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Koi Ponds: Peace and Tranquility in Recovery

Koi ponds have been used as havens of tranquility and peaceful meditation by people for many years. In both China and Japan, Koi fish have been symbolically associated with good fortune. In Japan, the symbolism goes even further. Here, koi are valued for their beauty and serenity while also being associated with love, friendship, and perseverance. In the spirit of seeking good fortune, love, and fellowship while persevering in recovery treatment, the koi fish can be symbolic companions on the pathway to addiction recovery. Like Camelback Recovery, some treatment centers understand the importance of having peaceful and serene elements of nature, like koi ponds, to help those in recovery connect with something greater than themselves. Even without access to a koi pond, you can still benefit from using meditation in recovery.

 

The Power of Nature and Meditation

“Nature itself is the best physician.”

-Hippocrates, Ancient Greek physician

Since Hippocrates’ time, being out in nature has been cited as one of the greatest healers for those suffering many different types of ailments. For those in recovery, you may benefit from being outdoors as a means of clearing your head and thinking about what is important to you. Meditation, in its most basic form, is focusing on something outside of yourself to engage fully in the moment without the distractions of your inner chatter. You can meditate on objects in nature, like animals, plants, or other scenery to focus on your thoughts. While meditating upon a koi pond, you can think about the symbolism behind the koi, such as friendship and love, as you focus your thoughts toward positive elements of your life.

Nature can remind you of your place within the world as a smaller piece of something much larger than yourself. During recovery, you may feel somewhat lost or disconnected from the world at large. You may feel like you do not belong with others or do not deserve the best of life due to past mistakes. You may even use your addictions to mask feelings of inadequacy or lack of feeling important. However, you do matter. You are a part of something greater, something beyond yourself that also resides within. Koi fish and other sights in nature can remind you of this grand connection of all things past and present. As you meditate upon the view of a koi pond, you are connected with the thoughts of ancient peoples who valued the beauty and peace of these fish.

 

Meditation in Recovery: Finding Serenity

Holistic approaches to recovery are popular among treatment centers. Holistic approaches place emphasis on the importance of the “mind-body” connection. The health and tranquility of your body influence both your spirituality and your peace of mind. Meditation can bring you closer to a peaceful mind and spirit by training your body to calm itself. When you meditate and focus your thoughts, your heart rate and breathing begin to slow down. As your heart rate and breathing slow down, your thoughts follow, and you begin to experience inner peace. During meditation, you can focus your thoughts on basically whatever you want. Anything in nature, like sight or sound, even a smell, can help you to focus your thinking and slow down your thoughts. You can also focus on your breathing as you close your eyes and visualize a peaceful outdoor scene. 

Meditation can be both a formal and informal practice. You may benefit from taking a class or a group on meditation. You can also meditate on your own with as little structure as closing your eyes and taking ten deep breaths. Overall, your objective remains the same: to bring your thoughts together and calm your mind. Recovery from addiction is meant to bring peace and clarity back into your life. Treatment in sober living homes can teach you many techniques to find your place in the world, your connection to all things, your purpose in life, and your spiritual growth. While in treatment, you may be struggling to see the beauty of the outside world. You may have negative views about yourself or about life beyond yourself. You may feel a lack of purpose and a lack of spiritual guidance. Meditation, whether you are relaxing by a koi pond or looking outside a window, can help you discover your value and the value of the world outside of yourself. Using meditation in your recovery from addictive behaviors can help you reconnect to something greater than yourself. 

 

While in recovery from addiction, you may feel a need to reconnect to your sense of spirituality. In recovery, spiritual growth is intertwined with your mental and physical health as you seek inner-peace from the calamity wrought on your life by addictive behaviors. Finding inner-peace may begin with finding peace within the outside world and in nature. You may lack in your feelings of connectedness to things outside of yourself. At Camelback Recovery, we believe in taking a holistic approach to recovery that emphasizes a person’s spiritual growth. Our sober living homes offer many peaceful outdoor spaces for our residents to focus on their inner tranquility through meditation exercises. We value spending time in nature to bring focus to our own thoughts to enhance the healing process. Inner-peace and tranquility can be found both within yourself and beyond yourself. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to begin your journey to recover from addictions! 

Growth is the only Evidence of Life

Growth is the only evidence of life.

–John, Cardinal Newman

We should be thankful we can never reach complete serenity. If we could, we would never have the need to improve ourselves. We would stop growing, because there would be no reason to learn any more than we already know, and we would become bored. Even the things which seem so serene in nature usually contain a struggle within. A lake, with a swan gliding slowly across it, seems a perfect picture of serenity. But, unseen below the surface, fish, turtles, and frogs struggle each day for survival.

The important thing is to accept the struggles as a part of the beauty of life, not as blemishes on it.

There is either growth or decay. It is not possible for a living organism to be totally stagnant. A person is always changing, either changing for the better or changing for the worse. This is true when it comes to the mind, body, and spirit. A person is either becoming more spiritually fit or less spiritually fit. A person is either becoming closer to God or further away from God. A person is either getting closer to a drink or drug or further away from a drink or drug. My experience is that if I am working a 12-step program of recovery, I stay spiritually fit. Working a program of recovery to me means morning prayer and meditation, being grateful for things in my life, going to meetings, talking to my sponsor, being of service, and reaching out to another alcoholic. I am grateful that I have learned to be in acceptance and to live life on life’s terms. I am grateful that life is not perfect. I am grateful that I am sober and thinking clearly.