Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)
As you already understand and know, there are a variety of ways we can meditate. Two of greatest interest to us in the karate community are, first is mokuso where our goal is to still the body sitting in seiza to clear the mind of all external interference and thus quiet the mind while second, is kata where our goal is to utilize a variety of concepts and traits in a moving model that promotes and stimulates thoughts and actions.
Let me be clear, kata as well as other moving aspects of martial arts has and always will be a form of moving meditation of a kind many don't consider as an intricate part of one's training and practice.
Movement is something the brain, the mind and body, require to literally survive. We humans must move to maintain health, wellness and a solid psychological balance not of just the mind but of the body as well where non-movement tends to slow things down and quiet both the body and mind so that clarity of non-thought can also perform the yin of yin/yang, i.e., while moving meditation stimulates thought and movement the other, mokuso, stimulates a quieting of the mind and the settling of the body into a positive relaxed state.
Yin/Yang, we sleep and we wake and move - this is the basic foundation of the human body and mind and is how we have survived over the millennium of our species existence. As we have come to understand through the philosophy of karate and martial disciplines the yin/yang principle is about attaining balance and in our body and mind we have to have movement, or action, along with stimulation of the thinking processes of the mind, or brain. We also have to balance that out with what you might say is relaxation so the body and mind can regroup and continue to grow and evolve. A constant unbalanced state of either leads to stresses and damage hindering our abilities as humans who think and do, to survive.
Moving mediation in kata requires us to think, to visualize and to self-talk in order to learn moves, methods and techniques in a creative way. It has been proven through research that to move while thinking promotes creativity so when we learn the movement of kata, when we perform the chain of movements and when we contemplate it while in that moving state of being we stimulate our brains, our minds, to actually visualize things like the techniques, methodologies and we stimulate certain chemicals and processes in the body-mind that promote all kinds of memories that benefit us in a variety of ways when certain stimuli trigger those memories or cognitive cues to act in ways that sometimes come as self-protection in self-defense.
That is why kata when practiced requires thoughtful, focused, intention oriented and visualization along with intenral self-talk that takes a considerable effort of learning and migrates it toward an instinct-like automated set of methods and movements that allow us to do what we do best - meditative movement of intent and purpose manifested through the art and science of kata - movement at its best.
So, we sit mokuso to slow, silence and quiet the mind and body then we move in kata, etc., to stimulate activity of movement of body and mind in a creative way to best benefit body, mind and spirit not just of karate but of our nature, health, fitness and well-being that makes us - US!
For reference and sources and professionals go here: Bibliography (Click the link)