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Thread: Meditation in Kenpo

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    execkenpo is offline
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    Default Meditation in Kenpo

    Does anyone spend any time during class meditating, other than while standing in meditating horse?

    Does kenpo really lend itself to this practise?

    Opinions welcome and encouraged here.

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by execkenpo View Post
    Does anyone spend any time during class meditating, other than while standing in meditating horse?

    Does kenpo really lend itself to this practise?

    Opinions welcome and encouraged here.
    I think of katas as a moving meditation. I can let my mind rest from thinking about all the other things and just let myself go through it. My mind is generally clearer after I do a few.

    Other than that, not especially. I *should* practice my meditation, but I always feel like there's something I should be 'doing', so that's why I like to do katas. It's doing and clearing at the same time.

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    "Clear your mind of all thoughts

    Concentrate on what you are about to do

    Leave all personal thought outside the door".

    proper breathing for a few minutes

    then we begin class.

    Been doing that for at least the past 20+ years and gets my mind and my students mind ready to train.

    I can still hear my first Kenpo instructor saying those works. RIP Brother.
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Thanks katsudo, I like that idea of how you open your classes. Amy, I also use my forms in the same, going so far as to do them in 'slow motion', kind of tai chi like.

    Meditation doesn't seem to a real part of kenpo though from what I've seen. Even the Parker books don't have much to say on the topic.

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    My instructor took part in a seminar given by Jill Tatum, he said it was one of the best seminars he ever had, I belive she has an instructional DVD. He passed some of that info on to me, since I can be a little high strung, and I use it at work..


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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    meditation is about developing mental clarity in the present tense, to realize the physical, spiritual, emotional, academic, and energetic realities that exist... if you only meditate in solitude with soft music and insense burning, you can only meditiate in solitude with soft music and insense burning.

    best practice for meditation is sparring. no better way to focus your thoughts on the present tense that with a fist coming at your head. no better way to develop mental clarity, when bad decisions result in getting slammed. no better way to release emotional baggage than realizing those emotions are going to tire you out.

    now if you can meditate while sparring, you may have a shot at remaining calm and finding mental clarity when real life situations start tugging at your emotions.

    kenpo, or any martial art, without meditation is an empty lesson. but first, you have to learn how to meditate and work it into your training. doing kata slowly, is not tai chi, nor is it automatically meditation. it can be, but you gotta know how to get there.

    pete.
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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    I think of katas as a moving meditation.
    That's an excellent phrase, Amy! "Moving Meditation," you should write a paper on that...seriously.

    I especially like it since I encourage students to visualize what it is they are actually doing while going through the movements.

    I have also gotten into the habit, partially because of Katsudo's previous influence , of opening classes in that manner.

    I also encourage students to "visualize" techniques and forms in their heads while laying in bed and waiting to go to sleep. I personally set aside time to "meditate" on these things, but find students rarely do, so bedtime is usually the most oportune time for them. I firmly beleive that if you can "see" yourself executing maneuvers in "your head", then you will learn more quickly and be more proficient in executing them.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    visualization is not meditation, at least in the taoist sense, and they've probably done the most in integrating meditation practices with martial awareness.
    "Rust Never Sleeps" - N.Young.

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    visualization is not meditation, at least in the taoist sense, and they've probably done the most in integrating meditation practices with martial awareness.
    So when you meditate, what do you think about? I know it starts out as concentrating on your breathing, but where do you take it from there? I start by meditating but then turn to visualization of my katas or techniques or sometimes just basics.
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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    visualization is not meditation, at least in the taoist sense, and they've probably done the most in integrating meditation practices with martial awareness.
    Then how would you define "meditation" if not visualizing something or pondering upon something of importance or meaning? It's definately not sleeping. When your mind becomes inactive sleep occurs.

    med‧i‧tateverb, -tat‧ed, -tat‧ing.

    –verb (used without object) 1.to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect. 2.to engage in transcendental meditation, devout religious contemplation, or quiescent spiritual introspection. –verb (used with object) 3.to consider as something to be done or effected; intend; purpose: to meditate revenge.
    [Origin: 1550–60; < L meditātus, ptp. of meditārī to meditate, contemplate, plan

    The definition would indicate that you are indeed "thinking" about something. I'm interested in your take on meditation. Could you elaborate further? Perhaps we define "visualization" differently?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    I like what you have to say pete. As for my tai chi comment, that was in humour. I also beleive that meditation in some form should be included in our training, though i don't neccessarily agree tat it must be moving meditation to be valid. The Japanese have been sitting in seiza for a very long time as part of their martial training.

