WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Mediation is an activity that can be used to improve not just our muay Thai skills but many other aspects of our lives.
In mediation, there are three important aspects that must be understood so our practice is successful.
The first one is “Awareness”. Awareness is the skill that allows us to see or recognize what exactly is happening, in that precise moment.
The second aspect is “Concentration”. Concentration is the skill that maintains awareness for a certain period of time. When our concentration improves, we should be able to keep our attention constantly while we are training or fighting.
The third and last aspect is “Practice”. Regular practice is necessary to feel the benefits of mediation. First, we must do a little bit every day and five minutes should be enough.
After, and only when we feel that is the right time, we should increase the amount of time in each meditation session until we lose track of how long we are meditating. No rush or pressure should be felt during our practice.
HOW THE CONNECTION BETWEEN SPIRITUALITY AND FIGHTING HAPPENED?
Since ancient times, in Asia there exists a small group of spiritual masters which are referred to by different names (hermits, rishis, siddhas, yogis, gurus etc.). Some of these masters were warriors before and, because of their spiritual maturity, they gave up everything to pursue spiritual perfection. These masters travel from place to place and occasionally teach students their spiritual experiences together with their martial arts so their pupils can develop discipline, health, focus and many other attributes that the martial arts build in practitioners. Due to high awareness, those masters understood how important martial arts, yoga and meditation are to develop the foundation of spiritual practices. This is the way that martial arts and spirituality were linked together.
THE MISSING LINK BETWEEN MUAY THAI AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
There is no doubt that muay Thai is an excellent way to connect our body, mind, and spirit. I personally feel that muay Thai has helped me tremendously to know myself better. I cannot think of a better way to experience how my physical and mental limits were overcome by my martial arts training.
In Thailand, Muay Thai has served the purpose of defending the country and has done very well, but the actual muay Thai of today is lacking spiritual knowledge about inner alchemy.
The only spiritual knowledge that muay Thai has today are the Wai kru (respect the teacher) and some magic (yantras and mantras). But this is just a shadow of what the ancient muay Thai contained in his old teachings. In Thailand all those spiritual teachings have been buried down long ago for different reasons. Because of that, now most muay Thai fighters are just interested in fighting to make money and survive. When they finish fighting, they become promoters, trainers, or gym owners.
I truly believe that if Muay Thai students have the opportunity to learn some spiritual cultivation in the early stages of training Muay Thai, it will be very useful for them when they grow old and cannot fight anymore. The spiritual practices will be much stronger because of all the years of practice and the person will reach the level of spiritual mastery. In the longer run this will help the art, the country, and humanity.
But in Thailand, if a fighter wants to develop his spiritual practices, he must give up muay Thai and become a monk. First is because Buddhism does not allow you to do any muay Thai training when you are a monk. Second, because Muay Thai has not kept the knowledge that connects Muay Thai and spirituality together. Third, because Thai people haven’t figured out yet how to reconnect fighting and spirituality. That is the reason why the link between muay Thai and spiritual development is missing.
Ultimately, Muay Thai, meditation, and spiritual development can perfectly fit together if an adequate method of cultivation is used.
HOW MEDITATION CAN HELP MUAY THAI?
The practice of meditation can help the mind be calmer and react better in extreme situations.
During the moments of high pressure and intensity, the mind becomes clouded and our perspective becomes narrower, making the body tense and our reactions slow. Because of that, our fighting performance turned out to be very poor.
When we are trained in meditation, if the mind or the body feel pressure, our attention immediately recognizes what is happening and will send a message to not allow the emotion (anger or fear most of the time) to take control of the situation. If it’s done in time, the emotion will be blocked and the mind will remain calm with all our physical functions fully capable of reacting naturally. If the emotion cannot be stopped in time, then it will affect how our whole-body functions for a while, making them slow and vulnerable.
Fighting requires a flexible body and a calm mind to be able to adapt and overcome an opponent. Because of that, our mind should be trained to be neutral, alert and relaxed at all times. A mind too aggressive or fearful is not in an optimal condition to perform in a muay Thai match.
“As much important is to train our body to be strong, as much important it is to train meditation to keep our mind still”
WHAT TYPE OF MEDITATION GOES ALONG WITH MUAY THAI?
Among the many styles of meditation that I have practiced for over 30 years; there is a type of meditation that is by far the most powerful method that I found to be used by muay Thai fighters. This type of meditation is based on absorbing cosmic energy to awaken the dormant inner power resting in the base of the spine which is called kundalini.
This energy can be awakened by daily hard physical training (martial arts or yoga) and meditation. The kundalini awakening can take many years and when this finally occurs, the kundalini power will start naturally ascending by the three main channels in the body activating progressively the seven energetic vortexes (chakras) until reaching the top of the head.
