Suttas on walking meditation technique?

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Sati1
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Suttas on walking meditation technique?

Post by Sati1 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:58 am

Hello,

I was wondering if anybody knows of a sutta that describes a method for doing walking meditation, beyond just stating that the person "walked back and forth" (cankamati). And do we know whether the walking was done on a straight path going "back and forth"?

Thank you!
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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gavesako
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Re: Suttas on walking meditation technique?

Post by gavesako » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:00 pm

I don't think you will find one. But the living tradition and some archaeological evidence points towards straight walking paths covered with a roof on pillars.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Cormac Brown
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Re: Suttas on walking meditation technique?

Post by Cormac Brown » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:22 pm

Sati1 wrote:a sutta that describes a method for doing walking meditation
The Karaniya Metta Sutta provides you with some verbal fabrications and perceptions, and suggests doing them while walking (and sitting, and standing, and lying down).

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Last edited by Cormac Brown on Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

Cormac Brown
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Re: Suttas on walking meditation technique?

Post by Cormac Brown » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:24 pm

Also: See section [2] http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

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gavesako
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Re: Suttas on walking meditation technique?

Post by gavesako » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:09 pm

Bhuktvā niṣīdatah sthaulyaṁ
tiṣṭhato balavardhanaṁ
āyuṣcankramato nityaṁ
mṛtyur dhāvati dhāvatah
- Vyāsakāra. 55.

‘To one who sits after eating (comes) plumpness, to one who stands –
growth of strength, to one who walks – longevity, and to one who runs – Death is always close at the heels.’
According to this saying of the ancient seers, standing and walking postures are preferable to sitting after the meal, because they are conducive to proper digestion. Pacing up and down, as an interim posture between sitting and running gives a light type of exercise to the body which helps the proper functioning of the digestive system. Moreover, the dull indolence that comes after the meal tends to drowsiness for which caṅkamana is an antidote.

- Excerpt from: “Walk to Nibbana”
Bhikkhu Kaṭukurunde Ñāṇananda
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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SarathW
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Re: Suttas on walking meditation technique?

Post by SarathW » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:45 pm

"Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.' When standing, he discerns, 'I am standing.' When sitting, he discerns, 'I am sitting.' When lying down, he discerns, 'I am lying down.' Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it. And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... it=walking" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dhammanando
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Re: Suttas on walking meditation technique?

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:02 am

Sati1 wrote:And do we know whether the walking was done on a straight path going "back and forth"?
Though they don't actually answer your question, below are the Vinaya passages relevant to the Buddha's allowance for a caṅkama (translated by I.B. Horner as "a place for pacing up and down in") along with various ancillary regulations.

https://suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-kd15
(Scroll down to: At present, Lord, monks are very ill with their bodies full of (bad) humours...).

https://suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-kd12
(Scroll down to: A monk under probation should not sit down on the same seat with a regular monk...).

https://suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-kd5
(Scroll down to: Now at that time the Lord was pacing up and down without sandals in the open air...).

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Sati1
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Re: Suttas on walking meditation technique?

Post by Sati1 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:10 am

Hello,

thank you for the very useful references. I had been wondering whether "walking up and down" might not just mean "going for a walk", but the passages in the Cullavagga (provided by Ven. Dhammanando) indicate that walking could be done "in a hall" and on paths "with a railing", suggesting that the paths were man-made and relatively short. This makes it seem likely that monks did indeed "walk up and down", probably on straight paths as we use them now.

Ven. Gavesako, what archeological evidence are you referring to? Are there sites with ancient walking paths?

Many thanks,
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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gavesako
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Re: Suttas on walking meditation technique?

Post by gavesako » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:05 pm

If you visit India, there are some raised walking paths built of brick to be seen in the ancient Buddhist sites, sometimes also with a railing and what would have been pillars for a roof.
Attachments
Buddhas walking path at Savatthi India.JPG
Buddhas walking path at Savatthi India.JPG (87.96 KiB) Viewed 1256 times
Buddhas walking path at Sarnath India.JPG
Buddhas walking path at Sarnath India.JPG (105.66 KiB) Viewed 1256 times
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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Sati1
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Re: Suttas on walking meditation technique?

Post by Sati1 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:04 pm

Dear Ven. Gavesako,

This is indeed fascinating. Thank you for sharing the note and the photos.

Best wishes,
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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