taking the path of the Warrior: movement meditation to build individual and community resilience
yesterday was Yom Kippur, culminating a time of prayer and atonement. in the same spirit, we are making a prayer for peace and meditation. prayer is a map for nurturing the hunger and connecting to the well-being found in living. prayer and meditation can draw on what’s essential rather than what’s most important, and implant a seed that grows understanding, presence and power. it’s easy to lack presence: we drift off in our thoughts, feel emotionally embroiled in a past problem, or anxious about an issue or confrontation at work, with a family member or a neighbor. if habitual, not showing up limits our ability to fully communicate and engage in life.
we are grateful to Jeff Aitken for sharing decades ago, while he was studying his doctorate at California Institute for Integral Studies, the work of Angeles Arrien PhD, an anthropologist and educator. the process of nonviolent communication she has uncovered is precolonial. in her book “The Four-Fold Way,” she taps the sacred wisdom of tribal peoples for insights into healing ourselves and our fragmented world. the first way of the Warrior is being present; the second is the Healer, who notices what has heart and meaning; the third is the Visionary, who speaks their truth without blame or judgment; and the fourth is the Teacher, who is open and not attached to outcome. let's begin with the first way, the Warrior:
the way of the Warrior chooses to be present and visible. Dr. Arrien reminds us that we can express our “inner warrior” by being aware and present, without effort or holding back. with it, we gain the capacity to own our presence and personal power. we share a few of the following exercises to help. these are easy to do at home, or even at work or at a public gathering; anytime where the need for a deeper composure to meet a challenge presents itself:
one. breathing chi, (cleansing breath)
notice your breathing as you follow the exercise. begin by following the breath from when and where it enters and leaves, pause in stillness at the top and bottom of each. listen to the silence. repeat.
two. grounding posture
whether standing, or seated, raise your eyes to the ceiling or sky, your arms at your sides, and your feet placed shoulder width apart on the floor or ground. your eyes should be open, fixed softly on a distant point above you, then lower your head. breathe. repeat.
three. activating hands
press your palms together or place a hand over your heart. feel the connection and rhythm of your pulse. relax. breathe. repeat.
through movement meditation and grounding exercises enjoyed daily, we can all achieve the Warrior’s skills and capabilities. when we spend time every day to gain composure and breath, we are better able to manage in the face of challenges and stress, and train the nervous system to refresh itself. we hope this practice will help you along the way.
the four week class series “walking the path of the Warrior Teacher Healer and Visionary" is a movement meditative practice that honors the body, mind and spirit. Yang style Tai chi from China by Cheng Man Ching allows the nervous system to relax and achieve a deep state of healing. meditation, rhythm and breathing exercises allow for continuing practices in your daily life. we hope you join our class an please let us know by taking a little poll: