Home » Blogs » 360 Degrees of Mindful Living » The Touch of Reality

The Touch of Reality

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.

The Touch of Reality

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is and his practice website is

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Somov, P. (2013). The Touch of Reality. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 5 Aug 2013
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.