Daily, I carve out time to sit like a bump on a log, or in my case, a meditation bench which I lovingly refer to as a “Buddha butt.” As a high energy, fast-paced, go get ‘em kind of person, sitting still doesn’t come easy for me.
The slight elevation of a meditation bench affords me the opportunity to stay in a seated position—spine upright—for an extended period of time. And because my rear-end isn’t resting right on top of my calves, ankles, or feet, my legs don’t go to sleep from cutoff circulation. I enter this still and quiet space with one objective — no expectations.
In my experience, the busier I am the more important the practice of stillness becomes. And the benefits of sitting quietly are tremendous:
- Puts me smack dab in the middle of now
- Cultivates internal quietness
- Recharges my personal battery
- Makes way for clarity and problem solving
- Accesses my creative voice
- Accentuates the positive
- Diminishes energy that’s not serving me well
When was the last time you sat still?
Truth be told in the manner of which you suggest a very very long time!
Yet I just sat still to write and publish my blog, go through some photographs, read some poetry and or quotes…
Jeff – I just read your beautiful post. And from a reader’s perspective, it was well worth the time you spent in the chair 🙂
Bless you Laurie!
I also can sit still for a long time when busy with an activity. I’ve never tried one of these benches. They look intriguing.
Sheryl – If ever you get a chance to try one at a county fair (perhaps a mall booth?), give it a shot – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it is 🙂
I’ve wondered about those benches. I have a cushion but my legs and feet fall asleep and I end up having to change positions often.
Jzrart – I was a cushion-style-gal for a short period of time for that very reason, my legs/feet fell asleep because of cut off circulation. I love my raised Buddha Butt 🙂
A good friend recently gifted me a t-shirt from the Buddhist – Bootcamp that reads”Sit Happens” … If you like, I can send you one, my treat?!?
I have a three hour long story to share with you that I believe you would like – Three hours spent waiting for a new ID card for work, years ago I would had charged up my phone to waste the time away – Instead – I surrendered, embracing the moment to invoke a deeper sense of self and this wonderful world.
*No kidding about the shirt. check out the Buddhist Bootcamp site and let me know which one you like, and I’ll have him send you one. 🙂
CultFit – yes, Yes, YES — I love the 3-hour story you shared. To me that’s investing time (as opposed to spending time).
I just checked out the Buddhist Bootcamp shirts that read: “Sit Happens!” at http://www.buddhistbootcamp.com/p/shirts.html. Oh how darned cool is that?! I would thoroughly enjoy the blue one. THANK YOU so much 🙂
I’m not one to sit still much, either. I have a hard time sitting through an entire 30 minute TV show, unless I’m doing something else at the same time. I had a cold over the weekend that sort of slowed me down over the weekend. I suppose purposeful sitting it better that waiting till illness takes you down. Thanks for this insight, dear Laurie!
Hugs from Ecuador,
Kathy – I’m sorry to hear that you were under the weather. The next time you or Sara are ill, let me know so I can zip you in the pod: http://wp.me/pP1C5-wD
Nice thoughts and sharing and I appreciate your words.
The last time I sat still – hmmmm Everyday and twice on Sunday! I could not get by with out my still time. I can not use a bench any more and my left leg has never bent properly, so most of the time I stand in a Liangong stance to get my posture modified and let the Qi flow.
I daily start with a poem
I do a shorter version before going to sleep, working on breathing and relaxing my extremely busy mind.
My yoga teacher used to say: When you think you do not have time is when one needs it the most!
Patricia – My hat is off to you for the liangong stance, and to your yoga teacher’s supporting wisdom.
I’m glad you explained what that thing is, I’ve seen one and yet was too embarrassed to ask what one is used for. Now that I see one in use, it makes incredibly good sense. Some, actually nearly all of my best times of going to “that still place” and when I feel most connected is when I am immersed in unspoken or wordless prayer. That very special time out of time when Creator and Created share touch Spirit as One.
Sandi – I very much resonate with what you shared here. Too, I can picture you in my mind’s eye, plunk-down in your garden’s rich soil with the colorful flowers and vegetables you grow as company.
