I’m sure you’ve read all of the news articles on how good meditation is for you. You may even have tried to do it but gave up. A common pitfall is you can’t “meditate” because you “can’t stop thinking”.
But, really, not thinking is not what hot tub meditation is all about. The point of meditation is to bring you to clarity so you know you are in fact thinking, or planning or being depressed or hungry or angry or happy.
The point is to become mindful not mindless. Most mental activity distracts you from knowing what’s actually going on around you. We’re so often lost in thought or worry, absorbed in the past or future, running our “tapes” over and over.
Meditation slices through the fog and brings you right back home to where you actually are in the here and now. It’s not woo-woo, not esoteric or exotic. It’s brain training. It’s being present or “in the now.”
EASY BEGINNER’S MEDITATION FOR THE HOT TUB
HOW TO SIT. Sitting upright comfortably in the hot tub, scan your body to check that you’re relaxed: your eyes, jaw, shoulders, belly, hands, and legs. Sit and know that you are sitting.
HOW TO BREATHE. Be aware of your breath moving in and out of your nose. Think “out” when you feel the fall of the exhalation, “in” when you feel the rise or pressure or stretching of the inhalations.
CATCH YOUR MIND WANDERING. When your mind wanders-and it will-acknowledge that you’ve lost contact with your breath, and watch the next inhalation roll in.
CATCH MOMENTS OF AWARENESS. The most important thing to realize is that every moment you notice you’ve wandered off is a moment of being aware, of clarity. That’s what you’re going for. What does it feel like? Within nanoseconds you’ll be thinking again, and becoming aware that you’re thinking, and starting again.
NOTICE THE PRESENT. Practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the more you’ll have the experience of that pause when your mind is actually clear and present.
You can do this anytime, for any length of time (although best not to exceed 20 minutes at 102° when in the hot tub meditating).
Try it for a minute. Try it for ten. Play close attention to a single in-breath, a single out-breath. Every experience of awareness makes the next more likely and refreshes your awareness like nothing else. This enrichment to your life, this deep feeling of calm has to be experienced to be believed. And, it’s even better in the hot tub.
SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for Health through Water.