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Sitting Meditation

Sitting meditation is like returning home to give full attention to and care for our self. We sit upright with dignity, and return to our breathing. We bring our full attention to what is within and around us. We let our mind become spacious and our heart soft and kind. Like the peaceful image of the Buddha on the altar, we too can radiate peace and stability. The purpose of sitting meditation is to enjoy. Don’t try to attain anything! Sitting meditation is very healing. We realize we can just be with whatever is within us - our pain, anger, and irritation, or our joy, love, and peace. We are with whatever is there without being carried away by it. Let it come, let it stay, then let it go. No need to push, to oppress, or to pretend our thoughts are not there. Observe the thoughts and images of our mind with an accepting and loving eye. We are free to be still and calm despite the storms that might arise in us.

If our legs or feet begin to hurt during the sitting, we are free to adjust our position quietly. We can maintain our concentration by following our breathing and slowly and attentively change our posture. At the end of the sitting meditation session, allow a few minutes to massage your legs and feet before standing up again.

In between sessions of sitting meditation, we practice indoor slow walking meditation. We take one step with each in-breath and each out-breath. We become aware of the contact between our footsteps and the ground. Following our breathing, each step we make is stamping peace and solidity on the ground like a seal. Become aware of the Sangha walking with us too. Everybody is moving together slowly and mindfully like a river. We can feel in harmony with the larger body.

We can find suggestions for guided meditations in Thay’s book “The Blooming of a Lotus”.