Author Topic: Symmetry and Elevation?  (Read 749 times)

Offline RossB

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Symmetry and Elevation?
« on: May 26, 2019, 06:40:21 pm »
Deleted
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 12:07:22 pm by RossB »

Offline Chaz

  • High-Functioning Sanctimonious Reprobate
  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1119
  • Facts have no moral judgment.
    • View Profile
Re: Symmetry and Elevation?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2019, 07:43:36 pm »
Hi all, First post here with a question about the posture of the meditation. We most often see Buddhists in the west using a round cushion to raise the pelvis off the floor. But I noticed something recently about the bronze Buddha statue on my desk...he's not sitting on a cushion. So I looked on Google images and didn't see a single bronze, stone, wood or gold zafu under any Buddha ever cast.

Hmmm, maybe this is the way Buddhists used to sit from the earliest periods in India. So I looked at photos of Theravadans and sure enough...no zafu! Clearly the Burmese posture  requires a higher degree of flexibility around the hips joints but less flexibility around the knees, as they generally do not take on the symmetrical full lotus.

So what happened in history that compelled such a radical departure in sitting style as Buddhism moved east across Asia? -Ross.

Changes in posture can have a lot to do with flexibility.  I know people who can sit for hours without a raised cussion.  Although I learned and practiced sitting with low cushions for many years, I can't sit that way anymore and need about a 15" rise to sit comfortably.  My discomfort is in both the knees and hips.

Ultimately, I don't think  it makes a great deal of difference how you sit.

Offline RossB

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: Symmetry and Elevation?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2019, 03:30:26 pm »
Deleted

« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 12:07:52 pm by RossB »

Offline Chaz

  • High-Functioning Sanctimonious Reprobate
  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1119
  • Facts have no moral judgment.
    • View Profile
Re: Symmetry and Elevation?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2019, 03:58:32 pm »
Changes in posture can have a lot to do with flexibility.  I know people who can sit for hours without a raised cussion.  Although I learned and practiced sitting with low cushions for many years, I can't sit that way anymore and need about a 15" rise to sit comfortably.  My discomfort is in both the knees and hips.

Your trouble is the same as many in the west.  I fought with pain and numbness for years untill I finally gave up and started sitting on the kitchen chairs or like I said a surface about 15" off the ground.

I don't think is so much of a matter of sitting a certain way.  If you can attain full lotus without permanent injury, fine, but if you can't, do what you can.

My guru can sit for hours, flat on the floor, without interuption, but like a lot of monastics in our lineage, he's been sitting like that since childhood.  The muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints all stretch and conform easier than when we get older. 
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 04:01:54 pm by Chaz »

Offline stillpointdancer

  • Enlightenment through insight
  • Member
  • Posts: 558
  • Dancing at the Still Point describes my meditation
    • View Profile
    • Enlightenment for Grown Ups
Re: Symmetry and Elevation?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 04:00:51 am »
Hi Rossb. Chas talks a lot of sense when he says that it doesn't matter how you sit as long as it allows you to develop a good meditation position you can stick with over the years. It does make a difference how you sit, or stand or whatever (or yoga practices wouldn't have developed) but not compared with whether you sit or not. There are subtle variations you can play with such as mudras, or hand positions when you have a meditation position which works for you if you want to explore once you have a solution you can work with.

Twenty years or so into my practice I did have to change as my body told me I was no longer in the prime of life, so I reluctantly started to use a chair, even in the shrine room. I needn't have worried as it really didn't make a difference once I figured out the best slope for the chair and best positions for hands and feet.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline RossB

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: Symmetry and Elevation?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 05:56:24 pm »
Deleted
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 12:08:22 pm by RossB »

Offline MarasAndBuddhas

  • Member
  • Posts: 63
    • View Profile
Re: Symmetry and Elevation?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2019, 04:03:27 pm »
Some of this depends on your body as an individual, but here's what I've found:

So, growing up in the west we are all used to sitting in chairs, we have to when we go to school, and this is the custom for all other social interactions and office jobs.

Practitioners in meditation in India don't always need anything to sit on whatsoever because they didn't always grow up like this. If you can comfortably sit in lotus or half lotus position, all you have to do is sit on a soft surface, and you'll probably be fine. Be careful though: i know a zen buddhist priestess who says she had to get surgery in both knees because she sat in lotus position for 10 years of her practice. There are some western yoga practitioners who can comfortably sit in lotus position, but in meditation it's ideal to sit for at least 20 minutes, so whether this is a good idea for a buddhist practice is questionable.

Burmese position is one meditation posture that allows you to sit close to the floor and keep your back naturally upright and curvy. You just need to elevate yourself on a cushion and rest one leg in front of the other. I've tried to do this one a lot though and my legs get very numb after 15 minutes and my hips feel very tense. So for the moment I've had to stop playing with this sense I tried it a whole lot and it doesn't work.

I feel the most comfortable in sieza, which is Japanese for sitting on your knees. However, i have to either use a bench or a decently sized cushion to rest my butt on.

It works very easily just to meditate in a chair, even though this has disadvantages. It seems that meditation is best when one can keep their spine erect, and with meditation it's good to stay as still as one can.

Offline RossB

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: Symmetry and Elevation?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2019, 08:30:04 am »
Deleted
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 12:08:48 pm by RossB »

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal