- The training of the mind is as fundamental to Taekwondo as the training of the body. Concentration is critical to a successful performance. But the sort of concentration required in Taekwondo is very special. One must concentrate on what he is doing, but one must not be self-conscious: the person must be absorbed in the act. On the other hand, life is continuously in flux, and one’s attitude must be flexible and responsive to change, prepared for the unexpected. This is to say that you must be aware of what you are doing, but not to the exclusion of whatever is going on around you: Be aware of everything, and distracted by nothing.In order for the average person to attain this state of concentration, it is necessary for him to train his mind to perceive without self-consciously thinking, one does this trough meditation. The Poomse (Forms) of Taekwondo, those are more than physical exercises: they are vehicles for active meditation.
Meditation is also possible with the body at rest. In this case, when you practice meditation, do not force your mind to concentrate on any one thing, but allow your mind to find its own focus. Open yourself to any awareness, but avoid distraction. Surrender curiosity and analysis. Make no effort to find meaning or significance in your perceptions. Think of nothing: let your mind reflect itself to you.
The following are two positions for mediation at rest. If you find that you require some focus to help you begin, focus upon your own feeling, literally, physically. If this is still too vague, then focus on your breathing: counting through 7 while you inhale through your nose, hold your breath and count 1 through 3, and count 1 through 7 again while exhaling through your mouth.
1. SITTING: Sit with legs crossed in front, knees as close the floor as is possible with comfort, and hands, clenched into fists, palm down on knees. Keep torso erect, in good posture; do not slump.
2. KNEELING: Kneel with knees together and sit back on your ankles. Feet may be resting on insteps, with soles turned up, or resting on the balls of the feet, with toes bent back. (this last position is a good exercise in stretching the toes, to facilitate curling them back when kicking with the balls of the feet). Place hands on thighs, palm down, and keep torso erect, in good posture.
NOTE: Meditation is also possible while standing naturally, feet one shoulder width apart, legs straight, and hands crossed on the belt, in front of the abdomen.
In any of these positions, one may mediate with eyes open or closed, whichever is most effective at the time. It is sometimes helpful to have the eyes half-closed, and focused at a point in space about three to five feet directly ahead.