My meditation cushion has been used to sit with small babies and children in the floor during pant year or so. I was just thinking this week that it needs to come home or I need to get another one for home. The kind of sitting you write of does not happen often enough for me. Mostly I imagine sitting instead of actually sitting. Not the same benefits 🙂
Terrill – I think you should leave cushions whenever you visit family and friends, that way they’ll have a lovely reminder of you, and you’ll have the perfect perch when you return 🙂
What a great invention and it’s not easy to run away once you sit 🙂
This is important stuff Laurie! Imagine a world where we all had the practice of sitting still ……
I try every day to take the time to sit and I know the less time I have, the more I need it!
Anne – You’re absolutely right: The less time we have, the more time we need, to sit in stillness. (And you’re right about not being able to run away easily once you sit on a Buddha Butt, either)… 🙂
what a great seat – plus it protects the knees from hyperflexion, which for someone like me with zero cartilage can be quite a good thing! sitting still – i am not good at it.
Words4jp – A great little invention, indeed 🙂
I do a lot of sitting–at my computer as I write; outside as I enjoy a good book. But stillness without doing, simply being… Meditation period… The last time I did that was during my last Yoga class–before the summer. I’m looking forward to returning to Yoga later this month. Because, even though I know meditation is very important, I never seem to do it unless I’m guided into the practice…
Leanne – Oh how FUN that you’ll be returning to yoga classes later this month. I know a multitude of people who’ve found a more “formal” setting to be the perfect answer 🙂
Laurie you have touched on a very important subject . Sitting still … allowing yourself time for yourself …enjoying time in the moment …just putting your hand up for a moment and saying STOP!!!!. I love this concept , everyone should do it .
We are building a house in West Wales (or should I say my husband is I’m just general dogsbody lol) and we are just three miles from a fantastic beach . So, on Sunday , when my husband was busy roofing , I drove down to the beach and sat on a rock and watched the waves crashing …love it .
Cherry – The word picture you painted of sitting on a rock at the beach, just a stone’s throw from your soon-to-be home is idyllic 🙂
Ailsa is more likely to ask – when was the last time you moved? – with some justification.
I spend most of my time in my chair – a zero gravity recliner – which is the most comfortable thing I have ever sat in.
Sometimes I am just contemplating, sometimes I am writing, sometimes just stillness.
I have never been able to sit like you show, without pain – even as a five year old, sitting on the floor was painful. A serious back injury in my early twenties made the situation much worse.
And I do treasure the stillness of simply being without doing.
Ted – There you go! SITTING and THINKING (pondering solutions for the world) is precisely why you’re BRILLIANT!
My client’s body’s always relaxed in a Lafuma Zero Gravity Chair while while I sent their minds to heaven and beyond giving Reflexology treatments to their feet 🙂
First of all, I love your title; it definitely caught my attention! I like legs up the wall pose to quiet my mind. I find 15 minutes at least 2 to 3 times a week to go to that place…..awww:)
Becwillmylife – Oh My Gosh! I write Restorative Yoga Articles for Power of Positivity and my next column is on LEGS UP THE WALL!! Here’s a link to my current article — Supported Child’s Pose http://www.powerofpositivity.com/restorative-yoga-supported-childs-pose/
Awesome; thanks for the link!
I sit a lot. But I am never quiet or in the moment. Where did you acquire your bench? I am going to be taking yoga teacher training and I suspect we will be doing our share of sitting.
Darlene – I got ours through the EarthBench shop on Etsy. Here’s a link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EarthBench
I would probably sit longer in a meditative pose if I had a bench! I’m glad to see the link to the Etsy shop! I do sit cross-legged on the floor with just a little yoga blanket elevating me a tad. But it would be great to have another means. The point is, though, I believe we do need to sit and be still. I’m practicing…it sure does not come naturally to me, Lori! 🙂
Three Well Beings – It doesn’t come naturally to me either, but I’m awfully glad after I invest time for each “Buddha Butt” session because it goes a long way toward clearing the cobwebs.
