Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

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Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby Mkoll » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:58 am

Friends,

Can anyone point me in the direction of instructions for walking meditation in the Suttas or the Commentaries? The most detailed phrase I've seen is "walking back and forth".

If there are none or you would like to share, what methods do you use?

Thank you. :smile:

:anjali:

James
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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby Virgo » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:32 am

Hi Mkoll,

From the Commentary to the Satipatthana Sutta:

The Elder Tipitaka Maha Siva indeed said: Who, after walking or exercising long in the ambulatory, stands and reflects: "The bodily and mental things which existed during the time of exercises on the ambulatory ended just there on the ambulatory", is called a doer of clear comprehension in walking.

When, after standing for a long time in study or answering a question or minding a subject of meditation, sits and reflects: "The bodily and mental things which existed during the time of standing ended just at the time of standing," is called a doer of clear comprehension in standing.

Who, after sitting for a long time in study or other similar work, lies down and reflects: "The bodily and mental things which existed when sitting ended just at the time of sitting," is called a doer of clear comprehension in sitting.

Who, after lying down falls asleep, and, then, after getting up from his sleep, reflects: "The bodily and mental things which existed during the time of sleep ended just during sleep," is called a doer of clear comprehension in sleeping and waking.


And also:

"When he is going (a bhikkhu) understands: 'I am going.'" In this matter of going, readily do dogs, jackals and the like, know when they move on that they are moving. But this instruction on the modes of deportment was not given concerning similar awareness, because awareness of that sort belonging to animals does not shed the belief in a living being, does not knock out the percept of a soul, and neither becomes a subject of meditation nor the development of the Arousing of Mindfulness.

But the knowledge of this meditator sheds the belief in a living being, knocks out the idea of a soul, and is both a subject of meditation and the development of the Arousing of Mindfulness.

Indeed, who goes, whose going is it, on what account is this going? These words refer to the knowledge of the (act of) going (the mode of deportment) of the meditating bhikkhu.

In the elucidation of these questions the following is said: Who goes? No living being or person whatsoever. Whose going is it? Not the going of any living being or person. On account of what does the going take place? On account of the diffusion of the process of oscillation born of mental activity. Because of that this yogi knows thus: If there arises the thought, "I shall go," that thought produces the process of oscillation; the process of oscillation produces expression (the bodily movement which indicates going and so forth). The moving on of the whole body through the diffusion of the process of oscillation is called going. The same is the method of exposition as regards the other postures: standing and so forth. There, too, the yogi knows thus: If there arises the thought, "I shall stand," that thought produces the process of oscillation. The process of oscillation produces bodily expression. The raising upright of the whole body from below owing to the diffusion of the process of oscillation is called standing. If there arises the thought "I shall sit," that thought produces the process of oscillation...


And:

He who knows (that by the diffusion of this process of oscillation born of mental activity take place going, standing, sitting and lying down) pursues the line of thinking (called investigation) in the following manner: "A living being goes," "A living being stands," (according to the false belief of those unacquainted with the reality of the matter or according to conventional speech), but there is no living being going or standing. This talk of a living being going or standing is similar to speech in the following way: "A cart goes." "A cart stands." In fact there is no going cart and no standing cart. When with bulls (tied to a cart) a skilled driver is driving, one conventionally speaking says: "A cart goes" or "A cart stands." In the sense of a thing not able to go of itself, the body is like the cart. Mind-born oscillation are like the bulls. Mind is like the driver. When the thought, "I go," or the thought "I stand," arises, the process of oscillation producing expression comes to existence. By the diffusion of the process of oscillation born of mental activity, going and the other modes of deportment take place, and then there are these forms of conventional speech: "A living being goes," "A living being stands," "I go," "I stand." Therefore the commentator said:

Just as a ship goes on by winds impelled,
Just as a shaft goes by the bowstring's force,
So goes this body in its forward course
Full driven by the vibrant thrust of air.
As to the puppet's back the dodge-thread's tied
So to the body-doll the mind is joined
And pulled by that the body moves, stands, sits.
Where is the living being that can stand,
Or walk, by force of its own inner strength,
Without conditions that give it support?

Accordingly this yogi, who considers by way of causes and conditions, the states of going, standing and so forth, knows well that he is going, when he is in the state of going, that he is standing when he stands, that he is sitting when he sits, and that he is lying down when he lies down, as it is told in the passage in the discourse beginning with the words: "When he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am going.'"


Best,

Kevin
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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:35 am

Kevin, link or cite your sources for these quotes.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby Virgo » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:41 am

Last edited by Virgo on Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:50 am


Thanks, and sorry for the misunderstanding which was on my side, now edited out.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:00 am

Mkoll wrote:If there are none or you would like to share, what methods do you use?

Kevin has given a good selection from the Satipatthana Sutta and Commentary. There are some details also in the Visuddhimagga: www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nan ... on2011.pdf
from around XX.62 (page 648 in the PDF).
62. 2. (n) Next he divides a single footstep into six parts as “lifting up,”
“shifting forward,” “shifting sideways,” “lowering down,” “placing down,”
and “fixing down.”

