Shorinjiryu Genbukan Karatedo classes begin and end with a brief meditation period. Some people prefer to substitute ‘meditation’ with ‘prayer’.
Really it is whatever works for you to calm your mind and find personal peace.
At the Shi Ryu Kai dojo there is no mysterious chanting or anti-religious meaning to meditation. It’s only purpose is to calm the mind and to prepare to focus on the practice of Karate.
If you constantly juggle thoughts about daily details such as paying bills, getting some assignment completed at school or work, taking the pet to the vet and returning unread library books, it is often written in various health and fitness books and magazines, that regular meditation can ease your mind and body.
Meditation can help anxiety levels drop and reduce the physiological markers of stress – particularly blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. Best of all, the effects occur fairly quickly, says Stephen Bodian, author of Meditation for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons Canada, 1999).
“Even just a few months of regular meditation can bring about measurable changes in the brain that correlate with increased positive emotions, such as happiness and serenity,” he says. “Meditation reduces your stress, makes you healthier overall and significantly enhances your enjoyment of life.”
Meditation is very simply the act of quieting the mind or directing it to be still and focused for a measurable period of time. And while it sounds simple, it requires much practice.
The basics of meditation include:
Selecting a posture.
Using breath awareness to help you develop a “less cluttered” mind.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Set a time limit (even five minutes may feel like an eternity at first).
Avoid large meals and mind-altering substances like coffee, alcohol and tobacco.
Choose the most appealing, quiet spot available.
Acquire a meditation bench or cushion or use a favourite chair.