Five questions on meditation

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LukeS
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Five questions on meditation

Post by LukeS »

Hello, I have some questions on meditation. Here are a few:

1) How does one sit for long periods of time without their back or legs from hurting? I'm currently trying to sit for at least one hour per session and am finding it difficult to sit for long. Would beginning with a body scan be helpful?

2)How does one do walking meditation? What are the benefits, are they similar to sitting meditation? How does one begin walking meditation in a small space? Thank you for listening.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Five questions on meditation

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

1) Assuming that you already worked out a comfortable posture, the only way to overcome pain in sitting meditation is to keep on noting it until you penetrate it with insight. See Vipassanā Meditation Guidelines
  • Pain is the friend of the meditator. Do not evade it. It can lead you to nibbāna.
  • Pain does not have to inform you of its coming. It may not disappear, but if it does, you may cry over it, for your friend has gone away.
  • Pain is observed not to make it go away, but to realise its true nature.
  • Pain is the key to the door of nibbāna.
  • When concentration is good, pain is not a problem. It is a natural process. If you observe it attentively, the mind will be absorbed in it, and discover its true nature.
  • When pain comes, note it directly. Ignore it only if it becomes overpoweringly persistent. It can be overcome by deep concentration brought about by continuous mindfulness.
  • If intense pain arises during walking meditation, stop occasionally and take note of it.
  • Be patient with anything and everything that stimulates your mind.
  • Patience leads to nibbāna— impatience leads to hell.
2) See The Benefits of Walking Meditation

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Five questions on meditation

Post by Spiny Norman »

LukeS wrote: Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:47 am Hello, I have some questions on meditation. Here are a few:

1) How does one sit for long periods of time without their back or legs from hurting? I'm currently trying to sit for at least one hour per session and am finding it difficult to sit for long. Would beginning with a body scan be helpful?

2)How does one do walking meditation? What are the benefits, are they similar to sitting meditation? How does one begin walking meditation in a small space? Thank you for listening.
1. Experiment and find a posture which is comfortable over extended periods. Using a stool or chair is fine, and there is no need to do yogic contortions, or endure physical pain.

2. In a small space you could walk in a circle. There are different approaches, some involve walking at ordinary speed, others involve walking in "slow motion", paying close attention to the feet. Walking meditation is sometimes done in between periods of sitting meditation, and is arguably more a mindfulness practice than a "meditation" method.
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santa100
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Re: Five questions on meditation

Post by santa100 »

LukeS wrote:1) How does one sit for long periods of time without their back or legs from hurting?
See a similar discussion Here
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DooDoot
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Re: Five questions on meditation

Post by DooDoot »

LukeS wrote: Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:47 am2)How does one do walking meditation? What are the benefits, are they similar to sitting meditation? How does one begin walking meditation in a small space?
Walking meditation can be practised the same as sitting meditation, namely, observe breathing. In a small space, start out with standing meditation. Stand in the same spot for 15 to 30 minutes. The benefit of walking meditation is it allows you to continue practice while changing posture and also allows development of meditation skill in a different posture.
LukeS wrote: Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:47 am1) How does one sit for long periods of time without their back or legs from hurting?
Find a posture that is naturally comfortable, with spine naturally erect but at ease.
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SarathW
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Re: Five questions on meditation

Post by SarathW »

When I do walking meditation I keep my attention on my sole that how I fell the warmth, heat, softness, and hardness etc.
Otherwise, the general instructions are as per the above video provided by Ven. Pesala.
The following post may help.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=25363&p=
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kalyana.mitta
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Re: Five questions on meditation

Post by kalyana.mitta »

For walking meditation, there are different types of meditations you can practice. You can spread Metta(loving-kindness). You can also read this for a very detailed understanding on walking meditation https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... bl137.html
In the Great Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness, the Buddha taught walking meditation two times. In the section called "Postures," he said that a monk knows "I am walking" when he is walking, knows "I am standing" when he is standing, knows "I am sitting" when he is sitting and knows "I am lying down" when he is lying down.
In another section called "Clear Comprehension," the Buddha said, "A monk applies clear comprehension in going forward and in going back." Clear comprehension means the correct understanding of what one observes.
After a few hours, or after a day or two of meditation, you may be instructed to be mindful of two occurrences: (i) stepping, and (ii) putting down the foot, while making the mental note "stepping, putting down." You will try to be mindful of two stages in the step: "stepping, putting down; stepping, putting down." Later, you may be instructed to be mindful of three stages: (i) lifting the foot; (ii) moving or pushing the foot forward; and (iii) putting the foot down. Still later, you would be instructed to be mindful of four stages in each step: (i) lifting the foot; (ii) moving it forward; (iii) putting it down; and (iv) touching or pressing the foot on the ground. You would be instructed to be completely mindful and to make a mental note of these four stages of the foot's movement: "lifting, moving forward, putting down, pressing the ground."
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Caodemarte
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Re: Five questions on meditation

Post by Caodemarte »

Sitting though has tremendous value. Please start with what you can do in a good stable posture and gradually build up. I used a free meditation timer on my phone to gradually and slowly extend sitting time. The body adjusts to slow and consistent practice.
Padipa
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Re: Five questions on meditation

Post by Padipa »

What has been given to you in the thread is good, but I want to add 1 more thing. I learned it is vital, for effective sitting, to get your head perfectly balanced. If it is not balanced, though it is subconscious, you have neck muscles locking to balance the head: like balancing a feather on its tip, but easier. Once you learn to perfectly balance the head, you can sit with much greater ease. It takes time to get a feel for when the head is where it needs to be, but, once you do, you will always know from then on how you need to position it. Of course, a straight back is an ally in the quest to get the head balance right. The head is actually much heavier than most people realize.

Finally, the best advice given so far is the one which explains "pain as your friend." I can't agree more: it is pain which moves us to internal discovery and it helps keep us from falling back when we are progressing.

:) jt
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Aloka
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Re: Five questions on meditation

Post by Aloka »

Hi LukeS,

"Finding the Missing Peace" is a helpful little beginners meditation book by Ajahn Amaro and there's a section about walking meditation at the back of the book.

https://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-books/ ... editation/


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simsapa
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Re: Five questions on meditation

Post by simsapa »

1) How does one sit for long periods of time without their back or legs from hurting? I'm currently trying to sit for at least one hour per session and am finding it difficult to sit for long. Would beginning with a body scan be helpful?
a) Make sure you are practicing good posture (or know the points of good posture, if you're not ready to practice). There can be subtle defects in posture that are hard to notice when alone. This is why it's good to find a place that has seasoned practitioners. See if they will give you some advice and feedback. Retreats might be a good time.

b) Once you know you've got good posture, now it's a matter of training. You can train parts of the body to be stronger for practice. You may want to consult with people you trust to get advice on this.

c) All that being said, now it's just a matter of tolerating whatever small level of irritation comes up.
2)How does one do walking meditation? What are the benefits, are they similar to sitting meditation? How does one begin walking meditation in a small space? Thank you for listening.
Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a book on walking meditation that is just fantastic. It's not from Theravada, but if it helps (and the practice is in line with what's taught in the suttas) I don't see why that would be a problem. Two things I know about walking meditation: a) don't continue to put a foot forward until you have maintained mindfulness. Just be still until you're mind is ready to take another step and b) place the foot down gently and (obviously) mindfully beginning with the heel.
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