Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Still Point

Meditation is an art that can be taught to a certain point, but then must be honed and personalized by the practitioner just as any hard style martial arts. While the goal for many is to find the Still Point--the realm where external senses recede and the Mind can simply be--the interpretation of the methods to attain this state remain subjective. For example, I use some basic breathing patterns and visualization techniques each time I meditate. They are old concepts likely passed down for countless generations. Yet, how I perceive these methods, especially how I personally visualize them, has become very much my own. Like budo, we adapt techniques for our own needs, yet we must remain true to the overall process involved.

An example might be a simple straight punch. One student may picture a bullet spiraling out of a rifle, generating power and momentum as it travels. Another may imagine his/her hand like Bruce Lee's idea of an iron ball attached to a flexible chain. However, while both analogies may help the student develop form and energy, the point remains that the fist, rotating, travels from point A to point B in the straightest manner possible.

The variance is imagery.

After all, the practitioner of meditation, whether following the tenants of Indian Kundalini or Chinese Tai Chi, are both attempting to reach the same pinnacle of clarity and/or illumination. Just as the Hapkido student and that of Karate are both training in a differing manner but for a similar purpose.

And within these schools, too, each individual finds his/her own way.


  1. For the past month, I have been practicing sitting seiza for forty minutes five days a week. In earlier experiences in practicing sitting or standing meditation, I have always played around with Taoist imagery (microcosmic orbit), but lately, it's been 95% just focusing on relaxing and breathing deeply, and it has been very personal. It's been a lot more about emotional and personal things rather than eastern or martial imagery, but I'd rather it be that way for now. It's got to be personal and meaningful, if not, then what are you doing?

  2. true... i imagine some of your mountain top views and sentiments of home find their way into your thoughts, too. this could be very grounding and positive.