Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

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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one_awakening
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Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by one_awakening » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:18 am

Some teachers say to sit with pain. Others say don't sit with pain, just get comfortable. Are they different practices with different goals?

For me, when I've sat with pain for long periods, I find it helps develops equanimity. However it prevents the entering of Jhanas.

Sitting without pain allows me to enter the Jhanas.
"Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of the mind"

Saengnapha
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Re: Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:19 pm

one_awakening wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:18 am
Some teachers say to sit with pain. Others say don't sit with pain, just get comfortable. Are they different practices with different goals?

For me, when I've sat with pain for long periods, I find it helps develops equanimity. However it prevents the entering of Jhanas.

Sitting without pain allows me to enter the Jhanas.
What kind of pain are you talking about?

binocular
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Re: Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by binocular » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:30 pm

Another instance of this topic: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=29493

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one_awakening
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Re: Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by one_awakening » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:10 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:19 pm
What kind of pain are you talking about?
Leg pain.
"Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of the mind"

Saengnapha
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Re: Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:58 am

one_awakening wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:10 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:19 pm
What kind of pain are you talking about?
Leg pain.
If you're referring to sitting cross-legged, try sitting in a chair.

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one_awakening
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Re: Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by one_awakening » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:27 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:58 am
If you're referring to sitting cross-legged, try sitting in a chair.
The question is not how to relieve pain, the question is why some teachers teach to sit with pain while others say don't sit with pain.
"Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of the mind"

Saengnapha
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Re: Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:45 am

one_awakening wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:27 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:58 am
If you're referring to sitting cross-legged, try sitting in a chair.
The question is not how to relieve pain, the question is why some teachers teach to sit with pain while others say don't sit with pain.
I have never come across anyone worth their salt who teaches to sit with pain, especially beginners. It is the fastest way to turn off someone from sitting contemplation. If you are a masochist and want to submit yourself to someone like this, it's your decision. There are other ways to deal with pain beside trying to overcome it. The body is precious and innately intelligent. Follow your gut.

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one_awakening
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Re: Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by one_awakening » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:16 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:45 am
I have never come across anyone worth their salt who teaches to sit with pain, especially beginners.
See a friend of mine just started meditating and did a ten-day retreat at a Buddhist monastery and was instructed to sit and meditate, and not move.
"Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of the mind"

Saengnapha
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Re: Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:39 pm

one_awakening wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:16 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:45 am
I have never come across anyone worth their salt who teaches to sit with pain, especially beginners.
See a friend of mine just started meditating and did a ten-day retreat at a Buddhist monastery and was instructed to sit and meditate, and not move.
And, what if he did move? :D

JohnK
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Re: Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by JohnK » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:49 pm

one_awakening wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:18 am
Some teachers say to sit with pain. Others say don't sit with pain,
Some say "it depends."
For example, explore the sensations that are being perceived as "pain" and/or scan the whole body to provide some broader perspective on the situation. If the pain nevertheless remains/becomes too intense, interfering with any ability to be "collected," move.

Edit:
You said:
the question is why some teachers teach to sit with pain while others say don't sit with pain.
So I was trying to suggest answers to that, but maybe not well. Sit with pain = see more clearly the habits/reactions/changes around pain, and perhaps be released from it; don't sit with pain = it can be so consuming that you can't see clearly at all; it can interfere with calming the body and mind; in some cases, you also might sustain physical injury.
I don't know if some teachers are completely categorical, but I suspect most teachers are not and would be sensitive to the situation (though they may lean more toward one side than the other). And any one teacher may suggest different strategies to different students, to the same student at different times, and maybe based on the particular meditative goal (for example, I've heard metta instructions that suggest getting comfortable).
"Why is it, Master Kaccana, that ascetics fight with ascetics?"
"It is, brahmin, because of attachment to views, adherence to views, fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views, holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics" (AN 2: iv, 6, abridged).
Kindly eyes, not verbal daggers.

santa100
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Re: Sit with Pain. Don't sit with Pain.

Post by santa100 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:13 pm

one_awakening wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:18 am
Some teachers say to sit with pain. Others say don't sit with pain, just get comfortable. Are they different practices with different goals?

For me, when I've sat with pain for long periods, I find it helps develops equanimity. However it prevents the entering of Jhanas.

Sitting without pain allows me to enter the Jhanas.
If you start experiencing pain shortly after sitting down, that means there's something wrong with your sitting posture that prevents proper blood circulation. Any further effort to put up with the pain might result in joints pain, inflammation, or even blood clot (DVT-deep vein thrombosis)! Listen to your body and make sure to have proper posture and cushion. See more info. from a similar thread here.

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