Lying Down

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

Lying Down

Postby Collective » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:43 pm

Is there any other reason I shouldn't meditate lying down other than I may doze off? When I used to do Yoga Nidra, you had to lie down, and it was ok. I'm thinking of adopting a lying down position with my meditation but there seems to be a negative outlook to this.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks all :namaste:
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Re: Lying Down

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:49 pm

Collective wrote:Is there any other reason I shouldn't meditate lying down other than I may doze off? When I used to do Yoga Nidra, you had to lie down, and it was ok. I'm thinking of adopting a lying down position with my meditation but there seems to be a negative outlook to this.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks all
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Re: Lying Down

Postby Moggalana » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:56 pm

If you don't tend to fall asleep, it's good. After all, it is one of the four postures (sitting, standing, walking, lying). There are some tricks to avoid falling asleep: don't do lying down meditation in your bed or the spot you normally sleep, and don't use the posture you mainly sleep in. I like this posture because it allows me to do relative long meditations (compared to sitting). It's more comfortable and there is less inclination to move the body.
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Re: Lying Down

Postby Collective » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:32 pm

Agreed, I'd like to be that comfortable that I can focus entirely on my meditation and not about any pains and/or strains. Though those too can be handy on times.
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Re: Lying Down

Postby Virgo » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:12 pm

It's one of the four postures.

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Re: Lying Down

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:22 pm

Greetings,

Moggalana wrote:If you don't tend to fall asleep, it's good.


I tend to reserve this posture for when either meditation or sleep would be desirable outcomes... then whichever way it goes is a good result.

:zzz: :meditate: :zzz: :meditate: :zzz: :meditate: :?:

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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Lying Down

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:45 am

It is useful if you're sick, or if you cannot sleep well at night. It is not recommended for healthy people because it is too easy to fall asleep. The secret to staying awake is to remain absolutely still. Lie on the floor with just a carpet or futon. Before very long you will probably get some painful sensations to focus on and keep you awake. Lie on your right side, and do not move a muscle. Sweep your attention down the body from head to foot, noting the main points of contact. Otherwise, note the rising and falling of the abdomen, or the touch of the breath.

While in Burma, due to the extreme heat, I used lying down meditation as it was a little cooler and less stressful during the heat of the day. With only a straw mat and a hard wooden bed to lie on, it was fairly easy to stay awake for an hour or two, but it was not an easy option.

Be careful that “lying down” meditation doesn't become “lying” meditation. ;)
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Re: Lying Down

Postby Ben » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:10 am

My experience with meditation while lying down besides as a prelude to sleep during retreats, was after abdominal surgery about five years ago.
I wouldnt recommend it for day-to-day practicce.
kind regards

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Re: Lying Down

Postby Fruitzilla » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:50 am

If you've got an Alexander Technique teacher in your neighbourhood, you might want to contact him/her.

There's a lying down practice in the Alexander Technique called "active rest", which, if handled correctly, pretty much makes sure you won't get sleepy or drowsy, but calm, awake and clear while lying down.

Here's a link to look at:
http://voice-training.blog.co.uk/2009/12/07/semi-supine-alexander-technique-active-rest-position-part-7555195/
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Re: Lying Down

Postby Sekha » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:59 am

The Buddha seems to advise to remain for as little as possible in a lying position:

As soon as you wake up, get up quickly, with the thought, 'I won't stay indulging in the pleasure of lying down, the pleasure of reclining, the pleasure of drowsiness.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


I think if he gave this recommandation even to Ven. Maha Moggallana, that means we should consider it relevant for us poor unwise fellows.
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