How to Sit

13 minutes
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So now in this next video, we're going to learn how to sit. Now, obviously, the first thing we need to learn how to meditate is how to sit properly. And I'm going to take you through a sequence of seven parts of the body, which you can use as a meditation. And indeed, you'll find this in the meditation section below, but also as a reminder to try to keep a good posture. Now, for a lot of us if we can sit in cross legged posture, then that is an ideal way to do it. So we're going to start with that.

And I'm going to go through the seven parts of the body, the first of which is the legs. So there are different ways to sit in meditation posture. The first one you've probably heard of is full lotus posture. This is very, very difficult to do for Westerners and even asked toggle with Lotus posture. And the reason why is because what you need is you need your ankles right up here on your thighs. So this is even the incorrect way to do Lotus posture.

It's very, very difficult unless you're flexible. And the reason why this is wrong is because this ankle is very bent and will begin to hurt very, very soon. So for most of us, full lotus is very, very difficult. A few of us might be able to do half lotus posture, which is with one ankle up on this thought and this can be helpful and it allows you to have a very nice straight back. So that's half lotus posture. Another posture which I prefer myself, and which is commonly preferred by meditators is what they call quarter Lotus posture.

And here, the ankle is being supported by basically the Catholic Church. So of the lower leg, and in fact, you can actually tuck this toe into the knee fold of the opposite leg. And, and this foot comes in such a way that the leg just fits comfortably in this foot. And this is a very, very comfortable position to sit in for meditation. If you're able to sit in this position, it's best if you can get your legs lower down on the floor. This helps in creating a nice stable base underneath here.

Now another posture is what's called Indian posture, where the legs are spread apart more and you have your two heels almost in parallel with the center of your body and both your knees on the ground and this can also lead to a straight back because it's that straight back that we're after. Okay, finally, if you find that cross legged sitting is difficult to do, I recommend And that you get one of these meditation ventures. They're really, really great and you would be surprised how comfy these meditation benches are. They sit on the ground with just a forward slope so that your pelvis is tipped a little bit forward and keep your back nice and straight. So you can sit on those by simply using by kneeling up. Just take these cushions out, which I'll explain in a moment, and sitting up on the stool like this keeps your back nice and straight.

Now the other thing I want to do explain about sitting on the ground is the cushions you see. The most problem that people have is with a slouched back. So you want to avoid a slouch back. And the way to do this is to put a cushion underneath your Cox expiring and in fact, if you you Using one cushion, you can actually try to sit on the very edge of the cushion. So you're sitting vines are sitting off the front of the cushion, and the toxic spine is sitting just on the front of the cushion, tilting your pelvis forward, giving you a nice firm foundation. Now in addition, if you can get a little bit of height, that helps as well.

So personally, if I sit cross legged, I actually sit on one cushion underneath and one cushion on top, sitting diagonally on the front and I'll sit right here on this cushion whilst it's being tilted forward for the bottom cushion just to give me that little bit of extra leverage on my hips so that I tilt forward. And the final thing is obviously if you want to sit on a chair, the recommendation is that your knees should be parallel with your hips or down and they shouldn't be high up than your hips, if so I get a cushion to sit on, and then feet can be just flat on the floor. So that's about the legs. Now, the next thing in talking about the body is the back, we need the back to be nice and straight. The back needs to be nice and straight to avoid getting pines in the upper or lower back.

So that's probably the one thing in meditation that we find, over time, we tend to slouch in our meditation. So always remind yourself to check your back is nice and straight. And a couple of metaphors that I like to remind ourselves is to imagine you're being pulled up by string from the crown of your head, and it's allowing your spine just to fall naturally in it in that S curve that the straight spine takes. The next part of the body that we can remind ourselves of is our hands now hands Generally are sitting. equanimity is about our center line, the very authentic posture is right hand and left with the two thumbs touching. And these thumbs touch very, very lightly.

And they can be a good way of seeing how your meditation is going because sometimes when we get stressed out, thumbs push together, and when we're sort of starting to get lacks, sometimes they fall apart. So just keeping them nice and neatly and sitting in your lap or rise up a bit. If you feel that helps. Other meditation postures are fine also, putting your hands on your knees and touching your thumb with one of your fingers on the other finger. It doesn't really matter. So the hand posture is there's lots of different variations.

