Scanning Other Senses
In addition to the felt or “touch” sense, you can scan other senses: sight, smell, sound, or taste. If you have chosen the visual field as your object of meditation, scan your surroundings. Use direction: left to right or vice versa, and straight ahead. Slowly take in one image after another.
Sound works, too. Open your awareness to sounds by direction. Listen to the right, then left, then center. Listen ahead or behind.
If you have a strong sense of smell or are in an area with a lot of scents, work with that. You don’t need to sniff hard. Simply allow any scents to waft into your nose.
With taste, if you sip a sports drink or eat a power bar, scan for the flavor. Then, scan for the aftereffects. Sweep your mind from left to right across your tongue.
Be awake to any tendency to grasp at pleasant sensations or repel unpleasant ones. Note that some sensations are neutral.
Scanning builds focus and insight while heightening body awareness.
Scanning can release tension and resistance, helping to bring us into the present moment in the body to overcome any mind/body split. Scanning requires focus in order to stay attuned to one part of the body, as well as to remember to move on while other thoughts and body sensations might call out.
As you scan, ideas and connections may arise. This is normal. Celebrate remembering, and gently bring your attention back to the body part you last scanned.
For a full, guided, body scan, visit my website, www.nitasweeney.com.