A Meditation Primer
There is something meditative about making.
It can be ambitious to quiet your chatty brain if you have not practiced mediation before, but it can definitely be trained and mastered like any other muscle...
Which is why I am drawn to active meditation, which concentrates on a specific stream of thought rather than just avoiding thought (which will definitely become easier as you progress in your practice). A good allegory is, imagine you are training to be a successful athlete - what if you were told the only way to get good at a sport, is by being good at the sport. That is what often is stifling about inactive meditation - in order to quiet the brain, you must quiet the brain.
I am thankful to have been introduced to Daoist techniques when I was a teenager (thanks mom!) - and the positive effect it has had on me inspired me to become a certified instructor, so here is a lil' primer on the Tao to hopefully spark your curiosity.
The Teachings of the Tao were developed sometime during the 3rd century BCE -Through it's the Tao Te Ching. One innate part of taoism is challenge of explaining it's meaning. Tao roughly means the Path or the Way, and does not connote an empirical "god" system. Though the Tao Te Ching - The Way and It's Power- is often attributed to Lao Tzu, the teachings are truly a collection of proverbs, stories and sayings which developed through time. To begin Taoist meditation - one needs only to find a meditation for beginners, sit in a comfortable space, and begin thinking about your inner organs for 20 minutes.
Once you can get in touch with your emotions you can edit them by visualizing, smiling and breathing. The Tao heavily emphasize smiling, positive attitude and a connection to other humans and the universe. So to rid your body of negative emotions, you smile at yourself, inside of yourself.
Just make the time, Not the space.
We consider meditation a practice in part because it doesn't just happen, nor is it effective when attempted just once in a moment of panic. It is difficult to do things that feel hard or silly, and meditation can make you feel both those things. Begin by setting the time aside, as a gift to yourself- meditation is like a gym for your brain.
This isn't something you will just "know" you have to train yourself. So practice; No need for a yoga mat or special space. A big principal about Tao is the flow of energy and imagining it running through your body like a circuit. Because of this, it is important that you spine is straight, sit in a chain, or anywhere where you are sitting up straight, this is the easiest way to make sure all your energies are aligned. This is one of the great benefits of Tao meditation - no need to special spaces or props - it's accessible and can be done by anyone, anywhere.
In the coming months I will be trying to dig a little deeper into this special meditation. Feel free to reach out with any questions, or if you are interested in a private meditation session.
Some Additional Resources:
Some recommended resources if you are looking to dig a little deeper
Tao Te Ching (The Way and It's Power) - Considered the foundational text of Taoism.
Omega Institute - Located in upstate New York, a non-profit Taoist educational retreat center. Helpful as much of Taoism gets lost in translation, and working with scholars can be helpful.
Universal Tao - Informational website that i have been referencing since I was 16
The Tao of Pooh - A famous and special book written as a primer or introduction on Taoist Philosophy for Westerners using characters from Winnie - the - Pooh as allegories to explain taoism's basic principals.
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