Getting to Lotus Pose

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby Luke » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:49 pm

Here's a really great video that explains the anatomy involved in the pose and what stretches to do to prepare for it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USAeDzIb ... re=related
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:17 am

Greetings,

Do you use this pose, Luke?

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby thornbush » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:20 am

For the life of me, I just cannot do it. Most would be just a half lotus :toilet:
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:22 am

I can't even touch my toes... I don't come close.

:|

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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby Luke » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:34 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Do you use this pose, Luke?

Metta,
Retro. :)

Hehe. I wish. I've never gotten beyond quarter lotus. I keep on stretching and trying though.
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:15 am

Greetings Luke,

Cool... in the meantime, don't let your inability to contort your body give rise to any defiled mindstates of craving and aversion. Buddhism is more about untangling the mind than it is about tangling the legs!

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby Luke » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:03 am

retrofuturist wrote:Cool... in the meantime, don't let your inability to contort your body give rise to any defiled mindstates of craving and aversion. Buddhism is more about untangling the mind than it is about tangling the legs!

No, I'm not that distracted by the goal of the lotus posture. Thanks for your concern. Although mild physical pain is as good an object as any for meditation--especially if you practice tonglen (breathe in the negative feeling and let it dissolve; breathe out positive energy).

I'm just interested in the puzzle of how to get my body flexible enough to do the lotus pose. Normal sports stretches do very little. You mentioned that you can't touch your toes, but the hamstrings aren't what prevent you from doing the lotus pose. I can touch my toes easily, but this doesn't help me rotate my hip joints enough for lotus poses.

Just out of curiosity, which meditation pose do you use, Retro?
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:08 am

Greetings Luke,

Luke wrote:Just out of curiosity, which meditation pose do you use, Retro?

I just sit cross-legged. Whilst it's generally not recommended (because it can induce sleepiness), I also find it useful to lean back against something in order to ward off lower-back pain. I can comfortably sit like that for reasonable periods of time without feeling the inclination to move or shift position.

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Retro. :)
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:46 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Luke,

Luke wrote:Just out of curiosity, which meditation pose do you use, Retro?

I just sit cross-legged. Whilst it's generally not recommended (because it can induce sleepiness), I also find it useful to lean back against something in order to ward off lower-back pain. I can comfortably sit like that for reasonable periods of time without feeling the inclination to move or shift position.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Me too. Although I sit upright often, my concentration is better when my body is comfortable so sometimes I lean.

Kindly,
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby dumb bonbu » Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:32 am

lotus? more like common garden weed for me!! :lol:

i struggle with kneeling enough as it is. my first attendance at Three Wheels, knelt through the evening service for all of half an hour i thought i'd broken my knees! when we got up to move round the Hondo and prostrate facing the various directions, i thought they'd give out under me, no joke! so goodness knows what the lotus would do to me.

for the most part when at home i'll just sit cross-legged and try to keep my back as straight as possible. occassionally i'll kneel for a short while, just to get used to it - one step at a time methinks. :smile:
Although I too am within Amida's grasp,
Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;
Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and
illumines me always.
- Shinran


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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby Luke » Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:49 am

I think that the pigeon yoga pose might be a very helpful preparation for lotus pose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVlX5HNKamw

All the focus is on getting the femur to rotate in the hip socket. If a person could do this pose with his/her front knee at a 90 degree angle (which I'm nowhere close to doing), I think they would be very close to being able to do a lotus pose.

The ancient Kagyu master Gampopa died in the lotus pose (no, the pose didn't kill him; he simply died meditating and he could do the pose even though he was very old).

Quote from "The Jewel Ornament of Liberation" (translated by Gyaltsen Rinpoche):
In 1155 C.E., when he was seventy-five, during the sixth lunar month, on the fifteenth (full moon) day, wearing the three Dharma robes, sitting in the full lotus position with straight posture, his eyes gazing toward the sky, absorbed in the clear light free from all arising and cessation, the mode of abiding of all phenomena, Dharma Lord Gampopa passed away. At that time, all space was filled with light and rainbows.
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby floating_abu » Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:00 pm

Yoga/stretching can help -- over time -- but for bodies like mine, it is doubtful it is ever achievable. My sister sat on the floor with me the other day and she just went straight into lotus and I said "I never knew you could do that" but it's just natural for her :)
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby dumb bonbu » Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:11 pm

no, the pose didn't kill him;


:rolling:

eeh, that made me laugh! thankyou :D
Although I too am within Amida's grasp,
Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;
Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and
illumines me always.
- Shinran


Namu Amida Butsu
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby sraddha » Sun May 31, 2009 10:01 pm

I can sit upto 2 hours in the full blown lotus pose...however, I've never tried longer, I am a lay Buddhist and unfortuneatly, have to go to work and do other things -- :smile:

The secret of getting into the lotus pose is your level of concentration -- the greater level of concentration you attain, the longer you can stay in the pose -- the higher level of concentration means you have a higher level of "detangling". :smile:

I started meditating with the pose for 10 minutes and meditated until I reached 40 minutes and then went to over an hour and a half and upto 2 hours.

