The Monterey Bay Aquarium, in an effort to help the world take it a bit easier in the midst of a pandemic, is hosting something it calls “Morning MeditOcean” with the help of its tanks full of jellyfish. The first of these videos went live yesterday and, if you’re able to stop your mind from wondering what it would feel like to be trapped in a swarm of these stinging bastards, it provides an opportunity to meditate while staring at footage of the aquarium’s Pacific sea nettles.
Over an 11-minute clip of a bunch of jellyfish swimming across the screen, a woman’s voice gently leads viewers through a meditation session. She covers just about everything necessary to properly calm the mind and body, except, of course, how not to think too deeply about the havoc the creatures in the video can have on your body.
Aside from having neat-looking, gently undulating, colorful bodies, the Pacific sea nettle is, like so many other cool underwater animals, an absolute freak. “When prey brushes up against their tentacles,” one section of the jellyfish’s Wikipedia page explains, “thousands of nematocysts are released, launching barbed stingers which release a paralyzing toxin into the quarry. The oral arms begin digestion as they transport the prey into the sea nettle’s mouth.”
Hopefully you’re able to ignore these facts and simply enjoy the sights on display in the meditation session. As the video itself says, any unhelpful thoughts about, say, what it would be like for your toxin-paralyzed body to be drawn slowly into a jellyfish mouth by a set of “oral arms,” should just be noticed “without judging” and let go before guiding “your awareness back to your breathing.”
For more where this came from, come back to the aquarium’s YouTube page after “8 AM PST through Friday this week” for more meditation videos. While you’re at it, they also have live broadcasts of the jellies available, alongside streams showing what their penguins and sharks are up to. The second to last of these animals, in our opinion, is just as good at soothing the mind as any jellyfish.
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