Meditating while lying down

Why?

The Buddha, who was practically the inventor of Vipassana meditation, has advised meditating on four postures: sitting upright, standing, walking, and lying down. Most meditation training programmes are based on meditation sitting upright focusing on the breath and progressively on other parts of the body and mind. The walking meditation is a great way to bring mindfulness into movement, and likewise, meditation while standing up is a great way to focus.

How?

All you need is perhaps is just around going to bed, relax yourself and start paying attention to the breath. If you have a smartwatch or Fitbit, set it to 30 minutes timer and just pay attention to the flow of air through your nostrils. Nothing else. You will see thoughts come and go, there will be itches and occasional physical discomforts, exactly like what happens when you’d sit upright for meditation, but persist. You are already in the most comfortable posture. Sleep with your back on the bed, relax every muscle, rest the head slightly up perhaps supported by a pillow, touch the thumbs together, close your eyes, and begin. If you do not have a smartwatch or meditation timer, no issue. Set yourself to count 300 breaths (in and out, complete each cycle and inwardly say 1,2,3,…, and so on).

What’s the point?

If you ever set your intentions to start a regular practice of meditation but somehow it never got started or continued, meditation in this posture is perhaps the most intuitive and easy thing to do. You do not have to show off, :-), you can still do everything, the posture is the most relaxing of them all, you do not have to cross your legs, you do not need a zafuton or cushion, and I can waffle on a thousand reasons. Plus you can run through the sequence. There is a risk of drifting off to sleep but that’s alright. At least, it offers you yet another chance to introspect your state of change of mind.

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Professor @ University of Canterbury, Doctor, scholar, data scientist, Cantabrian. ENS: arinbasu.eth & mastodon instance: @arin_basu@mastodon.nzoss.nz

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Arindam Basu

Professor @ University of Canterbury, Doctor, scholar, data scientist, Cantabrian. ENS: arinbasu.eth & mastodon instance: @arin_basu@mastodon.nzoss.nz