AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

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AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:25 pm

AN 5.29 PTS: A iii 29
Cankama Sutta: Walking
translated from the Pali by Aggacitta Bhikkhu & Kumara Bhikkhu


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .agku.html



Monks, there are these five benefits of walking up & down.[1] What five?

One is fit for long journeys; one is fit for striving; one has little disease; that which is eaten, drunk, chewed, tasted, goes through proper digestion; the composure attained by walking up & down is long-lasting.

These, monks, are the five benefits of walking up & down.

Note

1. Cankama: Walking meditation, usually in the form of walking back and forth along a prescribed path. [— jtb]
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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:26 pm

AN 5.29 PTS: A iii 29
Cankama Sutta: Walking
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

These are the five rewards for one who practices walking meditation. Which five?

He can endure traveling by foot; he can endure exertion; he becomes free from disease; whatever he has eaten & drunk, chewed & savored, becomes well-digested; the concentration he wins while doing walking meditation lasts for a long time.

These are the five rewards for one who practices walking meditation.
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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:30 pm

AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi


“Bhikkhus, there are these five benefits of walking meditation. What five? One becomes capable of journeys; one becomes capable of striving; one becomes healthy; what one has eaten, drunk, consumed, and tasted is properly digested; the concentration attained through walking meditation is long lasting.[998] These are the five benefits of walking meditation.

Note

[998] Cīraṭṭhitiko hoti. Mp: “If one has acquired the mark [of concentration] while standing up, it is lost when one sits down. If one has acquired the mark while sitting, it is lost when one lies down. But for one who has resolved on walking up and down and acquired the mark in a moving object, it is not lost even when one stands still, sits down, and lies down.
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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:14 pm

Hi Mike, and welcome back. Did you say you had been on retreat? If so, I hope you had a beneficial time. I wonder if it influenced your choice of Sutta...

I like the point about the concentration being "long-lasting", which is followed up in the note. There certainly does seem to be something about walking meditation which functions as a sort of bridge between the Dhamma-hall and everyday life. It might be that the mindfulness is stronger, or it might be that it is just of a type to cope with stuff moving around all over the place.

There are in the Suttas lots of recommendations of practices on the grounds that they protect health and well-being, as well as serving a higher purpose. Eating once a day is another one. My experience is that they rarely, for lay practitioners, deliver what we might expect them to. Solvitur ambulans, anyway.
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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:45 pm

Thanks for the message, and the Latin lesson, Sam:
solvitur ambulando

Indeed, I did a lot of walking on retreat, and my experience that the samādhi generated by walking meditation is long lasting and robust matches the sutta (and commentary) because one is able to focus on a variety of "moving objects".

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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:54 am

Greetings,

Does "cankama" really mean "walking meditation" or are various translators taking certain liberties here...?

I sense they may be bending something quite straight-forward and literal as "walking" to conform to their own "meditation"-centric views on the Dhamma.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:20 am

Hi Retro,
Here is the Pali:
5. 1. 3. 9
(Caṅkamānisaṃsasuttaṃ)
29. Pañcime bhikkhave caṅkame ānisaṃsā. Katame pañca?
[PTS Page 030] addhānakkhamo hoti. Padhānakkhamo hoti. Appābādho hoti. Asitapītakhāyitasāyitaṃ1 sammā parināmaṃ gacchati. Caṅkamādhigato samādhi ciraṭṭhitiko hoti.
Ime kho bhikkhave pañca caṅkame ānisaṃsāti.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#pts.030

It certainly seems to mean something that leads to samādhi, and is something to do with walking up and down, according to the PTS dictionary:
Cankama [Sk. cankrama & cankramā, fr. cankamati] (a) walking up & down S iv.104. -- (b) the place where one is walking, esp. a terraced walk, cloister Vin i.15, 182; ii.220; D i.105; S i.212; A i.114; 183; iii.29; iv.87; J i.17; ii.273; v.132 (cp. kattaradaṇḍa -- passages).
http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :1357.pali

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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby kirk5a » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:00 am

I happened upon another benefit of walking meditation the Buddha described (in a list of other remedies for drowsiness)

"But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then — percipient of what lies in front & behind — set a distance to meditate walking back & forth, your senses inwardly immersed, your mind not straying outwards. It's possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"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: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby Sylvester » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:20 am

Retro has a point. The text does not actually say "walking meditation". It simply says -

Pañcime bhikkhave caṅkame ānisaṃsā.


The first translation is therefore the most faithful and least "embellished". However, I don't think it's doctrinally incorrect to "embellish" caṅkama here to refer to walking meditation, since mindfulness is recommended to be established in any of the 4 iriyāpatha (postures of walking, standing, sitting, and lying down), eg MN 10's 2nd kāyānupassanā after mindfulness of breathing.

As for the caṅkamādhigato samādhi, it's parsed as caṅkama+adhigata samādhi. Adhigata = attained. Can't quite decide if the caṅkamādhigato is a bahubbīhi compound or a instrumentive tappurisa. Probably the former, since it seems to function as an adjective to qualify the samādhi.
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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby lojong1 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:36 am

kirk5a wrote:...then — percipient of what lies in front & behind — set a distance to meditate walking back & forth, your senses inwardly immersed, your mind not straying outwards.

fan, f f faan f f f faan f faantastic! I've ached for months to see this in a sutta.
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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:53 pm

It certainly seems to mean something that leads to samādhi, and is something to do with walking up and down


Do you think that the same meaning is implied in the Dantabhumi Sutta ?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.125.horn.html#fnt-2
Now at that time the novice Aciravata was staying in the Forest Hut.[1] Then prince Jayasena,[2] who was always pacing up and down, always roaming about on foot, approached the novice Aciravata; having approached he exchanged greetings with the novice Aciravata; having exchanged greetings of friendliness and courtesy, he sat down at a respectful distance.


