Widening our range of experiences

If we long to live a richer, fuller life, we may tent to romanticize this idea in all kind of self-manipulating ways. If we feel frustrated for not manifesting such a life, we may blame others, or life circumstances for the inability to reach our idealistic lifestyle. And in fact, we may never really confront the actual meaning of such an inspiration.

Many times, we prefer to leave a fantasy untouched, a distant rainbow in the horizon, never to be reached. In that way, we forever long for it, not really knowing what it is and not actually putting any effort to achieve it, or to come closer to it.

Scared to be disappointed and preferring the mirage to the reality, we can unconsciously choose to keep our live unsatisfactory, then to dare rock the boat.

If we do dare to step into the unknown, we may be disappointed, we may find something completely different then we would have expected. Life is endless change, and change is unexpected in its very nature. And certainly, in the land of the unknown, there are no guaranties.

Longing for more

Beyond just boredom or hunger for more, we may have a real and deep wish, a true need, a calling or longing, to see more, to feel more, to live more, to explore and embody a wider range of experiences. This may sound not only interesting but even fascinating.

Yet, perhaps before idealizing this thought, we should honestly question – what would this actually mean?

Developing, expanding: the good and the ugly

When developing our sensitivity, developing any of our senses, we learn to feel more, to understand and identify subtleties, to investigate and expand our vocabulary of tastes, smells, sounds, sights and textures.

This means we really do live more, sense more. We become aware of nuances, of more delicate shades and elements. This inevitably deepens our experience.

For instance, if I develop my sensitivity towards coffee and learn the nuances that go into making a truly good cup of espresso. I may dive into the wide knowledge regarding growing coffee plant, the soil, the climates, the types of beans. The picking process of the coffee beans, drying the raw beans and roasting, and of course the grinding. Furthermore, I can proceed and study the importance of ratios with relation to water, coffee amount, pressure of compression applied on the coffee grounds, and the factor of time it takes. Investigating into all these many variables, and the way they work and effect each other is a wide world of knowledge and flavors. These all, will develop not only my intellectual understanding of coffee, but my actual drinking experience.

Not all sensitivity we gain is a positive experience

The more I learn, the more time and energy I dedicate to developing my knowledge and refining my palate, the more profound my overall act of drinking an espresso will be. The new levels of depth will add so much to my experience of an espresso, undoubtedly, taking my involvement in drinking coffee to a whole different level.

However, this new range of understanding and subtle experiences may not only be positive and glimmer, as I may expect it to be. It may not only make me a coffee “snob”, but furthermore it may ruin my ability to drink many ordinary cups of coffees. I may no longer be able to enjoy a simple experience of an average cup of coffee, which once I could savor.

A wide pallet of feelings

When we expand the pallet of our experiences, in fact, even before that – When we just imagine the possibility of expanding our pallet, we somehow imagine that the expansion would be only in a positive, desirable and enjoyable direction. Yet any pallet – pallet of feeling, of tastes, of sounds, of smells, of colors, etc., can lead us to a variety of experiences that we may not have previously foreseen or wanted.

If we can widen our sound spectrum, our range of smells or our color range, our experience in life would be much greater. However, the expansion of our senses, of our experiences and even our range of feelings, expand in a vast way, into many different direction.

If we could smell more, it would not only be sweet lovely fragrances that we would notice, but reeking smells as well. We would pick up much subtler stinks, and notices the most gentles stench. If we could hear more, how much more annoying would traffic noise be, our neighbors playing music late at night or a faraway dog barking. Feeling more, would in truth mean not only greater joys and pleasures, but deeper sadness, grief, stronger pain and wider confusion.

The price for more

Having more variety of life experiences comes with a price. Having a great love sounds most desirable, yet in reality, a great love comes with the risk of much greater despair and lost. The price for anything Great, is always Great. In all honesty, we may find ourselves willing to settle for the mediocre to save ourselves from a vast range of undesired strong emotions.

Traveling, changing our point of view, our surroundings, stepping out of our comfort zone, onto uncharted territory are all enriching experiences, they make our lives bigger, they make our exists so much more. Yet, we must not forget that there is always a price for that.

(c) 2010 Meditative Art School, Mochita Har-Lev      Web Development: galordesign.com