Categories
meditation

The Real Facts Of Life and Impermanence

There are three facts in life, Impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha) and Non self (anatta) Today we will contemplate Impermanence

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Our existence and reality thereof can be only understood if these three facts of existence are truly comprehend not just from a logical stand point, but must be personally experienced, this is why we meditate, to see or witness this as a personal experience.

While meditating we contemplate these three truths of existence, from every action or conscious thought we contemplate these three truths. With great diligence, being careful and mindful we will start to experience this very truth for ourselves. With the realisation of these three truth, comes enlightenment, and only by diligent observation of these three truths within our own lives, realisation is possible.

Within every breath there is Impermanence, suffering and non self. anicca, dukkha and anatta. Within everyone of us, these three facts of existence reside.

Impermanence (anicca)

The Buddha spoke these words on impermanence.

“The perceiving of impermanence, bhikkhus, developed and frequently practiced, removes all sensual passion, removes all passion for material existence, removes all passion for becoming, removes all ignorance, removes and abolishes all conceit of “I am.”

It is easy for us to see impermanence in action and within every aspect of our lives. We can see impermanence in objects both material and mental as well as inanimate or animate, organic or inorganic. From great mountains and oceans, to thoughts and feelings all is impermanence.

Impermanence within ourselves

Impermanence is in ones self, our posture is always moving forever changing position from sitting, standing, walking or lying down or aches and pain sets in. Our state of health is always impermanent never stationary, we are subject to seasonal colds and flu, runny noses sore throats, cuts and bruises as well as infection, disease and hunger.

The growth and therefore decay of our bodies is impermanence, our hair constantly needs cutting or styling, our nails are the same. Our bodies need to be kept clean from sweat, dirt, grease and grime that are a constant reminder of impermanence. And of course the nutrients we consume for our bodies are constantly in a state of change. Each breath we take turns from oxygen to carbon dioxide, the food we eat to sustain ourselves, goes in one end and out the other within 24hrs.

Impermanence all around us

There is impermanence all around us, with flowers that bloom, wilt and die, fruits that ripen and decay, trees are constantly changing shedding bark and each season a colourful display as dead or dying leaves. The hills and mountains are either growing or shrinking, rivers flow, always moving separate particles of water to make the stream or river. They may dry up or flood, become narrower or wider, deeper or shallower, their direction ever changing and impermanence.

Even the objects us humans make such as houses, bridges, communication networks, roads, governments, or revolutions are all in a state of continually changing. Houses fall into disrepair and crumble, roads were once simple animal tracks that have increased in size and now covered in tarmac to accommodate an ever moving transport industry. Governments come and go just as dictatorships. Our technology seems sometimes to be moving at such a pace that it can seem like the moment you have mastered one thing it changes into something new.

Our own mind

And even our own consciousness is forever changing, if you are reading this as someone middle aged or from an older generation then you can look back at times through your life and feel it was a completely different person back then. Our thoughts change like the seasons, following styles, fashions and trends, we can experience anger, delight, hatred, love, frustration and contentment sometimes within only a few short moments. Anyone who has sat an exam can tell you the emotions that run through your mind, all seemly changing from one to the next then back again. Thoughts of happiness one moment can be replaced by negative in the next. What we perceive to be good one day may not be the next, what we see as wonderful can turn boring, what we hear as stunning can turn repetitive. Each and every moment our minds our changing, never the same as the last moment, always moving.

Logic vs Experience

This is all logical and we can easily see the impermanence within everything around us when we spend a little time analysing, so why then, with this logical understanding does enlightenment not occur?

Everyone of us knows that our body is subject to die, however most of us run around believing that the health and vigour we experience as youths will stay with us forever, punishing our bodies with drugs and alcohol, or doing adrenaline sports that push our bodies to their limits. We see people smoking cigarettes, knowing the harm they are doing to themselves and others but continuously smoke. We can see the pain of loosing someone close to us, even though logically we knew they were subject to death. So Logic or knowledge isn’t enough on its own to set us free.

