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Basic Movement Meditation

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Meditative engagement in body movements. (Tai Chi for anarchists).

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Props: some loose-fitting clothes, no shoes, and some space to move around in.


Stand in your space with your palms uppermost by your waist, and almost close your eyes so that you can just see your hands through the lids of your eyes. Now let your body make whatever slow, simple movements come naturally to it.
Let your body decide how to move. Let all of parts your body be loose. If at any stage you want to close your eyes, that's fine too as long as you keep an awareness of what your body is doing. Simply watch what's going on, and try to be as fully aware as you can be of all those parts of you that are moving. If your thoughts get distracted, then bring yourself back. Without telling your muscles what to do, let those parts of you that want to, move, while being 'engaged' with your mind. Don't think too much, and try not to move too many parts of your body at once. It's easier to keep track of simple movements. Try not to make any movement that your mind isn't 'engaged' with.

Sense which muscles are moving as your shape changes. Notice how even a small movement in one area generally involves some sort of compensation somewhere else. Notice how finely tuned your sense of balance is, and how it works with no conscious thought.

Now concentrate on the movement of your arms and your hands, preferably with your palms open. Concentrate on your palms more than your fingers. Let your hands and arms do what they want to do, and try and be as fully aware as you can of all the nuances of movement involved. Do this for a couple of minutes.

Then when you're ready, end it. 'Jiggling' your whole body for a few seconds sometimes feels good before you do anything else!


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Contribution: Richard Ebbs, Leeds, England.

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