Here I will describe my methods for each of the meditation types I am journaling. You are welcome to follow them.
I don’t proclaim to be a meditation master, far from it. That is in part the reason for this Journal. What I hope this page will give you is some additional context and insight into exactly what I am doing.
I plan to ‘version’ the methods as they change due to time, preference or progression. As new versions come in, I’ll be sure to tag them in the post reviews so you are able to see the difference for yourself.
Although I don’t fill in all the fields in my posts I actually go through six internal preparation steps as I sit to meditate.
For each stage, I consider and think of a sentence or two which describes my intentions. I consider these complete when I can go through and recite them all without the mind wandering or losing focus.
If I find myself struggling I just start over. It is quite common for this to take a couple of minutes or two or three attempts to get straight in my head.
I do find this is a valuable way to begin the session.
After setting my intentions I will almost always do a short body scan. This helps ground me and check for sensations and posture. I typically start from my toes, working fairly slowly upwards ending around the nose and face. This leads on nicely to the breathing.
Awareness of Breath
Setting the scene
I tend to start regardless of the posture by lighting a candle and adding a little essential oil to a diffuser. This adds a little fun to the process and helps my sense of smell be involved in the meditation at a subtle level.
Seated - Tall Chair
Sitting at a standard dining room table I arrange myself so that my legs are straight and typically just in front of each the chair legs. I tend to use a small cushion on the seat of the chair to raise me slightly as I am tall. I keep my spine straight but not rigid against the chair back. My hands are placed slightly cupped together resting on the upper half of my thighs. I keep my head fairly level, rest my tongue against the roof of my mouth and close my eyes.
Seated - Floor cushion
If I am sitting on the floor in cushions instead of a chair I tend to place a circular meditation cushion on top of a plain old sofa cushion. I sit cross legged, with my knees lower than my hips, and I try to have the palms of my feet tilted up a little higher if possible. (Instead of parallel to the body) This is perhaps moving towards the lotus position. I find that if I can tilt the tops of the feet down a little so the backs are slightly higher, this helps reduce the chance of pins and needles. Pins and Needles used to make sitting on the floor very difficult until I started doing this. (I still get them quite regularly even with this method.)
My method for walking meditation is very simple, and should probably be refined. I pick a route first, I don’t want to be thinking about which way to turn while I am out. As I first leave I go through the Preparation Intentions (see above).
Once these are finished, I start counting my steps 1-2-3-4. While counting I pay close attention to the sensations on the balls of my feet and legs in time to the walking.
I walk at a normal pace, perhaps slightly slower than normal, but not by much. I also try to limit looking around too much so I can better focus on the process.