“When was the last time you sat still?”
I think it was a few weeks ago was I went under anesthesia for a kidney stone procedure. Ha! You see, when I haven’t a choice I must comply. Otherwise I would have to be perfectly comfortable to remain in a continuous state of comfort.
The meditation bench really sounds and looks fantastic!
Sam – I can well imagine that you had to remain perfectly still for an extended period of time not only during, but after your recent kidney stone procedure. I’m sure glad it’s in the rearview mirror 🙂
Hi Laurie, I love your idea of the bench. Can you please give the dimensions so I can have one made. Thanks.
Tina – I just Googled “Meditation Bench Plans” and received lots of wonderful links to follow. If you do the same, you’ll discover there are lots of different styles to choose from. Enjoy!
Thanks Lauri After I messaged you I thought of googling as well, I will have to have a carpenter make and was wondering if I had the correct dimensions it would be easier. We don’t have access to a lot of order deliveries in Pakistan 😦
Tina – One of the reasons I suggested the “Google” method is because you want it made for your height. I’m tall so mine is a bit higher off the ground. You’ll want to have that taken into consideration when you have one built for just-for-you.
I want a Buddha Butt too and a Sit Happens t-shirt. Not sure I’m getting the hang of this Buddhism thing, what with all the WANTING it seems to be generating within me! 😉
I’m not the best at sitting either but I have found that since standing up at my desk, I’m really appreciating plomping on my backside a bit more.
Living in the desert has been a revelation (no pun intended!) though. There’s a stillness there that switches everything off. As much as I love forests too, anytime I do sit in one I’m always half waiting to chat with the fairies and my imagination runs riot. . 🙂
WarmGinger – Your “wanting” comment made me laugh 🙂 Because of the amount of writing that I do, I set the alarm to go off once every hour and take a few minutes to step away from my desk/chair and stretch.
That bench looks interesting, like the sort of thing I need to relax my back and let the circulation flow. It might also be the key to me meditating without falling asleep! 🙂
Mywithershins – And if you did fall asleep on this short meditation bench, the good news is you wouldn’t have very fall to fall 🙂
hehehe…. we are very different. I don’t have lots of energy…. my tendency is to be sedentary so I make sure I get up and moving enough to be healthy 🙂
Victoria – See! It’s the appreciated differences that make the world go round 🙂
It so is!!! 😛
I have never practiced meditation, though I’m sure it would be so, so wonderful for me and probably for creativity! Love the title, “Sit Happens.” You’re so creative!
Melissa – Just watch the healthy benefits your two wonderful cats derive from “meditation.” I can well imagine they sit almost trance-like as they watch your fingers dance across the keyboard.
Hi, Laurie — I would have responded yesterday but I was too busy being furloughed! This reminds me of centering prayer – to sit and be still with no expectations. My goal is to sit still at least twice a day, once in the morning upon arising and once in the evening before retiring. Until the House, the Senate, and the President all get on the same page and I go back to work, I will have plenty of time to sit still.
Barbara – Oh my gosh, I didn’t think about how this would impact YOU! I’m certain you’ll use this unexpected time to your advantage.
Hi, Laurie. Gosh, I do admire people who can “sit” on a cushion or even a bench like yours. I sit on the couch or on a chair. Used to take time out to officially meditate, but somewhere along the line meditation became more seamless with daily experience. Interesting, though, there are times when it feels necessary to return to the more formal sitting practice. Have been doing it again the last couple of days–so your post was very synchronistic. Thank you!
Kathy – Why does it not surprise me that meditation is a seamless part of your day? I think it’s because you’re chameleon like, blending right into every aspect of the BIG woods that surrounds your little house. I oh-so admire that!
The morning meditative process is a great beginning every day.
The bench reminded me of an ergonomic chair I once tried, and didn’t buy. Wished I had as, it would have been perfect for my daily meditation.