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Meditation

We need to truly and deeply experience these truths for ourselves and within our own lives. With meditation we practice diligently and mindful we watch our breath, as a bodybuilder strengthening their muscles so we train our mind muscle, slowly we develop a strong one pointed concentration which we can now use to penetrate these deepest truths by witnessing this very impermanence in action.

When we experience impermanence within our own bodies we start to see the second truth or fact of life, dhukka or suffering. Because everything is impermanence, always changing we see that our clinging and attachment to ideas, thoughts, objects either inanimate or animate, will always end in suffering, the very idea of trying to hold onto to something that is always moving forever changing, is as ridiculous as trying to jump from the bus stop into a seat of a moving bus, blindfolded.

Once we have experienced impermanence first hand within our own bodies, what is there in the body to call Me, Mine or I? Because it is always changing forever moving. As we experience first hand impermanence within our own mind or consciousness, what is there in the mind or consciousness that is Me, Mine or I? Because it is always changing forever moving what can we grasp as being the Me Mine or I? This is realisation of the third fact of life, Non Self, egoless, No Me, Mine or I

Realisation of this third fact of existence (anatta) that there is No Me, Mine or I, liberates us from suffering, a calm and peace fill every moment as we no longer find attachment to something that is forever changing, we no longer cling or crave, we have let go, abandoned that which caused us to suffer.

Our job as meditators is to see first hand, to experience with real clarity that which is impermanent, forever moving, always changing directly within our own bodies and our consciousness. With great determination and practice of Samadhi Meditation our minds become firm in one pointed concentration and the exploration within our own minds and bodies can begin.

Gradually over time our concentration on our breath becomes very solid, our minds our happy to watch, breathing in, breathing out. Once we have established ourselves thus, it is time for Vipassana Meditation and the art of investigation of mind phenomenon, each and every stage of meditation practice will take us a step along our journey, ever closer to freeing ourselves from suffering and liberating our minds.

Wishing you every success in your meditation journey, and if you need further Help it would be my honour to aid you in any way I can, use the Contact Us page to get in touch.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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Dhamma Tapasa
Dhamma Tapasa is Thudong Monk, currently wandering in Europe, If you would like to support him and Marley Moo on their quest for enlightenment please click the KO-FI image below. Or alternatively click the PayPal link below that.

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Many, Many kind thanks for your support and donations, if it wasn’t for wonderful people like yourselves this website would have to rely on advertising to keep it funded.

Categories
meditation

Vipassana Simplified

Material & Mental

Before we can learn Vipassana Meditation we first need to understand that of Material and Mental phenomena as the two sole elements existing in a living being, and to experience them as their true nature.

Material can’t know or understand the object

Mental understands or knows the object

To further explain

When we see an object, let’s say a tree, our usual understanding is that the eye sees the tree, but in actual fact both the tree and the eye are the Material form and can never know or understand itself. The mind or consciousness is the knower of the object and therefore is the mental form. So when we See there is actually two material and one mental phenomenon existing.

As material and mental phenomenon occur through our six sense doors it is our jobs as monks or meditators to clearly distinguish or identify that which is mental and that which is material.

Hearing

On hearing there is a sound (material)

The ear that hears the sound (material)

And the consciousness that knows the sound (mental)

The meditator should note hearing, hearing, hearing

The first should be realised as sound hearing (material) (the noise)

The second should be realised as hearing sound (material) (the ear)

The third should be noted as knowing the sound (mental) (the consciousness)

Awareness

To practice Vipassana Meditation correctly the practitioner should be constantly watching, observing, that which enters through the six sense doors (hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touch, and consciousness) and identify the characteristics of Mental and Material within them, realisation will come as each is impermanent, forever changing, and from this ever changing conditions, suffering is realised and the true identity of Non Self or the egoless.

Only by practicing Vipassana meditation in this way and with a strong level of Samadhi Meditation, the real facts of life (impermanence, suffering and Non self) become a realisation.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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meditation

The Wandering Monk

For over 2,500 years the Thudong or Wandering way of life has been lived by Buddhist monks in many different lands. There isn’t much of a record of their lives, since those that undertake this way of life are not usually writers or artists, instead choosing the seclusion that comes with the practice of a wandering thudong monk.

