“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. These are the five benefits of walking meditation.”
“Monks, 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.”
One important principle the way of the Buddha has to offer to the modern world is the concept of freedom. Paradoxically this true freedom comes not from getting what you want, but from refrain from wanting. This freedom means to make yourself free from desire, free from greed, free from dogma and false hopes. True freedom comes from letting go or, more precisely, not grasping. It is deeply rooted within our nature and so is absolute, something we cannot lose. But along the way and in modern society we lost contact with it. To regain this contact we need to go back to ourselves to find our inner core and self-acceptance.
When we learn to accept our self, our live and to our environment, we will become more harmonious and we will develop a responsive relationship with our self and with our desires. Only from there we will learn to make ourselves free. Running as a meditation, can help in learning to relate from our center to the center in everything. When we learn to relate from our center it takes away the limitations imposed on us by our egos and by our environment, that will make us more free, and enables us to enjoy life even more.
The process for finding our own freedom is a long and sometimes lone path, and the outcome depends on being mindfully in the right attitude. It starts with understanding the distinction between the conventional and the Buddhist understandings of freedom. This is critical since this freedom is not pursued nor won; but rather experienced by letting things go. All easier said then done, speaking for myself: most off the time I find my self moving like a pendulum in between states. Highly influenced by my reaction on things and events that happen around me, and how I deal with them.
We are prone to excessive emotions, like desire, fear and anger, and to self-deception, which were instilled in us by natural selection. But we can overcome these harmful tendencies through meditation, which helps us gain insight into and control over ourselves.
Meditation “turns out to be one of the best ways to deal with the anxieties and appetites bequeathed to us by our evolutionary history.”
Wrights philosophical approach is similar to that of Stephen Batchelor in Confession of a Buddhist Atheist and Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World. Secular Buddhism, Buddhism without believes. Buddhism without reincarnation, spirits or gods ore enlightment. Based on the ideas that people don’t have an essential ‘self’ (no-self), that dissatisfaction (Dukkha) is caused by the social pressure and the search for comfort. The Buddhist way can help us to get off this treadmill.
The Mirror of Dharma is an important, but often forgotten teaching in Buddhism. It is found in the “Last Days of The Buddha” suttra. Ananda, Buddha’s closest follower, is troubled by questions about what happened to other followers (Sanga) after they have died. Continue reading →
The Dhammapada (Pāli; Prakrit: धम्मपद Dhammapada) is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. The original version of the Dhammapada is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, a division of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.