During the ancient times until now, people practice meditation because of its provided advantages. In all this time a view positions for meditation are developed. Here I show the most used ones. Incorporating meditation as part of your daily life can make a big difference regarding your attitude and perception in life. But because meditation is a procedure, it involves several steps as well as postures when doing it.
1. Cross legged posture.
Various spiritual traditions and meditation teachers suggest or prescribe various meditation physical postures. One of the most popular postures is the cross legged position which includes the lotus position. It is taught in most meditative traditions that the spinal cord must be kept straight. So, slouching is not a good idea. This is because, when you sit straight, it encourages good circulation of what they call as spiritual energy, which is the life force and vital breath.
2. Seated posture.
You can sit on the chair with his or her bare feet, as what the New Thought is teaching. In Orthodox Christianity method, you can sit on the stool. You sit up keeping your back straight holding the spine and head in alignment without leaning and the thighs are parallel to the floor. The hands are rested comfortably on the arm’s chair or on the knees.
3. In the kneeling posture,
you kneel with both knees on the floor keeping your buttocks resting on your toes and heels which are almost touching. The hands rest on your thighs.
4. Lying down posture
also known as corpse posture or savasna in yoga. You rest on the carpet keeping your legs straight and relaxed. Nevertheless, this is not used more often since it mimics the natural posture of sleeping. You can sometimes fall asleep. This is effective in reducing stress rather than a meditation.
5. Incorporating mudras or hand gestures.
There is a theological meaning behind these gestures. Based on Yogic philosophy, these can affect consciousness. One example is the common hand-position of the Buddhist. The right hand rests on the top of the left hand with touching thumbs similar to the begging bowl of Buddha.
6. While in Theravada Buddhism, you are walking in mindfulness.
In Sukhothai, Thailand, walking meditation of the monks is called bas-relief. Walking in mindfulness can bring you somewhere
7. Incorporating various repetitive activities in stillness such as humming, chanting,
or deep breathing to help in inducing a state of meditation. The Soto Zen practitioners do their meditation in front of a wall with open eyes. However, most mediation schools are assuming that the eyes are half-open or closed.
The duration and frequency of meditation also vary. There are nuns and monks who vow for a lifetime meditation. In our day to day life however, the broadly accepted duration is 20 or 30 minutes. This length may increase as the process goes on as you reveal more and better experience. To obtain the benefits of meditation, it is advisable to follow the advices and instructions of a spiritual teacher. Most habits work when you practice daily. But do not feel guilty when you fail to do so, what is the complete opposite of what we are trying to accomplish. Sometimes, you complain about your knees especially during a kneeling meditation on or sitting with legs crossed.
Keep in mind that perseverance and acceptance are needed to become successful in any skill. This can help you during prolonged hours of meditation and increase focus on your everyday live.
So, which one works for you? Tell us in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net