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Benefits of the walking meditation

Today, I got the chance to listen to benefits of walking meditation.  So here are the benefits that I’d missed last time.

The person who practice meditation on walking

1. would have his patience increased.

2. would be free of  sleepiness/ sloth and drowsiness. and his courage would be increased.

3. his sicknesses would be reduced at present or in future also.

4. food he’s eaten would be digested really well.

5. and will be able to keep his samadhi much longer –  When a samdhi (The state of consciousness induced by complete meditation)  is gained by meditating, it is said to be hard to keep for a long time, due to the thoughts that would occur in mind having desire for it. Practicing the walking meditation is said to increase the ability of keeping it much longer on mind.

I was happy to see that, first and second benefits showing that fifth and  sixth  virtues of dasa parami (viriya and  patience)  being developed  easily, as well as the sixth of Nobel eightfold path – the right effort. And also that practicing this  making my concentration more powerful  So this seems more beneficial  than I used to know.

Meditation on Walking -2

I saw that there are lots of instructions on ‘walking meditation’ on the web, so here are some few I found today:-

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/silananda/bl137.html

http://shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=17903.

http://taoism.about.com/od/meditation/ht/walking.htm

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=894

http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/articles/instructions-for-walking-meditation/

http://www.mindfulnessmeditation.org/2012/03/04/how-to-do-a-walking-mindfulness-meditation-technique/

 

However, from all what I read so far, I see, some instructions, mostly in the west, walking meditation, of course as well as many other types, has been turned out to become reformed. Well, anyway, it’s their perception, and their levels of luck of course, so for us, let’s make some clear boundaries to what I would have written how to do it.

first of all, walking meditation is no near to walking  in the nature or what we call taking a stroll. it’s true, that it use walking, but it’s still meditating on this posture of our body. so as on any meditation we still need to concentrate comprehensively on  what we do. So if you do not need distractions or accidents, the best thing to do is find a peaceful place about twenty, thirty feet and walk back and forth on bare foot. I practice inside the house, so no one’s going to disturb me and nothing to worry about. Short steps and keeping legs a bit apart  parallel helps  when it comes to balance. If you feel hard to focus and your mind seems to wonder a lot, you could increase the pace, so that your mind would have more work to do.

from the four steps below:

(i) lifting the foot;

(ii) moving it forward;

(iii) putting it down; and

(iv) touching or pressing the foot on the ground.

      A new beginner should start only  with concentrating on  (i) and (iii) at the beginning. It’s advised to be practiced until very comfortable with it. say , one never mistakes any of it. It could take days or months depending on the person. But what’s important is the gaining the full concentration. Afterwards can  practice on (i), (ii), (iii) and after got comfortable with it can move to the whole four together.

When meditating we should always be with the foot that on action. That is, if you’re lifting the left foot it should be the one you focus on until you put it down on earth, then leave it and move the focus to the right as it would be the one that would be walking next, like that. I once read that keeping eyes closed could help more at the beginning and found that it to be very effective with my progress.

finally as many of our teachers say, how you practice and what you do is individual, as it’s your own work on your own mind, and it is you, who would achieve from it. The best thing of this meditation type is that you got an action to focus on, so when you put your mind on to it, it’s lot easy to save yourself from distractions  and to keep your mind clean and safe and ready for more meditation or to move on to more strong positive thinking. As mind is what makes us, gaining control of mind is gaining control of oneself.  So, as I’ve mentioned at the beginning, when our minds are occupied with anxiety or depression or whatever uncomfortable feelings that seemed to conquer it at any moment, practicing this or any type of meditation (that can be easily practiced in the surroundings) can become unbelievably handy everyday, to live with a peaceful, contended mind.

Meditation on walking

I might have discussed about this meditation type before. However as I felt so contented some days ago while listening to a Damma desana on it, felt that I should write another post.

I bet this is the easiest meditation type I’m used to  practice so far. As I’ve heard it also is one of fastest result oriented meditations in Buddhism. However it’s effect is said to fade in the same way. But as it’s effective on gathering mindfulness and  tranquility speedily, it can be used as a preparing meditation  before moving into others, or can be used  in various difficult situations in daily life.

