Using a bench

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Using a bench

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:46 pm

I usually use a bench when meditating, but recently I have been thinking about moving towards the use of a cushion so that I can practice a half or full lotus position. Two questions:

1. Is it important what posture you use? Am I wasting time trying a new posture when the bench works fine?

2. Are there any helpful exercises, stretches, guides, etc. to facilitate better balance and posture when doing a half or full lotus?

Thanks!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Using a bench

Postby marc108 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:34 pm

posture is only important in that it: keeps you stable so you dont fall over, keeps the spine erect so the breath flows freely, and is comfortable so you're not in pain and injuring your body. there is nothing inherently valuable about lotus position outside of those criteria. if your bench meets the aforementioned 3 criteria then switching postures would be, in my opinion, pointless.

if you're still interested, watch Bhante Rahula's series on Yoga and posture for meditation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afY5__sHB3o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeaFQxg-Vr0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGMO8X9559Y
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
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Re: Using a bench

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:28 pm

:goodpost:
to which I would add that if you are as unused to sitting on the ground as most westerners are, you probably need to do several months of stretching exercises - yoga, etc - before you have any chance of sitting in full or half lotus for half an hour or more. That is, I suggest you keep using the bench while you work on the flexibility to be able to sit in lotus. On the up-side, yoga is going to be good for you anyway. :smile:

There has been a thread here on DW on stretching before sitting but I haven't got time to look for it now.

:namaste:
Kim
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