Ideal Posture

All things related to beginning Zen Practice. Here is where to exchange information between those that have already started Zen training and those planning to do so.
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fuki
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by fuki » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:14 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:51 pm
kyosaku_three_lacewood_kyosaku.jpg
That's not Kate in the picture right? (unless you painted her a white "befje")
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:08 pm

fuki wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:14 pm
That's not Kate in the picture right? (unless you painted her a white "befje")
Marcel, you have a sharp eye! No, that cat is "Wayne". Wayne was a girl, but who knew at the time? (when she was just born as a kitten). She passed away here about 10 years ago at about age 15, and is buried under a favorite tree of hers on the property which she used to climb.

Thanks for "befje": my "New Word of the Day" (***I'm*** the one with the white "befje"!;
but, don't let the white hair fool you: it's NOT my natural hair color!). ;)

Sorry, off-topic.

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mason
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Mason » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:53 pm

Y'all are truly rather odd. :101:
:namaste:

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:58 pm

Guess it's called the Human Corn-dition.

--Joe :107:
Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind. - Ma Tsu

Liberation is awakening to one's original nature. - Ma Tsu

A guest never knows how much to laugh at a family joke. -Henny Youngman

Bodhi-Mind is working for the good of others. -Hakuin

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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:02 pm

Here's Suzie Grilley, illustrating a chair-sitting posture pretty ideally in her husband Paul Grilley's book, YIN YOGA: OUTLINE OF A QUIET PRACTICE, 2002.

She shows a bit excess lordosis of the lower spine than is usual for zazen, however (I think Meido Roshi will agree). But the thighs not touching the seat at all, and the feet flat to the floor are exemplary for a chair-sitting posture in practice (of course, the hand-mudra is to be determined).

--Joe

posture_chair.gif
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[james]
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by [james] » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:27 am

Honestly Joe, would you rather sit for an hour, on that chair, as you seem to recommend, or an hour (or even 20 minutes) in your Dentist’s chair? Sitting on the edge like that she may as well be sitting on a steel bar. Perhaps if the chair had no back and the sitter is positioned such that the chair seat is sloping in the same direction as the sitter is facing, she would be able to comfortably sit with a bit more buttock and thigh muscle in use. As illustrated it is bone on metal with a thin layer of skin being crushed in between. Not good, not sustainable, not to be recommended.

No apology necessary ...

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Mason
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Mason » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:05 am

Meido's instructions on posture have caused me some confusion in the past, but I'm very grateful to be able to sit better because of those instructions.
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:53 am

Everybody's the critic these days.

James, I'm one to shun "The Buddhist Hell of Perpetual Dentistry", so chair-sitting as Mrs. Grilley does would certainly be my choice ("honestly") between the two.

I'd not strike so much lordosis in the spine, though, ever. I'm a floor-sitter by choice and training, but have used chairs for zazen on occasion (esp. in the 8 weeks when I had a broken leg and crushed knee socket). But sitting as Suzie does in the chair is how I teach posture to students of the Buddhist Yoga I teach, if they choose a chair posture. Again, but not with so much spinal lordosis. And, the chair (or chair-height bench) need not be metal. For a Yogi(ni) like Suzie, though, I suppose the sit-bones are accustomed to even-balance on hard surfaces, so, no, I don't think an hour would be excessive, nor a challenge to a practiced practitioner.

I'd opine that most chairs are poorly designed for sitting in ANY posture in them. I note that Mr. Paul Grilley uses a round (cylindrical... ) homemade sitting platform when he teaches his Yin Yoga classes, and he sits lotus posture on it; the "platform" raises him about 18 inches (about "chair-height") from the floor, so he has a good view toward every student in his class, and they toward him.

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:18 am

Mason wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:05 am
Meido's instructions on posture have caused me some confusion in the past, but I'm very grateful to be able to sit better because of those instructions.
It's so great to have a Yoga teacher or meditation teacher in person, as you may remember from residential training, if senior students or the teacher there gave attention to introducing and teaching posture, and adjusting it in the students over weeks and months and years.

I'd say that posture evolves. And I'd say that one can get into unhelpful, unskillful habits without correction(s) and adjustment.

--Joe

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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:25 am

A photo from one of the ON ZEN PRACTICE volumes from Zen Center of Los Angeles in the 1970s.

