If you’ve practiced sitting meditation, chances are that you’ve felt some pain in your back. This is normal. It takes some time to build up the muscle strength to sit upright without a chair back.
The next time you feel pain in your back try noticing that the pain has come up and just leave it be. Sometimes pain moves along all by itself.
If it persists, try the following:
1) Bring your attention to the pain itself for a moment. Our bodies often try to get our attention, like a kid tugging at an adult’s sleeve. Try bringing your awareness to the pain. Sometimes this is all it takes for it to release.
2) If the pain persists, check your posture. In sitting meditation, you want to have a long, upright spine. Your shoulders fall gently down your back. Your neck is long and your chin tilted downwards slightly. If your posture has slipped – and this happens to all of us – take a moment to reorient yourself.
3) If the pain is still there, I recommend gently moving a bit to relieve the pressure. There is no need to hurt yourself in the name of becoming more self-aware and fearless. An important part of meditation is learning to be wiser with our actions. If it makes sense to move a bit, then move a bit. Try to do so mindfully – with awareness and acceptance.
4) If you’re sitting in a chair with a back, try sitting with a pillow resting between your back and the back of the chair. This light back support could help.
As you practice noticing bodily sensations, like pain, you’ll start to see how they just come and go. You aren’t them. You’re more than them.