Records show that martial artists practiced the art of Zen meditation since ancient history. Practitioners have been using it for years to improve their physical and mental abilities. The aim of this meditation practice is to let thoughts, words, feelings, and so on pass on without engaging them. This act of eliminating judgmental thinking improves mood and helps students to increase focus. Although Zen meditation is not a miracle cure to everything, it helps practitioners to eventually perform better over time. This article summarizes how that can happen for you.
Clearing the Mind Through Zen Meditation
Zen meditation, also popularly known as Zazen, helps martial art students free their minds from chains of thoughts and feelings that can slow their performance. The whole idea behind Zen is to prepare their minds in such a way that it will not be hindered by automatic body reactions. This is beneficial in situations when trainees are threatened, stressed, or worried.
Achieving Conscious Clarity
Zazen helps in maintaining clarity of the conscious mind so that it can sense a negative action even before it happens. It enhances the power to intuitively sense things and react accordingly. This way of moving more spontaneously can allow a martial art practitioner to turn a rival’s offensive moves to advantage.
The act of practicing Zen meditation is an effective way to increase concentration power. Practitioners focus on their breaths and become more aware as they inhale and exhale repeatedly. This mindfulness of breath improves their ability to concentrate or focus and this can subsequently make them more watchful of their – as well as their opponent’s – techniques.
De-stressing & Healing
All meditation forms, including Zen meditation, can quiet the mind and help achieve a deep state of relaxation. This can result in mental and emotional well-being and, eventually, better performance. Meditating often can also melt away physical stress and this can lead to faster healing.
Zazen teaches students how to be patient by offering them a sense of dispassion from expectations. This is helpful in situations when they fail in competitions. As they continue to meditate frequently, they will learn to tolerate challenging and stressful situations. Additionally, Zen mediation will increase their tolerance for negative situations in their life as well as pain both mental and physical.
How To Practice Zazen
Zazen starts with sitting with the legs crossed. You can sit in half-lotus, full lotus, Seiza, or the Burmese position. Place the hands on your lap and put one palm over another so that the thumbs of your hands touch each other. Then start to breathe through the nose and begin to notice the rhythm of your breathing. You can keep your eyes closed, half-closed or open. Start from 3 to 4 minutes and then work up to 14 to 15 minutes. Remember that practicing Buddhist meditation can be hard initially and you may find it difficult to focus on your breathing. However, as you proceed, you will become more mindful of your breaths and eventually achieve increasing mastery. Indeed, it is advisable not to focus on the results but on the now. Start meditating, persever, and everything will follow.