Sleeping sitting up

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Mirror
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Sleeping sitting up

Post by Mirror »

I'm really interested in this: Garchen Rinpoche talks about sleeping upright
Please do you know any details about it? I know that during some retreats one is not supposed to sleep lying down. Do you have any experience with it? Is it important to have a back support? What should be the position of your legs?

I'll be very grateful for any information. :namaste:



Namo Amitabha Buddha
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Schrödinger’s Yidam
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Formal long term retreats have small wooden structure you sit in for your meditation sessions. You’re supposed to sleep in it too.

They call it a box, but I think that’s misleading. You do sit down in it but the sides and front only come up to your elbows. The back is full height. You put your papers on a board in front of you that rests on the front and sides.

Westerners generally have the front open so they can stretch their legs out when they sleep.. With enough pillows you’re almost in a recliner posture.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Jangchup Donden
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Jangchup Donden »

Mirror wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:37 pm I'm really interested in this: Garchen Rinpoche talks about sleeping upright
Please do you know any details about it? I know that during some retreats one is not supposed to sleep lying down. Do you have any experience with it? Is it important to have a back support? What should be the position of your legs?

I'll be very grateful for any information. :namaste:



Namo Amitabha Buddha
It's a different tradition, but not laying down (i.e., always sleeping sitting up) is one of of the "ascetic" practices described in the Visuddhimagga. Supposedly it helps improve energy. I imagine it would take some time to get used to it before that happens.
Charlie123
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Charlie123 »

Mirror wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:37 pm I'm really interested in this: Garchen Rinpoche talks about sleeping upright
Please do you know any details about it? I know that during some retreats one is not supposed to sleep lying down. Do you have any experience with it? Is it important to have a back support? What should be the position of your legs?

I'll be very grateful for any information. :namaste:



Namo Amitabha Buddha
Rinpoche once told me and a group of other students that one of the reasons why he slept upright was because, if you wrap yourself in a coat or sleeping bag while sitting up, you can breath down while you are sleeping and stay warm. The breath will keep you warm.

Rinpoche did retreat in some brutally cold caves right before he left Tibet.
Schrödinger’s Yidam
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

If you do a Google images search you’ll get a couple hits mixed in with jewelry boxes and stuff.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
jmlee369
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by jmlee369 »

There's this article that builds on the experience of a Karma Kagyu three year retreatant to offer practical guidelines. It's also a common ascetic practice in East Asia known by the term 長坐不臥. I don't know whether the tradition continues, but the monastics at CTTB used to be known for sleeping in meditation posture.
Mirror
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Mirror »

smcj wrote: Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:36 am They call it a box, but I think that’s misleading. You do sit down in it but the sides and front only come up to your elbows. The back is full height. You put your papers on a board in front of you that rests on the front and sides.
Yes, this box is widely used by retreatants in Vajrayana.
mandog wrote: Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:30 am Rinpoche once told me and a group of other students that one of the reasons why he slept upright was because, if you wrap yourself in a coat or sleeping bag while sitting up, you can breath down while you are sleeping and stay warm. The breath will keep you warm.

Rinpoche did retreat in some brutally cold caves right before he left Tibet.
I really would like to know, if Rinpoche used the meditation box with a back support or if Rinpoche was sleeping in a meditation posture?
jmlee369 wrote: Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:17 am There's this article that builds on the experience of a Karma Kagyu three year retreatant to offer practical guidelines. It's also a common ascetic practice in East Asia known by the term 長坐不臥. I don't know whether the tradition continues, but the monastics at CTTB used to be known for sleeping in meditation posture.

I have read the article before. Sleeping against something isn't a problem. I'm curious if someone sleep in meditation posture without (or little) a back support.

Thank you very much for the term and the monastics. I'll try to contact them and ask for more details.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Charlie123
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Charlie123 »

Mirror wrote: Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:46 am
smcj wrote: Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:36 am They call it a box, but I think that’s misleading. You do sit down in it but the sides and front only come up to your elbows. The back is full height. You put your papers on a board in front of you that rests on the front and sides.
Yes, this box is widely used by retreatants in Vajrayana.
mandog wrote: Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:30 am Rinpoche once told me and a group of other students that one of the reasons why he slept upright was because, if you wrap yourself in a coat or sleeping bag while sitting up, you can breath down while you are sleeping and stay warm. The breath will keep you warm.

