This one came from one of our Thai Boxers.
We were discussing an injury he’s been carrying and then afterwards he asked the above question.
Most things usually are simple.
Meditation has been a part of the martial arts for as long as martial arts have been around, and for damn good reason.
There’s no better way of settling the mind, relaxing the body and attaining focus than spending a few minutes each day in some form of meditation.
The science community have done many studies on people in a meditative state and pretty much all agree that for brain health, it’s one of the best things we can do for ourselves. (here’s a couple to get you started: Psychology Today wrote THIS, and THIS one is from Harvard Medical School)
The problem arises when you look at all the bullshit and bollocks that’s espoused by the new age tree huggers when they wax lyrical about meditation.
They insist on having rituals and props all in place before beginning any sort of practice. They tell you to sit in a particular way, burn a particular incense, chant a particular sound bite.
Is any of this necessary?
Do you need those DVD’s and CD’s?
So what do you need?
Are you ready for this?
And that’s it.
How much time?
Well, how much can you spare?
5 mins? Ok
10 mins? Better.
2 mins? Hell. that’ll do
20 mins? Probably ideal, if such a thing exists.
Anything comfortable. Sit, lie down, kneel, squat, recline, walk.
This is important. You must breathe deep into your abdomen,
If you’re a chest breather, your going to struggle, so for you I suggest training the breath prior to attempting to meditate, here’s how
Try to ensure you won’t be disturbed. If you like music, play some. If you like incense or smelly candles, go for it.
The key is the breath and your conscious mind.
This simple method of meditation is called the 100 and is the simplest place to start.
It goes like this:
Each time you exhale, count.
The “goal” is to count 100 exhales.
The word goal is in inverted commas as it’s not really a goal. The goal is to remain focussed on the task of counting the breath.
Should you lose count, so what? Simply start counting from 1 again, no stress, no panic.
If you get caught up in a thought from your busy mind, so what? As soon as you recognise the fact, start counting again from 1.
It’s that simple.
It’s so simple it can be done on the bus or train as you commute.
It can be done in bed to help you sleep.
It can be done walking in the park.
It can be done anytime your mind starts racing with uncontrolled or anxious thoughts.
There are many other forms of meditation, but as a start point, this is possibly the best of them.
Try it for yourself.