How To Meditate II – Sitting Meditation

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Hi. So in this video I will be talking a little bit about how we put into practice some of the concepts which I explained in the first video and then i’ll give a short demonstration on how to practice meditation in the sitting position. Sitting meditation is something which is done as a basic meditation practice. it’s something which anyone can do; you can do it either in the cross-legged sitting position you can do it sitting on a chair you can even apply the same technique to a lying position for someone who is not able to sit up. At any rate, the practice of sitting meditation is to watch the movements of the body when we’re sitting still. So at the moment when we’re sitting still the whole of our body is tranquil and there’s no movement in the body except when the breath comes into the body and when the breath goes out of the body there’s a movement in the stomach and if you put your hand on your stomach you can feel this movement. For people who have never practiced meditation, it might seem unfamiliar, or it might be hard to find. But once you put your hand on the stomach you’ll be able to see for yourself that when the breath goes into the body, the stomach rises. Maybe just slightly, but it does rise naturally. When the breath goes out of the body, the stomach will naturally fall. If it’s still hard to find even with your hand there, you can try lying down on your back. But at any rate once you try this for some time you’ll be able to see for yourself that in a natural state when the mind is not stressed when the mind is not worried or when the mind is not forcing the breath you find that the stomach naturally rises and naturally falls. And we’re going to use this as our basic technique of meditation. once we get better at it it’ll become quite clear and we’ll be able to use it quite well as our meditation object. So here when the belly rises, we’re simply going to say to ourselves, “rising”. When the belly falls, we’re simply going to say to ourselves, “falling”. “rising”, “falling” “rising”, “falling” And the method is as follows: we sit with the legs crossed or in any position which is comfortable as necessary. Traditionally, we’ll sit with one hand on top of the other, and the thumbs touching at the tips. We sit with our backs straight although it doesn’t have to be perfectly straight if this is uncomfortable just as long as one is not bending over to the point where one isn’t able to experience the breath and with the eyes closed. Again since we’re focusing on the stomach we don’t want to have our eyes open for anything that will distract us away from our object And once the eyes are closed, we simply say to ourselves, “rising”, “falling”. “Rising”, “falling”. Again we’re not saying at the mouth It’s important that, even though I speak these word out loud, that you understand we’re creating this clear thought in the mind. And where is the mind? Well, it should be with the stomach. So, we’re actually something like speaking into our stomach. We’re creating this clear thought in the stomach where the mind is at that moment. So the practice is saying to ourselves in our mind “rising”, “falling” “rising”, “falling” And this can be carried out for many minutes; five minutes, ten minutes, or so on. At the time when we’re doing this, this is the basic practice; it’s important to be aware that we’re still keeping track of the four foundations the body, the feelings, the mind, and the mental states. So the body here we have in the rising and the falling, that’s clear. The feelings, well, this is when we’re sitting, and we’re watching the rising and falling, our mind is carried away to one of the feelings which arise in the body; a feeling of pain for instance. When we’re sitting in this position for long periods of time without moving it can create states of pain, physical pain. So instead of getting upset, or letting this become something which is going to create suffering for us, we take that as our meditation object. Remember we can use any of these four because all four of these are part of reality. We don’t have to stay with the rising and falling. Instead now we’re going to take our new friend, which is the pain and we’re going to look at that and come to see it clearly. And so we focus on the pain and we say to ourselves, “pain, pain, pain, pain,” until it goes away. If we feel happy we can say to ourselves, “happy.” Sometimes when we sit in meditation we feel very peaceful; we can say to ourselves, “peaceful,” or “calm” until that feeling goes away. When it goes away then we come back again to the rising and falling of the stomach. The third one is the thoughts so when we’re sitting sometimes we’re watching the rising and falling but our mind starts to wander, thinking about the past, thinking about the future, thinking about this, that, good thoughts, bad thoughts, all sorts of thoughts. Any kind of thought might arise. Instead of letting our minds wander and drift away and lose track of reality we bring our minds back to the reality of the thought and we say to ourselves, “thinking”, as I explained in the first video. Well, here’s where we’re going to put into use. Instead of focusing on the rising and falling alone, when we start to think, we say to ourselves, “thinking”. We can say to ourselves, “thinking, thinking,” and it will go away automatically by itself and then we can come back to the rising and falling. As for mental states, when we have liking we like this or like that; when we don’t like, have disliking, anger, frustration, we can say “angry, angry”, “frustrated, frustrated” when we feel lazy or tired or drowsy, we can say to ourselves, “tired, tired” or “drowsy, drowsy”. When we feel distracted or worried, we can say “distracted, distracted” or “worrying, worrying”. When we have doubt arising in the mind, we can say to ourselves “doubting, doubting” or “confusion” or so on. This one are particularly things which create difficulty in the meditation. So actually, our meditation should go quite smoothly; we should be able to watch the rising and falling or the pain, or so on, but because of the mental states the states of liking or disliking, drowsiness, of distraction, or doubt, this is why our meditation cannot progress. So these ones are especially important to keep track of and to keep an eye on. When they arise, we have to quickly catch them and bring the mind back again to the present moment. The benefits of this practice of meditation, what we should see as we practice, the first thing which we we should see are that our mind starts to calm down and it does actually become more peaceful even though this isn’t right away this isn’t our goal, we can see that it gradually, as we practice, the first thing that happens is our mind does become calmer our mind does become happier it does become lighter and it does become freer from the things which bind it to suffering, which keep it in these loops, in these endless loops of suffering. The second thing we come to see is that we come to realize things about ourselves, we come to realize things about the world around us. We come to understand that in ourselves we have certain things which we could do without. And we come to see why suffering arises in our minds and in our hearts; why we do fall into suffering. We come to understand things we understand about other people; when people got angry at us before we thought they were evil. Now we understand they have the same emotions which we have inside of ourselves And we come to understand why people do and say and think the things that they do. We come to see that it’s because they’re just like us and we are just like them. The third thing that we come to see in the practice, the result which we should be able to see is that we’re more aware. We’re more aware of the world around us, we’re more aware of the people around us, we’re more aware of the things inside of us that are arising and ceasing in the present moment. So when things come, when difficult situations arise, instead of being caught off guard, and falling into fear and anxiety and confusion and stress, we’re able to take things much better and take things as they go We’re able to take sickness much better, we’re able to take difficulty much better, even old age, sickness, death, we’re able to take much better, through the practice of meditation. The fourth thing is what we’re really aiming for is we’re aiming to rid ourselves of the evils and the unpleasantness, the unwholesome states which exist in our mind, these states and anger, greed, delusion, anxiety, worry, stress, feer, arrogance, conceit, all sorts of things which are unuseful for us, which are of no use, of no benefit to us or to other people and in fact they’re worse than that, they create suffering, they create unhappiness and stress for us and for the people around us. Now i’d like to invite the viewers to practice together say, five minutes or ten minutes or however many minutes are comfortable for you, we’ll practice sitting meditation together and this will end my second video on how to practice meditation. And I hope again for all of you that this meditation will bring to you peace and happiness in your everyday life. That’s all for now and now I invite you to sit with me together in sitting meditation.

 

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