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Simply put, water meditation is any meditation technique that focuses on water. It does not need to involve physical water but might involve visualizing water instead. Many types of water meditation exist, and the majority share the same goals: to clear the mind, to achieve relaxation and to cultivate feelings of peacefulness and tranquility.
Most widely practiced forms do not involve actual water. Common forms involve visualizing water, usually while lying in a comfortable position in a quiet room free from distractions. The practitioner might imagine that he or she is floating in a vast expanse of soothing water or that cool water is flowing over his or her body and cleansing him or her of impurities. Along with this visual, the meditator might imagine the pleasant sensations of water flowing over his or her body. By visualizing in this manner, the mind becomes freer of scattered thoughts, and a deep feeling of relaxation can be achieved.
Meditators also have the option of integrating sounds when doing meditation. Including sound can be as simple as playing a water meditation recording. Many recordings of water that were specifically designed for meditation are available. One can choose from ocean waves, rivers, rain and other water sounds. Going outside and meditating next to a waterfall or sitting by a Zen water fountain or garden installation are other ways to bring the experience of sound to meditation.
Some types of water meditation actually involve water. Practitioners might float on their backs in bathtubs, lakes or pools or might perform slow movements in water. Some health spas and resorts offer guided water meditations.
Water meditation tends to be one of the most approachable types of meditation for beginners because water is universal. All people need it to live, regardless of their religious beliefs, gender or nationalities. Across cultures, water plays an important role, and it often forms an integral part of spiritual practices. Additionally, because water forms a large percentage of the human body, some meditators aim to understand their own bodies better through the practice of water meditation.
The benefits of water meditation overlap with the benefits of many other meditation techniques. Doing meditation has been shown to alleviate stress, mild depression and anxiety. Many people who meditate also report improved mental focus and general feelings of well-being. In moving water meditations, aerobic benefits also can be obtained. If one hikes to a peaceful meditation location such as a waterfall, a potential side benefit is the exercise achieved while reaching the destination.
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