Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Meditation as a mind-body exercise

Once upon a time I was told "Meditation is easy, simply imagine you're relaxing at a beach, close your eyes, stay relaxed, and you're onto meditation". The teacher turned on some soft music. I couldn't relax, my mind got the upper hand, and I started day-dreaming, and got more alert!

Once upon a time I couldn't fall asleep easily, and I was told to count sheep. Again my mind got the upper hand, and I started counting as told, and I started day-dreaming, and my body got more alert.

In true meditation, the body and mind shouldn't be separated. But how?

If our body cannot relax, we have to "make" it relax. How? Through contracting of our relaxation or extension muscles. Only through contracting our relaxation muscles can our extension muscles (which causing all the problem of feeling tight) can become relaxed.

How can we relax our extension muscles (like our triceps)? Through a meditative mind (or mind in a meditative zone). But then how?

To make our body relax, our mind has to work through a physical medium. And the medium is the breathing action which activates our breathing muscles (fundamentally our pelvic floor muscles and our diaphragm). Why a meditative mind is essential?

The connection between the breathing action (which activates...), the breathing muscles (which activate...) and the extension muscles is subtle. It can only be linked through the mindful attention of a meditative mind. And through this subtle connection, the mind will be "forced" to slow down - to the pace of this physical linkage of successive activation and movement. And where does the concept of chi comes into this picture?

Chi, under this context, is the physical internal feeling of this transmission process.

Needless to say, this is an oversimplified exposition of the concept of meditation interpreted as a kind of mind-body exercise.

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