|This picture is courtesy of an online article, Bhuta Shuddhi an Esoteric Tantric Practice.|
I remember the very first time I meditated. I dimmed the lights, lit a few candles; I even burned some incense to "set the mood" before sitting on my mat (which was nothing more than a comforter) and imitating the Buddha pose. Before attempting to meditate, I had taken no great lengths at all to research other meditation postures and techniques. I made up my mind, fairly early on, that I was going to do that specific pose, because that was the pose I saw all those beautiful statues doing, in all those movies, and in all those dreams where I envisioned myself in full Lotus, meditating at the peak of a mountain. I had it all so dreadfully wrong....and I found out, fairly early on, that I forgot an important fact.
Siddhartha Buddha, the "Silent Sage of the Sakyas," was a master at his craft and devoted his life to his ascetic practices. What's more, given all the postures he probably did in his lifetime, the vairochana is the one that's been most engraved in culture. Obviously, I had chosen one of the hardest poses to do as a beginner. My legs ached, my feet ached, my hands ached, my arms ached, my butt ached, and my mind "ached" from the continuous processing of how much the rest of me ached. Instead of supporting the weight of the world, which was my goal through meditating, I felt the weight of the world was crushing me and I had neither the mental conditioning or focus to ignore it. I was in agony.
So, I went on to plan B:
|This image is courtesy of an amazing ebook, Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kaat-Zin.|
- Whatever posture you choose, there must be a balance between relaxation and awareness. Don't choose a pose too hard (like I did at first) and be too aware of you're body's aches. But, also don't choose a pose too relaxed (like I did in the second example) and end up making your meditation session nap time. Eventually as time goes on, the balance will shift and harder poses will become easier as your mind becomes stronger.
For now, my suggestion (and it is only that) is the kneeling pose:
|Courtesy Full Catastrophe Living|
Once again, the above is just a suggestion. There are many different meditation postures just like there are numerous meditation styles. But, how do we distinguish a true meditation posture from just another position that is comfortable, yet entirely worthless?