According to Wikipedia, “meditation is a practice in which an individual trains his or her mind or induces a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit.
Meditation is generally an inwardly oriented, personal practice, which individuals do by themselves.
Meditation may involve invoking or cultivating a feeling or internal state, such as compassion, or attending to a specific focal point. The term can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state.”
I am a Pisces, born on the last day before water becomes fire. So it is no surprise that one of my favorite ways to meditate is to float.
Several weeks ago when I began a daily pool practice, I was so emotional, feeling like I had failed because it was officially summer in Phoenix, and I was still here. I was so stressed that, I hesitated before inching my way into the water and, when I tried to float, I couldn’t relax enough to even rest my head on the water.
Now, four weeks later I have eased into a regular routine of water time.
I dog paddle from the steps to the deep end, then bicycle peddle back, focusing on a different part of my body with each lap, moving, stretching, propelling myself across the coolness.
Laddy lifeguards from the pool deck, following me up and down the length of the pool. I plunge and splash across the shorter width of the pool and he runs from side to side, barking.
Mabel follows him with her green squeaker toy in her mouth, then drops it so I can toss it in the water. She rushes to the loveseat, steps in and swims to retrieve it, then takes the long way across the pool to come out on the steps where Laddy is usually waiting.
When Marika joins me, we move through the water side by side, chatting about the day, the dogs, how the birds love her homemade seed wreath. Sometimes we play knock and run, swimming up to the three foot, made in China lighthouse with the revolving solar light that stands on the edge of the pool where the diving board used to be. One of us knocks on the door of the lighthouse, then we quick-swim away, laughing every time.
And at the end of my aerobic time I slow my movements, keeping my shoulders under the water line so that I make no waves, no sounds. I move into stillness, standing in the deep end, suspended, focusing only on my breath. When I inhale, my whole body rises, as if levitating out of the water. When I exhale, all of me sinks into the water, up to my mouth until I breathe again, rising.
Eventually I move onto my back and float, my body loose and sure, leaning into the water beneath me. I feel every molecule of the water holding me, supporting me. I wiggle my fingers and snow angel my arms through the water until I can no longer feel where my skin ends and the water begins.
My ears are underwater and I hear myself breathing, slow and deep. The more air I take in, the higher my body rises. As I exhale, the water covers my belly and my chest. I allow my whole face to submerge, leaving only my nostrils exposed. And just when I think the water will fill my nose, I breathe deep, lifting, rising, floating.
How do you relax? Meditate? When do you feel held by a power larger than yourself? Please share on the blog by clicking here.