- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
The function of meditation practice is to heal and transform. Scientific studies indicate that meditation contributes tremendously to well-being, general health, and longevity. How to Sit is a unique gift for those who want a comprehensive yet simple guide to getting started with meditation practice, as well as meditators with training in any spiritual tradition who want to be reminded of the foundation of practice.
Sitting meditation has two aspects. The first is stopping and calming. The second is looking deeply.
When we hear the word “meditation,” sitting meditation may be what comes to mind. But meditation can be practiced almost anywhere.” We can practice meditation when we walk and when we perform our daily activities. Whenever we practice mindfulness we’re practicing meditation.
Now we should ask, “What is the purpose of sitting like that?” If we could ask the master, he would say, “I’m not sitting here for any purpose, I’m just sitting for the sake of sitting, just to enjoy the sitting.” It would be like asking a child eating chocolate, “Why are you eating chocolate? “The child wouldn’t be able to give a reason; he just enjoys eating chocolate. There’s no purpose in eating the chocolate. It’s like when you climb a hill and stand on top to look. If someone were to ask you, “Why are you standing on the hill?” you wouldn’t have an answer. There’s no purpose in standing on the top of the hill. You’re just standing on the hill and feeling happy standing on the hill. There’s not a reason for doing it. There are people who take slow footsteps up the hill in walking meditation. There are people who see me walking like that who ask, “Why are you walking like that?” And I say, “I don’t have any purpose in doing this. I just do it to be happy.” That is our practice. I just do that and I feel happy. I sit in order to sit, and I stand in order to stand.
When we do sitting meditation, we don’t think that we’re doing sitting meditation in order to become a Buddha. We sit to be happy. We sit merely to be there, to have the awareness that we are there, that the wonderful world is there, inside us and around us. If we sit like that, that is happiness already, and that is mindfulness.
Wherever we are when we’re sitting, we can become aware that over our heads there are so many stars. There is the Milky Way, our galaxy—a river with trillions of stars. We are sitting on a planet, a very beautiful planet, which is revolving in the galaxy. If we sit and we see that, why else do we need to sit? We see clearly the wonders of the universe and of our planet Earth.
4. Guided Sitting Meditations
Now that I have read it through, this book sits nicely on my shelf between Buddhist books like Rengetsu and body work books like Human Movement Potential. The takeaway for me was that mindfulness benefits all aspects of life, including sitting! Hanh illustrates how to sit in different types of chairs and explains why many people have a fear of sitting.