Burmese ?

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  • Patrick
    Member
    • Jul 2011
    • 30

    Burmese ?

    Hi !
    I have a silly beginner's question : why do we call the burmese posture the burmese posture ? Is it because there are many statues of the Buddha in that posture in Burma ? Is it because the burmese people are the ones who started it ? I'm just woundering because I love that posture and it is the one I use the most to meditate, the other being seiza (only for a short period of time). Thanks,

    -T.

    P.S. Please excuse the mistakes I may have made, english is not my first language.
    Patrick__________________________
    Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. -Voltaire
    The better is the enemy of the good. -Voltaire
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39450

    #2
    Re: Burmese ?

    Originally posted by tetsugakucha
    Hi !
    I have a silly beginner's question : why do we call the burmese posture the burmese posture ? Is it because there are many statues of the Buddha in that posture in Burma ? Is it because the burmese people are the ones who started it ? I'm just woundering because I love that posture and it is the one I use the most to meditate, the other being seiza (only for a short period of time). Thanks,

    -T.

    P.S. Please excuse the mistakes I may have made, english is not my first language.
    Hi,

    Well, it is certainly found in Burmese and many South Asian statues ...



    I am not sure how many folks, lay or ordained, sit that way in South Asia. I found one photo of a Burmese teacher that may be sitting so (hard to tell)



    Any of our folks with South Asian experience have any 'insight' on this? (pun pun)

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Fuken
      Member
      • Sep 2006
      • 435

      #3
      Re: Burmese ?

      In Thailand and Cambodia, showing [the bottoms of] one's feet is an insult, so I suspect that may have something to do with it. Gosh, those mandatory culture classes had a use afterall!
      Yours in practice,
      Jordan ("Fu Ken" translates to "Wind Sword", Dharma name givin to me by Jundo, I am so glad he did not name me Wind bag.)

      Comment

      • Hoyu
        Member
        • Nov 2010
        • 2020

        #4
        Re: Burmese ?

        Originally posted by Fuken
        In Thailand and Cambodia, showing [the bottoms of] one's feet is an insult, so I suspect that may have something to do with it. Gosh, those mandatory culture classes had a use afterall!
        Hi All,

        I've been watching this thread because it's an intriguing question I've never thought to ask. I find Fuken's answer here to be very logical sounding indeed! Thanks Jundo and Fuken for sharing your insights on this one!

        Gassho,
        John
        Ho (Dharma)
        Yu (Hot Water)

        Comment

        • Patrick
          Member
          • Jul 2011
          • 30

          #5
          Re: Burmese ?

          Originally posted by Fuken
          In Thailand and Cambodia, showing [the bottoms of] one's feet is an insult, so I suspect that may have something to do with it.
          Hi !

          Thank you for the answer. I find it very interesting because it means that the meditation posture can be adapted to the culture.

          -T
          Patrick__________________________
          Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. -Voltaire
          The better is the enemy of the good. -Voltaire

          Comment

          • Neika
            Member
            • Dec 2008
            • 229

            #6
            Re: Burmese ?

            I have visited a Thai temple several times due to former family connections and I can say that the few monks I saw meditating, all sat in the Burmese posture. As do I.
            Neika / Ian Adams

            寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
            火 Ka - Fire

            Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

            Comment

            • lorax
              Member
              • Jun 2008
              • 381

              #7
              Re: Burmese ?

              HI
              While sitting posture has adapted to the culture, it also is adapted to age. Having past 70 and having a few creeks and groans when sitting and getting up I have found the Burmese posture is a great compromise. Easy to get into, and easy to adjust to the environment. During last years extended stays in the hospital, I found using a folded blanket in the middle of the bed and using the Burmese posture worked great. I think the big thing is finding a posture that works for your physical abilities and does not become the focus of your sitting time.

              Jim
              Shozan

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              • Shohei
                Member
                • Oct 2007
                • 2854

                #8
                Re: Burmese ?

                Originally posted by lorax
                I think the big thing is finding a posture that works for your physical abilities and does not become the focus of your sitting time.

                Jim
                Well said Jim!
                since body changes (lol I got um.. thicker?!) changes how my legs fold up, puts undo strain on my knees and so on... Burmese proved both stable and sustainable, the whole point of any posture for sitting zazen.
                I made one slight adjustment in needing a mudra rest(sleeves on the big robes works great for that as does like a small folded up towel or w/e). Posture and position is important! so important that we should pay mind to it until we find the point where it is not the first thought in your mind when sitting(due to pain or stress). So Full, half lotus, burmese, seiza, chair, standing or laying down what works for you at that time, for the time being!

                Gassho
                Shohei

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