Manage Body|Mind|Emotions|Thoughts

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

How to meditate?

Before starting meditation, ideally we need to take care of a few things:
- a quiet place (using music is nice for relaxing, but not really meditation), switching off the phone will help.
- make sure you are not too tired, early morning is generally said to be the best time.
- sit comfortable; most people like a cushion under their behind, the room is best not too warm or cold.
- wear loose, comfortable clothing.
- try to create continuity in time and place to become habituated to the circumstances of meditation.

The Body:
- keeping the back straight, in whichever posture you meditate is most essential.
- try to be comfortable and physically relaxed, and avoid moving too much.
- keep the head straight, slightly bent forward, keep the teeth slightly apart, the tip of the tongue against the upper pallet.
- the eyes are best kept half-open (without really looking), but many beginners find that too distracting and close them.
- the shoulders should be relaxed and the hands can be put in one's lap.
- the legs can be in the full lotus (which not many Westerners manage), but also simply crossed.
In fact, other positions like sitting on one's knees or on a bench are good as well. If all of these are too difficult, you can also use a chair, but remember to sit only on the front half of the seat, not leaning against the back rest to avoid a bent back, and keep the feet flat on the floor. Keeping the knees warm may help to avoid numbness of the legs.
- try belly-breathing; not breathing with the chest, but from the navel.
- always remember that the posture should enhance meditation, not be an obstacle!
The Buddha even taught one of his disciples who had many problems with his posture to lie down with his back on a bed, and then he quickly made progress; however, most people tend to fall asleep - so it will not be suitable for everyone...

The Mind:
- be relaxed but at the same time awake and attentive: finding your balance here is not easy!
- be a careful observer of your own mind and thoughts; sometimes called the 'little spy inside':
 

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