Lotus meditation is a form of meditation designed specifically to allow individuals to rise to new heights in their personal lives. The meditation techniques are based upon the way in which a lotus flower escapes from the muddy ground and rises to float on the water. During the meditation, the mind is allowed to do the same by breaking free and rising above the troubles of the past and present. Due to the physical position, however, lotus meditation is not suitable for everyone as it is difficult on the body and requires a great deal of flexibility within the legs, knees, and ankles.
The lotus position is likened to the lotus flower in which the legs are crossed and the pelvis is slightly raised. The knees are planted on the ground and the body is locked into a secure position. Individuals who are learning lotus meditation generally practice by sitting on a cushion, but once mastered, the pose can be done without any support. In order to get into the lotus position, the legs are crossed one at a time with the feet resting on the opposite thigh and the soles of the feet facing upward. The hands are relaxed and can rest easy on the knees.
There are basically two types of lotus meditation poses known as the half-lotus and full-lotus position. The half-lotus is suitable for beginners because it requires that only one leg is crossed over. The full-lotus position requires that both legs are crossed and is suitable for those who have mastered the half-lotus or are highly flexible.
In the same way that the physical position resembles the lotus flower, the mind is also focused along the same nature as the lotus. The lotus changes its environment by rising from the dirty mud to the top of the clean water, and all evidence of its previous muddy environment is washed away. Likewise, while meditating, the mind acknowledges the troublesome environment wherein it is. Then, as it rises to new heights, it is washed clean from the troubles of the past and is allowed to envision a clean and bright future.
Some of the physical benefits of lotus meditation are an increased flexibility of the knees and ankles. It can also help to slow down breathing, relax the muscles, and reduce high blood pressure. Practicing lotus meditation, however, can be dangerous if the body is not prepared for it as it can cause damage to the knees and lower back. Lotus meditation should be stopped immediately if any pain occurs during the session.