SirPalomides

Cushions for meditation

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Is there a particular type of cushion used for Daoist meditation? I know zafus are popular in Zen (though I wonder how much this has to do with the modern need to accessorize/ commodify everything). Also, does the color of a cushion matter?

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I was under the impression people used zafu's for a very long time in many traditions, not just zen.  Physically raising the butt 4 or 5 inches makes sitting more comfortable, especially on the knees and lower back. 

 

I don't think color matters much.  Though firmness is nice.  I prefer the crescent style to the circle but anything that raises my butt a couple inches is great.  As I grow older, I find I need a zafu for my zafu :), ie a thin cushioning under my legs and knees.  My favorite zafu is short tree stump near water. 

 

 

addon.  I liked using a seiza bench especially in my Aikido days.  Sitting seiza (on knees) get painful pretty fast and a seiza bench helps immensely.  Seiza tends to keep you upright and more alert.  Sitting cross legged its easy to eventually sag and lose proper posture.

Edited by thelerner
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Sitting on a flat chair with no arm rest and a straight back is also an option. If someone can’t sit on the floor due to physical issues, a chair is perfectly good.

 

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44 minutes ago, dwai said:

Sitting on a flat chair with no arm rest and a straight back is also an option. If someone can’t sit on the floor due to physical issues, a chair is perfectly good.

 

Yup. 

We should train ourselves to meditate anywhere and not be slaves to time space or certain position. 

 

Though having things a certain way can set up a Pavlovian response of hitting the 'zone' faster.  Steady practice breeds best performance. 

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A usual transition is from 6" cushion to 2-3" buckwheat cushion to 1-2" wooden board. A wooden board is still cheating as traditionally a cultivator is supposed to sit on the floor in padmasana.

 

Chair sitting is not good because of several reasons. First, your hip flexors  become unduly strained, and second you won't be able to engage pelvic floor muscle group as it should be. So if you meditate for calming the mind and reflect on metta, chair is OK. If you goal is to move to deep internal work, you should be aiming at transitioning to the floor (see paragraph above).

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1 hour ago, idquest said:

A usual transition is from 6" cushion to 2-3" buckwheat cushion to 1-2" wooden board. A wooden board is still cheating as traditionally a cultivator is supposed to sit on the floor in padmasana.

 

Chair sitting is not good because of several reasons. First, your hip flexors  become unduly strained, and second you won't be able to engage pelvic floor muscle group as it should be. So if you meditate for calming the mind and reflect on metta, chair is OK. If you goal is to move to deep internal work, you should be aiming at transitioning to the floor (see paragraph above).

It’s not a good idea to be beholden to any physical technique. There are plenty of people I know who are high level practitioners who don’t sit on the floor. :) 

 

Internal  work is working with your consciousness. After the beginning stages,  it can and must happen irrespective of how we contort (or not) our bodies...

 

this might shed more light on what I mean ‚ÄĒ¬†https://www.medhajournal.com/whats-more-important-techniques-or-meditation/

Edited by dwai
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4 hours ago, dwai said:

Sitting on a flat chair with no arm rest and a straight back is also an option. If someone can’t sit on the floor due to physical issues, a chair is perfectly good.

 

 

This sounds like sensible advice, especially for somebody like me who still wants to look cool while meditating.¬† Better to focus on substance (what¬īs happening on the inside) than the instagram-worthy full lotus pose.¬†¬†

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I did many years of long meditation - 1to18 hours straight in a sitting in Full Lotus.

 

It is simply a myth that Full Lotus is incredibly better than half lotus or sitting in a chair or standing. 

 

It is utter nonsense - 

 

Particularly at the "highest" levels.

 

As the gross subtle and subtle bodies grow in Awake embodiment - the leg channels will be required to open considerably - and this is with regard to inner work. Chair, Standing and moving forms are of the highest value in many cases. It IS the case that few high masters - of the very highest levels - reach very far into subtle body embodiment development. It is very easy to bypass this and yet be correctly understood to be "fully Enlightened" - many of the most highly regarded and highest sublime bright lights of the highest high have not abided and grown the subtle bodies to the extent that can be - it is common to pass on much of this. Rare not to pass on these - in part because of sitting practice habituations.

