In Japanese martial arts such as kendo and karate, mokuso is a common term for meditation. It is made of two words moku (silent) and so (thoughts). Thus, the word means silencing one’s thoughts.
Generally, mokuso is practiced before as well as after a martial arts training class to prepare and clear one’s mind. It is encouraged so that trainees can be mindful of the present moment and eventually make peace with their body and mind.
How To Practice Mokuso
To practice mokuso meditation, it is essential to arrange your body in the correct position. If you don’t use in the right posture, you won’t be able to practice mokuso correctly.
1. Start In The Seiza Position
Mokuso meditation begins by setting your body in the Seiza position. For this, you need to kneel down and support your hips with your lower feet. Keep your knees at a distance of two fists away. Make sure to keep your neck and spine straight.
2. Position Arms & Hands
Mokuso is heavily inspired by Zen Buddhism and therefore requires you to keep hands and arms in the same position as in Zen meditation. Place your wrists on your upper thighs such that your palms face upward. Your left hand should be kept over the right one and the tip of thumbs should come together and join each other. Make sure not to put pressure on the tips. Also, remember to keep shoulders straight and relaxed.
3. Position Your Eyes
In Mokuso, closed-eye meditation means to focus on a specific point. On the other hand, keeping your eyes open can prevent you from falling asleep. In an open-eye position, you can focus on a specific object. The best is to put your gaze about 1 to 2 meters in front of you. Keep your eyes half-closed as you gaze on the floor.
4. Breathe Correctly
Mokuso meditation will require you to breathe through the nose while keeping the mouth closed. Start noticing your breathing cycle. You need to be truly mindful of your breathing process. Remember your breathing cycles must be slow and long. Also, do not force out the last of the breath. Your next inhalation should indeed be natural and smooth. Keep breathing like this for a few minutes.
Once you are done, keep your palms on your thighs and then get up.
The Goal Of Mokuso
The goal of mokuso meditation is to achieve a state of ‘no-mind’ or Muslin according to Zen meditation. This is a state where a person’s mind doesn’t have any kind of thoughts or emotions. The mind is entirely in the present moment and couldn’t be distracted by worldly objects. Muslin will lead to a complete peace within your mind as well as body. Over time, mokuso will help you respond to every situation effortlessly, even your fights.
The Benefits Of Mokuso
- Mokuso prepares your mind for your training to achieve great concentration and attain efficiency.
- It helps you live in the present moment. By practicing this meditation, you won’t be in the past or future but in the present.
- It brings inner peace and calms the body and mind.
- Mokuso will melt away all emotions including anger, ego, anxiety, fear, and so on.