Couch 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.

Couch Meditation

Postby Guy » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:46 am

Hello All,

Normally I meditate sitting on a chair or on a cushion but today I decided to mix it up and try the couch. I have been reluctant to do this because I had assumed that the couch would be considered a luxurious extreme, thus missing the Middle Way. I didn't fall asleep though, there was a bit of dullness at first but as I got settled in my mindfulness got very sharp and had one of the deepest meditations yet. Has anyone else had success meditating on a couch? Is this not the right way to approach meditation or is it okay?

Thanks,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: Couch Meditation

Postby genkaku » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:28 am

Meditation is not about where or how you park your butt. It is about your mind and its potential for clarity and idiocy. And probably the most useful tool when addressing our clarities and idiocies is attention.

There is nothing naughty or wrong about sitting on a couch ... hell, most of us do it from time to time without a second thought. But 'without a second thought' can be a problem, one that encourages rather than clarifies our uncertainties.

A formal posture like sitting on a cushion or even on a chair is probably better suited to the attention needed in our practice. Not that it's somehow more virtuous. Just that it works better over the long haul.

Just my two cents.
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Re: Couch Meditation

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:07 pm

Greetings Guy,

I do it... haven't seen a problem with it.

Metta,
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Re: Couch Meditation

Postby appicchato » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:10 pm

Maybe...if I had one...nah, the floor is where it's at (it works anywhere, and everywhere)...if you have trouble sitting in the customary (legs crossed) ways try placing both feet going the same direction...one heel to the opposite knee and the other outboard near the butt...it provides a more comfortable (to some) position, while still utilizing the basic triangle base to rest upon...and there's no need for a cushion either...you might want to give it a whirl... :popcorn:
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Re: Couch Meditation

Postby Ben » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:32 pm

Hi Bhante,

appicchato wrote:...nah, the floor is where it's at


I feel the same way. Perhaps its the years of meditation sitting on the floor (on a cushion of course). However, due to necessity, I have at times found myself meditating seated on a train and on an a plane.
Kind regards

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Re: Couch Meditation

Postby Guy » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:53 pm

appicchato wrote:Maybe...if I had one...nah, the floor is where it's at (it works anywhere, and everywhere)...if you have trouble sitting in the customary (legs crossed) ways try placing both feet going the same direction...one heel to the opposite knee and the other outboard near the butt...it provides a more comfortable (to some) position, while still utilizing the basic triangle base to rest upon...and there's no need for a cushion either...you might want to give it a whirl... :popcorn:


I can't seem to sit like that without leaning to one side...maybe I misunderstood what you meant or maybe I am too gawky and inflexible?
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: Couch Meditation

Postby appicchato » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:09 pm

Guy wrote:I can't seem to sit like that without leaning to one side...


I was looking for an illustration on the internet (I know there's one out there) but so far unable to locate one...new postures aren't always mastered right off the bat...with a little perseverance I think you will straighten up...and may like it...it was the same for me...
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Re: Couch Meditation

Postby Guy » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:42 pm

Thanks Bhante, I will keep trying. :bow:

Thanks Genkaku, good advice.

Thanks Retro, my main concern is that I might get too comfortable if I made a habit of it and become less mindful.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: Couch Meditation

Postby phil » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:29 am

Guy wrote:Thanks Bhante, I will keep trying. :bow:

Thanks Genkaku, good advice.

Thanks Retro, my main concern is that I might get too comfortable if I made a habit of it and become less mindful.

With Metta,

Guy


I meditate lying down sometimes, before falling asleep, on my side, while planting the intention to arise mindfully as soon as I awake. I think I came across it in a sutta somewhre.

But there's no doubt that sitting straight upright centers the mind, for whatever reason. I have a kind of reclining chair and sometimes lazily meditate in that, but as soon as I rouse myself and get back down on the zabuton on the floor, it feels so different. Maybe because of the wholesome virya (energy) at work in getting my butt parked right, maybe that virya helps to center the mind.

Metta,

Phil
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Re: Couch Meditation

Postby phil » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:33 am

phil wrote:
Guy wrote:Thanks Bhante, I will keep trying. :bow:

Thanks Genkaku, good advice.

Thanks Retro, my main concern is that I might get too comfortable if I made a habit of it and become less mindful.

With Metta,

Guy


I meditate lying down sometimes, before falling asleep, on my side, while planting the intention to arise mindfully as soon as I awake. I think I came across it in a sutta somewhre.

But there's no doubt that sitting straight upright centers the mind, for whatever reason. I have a kind of reclining chair and sometimes lazily meditate in that, but as soon as I rouse myself and get back down on the zabuton on the floor, it feels so different. Maybe because of the wholesome virya (energy) at work in getting my butt parked right, maybe that virya helps to center the mind.

Metta,

Phil


Hi again

Of course what I just wrote assumes there are no health problems that make couch meditation more suitable for a person. I'm sure we'll all be doing the best we can to meditate on our death beds!

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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