Research Study

Meditation (Sitting Still And Sitting Cross Legged)

[K talked about the necessity to sit still for self observation - for meditation, in many of his public talks. He said that restless movements, fidgety movements dissipate energy. He said that when one sits with the back and head straight more blood goes to the head. K has talked about these in his talk on ''what is meditation'' given in Sandiego in 1972. In the book 'The river meets the Ocean' by G. Narayan, the author mentions an anecdote where K was questioned about the necessity to sit cross legged. Before K could reply a child said that in sitting cross legged there was more energy (for self enquiry) and K said that there was no need to say more on this. K asked his listeners to sit quietly for a while after his talks. However K clearly said that sitting still or sitting cross legged is NOT meditation but a mere rite, a mechanical ritual if the importance of sitting still or sitting cross legged is not understood. K repeatedly said that meditation is part of life from moment to moment, it is like a river - with no beginning and with no end and it is possible to look within while sitting still or while standing, talking, walking or while watching the birds and trees. The Buddha said that there should not be a break in awareness - insight even for a moment. This aspect of complete/total/holistic meditation has been dealt with under other headings in this study. Here is a collection of K/Buddha Teachings on sitting still and sitting cross legged.]


First of all sit absolutely still. Sit comfortably, cross your legs, sit absolutely still, close your eyes, and see if you can keep your eyes from moving. You understand? Your eye balls are apt to move, keep them completely quiet, for fun. Then, as you sit very quietly, find out what your thought is doing. Watch it as you watched the lizard. Watch thought, the way it runs, one thought after another. So you begin to learn, to observe.

First of all sit completely quiet, comfortably, sit very quietly, relax, I will show you. Now, look at the trees, at the hills, the shape of the hills, look at them, look at the quality of their colour, watch them. Do not listen to me. Watch and see those trees, the yellowing trees, the tamarind, and then look at the bougainvillea. Look not with your mind but with your eyes. After having looked at all the colours, the shape of the land, of the hills, the rocks, the shadow, then go from the outside to the inside and close your eyes, close your eyes completely. You have finished looking at the things outside, and now with your eyes closed you can look at what is happening inside.

-Pg 22, 36
K on education


Ayasma mahamoggallano bhagavato avidure
nisinno hoti pallankam abhujitva
ujum kayam panidhay kayagatay satia
ajjhattam supatithaya.

- Udana

The monk Mahamoggllana was sitting not far from Lord Buddha - cross legged and keeping his body upright and was established in the mindfulness of the body within (at the level of sensations).

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu arannagato va
rukkhamulagato va sunnagaragato va
nisidati pallankam abhujitva ujum
kayam panidhaya....

- Mahasatipatthana Sutta

Kayanupassana, anapanapabbam

Here a monk, having gone into the forest, or to the foot of a tree or to a vacant sheltered place, sits down cross legged, keeps his body upright...

- discourse on the establishment of mindfulness, the observation of body

© Buddha Dharma Education Association > home > back