“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
—Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Sitting, we often don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t sit and settle but rather slump and squirm, or hold tight, in an effort to get on with the rest of what we’re trying to do.
Here’s where doing something a little counterintuitive might help. Instead of trying to sit more or better, you might treat all those signals in your body as an invitation to move. If you think about it, as infants we learned to sit through not-sitting. We explored crawling, rolling, reaching, looking… until sitting naturally emerged. Re-finding these movements—and, eventually, the movement within stillness—is the key to sitting as easily as a child. Watch a child for any period of time and you’ll realize that they are going through a remarkable amount of variations around certain themes. They haven’t settled into any of the habits that we acquire as we mature. Emulating a child isn’t about flailing around randomly. It actually takes a great deal of intelligence and experimentation.
The following guided movement lesson explores natural relationships between different parts of the body in sitting, allowing for coordination and comfort, so that when you sit to meditate, or write or draw, you can settle into alignment easily and without strain.
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