Sitting Meditation doesn’t have to involved bending your legs into those funny positions you see in the photos, it can easily be done from a straight back chair or even a meditation stool. The most important factor to consider will be first and foremost your own comfort.
There are generally Three ways to Meditate within the sitting position. These are sitting crossed legged on the floor, sitting in a chair or using a Meditation Stool.
Sitting Crossed Legged
If you do sitting meditation on the floor, it is recommended to use either the full lotus or the half lotus position, this however, can be a little tricky for some to manage, so if you are struggling with this, you could use the method I use to sit, which is called the Thailand/Burmese cross legged style.To do this method, as you sit cross legged normally, the way you did at school, but instead of putting your legs on top of each other, all kind of crumpled under you, try to sit with both of your legs on the floor.
Start by placing your bottom on a Meditation Cushion, now start with your left leg first, place it in a crossed legged position, and then move the right leg into position but not on top of your left leg, just in front of it. Placing a Meditation Cushion under our bottoms allows our bodies to become slightly raised, creating a natural arch in our lower backs and allows our knees to touch the floor becoming anchor points which will create stability while we meditate.
This also has the added advantage of helping to eliminate the pressure to the knees and ankles that sitting with your legs on top of each other can create.
Meditating in a Chair
If this all sounds a bit hard for you then meditating in a straight back chair is an excellent alternative. If possible try to find a chair that your legs bend at the knees, at a nice 90 degree angle, and your feet rest flat on the floor. As you take your position keep a straight spine, not pulled too tight, but relaxed and upright. Gently relax your shoulders and relax your arms.
Using a Meditation Stool
A Meditation Stool is also another excellent alternative, used with a Meditation Mat and usually made from wood you would use the Meditation Stool like you would a Meditation Cushion, only with your legs in a kneeling position.
While your kneeling on the floor with your legs straight out behind you, gently lower your bottom towards the floor, place the stool under your bottom and over you legs. All the weight and pressure is taken off the knees, allowing for a more relaxed meditation. The other advantage of a meditation stool is the angle of the seat, this is angled just so as to keep your spine naturally straight.
Now let’s Meditate
Breathing Meditation otherwise known as Samadhi Meditation is the fundamental basis of most mindfulness and meditation trainings. Breathing Meditation is simple being at ‘oneness with the object of meditation‘ and can be one of the simplest and easiest of all the meditations to grasp, however the untrained mind will find it a lot harder than it sounds. The good news is, just like going to the gym regularly you start to build those muscles up, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.
Sitting, using either a Meditation Stool, a straight backed chair or sitting crossed legged on the floor. Begin by taking a few long deep breaths to gently relax yourself.
As we do this take time to get yourself comfortable in your position.
Keep gently breathing and relax your shoulders and arms, placing your hands loosely on your lap. You can place your hands on your knees if so desired, this can help open up the chest allowing us to breath more freely.
When you feel comfortable, you are ready to begin.
Breathing In, really be aware you are Breathing In.
Breathing Out, really be aware you are Breathing Out.
Focus your attention either at the tip of your nose, and experience the air passing through your nostrils, or at the abdomen and witness the rise and fall. Try to do this for a count of Ten, and then repeat.
Is that it?
If you are thinking this all sounds a bit and easy, I urge you to give this ago. Meditation will be one of the most rewarding and beneficial things you have ever tried, but a word of caution, to experience the rewards that meditation offers we must actually Do, not just read, actually Do It.
The most common problem we all face with meditation is our wandering mind. Our minds produce thoughts, that’s what they do, so don’t scold yourself or be harsh with your inner dialogue, when ever you discover your mind has wandered off the Meditation object, the breath, gently and kindly bring it back.
Slowly over time we accumulate the muscle power in our minds to stay focused on our breath for long and longer periods, and as our mind wanders we stay with the mind and watch were it goes, watching but never interfering or commenting, just observing, this allows us to see clearly with our own mind the realities of our own making.
We hope you have found this article to be of real benefit to you, and perhaps now you have that energy and determination to start meditating for the first time or even on a regular basis. I can highly recommend it and the benefits that come from a sustained practice.
If you do struggle with anything in Meditation then please have a look at our Tips and Tricks Page, dealing with some of the more common problems that may arise.
If there is anything we hear at 4enlightenment can help you with regarding meditation questions The please Contact Us and will respond with a personal email. If you would like to know our linage Of Meditation, length of time spent meditating, or any thing else then have a look at the About Us page.
Wishing you every success in your meditation practice.
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