Meditation & Martial Arts
Why meditate? It is not that important to your martial art training is it? A lot of people would rather be getting a sweat on and kicking and punching and whacking those burpees out! They never think to start or end a lesson by simply sitting down and concentrating on their breathing and on calming their mind.
A martial artist should have a calm mind both inside and outside the dojang.
Meditation is sometimes perceived as a magical phenomenon that only spiritual people practise. However this is untrue. Meditation is simply concentration and breathing control. You are learning to focus your mind on only one thing and that is listening to your breath. All other stresses, thoughts and worries should be emptied from our mind.
Our mind is our most powerful tool, it can do amazing things, however, it can also, if we let it, take us places we don't want to go. We worry to much, we stress too much, we drown ourselves in negative thoughts, we have no confidence. Our outlook can sometimes be very much an half empty attitude to life. What if I told you that the simple exercise of breathing can alleviate and massively help with all of our internal thoughts and feelings. By meditating 5 minutes a day we can train our mind to control our thoughts and not let them control us.
We practise martial arts to be not only physically strong but mentally strong as well. We train to find and nurture our indomitable spirit so nothing can break us when life throws us curve balls.
Think of your mind like a body of calm, clear water.........
If your mind is clear you can see the bigger picture and the bottom of the lake.
When someone throws a rock into your water it becomes muddied. A rock can be as simple as someone annoying you, it could be something that has happened to you or indeed to a loved one. Once a rock enters our clear mind it becomes cloudy, confused and unclear and it's only when the mud settles can we see clearly again. The art of meditation is to not allow the rocks to enter in the first place or if they do, to try and create calm as soon as you can.
Never make a decision when your mind is unclear and muddled. Always allow time so that your mind can settle first.
Having a clear mind allows us to make better life decisions and better choices. It allows us to think about our actions and our speech thus our relationships are improved drastically. It is the key to us being well rounded human beings.
Meditation is so important in our everyday life. If you only practise when your mind is muddied, you won't really see the benefits. You need to practise daily to understand the calm and maintain it. Mental health is the key to happiness and contentment.