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Collecting alms on a full moon day

The Buddha himself choose this way of life and spent his 40 years teaching, wandering from place to place. Only when the monsoon rains of the Indian sub continent started, would he take shelter for the three months they lasted, this is now known as the rains retreat and practiced by all Theravada Buddhist monks still to this day.

Traditionally this way of life is practiced only after a period of training has been undertaken, usually a period between 5-7 years studying the Buddhist texts, learning the monastic code and a firm foundation in meditation training. Only after a proficiency has been established is the monk allowed to wander unsupervised.

For millennia this tradition has been practiced by Buddhist monks from many different lands. Today the practice of the thudong monk is observed but in most cases our monks will seek now the monastery environment for sleeping at night.

It is becoming rarer to find the thudong monk practicing the traditional way, during the communist turmoil of the 1960’s and 1970’s thudong monks were forced to come out of their secluded retreats and return to cities or they were seen as communist supporters. The thudong monks attempted to teach others from town and city Monastery’s about the binding link between humans and their natural world, it seemed to fall on death ears and they were unable to stop the tremendous forces of modernisation. The destruction of around 80 percent of Thailand’s forests have left very little in way of seclusion for the monk. People in contemporary town and city societies seemed basically insensitive to the larger meaning and value of themselves and their environment.

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It is possible to see the thudong monk wandering and from personal experience have met many true ascetic monks, mostly in Myanmar but also within Lao, Cambodia and Thailand, in some very rare cases it is even possible to see the practice of thudong monks in Europe.

A Thudong monk only carries with him what he needs, his set of 3 robes, his alms bowl, a small sewing kit, toiletries, a krot or mosquito net, a water filter, and medicine. The monk will search out places of solitude and seclusion, wether forest or mountain cave, the search is for the practice of and development of meditation.

Reflecting on the three facts of existence through an established and strong Samadhi Meditation our thudong monk practices diligently with a determined, one pointed attention until realisation of those three facts of existence become firmly established. Impermanence, suffering and Non self.

For the thudong monks, the remote wilderness was a sanctuary in which they could train their minds. When they chose, they could withdraw deep into the forests where no one would be able to find them. The forest was home to wandering monks, it was their school, their training ground and their sanctuary. Life in the forests was a safe place provided the monks were mindful.

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I am a practicing Thudong Monk, and have wandered across Thailand, Sri Lanka, and through the Shan State within Myanmar, after I was offered a plane ticket back to my home country of England, have now wandered across Europe including Holland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Spain finally finding my way, and where I’m presently at, the South Coast of Portugal.

This way of life, wandering across Europe, is a different experience than that of Asia but the generosity of Europeans is exactly the same as the Thais or Burmese, where the Thais and Burmese understand the needs of a monk the Europeans are lacking, however their kindness, generosity and general enthusiasm always makes up for this and each and every day I am humbled by everyone’s kindness.

Over the course of my wanderings I have found a companion in a street dog I’ve now officially adopted and affectionately call Marley Moo, he came and cuddled into me while I was meditating one day, and has never left. How magically wonderful life is.

Our thudong life is a 21st century experience, and the solitude of remote forests, that would have been common place in Europe, are now hard too come by, a reminder that everything is impermanence in action. The very monk name given to me on ordination means, Dharma hermit free from dust, but the seclusion to be able to be a hermit is limiting, although by 21st century lifestyles, I am just that.

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I have slightly adapted the original thudong life to suit the needs of Marley moo, the European people and to also become more in line with the 21st century. I decided after incidents involving wild boar on far more than one occasion, that something more solid at night would be more suitable allowing me to relax, meditating better, and as so chose the ever growing and popular Vanlife as the perfect compromise. As a further adaption to the original thudong life Marley and myself run and write this website, we also have a bank account, as well as having PayPal which allows for monetary Donations to keep this website up and running. This caused opinions from plenty on the matter, and as such lost my connection with my monastery, and the Thai Sangha receiving no more monetary support from them. I am now affiliated to No religion, No Monastery, No Tribe or Society, I am a Vanlife Monk seeking enlightenment.

