Are you into meditation? Are you one of those people who can sit for hours without fidgeting or feeling uncomfortable but still keep moving the energy through the body? If yes, you are probably an advanced meditation practitioner.
However, many people find sitting meditation uncomfortable, boring, or ineffective. There are two main reasons why sitting meditation doesn’t work for most people. One of the reasons is that people don’t understand what they are looking for in a meditative state. The other reason is people do it in a very ineffective way.
Meditation is not sitting still and emptying the mind. You have to create a connection between body and mind by enhancing blood flow. However, most people when meditating put themselves into such uncomfortable positions that they cut off the blood flow and the gut-brain axis is not communicating properly.
What real sitting meditation involves
On a physiological level, the meditative state is a hyper-alert state in which deep, slow abdominal breathing is invisible and inaudible, and there are coherent synchronous brain wave patterns. In simple terms, your mind feels completely focused but at peace. Your body feels lengthened and relaxed, while you are feeling warmer than your environment as a result of enhancing blood flow without increasing the heart rate. In other words, real meditation connects body and mind while making you feel calm, alert, and energised. It fosters an unconscious state that promotes cellular collaboration and enhanced blood flow while it feels effortless. (You can read more about the scientific findings on meditation here: https://yogasynergy.com/how-to-meditate/)
How to do effective sitting meditation?
Effective sitting meditation has five core features. It is sustainable, engaging, calming, effortless, and energising. What does this mean? You should be able to sustain it for a long period of time while being engaged in the process. Engaging means that it is exciting enough so that you won’t get bored. It is also calming because you are not overstimulated by racing thoughts, and your nervous system is in a ventral parasympathetic mode, meaning that your body is in a state of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation that stimulates good hormone, immune and digestive function. Effective meditation is also energising because you are improving circulation (blood flow) in the process.
Ineffective sitting meditation can make people feel worse
For most people, meditation will only be about the mind, without being able to enhance the mind-body connection. So for most people, it is better to do meditation while gently moving, rather than sitting passively. Ineffective sitting meditation can give rise to emotional dysregulation and mental health problems. The reason for that is during meditation emotions will arise and will be amplified. In simple terms, emotions are physiological sensations in the body, and feelings are their mental representations in the mind. Many of us are often in a state of dysregulation and disconnection from the body. So while sitting in an uncomfortable position and not moving energy through the body, the uncomfortable bodily sensations (negative emotions) can become amplified, and dysregulation and disturbance can increase. In moving meditation, however, it is easier to enhance blood flow and move (work) through negative emotions – bodily sensations – while being engaged in special postures and movements that energise the body, making people feel engaged and empowered, rather than ineffective and passive.
If you are interested in Simon Borg-Olivier’s moving meditation practice, you can check out these videos on YouTube:
Time codes for the video:
(1) Dedication to & Request for Help for the Flood & Landslide Victims of the Northern Rivers, Australia, Disaster, March 2022 (4 minutes) (2) Theory & Explanation of the 5-D Flow System (28 minutes, beginning at 0:04:18) (3) Visually & Verbally Instructed Class (32 minutes, beginning at 0:32:22) (4) Visually Instructed Practice 28 minutes, beginning at 1:08:00)
Comprehensive moving meditation training program for body and mind, click here.
If you’d like to do effective sitting meditation, check out this video:
If you are further interested in Simon’s teachings, please click here.