When we start a meditation session, we can choose either to sit on a chair or in a half-lotus position on the floor. Even though our initial position feels comfortable at first, later we may need to make adjustments due to discomforts or pain in the body.
Though it sounds logical, sitting position starts as a simple step, but grows into a deeper meaning. Our posture is not only about sitting on a chair or on the floor. Sitting position in life starts with a feeling of comfort in your physical location wherever in the present moment you are. Then that comfort grows into a larger space, like your room, apartment, house, workplace, city, country, region, world, universe.
Probably you have faced that feeling when you are in a meeting or taking a public transportation, but your sitting place does not feel comfortable. If you can, you immediately adjust your position, but if not – you may keep sitting, but not feeling fully relaxed with that discomfort itching your body. Same with wearing uncomfortable or inappropriate clothes. All that is on your mind: how to sooner change it.
These are very small details, yet if we don’t start with making small adjustments, it is more difficult to make bigger adjustments in life. If we think more profoundly, we take a sitting position with everything we do. At a kitchen table, in the office, in a café, in a conference room, home, workplace. Eventually, we want to feel comfortable also about our mental sitting position, meaning our role in a family, work, among our friends. If in any of these cases we don’t feel comfortable, it can create mental tension just like physical discomforts create physical tension.
“Eventually, we want to feel comfortable also about our mental sitting position, meaning our role in a family, work, among our friends.”
When my sister and I were teenagers, we used to sell vegetables on a market in our little town. It was certainly not something usual to do. Moreover, in a little town, it was rather embarrassing when our classmates or teachers would pass by and see us working on a market. In those times, we would be hiding under the table or leaving the table entirely when an unwanted person passed by. Although nowadays I feel proud for having done this summer work, at the time, it caused mental discomfort, and therefore, I could never really integrate in my school until very last years when more maturity came to everyone.
It is hard to change something when you are a teenager, especially changing your mental position, hence the mind. However, we should always pick up that inner feeling of discomfort, because only then, we will be able to react to it: either adjust the existing position or change the position entirely. Sometimes also in meditation, we move from the floor to a chair, when we get too much pain in our legs or in the back.
When I started a new job in Egypt, I picked up very quickly that I was not feeling comfortable with my boss who kept insulting our Egyptian colleagues for wearing hijab (head scarf). Moreover, he clearly took advantage of us – European girls – to build partnerships with big companies. To impress clients, he requested me to wear mini-skirt, change my name and country. I felt discomfort very soon seeing him not acting in a rightful way and breaking his own words about good relations. With every day, I also realized that I didn’t like the job that I was doing: working as an assistant and looking for clients was not really my cup of tea. After one week of working there, I quit the job despite the contract that we had signed and the fact that I had no other job and not much savings left. Yet, this all was nothing compared to that comfortable, refreshing feeling that I had gained after making my decision. I had simply changed my position when too much unbearable pain had come. That’s it!
“To impress clients, he requested me to wear mini-skirt, change my name and country.”
Of course, we cannot always change everything. It depends on many factors, like sense of responsibility involved. In my case, I knew that the sooner I quit, the less guilty I would feel. It is rather important to remember that we are clear to ourselves in each present moment, and not escaping from problems, but moving towards solutions. Because whatever mental or physical position we take, it will come with problems. In order to adjust, it is our decision how to react. No matter what, at the end of the day, we should feel comfortable, because our inner comfort is the basis for everything that we intend to achieve in that certain position, be it a relaxing meditation session, a successful meeting, or a fulfilling job position.