Our sensory perceptions of taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing are gateways to the external world as well as the internal. Our five sense organs — tongue, skin, nose, eye and ears — allow us to make sense of the world and experience pain or pleasure.
However, the sensory perceptions when focused outward, only tell a limited story. Our eyes, for instance, can see just a small spectrum of light, mere rainbow colours, and/or mixture of them. (Colour is a wave travelling through space). We don’t see infrared or ultraviolet or X-ray waves. Our ears can hear sound frequencies only between 20 to 20,000 hertz. We have smaller olfactory (smell) perception compared to some animals.
Balancing the two worlds
Know that though, outside the external environment that stimulates our senses, there is a greater, deeper and far real world inside of us. Our sense organs are means to balance the inner and outer world.
Living in extremes actually is pointless. Just as living only for the outwardly or external pleasures disconnects us from us, who we truly are, similarly, living solely in the inner world will deprive us of the earthly joy of human relations and connections to the gifts of the nature.
Sensory privileges, therefore, shouldn’t be abused with over-indulgences, rather used to attain and remain in the state of balance and harmony.
Consciously or unknowingly, people tend to, or like to, cling on to the externals with utmost passion, either for momentary pleasure or to experience peace and happiness. In either case, it is a fruitless chase.
Addictions, for instance. Or over-indulgence to things or habits such as food, drink or work. Or reliance on persons or circumstances for happiness or peace.
When we choose to withdraw from external senses during meditation, we are able to tap into the inner world of the self. We connect to our own abilities, strength and nature for joy. The real story lies here.
In engaging with our sense organs, we can either tap in our innate goodness or fritter them away. A state of balance is possible. Balance is attained when we exercise control over senses instead of getting too attached (to desires) or getting too repulsed. For instance, taking balanced food, or keeping balanced state of emotions or having non-toxic thoughts. With control (rather, conquest) over senses, one can then free the energy to dive deeper in the self to explore the inner strengths and capabilities.
In meditation, as we close our eyes (80 per cent of the sensory information is derived from sight), we slow down the sensory data from the external environment or simply put, put to rest, the distractions. Our brain waves go to Alpha state which is the light meditative state. As we lessen our connection to the external stimuli, we start connecting with the internal environment.
The deeper we connect, the more we clear the unwanted impacts of the external stimuli that we have absorbed.
As we connect to the inner world, the real story unfolds, which is this: with clearing and balancing of the energy centers or chakras, we start experiencing heightened perceptions of sensory inputs. Our sense of smell (root chakra), taste (sacral chakra), sight (solar plexus chakra), touch (heart chakra), hearing and speaking (throat chakra), evolve. Intuition (brow centre chakra) gets refined. This is akin to upgrade of sensory perceptions, where joy is more and pain is defeatable. So, when we ‘taste’ victory, we taste it better, without ego, we ‘touch’ the heart of others, touching our own purity.
Sensing the world
As bonding with the inner environment deepens, we start discovering our own abilities. There is more acceptance of the self, more trust and belief in the innate potential of the self. There’s pride in carrying and living in our own uniqueness and blooming in it. And from this inner blooming, then, we perceive the external world. From internal to the external. This is when the world starts looking better, colourful, helpful and serving.
There is more joy in living. We feel the stillness and the calmness — which is the chase and the supposed state of our (human) being.
When we connect to inner self, we transcend inertia (or ignorance), and activity (or pain) to become serenity (or peace). Serenity is a state of no-activity or stillness; however, this state of no-activity or stillness should not be seen as dullness, but strength that has overcome the allure of the sensory pleasures.
Disclaimer: Urmila Rao is a chakra balancing meditation coach, Theta Healer and a sound therapist. All the ideas expressed herein are her own and not professional advice or medical prescription. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.