Wednesday, 27 June 2012


The below message from Daily Om brought back a very visceral memory of an experience I had off the shore of Anna Maria Island, Florida and goes down as one of the most pleasant water experiences of my life.  I am not the most confident swimmer so any zen experience in water would be memorable.

On this particular day, the Florida sun beat down hot, but not skin blistering.  For some reason the surf was virtually still so I eased into the water waist deep feeling as if I had landed in nature's hot tub.  I eased onto my back, arms outstretched to my side, floating like a crucified corpse.  The warmth and salt of the water enveloped me and at once I felt as if I was being embraced and gently rocked by the entire Earth.  There was an acute awareness of how the salt was rendering my floating effortless.  My ears were submerged; the muffled swoosh swoosh was my lullaby.  The typical wave-slaps that cause me to sputter and spew never arrived and it felt as though I could stay in that space forever.  I chose to make it a meditative moment, regulating my breathing--my own body-sound contributing to the muffled orchestra--visualizing and appreciating the ocean-caress.  That day I found it hard to leave the water realizing that I might never find her arms so warm and protective and supportive again in my lifetime.
(of course, later, the human brain kicked in and I wondered how many poor souls had been lulled out too far and lost after being hypnotized by such a calm sea vixen; more confident water lovers would have found it very difficult to leave. hence the need to keep meditating, to press the erase button on my fear-based thinking)

Water is life and meditating with water can create a profound experience.

Our bodies are over fifty percent water, so it makes sense that human beings have always considered water to be a sacred source of life and healing. It is literally half of who we are, and well over half of the earth‚s surface is water. Water cleanses and hydrates, contains and produces nourishment, and when we enter it, holds us in an embrace that leaves no part of us untouched. Meditating with water can be a powerful way of aligning ourselves more fully with this support system that makes life both possible and pleasurable on so many levels.

We may wish to conduct our meditation while in physical contact with a body of water, whether in the intimacy of our bathtub or the vast container of an ocean. We might float on our backs in a swimming pool or sit with just our feet submerged in a pond or creek. On the other hand, we may simply close our eyes and choose a location based on our imagination. Whatever we choose, we can begin by closing our eyes and listening to our breathing. At the same time, we tune in to the particular music of the water we have chosen˜the loud rushing of a river or waterfall, or the surreal silence of the world beneath the surface of the ocean. We might consider how the type of water we choose reflects what we seek˜the peace beneath the hectic surface of life, the cleansing power of a river racing through a canyon, or the mood lifting, melodic bubbling of a lively creek.

As we move between awareness of our breath and awareness of the water in which we find ourselves, we can begin to release the things we no longer need into the rushing river, or release ourselves completely into the water‚s embrace as we float, in our minds, in the watery womb of an ocean or a lake. When you feel you are ready to return to more solid ground, ease your body back onto earth, in your mind or in reality, and lie flat on your back, allowing the water to bead and roll off your skin, soaking the earth and evaporating into the air, leaving you cleansed, healed, and renewed.

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