I can’t manage the lotus or even half lotus position. How should I sit?
How to sit for meditation.
I can’t manage the lotus or even half lotus position. How should I sit? Also can/should I practice before sleep, ie. lying down?
The way you sit is not important. What is important is that you do.
If you are not capable of doing a variation of the lotus position (I certainly can’t), you can use bolsters to lift your hips off the ground and rest the knees on the ground.
Zen monks usually use a zabuton, a round cushion like this one:
You can also get a little bench like this one:
I think they are not necessary though. Just sit on a few cushions and keep your legs on the ground. This will effectively ‘ground’ you.
If you find this uncomfortable, feel free to sit on a chair.
Whatever method you use, keep your back straight.
Imagine a cord pulling your spine to the heavens and exiting at the crown of your head.
This is the correct posture. The legs are secondary.
Meditating before bed is a good idea. Actually meditating anytime that will not put anyone in danger (i.e. while driving) is a good idea.
Doing it before bed will help especially if you have a tendency to suffer from insomnia. Meditation will put your mind at peace, allow you to disconnect form the days’ events and be ready to rest.
Laying down is not a good idea, though. If you are bed ridden, do it, by all means, but if you lay down, the natural reaction of the body will be to fall asleep. Meditation is not sleep. The brain enters a different pattern and the brain waves are different.
Some people say that 30 minutes of meditation is like sleeping 1 hour for its effect on the body and brain. I have not found any proof of this but my friend, who is a much better meditation practitioner than me, can function at superior levels with only 4 hours of sleep. He will meditate for 1 hour at least upon rising though.
On sure is certain:” Meditation has always thought to have been beneficial for the brain. Recent compelling evidence from scientific researchers at Yale, Harvard, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that meditation can allow us to “grow bigger brains.” Though this isn’t the same thing as neurogenesis, meditation could very well be an activity that boosts the birth rate of neurons.
Researchers also discovered that meditators literally had an altered-physical brain structure compared to non-meditators. Brain scanning technology i.e. MRIs showed that meditation boosted thickness of brain structure dealing with attention, sensory input, and memory functions.
The thickening was found to be more noticeable in adults than younger individuals. It’s interesting because the same sections of our cortex that meditation thickens, tend to get thinner as we age.
Meditation is known to boost brain activity, coherency of brain waves, strengthen neural connections, and thicken gray matter. Though scientists haven’t confirmed the effects of meditation and its ability to aid neurogenesis due to complexity issues, there is a likely possibility that it helps.”
Meditate, any way you can, and you will reap the benefits. Some ways are more effective than others but not doing it because you cannot sit in the lotus position is a waste. Just doing it in 5 minutes increments is beneficial. Aim for at least 20 minutes for max benefits.
Sit on the ground if possible, on a chair if not. Don’t get too comfortable or your body might decide that it would rather sleep.