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarnyk View Post
    So when you meditate, what do you think about? I know it starts out as concentrating on your breathing, but where do you take it from there? I start by meditating but then turn to visualization of my katas or techniques or sometimes just basics.
    I think of meditation as emptying the mind rather than thinking about something. Obviously even in the process of emptying, you are thinking, but, usually for me, it is the cleaning up of my mental rooms so that post-meditation, I can visualize (or do other things) with focus.

    This is a very difficult process for me, which is why I usually start with tai-chi. Because I have ADD, I find that moving while meditating allows me to clear the mind more quickly. That means that I do not visualize the application of the movement when doing tai chi for meditation (though I might go through the form again focussing on visualization). After doing the form over and over again, muscle-memory takes over and I can concentrate on not concentrating

    I find it much harder to "meditate" during kenpo forms, because I am too busy visualizing. Also, I find them much more of an aerobic exercise (which I need a lot of). I suppose I could try doing them at Tai Chi speed, but since I am just learning, I do not want to ruin the form.
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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    the definition is fine i guess, i do not see anywhere visualization is even implied. i think we do agree on what visualization is, but I do not equate it with meditation. from my training, visualization is mental imagery, not mental clarity. it is what we want to see, not what is really there. so visualizations are not only different from mediation, but it would be a hindrance or a distraction from attaining a meditative state.

    now i can see utilizing visualization when practicing a form or sd technique, to imagine an opponent and work the move as if you were striking his body or grasping his limbs. but this is not meditation, again at least in the Taoist tradition that I’ve been taught. This is just technique or applications solo practice, like using a mirror.

    meditation need not be moving. i never said that. the Taoists observed 4 things people do: lie down, sit up, stand, and move about. so they developed meditative practices for each of these positions. the standing and moving about are most often integrated with martial art practice to train posture, discipline, and awareness, however lying and sitting meditations are also valid and can aid in martial development as well.

    so what is it that you think about during meditation. well, think about the things that you are doing at that time. if you are alone doing a seated meditation, breath is a good place to start, but also think about your posture, your bones, the spaces between the bones, your entire physiology. think about calming the mind, releasing thoughts and preoccupations with past events or future obligations.

    apply that to standing and then to moving about. apply it to your forms, not looking at imaginary enemies but the enemies within, your tension and emotional baggage. release them and see how much easier it is to do things, moving towards effortlessness.
    "Rust Never Sleeps" - N.Young.

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    the definition is fine i guess, i do not see anywhere visualization is even implied. i think we do agree on what visualization is, but I do not equate it with meditation. from my training, visualization is mental imagery, not mental clarity. it is what we want to see, not what is really there. so visualizations are not only different from mediation, but it would be a hindrance or a distraction from attaining a meditative state.

    now i can see utilizing visualization when practicing a form or sd technique, to imagine an opponent and work the move as if you were striking his body or grasping his limbs. but this is not meditation, again at least in the Taoist tradition that I’ve been taught. This is just technique or applications solo practice, like using a mirror.

    meditation need not be moving. i never said that. the Taoists observed 4 things people do: lie down, sit up, stand, and move about. so they developed meditative practices for each of these positions. the standing and moving about are most often integrated with martial art practice to train posture, discipline, and awareness, however lying and sitting meditations are also valid and can aid in martial development as well.

    so what is it that you think about during meditation. well, think about the things that you are doing at that time. if you are alone doing a seated meditation, breath is a good place to start, but also think about your posture, your bones, the spaces between the bones, your entire physiology. think about calming the mind, releasing thoughts and preoccupations with past events or future obligations.

    apply that to standing and then to moving about. apply it to your forms, not looking at imaginary enemies but the enemies within, your tension and emotional baggage. release them and see how much easier it is to do things, moving towards effortlessness.
    I believe I understand what you're saying and that's interesting. What are you trying to achieve in your meditation? From what I gather from your response, you're simply trying to achieve total relaxation and not think about anything else. Myself, I'm trying to leave the rest of the world behind and gain focus.

    The little I've read on the subject of meditation, visualization can actually used to achive a meditative state. Visualizing the air filling your lungs, going out to all ends of your body all the way out to your pinky fingers and your little toes. Then while exhaling, visualize the air returning to your center and out your mouth. Of course at this point is where you talk about Chi and it's effects on the human body but we can save that for another thread.
    Loyal student of Sifu DangeRuss
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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Let me see if I understand.

    So, meditation for you is about clarity. And clarity is about ridding yourself of things that preoccupy your mind that might hinder your training not about the training itself?

