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Top Tips

One of the reasons to sit on a preferbly firm cushion is to allow an eased sitting with knees relaxed and hips raised. Formal sitting is a great alignment to improved health, insight and calming.

My top tip would be:

Scan your body from top to toe for any sensations of discomfort or tension. Attempt to soften sensations of discomfort. Then, scan your body for any sensations of comfort and ease.

I usually do this at the beginning of a sit and during the sit if distracted by the body.

What tips work for you?


  • howhow Veteran
    edited October 2015


    One zen view

    The blue cushion on this chair is to rock the pelvis forward and set up the most supportive position for the base of your spine. (not slouching).
    The cushion only needs only to support the coccyx of the spine to do this.
    Don't sit so fully on top of it or sit so far forward off it's edge support as to lose that support for the coccyx. It's the Goldilocks position right between.

    A straight 90 degree bend of the knees will usually provide the best stability with the least amount of potential leg & knee strain. This can be established by either using a chair of the correct height or by using a platform to support your feet if your legs are too short for the chair.

    In this picture the edge pressure of the chair seat against the back of the buttocks is something I would be watching so as to avoid impeding any blood circulation and the distractions that come with it.

  • howhow Veteran
    edited October 2015


    I should also say that meditation positions are often taught from the viewpoint that one is addressing a statistically average human being.....which none of us are likely to be after a lifetime of individual body developments, injuries and recoveries.

    So while I do advise trying out the posture recommendations of meditation teachers, I think that those physical tips should be fitted for each unique physiology, not the other way round.

    and the "best" meditation posture in the world, is just another hindrance, if we become attached to it.

  • Use a comfy chair. ;)

  • Meditate with a purring cat. ;)

  • Good tips @how

    I feel posture equates to attitude. Good posture starts with an open attitude. I prefer the seated burmese pose. I never find the posture creates strain because I never fight the bodies preference for attentive ease.
    I find it unhelpful to force the mind and body.

    So for example the child pose in yoga is often used as a mild stretch and relaxing pose. Never involves strain. Applying that attitude to a more attentive upright posture ensures we stay in a happy body.

  • howhow Veteran
    edited October 2015

    ** I prefer the seated Burmese pose. **

    The Burmese is one of the most popular western positions. One interesting tidbit is that although most folks will find one leg easier to have in front of the other, the inner most leg puts more strain on one side of the lower spine than the outer one. This means that unless one has some means of alternating the inner most leg with the outer one (by day or meditation period), with consistent practice you are asking for eventual back problems for yourself.

  • Posture is the key to balanced and harmonious action. My elders spent a great deal of time telling me to stand up straight and act like I had a purpose in life. Sage advice.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "Top Tips"

    Meditation and comfortable posture...
    It won't happen overnight but it will happen through....Trial & Error experimenting with different techniques .........and "Patience" is the key.....

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    If you get sleepy, try meditate with your chin slightly tucked up. If you are lost in thoughts, try meditate with your chin tucked slightly down.

    Have absolutely no expectations on your meditation! There is no such thing as a bad meditation session!
    The diagnosis for suffering is criticising your meditation! :p

  • Another tip for sleepiness is to open your eyes.

  • @lobster said: I find it unhelpful to force the mind and body.

    I agree. So why do people get so obsessed with the yogic contortions?

  • @SpinyNorman said:
    So why do people get so obsessed with the yogic contortions?

    Jane Fonda!

  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited October 2015

    Maybe some of you have some good tips or have the same problem? --
    I have pain in my upper back, between the shoulder blades, this pain I
    feel after just 2-5 minutes,

    I bought a nice halfmoon zafu, so me knees is lower than me hips, and I try to
    sit 90 degrees, but it dosent really matter how I sit.

    When I support my back against a wall or a bed the pain is not so strong.

  • howhow Veteran


    Lots of possibilities and sight unseen its a bit of a crap shoot with back pain but...

    make sure your arms are not pulling on your shoulders from not having your hands adequately supported on your lap. (Short arms or long torso?)

    and it's also not uncommon for folks to hold and experience tension/pain in that location of the upper back when emotional difficulties begin surfacing in meditation.

  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing Veteran
    edited October 2015

    Body scans are great! Really a topic worthy of exploration.

    If anyone needs a helpful starting point, you can search "The Four Foundations of Mindfulness" as it's usually rendered/translated in English.

    Body of the breath -> feelings -> awareness itself (mind) -> all dharmas

    [corrections welcome, my language/terminology is looser these days]

  • @Namada 2-5 minutes of prostrations or back rolling before or after sitting will help.

  • Thanks @how for the suggestion, yes my upper back feel really heavy so it can be my back are carrying all the weight of my arms/hands..I will try to make my lap carrying most of the weight instead..

    I dont think it is emotional difficulties (but who knows), If iam in trouble I mostly feel this in my chest stomach

  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited October 2015

    Thank you @Lobster :) I will try this, I hope it helps to soften my back, iam very stiff, so I think my chi dosent even reach my back, its blocked!

    BTW its now season for fishing lobsters in Norway, how is it in England, are you in a safe place?

  • I am very stiff

    Me too. I am all hard shell.
    Softening body effects the mind. Gosh, think I read that on a dharma prawn cracker ...

    Standing meditation is something I have been taught in a Buddhist context. Very effective. Difficult to be ... zzz ... using this posture B)

    I iz safe ;)

  • You can also meditate lying down, and you don't need a bed of nails!

  • ToshTosh Veteran

    Insight Meditation Timer is class for those strongly trapped in a Samsaric mind (like myself). You get stars for reaching meditation goals like "Ten Days in a Row" and special coloured stars when you hit milestones, like 50 meditation sessions.

    Stars are more important than anything else; even more important than reaching enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    I use my delusions skilfully (sometimes anyway).

  • As @Tosh mentions use every 'trick' at your disposal. Aversion to meditation and mindfullness is common, so if that is our situation we might engage other disciplines ...

    The primary goal is calming the frenzy, distraction dukkha based being that has possessed/hijacked/become our being.

    In another recent thread @Bunks suggests a calming candle video ...

    Think of all the samsaric activities used to calm, which are skilful for you? Here are a few that can be abused but also offer a potential stilling ...

    • Food. Diet based around junk leads to icecream, cake and sugar addiction or ... real medicinal, calming food is also possible ...
    • Sex. Addiction or Loving?
    • Herbs. Drugs or carminatives and medicines?
    • Music. Pacifying or emotive frenzy?
    • Dance, exercise, physical effort, massage etc

    You will find peace in your own way. Meditation may require a supporting direction that we move towards ...

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