Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing to steal.
Ryokan returned and caught him. "You have come a long way...
ANY PRACTITIONER WITH OSTEOARTHRITIS?
TOPIC: ANY PRACTITIONER WITH OSTEOARTHRITIS? by Magnus Posted on Mar.19.2009 @ 11:34AM EDT by Magnus
I am writing my very first message here;)
I practice Zazen in a Soto Zen group in Sweden. I have been troubled with stiffness in my legs for quite a while, and on top of that I got myself into Zen practice;) I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hip-joint which causes major difficulties sitting in any lotus position. I use to sit on my Zafu in Seiza, which works ok. BUT, I stretch, bend and things like that, to eventually get myself sitting in half lotus.
My question is; is there anyone of you who have experince with hip-osteoarthritis and Zazen?
In that case; is it worth the daily pain, with stretching and bending, or is it a 'dead-end'? My assumption is that I have to stretch for several years to get where I want, but the time is no hindrance.
Any good tips for stretching, concerning hip-osteoarthritis?
Excuse my poor English, I am from Sweden as I said earlier:-)
All the best to you all!
Reply from kelvintan Meditation Advices Given Need-to Understand Sitting
'Zazen' is a Japanese term that refers to the process of sitting quietly and increasing your awareness.
Traditionally it has been practiced in a crossed-legged position, but there is no reason at all why you cannot simply sit on a normal dining chair instead. The chair is better for your circulation, and will be far more comfortable if you are unaccustomed to the lotus position.
Your hands can rest palm up on your thighs, or in your lap.
What do you do?
Why, you do nothing at all. You just sit. Do not close your eyes, sing, hum or fidget. Just sit. Do not watch TV or read anything. Sit.
Your body will offer you a whole array of distractions, itches and irritations. Accept this and sit.
If you are restless and agitated, if your thoughts are racing, this is all good. It serves to demonstrate your need for sitting.
Be aware of your thoughts. Do not pay undue attention to them, but be conscious that they are there.
Be aware of your body sensations. Any tension. The feel of your feet on the ground. Your buttocks on the chair.
Be aware of your breathing. But do not do anything special with it. Allow it to happen. Imagine the breath travelling deeper and deeper into your body.
Be aware of the sounds around you. But avoid listening or analysing. Let the sounds come to you. Be passive.
Be aware of your centre. Allow your body to sink internally.
Be aware of the moment. Be present. But do not fall asleep.
Sitting/zazen is akin to qigong. You are not fixed or held in place. You are simply relaxing, softening, letting-go.
Zen is concerned with releasing accumulated knowledge, opinions, preconceptions, ideas. Let them all pass and fade.
Centre yourself in the here and now.
The above content is copied and pasted for your information.
Simplicity is the best policy.
Reply from Doreen Hi Magnus,
I also have osteoarthritis in my knee - and I just had surgery on my hip for the arthritis. I just sit like described above, or I can now do walking meditation (since my surgery).
Reply from chontri How are you doing, Ms. Doreen? How does the surgery help you?
Reply from Doreen I am doing very well, thank you. Before I was in alot of pain walking - now I can walk without pain. I now can walk miles, wher before I was suffering if I walked around a store. I still do not have the range of motion to sit lotus style, but that is okay.
Thanks for asking.
Reply from chontri That's pretty good in your health condition. Sitting in a lotus posture or half-lotus posture is one thing. Awakening or not is another thing.
Reply from kelvintan Quote: "Good in formation, Mr. Kelvintan." (chontri)
Conscious Having Overcome No Thought Realises Inner
stillness and quietude.
Living in harmony with our surrounding.
Thank you for helping others in a wise and unconditional way.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
With Metta To All
Reply from chontri Oh, no. Not that. We all are just doing some daily conversations together
Magnus & et al 03/19/2009
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