Meditation & Floatation
Meditation has an abundance of researched benefits and floating is a unique and phenomenal tool for cultivating mental stillness. In the float cabin external stimuli is cut-off such as sight, sound, touch, temperature, and the force of gravity. The less experienced meditator can enter into the theta-state easier allowing them to remain deeply relaxed yet conscious rather than falling asleep and attain a blissful healing experience.
Meditation in the cabin often generates a sensation of being intensely aware and awake, yet deeply tranquil and blissful. Sleep is unconscious meditation. Meditation is conscious sleep. Through sleep we only gain a limited amount of energy necessary for our day to day lives, sometimes feeling burned out and exhausted. Through meditation we gain abundant cosmic energy also known as Chi, Prana, or Life-force. With daily meditation one may increase the energy that flows through their vessell.
What is Meditation?
The spirit of meditation focuses on witnessing, watching, or observing as taught by Osho in “Meditation: The First and Last Freedom.” Meditation is simply to just be – when all activity has ceased bodily and mentally – without action, without thought, without emotion, and you simply are, just being – that is meditation. Although it is called a meditative practice, one is only to understand it because meditation is not an action or practice; it is a way of being. It is to be completely aware of the present moment. Observation is the true nature of ones being, and meditation is observing. Whether one watch’s their breath naturally rise and fall slowly or one watches nature such as rivers, trees, mountains, and animals; the object is not of importance, the quality of observation is. Once the individual has become more experienced at watching and more self-observant, they can remain in this meditative state for as long as they like and whenever they like.
When one has reached a point where one has become more aware of the nature of one’s being and its ability to remain undisturbed, then one may begin to do simple actions such as walking, cleaning, or reading in a meditative manner; keeping aware that their center is not stirred. This is another type of meditation, meditation in action. Meditation is not opposing action, nor does it imply one must escape from life. It merely shows one a life with greater clarity, grater wakefulness, greater intensity, deeper inner joy, deeper serenity, clearer vision, and flourishing creativity. The entire secret of meditation is that the individual becomes the watcher. That alertness and mindfulness must remain totally undisturbed.
Excerpt from: “Meditation: The First and Last Freedom” by Osho:
“The essential core, the spirit of meditation is to learn how to witness. A crow is crowing…you are listening. These are two – object and subject. But can’t you see a witness who is seeing both? – the crow, the listener, and still there is someone who is watching both. It is such a simple phenomenon. You are seeing a tree: you are there, the tree is there, but can’t you find one thing more? – that you are seeing the tree, that there is a witness in you who is seeing you seeing the tree.”
“Watching is Meditation. What you watch is not the point; the object is not the point. The quality of being aware and alert – that’s what meditation is. Remember one thing: meditation means awareness. Whatsoever you do with awareness is meditation. Action is not the question, but the quality that you bring to your action.”
Meditation is a basic transformation that comes out of your totality. It cannot be added to you. It is a flowering that grows out of you like true love. Love is not an addition to the self, but this love must arise and flow from within outwards.
The Benefits of Meditation
There are an abundance of researched benefits meditation offers for the body, mind, and soul. The core benefit of meditation is the abundant creation of Prana (cosmic energy, chi, life-force).The more Prana one receives, the better the overall health, the more joy, inner tranquility, and passion for living and appreciating the gift of life.
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower the level of blood lactate, reduced anxiety
- Decrease tension and headaches
- Decrease pain, , ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint concerns
- Increase serotonin production that improves mood
- Increase strength of immune system and cardiovascular health
- Increase natural energy levels
- Improve breathing and heart rate, while lessening asthma
- Slow down aging and maintain longevity
- Prevent arthritis and fibromyalgia
- Increase wakefulness, mental sharpness, and focus
- Expand consciousness and increase self-awareness
- Increase memory retention and recall
- Increase creativity and cognitive skills
- Increases better problem solving, decision making, and information processing
- Helps to manage ADHD and staying free of distractions
- Reduce fear
- Reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness
- Enhance self-acceptance and increase self esteem
- Improve resilience against adversity
- Increase inner happiness and inner calm
- Develop Intuition
- Promote healing by slowing brainwave patterns
There are five major categories for brain wave activity. Meditation allows us to move from the higher frequency brain waves to the lower frequency, which stimulates different centers in our brain.
(30-100 Hz) Cognitive functioning. Ideal state for retaining information, memory, and active learning. Also experienced during states of “universal love” and altruism.
(13-30 Hz) Alert mind state. Analytical, planning, assessing, categorizing or “working” and “thinking state of mind”. In this state we are able to complete conscious tasks like socializing, critical thinking, and writing. We operate in this state most of the day.
(9-13 Hz) Mind begins to slow down and we feel relaxed, more peaceful, and grounded. Alpha state is experienced during and after yoga, walking in nature, reading, sexual activity, or other relaxing activities for the body and mind.
