The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Most people find it helpful to put a pillow under their buttocks, place their hands either in their lap or on their knees and close their eyes. Some meditators might find it suits them better to sit on a chair rather than on the floor.
The two most important aspects of good meditation posture are
Those whose goal is to develop mindfulness, should do so with a regimen of regular sitting practise. However, after their mindfulness has been strengthened, it is necessary to then try to broaden it by becoming mindful during all activities, i.e. while in any of the four postures.
The Buddha said: "A monk has full awareness while coming and going, while reaching out his hands or drawing them back, while putting on his robes and carrying his bowl, while eating and drinking, chewing and tasting, even while defecating and urinating.
Thus, eventually there will be mindfulness / awareness / equanimity even when we are not sitting, when we are working, eating, walking, etc. Therefore, clinging to a particular posture as the “one and only right way” is not necessary.
Full lotus is done by placing one foot on the thigh of the other leg and then the other foot is also placed on the thigh of the other leg.
Half lotus is when one foot is on the thigh of the other leg and the other foot is tucked in below the other leg (not on the thigh).
Quarter louts is when one foot is on the calf of the other leg. Burmese posture is when the legs are crossed, but not tucked in under each other and the legs are parallel to each other in front of you.
Virtually any type of clothing is acceptable, but most prefer flexible clothing for the cross-legged positions.
You may place your hands in your lap or wherever is comfortable.
A common placement of hands that is popular is to put your right hand, palm up, under your left hand, palm up, and have the thumbs lightly touching each other.
Observe the pain and do not put any resistance to it.