The basic method for taming our hyperactive mind is to bring our awareness to the body and breath. When we do this, we notice that the state of our body and breathing affect our mental state and that our mental state affects our body and breathing.
This is why posture is important in meditation.
The seven point meditation posture, also known as the Seven Points of Vairocana, is commonly practiced to achieve balance in mind and body through the sitting posture. If the position of the body is correct, it will calm an agitated mind, cheer up an unhappy mind, and produce clarity in an overwhelmed mind.
– The First of the seven points of posture is to sit down, to sit on some kind of cushion. If you are flexible, you can sit in the vajra posture, which is usually known in the West as the lotus posture. But if you’re not that flexible, or you find this posture uncomfortable, or you can’t sit cross-legged at all, and you need to sit in a chair, don’t worry about it. Don’t feel that it will harm or inhibit your meditation to sit in a chair.
– The Second point is to place your hands evenly. This is referring to the left hand being placed palm up in your lap and the right hand is placed palm up in the left. But it can also be understood as keeping our hands at the same height, such as placing them on your knees.
– The Third point of posture is that your spine be straight. This is quite important because by keeping our back straight, we straighten out the subtle channels within our body through which our subtle winds or energies flow. This will allow our mind to relax naturally and become calm.
– The Fourth point is that the shoulders be pushed back a little bit. Here the shoulders are really just an example. It means that all parts of our body are held in a proper and wakeful posture, so that they are relaxed, but not so relaxed that the posture becomes sloppy.
– The Fifth point is that your chin is brought back in and down. This should happen naturally by straightening your back.
– The Sixth is to touch your tongue to the palate.
– The Seventh and final point of posture is the gaze, which is what we do with our eyes. This is important because our thoughts tend to follow our gaze, or our eyes. We should be relaxed looking into space, at nothing in particular, somewhere about 16 fingers width in front of the nose.
Although it may be hard for beginners to get used to this classical Buddhist meditation posture, the rewards of a few sessions help the mind find peace, strength and control. It also benefits the physical body by bringing its energies into balance.