Waterline Zen – The Art of Walking on Water

To achieve the right state of focus, all the weight of the water and the thoughts associated with it need to be eliminated. Like the famous paradox: ”Don’t think of a pink elephant!”. That’s the solution to the problem of ”walking on water”.

Summer is the ideal time to put your slackline above the water and try your luck at ”walking on water”. With just a little caution, you can enjoy it without worrying about hard landings and discover a new dimension of balance and focus. The latter takes on a special role when going over water, as the moving surface takes away the possibility of anchoring our peripheral vision to stationary reference points. This deprives us of a good part of the useful information that enters our brain through our eyes.

To keep our balance, we need to pay more attention to proprioception and the part of the visual signal that sees land.

An interesting process begins when we realise, while being above not perfectly calm surface, that the lower part of the image we see does not serve us, or even hinders us enormously in very rough water.

The moving water causes us to think restless thoughts and thus to lose focus, and we want to resist this. But it is not easy to ignore the part of reality that you see in front of you. After many attempts, the waterline becomes as challenging as a slackline in the park, even if it seems at least 3x harder at first.

To achieve such a state of focus, we need to eliminate all the weight of the water and the thoughts associated with it. Like the famous paradox: ”Don’t think of a pink elephant!”. And this is exactly the solution to the problem of ”walking on water”. 

We need to focus so deeply on the things that help us find our balance (points of reference on the shore, visualisation of the balance position, calm breathing, upright posture, etc.) that we no longer have room for distracting thoughts.

So we put aside the chaotic moving water and cross the challenging bridge. Over time, we learn to observe the water around us more and more, but always without the weight taking away our balance. That’s when the calm state above the water becomes truly beautiful and enjoying.

Finding suitable locations and realising the lines is a unique process in waterlining, which I love precisely because most of the time it doesn’t happen immediately. It’s not always easy to find the right trees by the water, high enough water or the right bay. Then it might be necessary to swim across a cold river, to close a boat access, or to make an anchor on sharp, brittle rocks. The process can be quite adventurous.

Also, from the point of view of an observer, the waterline is always something special, especially if the person walking does it with elegance and with the webbing just touching the water’s surface. 

If you already know how to walk on a slackline and can easily walk at least 10m, then it’s a good time to find a suitable location above the water. I wish you fun hacking walking on water, it’s doable, not that hard really and beautiful 😉

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