A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Master of Meditation?

So now that you’re on your way to be a master of a calm mind, note I said on the way, not have achieved it. Most of us will need time to practice and achieve this calm. Another form of meditation is walking meditation; this one has a few differences, from seated meditation. Firstly don’t keep your eyes closed during this one, or you might walk into your favorite chair, instead of sitting in it like seated mediation. Pick someplace where you can walk comfortably without too many hazards or distractions. Trusting your fellow sentient beings driving abilities while crossing the road is probably not the best place to start or practice, as this is about concentrating on what you are doing not dodging for your life. A tip to consider if doing this at home, you should walk in a clockwise direction, as it is the way the Buddha taught us, and the way practiced in temples. While walking concentrate on your body, how your foot touches the floor, what part makes first contact, what is the next part, and so on until the last part of your foot loses contact with the ground. How does your leg swing during the pace, do you flex at the knee like a pendulum, or do you walk stiff legged? Let your arms swing feely as you walk, concentrate on the different sensations, is you heart working hard, or are you breathing heavily? Notice all the sensations, and if a thought about something other than walking comes up, gently steer your mind back to the sensation of walking, don’t use the time to plan your shopping trip. Walking meditation is great for getting the circulation going again after seated meditation, stretching your muscles and limbering up. Once again the point is to concentrate on your walking, being in the here and now, not to allow our mind to be swinging from branch to branch.

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