Did you practice the Smiling Meditation? How did it feel? We’d love to know!
Next in our Monday Meditation series is…
A few weeks ago, I had a rather annoying errand to run at the insurance office. It wasn’t something I could sort out over the phone or email and I had no choice but to make the time to go there. Without going into minute details, let me just share that I had to run up and down three floors and sit on their sofa while I waited to be called at the various counters. It isn’t as though they weren’t helpful – they were – but the whole process was pretty lengthy and tiring.
I managed to wrap it up around lunch time and headed back home, relieved. During the ride, I contemplated reading a book but it was such a bumpy journey that I shelved that thought. Then, suddenly, I remembered sitting meditation from a book I had recently read.
If you think meditation requires a particular place and ambiance, think again. Meditation can be practiced wherever we are – at the airport, standing in queue somewhere, at work at your desk for a few minutes, or just sitting wherever we are.
According to Thich Nhat Hahn, in his book Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
when we feel the need to calm down and get ourselves together, there’s no need to run home to find our meditation cushion. We can practice conscious breathing just about anywhere. I mean, we have to breathe to live, so it is a matter of regulated breathing.
I have tried this, and must have possibly looked slightly silly as I consciously took myself from being flustered about something, to serene, but once it became a habit, I stopped worrying about how it looked. The important thing is to go from stressed to smiling. Can you picture that? All through mindful breathing and sitting meditation.
How to sitting meditation
How to use sitting meditation to go from feeling drained to delighted and return to ourselves and feel confident to face life?
As easy as that.
This can be done lying down, standing or walking as well, but sitting feels best. Kind of grounded.
The ideal thing is to sit cross-legged on a comfortable cushion, thick enough to support you. If you can, sit in the half lotus or full lotus positions as this has other benefits such as establishing stability of body and mind.
If you do want to try that lotus position do one of the following:
- Half lotus – Sit cross legged and place one foot on the opposite thigh
- Full lotus – Sit cross legged and place each foot on the opposite thigh
Too tough to sit like that? No problem.
- Just sit cross legged or in any comfortable position.
- Let your back be straight.
- Half-close your eyes.
- Fold your hands on your lap.
You can also sit in a chair, feet flat on the floor and hands resting in your lap.
Or lie on the floor on your back, legs straight out and a few inches apart, arms at the side, palms facing up.
I can manage the lotus position but my feet go to sleep and I find it hard to focus on anything else. When that happens, I just slowly readjust my position, taking care to concentrate on my breathing. It takes a little time but you’ll get there.
If you feel the need to get up and walk, do so mindfully and sit when you are ready.
The whole point of sitting meditation is reach that place of peace and happiness, calm and relaxed. You don’t have to tolerate feeling numb and uncomfortable.
Practice sitting meditation whenever you can, to help yourself relax. Over a period of time, you’ll find that you are better able to focus your energy on solving problems, not fretting over them.
Did you enjoy that? Do let us know what you think!