Come back to your senses.

flowers
Come back to your senses.
 
What do those words mean to you?
 
I have been guiding my students all week to come back to their senses, so naturally this quote came to mind, and I started to contemplate it.
 
I’m going to put it out there and say that perhaps we have been misinterpreting this idiom.
 
I use to believe it meant to be more sensible, reasonable or mentally logical….’I was going to do the marathon without training, but I came back to my senses’.
 
Now I believe its original meaning may have stemmed from something both more apparent and yet more profound.
 
What if to ‘come back to your senses’ means literally to come back to your senses. In other words, initially, to bring awareness back onto your five physical senses, noticing you’re sense of touch, taste, smell, sight and sound? Seeing the intense red of the flowers, smelling their fragrance, feeling their petals, hearing their rustling in wind.
 
We also have other senses that are not so apparent, for example, your sense of temperature, sense of position, sense of pressure, sense of balance and sense of physical pain.
 
Coming back to our senses pulls us out of our automatic subconscious mind and back into the present moment, back into conscious awareness, and only in this present moment, is the infinite possible.
 
Once you become aware and intensely connected to these physical sensations, then we can begin to practice pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses). We do this after we have first established a stable awareness of our senses and then we turn around 180 degrees and look right back inwards at the sense of awareness itself.
 
Awareness becomes aware of awareness.
 
Energy and focus that was once going out, is now coming in. You are still aware of your senses, but your awareness is now directed at the ‘awareness’ of these senses and we strengthen our state of awareness through this practice. We are now looking at and practicing meditating on the subtle layers of our consciousness, our internal world.
 
With our awareness and energy now directed inward, we practice absorption (dharana) and prolonged meditation and contemplation (dhyana) on the conscious self.
 
We sense our mental objects, perceptions, thoughts, feelings and emotions in the mental sheath (Manomaya Kosha). We sense our ego and intellect of the wisdom sheath (vijnanamaya kosha). And we sense our peaceful and blissful state of being in the bliss sheath (anandamaya kosha).
 
We awaken to and travel through all these internal sheaths, reaching deeper states of consciousness (Samadhi), and still we move progressively inward until we sense the eternal centre of consciousness, our true self (Atman).
 
So next time you find yourself disconnected, come back to your senses, start with the flowers and come back to your true self.

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