When you begin to meditate first make sure that your surroundings feel good to you. This is especially important if your chosen position for meditation is sitting or lying down. To begin with, your clothing should be comfortable and loose. It’s no good sitting in a pair of jeans or pants that are restrictive around the waist and feel tight after a few minutes. Use natural fibers, such as cotton, wool or silk, that allow your skin to breathe, or if you prefer, meditate naked and barefoot, but make sure you remain warm throughout. What you sit on can be:
a straight backed chair, exercise mat, rug, floor cushion, pillow, large towel, meditation bench, zafu* or zabuton*
Before you begin your meditation practice, feel the texture of your seat. Is it soft or hard, smooth or ridged? Is it cold or warm to the touch? Does it feel relaxing to you? You may have a favorite object that you like to hold as you start to meditate, or to use as a focal meditation in itself. Some examples are: a shiny rock, stone or crystal; a soft feather; a silk or woolen scarf; a piece of metal or leather. When you are meditating outdoors, you may wish to feel sand, earth, grass, or even water beneath or around you.
If you are unable to sit still for any length of time in one position, you may choose to lie down. Care must be taken, however, not to fall asleep, so don’t meditate in this position late at night. Lie on your back with legs extended, hip width apart, feet turned outward. Arms are by the side with the palms of the hands turned upward. If this position causes discomfort on the lower back, place a pillow beneath the spine, under the knees, or under the head. Before you begin your meditation pay attention to the surface beneath you. Feel its texture on your skin and let it relax your body.
* a zafu is a traditional meditation cushion and a zabuton is a traditional meditation mat
Need help getting focused? Check out our iPhone app, Serene Mind! It’s a simple to use tool that helps you get into that relaxed space. Take a look!
Leave a reply →