Meditation posture is a skillful means

Bring the mind home, but our minds are so wild and distracted that we need a skillful means and some special methods. Posture is one of the skillful means. The posture I’m going to explain to you may differ slightly from others you may be used to. It comes from the ancient teachings of the Great Perfection. In the teachings of the Great Perfection, it’s said that your View – your insight into the nature of mind, can be expressed through the inspiration of the posture. The posture of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the ten directions is the same, but their mudras are different, representing their different aspirations.

Sit as if you were a mountain, with all the unshakable, steadfast majesty of a mountain. A mountain is completely natural and at ease with itself, however strong the winds that batter it, however thick the dark clouds that swirl around its peak. Sitting like a mountain, let your mind rise and fly and soar. The most essential point of this posture is to keep the back straight. The key is to keep the waist straight. Our spine has a natural S-curve, and we should maintain this natural curve. The waist should be slightly concave and the back slightly convex, which is a natural curve.

To be as straight as an arrow means to be vertical, and as steady as a mountain. The inner energy will then flow easily through the subtle channels of the body. Because by sitting in this way, the body relaxes, and the mind will find its true state of rest. Don’t force anything.

The lower part of the spine has a natural curve; it should be relaxed but upright. Your head should be balanced comfortably on your neck. It’s your shoulders and the upper part of your torso that carry the strength and grace of the posture. Both shoulders should be relaxed, but not too slack. There is a difference between being relaxed and being slack. Extend your arms slightly , which can carry the strength and grace of the posture. Maintain balance in your posture, but without any tension.

Sit with your legs crossed. It would be better if you can sit in full-lotus or half-lotus posture. The crossed legs express the unity of life and death, good and bad, skillful means and wisdom, masculine and feminine principles, samsara and nirvana; the humor of nonduality. If you have leg problems, you may also choose to sit on a chair, with your legs naturally hanging down and relaxed, but be sure always to keep your back straight.

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