Home Meditation Sitting Meditation Takes You From Flustered to Calm in 2 Steps

Sitting Meditation Takes You From Flustered to Calm in 2 Steps

by Vidya Sury November 23, 2015 27 comments
Sitting Meditation Vidya Sury

Last Friday, in the middle of feeling rather awful, physically, I was forced to step out to visit the insurance office to sort something out. Now it isn’t as though I have a problem with that – but the flu can be a real lethargy driver.

Anyway, I did go and by the time I was through, I had run up and down three floors multiple times, sat in their rather sad sofa for 10-minute stretches and huffed and puffed my way through various counters.

The nice thing was, all the counter people were pleasant people. Willing to help. Maybe didn’t always know what needed to be done, but happy to direct me from pillar to post.

I finally headed back home a little past lunchtime, relieved that the matter had been tied up. I had a longish journey back home, as the insurance office is somewhat far off and so settled down to the rhythm of the ride. Naturally, I fiddled with my phone a little to read a tiny chapter from my current book, but the autorickshaw jostled so much and my eyesight not being what it used to be, I decided I would just practice some “sitting meditation”.

One always assumes that meditation must be done in a particular place and ambiance. But that’s not so. We can do it wherever we are – at the airport, standing in a queue somewhere, at work at your desk for a few minutes, or just sitting wherever we are.

According to Thich Nhat Hahn, in his book Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
– the same book from which I shared the “hugging meditation” last week, when we feel the need to calm down and get ourselves together, there’s no need to run home to find our meditation cushion. We can practice conscious breathing just about anywhere. I mean, we have to breathe to live, so it is a matter of regulated breathing.

I have tried this, and must have possibly looked slightly silly as I went from being flustered about something, as I consciously took myself to serene, but once it became a habit, I stopped worrying about how it looked. The important thing is to go from stressed to smiling. Can you picture that? All through mindful breathing and sitting meditation.

sitting meditation vidya sury

Sitting Meditation

How to use sitting meditation to go from feeling drained to delighted and return to ourselves and feel confident to face life?

Two steps.

  1. Breathe
  2. Smile

As easy as that. This can be done lying down, standing or walking as well, but sitting feels best. Kind of grounded.

The ideal thing is to sit cross-legged on a comfortable cushion, thick enough to support you. If you can, sit in the half lotus or full lotus positions as this has other benefits such as establishing stability of body and mind.

If you do want to try that lotus position do one of the following:

  • Half lotus – Sit cross-legged and place one foot on the opposite thigh
  • Full lotus – Sit cross-legged and place each foot on the opposite thigh

Too tough to sit like that? No problem.

  • Just sit cross-legged or in any comfortable position.
  • Let your back be straight.
  • Half-close your eyes.
  • Fold your hands on your lap.

You can also sit in a chair, feet flat on the floor and hands resting in your lap.

Or lie on the floor on your back, legs straight out and a few inches apart, arms at the side, palms facing up.

I can manage the lotus position but my feet go to sleep and I find it hard to focus on anything else. When that happens, I just slowly readjust my position, taking care to concentrate on my breathing. It takes a little time but you’ll get there.

If you feel the need to get up and walk, do so mindfully and sit when you are ready.

The whole point of sitting meditation is to reach that place of peace and happiness, calm and relaxed. You don’t have to tolerate feeling numb and uncomfortable.

Practice sitting meditation whenever you can, to help yourself relax. Over a period of time, you’ll find that you are better able to focus your energy on solving problems, not fretting over them.

I have a pretty good mind to start a “Monday Meditations” or “Mindful Mondays” series of posts as I have many things to share with you. What do you think? Shall we go for it?

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Corinne Rodrigues November 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Ah! You made me long to do this again. I used to practice this before. Another thing I must get back too. Looking forward to the next post in this series, Vidya.
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Daring To Start Over

Vidya Sury November 23, 2015 at 9:38 pm

I confess to a tiny power nap sometimes when I sit quietly, comfortably, Corinne! I am inspired to do a series of this – every Monday. Thoroughly enjoying my reading time! Thank you!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Turning Troubles into Triumphs

Vinitha November 23, 2015 at 9:47 pm

You know Vidya, today morning I was walking back to home after dropping my kid in his school and during that walk I focussed my attention on breathing, kind of like we do in Yoga, to calm down my thoughts and I was smiling in a few seconds. It was really soothing. I thought to myself that I am meditating while walking. And now I’m reading your sitting meditation. 🙂 Waiting for more in the series. 🙂
Vinitha recently posted…#MicroblogMondays – Moments of despair and joy

Vidya Sury November 26, 2015 at 11:26 pm

Thank you Vinitha! Breathing, even though it is something we have to do subsconsciouly, can be a healer when we are conscious about it. Kudos to you for practising it in the course of your routine! Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Tuned Into Gratitude

Bellybytes November 24, 2015 at 1:26 am

Meditation in any form helps to bring equanimity and calm and we should all practice a few minutes if sitting meditation in the day. I look forward to your weekly thoughts on meditation
Bellybytes recently posted…#MondayMusings-#Different ,  yet similar

Vidya Sury November 26, 2015 at 11:27 pm

Thank you Sunita! You’re right about just a few minutes making a big difference!
Vidya Sury recently posted…She was #MadeOfGreat

Vishal Bheeroo November 24, 2015 at 1:46 am

Hi Vidya

This is a great form of meditation to calm the body and let energy flow. I shall try it.
Vishal Bheeroo recently posted…Book Blitz: Kiran Manral’s Karmic Kids

