I have difficulties with sitting meditation for some time now. I practice anapanasati nearly every day for about 2 years now . I sit on a cushion (zafu) with the right foot on top of the left thigh, sometimes on top of the left shank. After about 30 min. I feel pain around the right groin, right knee and right ankle. I already tried to change the posture of the feet the other way around and the burmese style. Changing the feet changes nothing, pain on one side ceases and arises a bit later on the other side. The burmese style is uncomfortable in general. The pain is getting very intense and I can't bear up against the pain. So I'm not able to sit more than 45 min.. I tried to sit through the pain but in the end I gave up, once I managed to sit up to 1 hour. But when I try to sit through it's more a fighting to maintain the posture against the pain with lots of thoughts and small movements instead of being mindful, anyway far away from one-pointedness. Now I try to sit at least 1 hour a day. When I can't bear up against the pain anymore I stop the sitting session (trying to maintain mindfulness) and start walking meditation. Sometimes when the pain ceases quickly I stop walking meditation after some time and practice sitting meditation again.
I would like to know if you have some advise for me? How do Bhikkhus handle such an issue? I mean they don't used to sit in chairs instead, do they?
I also tried to change attitude instead of posture but I'm not quite sure if I really did it, because when there's pain I'm not really concentrated anymore (it's very difficult not to get lost/involved with the situation) thus I'm not sure whether I changed attitude or not, in the end I changed posture, this is certain. What I mean is at some point I'm not able to observe how the mind acts, guess this is the point when there's no more mindfulness.
Do I have to or should I sit through the pain and try to keep up mindfulness? What is to do with the breath? Shall I still take the breath as meditationobject or should I switch to the pain? I try to gain some samadhi, would it be better in this case to go more into the vipassanā direction instead of samatha? Maybe I'm practicing wrongly in one way or the other (micchā-samādhi?)
I think I never experienced pīti or sukha (I'm not quite sure) most of the time what I've developed is some kind of numb awareness. Sometimes there's nearly nothing. No breath, no feelings (sensations and vedanā), here and there arises a thought but not completely, it's like as if I would have caught the thought while it arises and then it instantly vanishes, in the end there arises the pain which I described or too much thinking comes back.
I'm having a hard time, seems that I got stuck so help is very much appreciated.
best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M 22)