Stillness and Posture
By Swami Rama
Meditation is a journey without movement. In the external world you have to move in order to go ahead, in meditation you don’t move, yet you attain. First thing you should learn is how to be still physically. Take one month for stilling the body. You will find that you are able to easily arrest the twitching, tremors, and jerks, of your body.
When the body is still, you will find great joy and confidence. Learn to enjoy that stillness. No matter what joys you have experienced so far, the highest of all joys is stillness.
Learn to sit in a quiet and calm place every day at the same time with determination. Learn not to move, yet remain comfortable. Ask your mind to make the body still. There should not be any strain or rigidity in it.
If you know how to sit still for some time, then you will be able to make your breath serene. Without serene breath and a tranquil mind, there is no spirituality. Why do we make the body still, the breath serene, and the mind calm? We do it so they will not disturb us.
Make a mudra with your fingers by gently touching the thumb to the index finger, then place the hands over the knees. This mudra, or gesture, creates a circuit in the body that prevents the outward dissipation of your energy.
Keep your head, neck, and trunk straight, and then gently close your eyes and mentally observe the stillness of your body. Your body may begin tilting forward. Your inner feelings and frustrations cause your body to move.
The first few days you should learn to watch the stillness. Enjoy the stillness. Great joy will spring out of stillness.
Therefore, the first step is to be still. I assure you, you will enjoy it. Power is in stillness as much as in movement.
You will have to choose a posture for yourself. The posture that you use for meditation should be one in which you are comfortable and steady, and one that allows you to keep the head, neck, and trunk aligned.
There are a few traditional meditation postures. Sukhasana (easy posture) is the simplest cross-legged posture for sitting on the floor. If your legs are flexible, you may find swastikasana (auspicious pose) more comfortable. It is not advised to use padmasana (lotus pose), because it is not possible to apply mula bandha (root lock) in this posture.
The finest of all postures for meditation is called siddhasana (accomplished pose). In this pose, if you gently and gradually practice it, you will find that your body becomes like a statue. The accomplished pose should not be used by beginners.
Whichever posture you are using for meditation, from the very beginning you should learn to apply mula bandha. You have to contract the anal sphincters and hold the contraction, until your posture is applied.
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of Swami Rama of the Himalayas