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MIDL 28/52: Changing Meditation Postures


In MIDL Mindfulness Training 28/52 it is time for you to move from mindfulness of posture to full awareness of the transitions in-between the postures. By observing the experience of the transitions of your body between lying, sitting, standing and walking you will develop a continuity of mindfulness within your seated meditation and daily life. You will also develop sensitivity to the intention to move it arises within your mind, allowing you to abandon the desire through use of your MIDL softening skill. Submit Your Question

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Why Change Posture?

Your Question: Isn't mindfulness meditation only meant to be practiced sitting down? Moving during meditation doesn't feel peaceful to me.

Stephen Procter: The real benefits of mindfulness meditation are experienced through our ability to transition our seated meditation practice so that we can self-observe in daily life. A reference to this transition can be found in the original instructions on Satipatthana Vipassana (mindfulness meditation) given by the Buddha in the Satipatthana Sutta:

“Furthermore… when walking, the meditator knows: ‘I am walking.’ When standing, they know: ‘I am standing.’ When sitting, they know: ‘I am sitting.’ When lying down, they know: ‘I am lying down.’"

“Furthermore… when going forward or returning, they are fully aware; when looking toward or looking away...”

“When bending & extending their limbs...”

“When carrying their clothing and possessions...”

“When eating, drinking, chewing, & savoring...”

“When urinating & defecating...”

“When walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, & remaining silent, they do so with full awareness.”

From this we can clearly see that mindfulness meditation was never meant to be just a seated meditation practice and was always meant to be brought into daily life; to be lived. What is interesting is that when we look at the Satipatthana Sutta only a small part in the beginning of the Sutta is concerned with developing the mental faculties in seated meditation. After the section on mindfulness of posture satipatthana practice becomes formless, posture being totally irrelevant.

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