Can I sit in a chair for meditation?

I have a bad back and it really hurts when I meditate sitting on a cushion. Is it okay if I sit in a chair to meditate?

Lion’s Roar
15 August 2017

We meditate with the body we have, not the one we think we’re supposed to have. The best way to meditate might be in full lotus posture, but how many of us can do that? There are all kinds of ways to sit when doing Buddhist meditation. Many people sit cross-legged on a cushion, some traditions recommend kneeling, and if you need to sit on a chair, that’s fine. What all these postures have in common is feeling firmly grounded, with a straight spine and a sense of relaxed dignity. So sit in the chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the ground. As with the other postures, your hips should be higher than your knees, so put a pillow on the seat if you need to. Buddhist meditation isn’t about comfort, but it isn’t about pain either. It’s fine to choose the posture that fits the body you have.

Lion s Roar Staff

Lion’s Roar

Lion’s Roar is the website of Lion’s Roar magazine (formerly the Shambhala Sun) and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, with exclusive Buddhist news, teachings, art, and commentary. Sign up for the Lion’s Roar weekly newsletter and follow Lion’s Roar on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.