CMAA is issuing a new challenge to our students for the month of May. This challenge may be accepted in place of April's challenge - or, for the overachievers, in addition to- April's challenge! (For details about April's challenge please see: http://www.martialartsalbany.com/cmaa-kungfu-challenge/)
May's challenge will be focused on developing the mind. In addition to conditioning the body to be stronger and more flexible, learning and training correct martial arts techniques, and learning basics theories and principles of martial arts philosophy, another important aspect of a martial artists training is developing the mind.
This months challenge will be to complete 5 minutes of "martial meditation" every day.
The purpose of meditation for martial arts is to keep the mind focused and sharp. It is imperative for a martial artist to have mental clarity and to stay alert and mindful without being distracted by any one thing. A martial artist needs to be able to react to anything in the most appropriate way, without a conscious decision to do so.
There are many styles of meditation. Some may be conducted sitting down, or standing up, eyes open or closed, focusing on something particular or nothing at all. These differences are less important for our practice. We are not beginning our meditation practice with goals of obtaining enlightenment. Our objective with meditation is to simply quiet the mind, to clear the mind of distracting thoughts in order to develop greater focus and clarity.
To complete this months challenge, we will sit down, close our eyes for 5 minutes. During this time, our objective is to quiet the mind and free ourselves from distracting thoughts. One simple technique we can include in our practice is called mindful meditation. We begin by focusing on our breath, inhaling and exhaling. When distractions come into our minds, we simply recognize that we’ve had a distracting thought and refocus our awareness on our breathing.
Ideally, over the course of time, we will increase our ability keep our mind clear of distraction for longer periods of time, thus increasing our ability to focus and remain focused on something specific.
Please know that the benefits of mindful mediation have been shown to go beyond the time you spend meditating. As you progress with the this practice it will ideally help you to stay focused on your other daily activities throughout the day at work or with your family and friends. Our goal as martial artists is to not simply learn effective means of combat, but to use martial arts to better ourselves and live happy and healthier lives.
Good luck and Enjoy:)