Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Meditation 101 - tune up your body and mind

In the old days, practitioners of meditation would first tune up their body, and in such as way, the mind was also tuned up and calmed down.

Yoga in the Iyengar way starts with the practice of asana, then with pranayama and finally with deep meditation.  Due to the lengthy time needed to perfect the three practices, most practitioners, unfortunately, only do the asana practice (though to be fair, in itself it is a good way to tune up the body and mind).  Anyone who had taken some yoga-asana courses (or look at any yogasana book) can appreciate the commitment required to the practice.  My opinion is that a few lessons of yogasana followed by some diligent private practice will be sufficient to be necessary ground-work for meditative practice.

On the side of Chinese practice, some form of tai-chi chi-kung will be helpful.  Or even better, do some zhan zhuang (standing meditation) training before going into serious meditation.  Other mind-body practice like Pilates is also useful to tune up the body for some serious meditation. 

Another easier way is Walking.  Don't underestimate it, walking for one hour a day can be one of the best way to tune up one's mind.  In chapter one of the Diamond Sutra, we learned that the Buddha and his disciples spent the whole morning walking around the city begging for food, before they spent the rest of the day doing their religious practice.

So before you sit down and start meditation, you should firstly, per previous post, put down your psychological burden (negotiate with your consciousness) and secondly, do some preliminary tuning up of your mind and body.

Now we can begin...


  1. walking, great idea! I hadn't thought about that. thanks!


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