive... other dimensions of what we are.
Two Modes – eyes open and closedI have two different modes of meditation: one with the eyes open, usually sitting – the other with the eyes closed, usually lying down.
Lying Down(Eyes Closed) This starts with breathing expanding and contracting, then smelling, filling up and emptying out. Then listening inside my body is very effective, listening to the hands and feet, arms and legs, then central body. Listening to the legs and arms often the stomach rumbles. I notice light coming through the closed eyes, and sometimes it spreads, it's secondary. Sometimes i listen to the outside world... i experiment ...
Eyes Open, SittingThis starts with seeing and listening to the world outside, in the panoramic way.
Once i've got the seeing and listening working together, and my thoughts have slowed down, then i often try and add the smelling to complete the panorama senses. But i experiment, maybe adding taste, or the tactile sense is easier at first... can't say... not enlightened ...
Recently, as an extension to the attitude of listening-out for anything quick and the pre-emptive waiting for anything quick, i started waiting for the next thought. And usually after a period of silence, the next thought is "how on earth is that happening?" - when i wait for them, they don't come!... And then the next thought is... i must write it down... and then... i must just do it again without even trying to understand how it works.
The incredibly important point for me is that tasting, listening, x-ray visualisation, a sense of light, recreate that feeling i had when i was 17 and 18 yrs. old.
And that's as far as i'm sure of, and i wish i'd have known about all this 50 years ago. And i hope somebody else spends a few of their next 50 years developing it.
Humming - a foot note rather than a climax
Combining the tasting and smelling exercises with humming is interesting. Feel-taste the top of your mouth, and the smell in your nasal canals above the roof and sides of the mouth. Then feel how the soft palate is the centre of this area – and notice how when you start humming and it vibrates this central area, (and also the top and back of the throat). This stimulates the lower brain... and experts in the field of the lower brain could please tell me more on this... Sometimes you may feel the humming, vibrating in your belly, i don't know the next step on that route.