Suggested reading from Bliss More:
Read the rest of Chapter 1 (10 mins)
The lotus myth
Most new meditators think that in order for meditation to be effective, you need to sit in lotus position—meaning sitting up straight, crossing your legs, with palms facing up, and your thumb and index fingers together. But what many people don't realize is that this conventional meditation posture is not necessary for meditation to work.
Regular people shouldn't sit like a monk if they desire a settled mind in meditation. We don't even want to view the cross-legged-back-straight pose as "advanced practice." For us, this position is more extreme than advanced. "Advanced" implies something to one day aspire to, and "extreme" means going beyond what is required for the desired results. There's no need to sit like that. Ever. And beating ourselves up because we can't emulate a monk in meditation is a form of "position shaming."
I don't want you to take my word for it. So today's challenge involves sitting like a monk for 5 minutes, just to see how settled your mind feels, compared with sitting like you would normally sit to watch television.
Sit like the Buddha
For 5 minutes, the challenge is to sit on the floor and assume the monk position: cross your legs, straighten your back, and bring your thumb and index fingers together. Next:
- Set a soft alarm for 5 minutes
- Close your eyes
- And try to hold that position as perfectly as you can for the entire time
- When the alarm goes off, gradually change positions...
Then, sit like the you're watching TV
Get off the floor, and...
- Sit comfortably on a chair, sofa, or bed
- Set your alarm for 10 minutes
- Close your eyes
- And stay as relaxed as possible. Adjust your position as needed. Scratch all itches, and shift as much as you need to remain comfortable
- When the alarm goes off, you're done
Did you notice how much more settled and relaxed your body and mind felt during the second round, even though you meditated twice as long? This should be your position moving forward—where you're not lying down, but you're also not sitting up completely straight. You want to be somewhere in between. This one adjustment in your approach should improve your meditation experiences dramatically. And if you start to feel bad for sitting this way, just remember not to position shame yourself.
Post a photo of your comfortable meditation spot (chair, bed, couch, car, office sofa, etc) and let's start getting comfortable (pun intended) with the fact that you no longer need to be extreme in your posture in order to meditate successfully. Make sure to tag #blissmore and #blissmorechallenge so we can follow your progress.
Sample accountability post
Click the follow button (below) to see everyone's progress in real time: