Throughout every day, we have the opportunity for mindfulness and meditation. Often, the best of these opportunities hide within the most mundane tasks. Most likely, many of us have showered (or at least bathed in some regard) in our lifetime, and even more likely, most of us do it regularly. As such a common task, showering provides us a time to experience this hygienic chore in a new light. Through mindfulness, we can not only bring body positivity into our day, but also connect with the element of water.
When we perform regular tasks like taking a shower or bath, we often fall into an autopilot state. Can you clearly remember your latest shower? What about the last time you brushed your teeth? If someone asked you to describe the experience in detail, would you be able to? Although I doubt anyone will ask us these questions in our day, you should be able to recount your experiences to yourself. If you can’t, this is probably a sign that you weren’t present during the task.
This apathy and detachment from the present moment is something that does not serve our spiritual practice, as it disconnects us from the very experience of living. Yet, it is beyond common in today’s society. We’re efficient, productive, and—through this—often neglectful of important self-care acts and sensory experiences. Showers might not be the most enticing part of our lives, but they can be a wonderful experience of bodily care and sensory engagement. But, to have this sort of shower, we have to bring our attention fully to the act.
Sustainability, in all regards in life, is something I am a strong advocate for. With this shower meditation, we build an opportunity for repeated spiritual awareness in our regular cleansing routine. With this new awareness, our connection to water as a limited resource grows. Instead of zoning out and using 80+ gallons of water, we can become more conscious of the shower as a whole and feel more relaxed even with less time spent bathing.
This mindfulness exercise, practiced while showering, is something that cleans and soothes your body, as well as your spirit and energy. It takes no extra time out of your day, since you just add an additional awareness to an act you already plan to complete.
How to Make your Shower a Spiritual Experience:
- Make sure to find a time where you don’t have to rush your shower. Although you may end up taking less time as a result of this exercise, you might also move slower and with more care and expand the time you shower or bathe. You want to give yourself ample time to relax into this experience.
- After undressing, pay a quick moment’s attention to your body, perhaps the slightly sticky post-sleep sweaty feeling, a mild aroma before you shower, grime from the day, or whatever else your body offers. Reflect on why you are choosing to wash yourself right now. Close your eyes and sense these, then thank your body for its natural processes.
- Before starting the shower, reflect on the source of water and how the element reaches your bathroom. Visualize its path from your local lake/reservoir, imagine it flowing into city pipes, up into your shower’s pipes and out of the shower-head.
- After you start your shower and climb in, focus on your body and how it reacts to temperature. Then, as you begin to wash, pay extra attention to the sensation of soap and water on your skin.
- Use your hands to wash yourself, rather than a cloth. It’s more intimate and forms a deeper connection between your mind and body.
- Move slowly as you wash, giving each part of your body much-deserved attention and gratitude.
- If you have a spot on your body that you are not happy with, whatever that means to you, pay extra attention to it and thank your body as you wash it for containing this individual trait. Recognize your uniqueness and the power in your human form to be completely different than any other being on this planet.
- Regard yourself as a spiritual being washing your human body that hosts you. We are all, ultimately, consciousness incarnated.
- Don’t worry too much about how aware you remain throughout the entire shower. Just keep returning to sensation and a state of presence when you get distracted by mental activity.
- Water is naturally cleansing, so allow this effect to grip you. If it aids you to visualize the water from the shower-head as a stream of bright white healing light, add this to the exercise.
- Know that water can and will wash away pains, stress, and clean you on a spiritual and a physical level. It’s a much more passive version of an intentional Pranayama meditation.
- After you shut off the water, before grabbing your towel, bring your awareness to the sensation of water on your body as it drips off and cools you down through evaporation. Once again, bring thanks to the water the earth supplied you.
- As you dry off, similarly pay attention like you did while washing yourself. How does the towel feel different? How does your body itself feel different after the shower? What about your mind and emotional self?
You can easily adapt this for a bath, just by changing your visualization of the water source a little differently. With a bath, you can imagine the water, when the tub is full, glowing a with a bright and healing white light that comforts and sustains you as you bathe. It’s almost as if you get to bathe in this light itself!
To expand this exercise, you can journal about the experience after. Revisit through words how the sensations of cleaning yourself were and how the experienced changed your day or night afterwards. How does this compare to your regular showering practice?
And finally, some notes on water:
Water is a complex element, but in brief, it is the foundation of our “yin” energy—the flow of our spirit. In regards to chakras, water connects to the sacral. Like all elements, it also connects with one of the senses. Water inspires our sense of taste, so for people who really connect with this exercise or water in general, working with nutritional healing may be very beneficial.
Water itself is an incredible cleanser. It is powerful enough to carve the grand canyon, and sweet enough to course over your skin with every shower and leave absolutely no harm. The quality of the water we drink informs our health, as we are made of around 70% (or more) water. When water is spiritually applied, it can be used to cleanse chakras, crystals, or mixed with essential oils to create mists.
I resonate well with the element of water, so I’ve focused a lot of my personal healing on nutritional work and chakra cleansing. I’d love to help you also build a water-based spiritual practice, if this suits you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you wish to work with me. I also offer more in-depth discussions about subtle energy and the element of water in my eBook.
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