March 30, 2006 at 11:39 pm #12151
Just wanted to know the Daoist perspective on this because when I was at Wudangshan, teachers sat cross-legged. What Daoists have advocated sitting on a chair? And if they have, where in a cave can one do this or in nature, on a rock??? I don’t see anything wrong with sitting in padmasana once the body has been made flexible, then you won’t become a cripple like some Buddhist monks have. Wondering if anyone can clear this up for me.
FajinMarch 31, 2006 at 12:38 am #12152
The argument against lotus position I have heard is that it does not allow the K-1 bubbling springs to be in contact with the earth, thereby cutting off the entire legs from earth qi and causing it to enter the body through the perineum in a raw and unrefined form. It goes against the idea that humans were designed to be the mediators between heaven and earth; heaven being the undivided (1-entering through the head) and earth being the divided physical form (2-entering through the feet). From what I have heard, One cloud, who came from the 5 Interior Gods school of Nei Dan practiced sitting on a chair in a windowless room of his house in the mountains outside Hong Kong.
Daoists I have encountered at Huashan (modern Quanzhen practitioners) sit in lotus or half-lotus position. Then again Chen Tuan practiced in sleeping position according to statues made of him. Most temple figures in Chengdu and Xi’an in caves are seated on a chair.March 31, 2006 at 1:06 am #12154
Thank you Singing Ocean,
This is interesting. I know about the mediation between heaven and earth, but perhaps during practice it may be different. Like you mentioned Chen Tuan who lied down in the sleeping tiger as for dream yoga. Because there are 4 ways of practices, the standing and moving are linked with earth via yongquan, but lying and sitting may not be.
What I mean is, during the standing and moving meditation you are drawing qi from earth as in taiji because this builds rootedness like in zhan zhuang (standing) or a form (moving). Though, in sitting and lying the purpose is alchemical work like steaming or forming a pearl. I know that this requires grounding, but like you said,
“The earth element first occurs as the center or stable ground in your own being, and then you connect and amplify your own earth element with the consciousness of the planetary earth being, and then move on from there in higher kan and li practices to other planetary and stellar levels of stability/trust/earth consciousness.
Grounding in the sense of cultivation refers more to developing your own center and stable sense of free will so that you are not pulled out of it by other more powerful centers in other levels of consicousness.”
I bring up these points because it just seems more likely to me that padmasana is just so appropriate to meditation, ie. it is the natural meditation posture. I see this because I can go deeper in meditation when I sit in padmasana. I would love to hear other replies on this from other people too.
FajinMarch 31, 2006 at 2:30 am #12156
I thought that the crossing of the legs equally as in padmasana instigates a yin-yang balance of the legs. The mind can go deeper in meditation because the body rests more.
Although, I don’t agree with the half lotus or siddhasana because the pressure is put on the perineum making qi rise up to the head and can be yang.
FajinMarch 31, 2006 at 6:11 am #12158
I would like to hear more people chime in on this. Is it possible to really get that flexible to safely hold for an extended time, even sleeping in full lotus? I recall Michael talking about doing sitting meditation for very long times after having moved a lot, I wonder how that is relevant to this?March 31, 2006 at 10:22 am #12160
How about the cosmic sex between earth and heaven? I prefer sitting with my feet on the ground, seated in a chair with palmss resting on the knees; at a greater kan and li retreat I had the experience of having the sensation of my physical body completely dissolving in this position. I personally prefer the rooting into the earth, and connection with heaven this method allows.
Maybe you could elaborate on how the lotus position provides “more rest for the glands” as opposed to other sitting positions?
As far as crossing of yin and yang is concerned, that depends on what level you are working on; if you want to cross the yin-yang regulator channels, fine, you are working on a horizontal axis of the physical body. The energetic connection between earth and heaven allows for a vertical exchange between earth and heaven through the core channel, so it really comes down to what level you prefer to work on.
I would also question whether it is really healthy to stay in a lotus position for a long time. It seems to be another case of “deny the physical body because all physicality is suffering”.March 31, 2006 at 2:20 pm #12162
It seems to me that, according to everyone’s analysis, zazen (basically kneeling on a cusion or a bench) is the WORST option — i.e., not bubling spring points on the ground and know pretzel-like intersection of yin and yang.
What depresses me about this though is that zazen is the easiest position for me. I’m never getting into lotus and sitting on a chair for long periods messes up my back.
So how do you all feel about the energetics of zazen sitting? Any comforting words to a zazen sitter?March 31, 2006 at 5:12 pm #12164
Hi Singing Ocean,
Interesting experience you had. But, would your experience of a comic orgasm had been for the better or for the worse if you had sat in padmasana?
Personally, I can sit for long periods in that position because my body is very flexible. It’s a natural position for me.
I don’t know what Max means about corssing as yin-yang, but I mean that when they are crossed with the yongquan facing upwards, blood circulation is better and the body is rested more as a result. I also find my spine aligned and still during long periods and can go deeper.
Also, why is the earth qi directly to huiyin not good? I have heard of yogis being able to levitate as a result of a high level on this.
FajinMarch 31, 2006 at 6:20 pm #12166
Ken Cohen says sitting in a chair is better that circulation of qi and breath is freer.
Most zen teachers prefer lotus.
IMO the most important thing is what you are doing with your mind and breath not the body but you should try both and adopt whichever feels most natural to you.March 31, 2006 at 11:53 pm #12168
Don’t let the over disection of sitting or seated postures guilt you one bit. The most important thing on the basic level is to be able to practice a effective meditation without pain, numbness or distraction. Obviously alignment of the spine is important, relaxation of the mind, body and breath I found to be core basic goals.
All postures have there purpose but ultimately effectiveness of practice for your situation more important. I from time to time visit many Temples and see a variant of pads, benches, and mini chairs these days. I think variety is good so we can compare for ourselves and gives us freedoom to explore.
If Zazen is the position of choice, utilize it so you can enter the “Zone”. There is no absolute Verdict on this issue, except for the quality and stillness of your practice & enjoyment.
On a side note, I found that effective Awareness/Mindfullness practice is essential for being able to enter into effective & fullfilling practice of other practice’s such as in Inner Alchemy, where you might be in a practice period for extended time periods. Have you ever Meditated in a group where people are constantly restless, or swishing around, alot of times there posture is all wrong for there physical capability.April 1, 2006 at 12:45 am #12170
Good question about whether I would have had the same experience sitting in padmasana; unfortunately I don’t know the answer to that one because I have not tried it extensively.
I feel that absorbing earth qi into the huiyin is somewhat raw and unrefined.
The real danger lies in the fact that when you are in padmasana and start levitating, if the phone rings and breaks your concentration you might fall to the ground with no feet to land on!April 1, 2006 at 1:09 am #12172
I guess that practices which require you to absorb qi from the earth might be better compensated by sitting on a chair.
About the levitation, I think you would be in too deep to let a phone break your concentration if you got to such a high level as levitating.
FajinApril 1, 2006 at 4:42 am #12174
It was a joke; the only way to really find out is to practice the different methods and observe their effects. You are of course free to find the most effective method.April 1, 2006 at 1:22 pm #12176
Correct, in my classes for relax yoga i am getting lots of people with physical problems I use cushions, little benches, even the wall to get their spines upright, I order them to listen to their needs and use any tool that feels right for their body. I give exercises to stretch their legs and hips in order to sit with crossed legs or even in seiza position. Some people have real disorders and sit upright on a chair or little bench.April 1, 2006 at 2:02 pm #12178
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