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  1. #1

    Taigu on Sitting (Part 2)


    Rev. Taigu offers a few more perspectives on the “sitting” of “just sitting.” He says:

    Sitting on a cushion is what we normally do. The actual flexibility of this cushion called a zafu makes it possible to position it at an angle which makes sitting much more comfortable. A zafu is a very personal item and one should search around to find the right thickness for the cushion. When putting hands together to form the zazen mudra, we usually put the left hand on top of the right, palms up and thumbs very lightly touching. If you are not using a koromo, which is a black robe with huge sleeves, then you may use a towel and put it on your lap to support the mudra.

    [youtube] [/youtube]
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-07-2016 at 03:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Hi Adrian,

    Everybody is different.
    Acceptable or not is not the point.
    The point is...You know what I mean.
    You sit as you do. Let your knees make their way to the floor...Or sit on a chair. Whatever.
    Up. Up is the direction. Allowing weight to go down. Be light. LIGHT.

    As it is, as you are, already perfect.

    Gassho

    Taigu
    Thank you Taigu ... Simply put.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  3. #3

    Thanks for your reply, Timo

    It's great to be here at Treeleaf. What a great resource.

    Gassho,

    Dave

  4. #4
    Thank you Taigu. I have never tried to change legs. I will start to alternate after each sitting.
    Lee

  5. #5
    Started sitting with a thin pillow that I have borrowed from our dogs to rest the mudra as you show on your video Taigu. What a difference! Thanks for teaching me this .
    Gassho, Jakudo Hinton
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, “I”. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."
    寂道

  6. #6
    Thank you for this. I enjoy your delivery in teaching. Very welcoming and forgiving.

  7. #7
    Thank you, Taigu. I am going to start using a towel to support the mudra.

    Gassho,
    Rick

  8. #8
    Best explanation I have seen so far. This definitely lowers the threshhold for me to start practicing sitting meditation, and more importantly with fellow practitioners (without being too self-conscious). Thanks so much.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
    Best explanation I have seen so far. This definitely lowers the threshhold for me to start practicing sitting meditation, and more importantly with fellow practitioners (without being too self-conscious). Thanks so much.

    Hi Eugene

    I am new here also; been sitting regularly since this summer. Best advice I can give you is to JUST DO IT. If you are making a mistake that's ok. Then you learn what you aren't doing as you go. Please feel free to join any of our online sitting groups on Google+ I promise we won't bite you if you aren't perfect. It helps to have others do it with you I find.

    "We are all beginners" - Taigu

    Gassho
    C

  10. #10

  11. #11
    Thank you! I found this very helpful. My legs are very stiff and out of shape and I've found some yoga stretches that help out immensely if anyone has the same problems I do.

    Bound Angle Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/486
    Half Lord of the Fishes Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/485
    Head-to-Knee Forward Bend: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/476

    I noticed an immediate difference, so maybe they can help others loosen up.

  12. #12
    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Myosha
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  13. #13
    I feel a bit relieved to watch this video. I always found my hands starting to droop lower as time passed. Putting a cushion or towel to support the mudra is a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    Thank you! I found this very helpful. My legs are very stiff and out of shape and I've found some yoga stretches that help out immensely if anyone has the same problems I do.

    Bound Angle Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/486
    Half Lord of the Fishes Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/485
    Head-to-Knee Forward Bend: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/476

    I noticed an immediate difference, so maybe they can help others loosen up.
    Thanks for the yoga poses!

    - June

  14. #14
    Hello,

    This video was pretty useful for me. I kind of learned to meditate mostly online, and also from the rare opporunities to visit meditation centers, but I've never really learned it in a comprehensive way. After watching this video, I tried some of the points outlined, and my meditation experience was a lot better. Less of a struggle, more able to "release". Amazing what a difference posture can make.

  15. #15
    Thank you, Taigu. I've tried half-lotus and Burmese many, many times and always my legs would very quickly fall asleep and make me very uncomfortable. No one ever mentioned tilting the zafu a little up, which I just tried and found that I could sit half-lotus for 20 minutes without any discomfort at all! I'll be experimenting with this further...

    Brian
    sattoday!

  16. #16
    "As it is, as you are, already perfect."

    If i am a disability person, and i cant do other activities zen efficiently...

    Thats perfect too to do a zen way?

    Sat today

    Gassho

    Mokuhó

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mokuhó View Post
    "As it is, as you are, already perfect."

    If i am a disability person, and i cant do other activities zen efficiently...

    Thats perfect too to do a zen way?

    Sat today

    Gassho

    Mokuhó
    Oh yes. Mokuho is just sitting as Mokuho. If on crutches or a wheelchair, be on crutches or a wheelchair. If needed to recline to "sit" because of physical condition, just do so. Each is the one way to be, to one act to fulfill, in that instant of "sitting".

