Stiff Joints and Meditation
Sit on a chair that is the right height to plant the soles of your feet firmly on the floor, to maintain balance when your eyes are closed or relaxed.
Place a small cushion at your lower back, so rather than leaning on the chair backrest you are propped up against the pillow. This allows you to keep your upper back free to stretch up, rather than slump.
Rest your lower arms on the top front of your thighs next to your body. This allows you the choice of using a rosary or mala, or folding your hands together. In this photo I am using a 108 bead mala to repeat my mantra.
Note that even though my eyes are closed I am not letting my head fall forward and cut off the free flow of my in and out breaths.
Keep up your even breathing throughout your meditation in a pattern such as one count to breathe in, and one count to breathe out. Do not hold your breath at any time.
Even rhythmic breathing can calm your emotions. By concentrating on a regular pattern you are distracting your mind from negative or troublesome thoughts. When your mind is calmed down, you may find that creative solutions flow up to your consciousness. This is one of the benefits of meditation practice.
After some time your body may feel like it is floating in water. Enjoy this freedom of physical sensation. For me, I feel the physical dissolve below my neck. I use this time to generate thoughts of peace and love and stretch my feelings of joy out to the world.
When you are ready to end your meditation session take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Open your eyes. Take time to write any new thoughts in your meditation journal for further review. Feeling refreshed, go on with your day.
In summary, sitting on a chair and using a pillow for lower back support is a way to meditate, particularly if your joints are too stiff to fold your legs in while sitting on a cushion on the floor.
You are not a failure at meditation by using this method. Remember my story about my great aunt, Sister Mary Rita, of the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart. She was sitting on a church pew in morning meditation when she passed on.
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Article by Susan Helene Kramer
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