External orienting is the process of observing one’s surroundings using the five senses. This can be very helpful for individuals who are intimidated by mindfulness techniques like the body scan. Here’s a meditation script for external orienting.
As with any other meditation, begin in a comfortable seated position. You can sit upright against a chair or a wall, provided that you are able to sit with dignity and ease.
Begin by tuning in with your sense of sight. What do you see? Notice what you can see in your space, observing the colors, shapes, and quality of light around you. You can turn your head across all directions, so you can fully scan the environment around you.
After you are done looking around, tune in with your sense of hearing. What can you hear? Notice any sounds within your proximity. Perhaps you hear the twittering of birds outside your window, or the sound of automobiles rumbling by the road side. Take note that these sounds don’t need to be pleasant, as you can simply observe them.
Then, tune in with your sense of touch. What can you feel? Maybe you can feel the wall against your back, or the floor underneath your body. Take time to also notice the temperature of the air or any other textures that you can feel. Just like the sounds that you observed earlier, these sensations don’t need to be comfortable.
Finally, tune in with your senses of smell and taste. Are there any scents or aromas wafting through your space? Even if you’re not eating at the moment, are there any residual flavors that you can taste from your last meal?
When you are ready to end your meditation practice, simply shift your attention back to your breath. Feel the weight of your body against the floor or whatever surface you’re sitting on. You can wiggle your fingers and your toes, and get some gentle movement in. Enjoy your day with a sense of newfound awareness.
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