 

Comfort and subtlety in ones form for meditation are easily of the highest value - in the folded leg positions the leg energies to not move well and many other channels do not move well as a result. 

 

At the highest levels of meditation - ones position is of little importance though in intense growth a straight upright torso is very advantageous - whether one is found walking, standing still, sitting in a chair or sitting on the ground. 

 

Feet flat on the floor or ground is also advantageous - though it is nice with the feet centers flowering upward as in the full lotus. 

 

The propagation of Full Lotus as some Super form that is far greater than any other form is fiction. It is more often the case that it is inferior to other forms if all things are taken into account. 

 

In any case - comfort and proper posture are of the greatest importance and our practice should not be the enemy of our bodies well being. Blue cold legs and blood clots are not helpful. 

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16 minutes ago, Spotless said:

I did many years of long meditation - 1to18 hours straight in a sitting..

 

What are the benefits you've gotten as you've gone longer? 

Are there any sign posts as you break certain time barriers, 2, 4 8 into 16?  

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40 minutes ago, Spotless said:

I did many years of long meditation - 1to18 hours straight in a sitting in Full Lotus.

 

It is simply a myth that Full Lotus is incredibly better than half lotus or sitting in a chair or standing. 

 

It is utter nonsense - 

 

Particularly at the "highest" levels.

 

As the gross subtle and subtle bodies grow in Awake embodiment - the leg channels will be required to open considerably - and this is with regard to inner work. Chair, Standing and moving forms are of the highest value in many cases. It IS the case that few high masters - of the very highest levels - reach very far into subtle body embodiment development. It is very easy to bypass this and yet be correctly understood to be "fully Enlightened" - many of the most highly regarded and highest sublime bright lights of the highest high have not abided and grown the subtle bodies to the extent that can be - it is common to pass on much of this. Rare not to pass on these - in part because of sitting practice habituations.

 

Comfort and subtlety in ones form for meditation are easily of the highest value - in the folded leg positions the leg energies to not move well and many other channels do not move well as a result. 

 

At the highest levels of meditation - ones position is of little importance though in intense growth a straight upright torso is very advantageous - whether one is found walking, standing still, sitting in a chair or sitting on the ground. 

 

Feet flat on the floor or ground is also advantageous - though it is nice with the feet centers flowering upward as in the full lotus. 

 

The propagation of Full Lotus as some Super form that is far greater than any other form is fiction. It is more often the case that it is inferior to other forms if all things are taken into account. 

 

In any case - comfort and proper posture are of the greatest importance and our practice should not be the enemy of our bodies well being. Blue cold legs and blood clots are not helpful. 


I personally got far simply sitting in a chair as our lineage teaches that alignment, and half lotus for Flying¬†Phoenix. My interest in half lotus personally is because of the feeling and because there is a kind of ‚Äúradio antenna adjustment‚ÄĚ like reasoning for us when doing ANY adjustments, even a mudra or breathing pattern¬†when meditating.

 

Repeat: in our lineage, not a universal rule.

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48 minutes ago, Spotless said:

I did many years of long meditation - 1to18 hours straight in a sitting in Full Lotus.

 

It is simply a myth that Full Lotus is incredibly better than half lotus or sitting in a chair or standing. 

 

It is utter nonsense - 

 

Particularly at the "highest" levels.

 

As the gross subtle and subtle bodies grow in Awake embodiment - the leg channels will be required to open considerably - and this is with regard to inner work. Chair, Standing and moving forms are of the highest value in many cases. It IS the case that few high masters - of the very highest levels - reach very far into subtle body embodiment development. It is very easy to bypass this and yet be correctly understood to be "fully Enlightened" - many of the most highly regarded and highest sublime bright lights of the highest high have not abided and grown the subtle bodies to the extent that can be - it is common to pass on much of this. Rare not to pass on these - in part because of sitting practice habituations.

 

Comfort and subtlety in ones form for meditation are easily of the highest value - in the folded leg positions the leg energies to not move well and many other channels do not move well as a result. 

 

At the highest levels of meditation - ones position is of little importance though in intense growth a straight upright torso is very advantageous - whether one is found walking, standing still, sitting in a chair or sitting on the ground. 

 

Feet flat on the floor or ground is also advantageous - though it is nice with the feet centers flowering upward as in the full lotus. 

 

The propagation of Full Lotus as some Super form that is far greater than any other form is fiction. It is more often the case that it is inferior to other forms if all things are taken into account. 

 

In any case - comfort and proper posture are of the greatest importance and our practice should not be the enemy of our bodies well being. Blue cold legs and blood clots are not helpful. 


Glad you mentioned blood clots which are a real danger with tight folded legs. 

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22 minutes ago, thelerner said:

What are the benefits you've gotten as you've gone longer? 

Are there any sign posts as you break certain time barriers, 2, 4 8 into 16?  

I did not aspire to go long - I was driven in a sense.

 

I would not say there were particular sign posts - but certain skills are acquired in that one sees and feels blocks and changes as they come and go. One learns the difference between being tired and the unconsciousness pressing on one as a block is hitting a breaking point. Many popping sounds happen in the back of the neck and head. Breathing tricks for making it past thick energies. Many energetic things for clearing energy - cleaning a meditation space - these become second nature.

 

Massive kundalini happenings may take place - one may float out of ones body - Beings of great light may appear.

 

I remember going to the bathroom once after a long sit (or during?) I had two clear long white lines down from my eyes - I had no idea what they were until I realized they were crystalized dried salt crystals from tears - they were thick enough to crack.

 

It is a non-doing Being with Body.  It may sound from the above that I was engaged in quite a bit of doing but this was not the case. 

Very little here and there. 

 

In my experience the posture becomes better and better - less and less loose and more and more naturally energized. 

 

At the end of a long long session I would be Very Very upright - If sitting in a chair I would be at the edge of it. 

 

Sometimes I would start in full lotus, move to half lotus and then sit in a chair - moves were infrequent but came as they came.

 

3-6 hours is a regular session. Often I would sit in full lotus or half lotus on a wide cushioned chair and then at some point extend my feet to the floor and then move to the edge of the seat. When the energy is moving the legs and everything get moving. In folded leg positions the aura tends to spin ever so slowly. In open leg positions the spinning does not take place. 

 

I prefer hands up and open rather than clasped or in a mudras

 

At times mouth slightly opened - though rarely - but this has a considerable effect for certain things. 

 

The heel under and effecting the perineum is helpful at times - these things come and go and in the end cease to be of interest.

 

In most cases practitioners do not breath enough or deeply enough. if breathing ceases it does so on its own and not as a practice.

 

Left and right side nostril work is helpful at times - as is moving the head from one side to the other - or bending tightly down and coming up slowly - stretching the spine. these things help suble movements of energies within the nadis and gross physical, gross subtle and subtle bodies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Different strokes.  The axis of gravity and ground reaction force (GRF) are real after all, we are not immaterial, not exempt from biomechanics.  Methinks it's a good idea to figure out what position is not only subjectively comfortable or uncomfortable to someone who's been sitting in a conditioned way all their lives, i.e. adjusting the body mechanics to the culturally/socially imposed ways to sit.  Of which chairs is a major one -- originating from thrones, i.e. the ruler's desire to position his own body above other bodies (which were, before kings on thrones, normally sitting on the ground level).  Eventually someone business savvy figured out that everyone will buy a replica of this superiority-establishing contraption in order to feel "elevated above others," and started making and selling chairs.  And in no time all "others" also wanted to be elevated and not be looked down upon by their neighbor.  There's no other reason for the proliferation of chairs -- our anatomy is not a product of sitting on chairs in nature, there aren't any.

 

So, cross-legged is perfectly comfortable for someone who's always been sitting like that -- and no, they don't get blood clots from sitting in the position developed in the womb and then just maintained throughout life -- while for someone who's always been sitting on chairs it poses some challenges to overcome, due to all the weakened anatomy and physiology peculiarities brought about by chair sitting.  Overcoming them gradually is a good idea IMO.  Overdoing that might cause a lifelong aversion or god only knows what kind of deviations, so I'm not a proponent of prolonged sitting in a position that does not come naturally -- nor of berating it because it disappointed me personally when I invested into it and god shit for return.  Don't invest in it.  Just do it a bit at a time and see if it might start growing on you -- see if your back feels better, your joints more open, your mobility and flexibility and fluidity in space outside meditation may have improved.  Is all.  That's a good criterion of the usefulness of your sitting position -- not whatever you think in your spiritually advanced head.   

 

I find that in any sitting position except for the full lotus, maintaining the vertical axis effortlessly and not sagging into a stupor (which may be mistaken for meditation by some) is way easier with a firm thinnish pillow under the butt.  In lotus, however, the axis is straightened out by itself, naturally and reliably, by just assuming this position on the flat ground.  Any pillows I experimented with in combo with the lotus only throw it off.  So, pillow for any other position, no pillow for lotus would be my verdict.   

 

My sitting pillow for non-lotus sitting is buckwheat, and the color is black out of personal feng shui considerations.  If you don't know yours, the color doesn't matter much, but if you do, any color that you know is not one of your personal lucky ones might subliminally bother you.  This pillow I made myself because I am a believer in customizing whatever you're going to be using in conjunction with your body whenever possible.  Most of the waking hours it's usually impossible (car seats be damned...  though it may be a good thing that you can't really sit in your deep meditation pose when driving. ;) ) 

 

Edited by Taomeow
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23 hours ago, liminal_luke said:

 

the instagram-worthy full lotus pose.  

Shhhh....you‚Äôll attract The pineal flexing immor(t)al being! ūü§™

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7 hours ago, Taomeow said:

Methinks it's a good idea to figure out what position is not only subjectively comfortable or uncomfortable to someone who's been sitting in a conditioned way all their lives, i.e. adjusting the body mechanics to the culturally/socially imposed ways to sit.  Of which chairs is a major one -- originating from thrones, i.e. the ruler's desire to position his own body above other bodies (which were, before kings on thrones, normally sitting on the ground level).  Eventually someone business savvy figured out that everyone will buy a replica of this superiority-establishing contraption in order to feel "elevated above others," and started making and selling chairs.  And in no time all "others" also wanted to be elevated and not be looked down upon by their neighbor.  There's no other reason for the proliferation of chairs -- our anatomy is not a product of sitting on chairs in nature, there aren't any.

Chairs - originating from thrones?

 

I have lived in nature and sitting on natural chairs called rocks and ledges is common - leaning on things is common - using things to help us get up and down is common and for the aged - getting help up from sitting on the ground is not uncommon. 

 

The military of old used chairs to be in an upright position when on alert - hunters sometimes use/used them to prop themselves during silent long waiting. 

 

Once we started to not be nomadic - chairs proliferated because carrying them was no longer an issue. Nor were tables and permanent buildings. 

 

Having a lifespan of 45yrs and often less is also not common anymore.

 

Our anatomy is a product of our inventiveness among other things - and chairs are a part of what happens if you participate in one of these bodies.

 

It might also be noted that if you have a flock of followers moving about with you and having spontaneous long teachings - carrying chairs around was not something that was plausible whether desirable or not - sitting practice was practical.

 

Also - sitting crosslegged is indeed comfortable - it is quite different for many who try Lotus. For quite a few practitioners of lotus it continues to be relatively difficult even after 20 years or more. While simply sitting cross legged continues to be no problem. Some people have much greater muscle tone while some do not - and some have almost no muscle tone and for them it is a piece of cake at any time of the day.

 

Regarding the axis of gravity and ground reaction force (GRF) - yes they are very real - and a case could be made for any of the positions - natural sway while standing creates many helpful inner subtle energetic movements. It is perhaps why so many Qi Gong grand masters say that Standing Meditation is far far  better than sitting meditation.

 

I choose not to get into whether one meditation position is better than the other - from personal experience they all have their benefits.

 

Regarding pillow height - it very much appears to be ones particular anatomy which dictates that - and also if one has knee injuries or back problems. 

 

If you can sit in full lotus and hop around all over the place as I once could - a thin pad or no pad is probably fine (I did not own one for many years). If you are of a particular lineage and your teacher has stated that the best pad is from a 2-4 year old female Eland - then that may be the best pad for you. The more you sweat the small stuff the more it may tend to need to be of free range organic virgin wool and all natural dye.

 

But don't be surprised to find a crooked old sage floating half an inch above a Walmart rag of old stretch denim.

 

 

 

(I do think natural fabrics on or around one are preferable - but the stronger one is the less it matters and the more it is simple preference and economics)

 

 

 

Edited by Spotless
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I recently completed Robert Peng¬īs online Yi Jin Jing course and there¬īs this one move that I simply can¬īt do.¬† Fortunately, Robert provided¬†an easier variation for physically challenged people like me, but it was a real Dao Bummer to realize that I needed to do it the easy way;¬†a humbling experience, coming to terms with that¬†limitation.¬† Of course maybe it¬īs not so bad to be humbled from time to time.¬† Maybe a good humbling was just what I needed.

 

Sitting in a chair to meditate strikes me the same way.¬† I don¬īt ever want to be the old codger sitting in a chair while everybody else sits on their zafus.¬† I feel this way even though I¬īm told -- and believe -- that it¬īs possible to be good at meditation in a variety of positions.¬† The belief that floor sitting (and full lotus) is best is just one of those things that I¬īm too stubborn to completely let go of.¬† Hopefully I won¬īt go to my grave bemoaning the fact that I¬īm not better than I am.¬† It would be nice to be like water and go with the flow.

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1 hour ago, Spotless said:

Chairs - originating from thrones?

 

I have lived in nature and sitting on natural chairs called rocks and ledges is common - leaning on things is common - using things to help us get up and down is common and for the aged - getting help up from sitting on the ground is not uncommon. 

 

 

I come from the steppe and forest.  Nothing even remotely resembling a natural chair in that environment.  Are you saying people of the mountains invented chairs?  I know it's from "elevated" position of the ruler, too busy/lazy to dig for references though, so, won't assign myself homework and let you off the hook in peace. :D 

 

1 hour ago, Spotless said:

 

Having a lifespan of 45yrs and often less is also not common anymore.

 

 

 

Ah, the blessings of civilization.  Complete with the blessing of being blissfully unaware of what the lifespan of people before its advent really was.  I know this is just one thing entirely made up, out of many we're told about our prehistoric past, and the figure floats freely too -- many "experts" assert the lifespan was 20 years, 30 tops.  Many others will bust out "24" or "36."  I've seen many versions when they talk prehistory.  They base age assessment on the condition of bones.  In a modern person, bones as healthy as what they observe in prehistoric skeletons happen to correspond to the age of 20-40, so voila.  The thought that it's an older person with disease-free bones would be too self-defeating I guess for purposes of counting civilization's blessings.    

 

1 hour ago, Spotless said:

 

Also - sitting crosslegged is indeed comfortable - it is quite different for many who try Lotus. For quite a few practitioners of lotus it continues to be relatively difficult even after 20 years or more. Some people have much greater muscle tone while some do not - and some have almost no muscle tone and for them it is a piece of cake at any time of the day.

 

 

I guess the ability to squat and be comfortable is also the outcome of "almost no muscle tone?"  And very low stances in taijiquan, ditto?  A standing meditation in chin-to-toes Phoenix pose, ditto?..  What exactly does "muscle tone" mean?  If you mean tightness, limited mobility in the limbs, then yes, having that will be in the way of the lotus or a squat of a low stance let alone the Phoenix.  But if you mean being able to do any of these is somehow a sign of some kind of weakness, I have to disagree.  I'm not sure I even understand this "muscle tone" thing -- do you mean something cosmetic, as in bodybuilding, for a particular look?  Far as I've been able to discern, strong healthy muscles have no "tone" until they work.  They are relaxed.  But maybe we're talking about different things.  

 

Well, anyway.  I was merely talking about what works for me in response to the question about pillows for the sitting meditation.  Chairs don't.  And a plastic mat from Walmart I haven't tried.  Maybe that's the secret to floating one inch over your seat, who knows, but I'm not really interested in floating, I'm more into rooting. :)  

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Sitting on a chair (rock).pdf

 

Muscle tone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

If a sudden pull or stretch occurs, the body responds by automatically increasing the muscle's tension, a reflex which helps guard against danger as well as helping maintain balance. Such near-continuous innervation can be thought of as a "default" or "steady state" condition for muscles. Both the extensor and flexor muscles are involved in the maintenance of a constant tone while at rest. In skeletal muscles, this helps maintain a normal posture.

Resting muscle tone varies along a bell shaped curve. Low tone is perceived as "lax, flabby, floppy, mushy, dead weight" and high tone is perceived as "tight, light, strong". Muscles with high tone are not necessarily strong and muscles with low tone are not necessarily weak. In general, low tone does increase flexibility and decrease strength and high tone does decrease flexibility and increase strength, but with many exceptions. A person with low tone will most likely not be able to engage in "explosive" movement such as needed in a sprinter or high jumper. These athletes usually have high tone that is within normal limits. A person with high tone will usually not be flexible in activities such as dance and yoga. Joint laxity contributes greatly to flexibility, especially with flexibility in one or a few areas, instead of overall flexibility.

For example, a person can be high tone with normal to poor flexibility in most areas, but be able to put the palms of the hands on the floor with straight knees due to hypermobile sacroiliac joints.[citation needed] It is important to assess several areas before deciding if a person has high, low or normal muscle tone. A fairly reliable assessment item is how the person feels when picked up.[citation needed] For example, small children with low tone can feel heavy while larger, high tone children feel light, which corresponds with the description of "dead weight".

Although cardiac muscle and smooth muscle are not directly connected to the skeleton, they also have tonus in the sense that although their contractions are not matched with those of antagonist muscles, the non-contractile state is characterized by (sometimes random) enervation.

 

 

 

Sitting on a chair (rock).pdf

Edited by Spotless

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1 hour ago, Taomeow said:

 Maybe that's the secret to floating one inch over your seat,

That reminds me of how we were taught to sit seiza, ie kneeling sit.  From an upright position on the knees to go down half way, stop, then half way again, stop, then again and again.. so always half way never all the way down.  Proper was to have the butt 'float' above the legs, not sitting on them.  Course we could do that for 5, 10, 20 minutes then inevitably the weight came down and it was only a matter time before our legs grew numb.  Unless you were a natural or born doing it.   

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2 hours ago, liminal_luke said:

I recently completed Robert Peng¬īs online Yi Jin Jing course and there¬īs this one move that I simply can¬īt do.¬† Fortunately, Robert provided¬†an easier variation for physically challenged people like me, but it was a real Dao Bummer to realize that I needed to do it the easy way;¬†a humbling experience, coming to terms with that¬†limitation.¬† Of course maybe it¬īs not so bad to be humbled from time to time.¬† Maybe a good humbling was just what I needed.

 

Sitting in a chair to meditate strikes me the same way.¬† I don¬īt ever want to be the old codger sitting in a chair while everybody else sits on their zafus.¬† I feel this way even though I¬īm told -- and believe -- that it¬īs possible to be good at meditation in a variety of positions.¬† The belief that floor sitting (and full lotus) is best is just one of those things that I¬īm too stubborn to completely let go of.¬† Hopefully I won¬īt go to my grave bemoaning the fact that I¬īm not better than I am.¬† It would be nice to be like water and go with the flow.

Thank you for this - :)

 

It is unfortunate to see how much programming is in this seating discussion - when you get to Sage advice the inner space is pretty much the only subject and the physical is of relatively little or no importance other than those things which may inhibit physical comfort and wakefulness.

 

I truly enjoy sitting on the floor in any of the crossed leg positions - I enjoy sitting in a chair / upright position with feet on the floor or ground - and standing in any number of positions.  

From birth and all through high school and considerably beyond I sat with legs crossed while sitting in a chair - at breakfast as a child and when in school if they did not instruct me otherwise. 

All of them are excellent and each has perceptible advantages - in some cases the perceptible advantage is clearly the belief in the advantage as well - and this does in fact apply to the efficacy of the practice. Belief is a big factor - when I said in an above posting that "if a teacher of a lineage has said that sitting on a Eland skin from a 2-4 year old female" was best for meditation - I was not making that advice up - I have also heard in person that wearing white is best and that wearing black is not good - and it is easy to find supporting evidence for the white recomnendation - but WOW - those in Black are many.

 

Posture does indeed make a difference - and it is easy to achieve excellent posture whether sitting on a floor, a chair or standing. 

 

Breath is no question often easier sitting in a chair or standing - certainly true for those overweight.

 

If you can "see" a person in meditation they all have their differences.

 

I truly have no stake in any position - and do not look down or up at someone because of the position they take - it is obvious how well they are doing regardless of the position. I might be somewhat rare in that I can offer the view from someone who has done long meditation in all of these forms - with the exception of standing meditation where I have only done around 2 hours at a time regularly.

 

(It is interesting to note how easily past lives come to be shown as well as other teachers and Beings when one is in a seated position on the floor - this tradition has been long and enduring.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Spotless
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On 11/23/2019 at 10:36 AM, SirPalomides said:

Is there a particular type of cushion used for Daoist meditation? I know zafus are popular in Zen (though I wonder how much this has to do with the modern need to accessorize/ commodify everything). Also, does the color of a cushion matter?

 

My Daoist teacher from Taiwan recommended a telephone book. Haven't seen one of those in a while, and they're a lot smaller than they used to be!

:lol:

 

The type of cushion depends a great deal on your body.

What posture do you use for your practice, how tall are you, how flexible are you?

The cushion needs to be able to support a stable and erect posture.

Different people need different supports.

I personally prefer a rectangular cushion filled with buckwheat hulls. 

It's fairly firm but easy to adjust the height a bit as needed depending on how my legs are feelings on any given day.

The more flexible your hips, the thinner a cushion you will require.

Regarding color, my Daoist teacher tended to avoid white, black, and green due to Chinese cultural themes.

I personally don't think color matters beyond aesthetics.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Spotless said:

 

Muscle tone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

Thank you. 

 

That was a weird read for a taijiquanista. 

 

They describe two types of difficulties one typically sees in two types of beginners, which to a blunt teacher fall into two categories -- "stiff as a board" vs. "'limp as a wet noodle."  And the article presents them as a spectrum of the norm.  Whereas the real norm would be...  ack, they don't have a word for it.  Sung. Relaxed but not limp, soft outside and structurally sound/solid/hard (not stiff) inside, "flexible steel needle wrapped in cotton." 

 

2 hours ago, Spotless said:

 

A fairly reliable assessment item is how the person feels when picked up. 

 

It's not something that ought to come as a feature of design.  Sung allows one to choose whether to feel heavy or light to someone else.  If I am practicing push-hands with a 300 lb guy who is not as experienced, he won't be able to move me even an inch, let alone pick me up. ( I weigh 130 lb.)  I can use his muscle tone to send him flying though -- he feels light as a feather to me because I can take over (we call it "borrow") his strength precisely because my own muscles are not committed to any which tone and react to the immediate input with higher or lower tone, as needed.  OK, don't let me talk shop.  :)     

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On 23/11/2019 at 3:36 PM, SirPalomides said:

Is there a particular type of cushion used for Daoist meditation? I know zafus are popular in Zen (though I wonder how much this has to do with the modern need to accessorize/ commodify everything). Also, does the color of a cushion matter?

 

Straw ones as far as I know. I got one off ebay real cheap ...most places rip you right off!

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