Some Principles for Practicing
- With a balanced posture the movements should be performed soft, slowly, gently and regular
- The spine forwards movements throughout the body
- The movements should be continuous as flowing water to get the body and mind to rest
- Establish a rhythmic combination of relaxation and tension as such as dynamics and inertia
Thereby mindfulness has a particular significance:
In colloquial talk mindfulness is often used as synonym for attention. E. g. in the practice of Chi Kung, mindfulness during meditation means to direct the attention at the time, that is now. Mindfulness with yourself, to allow your self, to contemplate its bodily sensations, feelings, thoughts, how they come and to see how they go again. Eventually also the posture that is adopted during meditation, sitting on a cushion or in repeating movements in Chi Kung and martial art. Alongside comes the inner posture to have time, without the need to rate or do anything. The way to adopt the right inner posture how it is described in Chan/Zen Buddhism requires a lot of practice: “For Europeans there is a good access […], by bringing the knowledge of western traditions and insights into the mind. Initially it is advisable to perceive the substantial difference between a discursive examination and intuitive mediation.¹”
The term „mindfulness meditation“ has its roots in Buddhism, but not exclusively because mindfulness and meditation practice can be found in many cultures. It is not religiously bound but a basic ability of humanity to be in a certain way attentive and to train the perception. Using well-balanced movements and postures, mental concentration and imagination the breath can be naturally deepened; physical hardening, malposition, inner agitation as well as other physical and mental-spiritual imbalance can be regulated in a positive way by regular training. Viability is found in Chi Kung and in martial arts – it is, what it purports to be: an abiding training.
In the 1970s Jon Kabat-Zinn, professor ermeritus of medicine at the university of Massachusetts, developed on the basis of the buddhist mindfulness meditation a training that got known as “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) and used it in the US with great success trating stress and burnout patients. Nowadays mindfulness meditation is applied in a broad range of psychic disorders like addiction, depression, eating disorder or chronic anxiety and pain disorders. A study² by Bergomi in the year 2007 describes the connection of mindfulness, buddhist meditation and psychic health. The results of the study make clear that the influence of mindfulness meditation on psychic health of persons who have long time experience with meditation (more than three years), are much higher (this might be because of the higher age as people get more composed). You don't forget something that you worked on/learned for a long time and applied many times.
As we learn, important networks are activated to form initially “fleeting mental structures”. […] Those fleeting mental structures consist of connective systems, that are activated in a reverberant way. Through equal electric vibration in nerve tracts they create and uphold a certain connection of neurones. But only for a short time (working memory). When a connection is activated frequently (through practice, appliance) it will steady: the synapses, the juncture between nerve tracts, become thicker so that the network system is “transmitting” permanently and stable. This thinking creation of new connections of neurones through active stabilisation we call colloquially “learning”.
¹ Enomiya- Lassalle, H.M.; Zen Unterweisung, S. 110
² Mindfulness, Buddhist Medittaion and mental Health, taken from the summary
Translation by Oliver Speiser.