A Tip for Practicing Meditation to Improve Physical and Mental Wellbeing

The below video tip is taken from Practical Zen: Meditation and Beyond by Julian Daizan Skinner, Foreword by Shinzan Miyamae

Using a system established by the ancestors of the Rinzai tradition of Zen, Practical Zen presents specific meditation practices in a practical and engaging way that will enable readers to live a grounded, strong, energetic life:

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Stillness meditation – extract from Body Intelligence Meditation

Image from Zen Mountain Monastery

You need reminding about stillness. Modern life has little interest in it. We have all become imprinted with an urge to activity that is both an overbearing work ethic and a neurotic need to be scintillated. Being still is very unfashionable and uncool. Once you glimpse your innate stillness, your body will respond powerfully to it and each time you open up to it, there will be a much stronger connection.

Sit and let your body become calm. Recognize the tremendous activity in your body. How can we ever get tired with so much energy and movement taking place within us? Let’s open up to the underlying stillness gradually. Start with your heart. The movement of the heart is constant. You couldn’t name a structure that is more caught up in motion. As you feel the movement of the heart, simply open up to the movement taking place within a field of stillness. Even if that doesn’t make any sense to your rational mind, open up to it. Do the same with the other big movement in your body, your breathing. Be with the felt sense of the ribcage and diaphragm moving, but again open up to the movement taking place in a field of stillness. The body will start automatically reorganizing when you do this. Notice the effect on your body. Lastly, notice the furious activity of your brain and thoughts, and open up to stillness as an intrinsic component of that. Again, you will feel something as you do it.

Stay with that for a while and then simply open up to your whole body being part of a field of stillness that embraces everything, so that all activity within you is part of the stillness. Now listen and feel as your system becomes modified by the stillness. Everything slows down. Breath, heart and mind all gear down and something sparks up in the body as a whole. It’s a dynamic energy that comes through your cells and fluids like a permeation from the field of stillness. The body just loves this process!

This meditation is taken from Body Intelligence Meditation: Finding presence through embodiment by Ged Sumner. The book is available to purchase from the Singing Dragon website.