Water flows over these hands.
May I use them skillfully
to preserve our precious planet.
- Thich Nhat Hahn
Water connects us with the world around us and with our aquatic origins. Perhaps the story of expulsion from the Garden of Eden is a dim memory of human migration from a wetland paradise and watery lifestyle to harsher conditions. In Persian lore, paradise was an enclosed garden containing flowing water and outside lay a burned landscape: water was the divine gift.
'We only have to look at our own bodies to recognize the sacred purpose of water on Mother Earth. We respect and honor our spiritual relationship with the lifeblood of Mother Earth. One does not sell or contaminate their mother’s blood. ...[W]e must recover our sacred relationship with the Spirit of Water.'
From a Council Statement released recently by the Spiritual People of the Earth, of North and South America. You can read the full version and add your signature to it here.
As we enter a new year, with this planet being rocked by climatic chaos that swings from extremes of drought (and consequent fire) to flood or heavy snow, those of us who find a sweet haven in warm-water pools all over the world may have an especially insistent sense of the need to demonstrate our respect for the life-giving element that is water.
The practice of aquatic bodywork is a healing art that provides far-reaching benefits for both givers and receivers, not only physical benefits but also emotional and spiritual support. The often-neglected healer in this is the warm water in which it takes place. Immersed in water and made largely of water ourselves we become one and the same.
If water is being employed as an essential healing agent, it is clearly contradictory to pollute, deplete or damage that water, or surrounding waters, in any way. In addition, using non-renewable energy sources to heat the water is far from ideal. To practice aquatic bodywork we face an environmental challenge that in all good conscience we must not shirk.
In recent years I've found myself increasingly concerned about the risk of 'robbing peter to pay paul' ~ taking something from one source with damaging effect to service another source. In nature, there are life-death cycles that might seem to exemplify this. But humans have exceeded all other living beings in the demands we place on this generous planet.
Our growing numbers have made even 'green' solutions questionable in the long-run. Sufficiency has replaced sustainability as a key theme among the environmentally concerned. In pool construction, water usage, water sanitization and water heating for an aquatic bodywork facility ~ let alone the various equipment needs and supporting services ~ are we truly supporting health?
That is, health for all ~ other living beings as well as humans. There are many resources for exploring these issues now and none of them should be taken at face value regards claims of being eco-friendly. Ask deeper questions, do what you can, and keep looking to do better, when it comes to taking care of water, without which aquatic therapies obviously are not possible!
About this blog
With over 100 blog posts published over the past 5 years and many interesting comments received, I am in the process of consolidating and updating the material to present in another format. A selection of past posts can still be seen under Recent Posts on the website (left-hand column). You will also see a section called Special Series where summaries of the posts related to the topics listed are provided, though for now the 'Read more ...' links are closed.
Thank you for your support; please do not hesitate to comment on what you see or email me directly.
PS I noticed that two old posts were sent out yesterday from this blog (both from late 2012). I am not sure why that occurred but I hope you found them interesting.