–Thich Nhat Hanh —
We understand that it can be a challenging time for many of us due to the unknown future brought upon us by the pandemic and the grief, anger and frustration accompanying both the peaceful protests over personal suffering and systemic injustices as well as the mayhem of social unrest and violence, too. The sorrow is across the US and around the world. While it’s completely natural to experience negative emotions, and important to recognize and understand them, it is equally important to realize that we can respond with our practice—by noticing all the feelings and how the sensations rise in us, and acknowledging that our emotions are a normal part of our human, biological systems for responding to trauma. The point of recognizing is to remain aware of our oneness, of maintaining unity: with self, others, and environment. As practitioners of an art that aims to recognize neutrality, center, and stillness, we hope to share a few tips that may help in the processing of the inundation of emotions, by finding peace through balanced actions. By cultivating internal awareness, we may find that we can be with changing moments and act from a calm center.
Zhong Xin Dao has a strong reference to dynamic meditation as it is a martial art based heavily on Zen and Tao philosophies. By dynamic meditation, we are referring to a meditative type of mental state while in action. This mental state can be practiced and achieved during any activity. As the basis of establishing this mental state we must put our intention on attention and attempt to be mindful in our actions and thoughts—coming back to our center.
As a beginning we can focus this attention on our breath. We watch our breathing and observe the rise and fall of the breath. We observe the breath in a passive way, not forcing or controlling the breath. The next step is to process emotions in the same way. We observe the emotion as it begins to affect us. We observe the emotion’s state as it rises and falls. In the same way we do not force our breath, we do not force these emotions to come or go, just simply observe and recognize them. It may be helpful to associate the rise and fall of the emotions with the rise and fall of the breath.
MINDFUL ZXD EXERCISES
We suggest practicing the 15 basic exercises or the 21 form, be mindful of every move — bringing the attention to our body. We can be mindful of our environment and be mindful of our physical state. Recognize the changes and be with the moment. Unifying the mental and the physical, balancing the mind and the body to relax.