Combining Meditation and Acupuncture:
The Sacred Path of the Warrior
Shamatha meditation is a Tibetan Buddhist form of meditation. It is practiced in order to synchronize the mind with the body and orient oneself to the present moment. Stress is a defense mode response, and often times when we feel stressed there is nothing to defend against. That is why awakening to the (often non-threatening) present moment is crucial. In Shamatha there’s no intention or object, and it is done from a completely genuine and alive place. The repetitive aspects of the practice (doing it every day) helps people because the human mind remembers by way of repetition. With this practice, what is occurring for the mind translates to the body and may facilitate healing of symptoms. It is through practice, awareness of breath, and genuine unconditional love for the world, that one starts their path to becoming a warrior. It is important to also note that practicing Shamatha is not about trying to get rid of one’s stressful thoughts or physical conditions (although it can lead to that). The whole point is that there is no goal. It is about cultivating the ability to allow thought to occur without attachment to outcomes. This reduces suffering in our minds and through a ripple effect, our bodies.
A quote from the Neijing Suwen, an ancient book at the root of Chinese Medicine states: “In peaceful calm, void and emptiness, the authentic qi flows easily. Essences and spirits are kept within. How could illness arise?” This means that only when the body and mind are in synchronicity can one be in optimal health and harmony. Acupuncture works with the whole individual and balances the mind and the body, and so does Shamatha! In order to keep the mind and body connected, “body must be pure and mind must be open, empty and formidable”. This concept is very much in line with the sacred path of the warrior. This overlap demonstrates the enhancement of healing that acupuncture patients who regularly practice meditation can see. And, for people who meditate, acupuncture can help move what may be stuck and enhance their daily practice.
Dawn of the Great Eastern Sun
A great metaphor for understanding these benefits is that of The Great Eastern Sun. It is a way to describe the ability to see potential, radiance and natural beauty in the world. Great Eastern Sun mentality comes from being with the reality of life and having gratitude for it. It is knowing that even though life may be impermanent, it can still be celebrated. Many times people suffer because they are reaching for an inevitably setting sun. This metaphor reminds us that if the sun sets, that only means it will rise again, bringing with it a new dawn. This mentality is so crucial for patients, especially those who have chronic conditions. When a patient can see the Rising Sun through their symptoms, knowing they are in total control of their experiences, they can change the entire world. When people know and contribute to their own wholeness, they become true warriors.
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