ARE THERE FOUR TYPES OF MEDITATION ?WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WALKING MEDITATION ?INNER YOGA-42
FOUR TYPES OF MEDITATION;-
11 FACTS ;- 1-Most people associate meditation with sitting quietly. But traditional teachings identify four meditation postures: sitting, walking, standing and lying down. All four are valid means of cultivating a calm and clear mindfulness of the present moment. The most common meditation posture after sitting is walking.
2-On meditation retreats, regular walking meditation is an integral part of the schedule. In practice outside of retreats, some people will include walking as part of their daily meditation practice-for example, ten or twenty minutes of walking prior to sitting, or walking meditation instead of sitting. 3-All four (sitting, standing, walking, and lying down) are valid methods of enabling clear thought and mindful awareness. Learning how to do walking meditation brings a number of benefits.Yogis practice mindfulness in four different postures. They practice mindfulness when walking, when standing, when sitting, and when lying down. They must sustain mindfulness at all times in whatever position they are in. 4-Walking meditation brings a number of benefits in addition to the cultivation of mindfulness. It can be a helpful way of building concentration, perhaps in support of sitting practice. A mindful walking meditation helps to invigorate (making one feel strong, healthy, and full of energy) you whenever you’re feeling sluggish and tired. 5-The sensations of walking can be more compelling than the more subtle sensations of breathing while sitting. Walking can be quite helpful after a meal, upon waking from sleep, or after a long period of sitting meditation. 6-At times of strong emotions or stress, walking meditation may be more relaxing than sitting. An added benefit is that, when done for extended times, walking meditation can build strength and stamina. 7-People have a variety of attitudes toward walking meditation. Some take to it easily and find it a delight. For many others, an appreciation of this form of meditation takes some time; it is an “acquired taste.” Yet others see its benefits and do walking meditation even though they don’t have much taste for it. 8-To meditate is to know yourself. Many people pursue the advantages of meditation in their lives. Walking meditation is one way to enhance the practice of meditation. 9-The primary posture for mindfulness meditation is sitting with legs crossed, but because the human body cannot tolerate this position for many hours without changing, we alternate periods of sitting meditation with periods of walking meditation. 10-As a complement to sitting meditation, walking provides different insights. Meditation while walking is perfect for beginners. It can also be integrated into your schedule easily since walking is something we do every single day. 11-Ultimately, walking is in itself a fulfilling activity with a myriad of health benefits.For meditation lovers, long periods of seated meditation can prove to be monotonous and torpid but Walking meditation presents a tremendous richness of experience . BENEFITS OF WALKING MEDITATION;- 10 FACTS;- 1- Expand Mindfulness Walk in meditation to help in the cultivation and practice of mindful awareness. 2- Be in the Body, Now Meditate while walking to ease the way for you to be more present in your body and in the present moment. 3- Focus Attention Let the natural process of walking be the focus. It can be a helpful way of building stronger concentration. 4-Complement Your Sitting Meditation Practice walking meditation along with sitting meditation sessions. It is a good support for sitting your practice. 5-. Bring in Different Sensations Bring expanded sensations or new elements to your meditation practice. While walking, you feel your body sensations in a compelling way. It differs from the more subtle sensations of breathing while sitting. 6- Gain Energy Try walking meditation when you are feeling tired or sluggish. Walking can be invigorating and energizing for both the body and the mind. 7- Ease Stress At times of strong emotions or stress, do a walking meditation. You may find the action of walking to be more relaxing than sitting and meditating. 8-Quick-Start Metabolism Walking can be quite helpful after a meal, upon waking from sleep, or after a long period of sitting meditation. 9- Build Strength Walking gets your body and muscles moving. That’s an added benefit of moving meditations. When done for longer periods of time, walking meditation can actually build up your strength and stamina. 10- Enhance Your Joy People’s attitudes toward walking meditation vary. Some people find that it’s not especially helpful for them. Some find that it suits them and take to it easily. May you find it a joy and a delight. PRACTICE OF WALKING MEDITATION;- 12 FACTS;- Walking meditation allows you to be more present in your body and in the present moment. The simple experience of alternating steps with the left and right foot naturally helps create a meditative state. 1-Let us now talk specifically about the practice of walking meditation. If you are a complete beginner, the teacher may instruct you to be mindful of only one thing during walking meditation: to be mindful of the act of stepping while you make a note silently in the mind, "stepping, stepping, stepping," or "left, right, left, right." You may walk at a slower speed than normal during this practice. 2-After a few hours, or after a day or two of meditation, you may be instructed to be mindful of two occurrences:- (i) Stepping, (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." 3-Later, you may be instructed to be mindful of three stages:- (i) lifting the foot; (ii) moving or pushing the foot forward; (iii) putting the foot down. 4-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; (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." 5-At first yogis may find it difficult to slow down, but as they are instructed to pay close attention to all of the movements involved, and as they actually pay closer and closer attention, they will automatically slow down. They do not have to slow down deliberately, but as they pay closer attention, slowing down comes to them automatically. 