March 25, 2009
I used to hear that only wimps gave up the cushion for the chair. But whether because of age or injury or a simple disinclination, many meditators have opted for the chair anyway.
Today I hear teachers routinely tell us that it's just fine to sit in a chair, though usually at the back of the meditation hall, far from the action. I have to admit, I've never been one to do it. When I had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, for instance, I meditated lying down until I healed. I just didn't like the idea of sitting in a chair. But many meditators, for one reason or another, do, and I can't see anything wrong with it. So a few years back, I was receptive when our copy editor, longtime Triker Karen Ready (she predates even me), wrote a practical guide to sitting in a chair, replete with pictures. (She presented other alternatives as well, coming into my office one day with an odd contraption—lots of Velcro and straps—that was supposed to support the lower back. I quickly found myself trying to untangle myself. Not for me.) But if you can't or don't want to sit cross-legged, you can get her practical tips here.