Zen and the five senses

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  • chessie
    • Jun 2008
    • 266

    Zen and the five senses

    In the Big Questions thread, Dirk related a story about his daughter asking "What does blue go?"

    This got me thinking in a whole different tangent outside that thread, so I thought I'd start over here.

    The question is in the same format as the usual children's recital--Cows go moo, Ducks go quack, Cats go meaow and Dogs go bow-wow-wow.

    So, what DOES blue go?

    I read years a go a book by Oliver Sacks that had a section on cross-sensory reactions. I found this today, under an expanded explanation of the term -- synaesthesia .


    Basically this is where one sense reacts to the stimulus to a different sense, as in hearing or tasting colors, seeing sounds, and so forth. Some people have some version of this, most people don't have it at all. But it's something that has always fascinated me. I may have a little of it, for example when I'm working on choosing fabrics to mix in a quilt, the sense of whether they 'clash' or are 'harmonious' for me tends to be both visual and aural.

    SO--the question I pose to you is...have you had any kind of experience where zazen has enhance, expanded or changed your awareness of things through the usual five senses? (touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing).

    Thanks, gassho, ann
  • Shui_Di
    • Apr 2008
    • 210

    Re: Zen and the five senses

    I have no such an experience like that...
    everything is normal.... :P

    Gassho, Shuidi
    Practicing the Way means letting all things be what they are in their Self-nature. - Master Dogen.


    • Shohei
      • Oct 2007
      • 2854

      Re: Zen and the five senses

      Hmm deep... and very cool topic! Thank you Ann!
      By the way "Blue goes" to my daughter... what ever is blue and in her view... ie - blue may be sky so Blue goes - Swooosh (wind) or twinkle twinkle or if there is a blue bird then tweet tweet This is something i do love... So when perplexed my new thing to say... is hmm what does blue go?" .

      Okay so as for the numbers are colours or the mmm this smells like "B" or tastes like happy - I cant say if I do or not

      Anywho... during Zazen i find my ears are EXTRA sensitive to light noise and my entire body reacts to the noise, such as a click of the electric base board heater kicking in is like a bomb drop and my entire being seems to be tuned into my ears for that moment, but i may never ever hear the news on the tv in the back ground. I try not to focus on ears/eyes/noes/or toes but i find they (sense) all get heightened and lessened through out sitting as thoughts pass through. Does that make sense?

      Gassho Dirk