Why Swimming is an Important Part of My Mindfulness Practice

Attention is not one-dimensional, but rather rich and luxurious, writes founding editor Barry Boyce. And this complexity is what empowers us to navigate the difficulties that are always part of our lives.

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As a teenager, I had some pretty severe sports injuries—to my ankle, foot, and knee—so swimming became my exercise of choice. I can’t say I always love it. It’s refreshing when you first hit the water, but lane swimming is a lot of back-and-forth. You go nowhere over and over again. Naturally, then, it lends itself to a form of meditation practice, and that’s the part I think I do love.

As I’ve spent years going back and forth in pools one thing has stood out for me: the line (usually blue) on the bottom of the pool. That line is the reference point to let you know you’re on track. It’s what the attention returns to. There are also buoy ropes on either side that define the lane, guardrails as it were, but the blue line is the thread of attention that pulls you along.

Going Nowhere Over and Over Again

The restless and restlessly wandering mind does not disappear when you enter the pool. In fact, it intensifies, because there’s nothing to provide engagement or entertainment. There are headphones you can wear in the pool now, but I don’t bother with that. Swim time…