Meditating in public can sometimes be ruined by feeling self-conscious of the position I am in. When I meditate at home I like to sit cross-legged with my palms open and facing upwards. Sitting like that on the platform of a metro station, of at a bus stop could cause unwanted attention and strange looks. Which, like it or not, can really get into your head and stop the task at hand from gaining any traction. When I’m sitting on a bench I would prefer to sit up straight, again, with my palms facing upwards. But this also, can get some funny looks. Now, I know that we shouldn’t care about funny looks from people. But to feel people’s eyes on you can be distracting enough to ruin any chance of a successful meditation session.
So I use different, unconventional positions, to make my meditation more incognito.
I lean. If I’m standing at a platform, I lean against a wall, rest my hands in my pockets or by my sides, but never crossed, as this causes tension in the chest and inhibits the free flow of breath. Instead of closing my eyes, I allow my eyes to make a restful gaze at the ground several feet in-front, looking at nothing in particular. Because once the focus is directed inwards, the focus of the eyes will naturally soften. It is also important to find a balanced posture and that your weight is equally distributed to both feet. And find a comfortable position for the back, don’t stick out the shoulders, try to press the back equally against the wall. Now you have a good position to restfully focus on the breath and to mindfully scan through the body, form the top of the head, to the tip of the toes, or as much as you have time for before your metro arrives!
You’ll be thanking yourself for dropping in, as I thank you, now!