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I've seen it mentioned once or twice, a great teacher or master who has knee injury due to lots of sitting practice. I know that if the posture is incorrect or if one is forcing it, it will lead to injury (I've read scary reports of people who permanently harmed their body because they tried it without proper guidance). But, seeing some teachers with such injuries as well made me wonder if even with a correct posture one may still harm its own body. I don't know if those cases I heard are exceptions (does anyone have seen other cases as well?). But, if this is because of really lots of practice, perhaps other "safer" postures could have prevented that?

So, my question: given ideal conditions, such as correct posture and enough strength for it, is lotus position more susceptible to injury (in the long run) than other postures, such as burmese or half-lotus? Or, are all these injuries we see due to lacking necessary conditions?

If someone could point me to a reference, that would be great.

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But, seeing some teachers with such injuries as well made me wonder if even with a correct posture one may still harm its own body.

Lotus position is not a "correct" posture. Correct posture has having the spine erect. The Buddhist scriptures instruct to meditation in four postures, namely, sitting, standing, walking & lying down. Lotus posture has no inherent benefit, apart from convenience. People have attained the deepest meditation states (called 'jhana') sitting on a backless chair. Because jhana is such a heightened state of mental alertness, there is no possibly of falling off the chair in jhana due to drowsiness. Lotus is useful for sloppy meditators who end to fall asleep in meditation; who pretend they are meditating but are, in reality, sleeping or day-dreaming.

So, my question: given ideal conditions, such as correct posture and enough strength for it, is lotus position more susceptible to injury (in the long run) than other postures, such as burmese or half-lotus? Or, are all these injuries we see due to lacking necessary conditions?

This question is unrelated to Buddhist philosophy. The suitability of the Lotus Posture depends of the physiology of the individual. If a person can sit in lotus but does not have a natural erect & supple spine, sitting in lotus is both pointness & will probably cause physical damage.

If someone could point me to a reference, that would be great.

There are no Buddhist references for this matter. It is all a matter of physiology.

  • About your points: 1) I wasn't clear enough. I didn't say lotus is more correct than other postures. What I meant was that, even in ideal conditions that someone is able to perform a lotus position perfectly, it would still be harmful to their bodies, more than other positions, arguably. That's what I'm wondering. 2) and 3) Don't you think that many practioners would benefit from knowing if a given meditation position would be more harmful than others to their bodies? Having an answer here would aid our community looking for this answer, even if they're just pointers to the right references. – Yamaneko Dec 4 '18 at 20:39

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