In the meditation experiments you are presently conducting, what are the physical and psychic differences brought about by sitting or standing for the experiment?
It makes a great difference. As I told you before, deep inside every state of the body is connected with a particular state of mind that corresponds with it. If we tell a man to remain awake when he is lying down it will be difficult for him to do so; if we tell him to be alert when he is standing this will be easy. If we tell him to sleep when he is standing it will be difficult; if we tell him to sleep when he is lying down it will be easy.
There are two parts to the process: if the meditator is concerned that he may fall asleep or become drowsy when lying down, he stands and this will help to dispel this concern. If he stands the possibility of drowsiness is less.
The second part of the experiment is the witnessing attitude – awareness. Initially it is difficult to maintain awareness lying down. Later on it is easy. It is always easy to maintain witnessing when you stand. But the initial process of hypnosis, which will take you into a trance, is very much reduced by standing up.
There are two or three things more. When you stand the movements of the body are free; when you lie down your movements are more restricted. When you sit half the body will not be able to participate at all. Suppose your legs want to dance and you are sitting; then the legs cannot dance. You will not even know what they need because the feet will have no way of expressing themselves. There are subtle hints which we fail to catch. If you are standing the feet will begin lifting themselves and you will know they want to dance. But if you are sitting, the body will not give you the clue.
Actually, the tradition of sitting for meditation was specifically meant to suppress all the unnecessary movements of the body. Siddhasana, padmasana and sukhasana had to be practiced extensively before meditation was taught in order that the body movements could be stopped. Then the potential for the energy to rise within is present from the beginning. A great deal happens as a result. You feel to dance, sing, jump, run. These emotional responses are generally associated with madness. Mad persons cry, laugh, dance or jump. So, as the meditator does the same he will also appear mad.