Home Page    BAGUAZHANG     English version  

The Layers Of the Mind / walked Meditation and other...
The Cemetery of Sant'Andrea di Compito is the most beautiful place of the country. Placed to halves a hill, from it the whole valley is seen, spacing up to the basin of the Bientina toward east and up to Lucca and to the Apuanes toward west; the north and the south are covered by mountains. It is one of my preferred places, besides containing the grave of my parents. It gives me a lot of peace and ease when doing the walked meditation to arrive until there. To look at the smile of my father and my mother on the tomb photo still heats the heart and  fills it with gratitude for them. It happens me to write this and casually I realize  that really in May of 2000 their illness concluded. Therefore it is casually beautiful that I have found to remember here them.
As I said, the visit to the cemetery gives me a lot of quiet. There is a  letting  go and in front of that marvelous landscape there is an identification with the "all" that is source of appeasement and of the meditative feeling to be in contact with "the things as they are": there are no thoughts, there is this  sense alone, to be in keeping with the world.
My practice also brings  immediately me to "to wake up again " and to realize that this is simply another concepyualzation, one of the thinnest, but a conceptualization. I realize  to have done some metaphysics and I observe me while exactly I am doing some metaphysics, I create religion. It's this the level of the (last?) illusions, the level  of the "religious" creations and perceptions , what innumerable people that I know think both perhaps the maximum level, what they define "the level of the heart". In reality this is still a mental creation, to think  about having achieved "something", what is achieved it is simply a further illusion, a further conceptualization  in a world conceptually built.
I take back the matter of the walking with a brief passage that I have sent to a friend: "Today I have made that walk on the boundaries, it has been beautiful because for the most of time I have been in walked meditation. I continually observed  the mind and its reaction to the things, trying to stick to the reality and not to form concepts, made still then a backward footstep  and I observed me while I was trying not to have concepts, therefore I observed the relative quiet of the mind. It is beautiful to look at ourselves in this way, we enter as in another dimension,
spacious, similar to the space. At the same time  we don't lose the contact
with  reality because what is to observe is ours
reactions in front of the reality itself."
To make walking meditation is difficult. Many think that to make walking meditation is to simply take a walk. It is also said that is a pleasant moment. This is true but we are thinking only generally. To make walking meditation is something more difficult, it is to make  continually a backward footstep and to see what it passes in the mind and in the body and even to make back a further footstep and to see what we are elaborating to subtler levels on what we are observing. It could be necessary to make back still perhaps a footstep...
Therefore if we are simply thinking, this really is not mindfulness-meditation . We are grasping there  our thoughts or perhaps are they that  are grabbing us or simply our mind  comes in contact with her mental objects there deposited. Therefore it is perhaps an illusion to think about doing walking meditation if first a certain ability of attention is not developed in the sitting meditation. And because? Simply because in the movement are involved too many factors and there is no time to see them. For this I don't like to race and I like the fast march: because in the march I can observe me, in the running it becomes more difficult.
This is the why the teacher U-Vijiaya insisted: " In the life of every day, you the activities."
Therefore the sitting meditation is essential,  to take a sitting is essential. In the session it is seen better what is there, we see only perhaps the simple confusion of our heads, but we see it. Once developed a certain ability to bring floating continually this attention, the walking meditation becomes ever and ever more important.
Another thing that I have noticed in the fast march is that if the level of the thoughts is high, if there are  so many thoughts and above all thoughts of result or purpose ("how much misses to arrive to...? "),  the march becomes extremely fatiguing and tedious. If I observe the thoughts instead making back mentally various footsteps,  they have the tendency to disappear and we enter a dimension of careful and spacious quiet. This is meaningful: it is the ulterior verification that  from conceptualization does it departs some process of suffering and that the freedom from  conceptualization has something to do with the Liberation of the mind.
We have developed then a particular way of walking, based on the walking of the Qigong or better of the Yiquan ("Kungfu of the Mind"). This way of walking is very slow, similar to that of the Taiji, and it is done in opening, in total opening, that is toward what we have of forehead. The posture has in fact the arms open to the height of the sides . Being so slowly moving it allows to observe moment for moment; being careful to the body and his movements (for inst. to untie the articulations of the arms and shoulders) it reduces a lot of the distraction. The being open, literally  to "the all", gives a sense of calm and interpenetration. Besides, this way of walking really gives energy. It feels better it after having done it (at least to me it happens so).

This is the last text before the summer, therefore I will expose another matter of which we have treated in the last meditations. The meditation is not glumness. To the beginning perhaps it is so for someone; in every case it is necessary to find the sense of  joy of the practice. Joy is connected to the quiet, to the calm. Joy is one of the factors of the Awakening (you see under the title of the Newsletter). It doesn't need to be afraid of this joy and rather it it is necessary to cultivate the joy in the life of every day. We have to be able to recognize it and it didn't stuff too much to poison from the conceptualizations. Also to recognize the joy is a conceptualization but an useful conceptualization. In every case it always  is necessary to make back the footstep and to recognize the conceptualization. Oddly joy will grow, even if in subtler form, purified.
A last thing on the conceptualization. It it is necessary to always observe the conceptualization or at least more than we are able, to understand that we are always conceptualizing, that our world is a world of concepts and language. It is a world that gradually we need to abandon in the form of the mental proliferation (naturally we cannot abandon the technical conceptualization that serves us in the life, but it always needs to observe for understanding where this ends and it begins the proliferation). This has to be reflected  in a greater silence and in an abandonment of the concepts and the quarrels, as well as in a careful use of the word.
The other is not the enemy or the adversary. it it is necessary little by little to also abandon the dualisms maintaining critical ability and continuous observation.