Q: I have an injury and it hurts to sit on a meditation cushion, can I sit in a chair?
A: Absolutely, we meditate with the intention of taking good care of our bodies. It’s important to find a comfortably supported position to meditate in, and we will take the time to do so in each session.
Q: What if I keep falling asleep during meditation?
A: This is very common, especially at the beginning of our meditation practice. It can be tricky finding the right balance between focused attention and being relaxed, plus most of us are just plain tired. There are tips for dealing with this, like shifting your posture, or opening your eyes and gazing at a point in front of you on the floor. Also making sure that you’ve had adequate sleep, and trying not to meditate after a big meal can also help.
Most of all, be kind to yourself. Fatigue will inevitably surface when we stop and pay attention. After all, holding stress takes a lot of energy and can be tiring to the body, which finally has a chance to begin to rest when we stop. The fatigue will likely gradually dissipate and it will become easier to be awake with the body.
Q: What if I can’t stop my mind?
A: The mind’s function is to think, so it’s not about shutting it down. It’s about being present with it, and observing its thoughts without judgment. It’s about making space to change our relationship with our thoughts.