There are a few styles and methods to meditating. This blog touches on a few practical points regarding floor sitting and how to make your meditation sessions more effective.
Although some people meditate from a conventional sitting position, such as sitting in a chair, the most effective way to meditate is by sitting directly on or near the floor. No matter how you sit, however, you should pad yourself from the earth by placing beneath your feet or your bum some natural fiber, like a wool or silk blanket/rug/large cushion or a piece of cloth placed on your meditation chair, bench, or cushion.
What’s most important when meditating is to sit erectly. Whether you sit on a chair, pillow, or meditation bench, keep your back straight, chest raised, head erect. Your eyes are typically closed, and your hands should be resting with palms upturned in your lap, preferably at the juncture of the thighs and abdomen.
Some people who sit on the floor use the lotus position, with legs crossed in front, whereas other people use the seiza position, where the meditator appears to be sitting on his knees—although in fact most of the body’s weight is supported by the meditator’s “bum” in this position. We discuss a few solutions for both positions below.
Many people use cushions to pad the bum and to have it slightly elevated in relation to the crossed legs. An amply-padded cushion serves this purpose well and we offer wool-padded zabutons (meditation cushions) for this purpose.
Some people prefer to sit in the lotus position with back support available. In this case, our Back Jack chair provides both ample “bum” padding with available back support. This chair is lightweight and very comfortable for floor sitting. Whereas most effective meditation is in an erect position, as noted above, Back Jack chairs allow the meditator/floor sitter to rest from time to time with comfortable back support.
A third solution is our Nada Chair, which supports both your lower back excellently and allows erect sitting. Nada Chairs are very lightweight and they allow a comfortable and erect meditation position to be maintained for extended periods.
In this position, the meditator has his legs folded straight back, with his ankles beneath the “bum”. While most people cannot sit in this position comfortably for very long—the addition of some cushions –such as zabutons—changes the picture completely! Usually an ample cushion is placed under the knees, another under the ankles, and a third cushion under the bum—between it and the ankles.
Another solution is a padded meditation bench (also known as a Zen kneeling meditation bench). This bench provides a simple and comfortable way to sit for meditation, allowing you to sit easily with your spine straight, yet relaxed. The bench allows you to use less cushions and more evenly supports your bum, taking all of the weight off your ankles and most of the weight off your knees, for more comfort over a longer meditation period.
Some meditation benches having angled legs and some with rounded legs. In both cases however, correct use of the bench will position your hips leaning slightly forward, comfortably We offer meditation benches with both angled and rounded legs and we have benches with folding legs, allowing the bench to be compactly stored when not in use.
However you meditate, we wish you success!