Over on the One City Blog, Ethan Nichtern promotes the upcoming 24- hour Meditation Marathon in the window displays of ABC Carpet & Home.It is accompanied by the following picture, which first struck me as odd.
Why is the meditator sitting with her legs crossed like that? The graphic represents a beautiful symbolic ambiguity between either the lotus style or the agura style. This detail is small and for the most part insignificant, but the way we depict ourselves says a lot about our culture. Years ago I made a similar graphic, but with the meditator’s legs represented by a flat bar. I grew up learning to sit flat on the ground—“flat like a chair” as my brother describes it. “Flat” applies to the angle of your legs relative to your hips, regardless of whether you sit with both legs to the side, one leg in front of the other, one leg over the other, or both legs folded into padmasana. In contrast, our chair culture is much more conducive to people sitting in the X-style when they plop on the floor. I cannot understate how much I love the wonderful ambiguity in that design, and yet at the same time it
leaves some of us out is something I couldn’t draw myself.