Sitting Meditation


Sitting meditation is a way of returning home to give full attention and care to ourselves. 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!

At Plum Village, we practice mindfulness of breathing. Whether you sit on a cushion, a blanket, a chair, or directly on the floor, sit in a way that feels comfortable. If possible, inhale through your nostrils, and notice your abdomen expand. Then, as you exhale, notice your abdomen return to normal size. One way to help maintain awareness of breathing is to recite a gatha. When you breathe in, say silently, "In." As you breathe out, say silently, "Out" After doing this for a while, you might like to try a guided meditation.

Sitting meditation periods can be ten, twenty, or thirty minutes - or however long you like. Sitting is for your pleasure, so relax. If your posture is causing you too much pain, feel free to adjust your position, moving slowly and attentively, following your breathing and every movement of roar body so you will not lose your concentration. You can even stand up slowly and mindfully if necessary, and when you feel ready, sit down again. At the end of the period, allow a few minutes to massage your legs and feet before standing up again.

                                                                                                                                From Chanting from the Heart: Buddhist Ceremonies and Daily Practices

                                                                                                                                Written by Thich Nhat Hanh