Lotus & Half-Lotus

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

Post by Szoberszyn »

I have recently started reading a meditation manual, which very strongly insisted on performing the lotus or half lotus. I can physically not perform either of the two, because I cannot get the top of my foot to rest on my knee. If there are any exercises you known of that would help improve my range of motion so that I may at least perform the half lotus, please post them here.


Thanks in advance.
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DNS
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Re: Lotus & Half-Lotus

Post by DNS »

Szoberszyn wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 11:15 am I have recently started reading a meditation manual, which very strongly insisted on performing the lotus or half lotus. I can physically not perform either of the two, because I cannot get the top of my foot to rest on my knee. If there are any exercises you known of that would help improve my range of motion so that I may at least perform the half lotus, please post them here.
Is it a Chan or Zen tradition? I know some of them insist on lotus positions. In the past when I gave some meditation instructions at local groups, I would remind the participants about Ananda. He was so busy with being the attendant to the Buddha that he had not attained full-enlightenment. The First Council was about to start with 500 arahants, but Ananda was not yet an arahant. He worked tirelessly and just as he was going to sleep, lying down, right before his head hit the pillow, he attained awakening.

Meditation can be in any position, although sitting is best for most of us for calming the mind, but no need for it to be in lotus.

But for those of us who like the lotus positions, you could start with quarter-lotus, where one foot is on the calf. And then do yoga and stretching exercises. Opening up the area around the inside top of your thighs helps, getting to middle splits as close as possible.
emptyset
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Re: Lotus & Half-Lotus

Post by emptyset »

Make sure you have a setup like this if possible: https://www.amazon.com/Bean-Products-Za ... th=1&psc=1

You can try starting with the Burmese posture and then work to quarter lotus, then half, then full. That's what I did and I sit full lotus now. Small steps...

If you have more physical limitations, a meditation bench is an option: https://www.amazon.com/Meditation-Bench ... 9hdGY&th=1
"
While the half or full lotus is ideal, it is not required regardless of what you are told. "On whatever occasion..." means posture is not a factor for right concentration.
"Whoever sees dependent origination sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees dependent origination."
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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Lotus & Half-Lotus

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

In the morning I meditate on the floor, but I have to change posture every 15 or 10 minutes, because my legs go numb

At night I meditate in the chair and I can spend 30 minutes to 1 hour without moving during meditation

I remembered this video by Bhante Rahula in which he talks about meditation postures and some stretching exercises

Ven. Rahula - Yoga: Good Meditation Posture


Ven. Rahula - Yoga for Meditation


:namaste:
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Goofaholix
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Re: Lotus & Half-Lotus

Post by Goofaholix »

Knee bouncing and the Butterfly stretch will help, there are plenty of videos on youtube. I'm not sure there's any advantage to lotus pose unless it comes easily for you, the burmese posture is much easier on your knees.
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Szoberszyn
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Re: Lotus & Half-Lotus

Post by Szoberszyn »

Thank you to everyone who has replied here.

So far, I have not had any luck with either the Burmese posture nor the quarter lotus. I will stick to finding a tree at whose base I can comfortably sit with crossed legs, as that is what has proved to work best so far.

Thank you for the videos, I will have a look at them.
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Goofaholix
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Re: Lotus & Half-Lotus

Post by Goofaholix »

Szoberszyn wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 10:25 pm I will stick to finding a tree at whose base I can comfortably sit with crossed legs, as that is what has proved to work best so far.
Maybe use a chair.

I's expect the exercises to pay off if you do them several time a day for a month, that's how long it took for me, this of course will depend on your age, weight, flexibility etc.
Pronouns (no self / not self)
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.”
― Ajahn Chah
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