    I can see how this might help you to relax and thereby concentrate more on your training. but can you elaborate more on this comment:

    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    apply that to standing and then to moving about. apply it to your forms, not looking at imaginary enemies but the enemies within, your tension and emotional baggage. release them and see how much easier it is to do things, moving towards effortlessness.
    The reason I ask is that I feel it is paramount, especially doing forms, to concentrate on imaginary attackers. It's important to know the reason for your movements and actions, otherwise you may as well be learning the Texas Two Step. Without the reason to reinforce your movements the forms can deteriorate over time into something that may look good, but have no practical application other than self expression.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarnyk View Post
    I believe I understand what you're saying and that's interesting. What are you trying to achieve in your meditation? From what I gather from your response, you're simply trying to achieve total relaxation and not think about anything else. Myself, I'm trying to leave the rest of the world behind and gain focus.
    not sure i understand the difference??

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarnyk View Post
    The little I've read on the subject of meditation, visualization can actually used to achive a meditative state. Visualizing the air filling your lungs, going out to all ends of your body all the way out to your pinky fingers and your little toes. Then while exhaling, visualize the air returning to your center and out your mouth. Of course at this point is where you talk about Chi and it's effects on the human body but we can save that for another thread.
    rather than visualizing the air, etc. try actually feeling this.


    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    The reason I ask is that I feel it is paramount, especially doing forms, to concentrate on imaginary attackers.
    sure, it is important to practice your forms with a sense of enemy... that is just not meditation, at least in the Taoist sense. there may be other styles of meditation that do, but i feel the taoist method works well with a martial art.
    Last edited by pete; 11-06-2006 at 06:03 PM.
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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    this is the way I am learning qi gung:
    at first your meditation should be for relaxation. releasing tension in the body, and also clearing your mind. Releasing thoughts as they come up. emptying the mind, that kind of thing.

    Once you can readily reach this point and maintain it without working at it, then start working on breathing techniques. This is where you can get into sitting, standing, walking, soft or hard...

    Once you can maintain the empty mind, relaxed body, and regulated breathing and maintian it without concious effort, then you can go on to energy cultivation meditation. This involves specific postures/movements that produce proper anatomical alignment and maximum efficient flow of energy. (does that sound familiar?) also at first is visualization of and then sensitivity to energy flow.

    This is as far as I have come. In summary pretty much each of the previous posters is correct even if they seem to contradict because they are doing different types of meditation.

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by katsudo_karate View Post
    "Clear your mind of all thoughts

    Concentrate on what you are about to do

    Leave all personal thought outside the door".

    proper breathing for a few minutes

    then we begin class.

    Been doing that for at least the past 20+ years and gets my mind and my students mind ready to train.

    I can still hear my first Kenpo instructor saying those works. RIP Brother.
    I forgot to say, this is what we do too. But not as poetically

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    I never imagine an opponent when I am doing forms......I feel it is counter productive to what I am doing, which is perfecting my form, I can't do that if my mind is pre-occupied with the actions of an imaginary attacker.

    As for the doing of meditation.....what is it you're looking to achieve by doing it?
    You should have a purpose for meditation, but you should meditate without purpose.

    As for meditation with visualization.......that is quite an acceptable form of meditating; the visual acts as a tool for beginners to help guide them to a place in their mind that allows them to be relaxed.

    Anyone can meditate, it's not hard. But if you want to meditate effectively, you should find a teacher with some experience to get you started.....learn the tools and off you go.
    Being a martial arts teacher doesnt automatically make you an authority on what meditation is either.......even though most come off as experts.

    but then again, i probably dont know what I'm talking about.

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    Default Re: Meditation in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz View Post
    I never imagine an opponent when I am doing forms......I feel it is counter productive to what I am doing, which is perfecting my form, I can't do that if my mind is pre-occupied with the actions of an imaginary attacker.

    As for the doing of meditation.....what is it you're looking to achieve by doing it?
    You should have a purpose for meditation, but you should meditate without purpose.

    As for meditation with visualization.......that is quite an acceptable form of meditating; the visual acts as a tool for beginners to help guide them to a place in their mind that allows them to be relaxed.

    Anyone can meditate, it's not hard. But if you want to meditate effectively, you should find a teacher with some experience to get you started.....learn the tools and off you go.
    Being a martial arts teacher doesnt automatically make you an authority on what meditation is either.......even though most come off as experts.

    but then again, i probably dont know what I'm talking about.

    I couldnt have said it better myself.
    Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. - Buddha

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