Dave – The first thing that came to mind when I read your comment was the Swedish-style ergonomic chair. If we’re thinking of the same one, it would be ideal! 🙂 Here’s a link to the one I’m thinking of: http://www.officechairadvice.com/ergonomic/kneeling/kneeling_chairs_how_they_work.html
That is it!!!! Going to look for a less expensive version, similar to the one we sold at the retailer where I am employed. Upon first glance, one might be inclined to say, ‘No way!’ but, this was the most comfortable chair……..ever!
Dave – I thought it might be the same design you were talking about 🙂 Make sure you check eBay and Etsy.
I prefer to meditate in the comfort of a leather chair, here in the house. The advise came from the gelong who introduced me to meditation. He said that fat people better meditate this way, in stead of forcing themselves to do something that would hurt too much to be able to really meditate. So I’m sitting still in that chiar, preferably, once a day, but often a lot less …
Bert – It sounds like solid advice. I’m glad you found something that works FOR you, not against you 🙂
I need one of those… My right foot seems to fall asleep often while meditating.
Kara – Simply Google “meditation bench” and you’ll find them. I purchased ours through EarthBench on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EarthBench?ref=l2-shopheader-name
Should I say left foot…. wonder if there is a meaning behind which foots falls asleep. hehe
Kara – Funny you should say that…
…energetically speaking the right side of ANY person’s body (male or female) is the masculine, projecting, solar side. The left side of ANY person’s body (male or female) is the feminine, receiving, lunar side 🙂
I love that bench! What happens when you’re left-handed and receive energy through that side?
Luanne – It means you’re open and receptive (always, of course, being careful to not receive toooooo much – balance is key. Hence, yin/yang. Yin=feminine energy. Yang=masculine energy).
That balance is difficult (as in receiving sometimes way too much). It gets a little easier as I get older and my patience is not as elastic, but it’s still not my strong suit.
Luanne – I find that if I take a small, chewable bite of balance each day, it goes a long way toward “digestion” (makes it much easier to swallow / accomplish)…
So love the Buddha Butt reference. I so agree with you that creating time to think in silence during the day is essential. I just came from a yoga class that helped facilitate that. Love, love you blog! ~Thea
Time With Thea – “Stillness” and “Silence” are two of the most important ingredients we can stir into our day. And of course “Yoga” makes for delicious icing on top! 🙂
Laurie: Now that I’m not working outside the home, I sit still far too often (at the computer, rather than exercising, etc.), but I am not often “in the moment.” A challenge of mine is to be still when in the reality of my life, as opposed to the 7-day silent retreat I love to take part in each year. I am at my best when on retreat, in solitude with nature, God and my Self. I strive for that peacefulness on my blog, and when I touch people, it is partly achieved.
Theresa – Oh, your annual 7-day silent retreat sounds wonderful! And I can attest from firsthand experience that your blog does, indeed, touch people 🙂
I’m glad I have had the chance to sit still these past few months. I have been focusing on studying for my graduate school entrance exam, and for once, I feel really focuses and calm. My exam is next month so hopefully I am prepared and ready to get a perfect score!
AnyLuckyPenny – In my experience, it’s in the space of stillness that we find direction. You’re going to ace that exam! 🙂
Oh, my! Sit still? It’s just something that’s very difficult for me. I really try. I’ve tried meditating. Whew. It’s a tough one. It sounds like the benefits are worth it. Maybe it will help bring overall clarity to my life. I will keep trying…:)
Deborah – Start with a tiny block of time, like 5-minutes. Do that once a day for the rest of December, and then in January add a minute, and in February add a minute, and so on and so forth. You’ll be amazed at yourself! 🙂
Ok! Thanks. That sounds great. Work my way up to it. I know I need to do that to reach the next “phase” of my life – whatever that may be. 🙂 Thanks again, Laurie. You’re the best and I consider you a great leader – positively.
Deborah – Aw shucks 🙂
How did I miss this post before? That chair looks like a very useful tool, Laurie. It would at least eliminate the “I can’t get comfortable enough to sit down for very long” excuse that often prevents me from carving out some stillness in my days. 🙂
Dana – When on my “Buddha Butt” I sit perfectly still and simply ALLOW. It’s all about BEing instead of DOing. I’m glad it resonated with you 🙂