Learn the meditation position
Casting Directions for ‘The Meditation Position’
When we practise meditation we need to have a comfy seat and a good posture. The most important feature of the posture is to keep our back straight. To help us do this, if we’re sitting on a pillow we be sure the rear of the cushion is slightly higher than the front, inclining our pelvis slightly forward. It’s not necessary at first to sit cross-legged, but it’s a good idea to become accustomed to sitting in the position of Buddha Vairochana. If we can’t hold this posture we should sit one which is as close to this as possible while remaining comfortable.
Vairochana’s posture’s seven features are:
(1) The legs are crossed in the vajra posture. This helps to reduce feelings and thoughts of desirous attachment.
(2) The right hand is placed in the left hand, palms upwards, with the tips of the thumbs slightly raised and gently touching. The hands are held about four fingers’ width below the navel. This helps us to develop concentration. The ideal hand symbolizes method and the left hand symbolizes intellect — both together symbolize the union of method and wisdom. Both thumbs at the level of the navel signify the blazing of inner fire.
(3) The back is straight but not tense. This helps us to develop and maintain a clear mind, and it allows the energy winds to flow freely.
(4) The lips and teeth are held as usual, but the tongue rolls against the back of the upper teeth. This prevents excessive salivation whilst also preventing our mouth from becoming too dry.
(5) The head is tipped a little forward with the chin slightly tucked in so that the eyes are cast down. This helps prevent mental excitement.
(6) The eyes are wide open nor completely closed, but stay half open and gaze down along the line of the nose. If the eyes are wide open we are likely to develop mental excitement and if they’re closed we are likely to develop mental sinking.
(7) The shoulders are flat and the elbows are held slightly away from the sides to let air circulate.