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anyone use the chair? - Dhamma Wheel

anyone use the chair?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
delf7
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anyone use the chair?

Postby delf7 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:28 pm

i am greatly anticipating starting my practice, but i am waiting to finish a little more reading before i start.
one question : do any of you sit in a chair? i understand that this position is the least desireable, but i have some knee problems that make sitting in any of the traditional "cross-legged" positions virtually impossible. so i am looking at useing the chair method. i was curious if any of you are in the same situation, and if it works out just fine for you.
thank you.
metta,
delf

Jhana4
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:33 pm

I've used "a chair".....but not "the chair" ( aka "the electric chair" ) :)

Seriously, I have kept a log and started a meditation practice over 6 years ago. I haven't missed a day in that time. For the first several years I used a chair. I got fantastic results and had some of my best meditations during that time.

Sitting on the floor does add a little bit to the experience, but it is far from essential. It is about what does on in your skull.

The most important things when sitting are to keep you spine straight, but relaxed and not to be reclining so you stay alert. I've had the best results using a non-cushy, straight backed chair with a cylindrical pad in between the small of my back and the chair. That kind of pad will make it easier to keep your back straight and comfortable. A rolled up cushy towel or a pillow will do too.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

Nyana
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby Nyana » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:52 pm


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daverupa
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby daverupa » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:20 pm

I like to mention meditation benches as an oft-overlooked tool, although the knee issue may preclude the use of those as well. It's a thought - just make sure your knees are below your hips when sitting in a chair, lest your lower back suffer.

delf7
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby delf7 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:37 pm


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daverupa
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby daverupa » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:14 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:24 pm


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ground
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby ground » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:32 pm


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daverupa
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby daverupa » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:37 pm


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Tex
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby Tex » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:14 pm

I use a chair frequently, especially for longer sits. You'll find there are enough distractions to deal with in meditation without adding another by making your knees ache.

The Buddha taught meditation in four positions: sitting, standing, walking, and lying down, and as far as I know sitting is not necessarily preferential to any of the other three. Go with what you're comfortable with.
"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

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retrofuturist
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:27 pm

Greetings,

The problem I encounter is not with my knees but my lower back.

At home I'm likely to sit cross-legged on the couch (with 2 cushions under my butt and 1 under each knee)

At a Buddhist centre I go to sometimes to sit for approx 30 minutes a session, I sit on a thin mat with my back against the wall

For anything longer, with no couch available, I'd opt for a chair. If doing 'sweeping' I actually find it preferable to sitting cross legged, as the inter-twined legs can make it more difficult to direct attention down one leg at a time - it's much easier if they're unentangled, parallel.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

chownah
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby chownah » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:45 am

I use the chair, the bed, the toilet, the bicycle seat, the embankment by the river, the log, the squat, the right foot, the left foot, the leaning on things, the extending of the arm, the rotating of the wrist,the handles of my walk behind tractor,,,,,just to name a few.
chownah

Nyana
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby Nyana » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:30 am


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ground
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby ground » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:09 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:32 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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manas
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby manas » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:18 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

Buckwheat
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby Buckwheat » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:50 pm

Chair is my primary method, and the only posture I can sit in for longer than 20 minutes. It sounds like some of the other chair sitters are leaning back on the chair? That doesn't work for me. I place a buckwheat cushion on top of a tall dining room table type chair (I'm 6'2") so that I can get my legs straight and keep my knees well below my hips, and sit forward on the cushion. From the hip up I am sitting straight up as if I was on the floor. I also open my hips as much as comfortable. I have to say the sitting forward on a chair method is superb for allowing a straight spine. I feel like I can really settle into alignment such that almost no effort goes into a great posture. Slouching is not a problem for me, which is funny because I had horrible posture most of my life.

This method was perfect for a long time, but there is a rather large amount of pressure in the sacrum area because all of your weight is there instead of sharing some with the knees. One day after a longer sit I had the terrifying sensation of having my "man parts" fall asleep, which was really quite startling. It also led to insight of how much we identify with our sexual organs. Now that I have some experience, I found out that my junk is not going to fall off just because it falls asleep. So now I just expect it and after meditating I get up from the cushion slowly. I can sit for up to 60-70 minutes that way without discomfort, and eek out another 20 if I'm willing to push through some pain (mostly just overall fatigue, body parts falling asleep, etc.).
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

JustThis
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby JustThis » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:35 am

I started with a bench, then as I got older, when on retreat, I would alternate between that and a chair. Now I use a chair similar to what Dave posted, but a cheaper model ($69 in Office Max). I will use my office chair when at work and if you position the back and arm rests correctly it works fine.

sattva
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby sattva » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:03 am

i just want you to know that this isn't static. Your ability to sit cross-legged can come and go, depending on your physical well-being along with your mindstate. So, don't think it has to be permanent. Try a regular chair, try a bench, try more pillows, try mixing and matching :) You can be fluid with the practice.

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: anyone use the chair?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:52 am



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