My 2010 Lenten Challenge – Meditation

… The challenge is this: from Ash Wednesday (Feb 17) until Easter (April 4), train every day, without fail, no excuses; even if you have to move mountains. Simple enough said, a little harder to do.

It’s not as easy as it sounds; things come up. Some days, you might only be able to get a few minutes of training in; but the point is to do it everyday, no matter what.

It doesn’t have to be martial arts training either. Whatever it is that you need to really rededicate yourself to: studying, practicing an instrument, walking, watching what you eat; anything – do it every day, without fail.

— Source: 2010 Lenten Challenge | Cook Ding’s Kitchen

The 2010 Lenten Challenge begins TODAY!  As for myself, I will be participating in the Lenten Challenge however I will not be doing any type of martial arts training. Instead, my challenge is to meditate each and every day for the duration of the challenge. I have already been doing this on my own missing a day here or there, but now I will dedicate myself to this practice each and every day.

On January 15, I started meditating using the Natural Stress Relief method.  There are many meditation methods out there, breath awareness based meditation, insight based meditations, mantra based meditations etc.  I’ve chosen a mantra based meditation as I feel the mantra helps to calm my monkey-mind.  Other popular mantra-based meditations are Transcendental Meditation and Primordial Sound Meditation.  Basically, mantra based meditations consists of the effortless repetition of a mantra with no breath control.

Anyhoo, both my wife and I have committed to meditation for the 2010 Lenten challenge.  For more on the challenge, click through to Rick’s blog, Cook Ding’s Kitchen.

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About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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2 Responses to My 2010 Lenten Challenge – Meditation

  1. taijiquestion says:

    Not to play the know-it-all, but I wanted to mention that meditation practice can certainly fall under the heading of martial arts training. (Not to say that every meditator has to be into martial arts; in fact many might be anti- or at least not interested in MA. But don’t all(?) of the traditional MA include a meditative side in their practice?)

    Same with the other cultured pursuits like music or whatever, many Asian martial arts would say that that’s just part of the overall mix for self-cultivation. Anyway I wanted to say that if we fail to practice every day, it’s good to ask if maybe need to adjust what and how we’re practicing, instead of automatically blaming ourselves for not enough personal discipline. “Without fail” isn’t a natural state of affairs, it takes a smart approach to achieve true reliability.

  2. wujimon says:

    Greetings, TJQ. I would agree that most martial traditions do include a meditative aspect to their practice. In fact, some have referred to taiji as “meditation in motion”.

    However, I recall a discussion with a friend of mine about meditation. I basically asked him isn’t zhan zhuang the same thing as meditation? He then got into some philosophical stuff about how zhan zhuang focuses on the macro-cosmic orbit, the orbit of energy from head to toes, whereas the seated zazen type of meditation focuses on the micro-cosmic orbit, that is head to tailbone. Then he proceeded to tell me the focuses for each orbit are a *completely* different practice and should not be substituted for one or the other.

    Over time, I’ve come to the same conclusion. I thought that by doing zhan zhuang I was basically getting the same benefits as if I were doing seated meditation. However, now that I have been doing seated meditation for some time, I can say the benefits *are* different. In other words, doing zhan zhuang is not the same as doing seated meditation.

    For me, the focus and practice of meditation recently is most likely bringing to light what my real goals of my training/practice are. I’m still exploring this aspect, but I think it’s hinting at something..

    So to answer your question, I don’t believe a “meditative side” is the same as meditation.

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