Stiffening up

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • soitgoes
    Member
    • Jan 2008
    • 15

    Stiffening up

    Something weird has been happening to me lately. When I'm getting more and more concentrated, I feel my breath slowing down. Sometimes, my brain stops producing thoughts for a while. Then, I start getting an erection! I'm not thinking about anything - no sexual fantasies or anything like that - it seems to be a purely physical reaction. Now, before I start zazen, I have to point him to the north, so he won't squeeze into my trouser leg! :shock: What's the deal? Has anyone experienced something like this?
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39392

    #2
    Re: Stiffening up

    Ah, yes, the Viagra-yana! "Little Buddha Awakens"! Or, as I sometimes call it, "Building a Stupa" ...

    I will guess that it could involve the change in blood pressure, or that you are pressing on a nerve down there. I would not worry about it unless it continues. Are your pants/underwear too tight? Most folks in Asia actually sit in robes, gowns or skirts ... not trousers. Try to loosen up you pants/shorts. Also, adjust your sitting position on the Zafu to ease the pressure a little on that part of the body. Try sitting a drop more forward on the Zafu.

    I would assume that it is a temporary condition. Write back if this matter continues to raise itself.

    Gassho, Jundo

    (PS-For those who are offended by my --very-- little attempt at humor ... if the Buddha does not have an irreverent sense of humor about some things in life, then I don't see the point.).
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39392

      #3
      Re: Stiffening up

      Let me add ...

      Just let what goes up, go up. What comes down, come down.

      J
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Jun
        Member
        • Jun 2007
        • 236

        #4
        Re: Stiffening up

        Ah, a competitor to Brad Warner's "Hard Core Zen" - "Hard On Zen"

        kotsuen hokki!
        Gassho
        Jun
        The life and teachings of Suzuki Shõsan Rõshi - http://kongoshin.blogspot.com/

        Comment

        • Undo
          Member
          • Jun 2007
          • 495

          #5
          Re: Stiffening up

          Does this happen during walking meditation? :?

          Comment

          • Longdog
            Member
            • Nov 2007
            • 448

            #6
            Re: Stiffening up

            Not a problem I've had during meditation :lol: but I guess something most of us guys have had happen at embarrasing times :lol:

            Hope it settles down
            [url:x8wstd0h]http://moder-dye.blogspot.com/[/url:x8wstd0h]

            Comment

            • Dainin
              Member
              • Sep 2007
              • 389

              #7
              Re: Stiffening up

              Originally posted by Jundo
              Ah, yes, the Viagra-yana! "Little Buddha Awakens"! Or, as I sometimes call it, "Building a Stupa" ...
              :lol: This is too funny. I'm sitting here alone in my classroom before the students arrive and laughing like an idiot!

              Anyway, I've "built a few stupas" in my time. Sadly, as everything is impermanent, none of them have endured. But seriously, my ongoing issue has been this numb, tingly feeling down there after sitting awhile. Perhaps I'm cutting off circulation in some nerve or something. I also have the same issue when I ride a bike for a long period of time. Jundo has also offered the same advice to me about sitting on the zafu.

              Good luck, soitgoes!

              Best,
              Keith

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39392

                #8
                Re: Stiffening up

                Hi Keith,

                Sounds like you are putting some pressure on the sciatic nerve ...

                My friend Nonin recently wrote this:

                All of the above is good advice. I would add the following:

                There are many ways to sit zazen: full-lotus, half-lotus, quarter-lotus (with foot on calf), burmese (with both feet on the floor), seiza (Japanese kneeling posture) with the zafu on it's side, seiza on two zafus (one on top of the others), seiza on a bench, and sitting in a chair (this is frequently necessary for those who have injured themselves or with joint replacements). Also, some people with severe physical problems or illness sit zazen lying down.

                I recommend to all beginners that they sit as close to full lotus posture as they can for as long as they can. I also suggest that they sit somewhere between wimp and macho. Sit until it becomes uncomfortable, and then sit a few minutes more before you change postures. If you change too soon, you won't stretch out. On the other hand, don't tough it out for so long that you do yourself damage.

