From ancient eras to the present day, individuals have embraced meditation for its inherent benefits. Integrating meditation into your daily routine can profoundly influence your attitude and perspective on life. However, due to its procedural nature, meditation encompasses various stages and postures that contribute to its practice.
1. Cross-legged posture. Across diverse spiritual practices, meditation instructors propose different meditation techniques and physical postures. Among these, the cross-legged position, often referred to as the Lotus position, stands out as a widely embraced choice. In. nearly all meditative traditions, emphasis is placed on maintaining a straight spinal alignment to avoid slouching. This posture promotes optimal circulation of what is termed spiritual energy, a vital life force and essential breath according to these teachings.
2. Seated posture. In accordance with many different traditions, a meditator can sit on the chair with his or her bare feet or sit on a stool. Some meditators enjoy a walking mindfulness meditation. During this practice in a seated posture, the meditator assumes an upright position, maintaining proper spinal alignment and a straight back. The head, spine, and thighs align harmoniously, avoiding any inclination or tilting. The hands find rest naturally upon the arms of the chair or atop their knees.
3. Kneeling posture. Here the practitioner of meditation assumes a kneeling posture, with both knees gently placed on the floor. The lower body finds support as the buttocks rest upon the heels and toes. The hands, in close proximity, rest gracefully upon or near the thighs, while the heels snugly encircle the ankles, fostering a sense of groundedness and stability in this contemplative stance.
4. Lying down posture also known as corpse posture or Savasna in yoga. In this reclining position, it entails the meditator to recline upon a comfortable surface, with legs extended in a relaxed and straight manner. However, this posture is less commonly employed due to its resemblance to the natural sleeping position, which may inadvertently lead to unintended sleep during meditation. While it can effectively assist us with our stress, its primary function leans towards relaxation rather than being in a central part of the meditation process.
5. Incorporating mudras or hand gestures. Hand gestures and mudras hold a significant theological significance, drawing from yogic philosophy where they are believed to influence our consciousness. An illustrative instance is found in the customary hand arrangement of Buddhists, where the right hand gently cradles the left hand, their touching thumbs invoking the imagery of a spiritual seekers alms bowl. These symbolic gestures are considered to channel and shape energies within the practitioner, thus deepening their connection to spiritual realms.
6. Humming, Chanting, Deep Breathing. Integrating diverse repetitive actions such as humming, chanting, and deep breathing, can facilitate the entry into a meditative state. Some engage in meditation while facing a wall with eyes open while other meditation traditions often advocate for practice with eyes half-open or gently closed.
The timing and regularity of meditation can vary. Some nuns and monks dedicate their lives to perpetual meditation through bowing. However, the generally embraced duration typically falls within 20 to 30 minutes. One can gradually extend this based on the insights of experienced meditators who recommend embracing meditation’s benefits over time. Guidance from spiritual mentors emphasizes the importance of daily practice in most traditions, though some practitioners may face frustration or guilt when they miss a session. It’s crucial to remember that achieving success in meditation requires dedication and acceptance. These qualities prove invaluable in sustaining focus during extended meditation periods, ultimately enhancing ones mindfulness in daily life.