I have been a practicing Monk for a long time and dedicate this life to discovering the realities within my own mind, I’m not about to stop because of a little controversy. The journey towards enlightenment has become my life, there is no better quest than the one I am on, and it would be wonderful if you could join us. 

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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Dhamma Tapasa is Thudong Monk, currently wandering through Europe, If you would like to support him and Marley Moo on their quest for enlightenment please click the KO-FI image below, or the PayPal link below that.

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www.paypal.me/dhammatapasa

Many thanks for your support, without you and your wonderful kindness this website would have to rely on advertising.

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meditation

Standing Meditation

What is Standing Meditation?

Standing Meditation is exactly as it sounds, we stand and meditate, the most important factor with Standing Meditation is to keep your eyes open. Shutting our eyes causes us to loose our balance and fall.

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With our eyes open we have an opportunity to focus our attention on something, a burning candle, a statue or painting of the Buddha, a vase of flowers, or maybe incense burning. The choice is yours, so long as the feeling you get from looking at your object, is a positive or natural one and in no way bringing negative emotions out of you.

Now With your back straight and your feet firmly placed on the floor, about shoulder width apart, gently relax your shoulders and have your arms loosely hanging in front of your abdomen, place one hand gently on top of the other and bring your thumbs together in a kind of circle. Keep your head and eyes looking forward and slightly down, and focusing on your chosen object of meditation

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How do we Meditate?

Breathing Meditation otherwise known as Samadhi Meditation is the fundamental basis of most mindfulness and meditation trainings. Breathing Meditation is simple being at ‘oneness with the object of meditation‘ and can be one of the simplest and easiest of all the meditations to grasp, however the untrained mind will find it a lot harder than it sounds. The good news is, just like going to the gym regularly you start to build those muscles up, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.

Take a moment and breath a few long deep breaths, feel yourself slowly begin to relax and unwind. Now when your ready bring your attention to your breath.

Breathing in be aware you’re breathing in, 

breathing out, be aware you are breathing out. 

Count one.

Repeat this for five or ten counts then start again. This is the basics of Standing Meditation.

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To become completely at one with the meditation object takes time, practice, and kindness towards your inner dialogue. The moment you experience this oneness, everything you have ever been told about mindfulness, meditation and being present in the moment are all realised, spontaneously as if you always knew the secret you just need a gently nudge

What happens if my mind wanders?

To start you will find your mind wanders from the breath onto something else, a shopping list, a fantasy or maybe you start to day dream. This is perfectly natural our mind are thought producers and this is completely ok to be happening. Always remember be kind to yourself, never scolding, always patient and gently bring your attention back to your breathing. The more you practice the better you become at anything, and this is the same with mindfulness and meditation.

There is plenty of help and advice found on our Tips & Tricks Page and of you find yourself struggling in any way with any issue make this your first port of call.

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Find out more

We hope you have found this to be of real benefit and now you have that energy and determination to start meditating for the first time or even on a regular basis. I can highly recommend it and the benefits that come from a sustained practice.

If there is anything we hear at 4enlightenment can help you with regarding meditation questions The please Contact Us and will respond with a personal email. If you would like to know our linage within Meditation practices, the length of time we have spent meditating, or any thing else then have a look at the About Us page.

Wishing you every success in your meditation practice.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
meditation

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation doesn’t have to involved bending your legs into those funny positions you see in the photos, it can easily be done from a straight back chair or even a meditation stool. The most important factor to consider will be first and foremost your own comfort.

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There are generally Three ways to Meditate within the sitting position. These are sitting crossed legged on the floor, sitting in a chair or using a Meditation Stool.

