During a call that I had with Errol Campbell, he said that he hadn’t been able to use the sauna the day before due to a minor problem at the hotel nearby. He went on to say that he meditates when he uses the sauna.
I thought that this was different, with it being something that I hadn’t thought about doing before. The reason he mediated in a sauna was that the heat would keep his mind busy, thereby allowing him to connect to himself.
A little while before this I was in Stockholm, Sweden, and my friend Peter had a portable sauna that he used. He didn’t mediate while he was using it, but he had done a lot of mediation it he past.
When he lived on at monastery, he said that he used to mediate for a number of hours every day. This allowed him to develop a strong connection to the universe, yet he gradually lost his sense of self in the process.
I had meditated when I first got on the path around fifteen years ago; this was a time when I was reading books about Buddhism and Jewish mysticism. After this, about two years ago, I started mediating whilst listening to S.N.Goenka.
I found that listening to him helped to keep my mind focused; the trouble was that some of the stuff he came out with made me laugh. As a result of this, I would often lose concentration.
The Signs Were There
Through hearing Errol and Peter talk about mediation, it was as though I was being encouraged to get back into it myself. I ending thinking that it would be a good idea to see what it would be like to mediate in a sauna.
In the beginning I had music on, but I soon realised that I couldn’t concentrate with it on and turned it off. Once it was it off I was able to focus on my breathing and my thoughts started to settle down shortly after.
It wasn’t until after I got out of the sauna and got back home that I realised how effective it had been. My mind was no longer as calm; it was filled with thoughts and ideas about different things.
Through having very little going on in my mind, it had allowed me to see how busy my mind usually was. What was going on in my mind was just a combination of what I had been through and what I knew - there was nothing new.
I started to think about how important it was to get out of my mind and to connect to my body. It was clear that mediating would allow me to relax and to develop a stronger connection to myself.
So, if you are able to use a sauna, I would definitely recommend that you see what it is like to mediate in one. And, if this is not an option, you can still mediate without being in one.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
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