Intention to correct the posture: how desirable?

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Francis 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #3343

    Francis
    Member

    Hi,

    I’ve been practicing the method presented in TMI for just a little over a month now. I’m surprised by how much one session can differ from others in term of perceived quality. I can have a streak of 4-5 sessions that seem go very well then have a series of more difficult ones.

    In the last few sessions I’ve experienced tension in the chest and noticed it seems to be related to the following factors: 1) Me unwillingly controlling the out breath 2) Trying to maintain a good posture 3) My body not being relaxed enough and 4) Some extra striving and concern for progress.

    My sessions last from 1h to 1h20 in general. Usually, after 45 minutes or so, the tensions tend to subside, I think because I let go of controlling the breath and starts letting my body adopt the posture it feels comfortable in.

    What happens then though is that I feel that I adopt a slightly slouched posture (although I don’t see myself) and my head ends up turning 45 degrees to the right. I feel relaxed at this point though and can work on more subtle aspects of the meditation, follow the breath more closely, watch for hypnagogic images as signs of potential dullness as well as emerging strong distractions etc.

    So my question is this. How much concern should I have about the posture, given that attempts to keep right is a great source of distraction and tensions?

    Thanks you for any comments on this.

    Blessings to all.

    Francis

    #3344

    Florian
    Member

    Hello Francis,

    I might be able to add my two cents regarding slouching: when I started doing sitting practice I encountered the same problem: my posture tended to fall into a slouch after only a few minutes of sitting, then I’d be occupied with correcting for that through the whole sit. What helped a lot with that was doing some exercises for my back musculature. That way the slouching started subsiding after some weeks, until one day it was no problem anymore.

    Your issue with the head tilting to the right I’d like to second: I got the same thing. Whenever I’m concentrated on the cushion my head tilts slowly to the right where it then stays locked.
    Culadasa talks about something like that in one of the audios of a teaching retreat (The Jhanas, Part 3, around minute 57).
    Not sure if that’s the same thing as your (or my) phenomenon.

    So no. Not much advice. Mostly testimony: I did correct for slouching until it was not necessary any longer. I don’t correct for head tilting 🙂

    As for controlling the breath: it’s not easy watching the breath without influencing the breath. All I can say is that with me it gets better as time goes on.

    As for striving for progress: Don’t strive. Progress comes on its own. Just enjoy the time you’re taking. Each sit is cool and enriching on its own. (And yes: the less you strive, the more you achieve. There’s nothing like inverse psychology…).

    But this is all from a novice. Please take it with some grains of salt.

    All the best
    Florian

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Florian.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Florian.
    #3350

    Francis
    Member

    Hello Florian.

    Thanks for your testimonial and contribution. It’s pleasant to see others having similar experiences.

    Striving or craving for progress is always a thing to watch … or let go of. As often as I remember to do so, I try to appreciate the delight in following the subtle sensations of the breath when I can remove the conceptual sheets that wrap the raw sensory input at their core.

    As for training the back musculature that is a great advice especially since I work at the computer all day. I’ll try to incorporate one or two back exercises in my daily routine.

    That is a good strategy. Off the cushion, strengthen postural muscles. On the cushion, not worrying to much about it.

    Speaking of cushion, I actually use a meditation bench that I built following some specifications found on the net a long time ago. But I just ordered a zafu + zabuton combo. I’ll see how it helps with the posture.

    All the best,

    Francis

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