The sensations are neutral. Warm or cool, rough or soft, spicy or sweet, a hum or a roar, the senses directly register a phenomenon or set of phenomena but the senses, themselves, have no commentary, preference, aversion, joy or pain. The senses simply -and thus powerfully- experience what each sense is designed to sense.
To an artist or interior decorator, colors are used for their emotional or mental effect on people. But any effect is not due to the five physical senses. It arises from the repetition of cause-condition-result over long periods of time (sometimes eons of evolution). For example, taupe is considered to have a calming effect on people’s emotions, thus it is often used in the decor of potentially stressful environments like hospitals. Certain warm greens can have an uplifting effect on mood, thus are used in dentist offices where people often come in with fear forefront. Yet, the eye nor the visual sensation of registering color are the causative agent for mood improvement or calming. It is that these colors are earth tones which humans -being born of this planet and have been evolving with the natural world with its colors and sounds since our evolution began- are habituated to and experience as being harmonious. Another example is sound machines that make the sounds of gentle rain or ocean waves. The sound is not of jack hammers or combustion engines. Rain and waves are of Nature, the others are not.
The senses register sound, scent, sights, textures and tastes but the senses do not categorize them, evaluate them, or even respond to them. The senses simply register them. There is no mental or emotional process involved in them doing their job. The senses are completely impartial. Awareness is impartial too. Awareness is simply aware; which is why and how Awareness can be really intense. An example of this is someone who is “sensitive” as in empathetic.
The senses remain our meditative method because they are direct, impartial, and always on. Presence is experienced as a set of sensations, groundedness or centeredness, too. Being distracted or worried or excited or hurried have sets of sensations associated which is why the complex experience is labeled worried or excited, etc.