I never did any stretches except for the kind you do with your mind while meditating. It's definately worth it! :anjali:
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby Luke » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:33 pm

sraddha wrote:The secret of getting into the lotus pose is your level of concentration -- the greater level of concentration you attain, the longer you can stay in the pose -- the higher level of concentration means you have a higher level of "detangling". :smile:


Sraddha, could explain a bit more what you mean by "concentration" please?

Do you mean that you are withdrawing from your senses into a type of samadhi in which you don't feel pain, or do you mean that you are consciously relaxing the muscles in your legs?
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby sraddha » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:01 am

Luke wrote:
sraddha wrote:The secret of getting into the lotus pose is your level of concentration -- the greater level of concentration you attain, the longer you can stay in the pose -- the higher level of concentration means you have a higher level of "detangling". :smile:


Sraddha, could explain a bit more what you mean by "concentration" please?

Do you mean that you are withdrawing from your senses into a type of samadhi in which you don't feel pain, or do you mean that you are consciously relaxing the muscles in your legs?


Yes, samadhi = concentration where you become one pointed on a mantra or object of meditation so that you don't notice any other bodily sensations... Doing this enough, you'll notice that it becomes effortless after a while with more practice.
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby Luke » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:23 pm

sraddha wrote:Yes, samadhi = concentration where you become one pointed on a mantra or object of meditation so that you don't notice any other bodily sensations... Doing this enough, you'll notice that it becomes effortless after a while with more practice.


I see. I'm glad it works for you, but my lama teaches us to remain aware of all our senses while we meditate on an object. We don't seek to withdraw from the senses in our type of meditation, although we ignore our thoughts (if these aren't our object of focus) and don't follow them. His methods are more about relaxing into naturalness instead of forcing anything to happen through concentration.

Before I met my lama, I did meditate on my breath in a way in which I withdrew from my senses into a blissful state and I didn't notice the pain in my legs. But it wasn't fun coming back to my normal awareness to find my legs in intense pain.

However, Sraddha, you have inspired me to be brave and simply try to sit in the quarter lotus pose more (that's the one I'm working on right now). I think meditation poses themselves are more important than stretches, although some light exercises and a few stretches are a nice warm-up for meditation poses.
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby sraddha » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:15 pm

Luke wrote:
sraddha wrote:Yes, samadhi = concentration where you become one pointed on a mantra or object of meditation so that you don't notice any other bodily sensations... Doing this enough, you'll notice that it becomes effortless after a while with more practice.


I see. I'm glad it works for you, but my lama teaches us to remain aware of all our senses while we meditate on an object. We don't seek to withdraw from the senses in our type of meditation, although we ignore our thoughts (if these aren't our object of focus) and don't follow them. His methods are more about relaxing into naturalness instead of forcing anything to happen through concentration.

Before I met my lama, I did meditate on my breath in a way in which I withdrew from my senses into a blissful state and I didn't notice the pain in my legs. But it wasn't fun coming back to my normal awareness to find my legs in intense pain.

However, Sraddha, you have inspired me to be brave and simply try to sit in the quarter lotus pose more (that's the one I'm working on right now). I think meditation poses themselves are more important than stretches, although some light exercises and a few stretches are a nice warm-up for meditation poses.

:thanks:
:twothumbsup: good for you! It's definately worth the effort.

There are various meditations taught by Buddha, for those with strong faith (Sraddhanasari) are the anusmritis and concentration on the qualities of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

Your teachers must be able to sit in the lotus for prolonged periods, I assume?
:anjali:
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby Luke » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:08 pm

sraddha wrote:Your teachers must be able to sit in the lotus for prolonged periods, I assume?


I don't know. A blanket or robe is always covering their legs when they sit and give teachings. I don't know what pose they use when they meditate in private, but they seem to be sitting either Indian-style or in the Burmese pose when they give teachings.
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Re: Getting to Lotus Pose

Postby sraddha » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:12 pm

Luke wrote:
sraddha wrote:Your teachers must be able to sit in the lotus for prolonged periods, I assume?


I don't know. A blanket or robe is always covering their legs when they sit and give teachings. I don't know what pose they use when they meditate in private, but they seem to be sitting either Indian-style or in the Burmese pose when they give teachings.


I know Zen Buddhists use the vajra position -- which is also quite difficult! They tuck both legs in with the heals on the behind and can meditate for hours.

http://www.santosha.com/asanas/vajra.html
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