Diving into Death

By Martin LeFevre

Natalia Molchanova diving 1

When I was in junior high school, bored classmates and I would hold breath-holding contests. Since I could hold my breath for 4 minutes, I usually won. Natalia Molchanova, the greatest freediver in history who died last Sunday in a “fun” dive off the coast of Spain, could hold her breath for 9 minutes!

For those who not familiar with the putative sport of freediving, a woman or man slows down their heart rate and awakens the amphibian within through deep breathing, and then plunges as deeply as they can, before ascending along a safety and measuring line. Molchanova’s record without a monofin is 71 meters; with a monofin 100 meters (about 233 feet). She is the only woman to have broken the mythical 100-meter barrier.

Talking about the core appeal of the endeavor, Molchanova sounded like a contemplative describing the state of samadhi: “When we go down, if we don’t think, we understand we are whole…when we think, we are separate.”

Her extraordinary life shows the lengths that people are willing to go to in order to feel whole. The impetus for wholeness is a very strong drive within us. Why then is separateness taken as a given in daily life?

As Molchanova … continue reading

Via:: Costa Rican Times