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Mindful Diving: Respecting Coral as Brothers and Sisters of the Planet


Coral Reef
Coral Reef

About 13.8 billion years ago, give or take a few million years, scientists around the world agreed that there was a mass explosion of creation called the ‘Big Bang’. To put it in a different perspective, before the ‘bang’, it is thought, by modern science, all the mass and matter of the entire universe could fit into a single atom.

To me, the single atom idea is a full stop ‘OMG’ thought. Maybe this is a more mind-bending way of putting it – at one moment in time, all we see, hear, feel and all we cannot see, hear and feel, was once smaller than a grain of sand!

WHAT! The whole universe was once in a grain of sand? In order to really appreciate life itself, we need to have a better perspective of awe for all we are experiencing right now. So basically, every time you walk out the door or jump into the ocean, you are living in 13.8 billion years of creation. It took that long for our planet to develop into what it is today. And our world – and our very bodies – are nothing more than the exploding stars from around the universe.

WHAT! We are made of stardust?

As a Zen ‘stardust’ diver, we could – or even should – enter the ocean contemplating that we are diving in 13.8 billion years of evolution. This process of the universe being born has nothing to do with you, it is simply the result of endless moments developing the way it is. The point of this science lesson is to embrace the ocean and the world with as much awe and wonderment that we can even experience it all. The surrendering to the amazement of how many trillions of factors it took to create this carbon mass called Earth.

The ancestors of the coral we enjoy probably started developing about 480 – 500 millions ago. Most of the modern coral we dive in now is only around 4,000 to 6,000 years old, just a few seconds in time compared to 13.8 billions ago. Every single dive is a living and timeless history lesson. To me, the surrendering to this idea of the endless time of our amazing coral creates heartfelt gratitude. I have a deep love of coral, all divers love coral.

However, I know that while all divers love coral, some are not mindful of coral while they are in the act of diving.

WHAT! There are bad divers in the world?

For the love of coral, please learn some mindful Zen buoyancy diving! Be mindful of your fins and your body as you interact with coral. Be graceful and glide gently around and above these ancient creatures.

Zen creates the space to know we are not only experiencing the world but we are the world. And if we are made of the same stardust of the coral, then they too are our brothers or sisters of the planet. There is no end to knowing how deeply connected we are to the planet. And remember, we are all made of the same stardust that exploded 13.8 billions years ago.

Tom Peyton

This article was originally published in Scuba Diver North America #13.

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Scuba Diver Magazine
Scuba Diver Magazine is a global publication serving all the major English speaking markets in print and digital format.
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