Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for...

Q is for Quiet mind, Quiet body

During the black belt test (see T) there are several times when it feels as though one's body can't possibly go on.  Your heart is beating out of your chest, your muscles ache, the sheen of sweat cocoons your body in a seemingly impenetrable casing of heat.  During these times your mind will tell you all sorts of things in order to make you quit.  Things like "you're going to pass out" or "that leg's gonna give out any second" or "you can't do this".

This is where one's meditation practice comes into play. 
It is possible to quiet one's body through the quieting of one's mind.  Of course the mind start first, because the mind controls the body.  You tell yourself "you can do this" or "just breathe" or "keep going".  And then when your thoughts keep cycling back around to all those negatives you shut it up by giving it something to do- focusing on your breathing.

The breathe comes in, the breath comes out.  Again and again and again.  You concentrate on lowering your heart rate, trying to make it match the calming breath.  You visualize a blue light spreading throughout your entire body, cooling your skin as it goes, soothing your tired muscles, healing you.  You forget all about where you're at, what impossible things you have to do and you focus on your body- calm, rested and ready.

And then, inevitably, the short break you were given ends and you have to get up and move on to the next physically taxing exercise.  But you do so with a slow, steady heart beat, relaxed muscles and a lower core body temperature.  This is what enables you to finish the test, no matter how tired or achy or spent you were- you go on, and you win.

We never know how many meditation breaks we're going to get during the test, or how long they will last.  But it doesn't matter- all that matters is that internal process.  Not letting your thoughts run away from you, concentrating on the breathe and on calming the body.  Quieting yourself.

Which is why a big part of my training for my test coming up in June is mental.  If I believe I will rock the test, then I will rock the test.  If I can slow down my heart rate after a heavy workout just by breathing, then i'll be able to do that again when the time comes.  Quiet mind, quiet body.  It's that simple.


  1. It's all in the attitude.
    A quiet mind is why they say to take a step back and think, or walk away from an argument and calm yourself. You can't think properly during a stressful moment.

  2. Beverly, I like this way of thinking. I need to quiet my mind a lot more often than I do.

  3. Meditation is a great tool for everyday. We all need to quiet our minds and bodies more often. :)

  4. Funny the source of that quote was the inventor of the nail bomb...

    I've been using periods of silence recently in an attempt to gain more control over an unfriendly body. It's quite handy.

  5. Fantastic post. Nice to meet and connect through the atozchallenge.

  6. Alex- Something I teach my clients all the time in anger management.

    J.L.- We could all use some more calm in our lives, no one is immune.

    Chrys- That we do.

    John- I'm so glad to hear that- if anyone deserves a little relief it's you.

    Comley- Nice to meet you, too! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I have to quiet my mind many times during moments of doubt, anxiety, tension, and pain.

  8. This is something I really need to work on for myself.


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