Most of us , including me back some years ago, come across bizarre conditions in mind while having to face situations we aren’t adapted well. I’ve seen this is due to the less control-ability in mind. So we face emotions like depression, Anxiety, distraction, displeasure and suffer from living. Buddhism teach us how to take control of mind via two ways.

One : purifying the mind by dealing with concepts that form any sufferings, and the other:  training the mind to get released from such suffering thoughts  by directing towards concentration. First one is gained by wipassana which dive deep in to Buddhist teachings, and the second one, which could be used as I above mentioned, is gained by Samatha meditation. Even though  Samatha is not as powerful as the other when Buddhist’s final destination concerned,  it never could or should be undervalued on daily life. As I understand, what it could  give us or turn us on practice, is beyond any medical treatments whether it be physical or psychological, that could be found on this Earth today. So be it on whatever type it is better gained by practicing than not.

The Watcher

While listening to a Damma Desana,  some time ago, this example took my attention. It led me think a lot on it  later and made it easier to remember and analyze that topic. I can’t say, that I remember the whole discussion or even that I did understood or followed everything that was said. But this specific one example, that was told, made its own individual place within my mind. Because of that, I feel it could be useful to anyone in some content, so that I should convey it even without those other stuff. So here it goes…

Say, there’s a one large room, of which many people coming and going out. This room has more than general number of doors. To be specific it has six doors. And all these doors are opened. Anyone can come in through them. And also, can go out through them. So there’s no stable status inside this room.

So no one knows, who goes in, or who goes out. So!..the authority  appoints a watcher. This watcher, is going to see what’s going on inside there. He has to watch, who is coming inside, what they do, who is leaving, if they do something right, do any problems occur, likewise. May be he’s  more than a watcher, anyway he’s kept really busy inside our room.

However our watcher can be his own boss. He can watch seriously and do his job to the word. He also can determine what is correct and incorrect. And how something should be done, or how to change them, like wise. So, He can have all the power within that room and power over everyone or anyone who is inside it. So, everything within that room would go smoothly, peacefully, without issues, thanks to our that smart keeper.

However,  our watcher is even free to do anything as he likes. He can just ignore it all, and let anything happen or  may be to some extent. He could become careless by not  doing his job. Like,  he could dose, or laze around, or just follow or be interested in one or more specific person, or may be just watch one door or more than one, or  watch all six doors if he wants or just vaguely, or do completely some thing else.

But, no one would be there, to tell  him, his job. However then, he might be missing some situations. And those  situations also would miss his interference on them. Then, anyone unwatched has freedom to do anything as they like. So, nothing inside there, would be as same as having a  keen eyed smart watcher to look after, right?

The best Buddhist meditation type? Samatha or Wipassana!

There are two major categories of Buddhist meditations.  Samatha (Samadhi) and Wipassana. Why are there two?  and,  what could be the best?

As I ‘ve already mentioned before,  meditations similar to types in Samatha had had already existed before the time of His holiness Lord Buddha. It is clear from the history, that there had been some meditators who had achieved it’s  highest level at that time. One such person was the teacher of king Suddhodana, Asitha Kaladewala ( father of prince Siddhartha:His  holiness lord Buddha’s laymen life’s). He was said to had the ability to travel to the heavens by his mere wish, additional to achieving the furthest state  of Samatha meditation. A lot of such meditators are heard of having many supernatural abilities by developing mind using meditation knowledge that existed at that time.

But then, Wipassana meditation type had been never known before his holiness lord Buddha himself discovered and taught it to this world. Which unveils the path to Nirvana / final enlightenment. And unlike those meditations, that were kept and shared only  among higher casts, His holiness lord Buddha let anyone to learn and practice his holiness’s teachings to enlightenment.

His holiness lord Buddha himself had tried all those  knowledge that existed at the time before starting to look for a new method  to achieve the liberation from sufferings. So his holiness had also tried various available types of Samatha meditation at the time. And after achieving enlightenment, his holiness had recommended to use Samatha meditation to develop mind,  needed for the path. But had given own instructions on how to practice them differently from those ways known where needed. So original teachings of Buddhist Samatha meditation types are known different from those were before that time.  However it seems that some of the elder teachers had/have introduce and teach their experiences and beliefs when teaching their students.

