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Thread: Sitting posture

  1. #51
    Just wanted to pass this on and see if anyoone's tried it or if anyone has any feedback on it...
    I'm sort of always on the go, and travel a bit. Through the suggestion of a friend, I've discovered that "Yoga Brick," a block of dense foam or cork about four inches thick by six inches wide makes a pretty passable and convenient travelling Zafu. Turned on edge, it also works pretty nicely for seiza. Not real pretty, not really traditional, probably non-Kosher to some elements, and probably not for "all-the-time" practice, but on the go, they're real small, real lightweight, and are actually quite comfortable. I'm thinking of adding a somewhat softer thin foam layer to the top, but otherwise, I sat tonight on a yoga block for about forty minutes with no problem whatsoever. Using my yoga mat doubled over as a makeshift Zabuton, I was all set! And the whole shebang is packable, travels light, waterproof, and comes in at less than $20 in all.

  2. #52
    Before getting a real Zafu I used a bit similar thing for sitting, though it was much smaller (a block of dense foam meant to be used for insulation when sitting on the ground outdoors). But it was okayish, better than nothing for sure.

    If you are traveling alot and consider buying a Zafu replacement, why not consider an inflatable Zafu? Not much more expensive and most likely even more travel-friendly.

  3. #53
    Ahaha. I love the wank over proper posture that some get into (no offense meant to teachers I otherwise respect who have precise ideas about posture). I know from personal experience it doesn't make enough of a difference to be worth fussing over, especially when you're enduring unnecessary pain or distraction to try to achieve the "perfect posture."

    I used to always try to sit in Full Lotus. I appreciated its stability and the way it locks the spine into place. But the more I sat with sanghas, and especially when I started doing sesshin, the more that the pose's problems (for me) begin to reveal themselves more plainly. I got tired of my top leg always falling asleep and my top foot usually beginning to slide down my other leg after some time (unless I was sitting yogi-style in underwear with bare flesh against bare flesh, which, of course, wouldn't fly when sitting with others in formal groups). But more than anything, the excruciating pain of sitting in lotus during sesshin cured me of my fixation on it real quick.

    I went straight to Burmese (the lop-sidedness of Half Lotus has always gotten on my nerves) and didn't look back. I can sit in Burmese literally for hours without moving without pain, whereas I could do no such thing in full lotus. And ain't that the frickin' point of the sitting asana? I can pop a Red Bull and sit in Burmese like I mean it for as long as I need to, but full lotus has my legs whining for mommy after about 20-25 minutes. Forget it. I leave that pose for those who love it best, as, alas, my love for it has long grown cold... :lol: :roll:

  4. #54
    In Shingon-shu practice it was not always necessary to have a perfect posture, it was always about correct mind-body-speech empowerment (sanmitsu)

    When I was practising with Shinnyo-en, they sat in chairs! There was no importance placed upon posture at all. It was all about reciting the necessary texts with full mindfulness. (Shinnyo-en broke off of Shingon-shu)

    Now for me, correct posture as the Buddha instructed and as he learned from his ascetic teachers, is important to me. It is after all modelled upon the early Yogic teachings of India in which he trained. If you can manage it, why not. If you can't, then sitting in Burmese style or even on a chair is not going to make the slightest difference to what you do with your mind.

    Stability is the key.

  5. #55
    Great thread. I'm still working on sitting Burmese for 20 minutes straight, almost made it today. I'm not a flexible person, never have been, especially my right leg. I'll check out some of those stretching links and give it a go.


  6. #56
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Most of the time I sit in Burmese. Lately I have been doing half-lotus more often and am going to eventually try full-lotus. When I put my hands in the "proper" zen position, my arms keep sliding down my legs and I have to keep repositioning them. Any suggestions?


  7. #57
    Hi Ron

    Put a small cushion on your thighs or wrap a scarf around your waist ( bum bag?)and craddle your hands on it, works for me.


  8. #58
    Anybody have trouble with pain in the neck during/immediately after zazen (physically speaking, that is)? I seem to be having more trouble with this as I get older. Not sure if the problem is posture or .... Advice?


  9. #59
    My injuries were primarily to the spine- cervicaland lumbar. Right now, I'm going through a nasty pain spell, and since I can only sit ramrod straight, right now the only position I can sit in is seiza, kneeling with a bench. (It can be done with a zafu, kneeling straddling the cushion like a bike seat, with the cushion turned on its side. I just happen hto have a bench, because these spells are getting more frequent.)
    Sitting seiza, the back is alligned almost effortlessly, and I feel more or less the same afterward as I did before. Oh... and it's a really nice, gentle stretch for your quads, too.

  10. #60
    I go back and forth with various sitting positions. I don't think it matters much one way or the other.

    Tonight will be on the Zafu, half lotus for as long as I can hold it, then Burmese. But, who really cares? Not me, at least not anymore.

    A good friend told me yesterday that the dharma is pretty simple, until we start thinking about it.

    take care,


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