Humans are sensory driven beings. We all have favorite foods, favorite music, favorite perfumes and colognes, favorite colors, preferences for certain fabrics on the skin and ideal environmental temperatures, and we enjoy watching sunsets, sports, TV, fireworks and so much more. The places that we occupy in space and time, stimulate all our sensory modalities. This catalogue of sensory information defines various places and drives how memorable those places are to us. The locations that fill us with confidence, relax our bodies and minds, and boost our happiness are places we tend to want to revisit in the physical world and in our imaginations.
Certain places in space and time present us with a gestalt that we sense and process with our minds, but which also connects directly to our hearts and souls and those of others and the Universe. If we choose to do so, we can broaden the scope of our attention and come to appreciate all aspects of a place in space and time, along with the whole. (I put time on an equal footing with space because the places we move through are always changing, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by mouth, and year by year, over the course of our lifetimes. Sometimes the change is cyclic, with a place coming back to a nearly identical state during or after a day or week or year.) Occasionally we experience a place that is unique to one particular time. These transient experiences often produce the most cherished memories because of where we must relive those experiences, in our minds only.
One need not travel extensively to discover places that grasp one’s heart and sear themselves into the mind. I find that, many times, it is the places that require no plane tickets, no passport, no visa to access, that are most special to me. And if I do encounter a place in time that I am unable, or unlikely, to visit again in the physical world, I know I can always go there in my mind and use it as a meditation focal point.
I include a blog section to capture my favorite places because doing so motivates and empowers me to be mindfully present, actively focus on and better integrate these places into my memories, and share my experiences and encourage others to be more aware of places that touch their own souls. I think that we are so rushed and distracted in our modern world that we have to make a special effort to, at least occasionally, widen our point of view to take in and parse these sensory gestalts. Also, the places that we inhabit, and the ones we pass through briefly, define who we are and how we interface with the world and others. The places that touch us most deeply, enrich our lives and, if we pause to take them in, can place us in touch with the heart of the Universe and, ultimately, our true selves.