So when considering  about the second one,  deciding the best. The reality is, in general, when we are to meditate as beginners these both types could come in handy. Because one type could help to reduce different unwanted qualities in mind and other some other qualities.
So Samatha which is the very best to achieve qualities  like consciousness or calm,  and then  Wipassana for qualities like insight or prajna,  both,  could be specified for a particular person based on his personality.

The first to decide, the best for a person, is to know exactly what he or she wants to achieve by meditating. If he is interested in achieving the depth of wisdom of Buddhist teachings, then sticking to Samathya will never take him to his desired destination.So practicing it even after achieving the status of mind he need to move on the path, would only  delay his desired journey.   Wipassana or insight meditation, on the other hand, would help to achieve any stage of enlightenment, where Samatha will never give any of the stages, despite of how much or how long he may practice it. The status that are available to a samatha meditator are the status of Dhyana/jhana. That would  increase his mind to various status and reduce negative qualities of mind, but all in  temporarily, but still which would definitely determine his next birth place.

So if a meditator is interested in ending, permanently, his sufferings  and rebirth, he should definitely chose Wipassana and should consider Samatha only as some mean to improve his meditation and to distract any unwanted qualities in his mind.

About Meditaton more – what is and how to

earlier post on meditation  : On Meditation

Statue of Lord Buddha meditating - from an ancient temple in Sri Lanka

World’s Greatest Teacher of Meditation

Well, first of all, meditation is a method to deal with the mind. People nowadays seem to go to various kinds of therapists to deal with many issues in it.  This is good and really is a very helpful way. But as I’ve seen the  progress of it depends on the communication between both parties and the ability and experience of the therapist. If those were excellent you’ll get great outcome.  But it depends. Anyway it also is depended on you if you are the one who have the therapy. As I understand it, because of the way you allow yourself to understand how your mind works, how past has affected you and also the environment, i.e. society has affected your mind. Means how much you’ll allow to see with openness, honesty,  etc about yourself.

It’s the same when it comes to meditation. If you allow yourself to see with an open, honest mind without accepting or rejecting what you experience, and  if you got the right resources, you’ll get more success from meditation, than anything else in dealing with mind. But then, you have to have the proper guidance for the real success. But it is you who find answers. You’ll only have to have guidance from an experienced meditator to deal with the difficulties that occur in your path.

It doesn’t say you’ll always have to have such a person to start meditation. There are a lot of types, that can be started with simple instructions gained, like from a book or site, and be developed successfully on its early stages. But this is something that most of experienced teachers say when they advice in public in my country ” you better have some one to guide you” so I’m also repeating it here as I’m not a one to challenge them in it in my stage.

However, when looking into the history at his holiness lord Buddha’s time, there had been lot of  Bhikkus who had gone to faraway places after having learned how to do a suitable type of meditation from his holiness lord Buddha. So they had deal with it alone after having instructions first. But then they had world’s greatest teacher’s instructions. Also there were incidents  Bhikkus returning  with problems, like what led to the incident of Karaneeya Mettha Sutta. But that doesn’t say everyone had problems. If you got the intellect even with some knowledge you should succeed, that is as to what I’ve learned about Buddhism. Because It all circling around basics of Buddhist Philosophy. So it’s better you get some knowledge if you are interested in going into deep in meditation, because it would be just a hanging in the same stage thinking you doing great but without.  And in short what I’m trying to say is, try to learn the basics of this Philosophy if, you are serious. Listen to Damma or read good books and get to know it, then you’ll have some idea of how you should proceed when you practice alone.

Having said that, there are lot  of resources in the web for free to learn Buddhist teachings. And if you ask me about free, they should be for FREE ( not solid books, they cost, you know that!) , because if anyone is thinking otherwise, well theirs may have great content but I doubt they are truly the followers. Also you can check my posts on Resources tab under ” THE BUDDHIST ” tab on this blog. If you ask me ” http://www.dhammatalks.net  ” is a great one that I’ve used.

