T’ai Chi is often called a moving meditation… but what does that really mean?
You probably already know that meditation is a process of focusing your thoughts and projecting your mind’s intentions in order to achieve a desired state of consciousness. However, when most people think about meditation they usually imagine someone sitting in a ‘lotus’ position or kneeling for ‘zazen’ meditation. Sitting, or even laying down, is often used so the person can completely relax the body and give their thoughts full attention. Movement, it would seem, distracts the mind, making it harder to achieve the desired state.
What we have to understand is that movement can be an important part of our meditative evolution. Performance specific movements like those found in T’ai Chi, Yoga, or even certain types of prayer can actually help the practitioner in a variety of ways.
First, for those who have difficulty staying still, the movements give the body something to do while the brain focuses on the task at hand. A body that moves slowly and with purpose in a controlled, rhythmic manner can calm the mind, in much the same way a stage hypnotist might use a swinging pocket watch to lead someone into a trance. By giving the mind something to concentrate deeply upon, the subconscious this free to explore and relax.
Secondly, movement helps us visualize energy, or chi, moving through the different areas of our body. As we raise our arms, it becomes easier to imagine the arm meridians filling with energy and nourishing our body. Standing allows us to visualize Earth Energy rising up from the ground and into our center as we ‘root’ into our stance.
Finally, movement is necessary for us to allow the meditative state to become a conscious part of our everyday life. Meditation in a quiet, candle-lit room, under the smell of incense and soft music is great for giving yourself time to de-stress, heal, and discover spiritual insights. But, true Mastery comes when you can achieve this state on a noisy, traffic filled street. It happens when you can stay calm, centered, and energetically efficient throughout your day, no matter what life happens to throw at you.
But, is this kind of Mental Mastery really achievable?
Well, it will take a lot of personal growth to attain this type of control, but yes it’s totally possible.
Here’s a short overview to help get you started on the path…
Continue reading What is Moving Meditation? …and how to achieve it!