Jon Kabat-Zinn, in discussing sensory awareness as an aspect of mindfulness, asks the question, “Who is in the Shower With You?”
He makes the point that our minds are always wandering – even when we are in the shower. We could be thinking of a conflict with someone at work, a criticism from the boss or poor performance by a colleague. In consequence, we are not attending to the physical sensation of the water on our skin – we are someplace else, basically at work.
Jon Kabat-Zinn suggests that sometimes our whole work team is in the shower with us as we reflect on a meeting while showering – who said what about what issue, what conflicts arose, what we are committed to do in the future, what changes are coming up.
He argues that we cannot access the healing power of mindfulness, if we are not present and fail to be aware of our sensory perceptions – the major theme of his book, Coming to Our Senses.
In the following video, Kabat-Zinn discusses other ways that we can become aware of our surrounds and our senses. He maintains that to grow in mindfulness and access the healing power it generates, we need to come to our senses, both literally and metaphorically.
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