In Zen, meditation is often referred to as “sitting.” Sitting is a simple practice that doesn’t have to do with Zen or any other Eastern form of meditation. You can sit in a mall, at your desk, in your home, at the airport, or while driving or commuting. Sitting as a practice means slowing down and becoming present. Sitting is a simple form of mindfulness. This is a way of being in the world that can totally enrich your experience of life.
Let’s look at what makes up a sitting practice:
- Finding a place to sit down and slow down. It doesn’t have to in a quiet place, or away from where things are going on.
- Set the intention to become present to yourself. Just setting the intention changes the moment and opens you to a deeper experience.
- A specific practice that is easy to learn is to follow the in-breath and the out-breath and let the hurry be replaced by watching the flow of the breath. This allows you to step aside for a few minutes from the busy doing.
- As you find yourself slowing down take in the circumstances around you without attachment. Notice the beauty, the energy, and what you find yourself appreciating in the now
- Be in your body and feel the flow of aliveness and emotions, notice the collage of sensations. Being in your body allows you to nourish your well-being.
- Bring your attention to your mind and notice the non-stop river of thoughts. As a reminder, tell yourself that your thoughts are not real just a collection of words you give meaning to.
After a while you will sense that you are in a more expanded state, located in the moment, aware of your higher nature, and feeling lighter and more alive. At that moment of noticing you can choose to remain in this altered state longer or get up and enter back into the chaos of modern living.
This sitting practice over time will completely alter your experience of living. Each time you sit you expand your awareness, your consciousness, your compassion, and your healthy being; each time you return to the world you do so with more light.