Meditation and shooting: What does it all mean?
The concept of meditation is often misunderstood – leading many people to reject it as something that’s ‘not for them’.
People may consider meditation as a form of worship or prayer. It is not. Meditation does not belong to any culture or religion.
Meditation is a simple method of exploring the inner dimensions of life. Although some religions employ meditative practices as part of their rituals, meditation itself is far removed from any set of beliefs or the distinctions of class or creed.
Meditation means ‘awareness’. Anything you do to enhance your awareness is meditation.
“Watching your breath” is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation; As long as these activities are free from any other thoughts and distractions to your mind, they are effective meditation.
Meditation also means “a cessation of the thought process”. It describes a state of consciousness in which the mind is completely free of scattered thoughts and various internal and external influences. The observer (the person who is meditating) realises that all the clutter and activity of their mind has been removed.
A scientist who wanted to test physiological functions during deep meditation monitored a Tibetan Lama on a brain scan machine. The scientist said; “Very good Sir. The machine shows that you are able to go very deep in brain relaxation, and that validates your meditation”.
“No,” said the Lama. “This (pointing to his brain) validates the machine!”
The word meditation originates from two Latin words: meditari (to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind) and mederi (to heal). Its Sanskrit derivation ‘medha’ means wisdom.
Meditation offers a significant number of positive benefits.
Improvements in body lustre and general health – when your mind focuses on a particular part of the body, the blood flow to that part increases and cells receive more oxygen and nutrients.
Improvements in concentration – Many athletes and sports professionals regularly employ meditation methods. Studies have found a direct correlation between concentration exercises (meditation) and the performance levels of sports professionals. Meditation strengthens the mind; it comes under control and is able to provide more effective guidance to the physical body in effectively executing all its projects. Psychological exercises are a powerful way of improving concentration and mental strength.
Some further benefits of meditation are:
- Lowering of oxygen consumption.
- Decreased respiratory rate.
- Increased blood flow and a slower heart rate.
- Increased exercise tolerance in heart patients.
- The achievement of a deeper level of relaxation.
- Can lower high blood pressure and bring it back to normal.
- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
- Decreases muscle tension (and any pain due to tension) and headaches.
- Builds self-confidence.
- Helps with weight loss.
- Helps reduce heart disease.
- Increases serotonin production, which influences mood and behaviour. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, obesity, insomnia and headaches.
- Helps in chronic diseases like allergies and arthritis.
- Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome.
- Helps in post-operative healing.
- Enhances the immune system. Research has revealed that meditation increases activity of “natural-killer cells”, which destroy bacteria and cancer cells.
- Reduces the activity of viruses.
- Reduces emotional distress.
Now think about this – how many of the benefits listed above will help you improve your shooting skills and accuracy?
Meditation improves motor skills and perception.