Meditation is like learning to swim.

The girl smiles, swimming under water in the poolEveryone can swim. We are internally designed to take to the water and do well when swimming. Those who worry about it are fraught with the challenges in their mind, for example: those who want their body wet but not their hair. Yet those who enter the water and don’t judge the experience, feel soothed, caressed, as well as freedom of it go back for more. Meditation is like this.

Experiencing more of what our awareness can experience or consciousness lives is like going in the water. Mindfulness when compared to un-mindfulness is like swimming compared to being on land and dry. At first, getting wet or feeling the waves ripple against our legs might stop us temporarily. But then most people get used to it, like it, and want more.

Water can feel scary to some and thrilling to others like the initial experiences within meditation: when time shifts, or the mind stills enough to be momentarily quiet, or the Inner Self seems the only one home. These experiences can feel really different at first, even as a strange experience. That is because of their initial rarity in a way similar to our first times swimming.

Learning to float in the water is like learning shamatha-peaceful abiding. Learning to dive is like vipassyana-insight. Having fun doing cannon balls is like experiencing the surprises inside our awareness that we discover through peaceful abiding or insight. Overall mindfulness and living awareness are the lifelong results of a meditation practice similar to longevity, physical strength and poise that result from the practice of swimming.

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