6-When driving on the freeway, one may be driving at sixty or seventy or even eighty miles per hour. Driving at that speed, one will not be able to read some of the signs on the road. If one wants to read those signs, it is necessary to slow down. Nobody has to say, "Slow down!" but the driver will automatically slow down in order to see the signs. 7-In the same way, if yogis want to pay closer attention to the movements of lifting, moving forward, putting down, and pressing the ground, they will automatically slow down. Only when they slow down can they be truly mindful and fully aware of these movements. 8-Although yogis pay close attention and slow down, they may not see all of the movements and stages clearly. The stages may not yet be well-defined in the mind, and they may seem to constitute only one continuous movement. As concentration grows stronger, yogis will observe more and more clearly these different stages in one step; the four stages at least will be easier to distinguish. 9-Yogis will know distinctly that the lifting movement is not mixed with the moving forward movement, and they will know that the moving forward movement is not mixed with either the lifting movement or the putting down movement. They will understand all movements clearly and distinctly. Whatever they are mindful and aware of will be very clear in their minds. 10-As yogis carry on the practice, they will observe much more. When they lift their foot, they will experience the lightness of the foot. When they push the foot forward, they will notice the movement from one place to another. When they put the foot down, they will feel the heaviness of the foot, because the foot becomes heavier and heavier as it descends. When they put the foot on the ground, they will feel the touch of the heel of the foot on the ground. 11-Therefore, along with observing lifting, moving forward, putting down, and pressing the ground, yogis will also perceive the lightness of the rising foot, the motion of the foot, the heaviness of the descending foot, and then the touching of the foot, which is the hardness or softness of the foot on the ground. When yogis perceive these processes, they are perceiving the four essential elements.
12-The four essential elements are: the element of earth, the element of water, the element of fire, and the element of air. By paying close attention to these four stages of walking meditation, the four elements in their true essence are perceived, not merely as concepts, but as actual processes, as ultimate realities. FOUR ELEMENTS & WALKING MEDITATION;- 05 FACTS ;- 1-FIRE ELEMENT;- A-Let us go into a little more detail about the characteristics of the elements in walking meditation. In the first movement, that is, the lifting of the foot, yogis perceive lightness, and when they perceive lightness, they virtually perceive the fire element. One aspect of the fire element is that of making things lighter, and as things become lighter, they rise. In the perception of the lightness in the upward movement of the foot, yogis perceive the essence of the fire element. B-But in the lifting of the foot there is also, besides lightness, movement. Movement is one aspect of the air element. But lightness, the fire element, is dominant, so we can say that in the stage of lifting the fire element is primary, and the air element is secondary. These two elements are perceived by yogis when they pay close attention to the lifting of the foot. 2-AIR ELEMENT ;- The next stage is moving the foot forward. In moving the foot forward, the dominant element is the air element, because motion is one of the primary characteristics of the air element. So, when they pay close attention to the moving forward of the foot in walking meditation, yogis are virtually perceiving the essence of the air element. 3-WATER ELEMENT ;- The next stage is the movement of putting the foot down. When yogis put their foot down, there is a kind of heaviness in the foot. Heaviness is a characteristic of the water element, as is trickling and oozing (flow). When liquid is heavy, it oozes. So when yogis perceive the heaviness of the foot, they virtually perceive the water element. 4-EARTH ELEMENT ;- In pressing the foot on the ground, yogis will perceive the hardness or softness of the foot on the ground. This pertains to the nature of the earth element. By paying close attention to the pressing of the foot against the ground, yogis virtually perceive the nature of the earth element. 5-Thus we see that in just one step, yogis can perceive many processes. They can perceive the four elements and the nature of the four elements. Only those who practice can ever hope to see these things. THE KEY POINTS;- 1-We practice meditation because we want to remove attachment and craving for objects. It is by comprehending the three characteristics of Existence;- , A-Impermanence, B-Suffering, C-The non-self nature/"absence of separate self" of things 2-We want to remove craving because we do not want to suffer. As long as there is craving and attachment, there will always be suffering. If we do not want to suffer, we must remove craving and attachment. We must comprehend that all things are just mind and matter arising and disappearing, that things are insubstantial (lacking strength and solidity). 3-Once we realize this, we will be able to remove attachment to things. As long as we do not realize this, however much we read books or attend talks or talk about removing attachment, we will not be able to get rid of attachment. It is necessary to have the direct experience that all conditioned things are marked by the three characteristics. 4-Hence we must pay close attention when we are walking, just as we do when we are sitting or lying down. I am not trying to say that walking meditation alone can give us ultimate realization and the ability to remove attachment entirely, but it is nevertheless as valid a practice as sitting meditation or any other kind of insight meditation. 5-Walking meditation is conducive (helpful) to spiritual development. It is as powerful as mindfulness of breathing or mindfulness of the rising and falling of the abdomen. It is an efficient tool to help us remove mental defilements. Walking meditation can help us gain insight into the nature of things, and we should practice it as diligently as we practice sitting meditation or any other kind of meditation. By the practice of insight meditation in all postures, including the walking posture, may you and all yogis be able to attain total purification in this very life. ....SHIVOHAM....