Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

Meditation Posture

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Meditating in lotus and half-lotus

These postures are only suitable for those who are very flexible. I have a friend who had to have the cartilage removed from his knees after years of forcing himself into lotus.

lotus positionIf you feel any pain in your knees, or this posture becomes very uncomfortable, then try one of the earlier postures that we looked at. You really can do yourself serious damage by trying to force your legs into positions that are uncomfortable.

In the full lotus, the feet rest on the opposite thighs, with the soles pointing upwards (if you have pain in your ankles then stop! and find an easier posture).

Full lotus is said to be the best position for meditating. The meditator who is able to sit comfortably in full lotus is close to the ground (which, for some reason, seems to be helpful in feeling “grounded”), and is also in a very balanced and symmetrical posture.

half lotus In the half-lotus, one foot is on the opposite thigh with the sole pointing upwards, while the other rests on the floor, as in the tailor position. This position comes very close to the stability and groundedness of the full lotus position.

Sitting on a chair or kneeling with cushions or on a bench are even more symmetrical postures, but there’s less contact with the floor. (If this business of not being on the floor puzzles you, then you need to experience the difference between meditating on a chair and meditating on the floor.)



Comment from Joe
Time: July 19, 2010, 9:54 am

I had a friend who taught me the lotus position in 1st grade, I’m glad to finally know what it is called. Are their any poses that require more flexibility?


Pingback from Learn Meditation » Robert JR Graham
Time: December 29, 2012, 8:06 pm

[…] in a room with your legs in either the half-lotus or full-lotus position. Make sure the room is as peaceful as possible and that you won’t be […]


Comment from Gregg
Time: June 19, 2013, 2:23 pm

I have just started to meditate. I only have one issue ( for now ) when i sit in or as i have discoverd … Any time my back is somewhat stright ( With a normal curve in the lumbar area that is). I have uncoverd a nagging pain in the area of my upper right back. There does not seem to be anything emotionaly attached here. Just a nagging pain. Perhaps a left over from my 30 years as a rock climber.
Do you have any recomendations for this ?


Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: June 20, 2013, 8:24 am

It’s very hard to say, Gregg. The two most likely things are that your hands aren’t supported high enough and that your back is tensing to stop the weight of your arms pulling your torso forwards, or your head is similarly jutting forward and the same tensing is happening. But it could be a misaligned vertebra, or something like that. I visit a chiropractor regularly, and it really works wonders. You also might find that useful.

If you can send me photographs of you in meditation, taken from the front and sides, I’d be happy to take a look. You can reach me at bodhi at the wildmind domain name.


Comment from Margaret
Time: August 4, 2013, 9:31 am

I am 80 years old and have “meditated” in my own style for years. But I am now trying to meditate in a group under your instructions. I am in pretty good shape, but I find two things hard: keeping my head upright and keeping my eyes open. I have always bowed my head and closed my eyes, so now the habit seems entrenched. Any ideas to help me change?


Pingback from A Beginner’s Guide to Beginning Meditation | david sasaki
Time: February 7, 2014, 12:33 pm

[…] studio. There are lots of different types. I went with the most basic. Now I meditate in the “half-lotus position” with my right foot below my left knee and my left foot above my right knee. I simply rest my […]

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