Vidya Sury November 26, 2015 at 11:28 pm

Thank you Vishal. Would love to know how it went!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Tuned Into Gratitude

anks November 24, 2015 at 6:21 am

And I always thought one needed a quiet room to meditate… how can you do it in a noisy auto!! I for one always falls asleep while meditating… 🙂 Curious to know what comes after the hugging meditation and the sitting meditation
anks recently posted…A Severe Case of Monday Blues #MicroblogMondays #MondayMusings

Vidya Sury November 26, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Anks, sleeping is a form of meditation, too, I am sure. I often fall asleep when I sit quietly and simply wake up refreshed. Call it a Power Nap! When you make it a habit to calm down regardless of your surroundings, it becomes easy. Try it. Wherever you are, just breathe steadily. What next? Stay tuned!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Tuned Into Gratitude

Susan Scott November 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm

I like this so much, Vidya thank you! I do meditate in the morning (TM) in my bed when I wake up, straight back but not cross-legged. I’ve now made a note to sit cross-legged. And I agree, any time can be a meditative time, in the queues, walking, anywhere really. And, I smiled while reading your post! As I am now! 🙂
Susan Scott recently posted…I was on the Way, too ..

Vidya Sury November 26, 2015 at 11:31 pm

🙂 Susan, what a coincidence that just last week, I was going through my archives and came across a set of simple exercises to do on waking up. Thank you for your kind words.

You know, until I was amost 33 years old, we always sat on the floor cross-legged, to eat. Makes a big difference in terms of flexibility. 🙂
Vidya Sury recently posted…Tuned Into Gratitude

Esha November 24, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Feel refreshed already reading your post, Vidya 🙂 And, as I read, I am also able to see blue skies and bright sunshine after weeks of a gloomy grey that was all around! Infact, I do practice mindfulness a lot of the time when I’m feeling low and need a burst of positive energy. Even done it while standing in supermarket queues as while commuting around the city!

Vidya Sury November 26, 2015 at 11:33 pm

How wonderful to read about your mindfulness habit, Esha! There’s something so energizing about seeing the bright sun after dull days! But then, unless there’s a difference we wouldn’t notice that, would we? Hugs and thank you for your comment!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Tuned Into Gratitude

nabanita November 24, 2015 at 6:03 pm

How do you find positives in everything, Vidya? If I had gone to the same insurance office as you I would have come back and said that these people know nothing and made me run from pillar to post! Admirable, really
Coming to meditation, I must confess I’m not good at concentrating for meditation but I guess I need to try now what with so many things to be balanced…I could use some help 🙂
nabanita recently posted…10 Reasons Why I Dislike Rains

Vidya Sury November 24, 2015 at 6:44 pm

🙂 Hugs, Naba. I’ve had my share of cynicism – I started believing in seeing the silver lining and positive in everything when my Mom’s health declined after Vidur was born – I would see her being so cheerful all the time and would be amazed. When I asked her how, she’d just smile and say “Choice”. And soon, I made a conscious effort to make it a habit.

Meditation for you, right now, My Dearest One, is to consciously relax when you hold your baby in your arms. Practice steady breathing, looking at her face. ♥ ♥ ♥
Vidya Sury recently posted…She was #MadeOfGreat

Debbie D. November 24, 2015 at 10:00 pm

Breathe and smile. 🙂 Seems simple enough, Vidya. Not sure I could do the Lotus position, though. Like “the old grey mare” the old legs “ain’t what they used to be”. 😉 I hope your flu bug is clearing up. Feel better soon!
Debbie D. recently posted…REGRETS #MondayMusings #MicroblogMondays

Vidya Sury November 26, 2015 at 11:34 pm

Hehehe, your comment made me laugh, Debbie. But who cares about posture when you can breathe and smile? I am feeling much better. Just waiting to bid my cough goodbye! Thank you!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Tuned Into Gratitude

Darla M Sands November 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Thank you for sharing this. My mother’s health took another unfortunate dive and I can use something to ease my troubled mind.
Darla M Sands recently posted…The Perfect Peanut Butter Milkshake

Vidya Sury November 26, 2015 at 11:35 pm

You and your Mom are in my prayers, Darla. Holding you close in my heart! Sending you love.
Vidya Sury recently posted…Then and Now

richa singh November 24, 2015 at 10:31 pm

I am in 🙂 I anyways have included monday musings as my weekly ritual, helps cleanse all weekend thoughts as well. And to have you put out a weekly post on monday motivation will be most wonderful 🙂

Vidya Sury November 24, 2015 at 10:57 pm

Thank you. I am inclined to do it! 🙂 Such a nice way to start the week eh!
Vidya Sury recently posted…She was #MadeOfGreat

Shilpa Garg November 24, 2015 at 11:48 pm

That’s such an enlightening post, Vidya! Breathe and Smile… is all it takes for some peace of mind. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more gems from you in the series. Hope you are feeling better now. Take care ♥

Vidya Sury November 26, 2015 at 11:24 pm

Yes, thank you, Shilpa! Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Tuned Into Gratitude

Aditi November 26, 2015 at 5:08 am

My mind has been all over the place for the past few days. The to-fo list only keeps increasing. I need to pause and meditate. Thanks for the reminder 🙂
P.S. Any such things as Coffee Meditation? I’m sure there is! 🙂
Aditi recently posted…Can I Confess?

Vidya Sury November 26, 2015 at 8:06 am

I’ve been doing a lot of coffee meditation, Aditi. ❤️ it works. The to-do list looks a lot better after coffee, even if it gets longer. He he. I think you are just brilliant!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Sitting Meditation #MondayMusings

Asha December 6, 2015 at 9:47 pm

I too started meditation recently Vidya and it’s so rejuvinating !
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