On Meditation

First of all I have to say I’m not a committed meditator, But I’ve heard lot of people discussing on meditation and some of them do not seem to have  some of the basics . Not that I claim to know most of them,  may be a tiny bit only, I have read some books on meditation, even attended some sessions ( not many) from a well known meditation center near my home town. But still, I know I’m at the lowest step. Still it may keep you on the right track, and may help you to start your journey, and may  help to get to your destination if you seek for needed  knowledge from the correct source.

Having said that I thought discussing something about meditation is needed, as I couldn’t find a suitable resource I promised in one of my posts to a friend I’ve met on the net. Actually I’ve been really busy these days and I couldn’t help being so late starting an answer for her, as I could not find resources (may be I didn’t search enough ) on basics for a beginner  to use. So I was thinking to post my knowledge about some types of meditation and how to start and also some resources I’ve used. So here we go.

What do you think of meditation?

Well, some people seem to think meditation is all that is taught in Buddhism or some of them think we can use it alone and have the complete effect from it for consolation or enlightenment as anyone else. Both these are not true as I know. I do not mean here, it’s useless to meditate without using it properly. Of course, it is a most useful method whatever way it is used, for it may gift you great abilities you never knew before. Only issue is that you have to use it properly to get the complete effect, as anything else. Some say it is like a medicine. But, Not that it is like a medicine, but  it is actually is a medicine. A medicine for mind prescribed by world’s greatest philosopher his holiness Lord Buddha. As any other treatment it also needs full dose in proper way to effect to full and cure completely.

So  I decided  from today on, to post discussions by topics on meditation, even may be not sequentially, but a series connected by links. I thought that would work better for all us.

A Truth

There’s a truth we do not like anyone to remind us of or remembered by ourselves. But still something we all will be facing sooner or later, the eternal truth of death. How matter death may sound strange, it is a truth about our being, once born have to face death. One we all have inherited without being treated differently.

With birth one brings death into life and  carries it everywhere with him, even though, how much he completely ignores it  or treats it as a totally unusual subject to bring up to discussion. But let’s face the fact that we all have to face death. Facing something is a better way to handle it than running away from it, and is a well  known wisdom .

In Buddhism “thinking of death in connection with Dhamma” is a type of well praised meditation (Maranānussati: ‘recollection of death’). One of the four meditations that are recommended as a Buddhist’s general meditation. An easy way to reduce and get rid of the fear of facing death. More importantly a method to stop idling in life and move oneself enthusiastically for success in both, life and enlightenment path.

A method to escape from suffering

OK this is not smart but I’ve edited my last post. I couldn’t make myself read it again to see what I’ve written there, so I split it in to two and edited. If you’ve found that it’s dull to read the same post, sorry for bothering you. Anyway I felt this as better.

In ( the beginning of last week’s) my last post, I discussed that the way feelings occur, improve and disappear could be used to deal with sufferings. But it’s not the final solution or the reason for  sufferings that is taught in Buddhism. Because this method may not help to vanish them forever, but suppress , and they may rise to surface again, later. But we’ll have the ability to easily make our lives better, by freeing mind from unpleasant conditions.

But, how could we release our mind from an unpleasant condition?

Majority of Lord Buddha’s teachings are concerned with, ending sufferings in this life and in the round of rebirth, and also on developing mind and on achieving a comfortable and contented life. So there are many sections in Dhamma, on how to end or escape from sufferings. ” Vitakkasanthana Sutta ” in Majjhima Nikaya of Dhamma can be used for us even you are a Buddhist or not, or have knowledge of Dhamma or not. If you think intellectually, it could be used in daily life to find relief from sufferings that play in your mind

This sutta says, one can  use, one or more of the following five, to escape from an unwanted thought ( a feeling or an emotion in our case ) or avoid occurring more thoughts (developing the feeling ) on it.

In such a situation you only have to,

  1.  Give attention to something else that change the condition of your mind (use the opposite thought ),
  2. Think about the dangers and bad effects that could result from your thoughts ( consider the resulting damages ),
  3. Avoid from recalling that thought in to your mind and  avoid from thinking in the same way on it repeatedly (Avoid recalling that thought ),
  4. Find out how that thought have started in your mind (find the origin ),
  5. And If any of above does not work with it , you  have to just suppress that feeling  by dictating your mind to get rid of it (When doing this, do not react to what’s going on inside mind ), ( try this by pressing tongue on the palate, that’s said to be most effective).( Firm determination ).