Sitting Crossed Legged

If you do sitting meditation on the floor, it is recommended to use either the full lotus or the half lotus position, this however, can be a little tricky for some to manage, so if you are struggling with this, you could use the method I use to sit, which is called the Thailand/Burmese cross legged style.To do this method, as you sit cross legged normally, the way you did at school, but instead of putting your legs on top of each other, all kind of crumpled under you, try to sit with both of your legs on the floor.

Start by placing your bottom on a Meditation Cushion, now start with your left leg first, place it in a crossed legged position, and then move the right leg into position but not on top of your left leg, just in front of it. Placing a Meditation Cushion under our bottoms allows our bodies to become slightly raised, creating a natural arch in our lower backs and allows our knees to touch the floor becoming anchor points which will create stability while we meditate.goal of Buddhism, meditation posture and positions, the real facts of life, change your mindset, inner contentment, Theravada Buddhism, personal development through mindfulness, science based mindfulness, words of wisdom, what meditation does for the brain, commit to sit, changing thought patterns, developing minds,

This also has the added advantage of helping to eliminate the pressure to the knees and ankles that sitting with your legs on top of each other can create.

Meditating in a Chair

If this all sounds a bit hard for you then meditating in a straight back chair is an excellent alternative. If possible try to find a chair that your legs bend at the knees, at a nice 90 degree angle, and your feet rest flat on the floor. As you take your position keep a straight spine, not pulled too tight, but relaxed and upright. Gently relax your shoulders and relax your arms.

Using a Meditation Stool

A Meditation Stool is also another excellent alternative, used with a Meditation Mat and usually made from wood you would use the Meditation Stool like you would a Meditation Cushion, only with your legs in a kneeling position.

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While your kneeling on the floor with your legs straight out behind you, gently lower your bottom towards the floor, place the stool under your bottom and over you legs. All the weight and pressure is taken off the knees, allowing for a more relaxed meditation. The other advantage of a meditation stool is the angle of the seat, this is angled just so as to keep your spine naturally straight.

Now let’s Meditate

Breathing Meditation otherwise known as Samadhi Meditation is the fundamental basis of most mindfulness and meditation trainings. Breathing Meditation is simple being at ‘oneness with the object of meditation‘ and can be one of the simplest and easiest of all the meditations to grasp, however the untrained mind will find it a lot harder than it sounds. The good news is, just like going to the gym regularly you start to build those muscles up, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.

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Sitting, using either a Meditation Stool, a straight backed chair or sitting crossed legged on the floor. Begin by taking a few long deep breaths to gently relax yourself.

As we do this take time to get yourself comfortable in your position.

Keep gently breathing and relax your shoulders and arms, placing your hands loosely on your lap. You can place your hands on your knees if so desired, this can help open up the chest allowing us to breath more freely.

When you feel comfortable, you are ready to begin.

Breathing In, really be aware you are Breathing In.

Breathing Out, really be aware you are Breathing Out.

Count One

Focus your attention either at the tip of your nose, and experience the air passing through your nostrils, or at the abdomen and witness the rise and fall. Try to do this for a count of Ten, and then repeat.

Is that it?

If you are thinking this all sounds a bit and easy, I urge you to give this ago. Meditation will be one of the most rewarding and beneficial things you have ever tried, but a word of caution, to experience the rewards that meditation offers we must actually Do, not just read, actually Do It.

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The most common problem we all face with meditation is our wandering mind. Our minds produce thoughts, that’s what they do, so don’t scold yourself or be harsh with your inner dialogue, when ever you discover your mind has wandered off the Meditation object, the breath, gently and kindly bring it back.

Slowly over time we accumulate the muscle power in our minds to stay focused on our breath for long and longer periods, and as our mind wanders we stay with the mind and watch were it goes, watching but never interfering or commenting, just observing, this allows us to see clearly with our own mind the realities of our own making.

Further Help

We hope you have found this article to be of real benefit to you, and perhaps now you have that energy and determination to start meditating for the first time or even on a regular basis. I can highly recommend it and the benefits that come from a sustained practice.

