It’s through our senses that we experience life, and it is through our senses that we can reawaken to a fuller and more authentic way of being. For many us, we’re losing a valuable part of daily living. We’re getting out of touch with our sensory experiences that give us joy. We’re bombarded with over stimulation from visual and audio technology and busy calendar filled lives. Don’t we sometimes feel numbness to real feeling, seeing and hearing the real things in our life?
As Clifford N. Lazarus, Ph.D., is Clinical Director of The Lazarus Institute, questions in his blog Enhancing Your Five Senses, Enhancingyour five senses, who has time or takes the time look at a sunset or starry night or smell a bouquet of flowers?
As Dr. Lazarus says, most of our pleasures and most of the stimuli that give our life meaning come from our five senses – hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, and taste.
GREAT THINKERS USED ALL FIVE SENSES
If we develop and take care of our sense, we create an opportunity for more personal growth and enjoyment in life. The great mind, Albert Einstein’s approach to life integrated and used the five senses.
LEONARDO da VINCI GIVES US HELP ON HOW TO USE ALL FIVE SENSES
In a recent post, I mentioned how the genius of Leonardo da Vinci as an example to us be more creative. It’s worth visiting him again, since he’s the master who used all fives senses in ways that can help us today.
The Boston Museum of Science exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci’s works explains that he used his senses this way:
While greatly influenced by the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans, Leonardo, unlike many of his contemporaries, saw the limitations of seeking the truth solely in those writings or the Bible. Instead, he took the startling approach of actually observing nature and asking deceptively simple scientific questions like, “How do birds fly?” To finish the bill, he then systematically recorded their solutions in his sketches.
LEONARDO da VINCI’S SENSORY PRINCIPLE AND HOW TO APPLY IT
Michael J. Gelb’s “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci, defines Leonardo da Vinci’s sensory principle as follows:
Sensazione. Sensazione is “the continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience.” According to da Vinci, we can best practice Dimostrazione through our senses, particularly sight. That’s why one of Leonardo’s mottoes is saper vedere (knowing how to see) upon which he built his work in arts and science.
Here are some ways to apply Sensazione:
- Write detailed description of an experience. For instance, describe your experience of watching a sunrise in your journal.
- Learn how to describe a smell.
- Learn to draw.
- Listen to different sounds around you. Learn to listen to different intensity of sounds from the softest (e.g. your breathing) to the loudest (e.g. traffic).
- Live in the moment. Practice mindfulness.