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Offlinefreddurgan
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Meditation posture
    #4213943 - 05/24/05 01:38 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Always too painful. I can't relax at all if I'm in pain. I'm reading this book about Zen called "Zen and the Brain" and this guy is retelling his story of how he met a Zen master in Kyoto and learned from him. The posture he gives is so awful I just can't even function.

Sit on a pillow, half lotus, with some weight against your knees as to make a tripod, back straight. It doesn't SOUND bad but it's so bad. My BACK can't handle it. I can't breathe well at all in this posture. I have to struggle to get my breathe, and I have to constantly remind myself to hold my back straight.

Anyone else fail at these kinds of postures and have some advice here? I know a lot of people say that posture doesn't matter but if a Zen master has a posture he tells his students to use, he probably tells them for a reason, you know?


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InvisibleCorporal Kielbasa
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: freddurgan]
    #4213953 - 05/24/05 01:43 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Try lying down or sitting relaxed in a chair with some pillows behind you. Or sitting in your bed up against the wall with a nice bunch of pillows. Just dont let yourself fall asleep. You need to practice yoga inorder to be flexabel/strong enough to assue the lotus position for a prolonged sitting period comfortably.


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: freddurgan]
    #4214058 - 05/24/05 02:16 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

correct posture in zazen is just as important as correct posture in, say, hatha yoga. in yoga, it is not a matter of how far you can go, it is a matter of doing each posture correctly. same is true with zazen.

read zazen posture

highlights include:

Quote:

Many of the instructions for zen meditation are directed to the physical details of our posture. The culture that zen grew out of made much less distinction between the body and mind than our culture does. So, the idea is that by sitting with a straight back, and aligning our spine, and being still physically, this will support our mind in settling and becoming focused. This meditation posture developed in India; it's a yogic position. Zen meditation isn't something we do only with the mind. What we practice with is much wider than our conceptual thinking. In zen it is said that realization must penetrate our flesh and bones, extending to the tips of our hair and down into the marrow of our bones. In zen meditation, we use our body as an ally so that anything we experience, we can practice with.




Quote:

The instructions I will be giving can be followed to two extremes. One extreme is to not follow the instruction enough, to be too lax which leads to sloppiness, dullness, drowsiness, or sleepiness. The other extreme is placing too much effort into your posture which will produce tension or a rigid body and mind.




Quote:

Two characteristics of zazen are energy and relaxation. There should be energy and some effort in zazen, but not too much effort. If there is too much effort, you will become tense, and your zazen practice will become a strain. While sitting, you should be relaxed but awake. If you become too relaxed, you will day dream or fall asleep.




Quote:

Suzuki Roshi said, "the most important point is to own your physical body. If you slump, you will lose yourself. Your mind will be wandering somewhere else. You will not be in your body. We must exist right here, right now! This is the key point. You must have your own body and mind."




the discomfort you feel is your body not being aligned or you simply not being used to the alignment - as you practice your body will feel more natural in the zazen posture. be patient and have a zen master correct your posture in person - you might think you can learn postures/physical disciples from a book, but it is difficult. often we need someone to be there and show us the nuances of the postures.

I recommend learning yoga as well - in a class preferably.

good luck :thumbup:


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: freddurgan]
    #4214125 - 05/24/05 02:42 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Sitting in the lotus position gets tiring after a while, but what I do is simply let my upper body lay down to where it's parrallel to the bed with my legs still in the lotus position. It takes me less than a minute to rest it and then I just sit back up.

I don't know if I explained that well, though.





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Offlinefreddurgan
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: Learyfan]
    #4216672 - 05/25/05 12:50 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Learyfan said:
Sitting in the lotus position gets tiring after a while, but what I do is simply let my upper body lay down to where it's parrallel to the bed with my legs still in the lotus position. It takes me less than a minute to rest it and then I just sit back up.

I don't know if I explained that well, though.








Not quite sure what you meant there.

And I WISH I could go to a Zen center. I have no idea how to find one in the Atlanta area. DIRTY SOUF! =(


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Ishmael
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Ron Paul 2008!
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: freddurgan]
    #4216682 - 05/25/05 12:53 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

In my experience, posture is a distraction and a waste of time. I ignore the typical Buddhist postures and simply do whatever's most comfortable, whether it's laying down, crossing my legs or sitting back in a chair with my eyes closed.

