Hi all,

I'm new to Shikantaza and Soto, but not that new to Buddhism; however I am still very much a beginner (this isn't false modesty). I understand the fundamentals (from a Gelug point of view), but I'm exploring other types of Buddhism to see if I can find a better fit.

Now Soto strikes me as being less intellectual and scholastic (apologies if I'm wrong) than the Buddhism I've studied on a two year foundation course, however the meditation seems to be more experiential. In Tibetan Buddhism emphasis is put on Lam Rim analytical meditation, whereas it doesn't seem to be this way with Shikantaza (however I've not done any work with koans; so maybe it could be?).

So, I've been practising Shikantaza meditation for over a week now, I'm kinda getting used to keeping my eyes partially open, I've listened/watched all Jundo's and Taigi's begginer's lessons (thank you both), and listened to the audio book Zen mind Begginer's Mind, but - and I guess this is my question - how much effort should I put in to be able to sit 'correctly'? I'm 42 and fairly stiff. I can sit comfortably cross-legged for about 30 minutes, but I've no chance of getting my knees to the ground - not yet anyway - even with a Zabuton.

Is it right effort for me to do some hip opening exercises so that I can achieve a Burmese position?