63. Herein, lifting up is raising the foot from the ground. Shifting forward is
shifting it to the front. Shifting sideways is moving the foot to one side or the other
in seeing a thorn, stump, snake, and so on. Lowering down is letting the foot
down. Placing down is putting the foot on the ground. Fixing down is pressing
the foot on the ground while the other foot is being lifted up.

64. Herein, in the lifting up two elements, the earth element and the water element,
are subordinate and sluggish while the other two are predominant and strong.
Likewise in the shifting forward and shifting sideways. In the lowering down two
elements, the fire element and the air element, are subordinate and sluggish
while the other two are predominant and strong. Likewise in the placing down
and fixing down.
He attributes the three characteristics to materiality according to
“disappearance of what grows old in each stage” by means of these six parts
into which he has thus divided it.

65. How? He considers thus: The elements and the kinds of derived materiality
occurring in the lifting up all ceased there without reaching the shifting forward:
therefore they are impermanent, painful, not-self. Likewise those occurring in
he shifting forward ... the shifting sideways; those occurring in the shifting
sideways ... the lowering down; those occurring in the lowering down ... the
placing down; those occurring in the placing down cease there without reaching
the fixing down; thus formations keep breaking up, like crackling sesame seeds
put into a hot pan; wherever they arise, there they cease stage by stage, section
by section, term by term, each without reaching the next part: therefore they are
impermanent, painful, not-self.


This is the sort of thing I do:
http://buddhanet.net/xmed7.htm

:anjali:
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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby Sylvester » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:26 am

From MN 122-

"If, while the monk is dwelling by means of this dwelling, his mind inclines to walking back & forth, he walks back & forth [thinking,] 'While I am walking thus, no covetousness or sadness, no evil, unskillful qualities will take possession of me.' In this way he is alert there.

(repeated for the other 3 postures)


A rather more discursive meditation, but still walking meditation. Very much in the vein of mindfulness practice, given that the "no covetousness or sadness" = nābhijjhādomanassā, a term from the Satipatthana suttas.

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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby Virgo » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:33 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Mkoll wrote:If there are none or you would like to share, what methods do you use?

Kevin has given a good selection...


Thanks Mike, likewise...

Kevin
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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby kirk5a » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:11 pm

I try to stop thinking about unrelated matters and just walk. Which is very different from watching myself walk. It involves clear recognition of this basic principle
6. Spread your awareness — your sense of conscious feeling — throughout the entire body.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... ml#method2
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby Mkoll » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:24 pm

Thank you, friends.

Here is a passage on right view, my emphasis added.

When one's knowledge is truly one's own

[Kaccayana:] "Lord, 'Right view, right view,' it is said. To what extent is there right view?"

[The Buddha:] "By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.

"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on 'my self.' He has no uncertainty or doubt that, when there is arising, only stress is arising; and that when there is passing away, only stress is passing away. In this, one's knowledge is independent of others. It is to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view."

-http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-ditthi/index.html

:anjali:

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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby kirk5a » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:26 pm

Mkoll wrote:Thank you, friends.

Here is a passage on right view, my emphasis added.

That's an important passage, but how do you see that related to the topic of walking meditation?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby Mkoll » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:06 pm

Bhikkhus, just as the dawn is the forerunner and first indication of the rising of the sun, so is right view the forerunner and first indication of wholesome states.

For one of right view, bhikkhus, right intention springs up. For one of right intention, right speech springs up. For one of right speech, right action springs up. For one of right action, right livelihood springs up. For one of right livelihood, right effort springs up. For one of right effort, right mindfulness springs up. For one of right mindfulness, right concentration springs up. For one of right concentration, right knowledge springs up. For one of right knowledge, right deliverance springs up.

Anguttara Nikaya 10:121

-http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/wheel377.html

Right view is the hub at the center of the wheel, without which the wheel doesn't exist. Right view is the hinge on the door, without which the door would not function. Right view is at the beginning of the path, right view is in the path, right view is at the end of the path. Right view relates to all things.

:anjali:

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Re: Walking Meditation in the Suttas or Commentaries

Postby bodom » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:48 pm

Bhikkhus, there are these five benefits in walking meditation. What five? One endures long (walking) journeys. One endures striving (in meditation). One has little physical afflictions. What is eaten, drunk, chewed, tasted, is well digested. The concentration that has been attained by walking meditation lasts for a long time. - (AN 5:29)


“... Moggallana, perceiving what is before and behind [1] , you should fix attention on walking meditation, with the sense-faculties turned inward, and the mind not going out. …” - (AN 7:58)


“Bhikkhus, you should train thus: ’We will be devoted to wakefulness; by walking and sitting meditation during the day, … night, we will purify our minds of obstructive states.’” - (MN 39.10)


I left my dwelling overcome by sleepiness. Going onto the walking path, I fell down on the earth.

Having rubbed my limbs and having gone onto the walking-meditation path again, I did walking meditation and became well composed in mind.

Then wise attention arose in me, the danger in existence became clear, disenchantment was established, and my mind was released. - (Bhagu Thera, Theragatha 271–273)


http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh464-p.html#Discourses

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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