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Chiburi
11th May 2002, 16:01
Before some training sessions we "meditate" for a while.We close eyes, relax, stop thinking about daily life. After that, with a clear mind, no thoughts disturb training. This isn't the case before every session. Sometimes, due to lack of time, we skip this meditation and sometimes after a stressful day I'd really need a moment of silence to clear my head.I usually arrive at the Dojo early, put on my dogi and start reading some MA publications. Instead of that I'm interested in trying out meditation on my own in some corner . So, my question to you is about the "techniques" of meditation:

-Is there a minimum amount of time needed to calm down, does it depend on the person?
-positions?
-Should I repeat some mantra in my head for the duration?
-breathing techniques?
-anything else you might think of..

I usually "meditate" in seiza or fudoza, just let myself slip out of reality--but it takes quite a while, and silence.
I'm not sure if I'm using the right word for it, that's why the quotation marks.

I'm just looking for a way to clear my mind and focus my thoughts before action :o. I know this might sound stupid and funny to someone, but hey, I wasn't born in a monastery!

A Warm Thank You,

shadow42
11th May 2002, 17:24
It all depends on what makes you comfortable. Whatever works for you is what you should do. For breathing, most of the ways I've seen it taught and the way I breath for meditation is slow breathing from the diaphragm (diaphram? die-a-fram?) Abdominal breathing. Most people breath shallowly, using the top of their lungs only. When you breathe, try to fill up the bottom of your lungs first. When you exhale, do so slowly, in a controlled sort of way. IF you're wondering what to focus on, to start with you can just focus on your breathing. Whatever helps to clear your mind, so you can accept your teachers lessons and take them in fully. Its nice to have time before class to collect your thoughts, i live a good 45 minute drive from my dojo so im usually barely on time. I'm sure others will have some corrections and suggestions, as I dont know too much about this. Good luck in practice

Chiburi
11th May 2002, 22:57
Thanks for your input! I'll see what others have to say.

Cheers,

meat
12th May 2002, 13:30
If ur just trying to relax and clear your mind before class, then do exactly that, relax. Don't worry too much about mantras, just relax your whole body and mind, and just breathe. Like Tom said, make sure you breathe deeply through your nose and into your abdomen. You can just relax and let your thoughts settle like mud settling at the bottom of a jar of water. If that doesnt work for you, just try counting your breath. Doing it at home will also enhance your ability to settle your mind more quickly. Hope that helps

Simon Voysey
21st May 2002, 14:44
Gassho,

I'm a junior Shorinji Kempo student and as such am by no means an authority on this subject. We meditate every training session, but sometimes not for very long. I too have trouble concentrating and emptying my mind of the days events in a relatively short space of time but it is improving. It helps me to imagine thoughts as passing clouds. Not to focus on any thought or subject, but to let them come and go. If I can't empty my thoughts and relax my mind, counting breathing patterns is the next best thing.
This is the pattern I use;
Breathe in deeply for 3 secs (through nose)
Hold for 2-3 secs putting a little downward pressure on the abdomen to expand lungs to capacity
Breathe out through mouth for +/-7 secs constricting airflow to allow steady exhalation.
Stop with a little breath left in lungs
Hold for 2-3 secs
Begin pattern again.

If you a fitter than me, you may be able to lenghten the process to 20 secs per cycle.

I hope this is useful to you. If anyone else knows of any other techniques on how to empty your mind of distractions, that would be great.

____________________
Simon Voysey
Junior Member
British Shorinji Kempo Federation

Chiburi
21st May 2002, 16:24
Cheers, I'll take a try on it.

GingrFish
24th May 2002, 04:00
Hi. We were taught to meditate from breathing deep in the belly, or Hara (sp?). Imagine the air as water or fire, or something like that, and "watch it flow up through your belly, up your throat and through your mouth. I have tinnitus, so you can imagine how difficult it is for me to clear my heaed of any thoughts and meditate. However, I have found that 1 hour of meditation per day has greatly helped my condition, and now it is not so noticedable. That shows you what meditation can do. Good luck :)

Stian Wongraven

Chiburi
26th May 2002, 00:53
Thank you for your input, especially because it looks like it's your first post here..congrats! :D

Cheers,

Amir
26th May 2002, 09:56
Don't over-breath

Meditation is great, and "Diaphragm breathing" is the way I was taught to breath in both meditation and training (If not all the time).

But I would like to warn you not to over-do at least not at once. You get much more oxygen breathing this way, and if you aren't trained and used to it you will get oxygen poisoning (It has a name, which remains at the edge of my tongue :( )

I was taught 3 ways of treating your stomach during mediational breathing:
1. Air In - Stomach Out, Air out - Stomach In : the most basic
2. Air in - stomach in ! Air out - Stomach out : more difficult, you must make sure
you are using "Diaphragm breathing" and not shallow breathing from widening the chest.
3. Stomach constantly tense outwards, breath in and out : I have not figured this one out yet.

The basic level is to let send the air (ďenergy ď) into your tanden at each breath, later on, one starts passing it within several points in the body, each breath and exhale makes ďan energy moveĒ


But I think the best answer for you, especially as one should avoid over-breathing is to ASK YOUR TEACHER.

Amir

Ryushinyama
27th May 2002, 02:46
Hi,

This is what I have learned about meditation from my experiences with it. I have seen that there are plenty of different ways and benefits from meditation. The one you are looking for is to calm yourself and clear your mind. This is the one I practice when I get the time because it seems to me the easiest one to perform and the benefits seem endless. This is my theory behind it and not a technique. What you are trying to do is limit your thought. So you should seek a limit, the less the better. Most concentrate on breathing, it is easiest I would say because, you are familiar with it and you can control it. It is a very powerful aspect, every living thing shares. Concentrating on this simple thing (your breath) you start to clear your mind because all your focus is centering. Bring you in to the limits, cutting everything else out. Your mind will let other things in and when it does, don't get mad or upset just let them go. Counting breaths is good because you can have a reference for when you drift off your focus (I found it best to count the breaths to 10 then start over again at 1, then you donít get caught up in the number which is best used as a reference point). Also visualizing your breath is great because you relate a picture to an idea, this allows you to focus both sides of your brain on the task at hand. That is how I picture meditation, you can apply this theory in endless ways. I made my own way that seems to be the best for me. I do this in my shower. I sit down with the water spraying on my back with semi-cold water and visualize myself sitting in the rain. I just watch this picture of myself sitting for an amount of time, never the same could be one minute could be ten. Then I start to picture where I am, what is around me. I donít try to make this up by force I just kind of pan out and see what my mind puts there on itís own. Then after that cycle, again lasting as long as you see fit, I change the water to a warmer temperature. Sometimes as hot as I can (this will very from shower to shower, some will be way to hot to stand) and I try to find one path of water that goes down my body. This is an endless chase and I have never actually done it but itís a wonderful feeling to try. I always change this, I try to change it every time I do it so I donít get bored and set into a pattern. I find when you make a pattern out of something that you tend to loose interest in it. Where as if you change it constantly then there is always something new every time.

-Benjamin Adams

Chiburi
27th May 2002, 10:33
Once again, thanks! Especially the shower meditation was a surprise. Yes, Mr. Krause, I'm consulting my teacher on this, I asked for personal experiences to compare a bit. Great ideas everyone!

Cheers,