Through meditation, one can attain health, intelligence, and a sound character.
Master Sheng Yen
What is Meditation?
Meditation is at the core of any mindfulness practice. It is the way to be present in the moment while not succumbing to the “Wild Monkey Mind” that we all have. It is the way to let go of attachments to your own thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. With a calm and relaxed mind, you can then focus on what is important to you. Meditation is scientifically proven to impact brain function and improve your mental and physical health.
When one thinks of meditation, it is usually someone in a seated position. We can also meditate while walking, eating, or standing. In your tai chi practice, it is one of the tools to focus on your body, your movements, and your intent as your mind, body, and spirit move as one. Outside the kwoon, meditation is used to minimize the impact of distractions, both internal and external.
Reasons to meditate
Disciplines and calms the mind
Reduces the physical effects of stress
Improves focus and concentration
Helps manage emotional reactions
Enhances ability to think clearly and respond calmly
Meditation at Lake Norman Tai Chi Center
There are many schools of meditation and many ways one can meditate. At Lake Norman Tai Chi Center, meditation is a part of our tai chi and yoga classes. We also have a dedicated group meditation class that is open to all Mastery Program students.
In our group meditation class, we practice Silent Illumination as taught by the Chan Buddhist Monk, Master Sheng Yen. It is a seated practice that uses a variety of methods or strategies to hone the skill of attaining a single-pointed focus.
Our meditation class is broken up into three areas:
a seated meditation
a tea meditation
a walking meditation
Occasionally we will start class with an open student discussion.
For anyone new to meditation, taking group meditation classes is one of the best ways to get started. You’ll learn helpful tips and techniques and have the chance to ask questions and compare experiences with other students, some who are new to meditation and some who have practiced for many years. Meditation class at Lake Norman Tai Chi Center is an opportunity to put your responsibilities and your worries aside and practice just being. All you have to do is breathe, and your body takes care of that for you.
Book Your Free Class!
Do you want to know if meditation and tai chi are right for you? Discover the benefits for yourself and how Lake Norman Tai Chi Center can help you reach your goals by taking a free, no obligation, Introductory Tai Chi Class.
Meditation classes are included in the Mastery Program. They are an additional $25 / month in the Trial Program.
Bring a mat or blanket and a meditation cushion or pillow to sit on, and a small blanket to cover your lap while sitting. We also have mats, yoga blocks and other props available for sale. We also have chairs available if you prefer sitting in a chair to sitting on the floor.
Our meditation class is treated as a silent retreat. Keep talking and conversation to a minimum. People meditating in chairs should line up towards the back of the kwoon. And be respectful of people's spaces.
There is a Zen Proverb that says: “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you're too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”
Ideally, you want to meditate every day. How long you meditate is less important. Meditating for as little as 5 minutes has benefits as long as you do it daily.
For something as simple as sitting, it's amazing how difficult it can be. Don't be surprised if you get a little antsy. It's your mind not being used to the stillness. If you are using a bench or cushion, you may experience some physical discomfort. It's important to not focus on that. Just focus on your breath. It's part of the practice.
Our free, no obligation, Introductory Tai Chi class is a great way to learn more. Even though it is focused on our tai chi program, meditation is a part of what we teach and we can answer any specific meditation questions you may have.
In addition, we can recommend two books on meditation:
The Posture of Meditation: A Practical Manual for Meditators of All Traditions by Will Johnson
The Method of No-Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination by Master Sheng Yen