Almost everyone knows that a water feature in your home or meditation space can bring a calming effect to anyone who is close to it, but has anyone explored why? I would never pretend that I have any secret knowledge, but I’ve collected some interesting pieces of information that might give you some different insight into why this might be, and to encourage the idea of adding a fountain or water to your meditation space.
I did a big search for “why are water features soothing” (and other strings) and got a lot of conflicting information. But it does seem there is a consistent string running through all scientific findings and personal experience. The sound of trickling or bubbling water brings a feeling of calm and peace to almost all those listening to it.
Water for Thought
I believe the sound of trickling water or bubbling fountains can help to bring peace and calm because the sound is none identifiable – in other words it does not invoke any streams of logical thought (ok, this is my idea, so I might be wrong, but true for me). One of the things about meditation is to let go of conceptualization or thought processes, to quiet the mind and all the great ‘movies’ or ‘thought streams’ it can create. Music or other sounds can invoke all kinds of ‘peaceful’ or ‘calming’ thoughts, but it still invokes thought processes. The sound of bubbling water, a light breeze invokes just a calm, quiet mind.
It’s important that you make sure the pitch, rhythm and tempo of your water features brings peace and not tension. How can you do that? Simple: set up your water feature, turn it one and just sit in quietly listening to the sound. If it begins to become irritating then it’s not working. Some water features have ways to adjust the sound. A deeper sound tends to be better, a bubble or light trickle is simple and calming. For some high pitched sound is less calming, and if you have chosen to sit next to a loud waterfall, and rushing river outside to meditate, test it first. Like anything this will be a personal experience and for some it’s better than for others.
Body of Water
Did you know that our bodies are a large part water? Different scientists have different numbers, but here is a recent quote from a respected scientist:
“According to Dr. Jeffrey Utz, Neuroscience, pediatrics, Allegheny University, different people have different percentages of their bodies made up of water. Babies have the most, being born at about 78%. By one year of age, that amount drops to about 65%. In adult men, about 60% of their bodies are water.” May 5, 2015
So there may be a psychic connection, or metaphysical connection that we haven’t considered before; as if the water’s energy has a direct positive connection with our minds and bodies, which are made up of the five elements. Water, in spiritual practice has been for centuries used for consecration, Baptism is done with water, holy water is blessed and considered to hold the blessing for drinking and healing, plus washing and cleaning. The power of water is well known, and with the understanding that the body is a large part water, then the connection to using water as an element in a meditation space makes sense.
Water Holding Thought and Intention
So the thought that the body is largely made up of water is a interest piece of information, but it’s get more interesting when you explore Dr. Masaru Emoto, author of “Messages from Water” and the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know!”.
His research shows that water that is exposed to different emotions and then frozen displays different patterns in ice crystals that are very clear and considered to be a direct reflection to the emotions the water was exposed to before being frozen.
Conclusion, if his research is to be believed water holds emotions and can actually respond back. So, like crystals it would seem that water might also act like a conduit or “holder” of energy in a meditation space. So not only can the sound bring a calming feeling, the holding of positive energy can also help keep a meditation space calm and quiet.
Prayer Over Water
There has been a lot of research and activity recently around groups of gifted yogis or spiritual people who find bodies of water on the earth in trouble and pray at the shores of that water. It’s been proven over and over again to work, where lakes with polution or stagnent troubles for fish and wildlife can actually be healed and brought back into balance. Different articles also talk about how Dr. Emoto’s work in understanding how water responds to intentions has helped to encourage people to work with energy in this way to heal the earth.
Here is one story — “Blessing Nature – Prayer and Our Environment”. It tells the story of the effects of Hurricane Katrina, an environmental recovery and how prayer changed something so horrible on the waters of Lake Pontchartrain.
“Once the pumping began, local groups in Louisiana started to gather on the shores of the lake and along the bayous praying for and blessing the water. Louisianans began to send emails across the world asking others to pray for their beloved lake. The response was overwhelming. A group of energy healers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania gathered at the Golden Triangle to send healing energy down the Ohio River to the Mississippi to help Louisiana waterways. Others along the great Mississippi joined in, pouring blessed water into the river filled with their love and good intentions. Response email messages came from every continent saying how people were praying for the health and recovery of the lake. Almost immediately, Lake Pontchartrain began to heal, and in much less time than expected by local scientists and environmentalists, the water was fit for swimming and the dolphins had returned to play. It was miraculous!” Read the article here.
Your Meditation Space and Water
So what does that mean for you, and your own personal meditation space? Well, probably simply stated, if you beileve a water feature in your meditation space can bring you benefit, then by all means be sure to install the one that works for you. How do you know, sit in meditation with your water feature. If it pleases you, or you feel joy or feel connected then it works.
For me, the first inexpensive water feature I constructed with an inheritated fish tank pump, rocks from my garden and water from my faucet ended up being very irritating. It splashed and the cats kept wanting to drink from it. Not very peaceful. My recommendation is to find one that is store bought and adjustable. Or have a fountain or fish pond professionally installed customized for your home and adjust it until it brings joy and peace.