But guess what I experienced Saturday? Meditation coming in the form of being punched in the gut!
Now, this didn't happen in some bar fight. No one was attempting to mug me and made me a victim of some malicious attack. I was training with my Muay Thai instructor Kiel.
Having done this training for some time he wanted to introduce me to taking a punch. It's easy throwing them all day...but taking one is another story. As we began I took a decent shot that startled me. We weren't even going that hard (say 50% of this guy's strength), but it got my attention. It was then Kiel taught me how to breathe through the punch.
Turns that breathing mechanism is very similar to an engaging breath I've learned, have taught to others, and use in my own meditation practice. I was surprised how they related. And it occurred to me, "I can be meditating while I get punched in the gut!" Who knew?!?!
Maybe meditation is something you've tried and thought yourself a failure. Sitting for even 3 minutes with a clear mind can be difficult at first to say the least. But true meditation, and the health benefits it provides can be found in any activity...including taking a punch.
The greatest teachers and masters throughout time knew that our inner awareness was not reserved for silence and stillness. It is most serving as a natural part of our day. Taking that peace with us while carry on our day is where we connect the peace and love of our soul with conflict and busy-ness of our every day.
In other words....we start controlling stress. With less stress we reduce pain, ease strain on the heart, improve blood flow, create more energy, have greater clarity in thinking, enhance digestion and more. Bringing a simple breathing technique with us everywhere (and I mean everywhere now that I know how to take a punch more effectively) gives us control of our internal environment. We can create health from the inside out.
Interestingly, the technique he taught focused on the exhale. Most people put their attention on the inhale. By turning my attention to exhaling with the punches, I gained control over the core muscles and absorbed the shock. As you practice turn your attention to the exhale. Follow it through fully and take the punches life throws at you.
Then get back up, breathe again, and get back to living.