Please refer to our calendar for information about our periodic Meditation Instruction sessions, held live at Dharma Field
Meditation Instruction is designed to address question regarding meditation practice. New and seasoned practitioners are welcome. Free and open to anyone. No registration required. This offering is in-person (at Dharma Field). Please refer to our online resources below if you aren't able to visit the center.
60–90 minutes. No need to register. Please arrive 10 minutes early. Loose comfortable clothing recommended.
OTHER WAYS TO LEARN MEDITATION
When available, we highly recommend attending instruction at Dharma Field. If this is not an option to you, check the following:
Currently, we are not offering in-person instruction at Dharma Field. We offer the following in lieu of live instruction with a teacher. Though it is offered at no charge, donations are gratefully received.
INSTRUCTIONS (by Steve Hagen)
Please note: Talks #4, #5 and #6 are recommended after establishing and maintaining regular daily meditation for a few years.
INSTRUCTIONS (by Dainin Katagiri)
The illustrations and descriptions below are excerpted from Meditation Now or Never, by Steve Hagen.
Cross-Legged Sitting Postures
There are three options in sitting cross-legged:
Half-lotus posture, full-lotus posture or Burmese posture.
Hand-crafted meditation cushions and mats are available through Dharma Field.
Half Lotus Posture
With your knees upon the mat, bring either your left or right heel in close to your cushion, leaving your foot
directly upon the mat.Place your other foot on top of its opposite thigh. This gives you a good stable posture.
Full Lotus Posture
An even more stable and balanced posture—although one requiring more flexibility—is the full-lotus posture. Begin by placing your first foot on its opposite thigh instead of on the mat. Then place other foot on top its opposite thigh.
As in the half-lotus posture, bring one foot in close to the cushion, but then place the second foot on the mat in front
of the first leg rather than on its opposite thigh. Make sure that both knees are supported, and not floating above the mat.
Posture for Chair Sitting
If you choose to meditate on a chair, sit with your feet comfortably close together and flat on the floor. It’s important to have your thighs nearly level with the floor—knees slightly lowered. This will maintain the lumbar curve in your spine,
giving you good back support and allowing you to breathe properly. Do not lean against the back of the chair; the base
of your spine should either not touch the back of the chair or only rest very lightly against it. The upper part of your back
should not touch the back of the chair at all. Most chairs are sloped toward the back; unfortunately, this will cause some
slouching and make it impossible for you to assume a posture that allows you to breathe properly. You need a chair that
does not throw you toward the back.
Kneeling (seiza) Posture
In seiza posture, kneel on the mat with a cushion between your ankles. As in all sitting postures, your knees will be
touching the mat. If this is uncomfortable, try putting a second cushion on top of the first, or consider using a kneeling
bench (sometimes called a seiza bench).
Kneeling (seiza) posture
To take the standing meditation posture, place your feet about a fist apart at the heels. Straighten up your spine.
Push the back of your head towards the ceiling until your face is vertical—facing neither downward toward the
floor nor upward toward the ceiling.
While seated, put your hands, open and palms up, in your lap in front of you. Touch the tip of your left index finger
to the base of your right index finger just where it joins the palm. Using this as a reference point, lay the fingers of
your left hand over the corresponding of your right, palms facing upward. Gently bring your thumbs tips together
until they barely touch.
Detail of hand gesture while seated
While standing, gently make a fist with your left hand, but enclose your thumb inside. Now enclose your left fist
inside your right hand and bring your hands against your body just below your sternum. Your forearms should
be parallel to the floor.
Detail of hand gesture while standing