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I'm writing a book to help people get ready for meditation. Please help me by letting me know:
- Your physical problems with sitting
- if you are a teacher, problems you've noticed students having
- questions you have about sitting
- solutions you've found for all of the above.

with best wishes
Swami Saradananda

Tags: meditation, pain, sitting

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Om Swamiji. As you already know, the main obstacles to meditation are (1) a wandering mind, (2) not keeping the back straight, and (3) a tendency to analyze and judge the so-called 'progress' one is making.

(1) It is relatively easy to focus on either a chakra or a mantra, but it is very difficult to focus on both at the same time. However, when one does focus on both, magic occurs. To paraphrase Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, when we are able focus both on a chakra and Mantra at the same time, we will discover fire for the second time in the history of the world.

(2) A straight back is essential. If the back is not straight, then prana flow is impaired and the mood becomes more negative. It is an easy exercise to sit comfortably with the back straight and notice one's energy level and degree of positivity and openness. Then, allow the back to slump. Immediately, energy levels drop and the mood changes to negativity, fear, anger, and linear thinking.

((3) Often people will be discouraged because their mind wanders but this tendency to judgement should restrained. It only further complicates the matter. If a meditator notices that their mind is not focused on both a chakra and a Mantra, then they should just refocus their attention. This is to be done repeatedly, for ever, so patience is required.

With regard to over-analyzing, people should remember that spiritual development is not a propose of addition but rather a process of subtraction. One already is That which they seek. The process of realizing this fully consists of eliminating all the content and linear thinking in our consciousness. As Rabindranath Tagore observed, "A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it." Becoming "ONE" is an alogical process.  "Even as water becomes one with water, fire with fire, and air with air, so the mind becomes one with the Infinite Mind and thus attains final freedom." -Krishna Yajur Veda, Maitreya Upanishad 6.34.11


Best wishes for your book project.



I'm really looking for specific physical problems and what you have found to overcome them. "Keeping a straight back" can mean many things - is your problem in the lower back because of tight hip flexors? Or is in the upper back because you have spent too many hours hunched over your computer.

The answer to both is more practice of physical yoga. Plus have a thick cushion and sit on the edge of it so that the pelvis is tilted forward.

In my classes, every question of any kind that is asked by students can be answered by the same three words, "Practice. Practice. Practice." It is a reminder to move past the linear thinking of everyday inquiry and instead engage the holistic consciousness where all is revealed.


Sitting on a thick cushion doesn't actually help to correct a stiff upper back and rounded shoulders. I'm planning to include simple specific exercises that can help problems such as this. The book is not designed specifically for yogis, but for anyone that would like to start a medtation practice - including practitioners and newcomers to Vipasana, Zen and other meditation techniques, who aren't so interested in a having a regular asana practice, but want to focus on the meditation..

My wife  and myself faces following problems in sitting =

1) My wife can not sit in sukh aasan as she is not able to do cross legging.

2) when i sit in sukh aasan posture, i feel numbness in my feet/leg. I sretch my legs and get rid of this problem.






I'm glad that stretching your legs gets rid of the problem temporarily, but mind cannot be calm enough to enter a state of meditation if body is moving - how to get rid of the problem so that you can sit and not be interrupted by pain.

Hi Swamiji,

you know we have 2 kinds of pillows at Voga Vidya Bad Meinberg.

When i sit on a pillow just on the edge to make my spine straight up the pillow is moving back under me.

So i wrap the pillow into a blanket just one time like an U laying on the side and the pillow in it.

So the pillow i prevented to move and i can sit a long time like i want to sit.

Jaya mata Kali - Eduardo
Om Sakthy
Your description of someone holding inside or blocking energy flow is an excellent one and attests to your good level of awareness. That "someone" is you. There are two solutions: relax deeply so that you are not blocking yourself and have a regular hatha yoga practice encourage prana flow and change in consciousness.

Sometimes people are reluctant to relax in meditation because they are not ready or think they are not ready to go where the meditation will lead them. So, relaxation is another way of saying that you should be open to whatever meditation brings (provided prana is flowing upward to the chakras above the Muladhara).

The second suggestion of hatha yoga is because the initial aims of hatha yoga are to bring flexibility to the joints and to make muscles more pliable. Both of these facilitate the upward flow of prana (and results in a significant change in consciousness so that you would not have to feel wary of going where your meditation leads you.

Om and Prem

Om Sakthy

One of the major obstacles in meditation is our expectation. We spend so much time focused on what could be or what seems to be holding us back that we stop meditating and are instead focusing on imagined problems rather than just sitting and meditating. This is raga/dvesha, asmita and avidya in action.

Please do not be in a hurry. There have been many people who have pushed themselves too far and too fast in meditation and accessed chakras, even talas, before they were ready to deal with the spiritual wisdom of the chakras or the demonic influences of the talas. Patience is a virtue - and a safeguard.
Talas are weak chakras below the Muladhara. They are the home of various negative and dangerous universes and their inhabitants. They also are the home of the our worst and usual "sins" - lust, anger, greed, jealousy, amorality, lack of conscience, murder and torture, etc - because our egos keep us gravitating to those levels of dense consciousness.

Patient practice of meditation without expectation enables the person to resist the efforts of the ego to mire them in the dense consciousness of these lower chakras.

One of the initial goals of hatha yoga is to make joints flexible and muscles pliable so that prana is not obstructed and can flow more easily upward to the chakras above the Muladhara where spiritual wisdom does indeed lie. In addition, each asana focuses the consciousness on one of the higher chakras. Meditation and righteous living can pull prana upward to these higher chakras.
Hello Swami Saradananda,
my name is Heiner, I'm 59 years old and a yoga teacher since one year. I'm practising as an average about 2 hours everyday and try to meditate for 1/2 hour. I have had a lot of problems with sitting in a crossed leg position. I encountered mainly pain on my left side in particular in my knee and my thigh muscles next to my hip. For a long time I did not know the source of the problem. Just in a the last few weeks I made great progress. I visited with an "Osteopat" who found out that my sacral bone was blocked. As a cause he determined that my intestins were very hard and immobile. As a consequence of the blocked sacral bone and a blocked sacroiliac joint on my left side my spine had developed over the years scoliosis.
Now my body is changing in a dramatic way and it feels like a chain reaction. I feel like I am in a new body. I can now sit in a crossed leg position for half an hour without almost any pain.


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