Technical aspects of meditation

Good discussion.
It is important to understand whether the objective is Jhana (samatha) or Samadhi (vipassana)
I do not discard the Yogic meditation considering the fact Buddha’s former Jhana teachers are ??
I also understand cross legged position is not suitable for all but it does not mean you through away the baby with bad water.

Agree. You have to be patient. That is why I am gradually building up it over five years.
Another tip is sit cross legged when you watch tv etc. For instance right now I am sitting cross legged watching the ocean in the horizon and typing this.


I think the main benefits of sitting cross legged are that your sitting meditation is more portable, which is particularly handy in the wilderness, and the legs form a more unified section of body closer to the torso making it easier to envelope and inhabit the whole body with a unified awareness. Neither of these benefits is worth damaging your knees over.



This makes a lot of sense because the Buddha advised his disciples to practice in seclusion because the household life is full of defilements. He clearly favored wilderness for that reason. Besides most people ordained at relatively younger ages and they were unlikely to have had knee problems. Therefore, the Buddha apparently did not have a reason to recommend any other posture such as sitting on a chair.

I think what is important is to be pragmatic rather than dogmatic.

With Metta


Whether it is pragmatic or dogmatic is depend on your objectives.
Yes if you want to be an armchair yogi.
No if you are seeking some higher level of Jhana.
I am not condemning the people who can’t sit cross legged. What I am saying this idea is similar to the arm chair ascetic mentioned in another thread.
I hope I am getting my message across without upsetting some people.
This is not a criticism of people who can’t sit cross legged.
I have no problem when a monk mention that posture is not important. Because he know this idea of cross legged is more relavant to a monk rather than a lay follower.

@SarathW1 Can you explain why you think sitting cross legged (presumably in the lotus position) is a prerequisite for attaining a “higher level of jhana”? What level of jhana do you think people who don’t sit cross legged can attain?

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I can’t answer your question as I have not attain any Jhana except for perhaps Upachara Samadhi. (I am not sure of this either)
I am still not have a satisfactory answer from any one as to the shortest duration of Jhana. Why I am saying this is as I suddenly experience flash lights but I am not in cross legged position.
I do lot of meditation in the bed to find that I go to faster sleep. Based on that would say the highest you can go is the Upachara Samadhi.
Having said that some people sleep even in cross legged position.
I am glad you came to this discussion but you are noncommittal.
So what is your opinion?

I would rather like to be an armchair yogi. A short period of meditation followed by a nice cup of tea. :yum:


Perhaps I am in the same boat at the moment.

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What is important is that higher Jhana is not required to attain Nibbana.
So the level of Jhana acquired by any sitting position may suffice to attain the goal.

This raises a bunch of questions. If I remember correctly, one cannot get to the “9th jhana” (the goal) without proper view/insight. Is that right?

What has insight got to do with posture??

The way I understand there are two types of insight. Dry insight refers to enlightenment without Jhana. The body witness refers to insight with experience of Jhana.

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This applies to insight as a body witness.

I think it’s possible to have jhana lying down. Ajhan Brahmavanso mentions this. I’m convinced it’s possible standing, for somebody who has attained it and developed it very well sitting down, and also one of the reasons such a person would come to stop, if it occurs while doing walking meditation so that they are left standing, though it’s unlike to go on for very long as the position is inherently unstable. Walking per se is compatible only with post jhanic bliss. This has been called jhana too, in the suttas, IMHO, though not strictly so. Any state of samadhi that arise before jhana cannot be called jhana and is called samāhita (collected) ekaggata (one-pointedness), including samadhi (access concentration, in the commentaries). So any sitting position doesn’t mean jhana and at least the first jhana is required for full enlightenment. The first jhana would be reachable at the point of stream entry, as they complete the path, albeit in that moment of achieving stream entry.

I understand the fetters to samsara as fetters to experiences of the world, through the sense bases and experiences don’t cease as long as they are active. A samadhi free from hindrances is required to begin insight practice proper, that is hindrances strong enough to disrupt mindfulness and clear comprehension. The first jhana is really helpful for the insight process to take ‘flight’. It buffers against difficulties in being secluded, is pleasant abiding and balanced insight experiences like anicca, nibbida, bhanga (dissolution), cessation, the last of which is the experience of Nibbana.

Cessation of perception and feeling (‘nirodha-samapatti’) is special because it allows the Arupa jhana practitioner to go where no-one has gone before which is a state beyond the 8th attainment (or jhana) and I cannot see a reason to not call immaterial attainments jhana as otherwise is misleading to the beginner, though it might have been common knowledge ‘back then’. Cessation of perception and feeling was attained at the very least, by those on the 3rd step of enlightenment. These are non-returners or anagamins. At this stage the practice in Samadhi (samadhi sikkha) is complete, and sensual cravings and aversions have been removed along with other defilements that rely on those two, the training in samadhi includes eradication of thought and emotional disruptions which erodes samadhi.

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Any attaining Jhana with any posture may be possible for an experienced meditator.
Experienced meditator enter into Jhana at will and exit at will as well.

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I havent heard the term “body witness” before - do you know what it means, and where it comes from? It sounds like the first foundation of mindfulness.

Kayasakkhi SuttaCentral

So does “personal witness” here refer to the person experiencing jhana?

I think it is more general, as in referring to people who frequently meditate. As used in SuttaCentral

The term “directly experiencing” (kayena phusitva) is also a defining feature.

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