The practice of meditation is an invitation to dive deep into your own Presence. As you journey inwards, you will become more intimate with yourself, know yourself more fully, and become conscious of the unconscious. I often joke that it’s a really simple practice - you just need to sit down, shut up and not move - but there are some tips that make it easier to be able to surrender.

Get comfortable - choose a posture where you can lengthen your spinal column in a relaxed way with the least amount of muscular effort. Ideally seated on a meditation cushion on the floor, but by all means use a support for the spine if that means you will take the time to sit in stillness. Arrange your body parts so that there is quietness and softness in your joints, using a supportive cushion or bolster to relieve any pressure in the lower body. It’s also fine to use a stool or chair if you have difficulty in getting down to (or up from) floor-level. Once your body is comfortable, you’re ready for the next step.

Make a commitment to enquire into the possibility of sitting in stillness - true stillness doesn’t exist where there is life and that’s why sitting in apparent stillness is such a fruitful practice. As you remain still on the outside, you become more aware of your inner landscape. Anyone who has meditated will tell you that it is inevitable that the body will want to move and will present you with every reason to: the constant itch, the dull ache, limbs that go to sleep etc but see if you can feel these sensations fully and clearly, without needing to respond or resist them.

Using a timer - you may find you can relax more easily if you set a timer, especially if you’re meditating in the morning and have a full day ahead of you. If you use a timer, start with small chunks of time whilst you establish your practice, possibly 10 minutes. Over time, as you become more accustomed to sitting in stillness, you’ll find that your sitting time will naturally extend so there’s no need to force yourself to sit for longer in the beginning. Personally, I prefer to not use a timer at all - some days are short and sweet, other days I sit for longer - either way it’s good.

When you begin to sit for longer periods, take care of your joints when you release your posture. I like to roll on to my back before releasing my legs and, if they’ve gone to sleep, I let them hang in the air for a while to allow the circulation to return to normal before getting up and moving around.

Everything is welcome - yes, everything! - the sensations in your body, the thoughts in your mind, the emotions rising to the surface. Welcome the life that is flowing through you whilst continually grounding your awareness in the sensations being generated in, and as, your body. It’s the deep intimacy with sensation that will show you the way back home, where you can rest in the satisfying depths of your own Presence.

Michelle Walder2 Comments