Meditation seems to be a mental exercise—mindfulness, quieting the mind, etc. And I\’m finding that the body/mind connection is more apparent in my meditation practice than anywhere else in my life.
Some lessons are obvious, if my head is on my chest: I\’m probably asleep. Some are not so obvious beforehand. When my mind clears and quiets, I sit up straight. Without that quiet mind, I find I cannot sit or stand up fully. Either I cannot find the muscles to relax or they won\’t relax in spite of my efforts. Until I quiet my mind.
I don\’t do much walking meditation in the formal sense, but in good weather, it\’s nice to walk to the market. With a quiet mind, the right posture, and staying focused, I walk quickly, with less effort, and less arthritis pain. When the pace falls off, it\’s always because my mental focus has wandered into solving the future or some imaginary conversation.
So the Zen meditation hall monitor tapping the slumping meditators is helping them stay focused, reminding of the truth that posture matters.