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  18. #18

  19. #19
    Thank you Taigu and Jundo,

    I tried adjusting the zafu and also using a towel to support the mudra and was able to sit for 30 minutes this morning without the tension and pain in my lower back that I often experience when trying to sit half-lotus or Burmese style. Personally, I usually find myself in seiza because it seems to support my back better, and is generally comfortable while sitting. The problem, however is that after sitting in seiza, it takes a good 5 - 10 minutes to get my legs functioning again. Generally, when I sit half-lotus or Burmese, I don't have that problem afterward, but have more discomfort while sitting. Using the suggestions, I had a much better time with that today.

    I wonder though, is there ever a point in which you get used to sitting in seiza without having your legs fall asleep?

    Gassho,

    Ashley

    Sat Today

  20. #20

  21. #21
    Thank you Taigu.

    The tips about tilting the zafu and supporting the mudra were so helpful.

    Gassho,
    Libby

    sat today

  22. #22
    Thanks for the tips today, Taigu- sensei
    Andrew
    I sat today.

  23. #23
    Thank you, Jundo and Taigu!

    I have a buckwheat-filled zafu at home which is stable, yet able to be shaped as desired. The cotton or zapok-filled zafus at a Zen center I used to visit were fine, except that they caused pressure on certain sensitive areas. With buckwheat, you can make a valley or divit, like you might see on a fancy bicycle seat.

    Gassho,
    Matt
    SatToday

  24. #24
    Thank you Taigu and Jundo

    I now will use a cloth under my hands before I was all ways to worried about
    doing thing wrong or right.


    Gassho
    Cyd

  25. #25
    Thanks for this talk! It helped me more than any other video could help. I finally saw that the the Zafu has to be a bit in the air and shouldn't stay flat on the ground. Now I finally experience some "stability" and it feels way better than my other attempts. Maybe I'm still doing something wrong as my Zafu isn't filled to the top and can change sizes pretty easily but that's not so important now. But I shouldn't use polyester trousers anymore, always sliding forwards.

    Gassho, Max
    #s@ttoday (and will sit again)

  26. #26
    Seiza bench works best for me.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    "The Great Way is not difficult. It only excludes picking and choosing. Once you stop loving and hating, It will enlighten itself." - Xin Xin Ming

  27. #27
    Hi everyone,

    I posted earlier that the video really helped me and I thought it does, but I'm facing a big (not-big) problem right now. It's just that when sitting in the Zafu, I'm slipping off. Maybe I have to try it out a different way or try Seiza (which I've never had problems with). I'm very distracted by looking at my body not slipping off the Zafu. I guess I'll just sit Seiza in the meantime as it works besteht for me.

    Gassho, Max
    (didn't sit today due to being sick)

  28. #28
    Hi Max,

    Try different pants. Try to sit a bit back with the spine just a drop in from of the center axis.

    Is you Zafu too high? Can you post of selfie close up of your butt on the Zafu, and you legs in sitting posture, from front and side so I can see?

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Try different pants.
    I think I just found kensho.

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat today

  30. #30
    Hello Jundo,

    thank you for your advice. I'll definitely switch my pants a few times to see which ones make me slip. I guess I can make some pictures tomorrow if I didn't find a good way to sit in the meantime.

    Gassho, Max

  31. #31
    Haha I have that problem too because my zafu is very high, but I mostly sit seiza anyway. If I sit in the other postures I just throw a small towel over the zafu and that provides enough friction to stop the slide.
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    serene
    ​field

  32. #32
    Hello again,

    I didn't try different pants, but I just stretched my legs a little bit more when I sit burmesian. Now I sit a lot calmer than before and my mind slows down faster than it did before. In the last few Zazen sittings it was no problem for me to sit longer than 10 minutes, before that I couldn't sit for 10 minutes straight without getting ultimately bored.

    Gassho, Max
    #s@ttoday

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Makkusu View Post
    Hello again,

    I didn't try different pants, but I just stretched my legs a little bit more when I sit burmesian. Now I sit a lot calmer than before and my mind slows down faster than it did before. In the last few Zazen sittings it was no problem for me to sit longer than 10 minutes, before that I couldn't sit for 10 minutes straight without getting ultimately bored.

    Gassho, Max
    #s@ttoday
    Lovely. Do you mean that your knees are farther apart than before? Are you knees resting comfortably on the ground, not one or both hanging up in the air? Or do you mean that you just did some muscle stretches before you sat? It would be helpful to hear.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Lovely. Do you mean that your knees are farther apart than before? Are you knees resting comfortably on the ground, not one or both hanging up in the air? Or do you mean that you just did some muscle stretches before you sat? It would be helpful to hear.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Exactly, now they are farther apart than before. The farther apart I place them the steadier I sit I saw. My knees are unfortunately still kind of hanging in the air, but the legs are comfortably resting on the ground. I hope that helped. ^^

    Gassho, Max
    #s@today

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