                Also, learn the difference between soft tissue or muscle pain and nerve pain. Everyone's legs fall asleep from time to time. Sometimes bending forward will take the pressure off the sciatic nerve and the legs will wake up. If your legs are asleep at the end of a sitting and they come back quickly as you stretch them out and get up, I wouldn't worry about it. If they don't and the numbness persists for some time, don't sit the way you have been. You can damage nerves. If you damage 1/8" of a nerve, it can take months to heal.

                Anytime you hold the body in a specific position, it will hurt. Just try holding your arm out parallel to the floor for any length of time. Sitting zazen for any length of time will hurt most people, although some can without pain. I have never been very limber, and I sat seiza for three years when I first started while I did exercises and stretched out. Then, I was able to sit burmese style. Eventually I was able to sit quarter-lotus and then half-lotus. I've never been able to sit full-lotus, and as I've aged, I've gone back to quarter lotus. Also, I have a knee problem, and when it flared up severely a couple of years ago, I spent six months sitting in a chair.
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • Dainin
                  Member
                  • Sep 2007
                  • 389

                  #9
                  Re: Stiffening up

                  Thanks, Jundo!

                  Comment

                  • Skye
                    Member
                    • Feb 2008
                    • 234

                    #10
                    Re: Stiffening up

                    On a related note, I've noticed after zazen I have trouble focusing my eyes for about half an hour. I'm not doing anything special while sitting, just looking at the wall, with my glasses on. Is this normal? My vision is bad, but not normally this bad

                    Skye
                    Even on one blade of grass / the cool breeze / lingers - Issa

                    Comment

                    • Shane
                      Member
                      • Feb 2008
                      • 26

                      #11
                      Re: Stiffening up

                      this has never happened to me.

                      i'll see ya'll later, i need to go meditated MORE
                      Peace, ya'll

                      Comment

                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39392

                        #12
                        Re: Stiffening up

                        Hi Skye,

                        Even though we are looking at "everything and nothing during Zazen", and nothing in particular, I do not let my eyes go out of focus very much. "Staring idly into space" may be a good description, my eyes about 2/3 open. Are you letting your eyes go out of focus most of the time? Is your vision crossing during Zazen (as if the image were split)? Are you forgetting to blink, or sitting in a room where the air is very dry and your eyes become dry? Perhaps that is part of the problem, although it is just a guess.

                        This happens to me sometimes for a few minutes, but it should not happen regularly. If it continues much longer, do go get your eyes checked by a doctor. There may be a muscle weakness or some other condition that should be looked at.

                        Gassho, Jundo
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                        Comment

                        • Eika
                          Member
                          • Sep 2007
                          • 806

                          #13
                          Re: Stiffening up

                          Originally posted by Skye
                          On a related note, I've noticed after zazen I have trouble focusing my eyes for about half an hour. I'm not doing anything special while sitting, just looking at the wall, with my glasses on. Is this normal? My vision is bad, but not normally this bad

                          Skye
                          Yes, mine do the same thing. I believe Jundo is right. When I remember to not let my eyes go out of focus or cross a bit, it doesn't happen, but sometimes I don't notice and they will be blurry for about a half an hour afterwards. I find it hard to not let them go out of focus when I am sitting in front of a blank (painted sheetrock) wall. There is nothing for my eyes to look at, so it is difficult to tell if they are focused or not. Mostly I just don't worry about it; like legs falling asleep, it is temporary.

                          Bill
                          [size=150:m8cet5u6]??[/size:m8cet5u6] We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life---John Cage

                          Comment

                          • lindabeekeeper
                            Member
                            • Jan 2008
                            • 162

                            #14
                            Re: Stiffening up

                            I've had the same trouble ask Skye. I wear glasses, too and was wondering whether that has some effect. Looking slightly downward, I see the bottom rim of the frames when I am focusing on the wall.

                            Linda

                            Comment

                            • Dainin
                              Member
                              • Sep 2007
                              • 389

                              #15
                              Re: Stiffening up

                              As a glasses wearer myself, I've experimented with sitting with and without my glasses. Since my eyesight is so poor, I've found that sitting without my glasses made me feel as if I were in a dream. It was really trippy man. I agree with Jundo about keeping your eyes slightly focused. This has helped my eyesight not get too blurry after sitting awhile.

                              Comment

                              Working...