Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

  1. #1

    Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    So how is the sitting going folks?

    I know this is a topic which has probably been discussed ad nasueum . . . but how do you guys deal with extended periods of sitting?

    I'm at the point where leg pain is not that much of an issue ( been doing enough sitting and stretching) but my legs fall asleep, to the point where when it's time to get up and do walking meditation I have trouble getting up. I stagger around like a drunk, lol.

    Perhaps this is a just a good excuse to take the bottle of bourbon to the cushion with me but I think that might be defeating the purpose. . .

    Curious if anyone has had trouble with this in the past and found a way to mitigate the issue.

    gassho,

    Greg

  2. #2
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    I sat everyday for four years. My legs fell asleep at around 20 minutes and it became painful at around 25. 35 minute sits turned into a real grudge match!

    I now sit with a seiza bench, but have been encouraged to resume cross-legged sitting. I ordered a large/tall 'Mountain Seat' from ZMM. We'll see if it helps. If it does, I'll let you know.

    Good luck!

    Chet

  3. #3

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Awesome Chet, would appreciate the input on the mountain seat when once you test drive it. ZMM really has great products, my zafu and zabuton are from there . . . I had an extra tall sieza bench but gave it to my brother to encourage his sitting practice.

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    4,693

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    I'd be interested in your eval of the mountain seat as well Chet. I considered it but wasn't going for it without any recommendations. Looks cool though and hopefully it'll help your legs!

  5. #5

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Yep, I think the right cushion is key, I've learned this the hard way when not bringing my own to a zen center.

    Unfortunately I am in the middle of a huge push to pay off all my debt and don't want to devote any money to a new cushion at the moment -- of course the eval would be helpful for future reference I will need to buy a new zafu at some point.

  6. #6

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Like Chet I can literally time exactly when my left leg will fall asleep and like Gregor I am VERY careful when standing because I have fallen over more than once because of a completely dead foot.

    It would be nice if I could rise all respectfully and bow to the cushion but instead I look more like this guy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti3UL_mVHHI[/video]]

    Oh well.

    The only solution I have is to simply gassho, stretch my leg and get back to zazen.
    Sometimes I'll improvise a (very very slow and methodical) short bout of kinhin to allow the nerves to wake back up.

    To my understanding, there's really no "cure" for this. It just comes with the territory.
    But please correct me if I'm wrong. It'd be nice if there were a solution rather than not...

    Gassho (ker-thunk)
    -K2

  7. #7

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    I use the mt seat because of severe disc degeneration...no sleeping legs...but I sit Indian style & not full lotus.

  8. #8

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Hi Guys,

    Here are a couple of recent threads on the issue, with some advice.

    The bottom line is that we each know our own bodies best and should experiment with small changes and adjustments (even slight adjustments during Zazen on, for example, where we are putting our weight or pressure ... I sometimes shift the pressure back and forth from the left leg to the right, or move my spine slightly forward or back during long sittings, or relieve some of the tension on the upper thight/groin by shifting position slightly until I can feel the "blood flowing" again). When we find the position whereby we can forget about the body ... and which feels balanced and comfortable for long periods, letting the body drop out of mind ... it probably is the right position. (Japanese are a bit more fixated on "the right position", one size fits all, than most other Buddhist meditators in Asia - although some mysticize the posture too.)

    "Dropping the body" is a bit like dropping from mind "the back of the neck" ... a place we give no thought, until I suddenly mention it and it pops into mind (or unless we have neck pain that pops it into mind). Same for "back of the knee" or "stomach" or "tip of the nose" ... parts of the body, always there but given no thought (until they are mentioned or tickle or hurt). So, find a position where you can forget the body ... feeling balanced and comfortable ... and it will let you "drop the body" and facilitate a balanced, calm, comfortable mind (mind-body not being separate).

    If you fall over when standing ... or feel pain ... that ain't it.

    Have a look ...

    viewtopic.php?p=28862#p28862

    and this post (and the entire thread)

    viewtopic.php?p=18879#p18879

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS- Also check out this thread on sitting with pain and other disturbances ... when to embrace and be one with that, when to move.

    viewtopic.php?p=10701#p10701

  9. #9

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Thanks, Jundo,
    I'm going to give the "Leaning tower of Pisa" maneuver tomorrow to see if alleviates the numb leg.
    Gassho,
    -K2

  10. #10

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Something related ... These days I sit in a "relaxed half-lotus", i.e. I only have one foot up, and it isn't fully up with the ankle turned etc. I'm also using a well-stuffed zafu because it makes it very easy, natural, to stay erect. However, when I do all of this, my hands end up rather lower than my navel and they tend to pull apart. I need to generate a little resistance by partially lacing my fingers. Any thoughts about all this?

    Thanks ... Scott

  11. #11

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Quote Originally Posted by scott
    Something related ... These days I sit in a "relaxed half-lotus", i.e. I only have one foot up, and it isn't fully up with the ankle turned etc. I'm also using a well-stuffed zafu because it makes it very easy, natural, to stay erect. However, when I do all of this, my hands end up rather lower than my navel and they tend to pull apart. I need to generate a little resistance by partially lacing my fingers. Any thoughts about all this?

