Meditation, and in this case Zen meditation, is an incredibly effective tool to allow for the flow of truthful feelings – the flow that is so necessary for any actor. Zen meditation requires that we place ourselves in a position we’re not normally in. We cross our legs and we sit. Completely still. We sit with a straight back. We don’t move. We’re not sleeping and we’re not moving. That’s an unusual place to be. Completely still, sitting with a straight back. We’re not allowing ourselves to be distracted by anything. We don’t even allow our mind to wander. If our mind wanders we bring it back. We’re locking ourselves down. We’ve tightened up the reigns on where we normally allow ourselves to wander and instead we directly face our present experience.
On the outside it looks very quiet and still. It might even look relaxing. It’s anything but.
It doesn’t take long before the flow of feeling starts to happen. But, instead of redirecting, repressing or blocking feelings, we face them. A common experience is to feel a strong emotion like anger, or anxiety. The emotion runs up through the spine. With that emotion comes the desire to blame someone or something, or, to change ourselves or something. But the mind is not allowed to wander. The body is not allowed to move. Sitting with a straight back with no distractions, the anger or anxiety, or whatever it is, is faced directly. When the mind runs off, it’s redirected back to the present situation. Over and over. Training the wild mind.
Eventually, that feeling may open up to a new wave of emotion. Grief. Fear. Despair. But, these feelings are faced too. There is no movement. Back straight. The mind is pulled from the objects of our loss or sorrow and back to the immediacy of the moment.
It goes like that. The flow of truthful feeling. Observing that flow with a straight back, strength is developed. Intelligence is developed. The wandering mind that supports our personal small-minded interests is no longer allowed to lead; instead it’s harnessed and faces the truth of the experience. The natural occurrence of insight develops. Over time, no longer interrupted by self-deception, we find ourselves capable of interacting fluidly, with an ease that comes with an acceptance of truth. And a side benefit for all your hard work is a little thing called joy.
Meditation runs on Sundays 6 – 7pm at Actorium on Commercial Drive.
It is open to everyone.
Two timed sessions of 20 minutes with a ten minute walking meditation between sessions.
The first session is guided and the 2nd is in silence.
Come 15 minutes early if you are new.