We generally include two-twenty minute sessions of sitting meditation
at each sitting, with a period of walking meditation between. We
begin each session by inviting three sounds of the bell, and end
with a single bell. You are welcome to sit on a cushion or on a
chair. Our sangha has meditation cushions for practitioners to use
at the Jamaica Plain and Beacon Hill sittings, but you are welcome
to bring your own cushion or bench if you prefer. Chairs are available
at all locations.
Sitting meditation is like returning home to give full attention to and care for our self. Like the peaceful image of the Buddha on the altar, we too can radiate peace and stability. We sit upright with dignity, and return to our breathing. We bring our full attention to what is within and around us. We let our mind become spacious and our heart soft and kind.
Sitting meditation is very healing. We realize we can just be with whatever is within us- our pain, anger, and irritation, or our joy, love, and peace. We are with whatever is there without being carried away by it. Let it come, let it stay, then let it go. No need to push, to oppress, or to pretend our thoughts are not there. Observe the thoughts and images of our mind with an accepting and loving eye. We are free to be still and calm despite the storms that might arise in us.
If our legs or feet fall asleep or begin to hurt during the sitting, we are free to adjust our position quietly. We can maintain our concentration by following our breathing and slowly, and attentively change our posture.
(From How to Enjoy Your Visit to Plum Village)
For more guidance in sitting meditation, see these books by Thich Nhat Hanh: