Mudras can help accentuate your meditation practice. They are not required, but many find they help them get in the proper mental state for meditation. Depending on the resource, you may find a mudra defined as:
- A symbolic hand gesture used in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonies and statuary, and in Indian dance.
- A movement or pose in yoga.
- A positioning of the hands and/or fingers in meditation.
The particular positioning of your hands and fingers can deliver a boost to your meditation. You use your hands unconsciously all day long. They play a major role in your life. In Chinese medicine, each of your fingers is associated with a specific organ. In martial arts and yoga, hand placement is also stressed.
As far as meditating goes, mudras are not required. You can meditate simply by putting yourself in the proper mental state. In today’s hectic world, you may find yourself meditating in environments which don’t allow you to practice mudras.
However, you should learn several common mudras so you can perform them when you have the chance. You may find it interesting that the Christian practice of crossing fingers in prayer is a common mudra. The Indian greeting gesture “Namaste”, where your hands are held directly in front of your chest with your palms touching, is another yoga and meditation mudra. You probably unconsciously perform the Hakini mudra from time to time. This is the practice of touching the tips of your fingers together, without your palms touching. People unconsciously do this as a way to focus their thoughts, more proof that specific hand positioning can influence your mental state of being.