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Harada Roshi

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I try to do zazen in the traditional full lotus posture but after 11 minutes or so my left leg starts to go numb and very pressurized. I think the vein is being pressed or something. I can go on meditating ignoring the discomfort but should I? Could it damage my leg permanently?

It is best to sit in Full Lotus, but if you start to sit when you are older, you should not force it. In the teens and twenties you cannot hurt your body. But focus on doing correct zazen. Even if you sit in Half Lotus or in Full Lotus, put the foot which is raised onto the thigh up deep. If you place in only lightly and a little onto the thigh, you are pulling the tendons. So when you have your foot up high and it falls asleep, when you get up from that posture, right away the blood will flow again in your foot. Yet if you sit with your feet not in the correct position, then the feeling of numbness remains even after you have stood up. Please be careful then. If you are over 30 years of age, slowly get your body used to this posture. Once the body has adjusted, there is no problem any longer. And please also change your feet, once the left the next time the right foot on top. This way the pelvis is getting equal pressure.

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