Your mind is the only relevant aspect of meditation. If your posture impedes this, then it should be disposed.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: freddurgan]
    #4216685 - 05/25/05 12:54 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)



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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: freddurgan]
    #4216723 - 05/25/05 01:09 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

freddurgan said:

Not quite sure what you meant there.






Just imagine you're in the lotus position. When you need to rest, keep your legs in the same position but stretch your arms out on the bed or floor. Your chest will be laying on the bed or floor while you stretch your arms out in front of you. Just do that for 10 seconds or so and then go back at it.





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Mp3 of the month: The Loose Enz - The Black Door



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Offlinefreddurgan
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: Learyfan]
    #4216947 - 05/25/05 02:13 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Ah I gotcha. Stay in Lotus but lie down, stretch out the muscles a bit.

And I'll be damned. Atlanta Zen. I'll have to make an effort to get down there.


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Ishmael
http://www.ishmael.org

Ron Paul 2008!
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: Ravus]
    #4217276 - 05/25/05 04:27 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
Your mind is the only relevant aspect of meditation. If your posture impedes this, then it should be disposed.




i disagree - i think your body, the connection/feeling you have with it, and so forth are very important aspects of meditation and/or yoga (i always group them together because i always practice them together). a properly positioned body will allow energy and breath to flow better through - additionally it will allow you to "merge" with your body. i don't think meditation is about taking your mind sailing away from your body - i think it is about taking your mind sailing through your body...


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: Krishna]
    #4217824 - 05/25/05 11:09 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

exactly


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OfflineBanJankri
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: Vvellum]
    #4217920 - 05/25/05 11:47 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I prefer to take a hot bath before meditating. My body feels more relaxed during the meditation therefore :smile: aligning  the chakras is an important apect I would say.



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Just let everything flow, just flow right to the center of everything. You gotta turn off your mind and relax, and then just float downstream...


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Offlineexclusive58
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: freddurgan]
    #4217959 - 05/25/05 11:58 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

lotus position is impossible for me. i think even if i took yoga classes, i still wouldn't be able to do it.


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: exclusive58]
    #4217971 - 05/25/05 12:01 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

yes, you could.


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: Vvellum]
    #4218181 - 05/25/05 01:01 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

bi0 said:
yes, you could.




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Offlineegghead1
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: exclusive58]
    #4218200 - 05/25/05 01:06 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

You don't need to do full lotus striaght away. You can start off with half lotus and work toward full lotus over a period of time. The more relaxed you are the easier full lotus becomes.  :heart:


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All you need is Love! Really thats it! Infinite Unconditional Love! Just develop that and all else will fall into place perfectly!


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Offlinefreddurgan
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: egghead1]
    #4218312 - 05/25/05 01:56 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I tried this "burmese" position but it didn't make much sense. I couldn't really get both my feet on the floor..I wasn't sure what I was doing wrong.

Gonna have to go to the Georgia Zen Center at some point. I just need some people to help me out with the introduction parts.


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Ishmael
http://www.ishmael.org

Ron Paul 2008!
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: freddurgan]
    #4218459 - 05/25/05 02:55 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

good luck. I recommend a soto school over rinzai - but that perhaps is a personal preference. Have you read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Suzuki yet? I highly recommend it.


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Offlineegghead1
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: Vvellum]
    #4218473 - 05/25/05 03:00 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Buy yourself a meditation cushion, they are very good for sitting meditaion if you really cant do full or even half lotus. You really don't even have to sit in full lotus, every positiuon is an expression of enlightenment so its not absolutley essential.

And yes! Zen Mind, Beginner Mind, is one of the best books on Zen ive read so far.  :thumbup:

I too prefer Soto bio.  :heart:


--------------------
All you need is Love! Really thats it! Infinite Unconditional Love! Just develop that and all else will fall into place perfectly!


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Offlineexclusive58
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Re: Meditation posture [Re: egghead1]
    #4218608 - 05/25/05 03:41 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

where can you find one of those meditation cushions?


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