Rinpoche did retreat in some brutally cold caves right before he left Tibet.
I really would like to know, if Rinpoche used the meditation box with a back support or if Rinpoche was sleeping in a meditation posture?
jmlee369 wrote: Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:17 am There's this article that builds on the experience of a Karma Kagyu three year retreatant to offer practical guidelines. It's also a common ascetic practice in East Asia known by the term 長坐不臥. I don't know whether the tradition continues, but the monastics at CTTB used to be known for sleeping in meditation posture.

I have read the article before. Sleeping against something isn't a problem. I'm curious if someone sleep in meditation posture without (or little) a back support.

Thank you very much for the term and the monastics. I'll try to contact them and ask for more details.
I don't know, but he always has used the meditation belt, which is a very good back support.
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Meido
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Meido »

jmlee369 wrote: Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:17 am There's this article that builds on the experience of a Karma Kagyu three year retreatant to offer practical guidelines. It's also a common ascetic practice in East Asia known by the term 長坐不臥. I don't know whether the tradition continues, but the monastics at CTTB used to be known for sleeping in meditation posture.
It is still not an uncommon thing in Chan/Zen in general. In some Rinzai Zen monasteries in Japan, the custom is to do that practice at least for the intensive retreat week around the commemoration of Shakyamuni's enlightenment.

It is not difficult to learn to sleep lightly sitting up without support. One may begin to lose the posture and fall forward, but this causes one to wake much in the way that Garchen Rinpoche described his use of the prayer wheel. There are also some supports used for this purpose, like the zenpan, a kind of prop with a chin rest. I've never seen one actually used, but it's a thing.

And then there are people like Hakuin who had his students wrap futons around him while he sat in meditation posture, tie them tightly, and then place him in an old palanquin for the evening. One can improvise.
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one’s true nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly [according to this understanding], in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Hidden Zen: Practices for Sudden Awakening and Embodied Realization

Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Mirror
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Mirror »

Meido wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:44 pm It is still not an uncommon thing in Chan/Zen in general. In some Rinzai Zen monasteries in Japan, the custom is to do that practice at least for the intensive retreat week around the commemoration of Shakyamuni's enlightenment.

It is not difficult to learn to sleep lightly sitting up without support. One may begin to lose the posture and fall forward, but this causes one to wake much in the way that Garchen Rinpoche described his use of the prayer wheel. There are also some supports used for this purpose, like the zenpan, a kind of prop with a chin rest. I've never seen one actually used, but it's a thing.

And then there are people like Hakuin who had his students wrap futons around him while he sat in meditation posture, tie them tightly, and then place him in an old palanquin for the evening. One can improvise.
Thank you very much! So then I'll do it without support. I have tried a few times, but it's the most difficult thing, I have ever tried to do.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Meido »

Mirror wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:59 pm Thank you very much! So then I'll do it without support. I have tried a few times, but it's the most difficult thing, I have ever tried to do.
I'm out of my area here in the Tibetan Buddhist forum, so I should probably say I wouldn't advise you to do anything based solely on what I wrote. When I say it's not difficult to learn, that presupposes sufficient experience of sitting meditation in general in the style to which I'm accustomed. From the Zen side we would additionally say that the manner of holding breath power at the navel energy center that is cultivated is what makes this practice possible (and, this practice will also serve to deepen that power).

So just a caveat that YMMV. :namaste:
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one’s true nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly [according to this understanding], in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Hidden Zen: Practices for Sudden Awakening and Embodied Realization

Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Mirror
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Mirror »

Meido wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:42 pm I'm out of my area here in the Tibetan Buddhist forum, so I should probably say I wouldn't advise you to do anything based solely on what I wrote. When I say it's not difficult to learn, that presupposes sufficient experience of sitting meditation in general in the style to which I'm accustomed. From the Zen side we would additionally say that the manner of holding breath power at the navel energy center that is cultivated is what makes this practice possible (and, this practice will also serve to deepen that power).

