Meditation (2)

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Do not confuse the menu with the food

The word 'meditation' is widely used to mean a variety of things. Many people imagine that meditation means sitting in a cross-legged position and listening to your breath.
Such practices or methods are not meditation per se. They serve to encourage meditation. Meditation is not a method or exercise; rather, it is the condition of presence. It is freedom from thought.
It is being here, right now


Thinking occurs after the event. Which means that if you thinking about something, this is taking place at the same time as the current moment is happening.
If you are thinking whilst something else is taking place in real time, your mind is divided.


Why do I see things this way?
Because this is the Way things are.

(Lao Tzu)

Meditation in taijiquan

The term 'meditation'
covers a variety of considerations, e.g.:

  1. Attention

  2. Clarity

  3. Concentration

  4. Heightened level of awareness

  5. Mindful

  6. Self-awareness 

Every exercise, form movement and partner drill challenges the student to remain here and now.
By bringing the mind to the immediate moment we aim to become unselfconscious - not thinking, not talking, not emoting. Just being.

Modern life

Many aspects of modern life prevent people from being here and now. Instead of presence, distraction is cultivated.
Rather than seeing what is in front of them, the individual is encouraged to get caught up in speculation, opinion and superstition.

Toxic habits

Alcohol, drugs, sugar, smoking etc hinder mindfulness. e.g. alcohol dulls the senses.
The original meaning of intoxication is "a poisoning". The euphoria people experience from alcohol isn't the outcome of being healthy and present. It is the consequence of poisoning the brain.
You cannot be mindful and clear if your brain is dulled. Drinking alcohol is the polar opposite of mindfulness.


People may drink alcohol regularly, read this information and then object... It can be worth asking yourself why?
The answers are simple: habit, lifestyle attachment, emotional investment, peer pressure, self-image and even (potentially) addiction. Common sense and reason are inconvenient.

Impediments to meditation

Mobile phones
The internet
Social media
Video games
The news
Phoney behaviour
Passive aggressive traits
Talking rather than doing
Mock humility
Social games/role play e.g. "I have no time" "I'm too busy"
Lack of commitment

Wide awake

In order to awaken your mind you simply need to be here and now. Nowhere else. At any given time, nothing else in the universe matters more than what you are doing right now.
The cars outside, the neighbours, the music, the humming of the computer, the smell of food are all part of the moment, and you are nowhere but here.
It is all happening at once and you are totally immersed in it.

attention    awareness     calm     concentration     mindful

Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 02 September 2021