Author Topic: Meditation with physical pain ?  (Read 7124 times)

kajukas

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • vipassana
Meditation with physical pain ?
« on: March 10, 2015, 03:24:11 PM »
Hello,

Im new meditator. When im sitting in half lotus position after ~5-10mins I starting to get some pain in my middleback where "deep muscles" are located even if i sitting on the pillow. So my question is not how to make the pain dissapear (it something with my weak back i guess) but the question is - do the meditation when you feel pain and it distracts you is possible ? or i should try other type of sitting for example on the chair ? Do meditation effects depends on sitting type ?
Thanks!

Stefan

  • The Marvellous Omannobazong!!!
  • Member
  • love is the key
    • Vipassana (Goenka), Freestyle, Family, God
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 07:36:43 PM »


meditation is possible with pain, or else we'd all be doomed ...  ;)
do you do physical exercises besides meditation? hatha yoga might help, or gymnastics.
when I do very long sessions, I use a chair due to my physical condition. But it is important not to lean, you have to keep your back straight without the help of the backrest. I also do walking meditation sometimes. It's nice.

 :) , Stefan
anicca

Goofaholix

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Theravada / Insight Meditation
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 09:01:52 PM »
When you sit in half lotus are your knees on the ground?  If not try a higher cushion, do stretching exercises, or try a different posture.

I'd recommend the Burmese posture over half lotus, from what I've seen most meditators don't attempt half lotus.

The butterfly stretch is a good yoga stretching routine to develop a good sitting posture.

You can also kneel on a bench or sit on a chair, it doesn't really matter, as long as the posture is balanced and the back is unsupported.  Having said that it's good to have a posture reserved for meditation only, each time you assume that posture you tell the mind it's meditation time which helps to set the intention.

kajukas

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • vipassana
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 03:36:33 PM »
Thanks for replys!
First, sorry for misinform, i always thought that half lotus position is same as Burmese. So getting pain when im trying to sit in Burmese. Iam physical active guy for about 7years now... my physical activity was wide range from bodybuilding to running a marathons or some martial arts.. but i guess very little sports have to do with "deep back muscles". now iam doing some Yoga and in the work im sitting on a medicine ball and i feel that my back muscles are working! Iam not stiff guy who can't strech, but every person have its weakness so my hips is weak in streching perspective... after physical workout i always trying to add extra stretches.
I was tought before, that knees should be touching ground, so im adding some cushion. but in the start of meditation my knees are high from ground, after ~10mins they're reaching ground.. so i guess i will do more streching and see if its helps... i want to meditate in "reserved position" as you mentioned before it just feel most right...;)  one more question: do it's good thing or not to change the legs during meditation time ? Thanks;)

p.s sometimes in my 30minutes time meditation i feel struggle to keep my mind calm and i feel that time isn't quality enough, so maybe it's better to lower the time, and make the smaller time more quality ?
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 10:15:10 PM by kajukas »

Max

  • Guest
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 07:03:34 AM »
p.s sometimes in my 30minutes time meditation i feel struggle to keep my mind calm and i feel that time isn't quality enough, so maybe it's better to lower the time, and make the smaller time more quality ?
Your mind isn't calm the whole time? Oh, you are not doing it right!  ;)
Joking aside: I think you will find out soon that this is the nature of your mind. It is neither always calm when you meditate nor can you really make your mind calm. You can apply skilful means, but that's about as far as your "control" goes.

Regarding time: each sit has its own energy curve and due to this, sits usually come to their natural ends (other reasons are of course possible). When the energy gets too low, continuous mindfulness fades, interest drops and the mind spaces out, it's often time to end a sitting and continue your practice with walking meditation or being mindful in your daily activities.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 06:33:41 AM by Max »

Stefan

  • The Marvellous Omannobazong!!!
  • Member
  • love is the key
    • Vipassana (Goenka), Freestyle, Family, God
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 09:46:10 AM »

do it's good thing or not to change the legs during meditation time ?


My teachter told me: if you cannot keep up your meditation any longer in your posture, then you may change it. But always very slow, and not all the time.

As for your back problems, I'd like to share a video bomega posted. Maybe this can help you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRtKFUCAwd4
anicca

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 05:22:56 AM »
Hi kajukas,

Quote
p.s sometimes in my 30minutes time meditation i feel struggle to keep my mind calm and i feel that time isn't quality enough, so maybe it's better to lower the time, and make the smaller time more quality ?

You will get used to it. Better to push through the thirty minute barrier than stop. Examine the quality of mind when this happens.

Sometimes if meditation is too tight with forced focus lifting the gaze upwards helps, or, if too loose with wandering mind lower the gaze to look at the floor about 1M in front of you.

Kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

kajukas

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • vipassana
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 07:51:32 AM »

do it's good thing or not to change the legs during meditation time ?


My teachter told me: if you cannot keep up your meditation any longer in your posture, then you may change it. But always very slow, and not all the time.

