Air meditation is the meditation that evokes creativity. It is the artist, the dancer, the musician’s meditation. It is a meditation that opens up a mind to new stimuli, new inspirations.
Air meditation was used to improve memory and linking of concepts while training new forms and maneuvers by warrior monks. Find out how it can help you open your mind as well!
Traditionally practiced in the mountain-monasteries of Asia by warrior-priests, air meditation is an often-overlooked elemental meditation that brings to mind the unbridled improvisational movements of a dancer warming up alone, of an artist dashing paint against a canvas and working from the nebulous shapes.
The monks that practiced it used it before learning new styles and forms, as a way to make remembering the flows of the movements more intuitive and find their grooves, as it were. You can use it to open your creativity up when active in artistic pursuits.
Air meditation is done standing, with feet shoulder width apart, toes forward, and knees slightly bent. Leg movement is involved, so make sure that your meditation space is clear of clutter and dangerous objects. First, make a circle with your little finger and thumb on your left hand.
Next, make a similar circle with your right hand, joining the circles together. Place the tips of your remaining fingers together, facing upward, and hold it comfortably in front of your chest. That’s the kuji-in, or hand position, for air meditation.
Imagine in your stomach that there are thick clouds in an endless sky. They are obstructing the sky, and you can only see clouds. These clouds are the blocks that stop your creativity. Now imagine a giant fan, poised under the clouds, unfolding to its full width. Take in a deep breath through your nose, and out through your mouth. When you exhale, purse your lips together slightly, as if blowing out a candle.
On the out-breath, imagine that the fan begins to waft away the clouds, forming the shapeless vapor into figures that exist only for a second before changing into another shape. With each breath inward, slowly raise one foot up off the ground, bending at the hip and knee so that your foot barely taps your standing leg’s knee. On the out-breath, lower that foot to the floor slowly and gently and switch feet for the next breath.
The key to this meditation is to force your mind into creating something by itself, using very little external stimuli. To aid in this, make each inward breath two counts, and each outward breath six or eight counts. This extended breathing outward causes the blood stream to pulse with oxygen surpluses, adding bursts of extra oxygen to the blood. That blood flows to the brain, and each little burst invokes a bit more of your mind to create.
Don’t focus on a medium or on a piece or even on a theme. Focus only on your breathing and the easy movements. You will find that after two or three minutes of this movement, you will feel more creative, more desirous to make art, more receptive to pattern recognition and remembering sequences.