Author Topic: Posture and meditation  (Read 325 times)

McKay420

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Posture and meditation
« on: June 12, 2020, 12:50:50 AM »
Hello, I'm new here and new to meditation.  I have somewhat of a unique question.   I was born with a genetic birth defect which causes my collar bones to be too short.  This causes my shoulders to pull in, my upper back to hunch, and when I try to sit in the standard cross-legged pose, it is extremely uncomfortable on my neck trying to sit straight.

My actual question is...can my chakras be aligned properly if I'm not able to sit up straight and physically align my chakras?  Or will they conform to my natural state?  Would it be better sitting up against a wall?  I can sit more comfortably that way.

Emoint

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Re: Posture and meditation
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2020, 02:43:38 PM »
Mckay420 i just sit on a chair and don't over think it, my knees screwed up so i can't even think of sitting with my legs crossed. Whats a Chakra alignment please?

NewPathForward

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Re: Posture and meditation
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2020, 03:28:52 PM »
Hello, I'm new here and new to meditation.  I have somewhat of a unique question.   I was born with a genetic birth defect which causes my collar bones to be too short.  This causes my shoulders to pull in, my upper back to hunch, and when I try to sit in the standard cross-legged pose, it is extremely uncomfortable on my neck trying to sit straight.

My actual question is...can my chakras be aligned properly if I'm not able to sit up straight and physically align my chakras?  Or will they conform to my natural state?  Would it be better sitting up against a wall?  I can sit more comfortably that way.

EDIT:  Thought it would be wise to note that I have only been practicing for a few months and I am myself a beginner, so please take what I suggest with a grain of salt.  There are many users on here who have been practicing for several years or even decades, and surely they will provide you some of their personal wisdom.

Chakra work is more so associated with hindu practices, although there are some schools of buddhism that deal with them, namely Tibetan (There are probably many more but that is the main school I know of).  Even in those schools, chakra work is generally not to do be done for a long time and even then done strictly under guidance of a teacher.  There are a few users here who take up aspects of hindu practice, but as this is a buddhist forum you are unlikely to get the most informed advice regarding chakra alignment. 

Regarding posture, I want to share my experience when I started my practice 4 months ago.  I started with laying down, and then moved to sitting against a wall in western criss-cross style.   I then got a cushion and started doing recommended posture.  For a long time, I thought that if my posture wasn't perfect then my meditation was ruined or of inferior quality somehow, but that is just my ego :)

In many ways, it doesn't matter.  I would just do what feels best.  It is not helpful or right to cause yourself loads of physical discomfort and pain when it isn't necessary.  Do, however, be aware that part of this practice is learning how to sit with discomfort and pain.  I look back at the "middle path", and I think it applies here:

The Buddha realized that you do not need to choose between a life of excess or a life of pain (It was not uncommon for religious people to starve themselves on purpose in his time), and that the solution rests in a balance.  You should not necessarily shy away from physical discomfort when you feel it in your sit, but that doesn't mean you should purposely undertake a posture that causes you a great deal of physical pain when there are other postures available.  I suggest you explore many meditation postures and do what works best with your collarbone issue.  I personally find that some kind of sitting posture is best for me as it keeps me very aware and awake, whereas when laying down my mind becomes tired.

I hope the best for you, and I hope to hear from you again,
Charlie
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 03:30:45 PM by NewPathForward »

Dhamma

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Re: Posture and meditation
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 05:38:03 PM »
Charlie, I would agree with your advice. And, yes, chakra work is primarily a yogi Hindu spirituality practice from India.  I believe it's beneficial for health and emotional well-being, but, I don't believe that chakras are the be-all, end-all to enlightenment.  It's simply a tool, but much less important overall than meditation.

I am a Buddhist, even though I draw from yogi practices such as Shambhavi mudra. This is a Buddhist forum, so, yes, the OP is not going to get the best advice on chakras.

Chakra re-alignment is more something you'd find in Tibetan Buddhist traditions like the Bön school. They see more of an importance to bring the mind and body into balance, which is perfectly sound and good. They do yogic type exercises to realign the chakras (Kum Nye, Tsa Lung, etc.).  I am familiar with these exercices, as I do some of them at times. I will say that, overall, they are much, much less intense than the yoga you'd find in the Hindu yogi traditions. And that's because Buddhists ultimately find meditation the key to liberation, whereas yogis put equal, if not more emphasis on physical exercises, to achieve enlightenment (again, I may be wrong and talking too much!!!).  I do think, though, that all Tibetan or Vajrayana schools do some chakra/breathing work, though I stand to be corrected.

By the way, if you're a Buddhist who wants to practice Buddhism with a little yogi twist, google Ligmincha International (Bön Buddhism school run by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche).  He is a fabulous teacher, if you like that tradition of Buddhism.

Zen mentions the chakras a little, but it never seems to be a big, big deal.  It is very true that in Zen, posture is extremely important. They might consider right posture for correct chakra balancing?  I don't know????

In the Theravada tradition...well,I have zero knowledge about their ideas on the chakras.  My guess would be very little.

@ OP:  Maybe it is best to sit in a chair, which is perfectly legitimate. Your birth defect will not be a hindrance in the least on your path to enlightenment.  Find what what posture works best for you. And, as Charlies suggested, find the Middle Way.

Peace and enlightenment.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 05:59:02 PM by Dhamma »
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Matthew

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Re: Posture and meditation
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2020, 02:20:02 AM »
There is an article on posture on the homepage. Sitting with a kneeling stool, or kneeling with a cushion under your backside, or upright on a chair are all fine. Don't fight your body, meditation needs to relax the body.

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

McKay420

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Re: Posture and meditation
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2020, 02:33:36 PM »
Thank you for the replies.  I have decided to start with simple TM and not worry about chakras right now.  As for posture, I may actually start by kneeling with my hands on my thighs.  This is actually quite comfortable for me but also produces a nice stretch in my thighs.

meditacionenti

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Re: Posture and meditation
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2020, 04:52:19 PM »
You can always use a meditation cushion (zafu) to keep your back straight, and also the practice of yoga will allow you to identify and strengthen the muscles that come into action during meditation such as the muscles of the abdomen and large muscle groups of the back.
Meditación en ti

 

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