Meditation Definition

Meditation definition:  "a family of self-regulation practices that aim to bring mental processes under voluntary control through focusing attention and awareness" (source: Walsh and Shapiro - 2006).

Above is the formal psychological/medical definition of meditation.   A bit dry, right?

A better way of explaining might be to say that it is:

"an activity aimed at reducing the general activity of the mind while maintaining an enhanced alertness." 

Better still:-

"The discovery and use of calming thought-processes which help a person's life journey to flourish and keep on track"

Within Zen02, our definition is very similar to the formal scientific one, but to add some human clarity  we say meditation is "the discovery and use of calming thought processes which help a person's life journey to flourish and keep on track".

the confusion about meditation

Although there are a various ways  to explain what meditation is, research has shown when you really study the subject in detail, there are only two types of meditation:-

  1. Concentration
  2. Mindful

Keep reading this post to find out more about the two main types of meditation practice.

Most people who come to Zen02 are new to mindfulness and meditation and are confused by the word, concept and practice of meditation. 

They come to us primarily to get fit with our cardio/aerobic workouts (Zenrobics), but realise we also teach them our form of meditation.  At first they think, surely I have to know how to sit in a yoga cross legged position, and know which fingers to touch together, and so on? 

However, those aspects are just the 'form' certain types of meditation practice use, but are not obligatory for a great meditative practice.  Meditation does not even have to be still.  You can be moving and practice excellent and effective meditation.

what we do
meditation practices we teach within zen02

Within all our classes, which derive from martial arts training, we practice interval forms of moving meditation, mindfulness and still meditation - even within those classes involving intense cardio/aerobic segments (on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays). 

On other days we explore various methods of meditation, mindfulness and relaxation therapies.  All these sessions are live online, and all members are welcome to join in wherever they are.

Here's a video exercise session which gives an idea how we use our karate energy for moving meditation mindful session.  This class lasts about 20 minutes.  Please bookmark this page to try it.  Continue reading below this video for more details about what the two types of meditation are and how they might help you with your personal success path.

The only spirituality we apply within Zen02 is that of self-discovery and awakening.  We witness the joy this brings to people every day. 

To see more examples of how we use mindfulness meditation within our live broadcast classes, watch these videos:

If you would like to teach our methods, please get in touch.

there are only 2 types of meditation though!

1) Concentration meditation
2) Mindful meditation

There are many different types of meditation definition, stemming from different religions and spiritual practices around the world.  There are also important mindful meditative practices within the martial arts which emphasise "in the midst of movement and chaos, keep the stillness within".

While the details of meditation practices differ depending on the practitioners, research has identified that there are only two main types of meditation (source):

1)  Concentration meditation  aims at single focus (such a mantra as practiced in Transcendental Meditation).  A mantra is normally defined as a type of chant, repeated word or phrase, but can also refer to visual images.  Mantra distracts the part of the brain that generates self-criticism.

2 ) Mindfulness meditation is where, rather than narrowing the focus (as in mantra), the consciousness is opened up. The conscious mind is 'emptied out'.  Thoughts  are allowed to come and go, but observed without self-judgement.  One train of thought is not allowed to linger too long.  

Within Zen02 practices we make use of both of these meditation definitions, whereas Zen Buddhism itself comes under the latter category.  Some of our practices are still and some are moving.  We rarely use the cross legged form of meditation and not too often use the sitting on the feet type of seiza/zazen as it's too uncomfortable for many people (for Level 3 advanced students only).

what meditation doesn't have to include

So at this point it is important to note what a meditation definition does not have to include:  praying to a deity, working out a specific problem, positive visualisation, breathing patterns, trance inducement, sitting in a cross-legged position, staying still, touching fingers together in a specific pattern.

None of these things are bad, and some of them are very useful for specific guided outcomes, but do not have to be part of meditation.  Think of meditation in it's purest form as an improvisation rather than an already composed tune.

"Think of meditation in it's purest form as an improvisation rather than an already composed tune"

The most important point is that you can apply meditative practices learned in class to every day life.  Doing this will enhance your success path whether you have fitness goals, or any other type of goal. 

medical benefits of meditation

Within medical research, meditation programs have been seen to reduce multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress (source).

Within Zen02 these practices are simple to understand and easy to apply, but have to be discovered through various practices.  We call the practices 'mushin' and 'zanshin', meaning empty mind and continuous mind accordingly. 

They are learned from karate, which although Japanese, has an important strand which stems from ancient practices from within Chinese Buddhist monasteries.  The same principles apply to many other martial arts such as Kyūdō (弓道) Japanese archery.

If you want to sample our classes, please feel free to click on the links below:

Easy Like sunday morning - mindfulness meditation exercise

Tuesday Mini-Mindfuls
Mindful meditation

Saturday 'Satzoomer' -
Talking Relaxation Therapies (on ZOOM)

Thursday mats & mindful 45 mins
Meditation for Weight Loss

Comments from the tribe....

"I've changed shape"

"I can balance now!"

"Finally, I can touch my toes"

"I can run upstairs"

"I don't get out of breath anymore"

"I sleep so much better"

"I don't shout at the kids so much"

"I knew I had to do something - this is it!"

"Finally, I'm exercising regularly and really enjoying it"

"I really look forward to my next class"

"I am so grateful of all the friendship and support"

"I wish I'd have found it sooner"

"I like helping new people feel welcome"

Legal Disclaimer: The results and effectiveness of our exercise programmes and weight loss advice may vary from person.  The factors involved in achieving long term benefits and changes include the quality of exercise choices, the number of weekly minutes of exercise completed, the adherence to a planned, healthy nutritionally balanced diet, the level of alcohol and fizzy drink consumption and overall medical health.