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.