Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Meditation Related Injuries

コチシカコチシカ Veteran
edited February 23 in Meditation

Hello,

So... I almost tore my inner meniscus while meditating crossed legged (1/4 lotus). A burning feeling overcame my knees and instead of acknowledging it and doing something about it, I kept forcing my knees until I was overcome by pain and an almost constant burning / achey feeling.

It has been a good experience for my practice because I recall how resistant I was regarding using a chair or simply having a break until my knees recovered. It could have been a small break, instead of months of slow recovery. But, the ego was strong: "how can you not use your beautiful zabuton and a cushion like those monks you've read so much about? It doesn't look very "Buddhistic to use a chair."

After spending the last 2 months listening to my knees - using the chair and following the doctor's instructions- they are finally on their way towards a complete recovery. The veredict was that inner meniscus was swollen and I had slightly displaced it. Why didn't I listen to my body? I was so focused on practising and improving my mindfulness that I had actually gone in the opposite direction. I've learnt my lesson: don't entrap yourself by clinging to unrealistic phantoms created by the mind.

Any advice or suggested excercises are welcome. I'm currently just trying to lose weight and walking at least once around the lake everyday to strengthen my leg muscles. I would also like to know how common these injuries are. Has this happened to you? How long did it take you to recover? I remember Ajahn Punnadhammo warning people over YouTube of how many meditators that he had met in the 70s-80s ended up requiring surgery because they had ruined their knees (full lotus position). He recommended the cobbler's pose to stretch our poorly -assuming the reader is Western / Chair-educated- educated hips and thighs.

ChoephallobsteryagrpersonRen_in_blackShoshin1

Comments

  • ChoephalChoephal UK Veteran

    I did something similar. When the tear finally happened I was actually walking and turned slightly and felt it go. But I have no doubt the cause was years spent sitting for a period each day in half lotus. We westerners are heavier in build on the whole and come to cross legged sitting later in life for the most part.
    I sat on a chair or on a bed from then on. OK it looks less cool in group situations ( a chair that is, I don’t actually drag my bed along). But once I adjusted there was no lessening in my ability to settle in and relax, at least not because of not sitting cross legged anyway...🙂

    lobsterAlex
  • Hello

    :)

    A few years ago I went running. It was awful. However it was good for my sister, so I persevered. Three times I slightly inflamed my ankle. And did not rest it properly. Eventually I had difficulty/pain walking for too long. Took me two years to walk for longer than twenty minutes. No running again

    I always sit on chairs if provided at Buddhist meets. However in private I prefer floor sitting and quite naturally (daily yoga practice) my full lotus is returning. For some reason half lotus is very easy for me. Full lotus needs a bit of time. This is not the western norm. I am a freak.

    Yoga and meditation is NOT competitive activity.

    Here is how to meditate with a curved back, ego on hold and knees healing

    AlexChoephalperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 24

    I'm currently just trying to lose weight and walking at least once around the lake everyday to strengthen my leg muscles.

    Attention, awareness, walking ...
    https://mindworks.org/blog/what-is-walking-meditation/

    Here to yelp help <3

    But once I adjusted there was no lessening in my ability to settle in and relax, at least not because of not sitting cross legged anyway...🙂

    Exactly.
    Mindfulness is advanced practice suitable for all ages of practitioner, beginner (lotus bud ego) to open flowering ...

    Here are the poses and posies:

    • in the semi buddhist shamballah tradition, flower arranging is meditative
    • in the tea drinking ceremony, awareness is the zenith
    • in temples everywhere, monks fight the flab with yoga, shaolin fighting, chi kung and speed walking
    • some led meditations have healing built in eg. yoga nidra

    are there more?
    Always ...
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/mar/31/japanese-monks-mount-hiei-1000-marathons-1000-days

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    It seems that a lot of people cause themselves injury through persevering with full lotus sitting when the body is not suited to it. I think it’s just a case of being sensitive to the body, not forcing it.

    Yoga is really good for learning sitting on floors, many yoga teachers pay good attention to it.

    Bunkslobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Yes I strained a ligament in my knee sitting on one of those wooden bench seats where you tuck your legs underneath.

  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    I always use a chair, comfort before anything else.

    lobsterChoephal
  • ChoephalChoephal UK Veteran

    @Alex said:
    I always use a chair, comfort before anything else.

    Aye...👍

    Alex
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Any advice or suggested excercises are welcome.

    tiger balm (do not get one with unnecessary tigers blood in it) on the knee.
    ... we used this for martial arts injury. Allegedly ours contained ethically sourced tiger blood ... mmm ...
    https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-tiger-balm-2552293

    What other injuries are common with excessive meditation?
    https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/the-dark-side-of-meditation-how-to-avoid-getting-stuck-with-pain-from-the-past/

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    I was sitting on the couch yesterday and got a sudden cramp... I woz injured, I woz.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    try swapping the couch for soil

    Jeffrey
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    I'm fairly flexible but I went from cross legged to burmese with plenty of firm cushion because my legs would fall asleep. It's comfortable and easy to maintain for long stretches. I have a callous on the top of my right foot now. 😏

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    There is a dark side
    https://harpers.org/archive/2021/04/lost-in-thought-psychological-risks-of-meditation/

    just as covid has some benefits
    ... it is yin and yang ... just don't go crazy, like a little is good ... so lets do loads. Does not work with cake either ... 🙏🏽

    howコチシカ
  • コチシカコチシカ Veteran
    edited March 18

    Interesting read. As I'm currently enrolled in a Psychology BA, I'm very keen on studying the possible side-effects of meditation practice. So thank you Lobster for the bibliography ;)

    The article states meditation was almost exclusively to monastic communities and not "extended" to the laity until the 1880s. I don't think that is true. The Buddha in the Pali Canon tells monks to meditate, but the Sangha consists of both female and male monastics AND female and male laity.

    And then he picks up probably the most extreme/ tough forms of meditation available, asubha meditation. Definitively not the most extended amongst the laity and definitively the least indicated for someone who had little experience with Buddhism, meditation and a medical history of anxiety.

    Also Yanny Hin proved to be a very poor instructor and her silence seems to confirm this view. My mother once (MD and PhD in Asthma) was critical with a fellow doctor who was instructing mindfulness to children to "stop" their asthma attacks. She said, "yes... telling them to concentrate on their breathing while they are clearly telling you that they can't breath... not very effective." The study failed by the way.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @lobster said:

    Any advice or suggested excercises are welcome.

    tiger balm (do not get one with unnecessary tigers blood in it) on the knee.
    ... we used this for martial arts injury. Allegedly ours contained ethically sourced tiger blood ... mmm ...
    https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-tiger-balm-2552293

    I mix this with a balm known as 'Dog Oil'... @Kerome if you can get a tub of each, and combine them, it is an absolute miracle for cramp. I used to get cramp in my sartorius muscles - I have seen grown strongmen cry at the pain... it is debilitating and intense. If I feel a hint of it coming on, I apply the Dog oil/Tiger balm combined and it just disappears completely within second of being rubbed in...
    I mix them thorougly by scraping the tiger balm into the Dog Oil tub, then putting that tub into a bain-Marie, to let it melt - and meld...

    lobster
Sign In or Register to comment.