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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.

Enjoyments and Sufferings

So everybody taste enjoyments in lives, we saw that earlier.

So why do we suffer in this life, generally we do suffer don’t we?

When talking about sufferings, someone could have a job but then feel it’s not the greatest one to have. So he suffers not having a better one. When he long for a better job, there are some who wish like ” Oh if I  had a some kind of job, then I’d be so grateful to have it “. So they suffer from not having any kind of job don’t they? . Both  suffer by same thing, a job, but differently,  Something to think…

Don’t we also wish like that  “oh if I had something better and then I would have been so much happy”.  But don’t we sometime get those things as we wished, and then do we feel so much happy or don’t we ? Well, If you asked me, yes I would feel so much happy, because I finally have what I wanted so much. So I’ll enjoy it’s comfort with a relaxed mind.

Isn’t happiness a great enjoyment in this life? 

It can relax our minds and cure our bodies. So good to have it for ever. But would it last for ever? If we take me, first week definitely ” I’ll be  so much happy ” and then next or two  ‘ much’ may be get lost  leaving only “I’ll be so happy”, with me. I think in about a month  gradually I’ll get accustomed to that feeling of happiness and It may affect lesser and lesser afterwards and then  occasionally it may come into mind and then remind me  slightly of the happiness I’ve experienced. As I remember, this is  same with everything, not only with happiness or comfort but also with other feelings. This is what happens in the life, with every feeling what ever it is, an enjoyment or a suffering. we feel something so heavily or considerably at one time and then there are times even it is hard to be remembered.

So what happens to those feelings with the time. (Do they diminish because, time feed on our feelings ? ). Doesn’t this show the effect of a feeling at one time is not the same at another time. If it is same, then it should affect us the same way at every-time. Can we keep how we feel towards something  unchanged forever ? To feel the same way about it in whole life time.  Have you ever tried to watch that the way we think, changes? I think one should try that, watching thoughts is a game with better competition than any other. You would learn how much dedication you would need to keep track of the straying mind.

If you watch, you’d notice that like some emotions  fade with time,  some others do  sharpen with time. Sometime it happens so, with the same emotion. Why is this so? Think of a situation that you have become angry with someone ( say a colleague). You might have not liked to talk with her and resented her for some days and then may be with some time flown, some of her nice ways had come into your memory and earlier emotions might have been lessen. But what if,  again in a short time, you’ve heard of her another action that affects your life badly. Then again those lessened anger and other emotions may arise won’t they? Each time you’ve come across a new fault with her those emotions will be increased.  The more she comes in to your memory, the  more your hatred for her grows. This is what happens with all emotions. The more they are refreshed in memory, then more they are brighten. If  other feelings that supports or connect to them occur the more they are developed, making them grow like a jungle. But if you don’t let your emotions grow in that way, distracting your mind from thoughts on them, eventually they will fade away.

We can use this to escape from sufferings in our lives.

Contd.

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