(4-8 Hz)Sleep and deep meditative state. The brain waves have slowed down and a deeper state of awareness is experienced with greater capacity for intuition and visualization.
(1-3 Hz) Deepest meditation and dreamless sleep state. Experienced meditators such as Tibetan monks can reach this state in an alert, awake phase. The average person experiences this in deep dreamless sleep. Healing and regeneration are experienced in this state hence why deep sleep is so vital in our healing process.
Meditation is the most vital instrument in harnessing the power of the light within. There are countless meditation techniques, it is recommended to experiment with various methods before finding the one or more that suits the individual.
Zen translates into the Japanese word for meditation. Zen is known as the “Meditation School” of Buddhism where the core study is the nature of the self. At the heart of the Zen practice is Zazen meditation. “Zazen” literally means “seated meditation”. Buddha was in a seated position upon his enlightenment at the foot of the Bodhi tree. The seated position has been passed from generation to generation for over 3,000 years and it is the most recognized technique to this day. It extended from India to China, Japan, and other parts of Asia before finally spreading to the West.
In Zazen, the body, breath, and mind emanate together as one reality; not separate from one another. The first step is to pay attention to the position of the body. The ideal positioning of the body for the practice of Zazen is the stable, symmetrical position of the seated Buddha. Meditation while seated on the floor helps one to become grounded. Various leg positions can be applied while sitting cross-legged.
The first and most simple position is the Burmese position in which the legs are crossed, both knees resting on the floor. One ankle is in front of the other, not over. To help your back remain straight, position a small pillow (zafu) under your buttocks so that your body weight is slightly shifted forward.
The second position is the Half Lotus, where one foot is placed on the opposite thigh while the other foot is tucked under your other thigh.
The most stable of all positions is the Full Lotus, where each foot is placed on the opposite thigh.
The third position is Seiza, or kneeling. Kneeling is done with the hips resting on the ankles and using a small pillow in between them if necessary.
The fourth position is the Chair position with your feet flat on the floor.
It is essential that in all positions your back remains straight so the diaphragm can move freely when the breath becomes deeper. Now that you have chosen a way of sitting, fold your hands in the Cosmic Mudra. This is done by placing your dominant hand palms facing up, holding your other hand with palms also facing up. This part is optional.
Meditation may also be done laying down. One may rest on their back with a pillow under their head or none at all. Place the arms to the side and legs rested on the floor with legs not crossed. Begin with a deep breaths while simultaneously being aware of the belly slowly rising and falling like that of a newborn baby. Follow the same breathing instructions for lying down meditation as with seated meditation. Observe natural breathing.
The next step is the focus on breathing; to observe the natural breath. Close your mouth with your tongue lightly pressed on the upper palate completing the micro-cosmic circuit. Begin with deeply and gently inhaling, and slowly exhaling. With every inhalation, watch the breath draw in, with every exhalation, watch it slowly go. There is a deep stillness in between the inhalation and exhalation. Observe the stillness in between the breaths. The mind may have internal dialogue or mental chatter, but the key, is to go back to the breath. If any thought comes, simply watch it pass by, and return to your breath. Focus your attention completely on watching your natural breath rise and fall. To achieve a quiescent mind it is not to stop or suppress the thoughts, but to watch them pass until they run their course and then dissipate. Don’t attempt to inhale and exhale as a doer. Simply witness it. The secret of meditation is watching. There is no action that can contend with the bliss and wisdom accessed through inaction. Return to your breath. Be witness.
The mind is like the surface of a body of water. The wind that blows and ripples the water is like the thought traffic that flows through one’s mind. One cannot vividly see the bottom of the water or the reflection of the sun, moon, and stars when these ripples are present. With persistent and patient regular meditation, one may attain clarity. When the entire body and mind has come to a point of utter stillness, one may clearly see the bottom of the water, as well as the true reflection. With regular meditation, the thought traffic and mental unrest will decrease and your being will remain deeper rooted in its true nature of pure silence and pure emptiness. In meditation one must not attend to setting goals. All one must do is to let go of the mind, be fully present and aware of the breath. Let go of everything else.
One can meditate anytime and anyplace; at home, in nature, or our state of the art float cabins. A calm space is suggested free from the noise and distractions of modern day urban living. Meditation in nature next to flowing water, by the sea, in the mountains, or sitting with the trees can be replenishing and grounding, helping one to deeply connect with Mother Earth. It is recommended to meditate at least twenty minutes on a daily basis to achieve the maximum benefits for one’s health. Healing Waters Float Spa is confident of the profound benefits meditation can offer an individual on all levels; for the body, mind, and soul. Life flows with a greater intensity, greater clarity, greater awareness, and a deeper inner peace and joy.