by Ethan Indigo Smith

We have analytical minds with mediated wants which promote us to live highly complex lives. And yet underneath it all we all crave simplicity, but are led to believe it can’t be obtained without further complexity. In fact, it is simple to be simple – and it’s completely up to you.

For many, simply being present in the moment can itself be difficult. Statistically the thing most people do to relax is watch television, which takes the emotions and thoughts away to distant dramas and sitcoms; far away from the here and right now. As a culture we are used to becoming distant and distracted as a form of “relaxation” – and watching television is only one of the many things a busy mind will do so as not to have to face itself.

While typical modes of relaxation take us away, meditation brings us into the present.

Meditation is at once energizing and relaxing, bringing us closer to ourselves. It creates the space within us where we can explore the metaphysical links between our wandering thoughts and emotions, and our physical presence. (As you meditate try to be present and remember that the physical is always in the here and now.) It shows us that true power is within ourselves, not some unattainable outside force. It is an invocation of inner peace. And it is available to all of us.

As consciousness vehicles, we were biologically wired to meditate and to benefit from meditating, as much as we were designed to walk. However, just like learning to walk, meditation can be challenging at first. There are stages of meditation which involve facing inner aspects of ourselves – our shadows – which can be just about the most difficult processes one can undergo. The longer you have been distracted from your self, the more difficult it potentially may be. Having said that … once we find our balance, meditation becomes second nature.

First Steps Toward Mastery

Initially, being mentally and emotionally present can be confronting. The access to the power of the mind is nearly always clouded by life’s desires and traumas, so when we remove ourselves from distraction and engage only in our deepest consciousness, we may experience an influx of unresolved thoughts and feelings; the traumas (past) and fears (future) of life may come into our consciousness, seeking to be cleared.

Before we are able to fully access the power within, we must face the darkness. We may feel that this takes us farther away from an immediate sense of peace, yet we can only achieve peace in the long-term if we acknowledge and resolve the thoughts and feelings that continue to arise in our consciousness. Know that the clouds of desire and trauma, now acknowledged, will clear over time, and allow those thoughts to pass through your consciousness as you return to the serenity of the present moment.

“This too will pass” 
~ Buddha ~

The idea of perfecting meditation and meditative movement can also be intimidating to some, but like any new skill, practising simple meditative movements will lead to quantifiable and noticeable rewards. Release your ego to the process of betterment. It is always better to perform simple practices than not to practise at all.

Remember: In life and art, simplicity is beautiful. In meditative movement, simplicity is powerful. It does not lead to mediocrity, but to mastery.

The Importance of Solitude

Meditation is the most important aspect of meditative movement. Within all meditative movement or still meditation, there is mental movement, beginning with an imagination shift into a mental state of being that one cannot see physically. In meditation, it is the power of consciousness which holds the real potential and power, and which requires real cultivation.

Because of our physical predicament as human Beings, requiring constant sustenance and satisfaction, and ever subject to distraction and desire, meditative monks seek retreat in order to develop their spiritual potential. They understand that consciousness is unfathomable and boundless, and that being in quiet solitude is optimal to fostering a connection with that unlimited consciousness.

Accessing the power of consciousness requires mental, physical and spiritual development, and solitude is extremely important to this. Much of life can be distracting and upsetting to the mind, which is why meditation practitioners and monks go on isolated retreats to monasteries of sorts, or forests or caves, or take vows of silence, or just seek quiet places to meditate undisturbed. They understand that consciousness is unfathomable and boundless, and that being in quiet solitude is optimal to exploring a connection with that unlimited consciousness. Choosing moments of isolation (particularly within nature) aligns our consciousness to a natural state that brings us inward – where the real power, insights and inspiration reside.

The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation

I subscribe to the Pareto principle of meditative movement, which is that the simplest movements are often the most beneficial. And it just so happens that one of the quickest and simplest sets of meditative movements and one of the easiest to integrate as your own, is also one of the most powerful.

If you have never experienced the Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, I beg you to do so. Both invigorating and relaxing, it is a vigorous series of breath co-ordinated movements and meditation.

The practice helps one become balanced mentally and physically, and has been known to help treat depression and inflammation.

It takes about twenty minutes or so depending on how long you meditate – the longer the better of course. There are 5 movements, each done 21 times. Each of the Tibetans are followed by taking two deep breaths so as to balance out the energy just moved.

A Final Word

I like to practice the Five Rites slowly, to develop a deep breath cycle. One way to include a breath control ‘work in’ along with doing the Rites is to breathe only with the movements. Whether you do 5 of each or 21, this can generate tremendous chi and breath potential.

As with all meditative movements, part of the reason people are adverse to beginning it – part of the reason we allow our ego to convince us we do not need to do such practices – is because we see that they take time and effort. But remember, meditative practice makes time. It gives you more energy and focus, and as a result, more efficiency. It actively invokes peace and simplicity. And best of all, it’s completely up to you.

*This is a significantly edited article. For the full article please visit the below website, and we would suggest you also conduct your own research to find out more, and perhaps watch videos on how to practise the Tibetan Rites.