What comes to mind when you think of water? Cooling, calming, cleansing, refreshing. Sweet, peaceful, beautiful, still. Blue, green, golden, white. Undulating, flowing, frightening, destructive. Stagnant, polluted, frothy, sour. Hot, relaxing, soothing, healing… Water is life’s “mater and matrix, mother and medium”. Water’s true nature is predictably unpredictable, and its manifestations are multifarious and contradictory.
So… if our bodies are composed of over 60% water, what does that suggest about our true nature?
In February, I had the pleasure of spending three weeks exploring southern Thailand’s unique culture, stunning landscape and fascinating healing traditions with a fabulous group of massage therapists and yoginis.
Our itinerary included a homestay in a Thai Muslim fishing village on the Andaman coast, a week on a small island in the Andaman Sea that was solely inhabited by a small tribe of Moken people (nomadic “sea gypsies”), and a week on floating bamboo huts on a lake in the middle of Khao Sok National Park.
Over the course of our journey we were exposed to several unique water oriented life-styles, and had the opportunity to embrace water in a variety of different forms. The sudden abundance of water in our environment led us quite naturally to occasionally contemplate its significance in our lives, and its influence on our various healing practices.
On our last night together we sat on our floating porch underneath a star-filled sky and shared the liquid lessons that had penetrated our cells, psyches and souls. Then we paid homage to the water goddess by placing traditional home-made krathongs on the lake. This is a sampling of what our ritual revealed…
Paying homage to the water godess
Like water, we have the potential to be graceful,
Like water, we have the potential to be fluid,
Like water, we have the potential to be powerful,
Like water, we have the potential to curve around sharp bends,
Like water, we have the potential to travel to distant lands,
Like water, we have the potential to be wild and free,
Like water, we have the potential to be lazy,
Like water, we have the potential to be nurturing,
Like water we have the potential to facilitate healing,
Like water, we have the potential to facilitate growth,
Like water, we have the potential to carve out new pathways,
Like water, we have the potential to expand,
Like water, we have the potential to make beautiful music,
Like water we have the potential to be still,
Like water, we have the potential to transform.
We discovered that we are healthier and happier when we take time to remember what we are (at least 60% of what we are), accept the full spectrum of our true nature (multifarious and contradictory though it might be), and live up to our potential as Water Goddesses.
Have you discovered your true nature? Have you learned how to live and practice powerfully with fluidity and grace?
Selected offerings to the Water Goddess:
“To the water goddess,
With these treasures I give up today,
I also vanquish to the depths of your body
all attachments in my life that I see to no longer be worthy of my time, my attention, my energy.
I ask you for the strength I need to do so.
I ask for the direction and shift of the wind
when I veer off this course I promise to myself I will follow.
Whether it be rain, or tears, or the ocean mist,
I ask you for your presence.”
– Katherine: Martha’s Vineyard, MA (DEEP South 2010)
“Offering to the Water Goddess:
My offering is my creative nature, my music, my song, my joy! Through and across the water my song will travel…to the depths of every sea, lake, river, and everything in between. It will emanate and reverberate an eternal song of life and beauty. In return, I ask that the Water Goddess relieves me of my anxiety, my constant, incessant worry, my habitual nature of unnecessary concern for that which I cannot control. I ask the Water Goddess to strip me naked and make me pure and whole again. I ask that she bathes and nurtures my soul.”
– Kate: Asheville, NC (DEEP South 2010)