I took this to mean that Prince Jayasena was restless and wandering. Is the Pali term the same, and do you think that Jayasena might have been engaging on a spiritual practice before meeting Aciravata? It doesn't seem likely from the later description of him.
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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:33 pm

Good question Sam,

Note that walking up and down appears on a number of suttas on the gradual training:
Mindfulness & Alertness

"When going forward and returning, he acts with alertness. When looking toward and looking away... when bending and extending his limbs... when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe, and his bowl... when eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting... when urinating and defecating... when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and remaining silent, he acts with alertness.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

However, the terminology is different here:
22. So abhikkante paṭikkante sampajānakārī hoti, ālokite vilokite sampajānakārī hoti, sammiñjite pasārite sampajānakārī hoti, saṅghāṭipattacīvaradhāraṇe sampajānakārī hoti, asite pīte khāyite sāyite sampajānakārī hoti, uccārapassāvakamme sampajānakārī hoti, gate ṭhite nisinne sutte jāgarite bhāsite tuṇhībhāve sampajānakārī hoti.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#pts.181

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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:23 pm

Since the point of the suttas is to inform practice, does anyone have further comments on their experience of the relative stability of concentration developed when walking rather than sitting?

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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby gavesako » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:09 am

“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)



I am personally very fond of walking meditation which is emphasised a lot in the Thai forest tradition. In the West for some reason (probably influence of Goenka and Mahasi style retreats) the emphasis is always on "sitting" and walking is seen more like stretching the legs. This is reflected in the typical retreat schedules which start with a period of sitting very early in the afternoon, after the main meal of the day. People have no time to digest the food and are often sleepy during this time (1-3 pm). It would be more in keeping with the Buddha's instructions if more importance was given to walking meditation in the West.

Here is a good article by Ajahn Nyanadhammo explaining this point:

Three Expositions on Walking Meditation
http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh464-p.html
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:24 am

Bhante,
gavesako wrote:I am personally very fond of walking meditation which is emphasised a lot in the Thai forest tradition. In the West for some reason (probably influence of Goenka and Mahasi style retreats) the emphasis is always on "sitting" and walking is seen more like stretching the legs. This is reflected in the typical retreat schedules which start with a period of sitting very early in the afternoon, after the main meal of the day. People have no time to digest the food and are often sleepy during this time (1-3 pm). It would be more in keeping with the Buddha's instructions if more importance was given to walking meditation in the West.

I definitely agree on the importance of walking. However, my experience with Mahasi-style monastic teachers is that they place a lot of emphasis on walking. I've been taught to start with walking and to normally do an equal amount of each. But I do find that the lay groups I've been involved with tend to start with sitting, which often sends me to sleep... :zzz:

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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby gavesako » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:04 pm

Yes, it is more the Goenka centers which are "sitting only", whereas in Mahasi centers they do emphasise walking meditation as well -- sloooow walking, that is. I think this extremely slow method is based on the Abhidhamma mind-set underlying the whole Mahasi system, splitting up experience into the smallest possible "bits" conceptually and then trying to perceive them. I don't find this emphasis in the Suttas though.

How fast should you walk? Ajahn Chah recommended walking naturally, not too slow or too fast. If you walk fast, you might find it very difficult to concentrate on the sensation of feeling arising and passing away. You may need to slow down. On the other hand, some people may need to speed up. You have to find your own pace, whatever works for you. You can begin slowly at first then gradually come to your normal walking pace.
If your mindfulness is weak (meaning your mind wanders a lot), then walk very slowly until you can stay in the present moment of each step.



There is a difference between just casual "pacing up and down" which prince Jayasena was doing, and the walking (cankama) referred to here. In the Sutta passage it says that the monk "determines (a path for) walking" (cankamam adhitthati) back and forth, focusing on the length of the space.
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby gavesako » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:25 pm

The importance of walking as a dynamic activity was recognized by some Greek philosophers and also:

“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, & the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.”

“The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted.”


― Søren Kierkegaard
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:25 pm

Thanks for the references, Bhante. The article by Ajahn Nyanadhammo:
Three Expositions on Walking Meditation
http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh464-p.html
has a number of excellent sutta references.

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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby lojong1 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:59 pm

gavesako wrote:...focusing on the length of the space.

Much like the length of the breath-body.
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Re: AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

Postby Sam Vara » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:40 pm

gavesako wrote:The importance of walking as a dynamic activity was recognized by some Greek philosophers and also:

“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, & the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.”

“The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted.”


― Søren Kierkegaard


Interesting echo of Kierkegaard's point about walking away from every illness in artist and film-maker Derek Jarman's dying lament (in his film "Blue")

The Gautama Buddha instructs me to walk away from illness. But he wasn't attached to a drip.


I previously thought that Jarman was over-literalising something he had read in the Suttas, but he might have been confusing this with Kierkegaard.
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