There are many forms of meditation, but you could take photos of everyone meditating around the globe. Why? Because the basic elements of meditation are used around the world to calm the mind, align the body and bring peace.
See also: What is the best type of meditation for you?
Seven-Point Meditation Posture
My Tibetan Buddhist heritage is what influenced my use of the seven points and Vairocana. This is the position that Buddha Vairocana often appears in, seated at the center of the mandala with the five principal Buddhas. The lord of buddha families, all white, represents the wisdom of all-encompassing spaces as well as the opposite, the ignorance that drives our cycle of suffering. In part, he represents the idea that ignorance can be transformed into spaciousness, which can accommodate all. This is a good role model.
Relaxed Mind: A Seven Step Method to Deepen Meditation Practice
First point of posture: Sitting down
If you are used to sitting in a chair then the idea of sitting cross-legged on the ground might seem daunting. It is worth giving it a shot. If it proves difficult for you, you can try one of the simple cross-legged positions I have listed below.
Although there are many ways to sit cross-legged on a ground, all are better supported with a formal meditation cushion. Because their cushions are firm and well-made, I prefer those available at Samadhi Mattresses. If you are going to start a regular meditation practice, it is worth investing in a cushion. It’s fine to use pillows from your bed or couch, but it can be painful and difficult to sit up high enough to make it comfortable. If you’re looking to make a difference, grab some cushions to help you get started.
Six ways to meditate while sitting
1. The Quarter Lotus
You can now sit in your meditation chair with your legs crossed, and your feet below your knees or thigh. This is how I recommend it.
2. The Half Lotus
This variation is on the previous. Cross your legs with one foot on each thigh and the other on the top. You can place the other foot underneath your top leg so that it rests below your knee or thigh.
3. The Full Lotus
In Padmasana, cross your legs and place both of your feet on top of the opposite thighs.
4. The Burmese Position
You don’t have to cross your legs if you can’t sit straight. You can simply sit in this relaxed position Sukhasana (Easy Pose).
You don’t have to sit cross-legged. Instead, you can kneel and place a cushion between your legs. This is a traditional meditation position that is essentially a propped up Virasana or Vajrasana .
You can also use a chair when you feel like it. There’s no shame in using a chair. You don’t have to be seated at the back of the chair. Instead, place your feet on the ground with your knees and hips.
People often ask if it is possible to meditate while lying down. Although you can, it is more common to fall asleep. To maintain a sense that you are awake, you can place your feet on the floor with your knees bent.
Second Point of Posture: Extend the Spine
Once you have established a solid foundation, it is time to raise your spine. Your spine should look like an arrow, or stack of coins. As if a rod could pass through your top and down through your bottom. When you meditate, you want to feel lifted.
Third Point of Posture: Relaxing Your Hands
Resting your hands on your lap is the easiest way to use your hands. Drop your hands on your lap and grab them at the elbow. Then, place them on your thighs. This natural axis point is where you can rest your hands, which will provide better support for your upright spine. Kilung Rinpoche explains in his book Relaxed Mind that laying down with your palms down can help to slow down the flow of energy through your body.
Alternativly, place your right hand on top your left, with your thumbs touching lightly. Then, rest your hands on your navel. Kilung Rinpoche noted that this can increase heat and energy, which can help if you feel sleepy. The left hand symbolises wisdom and right compassion. This gesture combines the two.
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Fourth Point of Posture: Relaxing your Shoulders
Relax your shoulders and back muscles. You can push your shoulders back slightly. This will create a strong back and open up your front. This position exposes our tender hearts and creates a sense of vulnerability.
Fifth Point of Posture: Tucking the Chin
Tuck your chin in slightly. While you don’t want to look directly at your lap, you shouldn’t be looking so high that your head is too far up that it could tire you.
Sixth Point of Posture: Opening your Jaw
Relax your facial muscles so your jaw is open. To allow for clear breathing, place your tongue against the roof of the mouth. This will slow down swallowing and can sometimes be distracting.
Seventh Point of Posture: Resting your Gaze
Your gaze should be relaxed to the ground, two to four feet in front of you. Do not try to pick out patterns in the rug. Keep your eyes open and loose. Your eyes should be closed. People sometimes don’t understand why they should open the eyes while meditation. One, meditation is a way to look at the world. Why should it be a time for us to hide from our lives? Instead, it is a time to be honest with ourselves. As a gesture towards that goal, our eyes may be opened. Practically speaking, it is less likely that you will fall asleep if your eyes are open.
You can also close your eyes if you find it difficult to meditate while keeping your eyes open. You must decide which option you want to use before you start to meditate. Otherwise, you’ll be unable to focus and will wander back and forth throughout the meditation session between these options. Closed-eye meditation can lead to more thoughts, daydreams and distractions. If this is not true for you, then you can meditate with your eyes closed.
It will be easier to relax and connect to the object of your meditation if you take the time necessary to properly establish your meditation position. These seven points will help you feel relaxed and uplifted when you enter your meditation practice.