Still MORE Beauties of Meditation
Even Another Lavish Pictorial Guide to the Harmonious Symmetry of the Undraped Meditatrix
TRIGGER WARNING FOR THE EASILY SHOCKED, EASILY OFFENDED, AND/OR UNCOMPROMISINGLY PURITANICAL: This post contains pictures of women, some of them nude, sitting in non-pornographic spiritual poses. If you are offended by nudity, especially the nudity of healthy, well-proportioned females of breeding age, don’t read any farther, go away, and have a nice day.
Well by golly, it’s time for another installment of my Beauties of Meditation series. I have already discussed in the first two installments of the series (here and here) that I have never managed to shake my profound admiration for various aspects of feminine beauty, and so I have indulged in a compromise (in military jargon, a strategic flexible retreat) by cultivating a taste for pictures of lovely women sitting in meditative poses, accentuating the fact that not only may women be luscious and voluptuous externally, but they also may be vessels of goodness and wisdom within, filled with the spirit of divinity, AT THE VERY SAME TIME. It is a mysterious paradox that I love, and can’t even want to stop loving it.
So instead of philosophizing some more about my own heterosexual mating instincts influencing my perceptions of the world around me, I may as well add some potentially useful pointers about meditation, especially about correct posture—which many of the ladies below are not doing very well (though with a few of them there may be some mammalian counterbalancing issues involved).
First, the legs. When sitting in formal meditation it is good to have one’s behind and both knees touching the ground, or anyway forming a stable foundation, which adds stability to one’s meditation posture and reduces fatigue. Having both knees poking up off the floor results in a kind of balancing act which can distract, even if ever so slightly, from one’s concentration, and possibly cause a sore behind. This is one reason why using a meditation cushion can be a good idea: it helps to raise one’s hips so that one’s knees touch the floor more easily, forming a stable tripod. (The cushion also helps to keep one’s posture straight, but we’re still on the legs.)
I have found that a serious meditator does well to cultivate the full lotus position, with the top of each foot resting on the opposite thigh. For me, at least, the full lotus automatically improves meditation by at least 3%. I’m not exactly sure why, and yoga people might have some metaphysical explanation involving the kundalini or some such, but my guess is that it reduces blood flow to the legs, thereby increasing blood flow to the vital organs including the brain. Also it is easier to sit in a straight, upright posture when in the full lotus, which naturally improves alertness. It may take awhile to be able to sit in the lotus position comfortably for an entire meditation session though, and one should gradually work one’s way up through the easy (or Burmese) position, the quarter lotus, and the half lotus. Examples of these are given below. When one can sit comfortably for an entire sit in one position, it’s time to move on to the next, more advanced one. The quarter lotus has one foot resting in the crevice between the calf and thigh of the opposite leg, and the half lotus has one foot resting on the opposite thigh, with the other bent flat on the floor (or the mat or whatever). I once met an old hippie in San Francisco who could flop right into the full lotus without even having to use his hands to position his legs, and he cheerfully claimed that “it only hurts for the first five years.” But the discomfort of cultivating the lotus at first is well worth it if you are a serious meditator. And meditating while sitting on a chair is gay for anyone who is healthy.
I mentioned the easy (or Burmese) position, so I should also say that keeping both legs bent and touching the floor without crossing the ankles is really superior to crossing them with the knees up. I’ve seen even yoga practitioners, western ones I mean, who, although they bend themselves into pretzels as yoga asanas, nevertheless sit with their ankles crossed and their knees up in the air, which is not optimal for deep meditation.
With regard to arms and hands, any position is fine, especially if the hands are at rest on one's knees, legs, or lap. The usual method in Buddhism is to have one hand resting on the other in the lap with palms up and thumbs touching, though I’ve learned that, especially in very hot, sweaty weather, resting the hands on one’s knees or thighs works just as well, and dissipates heat better. Holding the hands up, like in prayer before one’s chest (like some of the lovelies below are doing), may work for some, but it requires effort that may detract, even ever so slightly, from the meditation object—assuming that one has an object. Hands on knees palms upwards is more associated with Hindu meditation techniques, but it does work too.
Posture should be as straight and erect as possible, which is easier in the lotus position, and if one uses a meditation cushion or some other object tucked under one’s behind to help tilt the pelvis forward. The head may be level, or tilted slightly up or slightly down. I’ve noticed that one or two meditation techniques are easier for me with head tilted slightly back…but maybe that’s just me.
If possible, sit in meditation in a quiet place, and if it’s in your home try to do it in a place near the altar if you have one, or at least in a place that is treated with respect, and kept relatively clean, physically and spiritually.
This is not the place for teaching specific meditation methods, so in conclusion, before moving on to the aesthetic illustrations, I do have more of them, and occasionally encounter new ones, so don’t be surprised if there’s a part 4, and maybe even a part 5.
|this is intermediate between the easy position and the quarter lotus, although she really should move her lower foot forward so both knees are down|
|for the sake of politically correct racial diversity, I include an elf babe|
|this is a good example of a well executed easy position, with a cushion to improve posture and to keep both knees on the floor|
|another good view of the easy or Burmese position|
|keep the head straight|
|pretty much of a quarter lotus|
|I assume she's very nice, but having the knees way up like that is bad form for meditation|
|half lotus, though with some exotic contortions|
|in the previous two installments, in a spirit of fairness and “do unto others…,” I included pics of myself sitting in a nude lotus also…but I’ve run out of publishable pics like that so I include this fellow|