Warrior meditation techniques help you harness the power of mind and body to become a true warrior, both in real life and in battles. I know we’re no longer in the sword age, and you’re unlikely to find yourself surrounded by 12-inch swords.
But the warrior attitude can be very useful in modern life when facing a tough deadline, stressful situation, or even surviving life. In short, we can use all the mental and physical strength we can get.
Now, time to introduce the meditation techniques that you can use in your own life to get a warrior-like mentality. We’ll discuss every form of warrior meditation method from the ancient visualization process to the modern Wim Hof Method.
Warrior Meditation Techniques that You Can Use in Modern Life
If the current world is too much to handle for you, and you’re always in a state of stress, then there’s a tried and tested solution for you warrior meditation.
Learn how to use this for self-improvement and to maintain focus.
With this method, you have to visualize an image or a scene to help you focus and achieve a particular outcome. All you need to do is close your eyes, and think of an image like a flower, a place like a beach, or even a green forest, anything that helps you achieve the state of mind you’re looking for.
Samurai warriors, known for their fierce skills in battle had a unique approach to the visualization method. They used to visualize every single way they could be killed in combat, from being stabbed in the heart to getting a clean beheading.
It’s like a movie in mind where you’re visualizing every terrible thing that could happen to you.
But why would one want to visualize getting themselves killed?
To remove the fear of death. By facing the terror of death in their mind over and over, they were able to beat the fear.
That allowed these warriors with fearless heart to become a formidable army on the battlefield and remain calm in the face of danger.
The method can be useful in modern times as well. You can use visualization to get a fear-free mind and achieve your personal and professional goals.
For example, if you’re an NBA player, you can take a few minutes before the match and visualize yourself performing at your best. You can mentally rehearse your shots, and imagine dominating the game.
It will help create a positive mindset and allow you to prepare for your peak performance. The same thing applies to other careers as well as visualization helps you increase your confidence, face hurdles and achieve the desired success.
Wim Hof Method
Wim Hof Method is an innovative way to meditate and is publicly encouraged by MMA fighters such as Georges St-Pierre and Alistair Overeem.
It’s a combination of 3 things
- Breathing mediation
- Ice therapy
You have to practice breathing meditation while being immersed in ice water. To do that, you will need to take deep breaths through the nose and exhale with your mouth, repeating this 30 times.
On the 30th time, you inhale only 90% and hold as long as you can. Once you’ve reached your limit, inhale completely and hold for another 15 seconds.
You should repeat the entire process 3 times.
The method is great for improving the immune system, reducing stress, boosting energy, and contributing to overall well-being.
Tan Chun Yih, the lone instructor of the Wim Hof method in Singapore, has helped many achieve the benefits of this method.
He told Vice that, in our comfort-filled life, “A Tiny Dose Of Hardship Helps To Reset Our Mind And Body”.
It’s one kind of mental training that makes you focus on the present. It has lots of other benefits including calming your thoughts, booting out the negative thoughts, giving you a keen mind, and improving sleep quality.
And the best part of this meditating technique is no prep is needed. All you need is a quiet place to sit, a few minutes of time, and a clean mindset.
So, first, find a comfortable and quiet place to sit on with legs crossed. You can use a stopwatch if you want to set the minutes.
Then you start by focusing on your breath as you inhale and exhale air and notice closely how the temperature changes during the air moving in and out of your body.
You have to start noticing your thoughts now. Do not stop or suppress your thoughts, as your main goal is to observe them.
Think of it as like you’re watching passing cars on a road. You just need to observe them as they pass by without affecting your emotion.
But if you find yourself getting carried away by emotions, be it distress, worry, or hate, you should return to focusing on the breathing without judgment. Don’t beat yourself over this as returning to the present and focusing on breathing again is the goal of this method.
The mindfulness meditating method has been used by warriors since long ago. It gave them the ability to ignore distractions and fully focus on the task at hand.
The clarity of mind is instrumental to get success on the battlefield as it allows one to make quick and effective decisions all the time.
Following this method can help you tackle stress in real life situations. If you’re overwhelmed at work, with endless to-do tasks, and impossible-seeming deadlines, then taking a few minutes out for mindfulness meditation can help calm your mind, refocus on the present, boost energy levels and get things done.
With regular practice, you can find yourself in greater control of your life, where you can deal with negative feelings positively, and not get bogged down by stress.
Another great thing about this method is that it can help you achieve the flow state.
According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “Flows State Is A Feeling Where You’re Completely Absorbed In The Task At Hand.”
