Sitting Meditation or Mindfulness Meditation is the practice of connecting to the body and the breath and watching thoughts. One of the main purposes is to become aware of the power thoughts have over us. When we sit, especially in a silent retreat for a few days or weeks, we become highly aware of how our thoughts are constantly pulling us in different directions and we have little to no control over them. The practice of sitting is so simple, you just sit on the floor or on a chair or cushion and breathe. You sit in silence, with your eyes half open or closed and breathe. Just watching the breath and feeling the sensations in the body. Feeling the rising and the falling of the chest or the sensation on the air passing through the tip of the nose and/or the upper lip. Feeling the breath and the body and then also becoming aware of the state of your mind and/or emotions. This is where the interestingness comes in, you begin to have thoughts or feelings of wanting to get up, or wanting to do something else, thoughts about the past or the future. We begin to notice sensation in our legs or back and label it as “pain” and believe something must be wrong. We think about what we’ll do when we’re done sitting, what we’ll eat, or who we’ll talk with. Or we begin to question and doubt the whole practice of meditation, what it’s good for, or if we can do it.
And heres the point – if we stick with it, we become aware that thoughts and emotions are just thoughts, words, symbols, floating through our mental awareness, and we give them or just unconsciously let them have so much power and control over us. Think about this, you could be feeling really great, strong and clear, peaceful and confident – then the phone rings – it’s your mom, a close friend, or your partner and they’ve just told you some news – some words – that totally throw you off balance and out of your center. Here is the proof of the power words, thoughts and emotions have over us.
But as we begin to learn the art of meditation, we begin to gain mastery over thoughts and emotions, we begin to root ourselves in the core of our body and breath. This happens directly through finding balance/core and then being thrown off of balance/core… Through this process we begin to learn what brings us to balance/core and what knocks us off… So that eventually we become masters of our minds, thoughts and emotions, we become so rooted in our core that nothing can throw us off. Through constantly returning to the purity and solidity of our body and breath we find and root in the peace and beauty of our deep inner core.