Published: 28th August 2022
The Power Of Now
Many of us have captured pictures of cathedrals when we see their mark on the skyline. When I saw this one so well framed by the trees, I could not resist taking a picture. It is all the more impressive as the scaffolding has now been removed - a few large pieces of stone fell off the roof, during a storm, resulting in damage and half of the internal space being closed.
All seems well on the outside, I will soon venture inside to see if things are back to normal.
Yet stating the obvious, the picture merely captures what one can see. I am sure one of the reasons I halted to take the picture was because I was enjoying the terrific bell ringing so much.
I will deliberately go for a long walk, past the back of the cathedral on one side of the river, returning on the opposite side, having crossed the river by bridge, a distance down the river. Often, the bells filling the air with their loud, amazing and complex sounds.
Whilst the river cannot be seen in the picture, it runs between the bank where I was standing and where the more distant trees that can be seen. Close by, at certain times of the year, it is possible to make the short crossing by rowing boat that serves as a ferry, and has done for many years.
After taking the picture I stood for a while, valuing both what I could see and the sound of the wonderful bells. Indeed, the bells of this cathedral, in Worcester, are considered to create one of the finest rings in the world. As I continued to listen, with ‘wider ears’, I could also hear the ducks landing on the water, the water lapping against the bank, as a boat had passed by, and the rowers and canoeists too.
Two of our senses used, which led me to also take note of my other three senses.
I could now feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and also heating my clothes, making me feel warmer still. I started to notice the scent from the ground, the vegetation, the river. I gently took a slow breath though my mouth tasting the particles in the air too. All very sensory.
It reminded me of an exercise I had undertaken some years ago, as part of my studies. We were told to undertake an experiment using all of our senses. That was an interesting lesson, and a useful reminder on this day, that I had perhaps let that earlier lesson gather too much dust.
All too often we use only the sense or senses needed. In the case of my walk, I was looking where I was going and I was enjoying the sound of the bells. I guess I must have been using my feeling sense as I had been walking but not really aware of my feet; so how often do we engage with all of our senses?
I make this point because an important part of the learning with Insights Discovery is to embrace the points that Carl Jung made about the perceiving functions of sensation (and intuition). Just focussing on sensation, each sense has a valuable part to play in our lives, each has a valuable part to play in the relationships with other people. Taking a little longer to use our senses can pay rich dividends.
I remember well, one development programme I was running, where the senses were deliberately used as part of a presentation on the selling of an expensive vehicle – it was both an amusing and powerful presentation.
Certainly, it is seldom that we use all at the same time; often we just don’t need to. Indeed, on my walk taste was perhaps the least used. Yet once back home, strong dark coffee was soon made and sitting in my garden I savoured the full intense flavour…and as I relaxed into enjoying the coffee I could still hear the ringing of the bells of the cathedral, carried on the gentle breeze blowing in my direction.
How often do we use, even value all of our senses? All too often we speed onto the next thing rather than staying in the moment and enjoying the experience, or perhaps experiencing the joy. Eckhart Tolle's book reminds us of The Power Of Now...probably a good time to revisit some of his wise words.
My best wishes,