It's been a roller coaster of a ride for two weeks, to say the least. You could say it was quite timely that the start of our group coincided with such a tumultuous and historic series of events. We need to put our creativity to work quickly!

Amid such turbulence, it is not easy to focus our senses. But it won't hurt to try. Shall we play a game?

Last week when I was sick, I prepared a traditional Chinese drink said to be good for sore throat. I peeled strips of orange rind (just the zest, no white pith) from one orange, simmered them in water for 15 minutes, added honey and squeezed juice. As I sat with the warm cup in my hands, I felt that a special space was carved out of the busy and uncertain world around me. The smell of orange enveloped me like a protective shield. For that moment, my senses were back!

I let the warm liquid roll from tip of my tongue slowly down my throat. The first taste I noticed was bitterness, from the little amount of the pith I left on the rind. I wanted to pinpoint the area of my tongue where the bitterness was detected. It was surprisingly easy—not at the tip, not in the middle, but toward the back and only on the right side. I was amused by this detective work, so I then focused on the smell. I wanted to try translating the smell of orange into words, beyond "smells like an orange."

But when I buried my nose in the cup, strangely enough, the smell of honey was much stronger. And it was definitely that of flowers—heavy, a little over the peak, just before starting to discolor. I could almost feel that smell, like oil, coating my inner nostrils. And no matter how hard I tried, I could not capture the smell of orange. It was all around me but not inside my nose chambers.

So, this is this weekend's game. Wait until the time is right. Prepare yourself your favorite drink, sit down, and enjoy it like it's the first nourishment you've had in weeks (may be it is). If you can carve out that space, the purpose of this game is already accomplished. But do continue with the experiment. See how keenly you can focus on all the sensations.

When you're ready, come back to this page and share your discoveries. (Let's try posting them in a discussion thread in order to encourage a free flowing dialogue.)

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