Using Water in Your Home Sanctuary
The addition of water into a sanctuary space is not a new idea. Water features have been part of Japanese gardens for centuries. Aesthetics and contemplative orders have often used bodies of water as places of meditation and quiet solitude. Water is regularly found in pools or fonts in religious places. In addition in Ireland wells and springs have often been considered places having a deep spiritual nature and where prayers are often offered.
Yet, putting water into a special sanctuary space in our own homes may be something very startling for our family and friends. Many think that water features can only be found in luxury homes that have the square footage and the budgets to do so. Nevertheless in recent years, home water fountains have begun to pop up not only in home and garden centers but in discount and department stores. As water features found their way into back gardens, they also crept into living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms.
Why Use WaterWater is essential to the human body. It comprises about two-thirds of our muscles, blood, fat, and even our bones. We swim in a salt water solution inside our mothers before we are born, and we continue to need it to nourish our organs and remove wastes. We are also drawn to it for recreation and relaxation.
Even in ancient times, humans have sought bodies of water for contemplation and for healing. The sound of moving water, whether it is lake water lapping the shore, fierce surf hitting cliffs, or the trickle of water over rocks in a stream, makes an impression on us. The gentle movement of water that resembles a flowing brook is what is often captured in the sound of a water fountain. This gentle trickling sound is universally found to be soothing.
Most of us are surrounded by noise every day. This bombardment to our senses adds to our stress level. Silence can give us peace, but that sometimes isn’t easy to have if we live in a city. And, for some, silence may be just too much for us. We need something to give our ears a rest but not remove all sound from them. The sound of moving water can soothe us and can even block out city noises.
Some scientists feel that water features can not only help us alter our moods but make our homes healthier. Positive and negative ions exist in the air we breathe. Positive ions from modern conveniences like computers and televisions are said to make us feel exhausted mentally and physically. Moving water is supposed to release negative ions, which counter positive ions, and make us feel peaceful. They also are supposed to grab dust and pollutants out of the air, cleaning our environment. Water features will certainly increase the humidity of the air we breathe without saturating it as a humidifier would.
Types of WaterThere are two types of water that we can use in our home sanctuaries: still water and flowing water. Water fountains and water walls are the most common types of flowing water we can put into our homes. Water fountains can be as small as a drinking glass or as big as a bird bath that could fill a spacious entry way. Some people build a pool next to these larger water fountains and sometimes stock them with fish. The smaller tabletop water fountains are the easiest to put into a sanctuary space. All you do is put in the required amount of water and plug them in.
Water walls are large architectural features that are added to living rooms, dining rooms, entry ways, and sometimes even bedrooms. These require the design and installation of an expert. They are striking features in a room and are as dramatic as any fireplace. However, as the water feature increases in size so does its noise level. Sometimes these large features can overpower a CD player or can intrude into conversation.
Another form of flowing water is the home aquarium. These often have pumps that must be on continually to aerate the air for the fish. These are wonderful in bedrooms because the soothing bubble of the aerator in the water is identical to many water fountains. These can mask city sounds even at night when the rush of outside traffic can be so intrusive many people can’t sleep. But listening to the gentle bubble of an aquarium can send many people to sleep instantly.
Still water is usually found in pools or gold fish tanks or in bowls used to float candles in.Sometimes, we can take advantage of still water that we see from the windows of our sanctuaries if they face onto a lake or pond. Images of water, though we cannot walk by them or dip a toe into their pools, can also soothe use.
How to Use WaterIf we have a fountain or a pool in our home sanctuary, we can sit near it and listen to its soothing sounds. We can also listen to a fountain or an aquarium in a bedroom sanctuary to help us fall asleep. We can use the sound of a fountain as a means to take us into meditation. We can watch the water move over the fountain and visualise it washing away our tension and stress.
We can also contemplate images of water. Just looking at them often helps us relax. In fact, we can use images of water to help us cope with stress at work. By placing photos of lakes or ponds near our desks, we can drift into those restful images and escape from the stresses we are dealing with during the day.
Any still water can also be a way for us to focus. We can think about the purity of water and think of it soothing us. These mental images often are enough for us to slip into a relaxed state.
We can also listen to recordings of water. These can be ocean waves or mountain streams. Some people also like to listen to recordings of rain falling or thunderstorms. These recordings can be powerful meditation tools.
We can also bathe in water or shower when we come home from work or when we're especially tense. If we can concentrate on the water flowing over us and around us, and not about work or other stressors in our lives, the water will not only clean us but figuratively wash the tension from us. If we add the image of the tension flowing down the drain, the effect is doubled.
Finally, we can drink water mindfully. We can put the intention of relaxing into a glass of water. With each sip we swallow, we are washing tension from us and taking in peace.
Water is a way to bring peace and harmony into our home sanctuaries. It helps us slow down our bodies, especially our breathing, and can help us release stress.