In many countries of Asia specially in India and in Sri Lanka, martial artist practitioners consider that the kundalini awakening is the main purpose in their martial arts training. When the shakti or power reaches the last chakra at the top of the head, it means that the practitioner will reach a higher perspective of consciousness leaving behind the ego-personality and embracing Universal Unity. Then, the spiritual journey begins…
HOW TO PRACTICE KUNDALINI MEDITATION
In a quiet place, sit in the floor (to use a cushion is fine) with your back straight,
Pray (if you believe) to whoever can assist you in your inner journey
Open your hands with your palms facing up,
The thumb and index finger touching each other on both hands,
Extend your arms with our hands resting on your thighs.
Step 1. “Connecting Our Polarity”
We must visualize the golden light of the sun above us and from there a column of golden light descends downwards covering us completely from top of the head to button and continuing all the way to the center of the earth. When the light reaches the core of the earth, it will return back covering us again from button to the top of the head and continuing to the golden light above our head. We will repeat this process 3 times.
Step 2. “Connecting Our Chakras”
We visualize again the golden light above us but this time a ray of golden light descends down entering the top of our head and travelling down through our spine all the way to the center of the earth. When the light reaches the core of the earth, it will return back ascending the same way and entering the perineum until the top of our head, then continuing up until reaching again the golden light above us.
When we practice this visualization often, the golden ray of light will connect our seven energetic vortex or chakras (crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, navel and root chakra) this connection will activate our energetic body and it will increase many of our hidden capacities, creativity, intuition, communication to name some. We will repeat this process 3 times.
Step 3. “Absorbing Cosmic Energy”
The energy is conducted through some meridians and will charge our whole energetic body.
Step 4. “Shielding for Protection”
Upper and lower Pyramids are projected to isolate us from unwanted energy. This step is about learning how to protect our energetic body.
Step 5. “Expansion of the Spheres”
With the three spheres of expansion, the heart projects loving kindness and energy towards family, (including ancestors), teachers, friends and beyond. This step is about healing and reconnecting
Step 6. “Chakras Activation”
Opening each chakra using a certain direction, color, size and mantra sound.
Step 7. “Chakra Breathing”
Charging and empowering each chakra through the breath.
The only three main things that you need to do to awaken the kundalini energy are: train hard every day, perform heavy breathing exercises (which pretty much happen in every Muay Thai session) and sitting still using the kundalini meditation techniques above. As you see, muay Thai has the perfect background to develop our inner power.
The practice of Kundalini meditation will generate lots of power and vitality in the body. When the body is fully charged, the energy will start accumulating at the root chakra located in the perineum until it opens up. The feeling will be crystal clear when it happens. From that moment, the body will have an inner pulse which will grow stronger with practice and time until the body will start gently spinning or moving by itself doing different patterns of movement. Practicing month after month, the energy will start ascending, and different sensations and feelings will happen, making the inner journey completely different from person to person. The energy will keep traveling up piercing each chakra one by one until it reaches the third eye chakra. From that point, I will provide only personal private explanations.
There are many things that I can tell you but the whole point is for you to practice and to find out by yourself. Also, as you can see, I only explained just two of the main steps as a measure of precaution for those who are just looking for information without practice. The main point is you must practice to know. The only reason I have to tell you about all this meditation is because I want to let you know that there is something here. If someone is really interested can contact me by email.
We recommend doing this type of meditation under the supervision of a kundalini teacher as it can have a very strong result. This is not a game. This meditation is real.
MEDITATION FOR RELAXATION
As well if you would like to practice an easier way of meditation just to be relaxed, here is another simple and effective meditation method that everyone can practice.
To start this type of meditation, we can sit or stand up, our body should be completely relaxed keeping our backs straight and our clothes loose. Our hands can rest over each other, in our legs or in any other position where they feel comfortable.
To begin, we lay our awareness in the breath, we breathe through the nose naturally and our eyes will be softly closed.
We relax and stay with the breath for a few minutes letting go of any accumulated worry or tension. If any thoughts or sensations appear during the observation of the breath, we will acknowledge that and will observe it until it vanishes, then we will return to our breath again. As many times the mental object appears, as many times we will acknowledge and come back to our breath.
Sometimes we will become lost within the mental images and we will lose our awareness completely. Don’t worry as this is the nature of our practice. As soon as we realize that we lost our attention… we will return softly to our breath when the image disappears.
Every time that we are lost, acknowledge and return to our breath, the muscle of awareness becomes stronger…Yes, I say stronger… The more practice, the stronger the concentration will be.
After meditating for a while, the mind will naturally become calm, and we should be able to maintain continuous attention in the moment without effort. At this point, we can say that we have entered the emptiness room and the breath and the thinking mind will simply vanish.
If in our practice we often reach this state of peace and calmness, this will activate different brain functions and unique abilities will appear. If you have reached this level already, stay in that emptiness space without wanting or doing anything. Just be there in peace and in silence and let nature reveal itself.
The main benefits of this type of meditation are relaxation, calmness and awareness of your inner thoughts, feelings and emotions.