A Lesson on Methods of Taoist Meditation by Richard Hackworth

September 13, 2009

A Lesson on Methods of Taoist Meditation

By Richard Hackworth, Ph.d., Lac.

The Taoist meditation practices are less abstract than their similar counterparts that evolved in India (the Hindu and Buddhist systems) and traveled to China as the teachings of Monks. One of the central focuses of Taoist meditation relates to the circulation of internal energy (called deh-chee). It can be used to promote a healthy lifestyle and extend life expectancy by improving spiritual relationships with the world. Practical aspects of Taoist meditation may relate to interests and activities such as self-knowledge, concentration, and spiritual healing. This concept is vital to the mental and spiritual development of true warriors.

According to the high monks of Shaolin and masters of meditation there are two elements making up meditation: the “jing,” which means calmness and stillness, and the “ding,” which stands for concentration and focus. Calmness is directed towards cutting off external factors of disturbance and enabling you to direct your attention toward your inner self.

By focusing on the breathing and allowing your mind to concentrate, you should achieve a state called “one-pointed awareness.” This state allows you to achieve a deep concentration, allowing you to get a better understanding of any elements that you are focusing on. There should be none, or very limited, distractions during this heightened awareness state. This technique may be used efficiently to find solutions to problems presented by the outside world. It also prepares you to deal with these difficulties.

The first steps of practicing Taoist meditation as a martial artist are often difficult as your mind is not willing to cooperate in the process. It is tough to tap into the high potential of the subconscious mind. Out thoughts tend to fly away, increasing confusion when we need clarity the most, bringing mental chaos when order is desired. There are six ways that enable you to recover your inner concentration and increase your ability to focus your mind.

  1. Focus on the flow of energy throughout your body. Do this by paying special attention to your breathing, to the air going in and out of your lungs.
  2. Take this a step further and focus on the contractions of your abdominal area as you breath in and out.
  3. Imagine a candle, with your eyes shut. Shift your focus on the center of the flame, but don’t loose sight of the edges. At this stage, it is vital to eliminate or ignore all outside interferences.
  4. Practice mantra, the ‘sacred syllables,’ which lead to a harmony of the mind and relaxation of the body. The three most effective syllables are ‘om’, which brings equilibrium to your body, ‘ah’, which balances your vital energy, and ‘hum’, which brings the spirit to a heightened state of awareness and focus. Chanting of the syllables should be done in a deep, low-pitched tone and with a long exhale of the air.
  5. Allow your breathing to create a rhythmic “drumbeat” which will increase your energy and help you ignore outside interferences.

 

  1. Focus on a symbol that is very important to you. This can be a loved one, a deity or a place or notion. When you feel relaxed and focused, switch back to the meditation.

About the author: Richard Hackworth is a multi-arts grand master , author of more than forty books and host of “The Richard Hackworth Show” at www.actionradio.net .Get $300 worth of free bonuses when you subscribe to his e-newsletter at http://www.richardhackworth.com .

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Pre Class Meditation for Martial Arts

August 17, 2009

Pre-Class Meditation for Martial Artists

In the traditional martial art of Hapkido we focus on three primary areas of develop. The mind, body and spirit. With pre class meditation is one way to develop all three. When one participates in pre-class meditation it does several things. For one, as you meditate, it lowers your heart rate and relaxes you both mentally and physically. This prepares the body for the work out you are about to engage in. Pre-class meditation is also a form of relieving stress, which is both beneficial to the mind, body and spirit.

Most pre class meditation is performed by sitting with your legs crossed on the floor, place your fists on your knees, with your back straight and your head held up. It is important to remember to always have good posture. This means no slouching! Slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through the mouth respectively. Take deep, slow breaths. Concentrate on clearing your mind and relaxing your heart rate.

Visualization is an important part of pre-class meditation. I visualize a river flowing or an ocean with waves breaking on the shore. As I slowly inhale and exhale, I try to mentally slow the river down to a stop, or try and make the waves of the ocean stop, depending on which mental image I’ve chosen. The total concentration of trying to make the waves stop shuts out all other daily distractions, allowing me to focus entirely on my meditation, and for a little while forget the daily stress of life. 

Pre-Class meditation benefits your martial arts training because it develops your mind, body and spirit. Pre-Class meditation has a number of health and psychological benefits. Because it reduces stress, it can put you in a good mood, making your martial arts training more enjoyable for you. It also lowers your heart rate, which is beneficial to your body, so that you may participate in class at a greater ease.

About the author: Andrea Stone is a multi-arts black belt and the Teen Spokes Model for www.actionradio.net appearing in their ads worldwide. See is currently a martial arts student at the American Dragon Martial Arts Academies and an advanced placement honors student Junior at East Ridge High School in Clermont, Florida.

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