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The different objects of walking meditation - Dhamma Wheel

The different objects of walking meditation

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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polarbear101
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The different objects of walking meditation

Postby polarbear101 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:24 am

Hello Everybody,

I hope you're all doing well and progressing in your practice. I was wondering what object you use when doing walking meditation and I was hoping that by informally surveying my fellow dhamma practitioners on here I could get some idea of what's most prevalent and why people chose the specific object to focus on that they did.

Also, I was just curious in general how each of you practice walking meditation and how it's influenced your practice and helped you along the path.

I imagine most people focus on the movement of the feet and then break it down into the lifting, forward, and landing movements of the foot but I know there are plenty of other ways to do walking meditation out there. Right now, I try to pay attention to my walking and my in and out breathing at the same time but I was thinking about switching to just one object instead.

Do any of you focus on contemplations of anicca, dukkha, anatta when doing walking meditation or cultivate the brahma viharas? I've wondered for a while now what people in the Buddha's time focused on during walking meditation because there are no instructions on the matter in the suttas except to be aware of walking and a sutta where the Buddha says that one should develop the 6 recollections in all four postures. Another thing I find interesting about the idea of walking meditation being a possibly more discursive or active contemplation practice in general is that it would have quite an affinity with the common western notion of pacing back and forth when in deep thought.

Anyways, feel free to share any thoughts whatsoever that you have on the practice of walking meditation.

Just a note: I've read quite a few articles on walking meditation so I'm really just interested in your personal thoughts and perspectives. Chances are decently high that if you post a link to an article about walking meditation that I've read it at some point, although if you feel compelled to do so by all means go right ahead.

Metta

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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tiltbillings
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:35 am


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polarbear101
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby polarbear101 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:48 am

"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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tiltbillings
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:57 am


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polarbear101
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby polarbear101 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:05 am

"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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purple planet
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby purple planet » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:05 am

I will tell you how it goes by for me - even though im new and im not really sure myself if i got it right and my practice has gone bad and i stopped meditating totally (will get back very soon )

i do the labeling part - lifting - forwarding - lowering - placing and whenever there is a thought i stop and note it three times and continue - an important part is to label also standing 3 times and also turning

and after some time my teacher also told me to note " intending to walk " which i say but i dont feel nothing not even a tiny bit but im saying it

so it goes like : lifting.... forwarding .... lowering .... thought .... notice i am thinking and noting stoping stoping stoping - thinking -thinking -thinking -standing- standing standing intending intending intending lifting.... forwarding .... lowering stoping stoping stoping standing standing standing turning turning turning standing standing standing intending intending intending lifting.... forwarding .... lowering

An important part is that you dont stop if the thought is in the background only if it disturbs the noting the same thing goes to itching hearing ect ... you stop only when you notice it that way you develope concentration

I have yet to feel any relaxed feeling in the walking like i get from sitting - what i do notice is when i sit i dont have thoughts much just a "blank" time when im not aware and in the walking i have so many thougts that its 90% of the time flash backs dreams planing and other thoughts

- something nice is i think that it might help to notice when things are in the background - for instance i felt my breathing while walking but it was in the background i didnt switch to it and continued with the walking - i also think i once noted thought or two in the background and kept the walking labeling - i think the annoying part of stoping is what helps you differentiate between the background and when something becomes the main objective

at the begging i got it wrong and just tryed to note everything and never stopped - and when i told my teacher he said it only helped me get more restless than calm

what i do is the mahashi method (vipasana) with the ajahn tong teachings
Last edited by purple planet on Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance

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tiltbillings
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:24 am


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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:46 am

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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tiltbillings
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:58 am


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manas
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby manas » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:00 am

Hi polar

I walk naturally, not slower than an easy relaxed pace I would do in 'normal' life. What I'm aiming at, is to not make it any different in any way, but rather, to bring awareness in to what is already there. My object is more the entire body and it's movements, although if I feel so inclined I also go in to the feet.

:anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

Digity
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby Digity » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:46 pm

I do walking meditation with the intent of developing concentration. I try to just focus on the walking motion and don't focus on the breath. I've had one sessions where I really settled in and became very calm and concentrated. So yes, there seems to be evidence that you can achieve calmness and concentration through this practice. I usually don't do the noting, except maybe for when I turn. Mostly, I just focus on the walking. I have had insights come up during my walking meditation too, but I didn't go in with that intent and it was more spontaneous.

Also, I've started using walking meditation in my daily life. For instance, the walk from the bus stop to my work is about 10 minutes, so I use that time to practice walking meditation. Sometimes I'm just walking down the street and I'll start doing it. That's the nice thing about it, it's easily accessible and it can help you settle your mind down.

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daverupa
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby daverupa » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:28 pm


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convivium
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby convivium » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:55 pm

buuuuu-dho.... buuuuuu-dho.....
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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polarbear101
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby polarbear101 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:20 pm

"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

jackson
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby jackson » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:57 pm

Hi polarbuddha101,
Normally when doing walking meditation I use buddho, alternating each syllable with every step and focusing on the feeling in the feet, but another technique I've found useful is practicing extended amounts of metta meditation doing walking meditation. For this I normally use 9 or 10 categories of beings to direct metta towards, and actually coordinate the metta reflections with the length of the path. For example, I start out with "May I be free of danger" as I'm walking, get to the end of the path then stop and turn and begin walking again, "May I be free of sorrow", get to end of path, stop, turn, begin walking, "May I be free of pain", get to end of path, stop, turn, begin walking, "May I be at ease". I repeat this for about four minutes then move on to the next reflection, teachers, then parents, then relatives who I'm close to, then friends, neutral beings, beings who have done me harm, then all beings.
Usually I spend around 40 minutes at it, and I find this practice very useful because normally I get very restless practicing even five minutes of metta sitting down, but coupled with the walking it holds my interest fairly easily. Anyway, it's a little unconventional but I thought it was worth sharing.
Best wishes, :anjali:
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah

befriend
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby befriend » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:46 pm

for the buddho practice, do you simply repeat buddho slowly, or do you coincide it with the walking? how is it practiced?
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

jackson
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby jackson » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:30 pm

"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah

befriend
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Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby befriend » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:54 pm

that sounds great. thanks, i also like the bud on the in breath and dho on the outbreath while focusing on the breathing. the word buddho has a pleasantness to it that makes it easier for my mind to stay on the breath. metta, befriend
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

jackson
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Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:40 am

Re: The different objects of walking meditation

Postby jackson » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:11 pm

"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah


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