Best postures for meditation?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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AnimatedPotato
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Best postures for meditation?

Post by AnimatedPotato »

I am used to meditate while laying down on bed, however I wish to start sitting for my meditations.
Another question I have is what to do while meditation. Currently I focus on my breath, and then I start saying the Metta. However many people have talked about questioning themselves and their lifestyle. What should I do?
Thanks in advance.
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Ayu
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by Ayu »

As long as no teacher in real space face to face introduces you to a different meditation method, your described method is absolutely perfect. It is what is recommended for newbies.

There is a big flower-bouquet of many many different methods & practices. Non is better. It rather depends what fits to you personally. No internet crowd can tell you better than yourself. :smile:
Genjo Conan
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by Genjo Conan »

Lying down is one of the four postures; there's nothing wrong with meditating while lying down, as long as you can keep from falling asleep. Is there a reason that you want to transition to seated meditation?
AnimatedPotato
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by AnimatedPotato »

Genjo Conan wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:30 pm Lying down is one of the four postures; there's nothing wrong with meditating while lying down, as long as you can keep from falling asleep. Is there a reason that you want to transition to seated meditation?
No, I've never fallen asleep, It is that I have never seen anyone recommend it. Thank you very much for your answer.
Genjo Conan
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by Genjo Conan »

I mean, I'm not trying to discourage you from taking up seated meditation. If you ever practice at an in-person temple, unless you have some kind of special dispensation to practice lying down, you'll be asked to take up some sort of upright posture (could be on a cushion, could be on a kneeling bench, could be in a chair). Meditation is an embodied practice, and different postures can have different "feelings" to them--some subtle, some gross.

That said, when I practice at my temple, I sit up. When I meditate with my wife, at home, we lie down on our bed because it's more comfortable for her and there's space for both of us. We even *gasp* use pre-recorded guided meditations.
yinyangkoi
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by yinyangkoi »

Maybe start with a chair
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Reggie Ray has a whole program based on meditation posture. He has some free recordings out there and many of the practices transition from lying to sitting, going through each point of posture in detail, I found them incredibly helpful in stabilizing my seated meditation.
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amanitamusc
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by amanitamusc »

Sitting for years with no back support will at the very least give you a very strong back.
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Try to remain upright in ethics, too, in whatever way you can at the time.
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by tingdzin »

明安 Myoan wrote: Fri Apr 01, 2022 10:21 pm Try to remain upright in ethics, too, in whatever way you can at the time.
Good sitting and ethical ability go hand in hand. In the long run, sitting up is recommended for that reason and others.
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seeker242
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by seeker242 »

Nobody can really tell you what the best posture is because it depends entirely on your own body. You could say theoretically full lotus is the best posture but if you can’t even sit in it without excruciating pain then it’s a horrible posture. As for crosslegged sitting postures, Burmese posture is probably going to be the easiest one. But if you can’t sit in that comfortably either then that’s not the best posture either.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by KC: »

AnimatedPotato wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 7:08 amI wish to start sitting for my meditations.
There are a lot of very accessible articles on the web describing samatha. A good deal of that is about what I call "stacking the body". (Setting up so posture isn't a distraction, or too uncomfortable. I don't get into prana, nadi, bindu or anything else about "channels".)
Keeping it simple and avoiding self-flattering contrivances!
Currently I focus on my breath, and then [...] However many people have talked about questioning themselves and their lifestyle. What should I do?
Again, plenty of good essays out there. BTW I bet if you googled "meditation with support" you'll find lots of fine stuff about following this or following that. Or even how to control your gaze as a focus. (I don't think closing our eyes is good technique.)
many people have talked about questioning themselves and their lifestyle.
I'm sure you can get some sense of how meditation and contemplating / pondering are quite different. (I like the idea of "becoming familiar with the movement of mind" rather than anything more elaborate.)

cheers
KC:
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MaitreyaBuddha
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by MaitreyaBuddha »

I've found sitting cross-legged with back against a wall or similar very effective...it connects the spinal energy-current to solidity and makes it easier to concentrate for long periods. Hope that helps! :spy:
Knotty Veneer
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by Knotty Veneer »

I think you can try several different ways and see what suits you. You don't have to sit in the classical lotus posture.
  • Lay flat on your back on the ground with a pillow under your head is fine (but for longer session you might nod off).
  • Sit on a chair (like a dining room chair), both feet flat on the ground, hands in your lap.
  • Use a meditation stool to sit in a kneeling posture.
  • Sit in the 'Burmese position' i.e on a cushion that raises your butt and that allows you to put your knees on the floor, your legs crossed flat in front of each other (not with your feet up on your thighs as in the lotus posture).
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
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leech_noggin
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by leech_noggin »

I like using a seiza bench. Been using it for a few years. Works great.

Like this

http://www.fleen.org/sit/seiza000.jpg

and here are some more examples of sitting

http://www.fleen.org/sit
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kirtu
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by kirtu »

AnimatedPotato wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 7:06 pm
Genjo Conan wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:30 pm Lying down is one of the four postures; there's nothing wrong with meditating while lying down, as long as you can keep from falling asleep. Is there a reason that you want to transition to seated meditation?
No, I've never fallen asleep, It is that I have never seen anyone recommend it. Thank you very much for your answer.
Generally it's recommended if people have back issues. I haven't seen it recommended otherwise in Buddhist meditation. Having said that, the reason other postures are recommended are primarily because you might have a tendency to fall asleep (which you don't). The other reasons are that the lying down posture probably doesn't have the same effect with channels in the body as seated postures do (but I haven't seen a teacher specifically mention this).
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

"Most all-knowing Mañjuśrī, ...
Please illuminate the radiant wisdom spirit
Of my precious Buddha nature."
HH Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
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Agent Smith
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by Agent Smith »

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shavasana
Wikipedia wrote:Shavasana (Sanskrit: शवासन; IAST: śavāsana), Corpse Pose, or Mritasana,[1] is an asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise, often used for relaxation at the end of a session. It is the usual pose for the practice of yoga nidra meditation, and is an important pose in Restorative Yoga.
Image

The point to a recommended meditative posture may range to relaxation to aligning so-called chakras. Furthermore, noobs may need to go easy on themselves and begin small and simple.

:hug:
FieldBob
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by FieldBob »

There are many ways to sit I vary depending on situation

Full lotus (if the hips are open )
Half Lotus
Burmese lotus
Standing posture ( Like a qigong grounding posture)
Walking
Lion Posture ( lying on right side )

If I am outdoor I look for a a hill that is slightly leaning downwards it makes meditation very easy anywhere
Last edited by FieldBob on Thu Dec 08, 2022 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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kirtu
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by kirtu »

AnimatedPotato wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 7:08 am I am used to meditate while laying down on bed, however I wish to start sitting for my meditations.
While laying down is one of the four postures it is only really used when one is sick or injured. This posture doesn't straighten the channels which is preferable for sustained meditation.

This is different from the Lion Pose, laying on one's right side with knees slightly bent, head on palms, which is actually taught for when one is dying.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

"Most all-knowing Mañjuśrī, ...
Please illuminate the radiant wisdom spirit
Of my precious Buddha nature."
HH Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
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leech_noggin
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Re: Best postures for meditation?

Post by leech_noggin »

I like seiza. On a seiza bench.

here are some examples : http://www.fleen.org/sit/

here's how to make a seiza benchh : http://www.fleen.org/bench/
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