buddha's teaching on 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.
end
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:57 am

buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby end » Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:00 am

i've read a decent amount of the pali canon sections on meditation but there are a few things i haven't seen. generally we sit on the floor or a mat with our legs in the lotus posture, hands in a mudra, back straight, eyes half shut or all the way shut, and focus on our breathing. however in my reading i can't find anywhere the buddha specifies what to do with the eyes, back, hands, or legs (as in explaining that one should specifically use lotus).

he just says to sit and set up mindfulness in front of you and focus on your breathing.

is there somewhere that he specifies all the other aspects or is this just something that has developed over time? i think the biggest thing is eyes open or shut. does anyone know? if you know where in the nikayas that would be awesome.

Euclid
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:33 am
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby Euclid » Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:13 am


User avatar
cooran
Posts: 8502
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby cooran » Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:30 am

Hello end,

I think this is something you could discuss with a teacher of meditation - or do what is helpful when you sit yourself. I don't know of any Sutta which goes into anymore detail than you have found yourself. But there is a lot on the internet by teachers well-versed in the Dhamma and experienced in meditation.

Here is something from our Bhikkhu Pesala:

Sitting Meditation
The traditional posture for sitting meditation is that seen in many images of the Buddha — cross-legged with a straight back, the eyes half-closed and the hands resting in the lap. Long experience has shown this to be the most suitable posture. However, you may also meditate sitting on a chair if you support your back and keep it straight. In either case it is important not to change the position frequently, if at all, since every movement will interrupt concentration.
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Med ... ation.html

It is not meant to be a gruelling ordeal - so I often use a straight-backed chair, or a kneeling stool.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

end
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:57 am

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby end » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:19 pm


end
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:57 am

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby end » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:23 pm


User avatar
Fede
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...
Contact:

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby Fede » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:23 pm

The other thing members might be interested in looking at, is researching the Alexander Technique.
it's extremely interesting , and really worth a look.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:41 pm

It is important to remember the purpose of the meditation when thinking about how to do it- if it is samatha- then a comfortable (to avoid pain) is recommended, but not too comfortable (..end up falling asleep), if vipassana, any posture which will allow you to remain alert, sometimes using pain as one of the objects of your meditation is good enough. Someone suggested striking a 'kindly' posture- not too tense, when doing metta meditation- seems to work. :smile:

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

User avatar
mirco
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby mirco » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:30 am

Dhamma Greetings,


eighteen years ago I read a Sutta, where it was explained something like this:

First comes full lotus, then it goes through various crossed legged scenarios,
followed by those with sitting aids (bindings, mini-chairs). At the end full chairs
like they're common in the western world are mentioned for a suitable sitting posture.
The rating descends from the beginning to the end, with each pose being o.k. by itself,
just mentioning, that the foregoing would be better.

So, this is what my memory tells me. I read it in a book during a stay at a monastery
and I'm pretty sure, it was a Sutta, due to the repetitive phrases.
But, I can't find it now. Anyone knows this Sutta?


:-) Regards
Last edited by mirco on Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." -

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:02 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
polarbear101
Posts: 964
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: California

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby polarbear101 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:08 am

"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

User avatar
mirco
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby mirco » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:45 pm

"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." -

User avatar
fig tree
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:25 am

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby fig tree » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:37 am


User avatar
mirco
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby mirco » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:31 am

"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." -

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:42 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:56 am

Concerning the absence of details on posture in the suttas I think it's important to remember that, in the absence of furniture, some sort of cross-leg or lotus position is simply a practical way of sitting comfortably for a long time. It may well be a modern new-age idea that there is something spiritual about it.

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
polarbear101
Posts: 964
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: California

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby polarbear101 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:29 am

Also, it would be rather impractical to carry a chair around in the forest or while wandering around on foot in India, or anywhere really.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:58 am

Polarbuddha,
I beg to disagree.

84142_airchairv2_777.png
84142_airchairv2_777.png (178.84 KiB) Viewed 1477 times
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
polarbear101
Posts: 964
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: California

Re: buddha's teaching on posture?

Postby polarbear101 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:58 am

:rofl:

I'll remember to bring one of those if I ever wind up in the rainforest in Sri Lanka. :thumbsup:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."


Return to “General Theravāda Meditation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine