Welcome back to Deep Submersion. You can call me David. Find yourself an environment where you can shut out all distractions. A quiet, solitary space where no one will intrude. I recommend finding a space devoid of technology. During this week’s meditation, we’ll go through a series of visualizations to achieve peak submersion. Try to stay seated during this meditation.
Let yourself relax. Feel the weight of your body against the chair or cushion. Now, close your eyes. In a moment, let’s count down five breaths. When you inhale, let your mind say “In.” When you exhale, let your mind say “Out.” Follow each breath from the tip of your nose, deep into your chest and back out again.
Two. Notice how these breaths come and go on their own. Outside of your control, the sensation of breathing merely appears in your consciousness. Take a moment to be aware of this.
If you find yourself drifting into thought, gently redirect your attention to the breath. Do not try to control the breath; just observe its appearance in the field that is your consciousness. Everything appears here, even pain. They come and go without your choosing.
In your mind’s eye, picture a short staircase, five stairs deep. You stand at its peak, looking down. This image appears in the same plane as your visual field: the thing that you call your mind. As your body takes the first step, a shiver of total relaxation begins to cascades from the top of your head down into your toes.
As your foot touches the second step, blissful serenity fills you. Give up all efforts to control thoughts as they come and go.
You take your third step, slipping deeper into relaxation. This is OK.
Feel free to relax even further. There’s no need to worry about what step you’re on. Your foot presses against the next step, feeling even more unwound.
At the bottom of the staircase is a beach. It is simple and bare. Widen your perception and take in the entire view. The clean, alabaster sand slopes gently into the deep, emerald ocean that lies before you. You can smell a sharp tang that reaches the back of your throat, the sweet sulfur cleansing your body. The wet, pliable sand oozes through your bare feet. It is fine, and your feet begin to feel soft while enveloped in the crisp beach. Little flecks of sea foam freckle your face, landing mildly and evaporating, leaving your face cooled and refreshed. The sky is a flat gray grey wash, speckled by seagulls and wisped by the wind. What feelings does this environment bring about in your consciousness?
Let these emotions come and go. Pain appears in the same space as love in the place that you call your consciousness. Take a moment to narrow your attention on the feeling of looking out at the vast emerald ocean.
If you find yourself drifting into thought, be gentle with yourself. Forgive this transgression and calmly refocus on the sensation of the beach.
Take a deep breath in, following the breath from your nose down into your belly. In.
Out. Return to the ocean.
Take a deep breath in and hold it there. Feel the chilled water rush past your ankles and recede again, taking with it all heated anger, grief, sadness, tension, revolutionary tendencies, pain, tingling, burning, pulsing, heaving, convulsing, choking, your feet sink deeper into the sand, the water flows out once again, taking with it your desire to breathe, the pain of loss, the lapse of death…
The ocean water feels revitalizing against your knees. The water is dark, and you can feel it softly rock you back and forth, back and forth. Think about the sensations surrounding your feet. What can you feel? The chill of the water? A slippery seaweed, perhaps? What about your feet can you sense, other than their outline in the sand? Do they exist any more than the impressions they leave behind? Your feet don’t exist. Perceive the refreshing water. Do you see your legs? The water appears in your consciousness just as your legs did. Notice how things appear and disappear in what you call your consciousness without any effort or strain. Most things appear and disappear in this manner, including your own thoughts. Where do your thoughts go after you’ve thought them?
The Ocean. Bring your attention to the ocean. As the waves swell, inhale and widen your mind’s eye. As they wane, exhale and give up all efforts to control the thoughts in your consciousness.
Your breath appears and disappears on its own. Do not force it.
Try to feel the inside of each of your thighs, beneath the skin where the bone lies. Despite your clear, unobstructed focus, you may find that no sensation arises. Feel instead the border of your thighs and the flow of the cool, cleansing water around them. The form and ownership of your thighs exists only in consciousness. There is no bone. No sinew. Only a cloud of sensation, of water, surrounding what you call your thighs. Let these thoughts wash away, and return to the breath. Sway in the Ocean.
Give up all efforts.
Notice any discomfort in your body. There’s no need to dispel these sensations. Simply observe them, let them wash over you.
Bob in the ocean as you breathe. The ocean swells and wanes leisurely in the same space as your breath. You can feel the water lap against your sides as your torso drifts atop the calming waves. It’s colder than you remember. Notice how this appears on its own. We will disappear in the same manner.
Direct your attention to the labor labour of breathing. It no longer appears on its own. If you stop focusing on your breathing, you will cease to breathe.
Water teases the edges of your mouth and nose. Where are your arms?
You may want to move your fingers. Does that desire impact the crashing waves whatsoever?
Remember the time you cried on your birthday? After you hid away in your room, the carnal need to inhale punctuated your exhalations far too soon, and the whole world disappeared. Feel free to breathe like this. If it feels right, weep.
Don’t lose focus on your breathing, this is important. Keep pushing and pulling. Pull the cooling water in, push the heated, spoiled air out. If you find yourself distracted by thought, immediately refocus. It is imperative that you feel this tension and take every single breath that you can. You feel the sting of salt beneath your eyelids. The cold waves toss your head around, carrying it further and further from shore. When was the last time you saw the land? When was the last time your mother baked you the chocolate cake that you ate every birthday? When was the last time the sand oozed through your toes? Was that the same you?
Now. When you open your eyes you will try to move, but your body will no longer be yours. They were never a part of the thing you call your mind.
Open your eyes. You have no head. Arms and legs extend to connect to a body, and that body simply ends at the void from which you peer.
We have your head.