This is a very interesting topic about meditation and it is a surprising common question among many meditation beginners. I would first suggest you not to think too much about the hand positions and I will tell you why a little later in this blog post. Before we discuss deeper into which hand position you can use. Let’s look at some of the most common ones.
Palm Flat, Facing Up
One of the most common ways to position your hands is to have your hands face up with the palms being flat. It doesn’t matter whether you like to sit on a chair or sit on the floor with your leg crossed when you meditate, using this hand position should make you feel pretty comfortable and natural. By the way your hands should be placed gently and naturally on your thighs.
Palm Facing Up, with Thumb Touch the Middle Finger / Index Finger
This hand position involves having your palms facing up like the previous position. But there is a big difference. Instead of having your palm flat resting on your thighs, you don’t want flat palms this time and you want the thumb touching the middle finger gently for each of your hand. There are people who believe that this way of holding hands, in other words having your thumbs touching your middle fingers, can help you better focus and relax. I personally don’t feel that magic but meditation is no exact science. What doesn’t work on me doesn’t mean that it can’t work on somebody else.
Palm Flat, Facing Down
For this particular hand position, you simply want to have your palms flat and facing down, and your hands resting on your thighs or on your knees. There are some people who like to rest their hands on the thighs and there are some others like to gently grab the knees to get more support.
Palm Facing Down, Fingers Curled
This hand position involves having your palms facing down but not being flat. Instead, you want to curl your fingers but you don’t want them to become tight fists. This is probably the least talked about ways to hold your hands during meditation. Yet, being the least popular has very little to do with its validity and effectiveness.
Which Hand Position Should You Use When You Meditate?
The question that got asked a lot is what hand position you should use when you practice meditation. The answer is surprisingly simple: simply choose the one that you feel the most natural with. Again, meditation is not exact science. The one goal that you want to achieve with meditation is to clear your mind. Therefore, it makes sense that the process has to be as natural and intuitive as possible. Just like we are all built differently, our natural preference of hand position would be different too. For example, many people would feel that the palm up and flat position is the most natural while many other people prefer to use the position that you have to use your thumbs to touch your middle fingers.
What is My Favorite Hand Position for Meditation
Usually, what I prefer really doesn’t matter. But in this case, I would like to share my favorite one because it also happens to be the least popular one. The hand position that I use is the one that I have my hands face down and my fingers curled. I just, for whatever reason, feel that it is more natural. I feel that my wrist is trying to rotate a little bit or moving slightly when I use other hand positions. May be it’s my bone structure. May be its the imbalance in the muscles. It really doesn’t matter. The key is to choose a hand position that don’t make you feel awkward. Otherwise, you would focus too much on getting your hands right and that will definitely lower the quality of your meditation. Simply put, the more natural the better.
You Can Make Up Your Own Hand Position
As mentioned, everyone has different bone structures and different development of muscles. It is possible that none of the mentioned hand positions feel right to you. If that’s the case, just have some trial and error sessions and find out what kind of custom hand positions work for you. I can provide you with some new ideas that may work. For example, you can have your fingers curled and let the inner sides (pinky finger sides) of your hands rest on your thighs. That actually feels quite natural to me too. For those of you who don’t meditate for more than 10 minutes, I actually have another suggestion for you. You can just put your hands under your thighs and sit on them. As a bonus point, that allows you to keep your hands very warm when the weather gets cold.
Remember the Big Idea of Meditation
Since meditation is not exact science, it often takes a lot of common sense to decide for yourself what is right and white isn’t so. Yet, it is still very important to know that the decision has to base on the big idea behind meditation. Therefore, it is almost always worth it to remind yourself what the big idea is. Meditation is all about make your mind calm and clear by assigning a simple task to your mind to do. Since the mind is almost always operating randomly and intensely and it is impossible to make it stop, the best way to make it close to resting completely is to make it work on a simple job. Some common simple jobs that is assigned to the mind are repeatedly reading a mantra in the mind or observing the breathing in the breathing out action. All those hand positions are sitting positions are things that should make you feel natural and comfortable so they don’t distract your mind from focusing on doing the simple tasks. How do you know you do things right? It’s all about judgement. If you feel that you can think more clearly after you meditate, you are likely meditating pretty effectively.