The Touch of Reality

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natureObservations from meditation (something I understood a while back but it hasn’t occurred to me to write it down until “now”):

1. Sensation: direct (immediate) contact with reality

2. Emotion: buffered (mediated) contact with reality

3. Cognition: twice-buffered (twice-mediated) contact with reality

What I mean (without getting too abstract) is this: to stay in touch with reality, notice the here-and-now sensation of what’s going on for you (e.g. when you are eating or walking or breathing); sensation tells you about what is happening now; thoughts and feelings are out of touch with what actually is; thoughts and feelings are either phase-delayed (running behind reality (e.g. when you ruminate)) or phase-advanced (running ahead of reality (e.g. when you worry)); only through sensation can you really be in touch with what’s going on right “now”*.

Enough writing.  Enough reading.  Time to reconnect with the touch of reality!

*”now” is not really now; even sensation is slightly behind reality, slightly phase-delayed (but sensation is as close as we get to being in touch with here-and-now “reality” of any given moment).

Woman by a stream image available from Shutterstock.



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    Last reviewed: 5 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Somov, P. (2013). The Touch of Reality. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2015, from


Select books by Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.:
Mindful Emotional Eating Reinventing the Meal
Present Perfect
Eating the Moment

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