I still yearn to be able to sit crossed legged, but I've found that this chair and my cushion is the best. No pain in my knees, no burning sensation, no swolleness lasting for 1 week or 2...
Hopefully if I ever attend an actual meditation retreat / Zen temple, chairs are available for those of us who have torn their meniscus trying to be a yogi instead of being mindful of their body.
What has been your experience? Is it okay to request a chair at Zen centre? So far, I haven't seen this anywhere. Are chair-users simply barred from group meditation and limited to solo-practice? I might attend a temple called Shorinji in Extremadura (Spain). Perhaps I should write to them before hand?
Have a good day everyone!
Few things in an active Zen monastery, temple or Center speak more clearly about a lineage's unhealthy adherence to rite and ritual than a meditation hall that doesn't make allowances for the varying physical limitations of its practitioners.
Every temple and monastery that I've attended has made benches & chairs available, without any discernable muss or fuss, for anyone wishing one.
Even Japanese temples where the meditation, lectures, eating & sleeping were all done on the same spot on formally raised tans to sit on in meditation halls, had a part of that tan that could be removed, for anyone who wanted it, to allow a chair like sitting posture.
How they respond to your question of adaptation to a physical limitation is a good meter of measurement for how compassion, empathy, tenderness & sympathy is approached in their Dharma.
What @how said!
I've been to two Zen centers and two Zen sitting groups. All of them had chairs and benches and your preference was not even a matter of discussion, you just picked up the one you wanted.
I too (I believe) screwed up my right knee trying to sit in lotus style. The "need" to do it that way was just in my head.