Re-discovering the power of the sitting posture

Today we have available a wide range of sitting meditation practices. Although what each practice emphasizes may vary, they usually begin with the instruction to take one’s seat and assume one’s meditation posture:  we begin by tuning into our bodies. This past Sunday, Denise guided our practice, taking us deeper than we may be accustomed to going into this fundamental basis of practice.  

Denise writes, “I was recently reintroduced to the power of establishing and maintaining a stable yet dynamic posture as a central part of meditation practice using Will Johnson’s guide The Posture of Meditation (1996). Focusing on posture as the central focus of meditation was a powerful experience and I realized it was time to revisit some of the ‘basics'”.

The posture of meditation exercise Denise led closely followed one guided by Sunada Takaga, who is an order member in the Triratna Buddhist community. Takaga led this meditation on retreat for women who have asked to be ordained. You can listen to this practice here. The actual exercise begins at about 11:00 minutes into the recording.

Denise also read from the poem “Clearing”, by Martha Postlewaite.

Finally, a poem by Tsongkhapa:

The Human Body at Peace with Itself

The human body, at peace with itself,
Is more precious than the rarest gem.
Cherish your body – it is yours this time only.
The human form is won with difficulty,
It is easy to lose.
All worldly things are brief,
Like lightning in the sky;
This life you must know
As the tiny splash of a raindrop;
A thing of beauty that disappears
Even as it comes into being.
Therefore set your goal;
Make use of every day and night
To achieve it.

from: ‘Readings From The Refuge Tree of the Western Buddhist Order’ – compiled an edited by Lokabandhu and Cittapala.