Draw a warm bath to experience this unique meditation, which emulates an ancient form of hydrotherapy.
Water healing is an ancient modality, one that has been utilized across time and culture since the beginning of recorded human history. Bodies of water have a long history of symbolizing sacred space for transcendence and altered states of consciousness. Ritualistic immersions have been conducted in this medium across time in every culture, around the globe.
As a healing agent, water allows for a complete mergence with the element itself. Since our bodies are made of approximately 70 percent water, we adapt to this immersion with ease. This process of mergence, while seemingly obvious, is absolutely fundamental in our understanding of basic principles of healing, and how that process unfolds.
Healing is the process of the restoration of balance within a system of interconnected elements. Water as a dynamic substance is an elemental manifestation of balance and versatility. Therefore, as we submerge inside of this space, our bodies and nervous system are able to calibrate to this prima materia. In other words, we attune our senses and system to their most natural state.
How to "Sēfari" at Home
In 2015, I founded Sēfari, a private water wellness practice exploring the healing powers of this element, and how it makes us happier and healthier human beings.
I define sēfari as a practice of going on a journey inside one's self, inside of a water environment — an adventure into our depths, so to speak. Drawing inspiration from the Arabic word “safar” meaning to journey, I crafted the word sēfari to pay homage to specific muses in my life: the world of the wild seas and the essence of true adventure.
Prior to COVID-19, my healing sessions were facilitated floating on a paddleboard, in the open ocean. At present, I have been sharing the wisdom of water, from the confinement of my very own bath tub. Guiding water meditation journeys via Zoom could not have been further from what I considered to be feasible, and even relevant as a tool for connection. And, as she frequently does, water humbled me —helping me realize that all bodies of water hold transformative power, not just the raw intensity of the oceans.
Here's how to conduct your own cathartic experience, from the comfort of your bath tub.
1 Set the space
All sēfaris begin with how we choose to set up our unique space. Environment shapes our experience, so the more intention we devote to the consideration of the senses, the better. In my practice, I like to include many elements — a candle, a stone from the ocean, a Japanese botanical oil, fresh flowers and a cold glass of sparkling water.
2 Attune the temperature
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this step! No one wants to roast like a lobster in the tub — it's not a good look. In order to attain the deepest levels of relaxation, I draw a bath that is hot, but not scalding. The hotter the water, the more intense our heartbeat, too — which will come in handy for step number four.
3 Sink in
As you enter the water, imagine slowing down time — almost as if you are slipping into a liminal space where time ceases to exist. We begin to receive intuition and sensory experience, as we slow down to the speed of nature and elemental wisdom.
4 Notice your heartbeat
Our heart is the core of our being, the drum that beats our unique rhythm and harmony. In water, sound travels differently, so we are able to listen and hear the subtle sounds that typically allude our attention. Connect with your pulse, breathe deeply into the space at your center and open to its wisdom.
5 Soak in the sounds
I love to explore different types of meditation experiences from the solitude of my bath. When I am not guiding these journeys for clients, I am listening to this epic fusion of an Alan Watts lecture and contemporary sounds that stimulate higher brain function.