Meditation and the relationship to the body

Posted on May 9, 2010
Filed Under Body, Breathing practices, meditation, Taylor Ellwood | Leave a Comment

I’ve been doing a lot of research and practical applications of meditation from various spiritual systems, and the one thing I find consistent is that for meditation to really work, there must be some interaction with the body. The body is the gateway to experiencing meditation, which makes sense as a meditation is really an altered state of physiological consciousness. I put it that way, because it seems to me that there is a tendency to discuss and conceptualize meditation as a state of mind or consciousness that is separate from the experience of the body.

But you really can’t separate the body from meditation, because you are rooting yourself in the experience of changing your physiology to accomplish an altered state of consciousness. This is why breath plays such a role in meditation. Breath is the key to accessing the body and bringing it into a state of physiological receptivity for an altered state of consciousness. By focusing awareness on the breath a person becomes aware of the body and can slow it down enough to enter into an altered state. Or alternately a person can do some kind of excitatory activity to achieve the same level of awareness. In either case, the body is the foundational core by which meditation is achieved. It’s worth remembering that if you want to make meditation a part of your tool set.

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