Why Walking Meditation is so Beneficial and Important | Ajahn Dhammasiha | Dhammagiri | Cankama /Jongrom / Sakman Bhavana
Ajahn Dhammasiha reminds us that walking meditation is not in any way inferior to sitting meditation. Monks have realized full awakening while walking meditation, and some have even attained Parinibbāna (Nibbāna element without remainder at the 'Death' of an Arahant) while walking. The Buddha practised walking meditation a lot, and he walked over the whole central Ganges valley throughout his life out of compassion to spread the Dhamma. We all should practise walking meditation regularly, and if we so prefer, we can use walking as the main posture for our meditation.
Ajahn explains about the ideal length of the walking meditation path (20 to 25 paces), the best direction (roughly east-west), and encourages us to walk naturally, not in extreme slow motion.
There are two basic options how to cultivate walking meditation, and we can choose either of them:
- Using the sensation of walking (e.g. feeling the feet touching the ground) as the meditation object
- Walking is simply a posture, like sitting, but we take any of the meditation objects the Buddha recommended and attend to it while walking. For instance 'Buddho', or Loving Kindness (Mettā), or Mindfulness of Breathing (Ānāpānasati). Our mind is quite capable to manage the walking activitiy in the background, so to speak, and to mainly focus on the meditation object at the same time.
The Buddha himself mentioned five advantages of walking meditation:
- One gets trained in stamina and becomes able to walk long distances
- One gets trained in putting forth effort and to endure strenuous exertion
- One improves general health
- The food one ingests is properly digested
- Samādhi developed while walking does last a long time
Anguttara Nikāya/Numerical Discourses, Fives, #29
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