I have been practicing meditation for more than 2 or 3 years but I skip out after every 2 or 3 days. When I meditate for more than 20 mins, my legs pain. Could you let me know how to meditate without getting into this pain? I am also able to concentrate max. for 25 to 30 mins. Recently I also started using the Hong Sau technique which seems good. I am only concerned on energizing myself to relieve the pain and meditate for a long time. Please guide me.
—Debashis Ghosh, India
You are not alone in your leg pain! I am assuming that you are sitting on the floor in a cross legged position, perhaps in lotus or half lotus pose. This is a difficult posture to master, but over time it will become easier if you take it slowly. It should help you if you sit on a small cushion, with your hips on the cushion and your knees on the floor. You might want to try a little hatha yoga before you sit to meditate, perhaps with vajrasana, the firm pose, holding the pose just for a minute or two. This will help to relax the thighs and knees.
However, it is not necessary to sit on the floor at all to meditate. Sitting in a straight backed chair, or on a backless bench, is an excellent position. Be sure that your spine is straight, your shoulders relaxed, and your chin level with the floor. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Using cushions you can raise or lower yourself so that you are in the proper position. You will probably find that you can sit longer that way.
25 or 30 minutes concentration is a very good start. If you have only been practicing Hong Sau for a short time you are doing very well. Before your concentration begins to diminish, make sure to spend some time enjoying the after effects, sitting in the silence of peace and letting it expand outward from your body. The time that we spend in this way is said to be real meditation, and we should try to practice it for at least 15 minutes at the end of our meditation. Techniques prepare us for this, but they are not a substitute for the silent sitting.
Many blessings on your practice. Please contact us if we can help you further.
Joy to you,
Nayaswami Sadhana Devi