Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Lotus or chrysanthemum? -- thoughts on flexibility

I do not have flexible legs. Even when I was a kid, I found it difficult to sit comfortably cross-legged. Though I was skinny and you could count my ribs, I had chunky thighs and well-developed calves. My legs did not fold well then and they certainly don't fold well now.

When I've been to Buddhist meditation sessions, I've usually knelt to meditate. I even made a little kneeling stool thing, but of course at the Quaker meeting, we just sit in chairs.

I've always felt slightly inadequate that I can't even approach a half-lotus, let alone a full lotus position. One meditation book suggests exercises to gently stretch the thighs and hips.

Not a chance! No way will that make any difference.

But from now on, I don't have to feel guilty. I was reading one of Thich Nhat Hanh's books this morning and he said that you shouldn't worry if you can't manage the lotus position, just use the chrysanthemum position instead.

And that is...?

Simply any position in which you are comfortable.

I must remember that. :)

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