Here comes that ice cream truck again, this time serving up some very interesting meditation techniques. The meditations we have explored so far have emphasized the mind, intelligence, thought, sound, feeling etc, now we will introduce the category of meditations that use the body as a vehicle for self-study and expanding awareness. These meditations come to us from religions around the globe and many are fast becoming an integral part of mainstream life.
4. Body Meditation Techniques: These meditations and practices may suit those inclined to physical activity, but as you will see from the list below there are meditation techniques using the body which can easily by enjoyed by all. In addition, the meditations of this type almost all have the added benefit of keeping us fit and healthy.
- Yoga as Meditation: All forms of physical yoga are meant to be done with full awareness of the postures and movements. In addition breath is combined with the movements and poses to help open up the energy channels and free the system from the debris of the past. There is no prerequisite for the practice of Yoga, such as flexibility or diet, and all can benefit from the blessings this ancient and powerful technique bestows.
- Walking Meditation Technique: This form of meditation should not be underestimated. It is really a treasure. In Zen, walking meditation has been formalized and is called “Kinhin”. There are many styles of walking meditation, but for all these styles, awareness is a key component. In walking meditation you can either be fully tuned it to the physical process of walking, or you can be fully aware of the environment, either inner or outer, as you just walk. It either case, the objective is be in the present moment as best you can.
- Dance Meditation Technique: The only prerequisite to Meditation by dance is that you are alive. The range of this meditation done via this technique is quite remarkable. There is the Dervish dancing of the Sufi mystics, the Dance Meditation of Master Gurdjieff, Osho’s famous meditations using dance and movement, Lord Shiva’s Cosmic Dance — the Tandon and the list goes on and on. Dance Meditation is not only for celebrating life, but is a valid and powerful method to build awareness, induce catharsis and encounter Reality.
- The Martial Arts as Meditation: “Grasshopper… life is a dream within a dream.” For those of us who grew up watching the TV show “Kung Fu” know well the intimate relationship between the martial arts and meditation. Zen Archery, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and other related techniques all belong here in this category. Common to all these techniques is understanding the intimate connection between the breath, the life-force it contains (Qi, Chi, Prana), the mind and the concept of Oneness.
- Sex as Meditation (Left hand of Tantra): No I did not forget this most profound, yet very misunderstood, type of meditation. Tantra and tantric sex have been gaining notoriety over the past few decades as spirituality, tantra yoga and enlightenment have moved into the mainstream, where now most aspirants are married and sexually active. This meditation technique requires first the disciplining of the mind and control over one’s passions. Then one can learn the techniques of vajroli and sahajoli along with the various bandhas (body locks) and yoga asanas which help to maintain the height of sexual charge and the use of that energy to activate the higher centers. This method of meditation is indeed wonderful and if two like minded people come together for its practice, for the right purpose, it can provide a powerful and potent vehicle for the attainment of enlightenment.
So there you have it. All the main flavors of ice cream available to satiate your meditative appetite. Most important thing for you to do is indulge. Your soul craves meditation like children crave ice cream so go ahead and take a bite — I promise you will absolutely get addicted and it will be the most beneficial addiction you can ever have.