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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

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i have a recording of ajahn amaro (a wonderful theravadin teacher) in which he suggests not reacting physically to discomfort during meditation until we are doing so out of kindness to the body. he then goes on to joke that this is when battles among our inner lawyers ensue...

a friend of mine once seriously injured her groin by not moving when it hurt. nobody benefited from that. so at a certain point, it is crazy to sit still, but i agree that it's a matter of knowing the body and mind well enough to draw the line appropriately.

I'm really sad to hear about your friend, andree... there is certainly no benefit there.

I love that line about the inner lawyers... Sounds like a great talk!

This is a big struggle for me. I wrestle with this from many perspectives. I'll write more about it another time, because I do feel confronting it would be helpful.

In brief, though: I'm a big guy, with knee problems and a bit of pigeon toe tendencies. I can't sit well on a mat and cushion. It makes my left leg fall painfully asleep quickly and sometimes my back can't deal with no support. So, I am constantly trying to find the line...where does discomfort end and pain begin? When is it helpful to sit with body issues and watch them? When is it helpful to observe discomfort and my aversion to it? And when does it become unhelpful because I simply can't do the mental work I'm supposed to be doing when I'm in pain? And where does my ego come in? I want to sit exactly like everyone else on a mat and cushion. I don't *want* to be that guy that sits in a chair.

Anyway...I've been a practitioner for a long time and my meditation has changed and my concentration improved over the years. But I still deal with this stuff in a way that is sometimes an obstacle I think.

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