In Chapter 2 of The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English, Bhante Gunaratana discusses various postures in which one can meditate: sitting, standing, walking, and lying down.Even experienced meditators can benefit from reviewing their posture on occasion, so I invite you to really pay attention to your body, no matter what position you are in.
Today, we’ll look at sitting and standing postures.
While the discourse on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness describes sitting cross legged, there are a number of variations for sitting.
Ines Freedman describes common positions in the article Postures for Meditation:
mindful.org also shared some suggestions a few months ago:
Tina Rasmussen has a short guided instruction on getting settled into a posture:
Many meditation teachers use the image of a mountain, and that imagery is something I find useful to visualize… keep feet/knees and seat rooted in the earth, and from that base, the spine rises up to the head, noble and steady, without striving or stiffness. You may have your own way of visualizing your posture.
Meditation can be done in a standing posture. I often sneak in a standing meditation when I’m waiting in line at a store, but standing can also be done as a practice. The body stands straight, upright and relaxed. Feet are parallel and rooted to the earth.
Sally Clough Armstrong gave a talk about the standing posture:
Whatever the posture, we can notice the changing sensations in the body – feelings of contact (hard or soft, comfortable or not); feelings of heat or coolness; movements; energy.
The transition between sitting and standing is also another area to bring attention. It’s easy for me to forget to be mindful… I’m sitting, and the bell rings… and then I’m standing. How did that happen? So see if you can meet these moments of transition with curiosity.
Feel free to share your sitting and standing experiences in the comments.
With best wishes,