(a Zen student's young daughter, perhaps. Taking the full Lotus posture quite naturally, it seems).

--Joe

posture_lotus_400.jpg
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Last edited by desert_woodworker on Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fuki
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by fuki » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:19 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:08 pm
Marcel, you have a sharp eye! No, that cat is "Wayne". Wayne was a girl, but who knew at the time? (when she was just born as a kitten). She passed away here about 10 years ago at about age 15, and is buried under a favorite tree of hers on the property which she used to climb.

Thanks for "befje": my "New Word of the Day" (***I'm*** the one with the white "befje"!;
but, don't let the white hair fool you: it's NOT my natural hair color!). ;)

Sorry, off-topic.

--Joe
:lol:

Ah, now I remember "Wayne" and the "Tree" thank you.
Mason wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:53 pm
Y'all are truly rather odd. :101:
All white man with beards and spectacles are prejudice, prejudiciors. :lol:
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
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[james]
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by [james] » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:59 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:53 am
Everybody's the critic these days.
As vocal and outspoken as you are, an expectation of criticism would be logical especially when making recommendations in an area where you admittedly have little experience.
I'm a floor-sitter by choice and training, but have used chairs for zazen on occasion ... But sitting as Suzie does in the chair is how I teach posture to students of the Buddhist Yoga I teach, if they choose a chair posture.
For a Yogi(ni) like Suzie, though, I suppose the sit-bones are accustomed to even-balance on hard surfaces, so, no, I don't think an hour would be excessive, nor a challenge to a practiced practitioner.
You are a seasoned practitioner, right? I challenge you to sit as you recommend, on a chair such as you illustrate, for the next month according to whatever zazen “schedule” you currently follow and report back to us here. I won’t say what I suppose.
I'd opine that most chairs are poorly designed for sitting in ANY posture in them. I note that Mr. Paul Grilley uses a round (cylindrical... ) homemade sitting platform when he teaches his Yin Yoga classes, and he sits lotus posture on it; the "platform" raises him about 18 inches (about "chair-height") from the floor, so he has a good view toward every student in his class, and they toward him.
Setting oneself up on a pedestal is a slippery slope.

I’ve been sitting on a height adjustable, hard seat stool with zafu for the last eight years or so after sitting in lotus posture for many more years before that. I messed around with chairs for a couple of years and found nothing suitable. I wouldn’t recommend a chair to anyone. I’m obviously an expert.
:558:

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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:16 pm

[james] wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:59 pm
You are a seasoned practitioner, right? I challenge you to sit as you recommend, on a chair such as you illustrate, for the next month according to whatever zazen “schedule” you currently follow and report back to us here. I won’t say what I suppose.
Seasoned; salt-and-pepper, yes. Or, these days, completely white-haired. Against desert sun... . :hatsoff:

Suzie Grilley (or Paul) writes that the chair posture shown is the one taught by one Swami Yogananda to his Western students.

It works dandy for practitioners of zazen, too. I myself am not drawn to it, having an accustomed floor posture. Those who adopt Yogananda's posture will of course make it their own, in their own ways, in their own time. For me, it was OK-enough twice a day during my eight weeks with the broken leg and crushed knee, so I can vouch that I've already exceeded your friendly challenge invitation by double. Thanks for the invitation to report.

Got knee-thing else? ;)

--Joe

pos_cha2.gif
Pp. 88 and 89; Grilley, YIN YOGA (2002)
pos_cha2.gif (1.34 MiB) Viewed 336 times

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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:00 am

[james] wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:59 pm
I wouldn’t recommend a chair to anyone.
Nor would I. If they're gonna do it, they're gonna do it. Good to have a ready "save" for them. Teach a way to use a chair to good advantage without jeopardizing the body, the practice, or the harmony of the sangha. That's been my way.

But again, a chair served me when I needed it in those 8 weeks of bone-knitting. Hail!

(thanks for the thread, Mason),

--Joe

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Enver M.
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Enver M. » Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:19 am

Joe--

Can we say that Zen can be find in motion
and zazen in static (stagnant)?
no need for mathematic !!!
:waving:

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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Enver M. » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:50 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:16 pm
[james] wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:59 pm
You are a seasoned practitioner, right? I challenge you to sit as you recommend, on a chair such as you illustrate, for the next month according to whatever zazen “schedule” you currently follow and report back to us here. I won’t say what I suppose.
Seasoned; salt-and-pepper, yes. Or, these days, completely white-haired. Against desert sun... . :hatsoff:

Suzie Grilley (or Paul) writes that the chair posture shown is the one taught by one Swami Yogananda to his Western students.