Sometimes I sit with my fingers interlaced, just as long as your acronym meters around the centerline of your body. And then the fourth point in the body is really the arms. Try to drop your shoulders away from your ear lives so that you reduce the any tension in the backs of your shoulders so that we don't sit with our hunched up ears. These seven points of the body are really good because they target those common areas of the body where we tend to hold tension holding it in our shoulders. So allowing the shoulders to drop away from the legs, allowing the arms to fall away from the body, so you've got a little bit of a movement in the body keeps your arms in the right position. Now the fifth part of the body is keeping the head nice and straight, so it shouldn't be a continuation of the mind.

Again, imagine being pulled up by the crown of your head and keeping your head nice and straight. Neither sort of leaning too far back nor falling too far forward, but nice and straight. You might Who wants to just tuck your chin in a little bit so it keeps the head nice and straight and pointing up towards the sky. The sixth part, the sixth point that we try to remember, is the jaw. We don't want to be clenching our Molas. So if we've got our jaw clenched, then bring the bottom jaw forward a little bit so that the front taste the top front teeth and the bottom front teeth are in alignment.

And again, softly touching like the thumbs are touching the hands. The front, two front teeth are softly touching each other and the title remains at the top of the mouth just behind the front top teeth. This will allow us to release any tension in the back of the jaw and stop excessive saliva build up and he keeps the jaw nice and easy as we meditate. And then the final point is our eyes. Now I'm going to give you some Advice which is contrary to a lot of people out there. And that is the classic meditators teach that you should keep your eyes open when you meditate.

Now most people around the world instruct their students to close their eyes. And indeed, it is much easier to get peaceful more quickly with your eyes closed. And yet, the meditators dating back hundreds of years have advised that students should keep their eyes open. Now the eyes don't have to be wide open. They can be open just barely enough so you get some light coming in so you can see your surrounds. And there's a number of reasons why there is this suggestion.

The first thing is dullness and sleepiness is a big problem for meditators if you're going to meditate for longer periods of time, like over 2030 minutes at a time, and one would hope that you do wish to eventually extend your meditations out to that amount of time. So by keeping the eyes open, you will keep more awake. So that's the first reason. The second is that there can be a sense of this association with like when we close our eyes. So like it's an instruction for the mind to maybe shut off from the outside world and turn inwards because you're about to go to sleep. Now this disconnect, can actually influence even though it's better when we meditate.

It means that when we open our eyes, suddenly our mind says, Okay, it's time to stress out again. Now, let's think about all those difficulties and problems. And for me, meditation is about bringing the peace of mind into real life. As I spoke about in an earlier audio, it's not about escapism. So by keeping your eyes on Open it is more aligned to our everyday activities because we've got our eyes open the rest of the day. So your meditation will influence the rest of your life far greater if you meditate with your eyes open.

And there's a couple of other reasons. Meditation, of course is harder with your eyes open. But like playing sports against someone who's better than you, you will improve faster if you're in more difficult positions. So if you meditate with your eyes open, even though you may be more distracted, your power of meditation will get better quicker by meditating with your eyes open. And that's the the main reasons there's three main reasons there are a few others but those are the really key reasons why it's good to meditate with your eyes open. Having said that, if you are very, very used to meditating with your eyes closed, maybe you want to mix it up a bit.

Try a little bit with your eyes closed and then just try meditating with your eyes open. So there are seven points that we will consider when we try the meditation posture, our legs, our back, our hands, our arms, head, jaw, and our eyes. The eyes, by the way, should be just gazing about 30 to 45 degrees downwards, and keep other soft guys on something in front of you on the floor. Or just imagine gazing out into the distance even though the floor is only a couple of meters away. Imagine looking at something like the moon in the far distance so that your guys isn't too focused and fixed on everything. Because even though our guys is open, and we're looking, the real concentration, of course, is inside looking at our own mind.

So below you'll find a meditation on these seven points. And try that meditation because not only is the body a good meditation object, it's also fantastic to keep a good body posture. It'll keep your mind alert and elevated in order for you to have a better meditation practice.

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