About ten months in to meditating 20 minutes two days out of my five-day exercise cycle, a few updates. I last updated in November on my full lotus pose. Practice is making it more comfortable. Here’s my post with the video of me in the pose. You may have noticed my sitting on a folded towel on a folded sheet. Here’s me, about to sit on the folded towel on the folded sheet, from the video:
You probably know I don’t like creating demand for material stuff, so I’ve been checking Craigslist for months for a used meditation cushion at a reasonable price. At last, I found someone selling a cushion and pad for forty dollars, so more than a towel, but cheaper than new and take a long time to wear out.
Update 1: I bought and started using a meditation cushion and pad that look like these:
The guy selling them was great. We spoke during the exchange. This morning I meditated with the cushion for the first time. They were remarkably more comfortable and less distracting, except that they kept making me think of writing this post. I’ve been holding the full lotus for about ten to fifteen minutes on the towel, with the last few minutes difficult. This morning I held it comfortably about twenty-five minutes without trouble.
While looking up about cushions before buying this one, I stumbled on this image.
I’d never seen that pose before. Update 2: I tried it. Unlike the picture, I could only interlock my fingers and then only hold it a few minutes, maybe five, but I could feel how useful the pose is. It opened and loosened my upper chest and arms. It’s also symmetric, unlike my usual ways of putting my hands and arms in front, which bothered me.
I’ve added getting this pose to my working on my third-world squat, which I’ve started practicing daily, though I’ve plateaued for months on it without yet achieving it. Still, I know steady application will reach it. I figure I’ll be able to reach good form with a couple months’ practice.
I found that the Vipassana place in Massachusetts where in 2007 I learned meditation on a ten-day no talking, reading, or writing retreat and have returned for other retreats of equal and sometimes shorter duration started hosting onine morning sessions. Mostly they just play the recordings of Goenka that anyone who’s done a retreat at one of his centers knows all too well. The instructor also answers questions afterward.
So finally, for update 3, I’ve participated in their online morning sessions. I always found Goenka’s chanting and some parts of his manner annoying, but I like the instruction and hearing the questions answered.
Soon I’ll get the hands-behind-the-back pose and hold the full-lotus comfortably indefinitely. I don’t think of meditation as a big part of my life, just something I practice regularly, but I do find it keeps teaching me about life, nature, myself, and being human. I accept that doing a full lotus is serious meditation. Adding the behind-the-back part and holding it twenty or thirty minutes is serious, all the more for someone with an unlimber 49-year-old body.
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