How we sit in meditation makes a huge difference to the outcome of your practice. It’s important to be comfortable, relaxed and alert.
1. Choose to sit on a chair with a cushion behind your back and feet firmly on the floor (they can be on a cushion if your legs are too short to reach the ground). Your feet should be comfortably apart and please don’t cross them.
2. A cushion or bolster on top of a yoga mat is suitable if your knees are lower than your hips and you can be comfortable for 15 + mins. Cushions can also be used under the knees to support them on both sides. Choose another option if you get uncomfortable.
3. Meditation stools. For me these are excellent. You use one on a yoga mat with knees apart and big toes touching (Seiza position). Available for purchase from Rainforest Reiki.
Lying down. If you are unwell or suffer from back problems this is a good option for some of the meditations. Lie on a yoga mat. Pillow under your knees and one under your head if that’s more comfortable. Use a blanket if cold.
Left palm resting over right palm with thumbs GENTLY touching. This is a popular position as it guides you as to how tense you are during meditation. If the thumbs are tense they will be pushing hard against each other. This is usually an indication that your mind is excited and busy. If they drop it will be a sign that you have lost concentration and become dull. You can remedy this as soon as you become aware during meditation
Palms up on the thighs.
Palms face down on the thighs.
Experiment with a different positions during meditations and see what’s most comfortable for you.
If lying down your palms should be a few feet away from the thighs with palms up.
Often we are reluctant to ask for help. Having your own small business you tend to try and balance many things – websites, cleaning, gardening, reiki treatments, teaching, cooking, to name a few.
A few months ago I contacted my friend & reiki student, Mel Irvine. Knowing SEO might help my business I wanted to know if Mel could help. Mel is based in Iloilo, Phillipines.
She has done a great job for me and working on the website felt inspired to reconnect to her meditation practice and start teaching others. She put a notice on Facebook and 30 local people turned up for her first class.
She’s now teaching at a local gym there as well.
Mel originally went to the Phillipines to help out after cyclone Yolanda in 2013. It changed her life and the lives of many local people she came into contact with. Her story since, and projects she’s involved with are compelling and inspiring.
Mel is totally committed to the local people there and selflessly gives whatever she can. Melinda is one of the most honest and kindest people I know and I highly recommend her. Rainforest Reiki is busy and I am very grateful to Mel for all her hard work.
Good question! In my backpacker days I’d seen Tibetan monks chant as I travelled through China. It left me with a sense of awe and inner peace. Earlier during the same trip we had visited a monastery where monks kindly invited us to join them for yak butter tea (definitely an acquired taste!). We spoke no Tibetan & they spoke no English. It didn’t matter, we laughed together & they were warm & welcoming hosts. Their natural joy seemed misplaced as their native homeland was being invaded by the Chinese.
Time passed, I emigrated to Australia & friends who were travelling around the world arrived in Cairns & shared their experiences of a Vipassana meditation retreat in New Zealand.
For 10 days they had done seated meditations which seemed very brave considering they had never meditated before. It was physically challenging for them but they came away feeling a deep sense of connection.
They inspired me to book a 10 day silent retreat in Thailand. A mixture of walking, working & seated meditation.
An Initial Experience
I realised how busy and distracted my mind was. As I practiced being present everything became clear. Meals were simple but when you ate mindfully you were aware of flavours, texture, & colours. A feeling of gratitude & appreciation for the food, the nuns preparing it and our hosts naturally arose.
After lunch we would walk up a hill in the grounds that overlooked Koh Phangan. I noticed the lizards would come and sit with us. In my garden at home now I appreciate that when we slow down, listen & focus you see the beauty of what’s around you & the wildlife comes closer.
What Meditation Gives You
We are not our thoughts, our emotions or our fantasies and when you meditate regularly you realise this. Instead of clinging & identifying with them you recognise them for what they are, events that are passing through our minds. We remember the past & get anxious about the future but that is not our truth. As we become more present, letting go of our worries and anger, we also have more energy.
Living so externally in this material world you realise that when you go within so much is revealed. Life becomes happier when you are calm and balanced.
After the retreat I returned home, life got busy and my intentions of having a regular meditation practice disappeared! Determined to reconnect to meditation I went to the local Buddhist Centre & started practicing once more.
Learning traditional Japanese Reiki in 2010 I discovered a system of Reiki that included a variety of different meditations & techniques. Practicing these over the years has deepened my practice considerably.
When you practice daily you see the benefits. It effects everyone around you – your kids, family & work colleagues. You become calmer & more patient and this state of mind is reflected back to you.
The other wonderful thing about meditation is you can do it anywhere, on a chair, a cushion or even seated on a bed, whatever is comfortable for you. All you need is you.
My goal is to inspire others to find their light within & for me, meditation is the key that unlocks that door.
Unity or oneness is something more and more people seem to be talking about these days. These experiences can happen to people who have no spiritual interest but they then awaken to the realisation that there is so much more out there.
My first experience of oneness came whilst I was facilitating a reiki session with a close friend. She had requested I do the session as her energies felt depleted. She relaxed quickly and set her intention to receive whatever she needed in this moment. At the head there was this pure feeling of absolute connection. It was like touching the divine and tears were streaming down my face. Everything in that moment was perfect. It felt like it went on for minutes but in reality in may have only been a few moments. What I do know is the minute the thought entered my head about wanting this to last forever – it disappeared! Why does that happen in life?! I have come to an understanding that for me studying reiki, meditation and The Journey have been ideal tools for me to connect with that oneness. The bright light of connection is truly inside, outside and everywhere. As we put into practise different tools we learn to clear our own pathways of limiting beliefs, fears and other emotional and physical blocks and we uncover a world of truth inside. My initial experience was of a kinaesthetic nature which means you are sensitive to touch so it comes as no surprise that my connection happened during a reiki session. With a visual friend of mine she also had a beautiful experience where she felt complete unity. She describes it as follows: I drove to Innisfail via Bingal Bay. It was my first time on that road and coming toward a corner a cassowary was on the edge of the road, he looked so beautiful and as I slowed down I was absolutely beaming with delight. After that I slowed right down in case of more cassowaries and around the next corner, all of a sudden, I looked over to my right and just went WOW. It seemed the most beautiful place I had ever seen in my life. Time just stopped and my stomach turned over. Thinking now it was a feeling just under my sternum and down to the base of my belly. It did a complete somersault and jolted me further back into the seat of the car – and then I cried which was completely involuntary. Afterwards I felt really confused and didn’t know what to do. I tried returning to the same place later that day and couldn’t find it! Melinda’s experience, although different to mine has a lot of similarities. The minute we form an attachment or get our minds involved the connection disappears… Its like for a brief moment we are given an absolute gift, that divine connection inside and outside of ourselves… Julie Heskins Reiki Master/Teacher Rainforest Reiki, Cairns