I actually have two different questions :

  1. Can cold showers benefit our practice?

  2. Someone once told me not to take showers when doing a lot of meditation because the cold reduces the concentration level: is this true?

The person who told me this talked about "regular showers" not "cold showers"; now that I got interested in cold showers after reading about their health benefits, it made me worried that they would harm my concentration level.

For the record the person who told me this was a theravada monk


3 Answers 3


Let me tell you a story from Lord Buddha's time....

One day a maid who was a follower of Lord Buddha went early in the morning to the nearby river to bring water. She saw a sage in the river taking an early bath, knowing the temperature of the water in the morning she asked him a question.

Dear sage what are you doing in this cold water, it is very cold in this part of the day?

the sage replied, I am washing away my sins. When i take cold baths it brings me closer to salvation.

The maid was surprised by the answer and said,

Dear sage if cold water brings you closer to the path what about the fish in the water?

Then she went on to describe how mind matters to the path not the body.

This is what you should take from this story...

Lord Buddha clearly said "Mind is the thing that comes first,that it is on top of the order".

Lord Buddha also said "thoughts are Karma" ("Chethanahan Bhikkave kamman wadami")

It is the mind that matters not the body...

Let me convince you with some stories from the history of the Great Arahats,

One day a determent monk started to do the walking meditation around the "Bodhi tree" of a monastery. The monk was determined to keep going no matter what. After some time he felt that his legs hold no more power to carry him and he fell down, but he did not stop. He started to keep going on his knees. Then his knees gave up on him after some time. He was bleeding and fell down on the sand. Later on he was directly instructed by Lord Buddha to take things slow, Not too hard and not too soft.

So this is how taking things too hard ended up. Now lets see how taking things too soft ended up...

In the early age of Buddhism monks used a wooden pillow to rest their heads when sleeping. But this was later on replaced by the kind of pillows we use today. And it can be found in many dialogs among Monks and Arahats (In text) that this replacement which is seemingly good actually reduced the potential of the monks. It was considered a bad choice because the replacement actually represented the love for the well being of the body.

So have people or monks meditated without any regard to their bodies?

Here's the answer...

Once there was a monk called "Ven. Chakku pala". while he was at the peak of his practice he started having troubles with his eyes. The doctor gave a medicine which needed to be dropped in to the eyes while the patient is lying on a bed. But he could not agree to that because the practice style he was doing needed him in only to poses (sitting or standing). So all along he was either standing or sitting,skipping the sleeping. He chose his Nirvana above his eyes and kept going. In the very day he turned blind he reached Nirvana.

Do not have many concerns. Try to relax and not to worry about the minor details. If you have pains while meditating do some vipassana meditation and focus on the impermanence of that pain and keep going on. It is essential that you give up the love for your own body and to do that you need to learn and realize just like all other things your body is temporary too.

Be strong and keep it up,

May triple gems bless you!


Taking a cold shower is a usual way of yogis to stay awake. So if weariness arises such may help but also no quarantine.

Walking backward is also a way to force mindfulness and other kinds of "dangers" which give mind a reason to stay on topic.

On that level one does not need to think about concentration since one is far way and has actually problems to keep ones persistence arose. A certain danger for concentration would be if the thought come up "oh a cold shower, that would be pleasant" and then give it attention and follow this approach of the defilement beguiling.

Taking a cold shower it self is also a good test in regard of ones mindfulness. Can you bear it? How is the relation of mindfulness and reaction to cold water. One could gain awakening or insight by having proper attention (yoniso manasikara) at such event.

(Note: this answer has not been given with the agreement to be means of trade or the purpose of/for trade and/or keep people trapped and bound. How you handle it lies in your sphere, but does not excuse the deed here either.)

  • Why yet another user account?
    – THelper
    Jan 17, 2016 at 6:28
  • You are right, one should not take what is not given.
    – user11235
    Jan 17, 2016 at 8:42
  • I don't mind. You can have all the accounts you like, as long as you don't start voting on your own posts. BTW you can ask a moderator to merge all your accounts into one if you want.
    – THelper
    Jan 17, 2016 at 9:10

Nelly Nelly on FB; U meditate after u gain Sovan; First u see & try grasping the world as Impermenance (Anithya), Dukka, Anaathma (Soulless); Sunaatha, Dhaareetha, Charaatha.. Are you aware of these 3 components of learning? The Buddhist way of Learning (absorption) is NOTONLY listening/Reading. Sunatha means - listening, Dhareetha means to carry and charatha means to -carry forward (practice what you've learnt. Of course listening is the most important and everytime you listen to dhamma you willgather little bits of information you could carry forward in practice; Read the Tripitaka ten or as much, take a brush and tooth brush of daily applying the theory of Anithya, dukka, Anathma; As u sweep the house, cooks, for every ur daily chores, u should mindful and aware as u perform and then sunatha, daretha, charatha Hon -As u get a good grip of ur true nature / reality, u will get ur stage advanced to Samma Dhitti (Right view); Sovan; Then u start meditation, coz how u try to emerge something already not in ur stream or u r not accustomed of; First u need to enter the stream then the meditaion would flow in u, obvious enough effortlessly; Theruwan Saranayi; with all due respect sir, this is what I ve learnt recently Thank you

  • Meditation means as you are in hot, cold showers or cooking or walking. So in the cold shower, you focus on your body - the true nature of it. I washed this yesterday, how many times ? 3 ….. I am 35 now. In my this Sansara I have washed this continuously, previously an animal, how many times I ve washed this,but this jara , marana (death, decay) impermanent. This is ANICHCHA...as I m not fond of it keeps change. if its anichcha, its dukkha, if something is dukkha, is it mine -no -ANATHTHA - NOT ME/ MINE - So would I cling to something and ask for a bawa (become) over and over for such body? NO
    – user7592
    Sep 8, 2018 at 1:59

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