Where do you sit?
I am lucky to have my sanctuary set aside for meditation but any quiet corner that you can make your own is good. (Or like me the first HPT of the day is in bed.) Even if it is a dressing table in a bedroom, a desk or table that can easily be converted into your own meditation space where you can practise your own ceremony.
“FAMILIARITY BRINGS CONTENTMENT”
It’s good to have familiar things around you, and if you prefer to have things hidden during the normal day so as not to offend others then a few ideas may be helpful.
1. You can easily change a picture by having it on a long cord or ribbon so it is easy to turn round and on the back you can have an image of your favourite Master, Guru or Angel.
2. Incense. The reason why they have incense in Temples and Churches, apart from following pagan tradition, is that the smoke represents the prayers rising up to heaven and the scent also reminds you of the spiritual reason for being in that place. So burning incense is a good reminder of why you are there. If you are in a strange place you can also use incense or sacred sage to cleanse or smudge.
(Smudging is the term used for clearing yourself , others or a place of unwanted energies.)
3. Lighting a candle is a symbol of the one light of the Divine Source. And blowing it out at the end can be linked to sending light to others or parts of the world of your choice.
4. Having a living plant and a crystal is a reminder of your link to all the nature kingdoms. If you use a crystal it can act as an amplifier of your intention. So make sure your intention is clear!
5. A bell, cymbal or Tibetan bowl / Chinese gong to sound also brings the mind to a similar point each time you sit, through sound, and this can be extended to an introductory tape of music or chanting to help you get into your meditative state. Or your own sound of an ‘Aum’, and this can also be used to make a strange place your own and to enhance the smudging that you may need to do with the sound of your own voice.
6. Any other items which can easily be brought out at the right time such as a prayer wheel / spiritual book or bible etc. will be good. A short reading is a good prelude. A small cabinet on the wall with all your things in it is ideal, so when opened all is revealed but otherwise hidden from others if that becomes necessary. A drawer is equally useful.
7. Be comfortable. When you get into the alpha brain state your blood pressure is likely to drop as well so to being in loose comfortable clothing like a track suit with warm socks is a wise move whether you sit cross legged or on a chair.
8. Of course make sure that your chair/stool is the right height for you. So you can easily put both feet flat on the floor, if you do not sit in lotus or cross legged.
No one else in the family should object to a nice aroma in the house or a living plant in the room, the picture(s) can be turned round and all the other items easily kept in a drawer of the dressing table, the desk at which you sit or a small cabinet.
You can be as inventive as you please but try to keep it simple and if others do not share your faith then, to avoid upsetting them or to prevent ridicule from them to you, it is best to keep things tidied away until they come round to your way of thinking and ask to share in what you do!
9. Above all be happy in what you do as part of your spiritual life.
I don’t suggest that you take on board all of the above suggestions but just a few that you are drawn to, to keep it simple remembering it is your ritual.
How do you sit?
If you can sit in the unsupported lotus position, you may need a raised cushion or a medi platform, or even half lotus, which is what I could manage until recently, then that is good. In either of those positions you will be grounded.
If like me you now need to use a chair or soft mattress then it is best to sit forward on the chair unsupported and for this you may also need a slanted or wedge shaped cushion. I am sure you all know of the Pharaoh position and this is the best position to sit in if you have to use a chair. (Sit with spine erect, feet shoulder width apart and hands on your thighs or loosely clasped in your lap.)
Whatever you do try not to slouch, which can lead to sleep.
Do make sure that the chair is low enough for you to put both feet flat on the floor, I had to cut the legs off two chairs in the meditation room for two of the girls who could not reach the floor adequately. On no account must you allow your feet to swing under the chair or to tuck them behind one another with only one toe touching the floor. In that position you are not earthed at all.
Whatever you are comfortable with is good for you, don’t try to get in to a position that gives you discomfort. Remember that Eastern bodies are not made the same as us in the West!
Speaking of which if you cannot manage to sit unsupported then use a cushion that promotes the upright position of the spine, but it is best not to sit in too comfy a chair, as you need to remain alert and not fall asleep. I started to meditate on a comfy sofa at 10.30 at night, after the family had gone to bed, and that was a disaster! – Waking up 2 hours later freezing cold! Mind you that was 40 years ago. So now you are ready.
Look for THE BEGINNING of HPT.
Love and Peace, Hanukah