April 28, 2008 Leave a comment
S.C.U.B.A. Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
Zen School of Mahayana Buddhism that asserts that enlightenment can be attained through meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition; To figure out something by meditation or by a sudden flash of enlightenment (definitions found on dictionary.com)
When done by a Master, SCUBA is a practically effortless voyage to contemplate the world beneath the surface of the water. People often ask me if it is difficult to do. I am sure that there are some circumstances where it could be but recreational SCUBA should not be. However, if you are not properly prepared it can be life threatening, lead to the pain of the bends or at least lead to an unsatisfying experience. Easy and dangerous are not mutually exclusive.
As I made mistakes, there were several, during the week that I dove I came to appreciate the lessons from more experienced divers as well as my original instructors. They seemed to have general application to life. Since every aspect of life seems to have provided life lessons for profit (What I learned in Kindergarten, various business persons take on the world, etc.) I thought I would add a chapter about SCUBA. For free. (See what value you get reading this blog!)
SCUBA Zen Lessons
- Everything in SCUBA is easy. If it is not easy, slow down and think about what you are doing wrong. Find the right way.
- Look Good. Be as colorful as your surroundings. Define your own style
- Be Prepared. This is not just for boy scouts. Whether heading underwater, to a job opportunity or an important presentation make sure that you have all your tools with you. By tools I mean mental preparation as well as equipment.
- Check It Twice. In Scuba you have a buddy check out all your stuff to better ensure that everything works as it should. In life checking twice improves quality.
- Everyone Needs A Buddy. This is the no one is an island speech. I in particular only survive and thrive with the company of others. In SCUBA the rule is that no one dives without a buddy. Down there when something goes wrong it could mean life or death.
- Take It Slow. This is a stop and smell the roses kind of rule. SCUBA is all about observation not getting from one place to another. Go too fast and you will likely miss something spectacular.
- Have A Plan. Each dive site is different. You should never dive without you and your buddy discussing direction, depth, time under and how various potential issues will be addressed. If you know where you are going it is more likely that you will get there.
- Know your Limits. Different SCUBA certifications set limits on the depth you can go and the types of diving based on the training for that level. Especially with depth it is easy to just keep getting in deeper. Deeper in SCUBA means more pressure on your body and on the air you breath. Complexity rises exponentially. Going beyond your depths means danger. As in life, knowing your limits does not imply that you should never stretch yourself or always play it safe. Just understand the risks.
- Avoid Panic. Weather conditions change, equipment fails, you can hurt yourself. A cool head during trying times can save you and others around you. Two of the basic exercises you learn early is what to do if you can’t see or breathe. Checking off the steps that you have learned will keep you safe should be your first course of action in a hostile environment. (My worst dive situation was my first night dive. I got careless and lost sight of my group. Oh yeah and my light went out. It was pitch black. My lack of panic at the time both amazed me and saved me.)
- Breathe. For SCUBA this is a technical requirement. The air in your lungs contracts as you go deeper and expands as you head toward the surface. The only way to maintain the correct pressure in your lungs is to constantly breathe. In life, metaphorically as well as physically, it is important to breathe.
Life lessons. Another reason to join the world of SCUBA.