    Thanks ... Scott
    Hi Scott,

    I would have to see a picture to understand. Are your hands resting in your lap?

    I believe that I can often tell much about someone's state of mind during Zazen by observing how they hold their hands in the Mudra during Zazen ...

    Saggy, broken, lopsided Mudra, a gap between the fingers, indicates a saggy, sleepy or lopsided mind.

    Firm, round, balanced Mudra, finger tips nicely poised, tends to indicate a mind that is also so ... at least, I believe it is a good indicator ...



    Gassho, Jundo

  12. #12

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Hi Scott,

    I would have to see a picture to understand. Are your hands resting in your lap?
    What lap? :-) That's the point. In a full lotus, with the ankles turned, my hands rest nicely on my heels and my thumbs are at my navel. In a "relaxed half lotus", sitting on a well-stuffed zafu, my lap is way down there, so my forearms are almost straight. I was reminded to ask this because people were talking about that "mountain seat", which looks to be very tall to me, and I wondered what that would do to one's hands.

    Thanks ... Scott

  13. #13

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Quote Originally Posted by scott
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Hi Scott,

    I would have to see a picture to understand. Are your hands resting in your lap?
    What lap? :-) That's the point. In a full lotus, with the ankles turned, my hands rest nicely on my heels and my thumbs are at my navel. In a "relaxed half lotus", sitting on a well-stuffed zafu, my lap is way down there, so my forearms are almost straight. I was reminded to ask this because people were talking about that "mountain seat", which looks to be very tall to me, and I wondered what that would do to one's hands.

    Thanks ... Scott
    If you have a digital camera, please send a photo, front and side.

    It is hard for me to visualize. Do you have rather shorter arms?

    Take a look at these several photos to see about where the Mudra should be, and what it should look like.

    http://www.mro.org/zmm/teachings/meditation.php

    Gassho, J

  14. #14
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by scott
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Hi Scott,

    I would have to see a picture to understand. Are your hands resting in your lap?
    What lap? :-) That's the point. In a full lotus, with the ankles turned, my hands rest nicely on my heels and my thumbs are at my navel. In a "relaxed half lotus", sitting on a well-stuffed zafu, my lap is way down there, so my forearms are almost straight. I was reminded to ask this because people were talking about that "mountain seat", which looks to be very tall to me, and I wondered what that would do to one's hands.

    Thanks ... Scott
    If you have a digital camera, please send a photo, front and side.

    It is hard for me to visualize. Do you have rather shorter arms?

    Take a look at these several photos to see about where the Mudra should be, and what it should look like.

    http://www.mro.org/zmm/teachings/meditation.php

    Gassho, J
    Good photos! I bet my form sucks....no one ever sees me meditate much, except on those occasions where I do go to a group. Even then, no one corrects me. I'm just not much of a posture-Nazi.

    Chet

  15. #15

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse

    Good photos! I bet my form sucks....no one ever sees me meditate much, except on those occasions where I do go to a group. Even then, no one corrects me. I'm just not much of a posture-Nazi.

    Chet
    Well, but bad posture is not conducive to Zazen. Unbalanced, uncomfortable posture leads to unbalanced Zazen.

    Everyone should go in for a "check up and tune up" at a Zen Center from time to time ... requesting a posture check if nobody offers. If there is no place anywhere close by, see my advice on consulting with a Yoga teacher.

    Gassho, Jundo

  16. #16
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse

    Good photos! I bet my form sucks....no one ever sees me meditate much, except on those occasions where I do go to a group. Even then, no one corrects me. I'm just not much of a posture-Nazi.

    Chet
    Well, but bad posture is not conducive to Zazen. Unbalanced, uncomfortable posture leads to unbalanced Zazen.

    Everyone should go in for a "check up and tune up" at a Zen Center from time to time ... requesting a posture check if nobody offers. If there is no place anywhere close by, see my advice on consulting with a Yoga teacher.

    Gassho, Jundo
    It doesn't feel unbalanced or uncomfortable. I just don't think it's the epitome of the art of Zazen.

    Chet

  17. #17

    Re: Legs asleep . . . tingle, tingle . . . numb.

    At viewtopic.php?p=18879#p18879.....very interesting intersection (conflict?) between Western mindfulness and formal Japanese zazen....working with the edge (pain, itch, tingle,etc) versus not working with the edge. I have had some sucess with making pain my friend...the itches & tingling often run off quicky in a few seconds. Yoga has been very beneficial....deepens practice.

    Western mindfulness a spin-off from formal zazen?

    Just back from Jundo's Fri talk....
    ( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - XXII)
    Seems to have answered my question......

    Tom

Similar Threads

  1. I'm still falling asleep
    By Adrian in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-15-2011, 11:00 PM
  2. Legs Sleeping
    By natezenmaster in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-18-2009, 08:29 PM
  3. No hands, No Legs, No birds
    By Dojin in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 04-23-2009, 01:49 AM
  4. Legs Asleep
    By Gregor in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-09-2008, 05:04 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •