Author Topic: Strong Determination Sitting  (Read 7952 times)

Grex

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Strong Determination Sitting
« on: August 04, 2014, 03:25:24 PM »
So lately I've been doing strongly determined sittings, for an hour. I'd like to know, what kind of an effect has the act of sitting through the pain on our minds? It definitely is beneficial, I can say from my experience. The emotional catharsis experienced after standing up is just unfathomable. But doesn't things such as plain physical torturing give us the same effect then? If not, is it because while sitting, we observe the sensations and make an effort to stay equanimous?

Middleway

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Re: Strong Determination Sitting
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2014, 04:31:27 PM »
It will have the same effects on the mind as training for and running a marathon.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Vivek

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Re: Strong Determination Sitting
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 05:57:58 AM »
Here is a good video in which Shinzen Young explains about Strong Determination Sitting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYSSf71Vo7w#ws

Please don't be mislead by the name. Obviously we all know there is no short-cut to enlightenment. The title merely suggests that this type of sitting is very helpful for fast progress.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 04:36:23 AM by Matthew »
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

shu

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Re: Strong Determination Sitting
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 09:07:34 PM »
I usually sit for about 30 minutes and sometimes longer, but I always allowed myself to mindfully adjust my position a bit when things became too uncomfortable.

Today I tried to sit 40 'strong determined' minutes without moving but stopped one minute early because I felt a sharp pain in my right knee and leg. I felt that I could have meditated through the pain but decided that this doesn't feel ok for my body. The pain dissolved soon after stopping though.

Some info why I'm careful: When I sit in the burmese position I have some problems with pain in the inguinal region for several months now. I guess that happens because of a hernia but I'm not sure. And my knees and shoulders started to hurt a bit in the last two years, could be because I have hashimoto and crohns (connected to inflammation). Because of this I try to be more careful when it comes to pain in my joints.

So: is sharp pain during longer sits normal? Is the lesson to learn by this method hidden somewhere in staying equanimous and watching the bodys' reactions while being in pain?

Tobin

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Re: Strong Determination Sitting
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 11:31:47 PM »
So: is sharp pain during longer sits normal? Is the lesson to learn by this method hidden somewhere in staying equanimous and watching the bodys' reactions while being in pain?

In my experience, yes. I've been told that if the pain continues for long periods after your sit, you might be damaging your body. Adjusting your body is not terrible, but you should remain mindful while doing so. It is also better to wait a minute before moving so you're not giving in to every little pain you experience. Just be smart, if you feel like there is something really wrong, trust yourself. Good luck. :)
Regards,
Tobin

Matthew

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Re: Strong Determination Sitting
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2014, 04:46:35 AM »
It's good to build sitting time at a measured pace. Also if planning long sitting ( >1 or 2 hours) some walking Meditation breaks up tensions in the body.

If you didn't grow up in India eating every meal sat cross legged on the floor don't expect your body to cope well with lotus, half-lotus or Burmese: it's wise to lift your backside with at least a folded blanket to support the pelvis and spine. Pelvis is best tilted slightly forward so you are not sitting on your coccyx.

Pelvic, abdominal, spine, neck and shoulder issues can all result from poor posture.

PS Shu, you may have strained your linguinal ligament if you don't sit with some support.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 04:51:01 AM by Matthew »
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shu

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Re: Strong Determination Sitting
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2014, 07:45:18 AM »
Thank you two! :)

Tobin, yes, I usually stay in an uncomfortable position for some time and only move when I feel it's necessary.

Matthew, I meditate on a zafu, so my bum is 10-15 cm above the floor. Still there's some pain when I sit; might be that I strained something.

I guess long sits without moving is not good for me at the moment.

Alex

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Re: Strong Determination Sitting
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2014, 01:05:30 PM »
So lately I've been doing strongly determined sittings, for an hour. I'd like to know, what kind of an effect has the act of sitting through the pain on our minds? It definitely is beneficial, I can say from my experience. The emotional catharsis experienced after standing up is just unfathomable. But doesn't things such as plain physical torturing give us the same effect then? If not, is it because while sitting, we observe the sensations and make an effort to stay equanimous?

One part is surely the building of discipline... showing your ego that you're serious about this meditation-stuff ;)
I remember my first catharsis-experience. It was day 4 of a retreat and we were asked to show more discipline. Not moving or scratching immediately or every time you feel something. It was the last sit of the day and I remember being completely tense. Like a stolid statue that you could just push down in one piece if you wanted. Every muscle felt tight, but I said to myself "I will not budge!" and I tried not to fight this tension but investigate it. (tried being a key word here...) ;) But it was pure determination...
And the next morning, during my first sit, something "let go". I'm guessing this is not a linear process, but in my recollection it was the determination the night before that enabled/promoted this "release"-experience.

Physical torturing might also have similar effects, e.g. with regard to 'experiential avoidance' (not being afraid to feel whatever it is you feel) or pain tolerance, but IMHO it's the intention that makes a difference with the determination. There is a reason/vision why we're doing what we're doing and this intention is a fundamental aspect of the practice...

 

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