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Walking & Turning | Techniques In Vipassana Meditation

Walking & Turning | Techniques In Vipassana Meditation.

This refers to mindful walking, which is not walking for sightseeing in nature or walking for relaxing the body and the mind. But, it is walking forward and backward with awareness in order to change the posture and bring balance to the controlling faculties.

Turning

In the practice of mindful walking, turning is necessary when the meditator reaches the end of the path. It makes it possible to walk back and forth from one end to the other end of the path. If the path is short, turning may be done more often, as is needed. For turning, the preferable way is being conscious of turning in three pairs or six steps. First the meditator turns right, then lifts the right foot, not over the ankle level, and moves it to the right for about 60 degrees (3 steps for 180 degrees) and puts it down. While lifting and moving the foot, the meditator simultaneously contemplates " turning ", while putting it down to the floor, contemplates "thus" and finishes "thus" when the whole foot touches the floor. Follow the same with the left foot and do it three times until one faces the path again. After that, be conscious of the state of standing and note in mind "standing" three times, and "wanting to walk" three times. Later, perform mindful walking at the stage advised by the master.

A. Principle

Gaccanto va gacchami-ti pajanati "Walking, one knows one is walking"

B. Method of practice

  1. set the eyes about 2-3 metres ahead;
  2. fix the mind on the movement of the feet and being conscious;
  3. "what is said" in the mind must be consistent with the movement of the body;
  4. while walking, if any phenomenon which is more clearly perceivable arises in the mind, the meditator should temporarily stop walking, contemplate such phenomenon until it passes away or becomes less distinct, and resume mindful walking;
  5. walk slowly but do not force the body too much. Keep the mind focused and always be continuously mindful.

C. Things to be refrained from during mindful walking :

  1. Do not close or move the eyes around for other things arousing the emotions;
  2. Do not bend too much or look seriously as you would get neck ache;
  3. Do not lift your face up too much or swing your arms;
  4. Do not make your legs and feet too stiff;
  5. Do not note what is not consistent with the state of walking;
  6. Do not gaze at the feet, or contemplate the rising and falling of the abdomen.

D. Exception in some cases :

  1. Walk fast to avoid being sleepy;
  2. Walk slowly to keep your mind focused and see clearly the process of rising and passing away;
  3. Verbally contemplate only for gaining understandingof the practice;
  4. Walk and look at the nature in order to handle particular conditions;
  5. Do some physical exercise sometimes to get relaxed.

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