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A Form of Meditation

Forms have been called moving meditation. But what exactly does that mean? Meditation itself can be looked at as a systematic way of clearing your mind so that the body can function without intrusion of emotional baggage - worry, fear, and all other anxieties. It’s like calming a sea being tossed about by a storm. The white capped waves are worries of the day. As meditation calms the sea, those worries drift away.

Meditation serves as a mechanical means of purging extraneous thoughts and other mental clutter. Forms can act as meditation by focusing the mind on a specific task. The form, if done with attention to detail, forces the mind to deal with only one thing at a time. Because of the dynamic nature of the moving form, the mind has a difficult time straying away onto other things.

As one advances with a form, both memorizing and improving its technical aspects, the mind follows suite. For example, beginner martial artists, first learning a form, will spend a great deal of mental energy on getting the form just right. Did I do that kick right? Oops, I blew the turn. Am I going too fast? As you might expect, this creates some anxiety. But as the beginner practices and works through the form, something almost magical begins to happen. As the body becomes accustomed to the movements and as those movements are locked into memory, the mind calms down. The process of learning and perfecting the form improves concentration so that the practitioner becomes so focused that all other thoughts are wedged out. The results are a calmer mind and a relaxed and responsive body.

With practice, the whole process becomes easier and the mind moves readily into a semi- meditative state. As with anything, this takes time to develop. Stick with it and your form will take you to a higher mental plane.

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