Conscious Observation as a mindful skill

Conscious observation is sensation awareness. It is looking, but really looking. Not look at, not looking through, not just seeing something but observing it – taking it fully in.

The poets may talk of drinking in  a sunset and sunsets are great but try it with a mundane object – say a coffee cup or a hammer, you can think of its function, feel its weight, notice its unique shape, its design, how it relates to you, but then look at it – fully see it.  Know it.

In seeing it, as if for the first time or with renewed appreciation is a powerful exercise in experiencing objects. If the coffee cup or hammer comes to life (you are alive with it) then there is the presence of awe. Remember when you were a child there was awe and fascination, exploring, discovering, experiencing. This is that again.

Go look now at the world. look at your garden. Appreciate it yes but look at it. pick a plant or shrub or tree and enjoy it. Look at a weed and even enjoy seeing it. You may notice it’s beauty, you may see the chore to be done, you may even see it’s resilience. Conscious observation expands consciousness – seeing is more than looking,  it is awareness.

I take the opportunity to enjoy and find awe in looking at mountains, clouds, the moon, not just the flower but the petals and the stamens. I give it attention and it rewards. I enjoy going to galleries and am awed by the visual experience and technical detail in a painting or sculpture, by subject matter and by brush stroke or polished to textured ratio etc. All this is not only training my brain to see better but to comprehend more.

All of it is allowing wonder and awe and appreciation and gratitude into my life. I get to see not just the cherished things but the world around me. It makes it part of me and me in participation with it. This enlivened engagement is being in a mindful moment. is living more mindfully – and gaining all the advantages that it brings

Part of looking really gets the brain going and pattern recognition etc does get endorphins released – so beyond the mindful opportunity it physically delivers a sense/experience of wellbeing and aliveness.

Coming in to the now is all about being alive. You don’t have to sit cross-legged, eyes closed, nostrils at work to get mindful. You can just open your eyes and let that open your heart and your way forward.

Take the chance when you can to to notice and ‘be’, be in that observation, be in that moment. Coffee cup or Caravaggio, it’s the consciousness that it gifts.

Outside right now the world is waiting to be seen.

About The Holistic Gardener

author of wellness books, columnist, keynote speaker.
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