Friday, August 3, 2012

The Importance of Being

Black Eyed Susan Photo by Karen Casey-Smith

The Importance of Being
By Miriam Moran Shankman

I spoke in class today about the importance of being. We call ourselves Human Being, yet, looking around (and within) I mostly notice Doing.

I spoke about the three forms of meditation we practice in Chi Kung:

1. Moving meditation
2. Standing Meditation
3. Sitting Meditation

Moving meditation, why?

Because the opposite of movement is death. Living things have a movement flow within them. In death the flow within the body stops. We move to create, encourage, assist, direct and regulate movement and flow within our body. That flow nourishes and maintains the cells in our body. The flow also establishes our body as a whole. All parts, all cells are connecting, relating, exchanging, supporting and by doing so being one.

Standing meditation, why?

A long, strong, and some say, the most powerful tradition of standing meditation is in the practice of Chi Kung, Standing Meditation enhances us with strength by breaking the illusion of separation and allowing a connection to our surrounding, to nature, to the universe, and to its flow. Standing meditation is the cultivation of being one with all (or, being the one.)

Sitting meditation, why?

Sitting meditation so we can Be. In sitting meditation we do nothing. Nothing at all.

Think of a cup: What is required of a cup? To hold water. What does a cup need in order to hold water?

Two things:
1. Shaped material. That is the material world. That is the Doing.
2. Empty space. That is the non material. That is the being.

As the cup so am I. Needing the material. Needing the open space. Needing a good balance between the two. In daily practice of sitting meditation. I gently settle and quiet the material. I sit in the emptiness.

As we are now experiencing the heat of summer, sitting meditation makes good sense. A short gentle moving Chi Kung followed by sitting in emptiness. Conserving energy, and not over doing.

Miriam Moran Shankman  is a practitioner and instructor of Tai Chi and Chi Kung in the New York, Tri-State area.
If you would like to contact her, you can visit her website at:
or drop her an email at:

Black Eyed Susan Photo courtesy of photographer Karen Casey-Smith.  Prints are available through her shop on Etsy.

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