Numerous physical and mental benefits await you when you calm and quiet your mind through meditation – improved concentration, deeper relaxation, the release of stress, greater awareness, more patience – the list can keep going.
But if you’re like most people, when you first try to take up meditation you find that your mind is hardly calm and quiet. To the contrary, your mind wanders or races and you carry on a busy internal conversation about events of the past and worries for your future. Sometimes you feel that meditation makes your mind less still or quiet and more active, but that’s not really the case – you’ve just slowed down enough to see how busy your mind normally is.
How Can You Still Your Mind?
So how can you get your mind to slow down and become more still? By moving! No, not just any movement, but the movements of the meditative Eastern practices of tai chi, yoga, and qigong.
When your body is completely still in seated meditation (think Zen meditation, Transcendental meditation) your mind has nothing to latch on to but the meditation itself, so it easily wanders. But when your mind focuses on the meditation movements of tai chi, yoga, and qigong, it has to stay more attentive in order for you to continue the movements correctly.
Of course, seated meditation is wonderful and allows you to ultimately go deeper into your meditation than you can through “moving meditation”, but these meditative arts that incorporate movement are an excellent way to form a bridge between your normally active and moving daily life, and the quiet stillness of deep meditation.
So, by all means, sit and meditate and enjoy the mindfulness and many benefits it affords you, but if you find it challenging to go beyond superficially sitting still but not really find a still mind – add movement!