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  • Writer's pictureDen Chan

Buddhist Meditation and Martial Arts

Updated: May 3

Some Buddhist meditation can be useful for martial arts trainings.  Buddhist meditation can be divided into three categories. The first category is Samatha meditation. When you do Samatha meditation, you close your eyes, sit still, and focus your attention on one thing. Typically, you count your breath or focus on sounds you can hear.  If you do this for a while, you can get rid of distractive thoughts and you can feel bliss.  Samatha meditation is useful for improving your ability to focus.  Ability to focus is important in martial arts.  In order to respond to your opponent’s attacks spontaneously, you need to focus.  Frequently doing Samatha meditation can help you be focused during fights.

The second category of Buddhist meditation is Vipassana meditation.  Vipassana meditation is a meditation practice which became basis of mindfulness meditation. It is popular today.  When you do this, you pay attention not only to one thing but everything you can sense.  For example, you can pay attention not only to your breathe but also sounds you hear, texture of floor you are sitting on, and anything you are experiencing at the same time.  When you pay attention to everything you are experiencing, the important thing is to pay attention objectively without adding any subjective thoughts.  You should not be distracted by thinking that the sound you are hearing is disturbing or your breathing is short.  You can do Vipassana meditation not only when you are sitting with your eyes closed but throughout your daily life.  For example, when you walk on a street, you can pay attention to everything you can see, everything you can hear, texture of ground you are walking on, and what thoughts are coming up in your mind.  In other words, if you are mindful all the time, you are doing Vipassana meditation all the time.  Vipassana meditation is tremendously helpful for improving your martial skills.  When you have multiple opponents, instead of focusing on only one opponent, you can pay attention to every single opponent who is trying to attack you.

The third category is Metta meditation.  This meditation is called meditation of loving kindness.  When you do this, you close your eyes and sit in one posture and wish for every single organism in the universe, including yourself, to be happy.  If you can focus well, you can feel that pleasant energy is generated in your body and it spreads out around you.  If you do this in your room, you feel that your room is filled with the pleasant energy.  This pleasant energy is called Metta.  Metta is an energy of loving kindness which can be given to you by the universe.  Metta can purify your soul and body as well as your surroundings.  Since Metta is the energy of the universe, no matter how much you emit it from your body, it does not deplete.  Instead, as you emit more, you gain more energy.  This is because when you do Metta meditation, you are not emitting energy which is stored in your body but you are connected to the universe so that the energy of the universe is generated in your body.  Metta meditation may not be directly connected to improvement of your martial arts skills but if you do this often, it can be good for your mental and physical wellbeing.

Edited by Jun Ming

Buddhist meditation
Some Buddhist meditation can help improve martial arts skills. It can be good for your mental and physical wellbeing.

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