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Sensory Perception

It is said that through our five senses we receive approximately 2 million bits of information per second. This is through our senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The conscious mind is unable to process so much information that is received so it filters it down to only approximately 134 bits per second.  The conscious mind filters the information by deleting, distorting, or generalizing the information that is received. The purpose of the conscious mind is to retain only the sensory information that we feel is important. For example, if we are walking on the street we do not notice the smell of the flowers; remember the benches that we have passed or whether there is a step or a ramp on the pavement. We also rarely listen to the birds singing, or feeling the minor temperature changes in the air.  Moreover, we also have misunderstandings with other people, because the filter of the mind distorted the information that they had presented. Due to this we also generalize the information since we cannot remember the specifics.

Now, imagine how magnificent every moment would be if we could sense the environment around us with a higher level of sensitivity. Fortunately, this is possible. We need to raise our level of awareness and sensitivity of the sensory preceptors.

We can achieve this by practicing on stilling the mind. When the mind is quiet, the sensory preceptors become more receptive. For example, at the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, music is played for about two minutes every hour. This is referred to as a “traffic stop”. During the two minutes, everyone must stop what he or she is doing and become present in the moment. This reduces the traffic of thoughts in the mind, raises the level of awareness, as well as relaxes and restores the body.


By incorporating this simple and profound technique into our daily routine the amount of stress is reduced. Every hour or two, if we pause for a few minutes we will realize that the mind and body have been recharged, and then we can continue working with more clarity.

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