In every class the following questions arise:
Whenever I try to sit to meditate I get pain in my legs. What do I do? Do I grin and bear it, meditate on it, or just move my legs?
This is what’s so brilliant about meditation practice. Not that your legs hurt but that opportunity to acknowledge that pain is unavoidable in our lives and this is a chance to play around with it a bit. Sometimes its as simple as getting used to the posture of sitting – the more you sit the easier it gets.
So you have a choice and different teachers have different approaches…
You can start by using the pain as an object of meditation: Notice the pain. Does it come and go? Who is experiencing the pain? When your mind is more focused on following your breath, does the pain seem to ease?
If it goes on and is too much to bear you can either go easy on yourself and adjust your posture to relieve the pain, or you can maintain your position and keep meditating on the pain. Relax if you can because resisting the pain causes more pain in the muscles. Try to sit as solidly as you can - you’ll find real benefit there.
Please remember although we try to do it right its s ultimately your call. Either way, meditation shouldn’t be torture.