As for your back problems, I'd like to share a video bomega posted. Maybe this can help you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRtKFUCAwd4


Thank you, but maybe you can clarify me on what time of video she is sitting correctly ?;)

Stefan

  • The Marvellous Omannobazong!!!
  • Member
  • love is the key
    • Vipassana (Goenka), Freestyle, Family, God
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 10:52:10 AM »

Thank you, but maybe you can clarify me on what time of video she is sitting correctly ?;)


the position where the spine is kept straight, not bent. Where she is off her sacrum.
It's the position when the applause starts ... ;)
anicca

kajukas

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • vipassana
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 10:01:00 PM »
thanks, seems it helps. but keeping that positions feels like you are forcing yourself, a little bit unnaturally..

Stefan

  • The Marvellous Omannobazong!!!
  • Member
  • love is the key
    • Vipassana (Goenka), Freestyle, Family, God
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 10:24:00 PM »
well ... sitting or standig upright requires a little effort ... without it we'd fall down. So, from the gravity point of view, being upright is somehow a little bit unnatural ...  ;)

but if this position is well balanced, sitting becomes more easy.

make sure you don't overact:
anicca

bomega

  • Member
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 12:39:57 AM »
Those pictures are great Stefan. :)

Kajukas: Make sure you are sitting on your sitz bones, the bony protrusions at the bottom of your pelvis (instead of your tailbone) and then imagine the crown of your head gently moving towards the sky (just kind of think it, don't force your head upward.) Your pelvis should become neutral (neither tilted forward nor backward) and you head, shoulders, and hips will feel stacked on each other, as will your spinal column. When you do this, you might find that even though you are consciously having to put effort into sitting up straight, the correct posture takes the least amount of effort to keep going. When I do this, I find my abdominal muscles gently pull in a little, my shoulders gently move backwards a little, and the breath becomes easier and deeper naturally (all involuntarily.)

kajukas

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • vipassana
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2015, 02:32:36 PM »
hey all,

seems that with your help i managed to strenghten my back, and now the pain seems goes away.
Im sitting on some pillow and its good. The question is: Should I leave as it is and be happy or it's better to gradually lower the pillow till i will be able to sit without any pillow help on the ground ?
Question nr2. When sitting in burmese position one back side is always have bigger load, so it's wise to change the legs in the sessions, to make the load on the back equal ?

Thanks

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2015, 04:28:03 PM »
hey all,

seems that with your help i managed to strenghten my back, and now the pain seems goes away.
Im sitting on some pillow and its good. The question is: Should I leave as it is and be happy or it's better to gradually lower the pillow till i will be able to sit without any pillow help on the ground ?
Question nr2. When sitting in burmese position one back side is always have bigger load, so it's wise to change the legs in the sessions, to make the load on the back equal ?

Thanks


1. No need to get rid of the pillow. The back pain may return since the posture will be incorrect again without the pillow.
2. Yes, it is recommended to change the legs position although you may want to do it in alternate sessions and not in the middle of a session.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

kajukas

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • vipassana
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2015, 09:04:51 PM »
isn't the meditator 'goal' is to sit comfortably on the ground without any supporting pillow ?
do the experianced meditators sits on the pillows too ?

in meditation centre i saw special 'meditation pillow' maybe you know how it's named officialy ? i think it's good thing to buy..

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2015, 11:36:25 PM »
The goal is whatever it takes to sit upright comfortably. I am not aware of the meditation pillows. I use regular pillows that work for me.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2015, 12:02:27 PM »
I used to sit with a folded-up blanket under my bum. Now I use a seiza bench.

kajukas

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • vipassana
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2015, 03:48:54 PM »
Thanks for information. I got two another questions:

1) Does the hands position matter (the option with hands on the knees or in the middle) ?
2) Do it's bad to meditate with special silenting ear buds to isolate the noise ?

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2015, 11:02:57 AM »
I tried both positions at the retreat and settled with center position. Hands on my knees caused pain in my upper back and shoulders after a while into the session.  I suggest you try both positions and see what works for you.

I tried ear plugs once and I could hear sounds of my heart beat and blood flow. It was uncomfortable and never tried it again.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation with physical pain ?
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2015, 10:08:36 PM »
isn't the meditator 'goal' is to sit comfortably on the ground without any supporting pillow ?
do the experianced meditators sits on the pillows too ?

in meditation centre i saw special 'meditation pillow' maybe you know how it's named officialy ? i think it's good thing to buy..

The mediators goal is not to sit on the floor. Unless you grew up in India living this way you are only likely to make mediation into suffering. Much better to use a cushion or some rolled up blankets. I use this:

« Last Edit: April 12, 2015, 10:12:13 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
1892 Views
Last post July 06, 2009, 08:07:31 AM
by Matthew
7 Replies
3315 Views
Last post August 23, 2009, 02:30:02 PM
by pamojjam
5 Replies
4609 Views
Last post May 02, 2020, 05:25:42 AM
by Katia
3 Replies
1627 Views
Last post March 20, 2012, 06:51:58 AM
by Andrew
6 Replies
2595 Views
Last post March 30, 2013, 11:29:58 AM
by brdlo
4 Replies
1441 Views
Last post July 15, 2016, 12:13:43 PM
by p340
2 Replies
838 Views
Last post November 10, 2017, 08:15:44 AM
by playground