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Sitting Meditation Postures – Mastering the Full Lotus

It’s become almost synonymous with sitting meditation the world over.  Some will even tell you it’s the “best” meditation posture, advancing all kinds of esoteric arguments to prove their point.  

Yes, it’s that darn full lotus posture, the one we all have a love-hate relationship with because so few people, at least in the West, can maintain it comfortably, if they can even get into it in the first place šŸ˜‰


So let’s set the record straight on the full lotus by looking at the facts:

  1. It is a superb posture for meditation; no argument there.  It leaves you perfectly balanced and anchored, and may even alleviate the need for a cushion under your butt. 

     

  2. There are lots of other, easier meditation postures used in many meditative traditions, such as the ankle lock, perfect posture, the half lotus, kneeling posture and even sitting on a chair or stool.  So any argument that you can only meditate “properly” in the full lotus is, in my opinion, ‘full’ of something else…
  3. You need to beware of trying to force yourself to use the full lotus before your body is adequately prepared, because you risk permanent knee damage.

I make no secret of the fact that practicing meditation of some variety, your ability to enter into inner stillness, is one of the keys to your personal resilience.  So finding the right posture for yourself is an important step.  

Here’s a super video by Martin Faulks in the UK about how to master the lotus posture.  And for those of you who practice sitting meditation and have no intention of “mastering the full lotus”, I’d recommend you watch it anyway, since it briefly covers other postures and has lots of useful material for you:





What makes this such a great presentation?  Just this:

  • It gives you some background on the lotus flower as a symbol
  • It explains and demonstrates the difference between doing the lotus properly and doing it wrong – which can damage your knees
  • It shows you exactly how to train your body for the lotus (training that can benefit you even if you’re using one of the other postures, by the way!)
  • It emphasizes the critical preparation of the hip joints
  • It demonstrates, albeit briefly, the related sitting postures you’re more likely to use

The one thing I would add here is that if you’re seriously interested in improving your full lotus and maybe getting it to the point where you can use it comfortably to meditate, I’d suggest you start in the spring.  Why?


When the ambient temperature around you warms up, so do your soft tissues, and this makes it much easier for you to stretch with less likelihood of injury.  So if you start your “lotus project” in, say, April, then you’ll have about six solid months to work on it before the weather cools off again (of course, the opposite is the case for those of you in the southern hemisphere).  


Enjoy the video and happy meditating!


~ Dr. Symeon Rodger






Becoming a "Hollow Bone"

Hi all,

Just a couple of days ago I was teaching a University class on Native American Spirituality. We were talking about the famous Sioux medicine man, Frank Fools Crow, and how he approached his spiritual path and his healing of others.

Fools Crow said that since the power that healed himself and others wasn’t his own power but just came through him, he first had to make himself like a “hollow bone” (i.e. a tube), so that the Power from on high wasn’t obstructed or blocked.

To do this, Fools Crow used some Sioux rituals for expelling unwanted thoughts, energies and emotional content, and for refocusing himself on his relationship to this Power that comes from “Wakan Tanka” (the Sioux name for God).

This way, he noted, the medicine men and holy men of the Sioux typically lived longer and happier lives than most of the people around them. And, true to form, Fools Crow passed away in 1989 in his 100th year of life.

How to Become a “Hollow Bone”:

Obviously, learning Sioux rituals is highly impractical for anyone outside that culture. Fortunately there are alternatives.

We all know that if we make our happiness dependent on our circumstances, life will always seem like a struggle. And we can pretty easily understand that if our minds are full of negative emotional states, we’re the opposite of a “hollow bone”. Instead we’re a blocked pipe, and the energy of God can’t penetrate.

That’s the essence of the teachings of the “Authentic Ancient Traditions” I described in The 5 Pillars of Life. They all teach methods for becoming a “hollow bone” – that is, for emptying your self-concern and entering into inner silence – because human happiness depends on that.

So exactly HOW do you do it?? Yes, the intention to do so is vital, but how do you defeat your habits that create the opposite result?

Centuries ago, Taoist masters came up with their own method, one that’s simple, direct and can be used by anyone. When they took it to Japan, the Japanese eventually named it “Hara-gei”, the “art of the belly”.

By doing a makeover of your breathing, posture and movement, and then combining them with your mental attention, the ancient masters came up with a fool-proof way to return your entire mind-body organism to its natural state – a state of positive emotion, where no thoughts arise to disturb you… unless you decide to think about something.

This method was so powerful that the famous Chinese physician Sun Simiao – who himself lived over a hundred years in good health, wrote: “Tranquility then attains to concentration, and the body continues to live for years eternal.”

To learn more about this amazing method, you can go here:

http://www.warriorcoachinginternational.com/hara.html

This course is, so far as I know, the ONLY one in the entire English speaking world that actually shows you how to master HARA step-by-step.

And for anyone who grabs a copy this week, I’ll throw in a free copy of The 5 Pillars of Life.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger




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