Mindful Diver Bonaire is excited to announce a brand-new experience for divers, only available on the island of Bonaire; a PADI Distinctive Specialty that combines mindfulness skills with the experience of scuba diving. The newly released Mindful Diver PADI Distinctive Specialty, a two-day, four dive experience, provides divers with knowledge about the science of mindfulness and gives them valuable experience in various mindfulness-based skills meant to enhance the breath, body, and mind; before, during, and after a dive.
As you’re likely aware, the term mindfulness has become a buzz word, and has been used in the media at an increasing rate over the past decade. While most people are familiar with the word, many people still don’t entirely understand what the word means, or how using mindfulness may impact everyday life. The Mindful Diver PADI Distinctive Specialty Course has been developed to simplify this concept for divers, and give them an opportunity to learn and apply skills that can help with: optimizing breathing, preparing and restoring the body before and after a dive, increasing awareness of proper body position in water, remembering and seeing more, and a deeper sense of connection to themselves and the environment.
According to research conducted at Harvard University, humans are missing out on about half of every day. Current experience is trumped by thinking about the past, or daydreaming about what the future may hold, and these acts, known as mind wandering, have been thought to account for nearly 50% of each persons’ waking hours. What are the consequences of this lost time? Well, for starters, just that, lost time. The most precious resource humans have. But further, a wandering mind can leave a person feeling less joyful, more stress, and hinder them from remembering chunks of valuable moments of experience for all they do, including scuba diving.
This loss of time is a problem. Not because it’s necessarily dangerous, but because it’s safe to say that most people would love to remember more of each day, see more of every experience. For scuba divers, learning about mindfulness and using mindfulness skills may be especially important. With so many things to consider when diving, paying attention is of vital importance. How can a diver see all things at once; their gear, their buddy, air consumption, buoyancy, trim and body position, depth, deco limits, the changing rhythms of the ocean…and…and…and on top of all of that, divers are supposed to SEE something amazing as well; a seahorse or octopus, a tiny blenny or baby frogfish, a flamingo tongue buried deep at the base of a soft coral. Having so many things to be aware of at one time requires open awareness, and the ability to be completely present for each moment, skills that not everyone is good at, but that can be exponentially enhanced through the use of various mindfulness techniques.
To be present for each moment completely, in a mindful way, can support a divers’ open awareness, and allow them to see more on every dive, but that isn’t the only benefit. Additionally, developing mindfulness skills can enhance the outcomes of being on an often much needed break from regular day to day activities. As scuba diving is typically done while on vacation, a time when the last thing a person wants to be thinking about is anything other than the time they’re having, leaving work behind and letting the future unfold slowly, so they can relish each minute before they must enter back into the ‘real world’. Therefore, offing a course to divers that develops their ability to be more mindful, can have a meaningful impact for dive adventures now, and well into the future on many levels; allowing a diver to return to their regular life feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated than ever before.
The Mindful Diver PADI Distinctive Specialty course was built on the platform of research known as Blue Mind (see Wallace J. Nichols for more on Blue Mind), which seeks to explain why being, in, on, and/or around water is good for humans both psychologically and physiologically. Knowing that something is good for humans, however, is not always enough to access all benefits available. Often a person needs to know how to interact with the thing that is good in such a way that they unlock the full potential of what that activity entails. To create a system that would allow divers to gain as many of the benefits as possible from each dip into the sea, the Mindful Diver course was further developed utilizing research on the concept of mindfulness, and evidenced based skills meant to grow a more mindful state of moment to moment awareness, thereby delivering divers a process by which to engage with their environment so they may optimize the benefits available to them.
The Mindful Diver PADI Distinctive Specialty was designed and written by Sarah L. Wilner, M.A., a mindfulness educator and certified Iyengar yoga instructor, who has spent the past decade studying, practicing, researching, and teaching mindfulness and mindfulness-based skills. After falling in love with scuba diving, Sarah immediately realized the connection between being in the ocean and being in a mindful state of awareness. Inspired by this relationship she chose to apply her personal, academic, and professional skills to create a program that would offer divers skills to increase the naturally occurring mindful experience of diving, and this is how the Mindful Diver course was born. Currently only available through Mindful Diver Bonaire and Beyond the Corals, this new, innovative, PADI Distinctive Specialty is a unique experience for all divers that should not be missed when traveling to Bonaire.
To learn more and sign up for your Mindful Diver Experience, contact Sarah L. Wilner or Beyond the Corals at: