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Focused Sensing – Nerdful Mind #141

September 25, 2022 by Simon Mannes

Recently I was part of a small chocolate drinking ceremony during a Yoga session.

We did Yoga, then drank natural cocoa in rice milk, got back to Yoga again, and then ended with Shavasana. This experience reminded me how much I like exercises that include all senses.

During the ceremony, we started sitting with our eyes closed, breathing. Then we carefully reached out for the cup with the drinking cocoa, examining it with our hands, feeling the texture and its warmth. Then we smelled it, before finally tasting it.

Even with closed eyes and a tired body, I felt completely awake the entire time.

I feel like we sometimes block out certain senses and focus on others, just for distraction. If we then use all senses consciously, in an exercise, we can reconnect with the present moment and our body in a way we couldn't before.

“I want all my senses engaged. Let me absorb the world's variety and uniqueness.”—Maya Angelou

After 141 consecutive issues of Nerdful Mind, I' m going to take a planned vacation break. Expect me back in November!

Reading Recommendations

A Meditation for Exploring Your Senses

“Follow this guided meditation from Cara Bradley to notice your sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and thoughts. This mindfulness practice is about pointing our attention towards different senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and our thoughts.”

Psychology and Smell

“As described in How Smell Works, when a smell is detected, the olfactory neurones in the upper part of the nose generate an impulse that is passed to the brain along the olfactory nerve. The part of the brain this arrives at first is called the olfactory bulb which processes the signal and then passes information about the smell to other areas closely connected to it, collectively known as the limbic system.”

The Architecture of the Next CERN Accelerator Logging Service

“As a complex chain of interconnected particle accelerators at CERN, collectively these accelerators generate massive amounts of data per day, up to 900 GB. This blog explains the architecture for logging service, how data is collect from many types of devices, and how it’s processed at massive scale with Apache Spark. Also, it speaks to why Spark was the choice instead of other big data processing engines.”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Take a small piece of chocolate. How does it look like? Is it light or heavy? What does the surface feel like?

Now put it in your mouth. Keep it in your mouth until it has fully dissolved. Focus on the taste. What does it feel like?

This exercise brings our thoughts into the present moment. It is ok if your thoughts wander. Gently bring them back to what you are tasting.

End Note

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Have a great week


PS: What do you think about this? Please hit reply and let me know. I’m curious!