Zazen - Posture - Dharma Rain Zen Center
The postures used for zazen teach our bodies how to be still, and slowly the
mind catches on to this stillness. The postures expresse stability and
acceptance. However, meditation does not depend on any conditions, physical
or otherwise, so it is not necessary to use any particular posture. Part of the practice
is maintaining the mind of meditation throughout daily life, when we move
through many postures besides traditional sitting poses.
It is normal to feel discomfort sometimes while meditating. There is a
balance between taking care of one’s physical and psychological
needs, and avoiding any discomfort. There is no need to strain for
a posture, or cause injury;
respect the requirements and needs of your unique body. Experiment
to find what positions can be held comfortably for the longest time.
Over time, bodies
change; what used to be comfortable will no longer work, and other
variations become possible. Zazen is a constant discovery of what
it means to sit and
On the other hand, it is important to recognize the difference between
pain that could be damaging, and discomfort that may be expressing tension
aversion. Especially in the beginning of meditation practice, discomfort
is common as
the body adapts to unfamiliar poses. Although it may seem difficult at
first, developing good meditation posture is valuable; over time there
will be fewer
problems if you begin with a good posture.
Physical discomfort is also
a common expression of our resistance to what we find in our minds.
Watching our minds
can make us uncomfortable, and the physical position becomes an excuse
distract ourselves by shifting position or abandoning the meditation.
Finding a balance
between taking care of our needs and disciplining our wayward tendencies
is key to meditation practice.