Muscle memory

Muscle memory

A simple meditation for boosting your memory muscles. By Jill Lawson

Memory is like a muscle; if we don’t use it, we lose it. Lost eyeglasses, misplaced keys, forgotten appointments; these are all symptoms of weakening memory. We’ve all experienced occasional absent-mindedness; however, our ability to retrieve and retain information deserves our attention when forgetfulness disrupts our life’s stability.

The following meditation can help flex your memory muscles so that the next time you set down your keys or phone or wallet, you’ll remember where you put them. If you are having trouble recalling major events, professional help may be necessary.

Practice this meditation at least once a day to be present-minded rather than absent-minded.

Your attention to each one of your senses is required. You will be exploring your sense of taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound in three phases.

Do it now
Begin wherever you are. Take three deep breaths to clear your mind and relax your body. Phase one Become aware of the taste in your mouth. Can you detect a subtle hint of flavour? Notice how the tip of your tongue tastes versus the back of your tongue.

  • Now notice any article of clothing touching your skin. Is it soft? Itchy? Warm or cold? Move slightly to enhance the sensation.
  • Inhale through your nose. What do you smell? Name four scents you are detecting.
  • Next, either with your eyes closed or open, notice shapes, perhaps colours, or textures. Is what you’re seeing moving or still? How does the light change?
  • Finally, tune into the sounds around you. Do you hear birds? Traffic? A dog barking?

Phase two
Repeat each sense awareness; however, instead of perceiving one sensation at a time, observe them simultaneously. For example, can you detect a sweet and salty taste at the same time?

Can you focus on the birds singing and the dog barking at the same time?

Practice until you can easily do this with each sense. It might take several days, weeks, or months. Stick with it.

Phase three
This phase is the most challenging part of the practice as it requires your focus on all senses and all sensory input concurrently.

You will need to flex some meditation muscles to achieve this goal, but don’t worry; you have the rest of your life to practice.

Taste while you listen, hear while you see, see while you feel, feel while you smell. Practice, concentrate, hone your mindfulness skills, and enjoy making moments worth remembering.

Jill Lawson is a writer and yoga teacher enjoying life on the island of Maui in Hawaii (

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