When you’re in this state, your concentration, creativity, motivation, energy, and everything are at their peak. That state of mind or zone is extremely important for athletes and fighters as it creates a situation where they can perform at their best.
So, practicing this kind of meditating technique can create the necessary condition for you to enter the flow state.
Body Scan Meditation
It falls under the category of mindfulness meditation and is pretty similar to it regarding the process. However, I’ve mentioned this separately as it’s very effective for dealing with pain.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, a meditation teacher and expert on stress said that it’s the “Most Effective Meditation For Pain”.
If you’re an MMA fighter or are involved in combat, then physical injury can be quite common to you. Even if you’re a regular person, it is possible to get an injury.
And in such situations, chronic pain sometimes leads to anxiety and depression. The body scan method helps you manage these emotions, relax your body, and remain positive.
First, get a comfortable place where you can lie down for a few minutes. Then choose a starting point, it can be a head, toe, or even a finger.
Focus on the part you choose as you start breathing air in and out strongly and slowly. Continue doing that as you move on to another part.
If you notice any pain, acknowledge that feeling without any judgment and imagine the pain going away slowly with each breath. Move along, observing when thoughts drift away and then getting the focus back to the part.
If you don’t feel better immediately after the scan, don’t be disappointed. It might take a few times for the results to show.
Movement meditation is best for people who find it tough to sit still for long. The method involves movement of our body and can be incorporated with activities such as walking, dancing, Yoga, and other physical exercises.
Through your movement, it makes you keenly aware of your surroundings, builds a healthy relationship between the body and the mind, and improves your well-being.
This one also falls under mindfulness meditation as during the exercise you have to focus on your breathing and movement of the body. While focusing on the movement, let the thoughts pass by.
You can easily include it in your life by taking short breaks for walking, squats, or stretching. Making it a part of your daily routine can be beneficial for people with chronic pain as it helps to build strength and flexibility, and also releases body tension.
Tai Chi, one of the most effective movement meditation methods, is especially good for elders as it improves balance and cognition. Thus, seniors who want to improve their memory and remain functional for longer can regularly practice Tai Chi.
It is also reported that movement meditation was used by Indian warriors to prepare for battle. By using this form of meditation, they found it easier to control their thoughts, physical responses, and emotions.
How Did the Samurai Practice Meditation?
It’s impossible to talk about warrior meditation without discussing the ‘Samurai Warriors’ and their practices as they are the best example of discipline, mental strength, and focus.
They were mainly known for their sword skills, and incredible courage on the battlefield. But did you know that they were loyal followers of meditation and relied on them to sharpen their focus and inner strength?
If you didn’t you’ll be pleasantly surprised as we dive into the details of Samurai warriors and their meditation methods. Now, they mainly used 2 major types of meditation, Mikkyo and Zen.
Mikkyo was an integral part of the cultural and spiritual practices of Samurai warriors. It’s a form of esoteric Buddhism which absorbed parts of other belief systems.
The teachings of Mikkyo were passed down from one generation to another through spiritual masters. Samurai warriors went to these masters for guidance, understanding, and training about the practices.
In later years mysticism also became a part of it. It was believed whoever mastered the arts will have the ability to heal others and do magic.
That said, those claims are not reliable as there’s no evidence giving credence to these statements.
Zazen meditation is one kind of Buddhist meditation that’s widely popular in the Zen tradition. The term ‘Zazen’ has roots in the Chinese language and means seated meditation.
It was an integral part of the training regimen of Samurai warriors as it helped them to achieve physical and mental discipline. It’s also reported that the zen meditation and zen buddhism philosophy had a significant impact on the way of living and ethics of the Samurai people.
Shaolin Monks And Warrior Meditation
A good example of how to combine physical training with meditation can be found in the ‘Shaolin Monks.’ By using both martial arts practices and meditation, they try to connect physical strength with the discipline of the mind.
I’ve seen some MMA fighters who benefited immensely after including the meditation technique of Shaolin Monks in their training regimen. It helped them focus on the opponent and maintain composure during the fight.
That said, keep in mind that self-restraint is a key part the life of shaolin monks life as they are forbidden to have sexual relations, drink, meat, and have material belongings. So, that part is not practical for people like us.
Their meditation method is pretty much the same as the breathing control from mindfulness meditation which you can practice easily.
Warrior meditation techniques have been present for thousands of years, and are constantly evolving.
From the samurai warriors from feudal japan who practiced Mikyo and Zazen to the MMA fighters using the Wim Hof Method, the benefits of these meditation methods are numerous.
Whether you’re an athlete or just a normal person wishing to improve your inner and physical strength, these techniques will go a long way to help you deal with life’s challenges with grace and resilience.