Treeleaf Zen

Treeleaf Zen

Reclining Buddha

The Buddha, when really very sick and unable to sit in the Lotus Posture, “sat” like this …

reclining buddha.jpg

The subject came up today in our Forum …


What about sitting with chronic pain? What if you just cannot get into the Lotus Posture, the Burmese, or even sit on a chair?


Does that mean that Zazen is not for you?

Absolutely Zazen is for you!

Tonight’s “sit-a-long” will be Zazen flat on my back … and is dedicated to all people who need to sit Zazen with chronic pain. Truly, while the Lotus Position and such is best for those who can manage it (and folks … really try to manage it, and give it time) … True Zazen is sitting, standing, falling through the air, walking or … reclining.

(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

Comments read comments(3)
post a comment
Your Name

posted January 28, 2009 at 9:10 am

I just found this,Perfect timing as I am reading “Zen mind,Beginner’s mind” by Shunryu Suzuki,And have just hurt my back so bad that it required medication,Wich I dont like taking,(I dont drink or smoke)
and I am told physical therapy,I just wish it spoke on how to deal with the pain a bit more,But I noticed the photo of Buddha is in the same pose I sleept in,The only way I could sleep,(a sign?) I think so,Thank you,

report abuse

Carrie Pond

posted January 28, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Thank you so much for posting this as I have moderate to severe pain from a mountain biking accident two years ago. Have been meditating lying in bed on back as this is the only way I have been able to. I thought I might not be getting all the benefits of medition in this position. I feel much better knowing this information.

report abuse

Donna-Lee Phillips

posted January 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Thank you. I had been instructed that meditating was to be done ONLY in a sitting position, either on the cushion or if not physically possible, in a chair.
Chronic pain is something I have been dealing with since a series of accidents, and guilt about trying to meditate lying down has overshadowed nearly every session during which I cannot sit.
I had read somewhere that The Buddha meditated lying down on occasion, but when I mentioned this the response I got suggested it was acceptable only when absolutely unable to get out of bed.
Of course it makes sense to me to have my butt on the ground/cushion and my head in the air, but if The Buddha taught 64,000 methods to meet the needs of all beings, I had to believe that he considered that some of us are physically limited.
As it happens, the posture in which I can recline is the one shown in the statue you show.
May all beings benefit,

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Treeleaf Zen. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Zen Moments Inspiration Report Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 9:26:10am Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Joyful Mind, Motherly Mind, Great Mind ( ... and thank you to Beliefnet)
( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - XXXIII)As we close this year 2009 ... all is truly but a constant beginning, ever new ...And as we conclude our reading of the Tenzo Kyokun, there remains ongoing life and practice ...In these final ...

posted 3:12:37am Dec. 31, 2009 | read full post »

Between Heaven and Hell
(And, in case you have not heard ... after a lovely year here at, our daily "Sit-a-long with Jundo" Zazen netcasts will be moving home on January 1st to SHAMBHALA SUNSPACE, the webpage of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma ...

posted 3:45:48am Dec. 30, 2009 | read full post »

Life Is Our Temple
( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - XXXI)Right here, right now ... this is the time and place of realization  ... awakening and making it real ...___________________________When I observedaccomplished people in the past who held the ...

posted 7:54:33am Dec. 29, 2009 | read full post »

'Mondays with TAIGU' - A New Year ... No Expectations ...
A new year ... no expectations ...(After a lovely year here at, our daily "Sit-a-long with Jundo" Zazen netcasts will be moving home on January 1st to SHAMBHALA SUNSPACE, the webpage of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines, ...

posted 2:38:50am Dec. 28, 2009 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.