- Have a hierarchy of sitting options, and move through them as pain and discomfort dictate. It can be useful to spend a minute or two observing pain and its effects on your mind, but in the long run its best to make sitting meditation something you enjoy, and the best way to do that is understanding what causes pain and discomfort to build up in the body, and remove those causes.
For example: maybe you can sit cross leg on the floor for 30 min before discomfort becomes strong enough for you to maintain citta passadhi. Switch to the next siting posture in your hierchy. Maybe you can do 20 min in that. Then switch again.
the type of chair that supports your butt in a downward angle and locks your legs in place,
It gives you a slight backbend, a nice counterstretch to a cross leg floor sit.
a stool. Or if you have a chair, don’t use the back. some ergonomic stools have adjustable angle on seat.
kneeling position on the floor, with a spacer (to take pressure of knees and legs). Like that ergonomic stool pictured above, the kneeling posture also gives you a slight backbend, a nice counterstretch to the normal cross leg seating posture which is biased toward a forward bend.
building the spacer for free: For example, I have several books on economics and finance, which have the right dimensions of not being too big to adjust leg width comfort, but not too small like a bicycle seat that will put too much pressure on your butt and not enough leg support to relieve pressure. The books are stacked about 9 inches high (maybe for you only 4-6 inches work better), on top of that I arrange a folded blanket as padding, and sit on it. Don’t use religious books, or anything that others revere. Only use books or material that are filthy and appropriate to close proximity to your butt. Deva protectors for other religions may kill or maim you if you sit on a bible for example. This is not a joke.
don’t worry about perfect posture. Be aware of where you are, with respect to good posture, and take the necessary steps to make sure you’re moving steadily in that direction, but it takes time so don’t force it. When one part of the body is messed up, other parts will get messed up to compensate.
Here is the best technique I learned, to gradually and organically fix posture, from yoga. Take a really long comfortable breath, so you’re literally inflating like a balloon, and you can feel your spine lengthening, try to inflate into “good posture”. Then, on the exhale, relax, mentally trying to gently maintain ideal posture, but let it settle into the natural sustainable state, even it’s crooked (for now). If you stretch 5 minutes before and after every sit, cease bad practices in normal daily life that lead to bad posture, and just make sure you’re moving toward good posture, eventually it will get there. For jhana, you can be lying down or sitting in a chair or standing, so crooked imperfect posture is not something you need to get tense about.
Some exercises to do for the 5 minutes before and after sit, see msg #4 in
If I charged you 10,000$ for one day of private lessons on this, and you got the hang of it, you would consider it one of the greatest bargains ever. Well, how does free of charge sound?
These yoga poses were particularly helpful for opening hips and legs for full lotus seated posture:
In that directory, you should see some videos for how to do:
pigeon (the pigeon sequence video is what I did every day to help lotus)
iyengar/seated angle pose and bound angle pose
These exercises, some of them new to me, others similar to what I improvised on my own, look promising. He doesn’t instruct in English, but the physical demonstration is clear.
filename: “lotus prep indian dude”