When we take guests to swim with manta rays here in Hawaii, people often leave the water completely transformed. It’s a profound spiritual experience that most people cannot put into words.
My Spiritual Experience with Manta Rays
As an ocean activist and manta ray advocate, I have been swimming with mantas regularly for over 20 years. In all that time, I often wonder what’s going through the minds of people I take on a swim with me.
I can only go back to my first diving experience with the gentle giants. I was in a really sad chapter of my life as my first husband died the year before, and I was in a stage of deep grieving.
Being in the presence of these angel-like creatures really resonated with me, very deeply.
Obviously, the end of the story is that swimming with manta rays and raising awareness about these magical creatures became my life’s work. But that’s not the case for everyone.
The Manta Ray Experience: What it’s Like
For most of our guests, their manta ray swim is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Traveling to Hawaii is a dream come true for many, and embarking on this night swim adventure is often a bucket list item.
For most guests, going into the ocean at night with big fish is a big leap outside their comfort zone. Many are a little nervous, some are even anxious, but they give it a try anyway… we encourage them to “trust the process”.
And 30-45 minutes later, they come out of the water completely transformed. They exude happiness. Their smiles are huge. They just witnessed magic.
There are many aspects to this transformation:
- They survived. It’s the primal feeling of making it through a swim in the dark ocean and coming out alive.
- They’re overwhelmed by awe and wonder – these immense creatures were so much bigger, came much closer, and their acrobatics much more breathtaking than expected.
- They’re simultaneously experiencing “through the roof” excitement and an all-encompassing feeling of calm and peace brought by the mantas.
When you finish that first swim with the manta rays, it almost feels like your brain made a 180-degree turn. Things you were worrying about before you went in turned out to be no issues after the experience.
Pre-conceived ideas (for instance, about the sea being a dangerous place at night) turned out to be the opposite. It’s actually a wondrous place where people fall in love with the mantas.
There is a life lesson to be found: YES, you can change your mind, and it is okay to do so now that you have more facts and experience.
Having done this countless times, I believe your internal cell structure shifts and aligns again.
Swimming with manta rays is not just a spiritual experience; it’s humbling and an emotional roller-coaster with a very happy and inspirational ending.
An experience of nature at its best. People crave that, and it’s been delivered by the gentle giants.
Manta rays are the true angels of the sea
When we think of angels, we often think of their beautiful wings, how they inspire peace, strike us with awe, energize and invigorate us, and make us feel whole. That is certainly the case for me; I feel angels connect us to something much bigger… and this leads me to believe that manta rays are the true angels of the sea.
They deliver an experience similar to meeting an angel – and make us feel whole and completely aligned with nature.
How Manta Rays Changed my Life
In my case, that first swim with manta rays gave me the big push I needed. It helped me move forward with my grieving and realize that my life will continue. A new path was laid out for me.
This profoundly spiritual experience allowed me to find a new reason to live again.
I realized my journey didn’t end with losing my first husband, that there was more to come – and these angels delivered that message, so I knew it was gonna happen.
It was a deep shift within me, and led to a life full of purpose.