How Should I Sit While Meditating?

In the famous Anapanasati sutta, or, for those who don’t read Pali, the Discourse on Mindfulness of Breathing, the Buddha begins his meditation instructions by describing the way the meditator should sit.

[The meditator] … sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.

Anapanasati sutta from Access to Insight

There is a lot of advice out there on the best or proper way to sit during meditation. For some teachers, the exact sitting posture is extremely important, while for others, it is only mentioned in passing. I feel that meditation can and should be done in any position that is convenient, so I tend to approach the topic of sitting posture from a pragmatic perspective.

The following infographic sums up my advice for how to sit during meditation:

(click on the infographic to enlarge)

Infographic on how to sit while meditating

If you’d like to share this infographic on your own site, simply use the embed code below (highlight the code in the box, copy it, and then paste it on your site).

What’s your take on sitting posture during meditation? Do you use a cushion, bench, chair or something else? Leave a comment below and let me know!

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761 Responses to “How Should I Sit While Meditating?”

  1. Marie

    It may be crazy… But I find my bathroom very quiet and after my evening routine could sit on my toilet seat – hard surface with the lid down and meditate. :). Funny I know…but it works for me so far.

  2. Laura

    I, too, approach meditation sitting from a practical standpoint. If you are sitting in a position dictated by your teacher, it is not personal anymore. It becomes THAT person’s meditation, not yours. If their sitting works for you, great. If not, you should tailor it to you. Personally, I sit either full or half lotus on a pillow or folded blanket

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