Simon Robinson before he started his self-imposed 48-hour meditation challenge on the Caroline Bay pontoon, on Thursday, to raise awareness of mental health.

Bejon Haswell/Stuff

Simon Robinson before he started his self-imposed 48-hour meditation challenge on the Caroline Bay pontoon, on Thursday, to raise awareness of mental health.

A Timaru man hopes his 48-hour meditation and fasting challenge on the Caroline Bay pontoon will raise awareness of mental health.

Simon Robinson, 36, paddled a kayak to the pontoon on Thursday about 11.30, taking a small tent, water, a porta potty and sleeping bag, and set up in the spot he intends to meditate, ’’rest, write, and be open’’ to what is around him over the next two days.

Though he will be drinking fluids to remain hydrated, he will not be eating to add a “deeper layer of intensity”, he said.

His challenge is supported by Timaru’s AMPSS101 (Addictions, Mental Health Peer Support Services) whose members have set up a tent on the beach to keep an eye on him.

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Robinson has been practising meditation for 15 years and sees it as a way of healing and overcoming the negative challenges of life.

Speaking to Stuff before setting off for the challenge, Robinson said it was a way of cultivating stillness, resolving the mind and mastering human experience.

“Practising meditation is about observing human experience without letting human experience dictate to the human experience.”

Simon Robinson makes his way to the Caroline Bay pontoon in a kayak on Thursday.

Bejon Haswell/Stuff

Simon Robinson makes his way to the Caroline Bay pontoon in a kayak on Thursday.

The musician, who also works in the automotive industry, discovered meditation in his early 20s.

He was inspired to create the challenge after admiring a group of guys videoing themselves doing a 25 press up for 25-day challenge for mental health awareness.

Robinson thinks there needs to be more awareness of mental health awareness in New Zealand.

Mediation Challenge participant Simon Robinson, right, is joined by friend John Peter Humphries to help set up the pontoon for the challenge.

Bejon Haswell/Stuff

Mediation Challenge participant Simon Robinson, right, is joined by friend John Peter Humphries to help set up the pontoon for the challenge.

“There’s too much taboo around suicide. People need to be open to be vulnerable. They’re not because, it’s all about saving face.”

New Zealand’s suicide statistics in the year to June 2020 were the lowest in three years with 654 deaths, according to Coronial Services.

Robinson plans to be back on dry land about 11.30am on Saturday and hopes the challenge will help people find tools that work for them, such as meditation and exercise to get up from rock bottom.

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