These instructions, in the sutta, are on how to deal with a negative or evil feelings in the mind and how to purify mind by clearing demerit thoughts and replacing with merits, to move on the path to enlightenment. So a Buddhist, who practices Dhamma, could use the knowledge of Buddha’s teachings, when trying specially on  1, 2,and 4  of above.

When talking about them generally, I think the fourth one may deliver more benefits. If we take the situation you’ve been angry, how did you start to feel angry? Did it exist before? When we take the example from last post, anger has started, most probably from what you’ve seen or heard  about that person. and remembering that reason, is the fourth of above:- the  origin of the thought . It may lead us to see how we behave in such situations and re-think about our decisions and the steps. We may realize that before that reason occurred,  we had no aversion (dislike) towards her in your mind. Not just hearing it but agreeing with your next thought ( probably about her being bad to you)  had started that anger that developed in to a hatred. In such occasions developing metta or loving kindness would relieve your mind.( this the first one :- (use the opposite thought )

Aversion is one of three ( Aversion, desire and delusion ), that would start a living being suffer. When you give them the opportunity to stay longer in mind, it develops more and more and make you suffer. Every time you involve with the object that was the reason for your hatred or longing, more it develops making it unbearable to stay away from reacting to it. More you play with your thoughts on that idea more they grow. So best way is to not let that thought enter in to your mind, never think further with it. If you can avoid from things that recall it until you can handle it in your mind. Just avoid from giving it a place in your mind, when a thought is ignored it becomes lessen. (Third one:- Avoid recalling that thought ).

Until we free our mind from such a negative feeling it could make us restless, Lose peace within mind. If you react with such feeling in your working place it might deliver you bad reputation. Some co-workers might start to see and treat you  differently from  the way they have used to and you may feel its oddness. A promotion that was due to come might be reconsidered affecting your career, and so on. So it’s always smart to think of the results that may badly affect you after your reaction or of the disharmony occurred in your mind  by having that feeling, then it may start to lose its impact on you.  (Second one:- consider the resulting damages ).

Basics: How to know your path

What is the  meaning of being a real Buddhist?

A real Buddhist is someone who is following the path to liberation.

But what is this path?.

If anyone want to go along any path they have to find about it, right?

So how could we find it?

Simple. Lord Buddha Has clearly described how to find your path in Dhamma, the second of  the triple gems . On my post: Buddhism and the difference from other paths“, I mentioned what  His Holiness Buddha has said about Dhamma.

Last is:

intellectuals should  individually  experience Dhamma

Why intellectuals? Does that mean, we have to assess our intellects, before starting to follow? NO : That would be just a waste of time. Because that, Dhamma has  clearly instructed on how to become an intellectual. Of course  that is why, we should have  proper advise on Buddhism i.e. not to go astray. (Ah don’t worry! I will be posting, in near future, regarding “proper advice”. Until then…”How to know your path”).

So! How could we become intellectuals?

there’s only three things you have to start with. Just Three, but Extremely Important! ( Kalama sutta )

  • Do not Accept (or agree ) at once with  what you’ve come across
  • Do not reject (or disagree ) at once with what you’ve come across
  • Analyze it deeply with what you already know of Dhamma and then decide. (That means our present knowledge)

This is the  base to become an intellectual. If you don’t start your path with it you are stuck. ( they could always be used for thinking in generally , too)

What about part “should  individually  experience ” ? This happens when you do the third step above.  Learning Dhamma accurately, is the next important key to  find your path.  But only knowledge wouldn’t do the miracle. To go along the path, you need to start analyzing using Dhamma. For that  at least basics of Dhamma are needed . If not, you might  end up using misconceptions (a wrong idea or impression.) for original Buddhist teachings, thinking that you are doing great, Who knows?

Everything you’ve learned should be based on  your own intelligence. Never should take someone’ idea without analyzing.Also it would simply break above three steps. A person’s  Knowledge of Dhamma is something that  always will grow, if you keep on learning it. So scope of analyzing ability would eventually grow developing the scope of intellect.

Keep practicing Dhamma with what you’ve started and you will be always be on the right track of your expedition.

Wish You all the success with your expedition!

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