Posture in Mindfulness Meditation

Posture

A person established in mindfulness is established in a mental state of ‘seeing things as they are’ whether his eyes are closed or open, whether he is sitting, standing or walking. He is established in mindfulness at all moments of activity and non-activity. One learns mindfulness in small steps. Sitting with eyes closed in mindfulness meditation is simply the beginning step.

The traditional posture for meditation is sitting down in a lotus position. This came naturally to our Indian ancestors. Unfortunately, this is not so natural for people in modern times. Generally, one is able to maintain this posture comfortably for not more than 20 to 30 minutes. After that one either fidgets to get more comfortable, or tries to restrain oneself from fidgeting.

A person is not really absorbed in meditation when he is consumed with the desire to become more comfortable. Minutes spent in discomfort are wasted meditation minutes. A person must start in a posture that he can maintain for a long period without feeling uncomfortable.

The proper posture simply requires an upright spine and a firm contact with the floor. This can be achieved either by sitting in a lotus position, or by sitting in a chair. Therefore one should select a posture right at the beginning of the meditation session that one can maintain comfortably for the duration of the session.

Then one should simply slide into meditation, without forcing oneself.

When a person is established in mediation, he would feel totally comfortable. That is the ideal situation. Any discomfort arising during meditation is then likely due to something other than the posture. In that case the person should fully experience that discomfort without interfering with it. Sooner or later he would realize the true reason for it, and at that point the discomfort would simply disappear.

A posture recommended for meditation in modern times is to sit on a straight-backed chair, with feet flat on the ground, and arms resting on one’s thighs. One should then be able to maintain this posture comfortably for the duration of the meditation session.

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