It works dandy for practitioners of zazen, too. I myself am not drawn to it, having an accustomed floor posture. Those who adopt Yogananda's posture will of course make it their own, in their own ways, in their own time. For me, it was OK-enough twice a day during my eight weeks with the broken leg and crushed knee, so I can vouch that I've already exceeded your friendly challenge invitation by double. Thanks for the invitation to report.

Got knee-thing else? ;)

--Joe


pos_cha2.gif

Sitting on a chair is the best.
no need for mathematic !!!
:waving:

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:17 pm

Enver, good morning,
Enver M. wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:19 am
Joe--

Can we say that Zen can be find in motion
and zazen in static (stagnant)?
See what a Zen Buddhist teacher such as Meido would say, or a Ch'an Buddhist teacher such as Guo Gu would say!

I myself would say that we practice zazen as a way of coming to see our original face, and we bring it into the realm of activity when we practice kinhin (a walking practice in the zendo), and when we practice samu in the zendo (work-practice, like cleaning, and preparing meals). Bringing the original mind into these activities is a gentle way of learning that samadhi need not be "scared-away" when we emerge from our stationary zazen posture. It is a training for us in helping to cause to remain the samadhi state, or a samadhi state of some depth, "24-7".

In other words, and to answer your very good question, my answer would be that zazen is for everyday-life, and its benefits and blessings are appreciated when stationary and when moving and working.

But see what the qualified and confirmed Ch'an- and Son- and Thien- and Zen-Buddhist teachers say, Please!

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fuki
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by fuki » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:27 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:17 pm
Bringing the original mind into these activities is a gentle way of learning that samadhi need not be "scared-away" when we emerge from our stationary zazen posture. It is a training for us in helping to cause to remain the samadhi state, or a samadhi state of some depth, "24-7".
Nope but it's sometimes "scary" for family (friends) or people who want to see the "non-samadhi "person""
it just triggers their desire/fears a lot especially the deeper emotionally attached they are to the picture called "you"
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:42 pm

hi, Marcel,
fuki wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:27 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:17 pm
Bringing the original mind into these activities is a gentle way of learning that samadhi need not be "scared-away" when we emerge from our stationary zazen posture. It is a training for us in helping to cause to remain the samadhi state, or a samadhi state of some depth, "24-7".
Nope but it's sometimes "scary" for family (friends) or people who want to see the "non-samadhi "person""
it just triggers their desire/fears a lot especially the deeper emotionally attached they are to the picture called "you"
It's no quandary at all. In the awakened state, one behaves as is perfect in the setting and circumstances. You take care of your loved-ones and strangers and other beings just as is necessary, in complete and enveloping natural Compassion. If they think you are now too loving and much too warm, well too bad. Your care will heal them, and you'll "know" just how to.

Mind you, I'm not talking about a half-baked, frozen, intermediary, zoned-out, transitional state. I'm talking about the awakened state, of complete freedom.

No one knows about this until they do, though.

:)

--Joe

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fuki
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by fuki » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:02 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:42 pm
It's no quandary at all. In the awakened state, one behaves as is perfect in the setting and circumstances. You take care of your loved-ones and strangers and other beings just as is necessary, in complete and enveloping natural Compassion. If they think you are now too loving and much too warm, well too bad. Your care will heal them, and you'll "know" just how to.

Mind you, I'm not talking about a half-baked, frozen, intermediary, zoned-out, transitional state. I'm talking about the awakened state, of complete freedom.

No one knows about this until they do, though.

:)

--Joe
Mornin' Sir.

No problem just an observation.
Not too loving or warm, just silly stuff like people not being able to reach you for days or weeks via phone/e-mail etc
or even more silly people wondering why you aren't watching a football game or not interested in sensual desires/activities so they fear something is wrong with you :lol: or when with people talk very little to none unless it's functional or 'called for'
ofcourse I "know" what to do since it arises in the moment and it's nothing intentional or deliberate nevertheless I do feel for mom especially since it does enhance her personal narrative, her worries and fears - when I'm not physically present. But it gets better over time.
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