Physical posture during seated meditation

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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Manopubbangama
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Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by Manopubbangama » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm

The Suttanta stock formula is very basic:

"when a bhikkhu has returned from his almsround, after his meal, he sits down, folds his legs crosswise, sets his body erect, and establishing mindfulness in front of him"

I'm wondering if anyone has experience adjusting to find an optimal seating arrangement?

Is lotus-position beneficial?
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Sam Vara
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:16 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm
The Suttanta stock formula is very basic:

"when a bhikkhu has returned from his almsround, after his meal, he sits down, folds his legs crosswise, sets his body erect, and establishing mindfulness in front of him"

I'm wondering if anyone has experience adjusting to find an optimal seating arrangement?

Is lotus-position beneficial?
I think it is beneficial only if it can be achieved without injury and/or strain which becomes distracting. The optimal seating arrangement is that which keeps one alert and balanced, without causing pain or requiring too much effort. It's worth experimenting to find the most suitable one, and bear in mind that we tend to differ quite a lot in terms of tightness of ligaments, bulkiness of muscles, joint deterioration, old sports injuries, and so on. Copying someone else or following a recommendation should be done with caution. Having said that, if you are lucky enough to be able to sit comfortably in the lotus position, then stick with it!

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pilgrim
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by pilgrim » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:27 pm

There are many ways of sitting cross legged - full lotus , half lotus, Burmese style (where the legs don't overlap), or even both legs to one side. In any of the ways one sits on the floor, it is important that the knees are no higher than the hips. Use a pillow under the butt if you have to. If your knees are high, you'll find difficulty in keeping the body erect as the compression around the hip and stomach area will push your body back. Otherwise, just sit on a chair or stool. Choose one which is level, not one where the seat slants back.

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Pondera
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by Pondera » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:47 am

The Sacroiliac joint is of utmost importance. Not only should that joint be straightened as much as one can - it should be in a position where one can let go of dukkha there from. The SI joint is the absolute key to achieving rapture during meditation - and also for achieving rapture as a element of enlightenment in later meditations. In fact, the truth is that consciousness released from the SI joint is the factor of rapture!
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suriyopama
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by suriyopama » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:01 am

Pondera wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:47 am
The Sacroiliac joint is of utmost importance. Not only should that joint be straightened as much as one can - it should be in a position where one can let go of dukkha there from. The SI joint is the absolute key to achieving rapture during meditation - and also for achieving rapture as a element of enlightenment in later meditations. In fact, the truth is that consciousness released from the SI joint is the factor of rapture!
I understand that the factor of rapture on noble right concentration is withdrawal [from sensuality & unskillful qualities] accompanied by directed thought and evaluation, not consciousness released from the SI joint.

"Now what, monks, is five-factored noble right concentration? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation." AN5.28
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Last edited by suriyopama on Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:48 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by DNS » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:41 am

Lotus positions are good because they provide the best balance, but as Sam Vara noted, it shouldn't be at the expense of your health or injury. Choose a comfortable position. In the past when I'd give some meditation instructions at IRL groups, I'd always remind the group how mindfulness is supposed to be part of everyday life, regardless if you are sitting or not and also how Ananda attained enlightenment while lying down, just as his head was about to hit the pillow.

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Pondera
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by Pondera » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:05 am

suriyopama wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:01 am
Pondera wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:47 am
The Sacroiliac joint is of utmost importance. Not only should that joint be straightened as much as one can - it should be in a position where one can let go of dukkha there from. The SI joint is the absolute key to achieving rapture during meditation - and also for achieving rapture as a element of enlightenment in later meditations. In fact, the truth is that consciousness released from the SI joint is the factor of rapture!
I understand that the factor of rapture on noble right concentration is withdrawal [from sensuality & unskillful qualities] accompanied by directed thought and evaluation, not consciousness released from the SI joint.

"Now what, monks, is five-factored noble right concentration? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation." AN5.28
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
No. I’m pretty sure it has to do with the SI joint. I’ve experienced this many times. Your consciousness chakra is located below your root chakra. When the SI joint is relaxed enough, consciousness retreats into the consciousness chakra. At this moment the practioner feels elevated rapture.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

form
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by form » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:19 pm

There r only four postures that are mentioned to be good by the Buddha.

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DooDoot
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by DooDoot » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:29 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm
folds his legs crosswise
Not important
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm
sets his body erect
Most important.
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm
Is lotus-position beneficial?
For most people, who cannot set their body (spine) erect in lotus posture, it is not beneficial.

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Manopubbangama
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by Manopubbangama » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:35 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:29 pm
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm
folds his legs crosswise
Not important
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm
sets his body erect
Most important.
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm
Is lotus-position beneficial?
For most people, who cannot set their body (spine) erect in lotus posture, it is not beneficial.
Interesting.

So its slouching that is unbeneficial?
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DooDoot
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by DooDoot » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:43 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:35 pm
So its slouching that is unbeneficial?
Absolutely. If slouching, breathing & consciousness will not flow properly and not have optimal openness. The breathing cannot calm optimally and purification of stored defilement will be blocked. To develop samadhi, the mind must be at ease, open & clear. Sitting on a (backless) flat stool is far superior to sitting slouched & cross-legged. The spine should be perfectly erect.

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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:46 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:35 pm
DooDoot wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:29 pm
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm
folds his legs crosswise
Not important
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm
sets his body erect
Most important.
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 pm
Is lotus-position beneficial?
For most people, who cannot set their body (spine) erect in lotus posture, it is not beneficial.
Interesting.

So its slouching that is unbeneficial?
Yes, and so too is straining unnaturally to make one's body upright. I was told that slouching in conducive to drifting and drowsiness, and straining leads to tension and distraction. That seems to be the case in my experience. When I become aware of my body when I am drifting and losing focus, it is slouching. When I feel tense and restless, it is (less often but still noticeably) too rigid.

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Manopubbangama
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by Manopubbangama » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:48 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:46 pm
Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:35 pm
DooDoot wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:29 pm

Not important

Most important.

For most people, who cannot set their body (spine) erect in lotus posture, it is not beneficial.
Interesting.

So its slouching that is unbeneficial?
Yes, and so too is straining unnaturally to make one's body upright. I was told that slouching in conducive to drifting and drowsiness, and straining leads to tension and distraction. That seems to be the case in my experience. When I become aware of my body when I am drifting and losing focus, it is slouching. When I feel tense and restless, it is (less often but still noticeably) too rigid.
DooDoot wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:43 pm
Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:35 pm
So its slouching that is unbeneficial?
Absolutely. If slouching, breathing & consciousness will not flow properly and not have optimal openness. The breathing cannot calm optimally and purification of stored defilement will be blocked. To develop samadhi, the mind must be at ease, open & clear. Sitting on a (backless) flat stool is far superior to sitting slouched & cross-legged. The spine should be perfectly erect.


Very interesting.

Thank you both so much.
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by SarathW » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:00 pm

he sits down, folds his legs crosswise, sets his body erect, and establishing mindfulness in front of him"
-he sits down -very important
- folds his legs crosswise - very important as far as it is crossed any comfortable way.
-sets his body erect - very important. By the way, this naturally happens when you try to cross legs
-establishing mindfulness in front of him - very important
:shrug:
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Re: Physical posture during seated meditation

Post by DooDoot » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:05 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:00 pm
-he sits down -very important
Very important for sleeping in 'meditation' . Samadhi can be developed just as well in standing meditation.

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