samam kaayashirogreevam dhaarayannachalam sthiraha |
samprekshya naasikaagram svam dishashchaanavalokayan || 13 ||

 
Holding the trunk, head and neck firm and steady, observing the tip of one’s nose, and not looking around.
 
samam : straight
kaaya : trunk
shiraha : head
greevam : neck
dhaarayan : holding
achalam : firm
sthiraha : steady
samprekshya : observing
naasikaagram : point of the nose
svam : your
dishaha : all directions
cha : and
anavalokayan : not looking
 
Shri Krishna describes the method of achieving the perfect posture of meditation in this shloka. He says that the best posture for meditation is one where the trunk, head and neck are perfectly aligned. Then the focus of attention should be brought to one point in the body. The focus should not be allowed to wander.
 
Meditation is an inward journey into the self. The means to this journey is to slowly quieten and negate everything else but the self. The first component of the “not-self” that we have to quieten is our body. So therefore, Shri Krishna tells us to keep our body absolutely firm and steady. Good posture is the best way to achieve this firmness. In this regard, he advises us to align the head, neck and trunk of the body.
 
For most of us, sitting still in one place and in one posture for even 10-15 minutes is a challenge in itself. Our willpower gets tested. Therefore this is where we should begin. Once we can sit still for 10-15 minutes, we should gradually increase the time to at least 25-30 minutes. If we do nothing else but manage to sit still for 30 minutes, that in itself is a wonderful preparatory step to meditation. The mind will vehemently resist this, but just as we gently but firmly command a child to do their homework, so must we command the mind.
 
Having brought the body under control, we should then practice focusing our attention so that the mind can be made single-pointed. Shri Krishna says that we should observe the point of our nose and keep our attention there. What is meant here is that we should lock our eyes on a single point. When we sit in one place, our mind either rushes into past memories, or creates future scenarios. Consequently, our eyes follow the mind and start moving. So therefore, we should focus our eyes on one point so that our attention becomes focused as well.
 
Breath regulation is an important part of any meditative practice. Controlling the breath directly is an effective technique for focusing the mind, but it needs to be learned from a master otherwise it could prove dangerous. Shri Krishna suggests that we subdue our mind and thoughts instead. Since the mind and the breath are connected, the breath automatically will be regulated if the mind is controlled.
 
So far, Shri Krishna has covered the quietening of the body and breath. Next, he covers the object that is to be meditated upon.

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