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Posture
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1/5/19 9:08 PM
Been meditating for a while. For the last year and a half been doing 30 to 45 minute sits day and night. I hurt my back a while back and went from meditating on a bench to a chair. The chair is good but it looks like I’m in second path equanimity and it’s real difficult to sit more than 20 minutes due to recently hurting my back again. Would like to be sitting 45 minutes to an hour right now. Anyone have experience with laying down or other way to practice to get that time in? I have laid down to practice but get tired and also don’t know that I have given it a far try due to the energy is so different. I am also noting in daily life which I know helps. Anyway just trying to see what anyone else thought about this situation. Thanks in advance 

RE: Posture
Answer
1/6/19 5:00 AM as a reply to Dustin.
Getting tired can be a problem when meditating while lying down depending on your energy levels. You might be able to mitigate that somewhat by propping yourself up on pillows, but maybe not. Standing meditation is another good option as energy levels tend to be higher. I really like standing meditation and have often used my posture as my meditation object in that position. It's a lot of fun for me to close my eyes and notice that little bit of sway with the breath, but I've done a lot of martial arts and balance training so it might not be so fun for people who haven't. However you can stand that's comfortable and gives you a place to work from is fine.

Another thing to try is walking meditation--this can be extremely powerful insight practice. Some of my most important insights have come while walking. A nice combination of walking/standing is to walk about 8-10 paces and then take some time in the standing position at the turn arounds. And you can also combine sitting with walking/standing in whatever ways keep you comfortable but allow you to get the practice time in.

Best wishes for your practice!

RE: Posture
Answer
1/6/19 4:22 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
So I laid down and practiced twice today and it was pretty good. There is a different flow of energy when sitting than laying and I’ll have to get use to that. I like what you said about walking meditation during the standing and the turn around. I’ve done walking but not really focused on standing or turning. Thanks for the info!

RE: Posture
Answer
1/7/19 9:02 PM as a reply to Dustin.
Hi Dustin,
Where is your back pain located? I pinched a nerve in my upper spine which caused me extraordinary amounts of upper back pain whenever I tried to sit down and meditate. I picked up one of those posture braces and it helped a lot. Again, this was for upper back pain, so im not sure if it will help in your case.

RE: Posture
Answer
1/8/19 1:58 AM as a reply to Dustin.
There are other lying down postures you could experiment with too. Lying flat on your back with knees raised and feet flat on the floor is one. Another is while lying on your back and keeping the elbow on the floor point the rest of the arm upwards and hold that position. These can make subtle differences in energy levels. 

RE: Posture
Answer
1/8/19 6:19 AM as a reply to Adam M.
Good idea, Adam. There's also legs up a wall pose (as it sounds) and a variety of other restorative yoga poses like reclining bound angle, etc. All change the energy up and give you different sensations to play with. Might also help alleviate back pain. I just googled "restorative yoga back pain" and all sorts of things came up.

RE: Posture
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1/8/19 8:22 AM as a reply to Eric.
I have an annular tear in the lumbar spine. I’m icing it with a brace on but the brace is super uncomfortable otherwise.

RE: Posture
Answer
1/8/19 8:27 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Thanks for all the replies. I sat and laid down last night and this morning. 15 minutes sit concentration then 30 noting  and this morning was some of the best equanimity I’ve ever had. It’s still going to take time getting use to the differences. I think I was so against it because of being use to sitting that I couldn’t get anywhere with it. Last night I realized I needed to let go and be with the way it was no matter what played out and I guess surrendering worked. Imagine that. Lol

RE: Posture
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1/8/19 12:35 PM as a reply to Dustin.
Nice! Isn't it amazing how injuries and other setbacks can lead to good things like surrender and a deepened equanimity?

There's something called the Stockdale Paradox, named after Admiral James Stockdale, where the worst things in life can turn out to be the things we're most grateful for. Stockdale was a POW who went on to say this about his experiences being tortured. He was influenced more by Stoic philosophy than Buddhism, but there are a lot of parallels.

A Stockdale quote grabbed from Wikipedia: "You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

RE: Posture
Answer
1/8/19 2:43 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
That's great to hear Dustin. Some traditions place so much emphasis on sitting over lying that people with back problems can be made to feel as if their meditaiton days are over. It's such nonsense. Plenty of people can meditate well when lying down. I personallly think it's a great posture for navigating through equanimity. Hope things continue to go well for you.

RE: Posture
Answer
1/8/19 2:58 PM as a reply to Dustin.
One thing you might want to try out if you're lying down is some of the guided somatic meditations by Reggie Ray, which are actually intended to be done lying down.  If you sign up here, you can download a bunch of them.  I especially like the "Guided 10 Points Practice" and "Guided 3-Fold Breathing".  

RE: Posture
Answer
1/8/19 3:30 PM as a reply to Adam M.
Seeing people care about including disabled, injured and ill people fills my heart with joy. Ableism is so common. Thank you! Also, so much great advice in this thread! I suffer from fatigue on a regular basis, and this was an eye opener to me. Subtle changes really can make a difference. I go to restorative yoga classes and the meditation there is awsome. At home I only fall asleep when I lie down to meditate. Yet I didn’t connect the dots to realize that those subtle differences made all the difference. Great advice for the next time I’m unable to sit.