My love for beautiful colors, exquisite textiles and aromas goes back to my earliest childhood.

When I look back and remember my home, I do not only see the Danube, the house itself, our living room, our shop – the Bakery, but I also inhale the wonderfully warm scent of fresh rolls, cakes, and breads. I see us children during Christmas time, sitting around the table singing songs, the gray and red polka dots of the special tablecloth seemingly joining us in our happiness.

Isn’t it just wonderful that we are able to experience this intensive awareness of our senses – smelling, seeing, sensing, tasting? It makes our lives colorful and so very rich.

You can use the raisin meditation, for example, to exercise, sharpen and increase your awareness. Think of your positive memories. Which scents, smells and tastes can you call your own? We do not experience everything that we hear, smell, taste as pleasant, but we are capable of changing that.

Maybe you want to go to the kitchen with your friends to start an experiment. Try smelling spices or find out which fruits you really like. Go outside and explore what you can find in your garden, herbs like rosemary, daisies and chives, strawberries, apples or cherries. Does it make a difference, if you eat your meals at a table that is beautifully set, to practically eat with your eyes and experience the colors and aromas the various foods exude, give away, for you to taste and enjoy?

Place one item in front of you.

Imagine it was just dropped off from another planet and you have never seen it before, you don’t know what it is called.

Observe it with your eyes only, take a long look. What do you notice or see? What color is it? Try to be as specific as possible.

Are there different colors or different shades of the same color? Is it shiny or dull? Just take it all in.

Now pick up the item and put it in your palm. Be aware of how much it weighs. Notice how it feels in your hand.

Place it between two fingers carefully and feel its texture. Roll it slowly between your fingers. Try different fingers.

Investigate the outer surface. Is it uniform throughout or are there any differences? Can you be aware of the differences for a moment?

There is no need to rush, slow down and be mindful of this wonderful edible delight.

What does it sound like? Bring it to your ear and see if it has a certain sound. Roll it between your fingers and listen to any differences.

Slowly bring it around to your nose and take a few deep breaths through your nose. Explore any thoughts or memories it might bring up. What does it smell like? What adjectives would you use to describe its scent?

Now do something amazing! Bring it to your lips and feel it with them. Does it feel any different on your lips than it did between your fingers? How so?

Place it on your tongue and close your mouth without chewing it. Which tastes do you notice first? How does it change once your saliva mixes with it? Be aware of the change.

When in the past week did you take the time to do this without rushing, eating mindlessly or while doing other things? Savor the moment and then slowly bite into the item and chew it as slowly as you can, until you feel the instinct to swallow and let it happen.

Now eat more at a slow pace.
Take as long as you wish.

  • Pay attention to which senses you are aware of and which not.
  • Try to give the senses a lot of room.
  • How often do you take things for granted: that your body functions, for example – swallowing, seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, breathing, …
  • Discover what you like and don’t like.

What It Is

It is nonsense
says common sense
It is what it is says love

It is bad luck
says calculation
It is nothing but pain
says fear
It is hopeless
says insight

It is what it is says love

It is ridiculous
says pride It is reckless
says caution
It is impossible
says experience

It is what it is says love

Erich Fried

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© April 2016
A Project for Mindfulness by Osterloh & GLOBART