Living well is an art which requires daily attention in all aspects of our lives. Nurturing the five senses and the five dharmic elements through your daily routine is an effective way to create a deeper sense of balance and wellbeing.
Sense of Touch – Earth Element
We eat because we need to. When we are in touch with the earth, we usually choose to eat seasonal foods that are grown locally. This also supports the local economy, helping you and your environment to be prosperous. The organization of our meals and of our life creates a clear support system from which you can grow.
It grounds us, supports our coordination and releases stress.
The sense of touch reminds us to do things with our hands: cooking, art, gardening, playing music. Other forms of healing touch are hugging each others or trees, receiving and giving massages, walking barefoot in the grass or on the beach.
When I was in India, they taught me to eat with my hands. The sensation of the food in between my fingers was transmitting a first message of preparation to my body, opening inner receptors. When we do the gardening and prepare the food ourselves, it provides a sense of nurturing. We are not so hungry anymore when it is time to eat. It becomes easier to moderate while being fully nourished.
Sense of Taste – Water Element
Emotional eating is one way in which we seek nurturing; we are attracted by certain tastes depending on our present emotional state. What is your comfort food? Are you noticing the attraction to specific tastes depending on how you feel?
When you open yourself to explore the sense of taste, you also become more aware of how specific tastes affect you emotionally and in your general wellbeing. Bringing mindfulness in your eating habits and savoring your meals support a healthy balance into your life.
The sense of taste is interpreted in many ways.
When we balance the sense of taste, we develop our intuition and emotional intelligence. We get to know ourselves and others better creating a harmonious flow honoring the space of everyone.
When we take the time to taste what we eat, what we drink, our whole being opens to receive the nutrients with mindfulness. Tasting an infusion and drinking it slowly provides a beautiful sense of nourishment.
The Sight – Fire Element
For most of us, vision is the most dominant sense. Some of us like to see a plate filled with colors and beautifully prepared. The environment we choose to eat at and the rhythm we eat influence the integration of the nutrients.
Moderation is key to both eating and to managing your actions in life. Do you like your food hot or cold? Using moderately heated water rather than boiling water for infusions helps herbal tea leaves retain their nurturing properties.
What you choose to look at, and the way you perceive it affects your overall wellbeing.
When I arrived in Switzerland after being a few months in Florida, my eyes were attracted to the green forest. I breathed deep and looked at all this greenery. It feels as if I am receiving this fresh energy to nurture my whole being. It releases stress and gives a sense of peace.
Sense of Smell – Air Element
When we pass in front of a restaurant or a bakery, certain fragrances open the appetite attracting us in, while others keep us away. The aroma of some foods awaken the senses and trigger memory response mechanisms.
Aromatherapy has been used for centuries with the intention of healing and connecting. The smell and the breath are interconnected. Many scents are used in spiritual paths to support the connection between the earth and the divine energy. Scents are also used in hotels as a signature smell. It gives a sense of identification and recognition.
Developing the sense of smell sharpens our mind and attention.
We recognize aromas, people, places, plants through their smell. A smell triggers memory and leads us to take actions based on what we relate it with. When we sharpen this sense, we develop more clarity, alertness and mindfulness.
The Sound – Ether Element
Sounds, chantings and mantras have been used for centuries to support wellbeing and balance. A Rinpoche taught me that the mantras have been channeled by wise men. The highest peak of sound leads to liberation and the lowest pitch leads to manifestation, incarnation. Prayers and chants support healing through our whole being. Tibetan singing bowls, shamanic drums and nature sounds are more and more integrated in healing modalities.
Listening is an Art.
In our daily life, we are surrounded by sounds. We need a break from the city, the external influences from a stressful environment in order to peace our mind. When we enter in a natural, peaceful environment, we first face our own thoughts and worries.
When we release attachment to the voice of the ego that screams, we give space to hear the whisper coming from the wise voice.
May your sensorial experiences be nurturing, bringing balance and wellbeing into your life.