For One Minute

…or just look at this pole and try to relax the impulse to define it or interpret it or decide whether or not it is beautiful. Try to notice what it feels like to see, as if you had no words for any of the forms or colors in front of you, as if the words on the paper were written in a language you never learned to read.

…or let your gaze spread gently across your entire field of vision, taking in the area immediately in front of you, the farthest distance you can observe without straining, the right and left edges of your peripheral vision, and everything in between. Take it all in at once—the whole three-dimensional volume of visual space. This is what the present looks like. This is what it feels like to see without spinning a story. This is what it feels like to see as a young child sees, simply fascinated with the seeing itself. Sixty seconds can feel like a long time. Try stringing together several intervals of four or five seconds instead. 

…or listen to what this moment sounds like without needing to know the source of the sounds or to evaluate any of them as pleasant or unpleasant. Steep in the wonder of vibrations striking tiny bones inside your ears and massaging that space where all of the internal chatter plays out, wave after wave of internal sound. There’s no need to tamp down the internal sounds that well up as you’re listening. Allow them to play out as they will, trying to be aware of the silence between the waves. Use the activity of internal sound to remind you to spread your listening out in all directions and become absorbed by it.