FIRST EXERCISES

Go outside, then

Seeing - extract from INTRODUCTION TO BROADBAND SENSING
Find a blank sheet of A4, - fold it in half (for some stability), and hold it sideways in front of your eyes. Focus on it, and concentrate, but look at the interesting things happening all around it. Then still focussing on it, move it a few inches away, and keep looking around it - move it another few inches away and keep focussing on it but looking all around it.

Once you can do this effectively, find a blank wall, or a monotonous area of sky, anything which has no focal point, and focus on it - while looking at everything else. (If this is too difficult, then find a boring, unmoving focal point straight ahead, focus on it but concentrate on everything else.)

Listening - extract from THE SIMPLE SENSE OF NOW
Possibly in ancient times, humans and animals only needed to listen. Nowadays with the constant humm of traffic, it is necessary to listen out.

Listening out is full of surprise. Listen in all directions, near and far away, high and low. Imagine how early man might listen out for distant wild boar or herds of oxen or buffalo, and nearby tigers or snakes. In this present reality, listen out for leaves, litter, and bees; distant dogs, children and pigeons, at night, for hedgehogs and owls. You won't often hear them, that's irrelevant, listening out for them is the vital part.

Smelling - extract from Inside and Outside - Smelling
Modern day humans are so unfamiliar with their sense of smell, that we need time to relearn how to use it.

To start with, the most important smelling exercise is to recognise the difference between the in-smell and the out-smell. Over the next few days and weeks, whenever you notice a smell, take a moment to let it fill you, and then notice the contrast of the out breath. This has deeper effects, but at first just practically, if you only concentrate on the in-smell you will soon get dizzy, noticing the contrasting out-smell regulates the speed of breathing.

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