I just had total knee replacement surgery (went well and recovering rapidly) but my meditation was stymied by not being able to sit and the pain meds making it hard to concentrate. I found however that at moments of intense fear before or pain now in recovery I am able to focus on breath energy flowing through the pained area, focus on areas that have no pain, and focus on pain as transitory and not “mine.” It’s encouraging to see that even my run of the mill practice provides such effective tools that kick in automatically in crisis.
Well, I’m glad it went well. My knees have been shot for years. But I’m doing okay, I want to wait for something cool and cybernetic before I get a new one!
Get yourself a meditation chair!
For those not used to it, here’s how to choose a good meditation chair:
- broad and fairly flat seat with some cushioning. The seat should be broad enough to support your bum and thighs.
- four stable legs (not folding or rolling; they wobble!)
- wood frame (not metal or plastic; they feel cold or unpleasant after a long time)
- no arms (they get painful after a long time!)
- seat must have somewhat textured and absorbent finish, not slippery or sweaty (eg. vinyl)
- reasonably upright back
- check it out and see if it feels good!
When sitting on a chair, put the feet flat on the ground (if the height is correct) or crossed if you legs are long (like me!). Get a cushion for your feet if they don’t reach the ground.
Sit back against the seat back, and let the back of the chair help you sit upright. Don’t try to sit 100% off the back, the physics is not like sitting on the floor; you’ll be constantly fighting against the posture.
The dynamics of sitting in a chair are a little different to being on the floor. You feel a little less stable, less grounded, and less vaguely “meditative”. But the advantage is that it’s less painful and much easier to sit for long periods. You’ll get used to it!