Canonical Source of Posture

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Canonical Source of Posture

Post by Astus » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:01 am

Is there anywhere a detailed description (legs, back, hands, head, etc.) of the sitting posture in the Pali Canon? If not, what is the earliest source?

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Re: Canonical Source of Posture

Post by Ben » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:08 am

Hi Astus,

The only thing that I have come across is what is in the Satipatthana and some other suttas.
"There is the case where a monk — having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building — sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and setting mindfulness to the fore [lit: the front of the chest]. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

-- MN 10, Ven Thanissaro's translation ... .than.html" onclick=";return false;
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Re: Canonical Source of Posture

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:13 am

The earliest source I know if is the text Ben shared although believe the commentary by Upotissa Thera "The Path of Freedom" has a more detailed description and would be the earliest post canonical work I know of.
just checked the index and there isn't a more detailed description, must of been thinking of the visudhimagga.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Canonical Source of Posture

Post by DAWN » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:23 am

Also in DN2: Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life

"Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness and alertness, and this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded dwelling: a forest, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a jungle grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore."
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