Sitting for long hours

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Sitting for long hours

Post by Spiny O'Norman »

Ben wrote:When I go on retreat I sit cross-legged for up to 16 hours a day and my legs are fine.
I'm very impressed - I find just staying awake for 16 hours a day a challenge sometimes. :)
I'd be interested to know what kind of meditation are you doing for these long periods?

Spiny
Sunrise
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:26 pm

Re: Sitting for long hours

Post by Sunrise »

Spiny O'Norman wrote: I'd be interested to know what kind of meditation are you doing for these long periods?
Good question :reading:
User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Sitting for long hours

Post by beeblebrox »

Shonin wrote:
Dazzy wrote:Nope. I actually like to get used to sitting on the floor with a small cushion. Getting used to a chair or a bench creates an unnecessary dependency whereas the floor is always available wherever you go.
Yep. Apart from needing a cushion, sitting on the floor on a cushion is less dependent than sitting on the floor on a meditation bench (which needs a bench) or sitting on the floor on an ordinary chair (which needs a chair).
That is why I sit on bare floor. :tongue: I also do the burmese position, though my second foot is a bit farther up the shin compared to the picture. It's halfway between the knee and foot.

I still can't bring my left knee down to the ground completely since I broke my leg a year ago... but I still sit comfortably, and the position is pretty stable. It's all in posture. The pelvis should be vertical (not rolled under), and the bottom two points should be rooted in the ground.

I do the zazen mudra. I float it a bit (not resting on my lap, and the pinkies are resting lightly against my belly; aligned with the dantien, more or less)... this brings back my arms and shoulders. With this and the position of my pelvis, the spine ends up straight by itself. This might feel like a little bit effort to do in the beginning (a little tiredness in the arms), but after a week, you should be used to it, and then it becomes effortless. It becomes very stable.

The thumbs are not pressed against each other, but lightly touching (an equal mixture of drawing away and pressing together). This lightness should also be reflected with the rest of your posture.
User avatar
Sobeh
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:35 am
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, US
Contact:

Re: Sitting for long hours

Post by Sobeh »

It's good to note the connection between mudras and shoulder placement - shoulder and back alignment should definitely take precedence over hand gymnastics.
Shonin
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:11 am

Re: Sitting for long hours

Post by Shonin »

beeblebrox wrote:I do the zazen mudra.
This is the Theravada Meditation forum. Get out!



:tongue:
User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Sitting for long hours

Post by beeblebrox »

Shonin wrote:This is the Theravada Meditation forum. Get out!
:jumping:

:spy:
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Sitting for long hours

Post by Spiny O'Norman »

Jack wrote:Have you tried using a meditation bench?

I use a chair almost exclusively now.

jack
I used a meditation bench for a long time, but my knee joints were complaining a lot so I switched to using a chair. I find a chair works fine, providing I keep my back straight. Eventually I may progress to the luxury of an armchair and slippers. :lol:

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

Re: Sitting for long hours

Post by rowyourboat »

Hi Dazzy

Pins and needles is not a medical condition. Your leg going numb is completly safe as long as you limit your sitting meditation to one hour. It will stop being a hindrance once you get into samadhi.

Your attachment (and fear) about your body is getting in the way. I hope you overcome them. In the suttas there is talk of sitting fearlessly:

"That monk, your majesty,
on the flank of Pandava,
sits like a tiger, a bull,
a lion in a mountain cleft."

Later the monk (the Buddha) is offered a place in the arm:

"You are young, youthful,
in the first stage of youth,
endowed with the stature & coloring
of a noble-warrior.
You would look glorious
in the vanguard of an army,
arrayed with an elephant squadron.

Now, here is a good teaching. We sit like a warrior going into battle, not like a weakling complaining of the slightest strain.

I wish you well

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6570
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Sitting for long hours

Post by bodom »

Questions and Answers with Ajahn Chah

Q: Is it necessary to sit for very long stretches?

A: No, sitting for hours on end is not necessary. Some people think that the longer you can sit, the wiser you must be. I have seen chickens sit on their nests for days on end! Wisdom comes from being mindful in all postures. Your practice should begin as you awaken in the morning. It should continue until you fall asleep. Don't be concerned about how long you can sit. What is important is only that you keep watchful whether you are working or sitting or going to the bathroom. Each person has his own natural pace. Some of you will die at age fifty, some at age sixty-five, and some at age ninety. So, too, your practice will not be all identical. Don't think or worry about this. Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become quieter and quieter in any surroundings...


http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Questions_Answers1.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
Do everything with a mind that lets go. Do not expect any praise or reward. If you let go a little, you experience a little peace. If you let go a lot, you experience a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will know complete peace and freedom. Your struggle with the world will have come to an end.

- Ajahn Chah
Post Reply