When most people think of nourishment, they usually consider the nutrition that is derived from food. According to Ayurveda, the ancient healing science of India, nourishment is available through all five senses – touch, sound, sight, taste and smell. Your senses are the portals to your inner pharmacy that provide natural health promoting chemicals to improve immunity, relieve anxiety and depression, normalize digestive function, and keep you pain free.
Pay attention to your environment. Feed your senses nourishing, interesting, inspiring impulses. Your body/mind is nourished through the exploration of new domains. See your environment with fresh eyes. Don’t take your world for granted.
- Listen to beautiful, interesting, different music from around the world. Listen to the sounds of nature – birds singing, the wind blowing through the leaves, rain beating on your roof, ocean waves crashing against the shore.
- Feel the texture of things. Dig your hands into the earth. Stroke your pet. Caress your loved ones. Feel a sculpture. Rub your hands along a tree bark.
- Look at your world with fresh eyes. Notice things you don’t usually pay attention to. Look at the many shades of green that nature paints. Watch the clouds manifest and dissolve. Go to your local art museum and walk through the galleries. Really look at the faces of the people in your life.
- Taste things as if for the first time. Bite into a tart apple. Savor the flavor of freshly baked cherry pie. Pop a clove bud in your mouth. Taste your lover with a passionate kiss. Drink a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice. Delight your taste buds.
- Notice the aromas in your environment. Breathe in the fragrances of your garden. Sniff the smells of dinner. Inhale the scents of your loved one. Go outside after a rain and smell the earth. Notice how closely smells are linked with your memories and emotions.
The energy and information of the world is translated into subtle sensory impulses that are experienced on the screen of your consciousness. These inner impulses are known in Ayurveda as Tanmatras. We can think of them as mental quanta, the subjective equivalent to the subtlest units of matter in the physical world. Awakening the Tanmatras through active imagination creates an alert mind and vital body.
Read the following visualizations, then close your eyes and invoke a vivid impression in your mind.
Imagine the sound of:
– A cricket, chirping outside your window at night.
– A grandfather clock, sounding six o’clock.
– A coyote howling at the moon.
Imagine the sensations of:
– Walking on a sandy beach.
– Taking a hot shower
– Stroking the soft cheek of an infant child
Imagine the sight of:
– The sun setting over the Pacific Ocean
– A flock of geese flying in formation overhead
– An Olympic diver jumping off the platform
Imagine the taste of:
– A fresh, ripe peach
– A spoonful of chocolate chip ice cream
– Gargling with mint flavored mouthwash
Imagine the smell of:
– Bread baking in the oven
– A new bar of sandalwood soap
– A freshly cut lemon
Balance your senses through both inner and outer experiences of nourishing sounds, sensations, images, tastes, and smells, and your inner pharmacy will enlivened to keep you balanced, healthy and happy.