You will be sitting meditating or listening to talks for about 6 hours each day.


You are likely to experience aches and pains from sitting for so long.


A good posture is considered essential for meditation, and can reduce unnecessary stress on some parts of the body.


Sit with the spine vertical with no sidewards bending, allowing it to curve naturally. There is no need to sit with a ramrod-straight spine as this will cause undue strain to the muscles in the lower back.


Sitting with arms on kneecaps can help air to circulate around the body, especially in hot weather. Sitting with the hands in the lap may be easier on the shoulders.


Either leg can be the front leg. It's suggested that you alternate to avoid developing a one-sided posture.


It takes practice to be able to achieve some of the positions.


Pushing yourself to sit in a positon that is too difficult for you is unlikely to be beneficial.


One wooden box stool, square cushion and small flat cushion are available for everyone in Meditation Hall 2 after registration. If you need more cushions, collect them after everyone has taken their initial allocation.


Cross LeggedCross Legged
Sit with the ankles crossed in front of you, and the hips relaxed so the knees fall under their own weight. This is an easy position for beginners, though the crossing of the ankles can quickly lead to pins and needles. This can alleviated by sitting on one of the wooden box stools or on cushions.


Kneel on the knees and shins, with the feet straight out behind you. This is a solid position, but is hard on the ankles and knees. This can be alleviated by stacking cushions between your legs under your buttocks. An even more comfortable method is to sit like this on a box stool with cushions under the shins and under your buttocks.


Half OpenHalf Open
Sit with one leg bent in front of you with the toes touching the opposite knee and the other leg behind you. Though this position does not always allow for the spine to be perfectly straight, it is useful when you start to experience knee pain. It is made easier by sitting on a box stool or cushions.


Sit with one leg in front of you with the heel pulled up  into the groin, and the other leg immediately in front of it, without crossing the legs. This is not so easy for beginners, but is a comfortable and stable position and worth practicing, even if you use other positions more.


Half LotusHalf Lotus
This one needs a little more practice and flexibility in the hips. One leg is in front of you with the foot pulled almost under the buttock, and the other foot is placed on the thigh. You sit on the buttocks and the foot and knee of the lower leg, or if more flexible, on the buttocks and both knees. Note that flexibility in the hips allows the  foot to be pulled up without undue strain on the knee and the ankle.


It can take some time to progress to this traditional meditation position, and even Buddhadasa felt the half-lotus was quite sufficient. Place one foot on one thigh, and pulling the other leg over the lower leg, place the other foot on the other thigh. Sit on the buttocks and both knees. Very stable and quite painful if you can't do it properly.


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