As practitioners of life cultivation, and we belong to the Carefree Sect, we do not generally follow a strict plan on meditation. However, if you want to follow the tradition, then you should plan about how long you have to meditate. Before you start meditation, you should plan your time for meditation. Most senior meditators recommend meditation twice a day for twenty minutes; but for beginners, you can start five minutes a day.
The way we practitioners of life cultivation do it, we will meditate until we feel good, or until we feel tired of it. When we start to waver from our meditation and think about random thoughts, our loved ones, the books we have read, the videos we have watched, the cooking preparations we have to do, then we should give up meditation and do whatever is in our mind.
If you follow the tradition, you should meditate at a fixed time every day. You may choose to meditate for fifteen minutes upon waking up in the morning. You may choose to meditate for five minutes during the lunch break. No matter what time period you choose, you should make meditation a fixed part of your daily routine.
However, as practitioners of life cultivation, we do not usually follow the traditional advice. Of course, once we practice, we tend to follow the routines because we are animals of habit. As carefree persons, we do not see the advantages of turning ourselves into robots.
Once we have decided to meditate according to a time schedule, then we should stick to it. We do not give up because we see no immediate result. We should rethink the story of Yugong Moving The Hill. In order to reap benefits from meditation, it requires a long period of continuous practice. If you are a beginner, just persist.
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Somehow a modern man works around a clock. He likes the constraint of time. He wants to start and finish a routine on time and he feels uneasy if he cannot follow it.
As practitioners of life cultivation, we want you to get rid of that thought. It is unnatural. You are trained by your work factory to follow a time schedule because it is to its benefit for you to do so. It is not beneficial to you.
As a retired or soon to be retired person, you are now free from the shackles. We will show you how to remove the shackles once you join Mustang Life Cultivation Club and live a carefree life.
Therefore, when you practice meditation, do not use a stopwatch, and it is best not to look at the time repeatedly. Do not even set a soft alarm clock to remind you that time is up. You will know for yourself when to end the meditation session when you follow our way in life cultivation practice.
Traditionally, you will be advised to end the meditation based on an event, such as when your partner gets up, or the sun’s spot just falls on a certain point on the wall.
04 Stretching exercise
Because meditation requires a period of rest in a place, it is best to minimize tension and fatigue in all parts of the body before sitting down. Taking a few minutes to do some stretching exercises will help us to relax our body and mind and prepare for the next meditation. This can also help us to relax our mind while meditating, rather than focusing on one or two sore joints and muscles.
For those of us who have been sitting in front of a computer for a long time, we will stretch our neck, shoulders and back. For those of us who take a lotus position to meditate, we will pay attention to relaxing our legs, especially the inner thighs.
Refer to Mustang Shenzhan Technique to choose from a wide variety of stretching exercises to achieve the goal.
05 Choose a comfortable sitting position
As mentioned earlier, it is important for us to relax our body during meditation, so we should find the one position that suits us the best. The traditional way of meditation is to put a mat on the floor and then sit on it in a lotus position or a half lotus position.
As practitioners of life cultivation, most of us are seniors, and we will find that our legs, hips, and back are now very stiff. We will need to work hard to keep our waist in the lotus position and keep it right.
Therefore, some of us will choose a natural position that we call Five-mountain-up-the-sky. Keeping in mind to move our center of gravity up and back. This position will not require us to sit on a mat, chair or meditation chair.
Our pelvis should be tilted forward slightly so that the spine is just above the center of the thigh bone at both ends, which is between the two points that support our body weight. To maintain the correct pelvic position, we can sit on the front of a thick mat such as a mattress. We can also choose to sit on a chair, putting a 7.6-10.2 cm thick padding under the two hind legs of the chair to tilt the chair forward.
The so-called meditation chair is usually such a chair with a certain angle. If our chair is level, place something under the back of the chair and let it tilt forward 1.3-2.5 cm.
In order to achieve the most relaxed position so that we can do jingzuo (sitting meditation) for a long period of time, we have to learn how to lean our pelvis the right way. We start from the perineum and gradually adjust each vertebrae of our spine until each section is just right in the upper part of the other section, supporting the weight of our body, neck and head.
If we feel where the muscles are tense, we should try to relax them. If we cannot relax when we are sitting upright, then we need to realign our spine and correct our body position so that we feel relaxed.
A beginner may need to practice a few more times to find a position that will allow him to relax his muscles, until he can easily maintain his body position.
The most important point is to make us feel comfortable, relaxed, and upright, so that our spine supports the weight above the waist.
Traditional meditation gestures include placing our hands on overlapping legs with the palms facing up and the right hand over the left hand. However, we can also let our hands naturally rest on your knees or hang on our side, as we like.
06 Close your eyes
We can meditate with our eyes open or closed. However, as beginners, it is better to close our eyes loosely to shut out environmental interference. It also helps us to concentrate on our meditation activity.
Once we are used to meditation, we may then try to meditate with our eyes opened. This will help those who tend to fall asleep while meditating with closed eyes. This will also help those who tend to be too focused while meditating with closed eyes. This will also help those who tend to see annoying images while meditating with closed eyes.
Once we do meditation with open eyes, we have to learn to empty our mind while meditating. That means we will not want to focus our mind on one particular object around us. However, do not overdo it. Do not fall into a trance. Remember, the purpose of meditation is for us to feel relaxed but awake.
Now we have done our preparation for meditation. Next we will go into meditation itself. If you have difficulty following the preparation, just forget it and go into meditation right away. Who cares?
Now we go.
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This is an extract of the full article published in Mustang BodyWorks Infoletter, a paid-subscription.
Stay tuned for the next episode: Mustang Jingzuo Technique Basics.
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