So just a caveat that YMMV. :namaste:
I posted it in the Tibetan Buddhist forum, becuase I thought that it's practised only in Vajrayana :D

Thank you for everything :namaste:
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Norwegian »

It's not the case that sleeping in a box is a universal Vajrayana requirement, at all. I remember a teaching with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, where he said that the Kagyupas in particular very much enjoy using boxes in retreats, but that in Dzogchen, doing that is not necessary. And that in fact, having a bed in a Dzogchen retreat, can be very nice for your practice.
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by conebeckham »

I have practiced in a box for retreat periods. It's not easy, but there are definitely benefits to one's practice. But I don't recommend trying to do this without good instruction and proper circumstances. I don't know if I could do it for extended periods---my limit was 20 days, FYI.
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It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

conebeckham wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:19 pm I have practiced in a box for retreat periods. It's not easy, but there are definitely benefits to one's practice. But I don't recommend trying to do this without good instruction and proper circumstances. I don't know if I could do it for extended periods---my limit was 20 days, FYI.
:good:

I'd say that in this case it could be important to realize that we are not living in retreat conditions and while it is probably cool to sleep sitting up, we have to work with our condition.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Malcolm
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Malcolm »

Mirror wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:37 pm I'm really interested in this: Garchen Rinpoche talks about sleeping upright
Please do you know any details about it? I know that during some retreats one is not supposed to sleep lying down. Do you have any experience with it? Is it important to have a back support? What should be the position of your legs?

I'll be very grateful for any information. :namaste:



Namo Amitabha Buddha
Its is not a universal practice in Tibetan Buddhism.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Malcolm wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:45 pm Its is not a universal practice in Tibetan Buddhism.
Just curious, is there any significance/benefits to the 'sleeping lion posture' used in some dream yogas?
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
jmlee369
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by jmlee369 »

Mirror wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 11:42 am
Meido wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:42 pm I'm out of my area here in the Tibetan Buddhist forum, so I should probably say I wouldn't advise you to do anything based solely on what I wrote. When I say it's not difficult to learn, that presupposes sufficient experience of sitting meditation in general in the style to which I'm accustomed. From the Zen side we would additionally say that the manner of holding breath power at the navel energy center that is cultivated is what makes this practice possible (and, this practice will also serve to deepen that power).

So just a caveat that YMMV. :namaste:
I posted it in the Tibetan Buddhist forum, becuase I thought that it's practised only in Vajrayana :D

Thank you for everything :namaste:
I found this video I was trying to post with my previous post, it shows you how at least some of the CTTB monastics are supposed to sleep. They only sleep around five hours a day, and I've personally seen at least two of the monastics there stay in meditation posture for at least 5 hours, so not beyond the realm of possiblity that they do it every night.
Könchok Thrinley wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:48 pm Just curious, is there any significance/benefits to the 'sleeping lion posture' used in some dream yogas?
Just from the perspective of sutra, there is the great benefit of going to sleep while maintaining mindfulness of the Buddha by remembering that is how Shakyamuni Buddha entered nirvana. If I remember correctly, the last state of mind before entering sleep is said to be sustained throughout sleep, so by falling asleep with a virtuous object in mind, that virtue extends all night. From the tantric perspective, you are supressing a certain channel on the right side of the body.
Mirror
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Mirror »

jmlee369 wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:58 am I found this video I was trying to post with my previous post, it shows you how at least some of the CTTB monastics are supposed to sleep. They only sleep around five hours a day, and I've personally seen at least two of the monastics there stay in meditation posture for at least 5 hours, so not beyond the realm of possiblity that they do it every night.
Thank you very much for the video. :namaste:
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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Re: Sleeping sitting up

Post by Malcolm »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:48 pm
Malcolm wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:45 pm Its is not a universal practice in Tibetan Buddhism.
Just curious, is there any significance/benefits to the 'sleeping lion posture' used in some dream yogas?
Dream yoga is a preliminary practice for the bardo. The Buddha passed away in lion posture.
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