When I was in London conducting the weekend Free Yourself meditation program, one of the guided meditations I led the group through was a meditation on conscious drinking. So often, in our busy lives, we grab water by the glass or by the bottle, chug it down when we're parched, and dump whatever is left back down the drain. We don't feel connected to our water the way people did in generations past, when water was gathered at a stream or from a well. We don't know the thrill of grateful exhilaration felt by people in dry lands when rains come, or when clean water is discovered. For this reason, the conscious drinking meditation is one of the most important meditations we can do; it awakens our natural gratitude for the hydration we so often take for granted, and it also rekindles our awareness of who we are as a part of all things around us.
The meditation itself is really very simple, and you can do it anywhere, any time. First, get yourself a glass (or bottle, or even a mug- whatever,) of water. Make sure it's pure water, clean and free of pollutants. For a few moments, hold it near to your eyes and look at it closely. Then hold it up to your ear and swish it around in it's glass and listen to the sound it makes. Put it under your nose, and breathe in it's clean scent. Dip your fingers into it, and feel it's cool wetness. Then, holding it gently, close your eyes, and imagine the journey your water has taken to make it into your cup. Picture the ocean, the salt water, the marine life, and imagine waves and storms, and the formation of huge clouds. Imagine how those clouds drift through the sky, eventually pouring out their drops over land. Imaging the formation of lakes, rivers and streams; of underground watersheds and reservoirs. Imagine how the land comes to life at the touch of water. Imagine also the power it has; the force and effect of tsunami waves, and of torrential downpours. Feel the life-giving quality and also the power in the glass you hold, and be filled with gratitude that this water- this clear liquid capable of doing such wondrous things- is in your hands and ready to do something wondrous in your own life: be thankful to the water that is about to refresh you, quench your thirst, hydrate your body. With full awareness of the journey the water has taken, and with full gratitude to Existence for bringing it to you, raise the glass to your mouth, and take a sip. Savour it. Notice that it actually has a flavour- it tastes like purity. Slowly drink the whole glass with full awareness of every sip. When you're finished, remain seated with your eyes closed for a few moments. Remember the ocean, the lakes and rivers, and feel that they are now a part of your own body, and your own body is a part of them. Slowly, when you are ready, open your eyes.
Whenever I've done this meditation in a large group, the energy completely transforms in the room. The dynamic amongst program participants is always elevated and beautiful when I've led classes, but this simple yet profound act of drinking with awareness increases it very powerfully because drinking water is something we all do every day, and nothing we do is ever done in an isolated way. When you bring full awareness to this very common act, and transform it into something spiritually sacred, you divinize every memory and every future act associated with drinking water. You awaken in yourself the gratitude the ancients had for their rains and that people living even now in dry places have for their wells and streams. You literally, physically, connect to everyone in the world around you, with love and joy. I guarantee you, if you take just 10 minutes (or more, if you'd like!) to do this small practice, you'll immediately change your entire day for the better. Try it right now! If you have time to read this blog, you have time to realize the ocean of transformation available through a simple, humble drink of water.
This meditation is included as one of the exercises presented in Step 3 of the Free Yourself book. Each step has multiple exercises to stimulate your awareness and make your life more beautiful. Don't miss out- get a copy here: https://www.createspace.com/4506383
(Photo: taken by Alexandra Harmanas at the Chalice Well, Glastonbury, August 2013)