Do you want to overcome fear? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to work efficiently?
Meditation is effective to these kind of things. It is scientifically proven.
Japanese Budo (martial arts) has a history of incorporating meditation and Zen.
There is also the word “Ken – Zen – Ichinyo” that swordsmanship and Zen aim for are the same.
Recently scientifically proved the effect of meditation.
Let me show you how it relates to Budo and meditation.
|Table of contents|
|Relationship between meditation and martial artists|
|The effect of meditation that change genes and brain|
|The connection between the history of meditation and martial arts|
Recently scientific experiments have confirmed the effect of meditation.
There are various effects such as changing brain and genes, preventing brain aging.
For anxiety, depression, chronic pain it is as effective as medicine by meditating.
For example, Yagyu-sinkage-ryu of swordsmans adopted meditation as part of practice.
Yagyu-sinkage-ryu’s swordsmen Munenori Yagyu receives such a question from the general at a time.
How can my swordsmans progress further?
Munenori said that Zen meditation is necessary for further improvement.
Koichi Tohei, a founder of Aikido ‘s founder Morihei Ueshiba’ s disciple, is doing Morihei ‘s analysis in his own book.
According to that book he concludes that Aikido technology was born as a result of Morihei being able to relax by meditating.
In Karate, “Kata” which is done by one person is valued.
It seems that Choki Motobu, a master of the karate, practiced just kata called Naihanchi.
It is a kind of meditation to do kata focusing on these own movements. Karate of Okinawa has many kata.
In this way meditation and Budo (martial arts) are not irrelevant.
It seems that meditation and kata had various effects.
Of course it may not be the only effect of meditation.
However, it is important to meditate and be conscious of the balance between the mind and the body.
At least it can not be said that meditation was completely unrelated to their progress and enlightenment?
Well, it is hard to believe that meditation will have a positive influence on Budo (martial arts).
So I will explain the effect of meditation that is found by modern science.
First is Harvard University’s 2011 study.
Training of meditation over 8 weeks showed that the gray matter of the brain was reconstructed.
It is said that gray matter is a part related to stress, anxiety, fear.
When we meditated for 8 weeks, these parts were rebuilt.
It seems that the brain weakened by stress returns to normal.(1)
It is a 2013 research by the University of Wisconsin.
By meditation it turned out that genes related to inflammation changed to correspond to inflammation.
Inflammation is a physical scar or mental stress. Inflammation is said to be the source of disease. It seems to be the origin of abnormality occurring in the body.
It seems that genes that correct such inflammation are likely to develop by meditating.(2)
In 2016 the University of California thesis found that the brains of those who had been meditating for a long time will prevent them from declining due to aging and will keep them young.
It is a very good thing to prevent dementia and decline of the brain from being old.
The founder of Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei seemed to be doing meditations of Shinto style, so it seems that there was such a background that he could conduct guidance even when he was older.(3)
I was not quite able to trust whether these facts were true or not. It seems that researchers were the same, and in 2015 Johns Popkins University surveyed about 20,000 studies on meditation so far.
As a result, it was concluded that doing meditation is at least as effective as medication for anxiety, depression, chronic pain.(4)
It is quite nice but it does not change dramatically as soon as possible. It is feeling that a modest change will come when you keep on long.
When you continue, there will be times when you can realize things that have changed.
It is good for many people that meditation is effective for stress and aging.
For those who do Budo and martial arts, meditative training can be said to be a learning to connect their minds and bodies.
Meditation is one of the practice methods born out of yoga developed in India in the first place. The etymology is Sanskrit word yuj.
This seems to have meaning to put a yoke on a horse and connect with a loading platform.
It is thought that yoga was created as a way to connect mind and body.
This also coincides with the concept of unity of mind and body in Budo.
Linking different things also leads to the idea of Yin and Yang.
If you think like this, you probably will notice that Budo is connected to various things.
Meditation is one of the methods for opening enlightenment, as history prove.
But it is not necessary for us to do such a big deal in our lives.
It will be a good reason to meditate just for the following benefits.
· Become strong against fear and anxiety
· Slow brain aging
· Become more resistant to pain
However, as meditation is also historically proved this will only give a modest and slow change.
It does not change drastically and overwhelmingly, it will come out slowly and slowly.
The meditation used in the study is called Mindfulness meditation.
Meditation is to do something mindfully.
It means to concentrate on one thing.
In other words, in the case of Budo or martial arts, you can turn your way of walking, swaying weapons, practicing kata into a kind of meditation.
By rethinking such practice as meditation, we can lead to better practice.
Meditation does not accept everyone. It does not bring about a drastic change.
However, if you are doing Budo or martial arts, I think that it’s worth to try it once.
To be continued to…
Next time I would like to explain the meditation method that was also used in scientific experiments and scientifically proven.