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I'm traveling around Italy in my campervan and enjoying a change of scenery. Sometimes it's been raining really heavy and sometimes it's been so hot it's really hard to be in the van (38 degrees +). Every day is new and there's no real sense of any routine. Naturally this can make it harder to meditate, partly because the routine is broken and partly just the logistics of somewhere to sit.

Meditation in the van

Is it really important to sit crossed legged when meditating?

In the picture above I'm sitting in my campervan meditating. I'm not a natural at sitting crossed legged and can only manage about 45 mins before my legs ache. That hasn't stopped me doing really long meditates of anything up to 6 hours in one go, 14 hours a day and up to 12 days! So it's not necessary to be crossed legged. The reason people sit crossed legged is to "help" retain the chi energy in their body by closing a circuit by touching ankles or heels. There's also a "banda" or energy valve in the base near the perineum which sitting in "lotus position" helps close. But in reality it's more important to be comfortable as any energy benefits from sitting crossed legged would be far outweighed by the distraction of aches and pains.

Breaking the "habit" of meditation

When were in unusual situations, like a really hot day in a campervan then we're well out of our routine. So choosing to meditate at these times is much more of a conscious decision than simply doing it because it's our routine to do so. This can actually help us to be even more present. Sometimes like I said the logistics and enveironment can make it really challenging and even an experienced meditator may need a little extra help to get "into the zone". On this particular day it was HOT HOT HOT and there was a fair bit of background noise. Also sitting in the van (as shown) is not naturally comfortable for me so I decided to use my guided meditation MP3 to help me get stiller quicker.

Posted by Mark Zaretti at 15:07

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