Practice Physical Steadiness For Meditation

pexels-photo-312839.jpegRudra Shivananda

In order to achieve success in concentration and subsequently to enter into meditative states, it is essential to be able to sit still without any movement for certain periods of time.  This is due to the fact that when the body moves, the mind moves and concentration is broken. It is therefore important to give time for practicing a steady sitting posture. The following discipline is recommended for those who wish to progress in their meditation. It should be practiced for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Practice:

  1. Choose one of the recommended postures such as siddhasana, padmasana or vajrasana and then hold your spine erect.  Adjust your head, neck and shoulders slightly back. Hands should be placed on the knees with chin or jnana mudra or with palms together. Close your eyes and focus on the breath for a few minutes.
  2. Bring your awareness back to the body – focus on the position of the back, the arms and legs. Maintain this awareness for a minute or two.
  3. Try to examine your body from the external perspective as if watching yourself while standing outside. Examine your body all around and from top to bottom.
  4. Return to the body and feel it as a tree, with the legs rooted in the ground and the arms as branches of the tree.  Feel yourself firmly attached to the ground and immobile.
  5. Focus the mind on the physical sensations – any tension, itching or pain; any cold or heat – for a minute or two.
  6. Become aware of the different parts of the body in sequential order – head, neck, shoulders, right arm, left arm, back, chest, abdomen, right leg, left leg, bottom and then the body as a whole. Perform this awareness three times.
  7. Focus your mind on the concepts of steadiness and immobility and give the command to the body to remain unmoving. Feel the body responding by becoming totally rigid.  You will feel unable to move any part of the body without making a strong effort.
  8. Become aware of the breath and gradually lose yourself in the incoming and outgoing breath as it gradually becomes more and more shallow and still. At this stage, concentration can begin.
  9. To end the practice, return your attention to the body. Take a few long breaths and intone loudly Om three times.
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