If you asked what stuck the most with me from my Jivamukti teacher training, I would for sure answer: Choose Your Seat. This is actually just the first step of the three-parted meditation instruction on how we learned it. For me, it functions also as a reminder to be brave and step up on the stage of life. To choose not any kind of seat, carelessly or in order to show off, but my attentively chosen one. I see it as the first step to owning my life and to creating the foundation for conscious decisions.
What I like most about it is that you can take a fresh seat whenever needed. It is just a seat, a meditation, a way of looking at a situation, or the way you want to approach life at a given moment - just a snapshot. Although it can be so much more, as many snapshots form a bigger picture. However, no need to overcomplicate and overthink it. Just go, do it and make it your own. The only thing that matters is that you really make a choice in order to gain experience with each of the seats you take.
By learning the instruction and guiding others toward a successful mediation I did revise my own practice. Of course, I had thought about the seat in the past. It should be slightly elevated in order to sit with an upright spine and it should be in such a way that you can stay there for a while. In my own practice, I use the meditation seat now as a reminder of what I want to stand for in life. As a reminder to be clear and not hold back. Which, in my case means that I even more openly allow myself thoughts, words, and actions around world peace, love, and compassion with all beings.
Seat or no seat, happy seat or miserable seat, does matter. I try to choose the uplifting path whenever possible. Therewith I create the opportunity that my own uplifted consciousness shines and uplifts everyone around me. This is a wisdom that is not only found in yoga literature but something that everyone can very easily try out for themselves and most certainly many have experienced at some point in life already.
As we learn about meditation from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, positive and negative thoughts come and go and unblock the view of what is true. The beauty of being solidly seated is the possibility of letting everything that comes the way pass and simply watch it. I believe everyone can purely sit. Some may even embrace the moment and enjoy the simplicity of sitting. Counterintuitive however is sometimes to make room for absolutely everything: The good, the bad, and the ugly thoughts as you stay seated and watch joyfully with a deep trust that all liking and disliking will pass. Knowing that all these preferences and judgments have no permanent seat and are probably purely made up in one’s mind. Fighting and fixation are replaced with the so what comfortable and steady seat. If one masters the ability to stay steady this means that one can surrender to the weirdest mind stuff that comes the way - what a promise!
When trust and excitement in meditation faint I try to motivate myself with the following: Go, take the amazing opportunity to make room for your own seat. No overthinking and taking your thoughts too seriously. Just go and do it. Practice it as a ritual it will give you stability. Why not use the wisdom of these ancient teachings and surrender - there is not as much to do for you as you think. Therewith, eventually, your addiction of wanting to be impressed by life or violently suppress life will be replaced with effortless freedom.
The three steps to the meditation and how we practice it at Jivamukti Yoga
1. Choose your Seat
3. Be Still (inhale silently say „let“, exhale „go“)
Who would want to let this seat of peace and freedom go? Don’t take that away from yourself. We are part of a bigger order. Sticking out by literally constantly running, standing, and turning away will not bring benefit to anyone. We all deserve from birth inner peace and consciousness. Take what you deserve: Your seat and your way of being.