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Archive for the tag “theravada”

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.

What is Dhamma?

Preaching of Dhamma

A Venerable thera preaching Dhamma

Dhamma is the teachings of His holiness Buddha.

As I discussed in my post  “Why there are branches in Buddhism” Dhamma today is what has retained with the time.

Venerable Sangha is the community that protect Dhamma by dedication for future generations. We can learn it from Sangha or nowadays there are a lot of resources to be found if searched. i.e.  books, ‘articles in media’ ( news papers, web etc.), Blogs, Audio and video recordings of Dhamma preachings, Buddhist broad castings, etc.

But it is important to learn from trusted sources. Tripitaka and Venerable Sangha can be considered  the best resources.

I hope to give available information on these resources I can find in a future post

Theravada

A picture of venerable Sangha

A picture of venerable Sangha

From now on, this is the branch , all dhamma I can relate to you. That is because I  am  a Theravada Buddhist. All I know about Mahayana are the information I have read about it. You also can find them searching internet. That’s how I read about it most. (How you find something does not matter, if it is helpful to you)

When lord  Buddha existed His holiness had prescribed some rules that sangha should follow.(These are called vinaya).These were for the long survival of Buddhism.

But some time after ‘ his holiness Buddha ‘ had passed away, senior arahat bhikkus noticed that some of the monks, who had not achieved any stages of enlightenment, had started  to ignore these rules.  

So elderly arahat sangha lead by “Maha kasapa thera” arranged a convocation with the support of the king Ajasath( an Indian king). This  was after three months  of his holiness Buddha’s  parinirvana( death). Only enlightened bhikkus : arahats had participated in this convocation. These venerable arahat sangha discussed all dhamma they had heard  from his holiness Buddha. They had categorized these teachings accordingly.

Decisions were made how to keep the knowledge available as long as possible. That was, senior bhikkus and their student generations, should take care of the section of dhamma they were entrusted with and  learn  it by heart. This kept collected Dhamma  at that convocation.

Some Bhikkus at that time had not agreed with these decisions and had kept to their own ways. Followers of the decisions protected dhamma with them generation by generation. this group  is called known as Theravada.

Theravada  can be considered as more closely to what was taught by his holiness Buddha at about 550 BC. venerable Theravada  sangha had remained to learn everything by heart as they have agreed. But in Sri Lanka when a rough time had arisen some centuries ago, venerable sangha in Sri Lanka had discussed and converted Tripitaka in to writings. These  were written on some dried leaves from a native tree that was used for papers at that time with a native ink. I don’t know how it is in the other Buddhist countries, but it i o in Sri Lanka.

Note: This blog would be mainly on this branch.

Why there are branches in Buddhism

a picture of Lord Buddha Preaching to group of sangha

Lord Buddha teaching Sangha

His holiness Buddha had lived for eighty years. Three months after Lord Buddha had passed away, all the  teachings (Dhamma) that had been known/learned  by sangha ( monks/bhikku ), were discussed and categorized into  main 3 sections known collectively as ‘ Tripitaka ‘  and then into  more subcategories.

Limited number of senior arahat bhikkus had participated in this convocation. Some of the other bhikkus had not accepted decisions made in it, as they had not thought, those were worthy. Some had stated that what they (themselves) had learned from lord Buddha  were enough and no need to hear what others had learned.

Eventually these conflicts had divided venerable sangha into branches and there are two major branches at present :

  • Theravada
  •  Mahayana.

Theravada is the branch that have accepted convocation. South Asian countries follow this.

Mahayana can be seen  in East Asia.

Note: Why there are  branches in a community : Discussion   on ‘Discussions’ page

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