If you do struggle with anything in Meditation then please have a look at our Tips and Tricks Page, dealing with some of the more common problems that may arise.

If there is anything we hear at 4enlightenment can help you with regarding meditation questions The please Contact Us and will respond with a personal email. If you would like to know our linage Of Meditation, length of time spent meditating, or any thing else then have a look at the About Us page.

Wishing you every success in your meditation practice.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
meditation

Correct Posture in Meditation

Posture

Getting your posture right so as not to damage your knees, ankles, hips or back, is essential if we are to practice meditation for long periods of time, but even if our goal is meditating for simply five minutes, getting our posture right can make the difference between a pleasant meditation or an unpleasant meditation.

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There are generally four main Positions we Meditate in and they are Sitting Meditation, Standing Meditation, Walking Meditation or Lying Meditation, each position has different postures we may want to use, these are explained below.

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation doesn’t have to involved bending your legs into those funny positions you see in the photos, it can easily be done from a straight back chair or even a meditation stool. The most important factor to consider will be first and foremost your own comfort.

Sitting Crossed Legged

If you do sitting meditation on the floor, it is recommended to use either the full lotus or the half lotus position, this however can be a little tricky for some to manage, so if you are struggling with this, you could use the method I use to sit, which is called the Thailand/Burmese cross legged style.goal of Buddhism, meditation posture and positions, the real facts of life, change your mindset, inner contentment, Theravada Buddhism, personal development through mindfulness, science based mindfulness, words of wisdom, what meditation does for the brain, commit to sit, changing thought patterns, developing minds, To do this method, as you sit cross legged normally, the way you did at school, but instead of putting your legs on top of each other, all kind of crumpled under you, try to sit with both of your legs on the floor.

Start by placing your bottom on a Meditation Cushion, now start with your left leg first, place it in a crossed legged position, and then move the right leg into position but not on top of your left leg, just in front of it. Placing a Meditation Cushion under our bottoms allows our bodies to become slightly raised, creating a natural arch in our lower backs and allows our knees to touch the floor becoming anchor points which will create stability while we meditate.

This also has the added advantage of helping to eliminate the pressure to the knees and ankles that sitting with your legs on top of each other can create.

Meditating in a Chair

If this all sounds a bit hard for you then meditating in a straight back chair is an excellent alternative. If possible try to find a chair that your legs bend at the knees, at a nice 90 degree angle, and your feet rest flat on the floor. As you take your position keep a straight spine, not pulled too tight, but relaxed and upright. Gently relax your shoulders and relax your arms.

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Using a Meditation Stool

A Meditation Stool is also another excellent alternative. Usually made from wood you use them like you would a Meditation Cushion, only with your legs in a kneeling position.

While your kneeling on the floor with your legs straight out behind you, gently lower your bottom towards the floor, place the stool under your bottom and over you legs. All the weight and pressure is taken off the knees, allowing for a more relaxed meditation. The other advantage of a meditation stool is the angle of the seat, this is angled just so as to keep your spine naturally straight.

Other Meditation Positions

Walking Meditation

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Walking Meditation is one of the nicest ways to meditate, and for me personally I find it the most relaxing. First we need to find an area where you are safe to walk with no obstacles in your way or sharpe stones to hurt your feet, and a place you feel safe to do walking meditation. Somewhere like your own home, maybe the forest, somewhere where you will feel you won’t be disturbed.

We can practice Walking Meditation bare foot, so as to feel reconnected to the earth, but equally we can also use sandals or shoes. With your back straight and your shoulders relaxed, keep your head and eyes looking forward but slightly down, about 6-10ft in front of you will do nicely. Take a few deep breaths and feel yourself calming.

Now walk as slowly as you can, but to always be moving. Try to really feel the movements of each muscle as you inch forward. If you have the space try to walk for 20 paces, then slowly turn yourself around to face where you came. Now pause, take a few deep breaths and start to walk back again.

Try walking slower than you think possible, but always moving very slowly, try walking slower than a snail, it’s most enjoyable. If

Standing Meditation

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Standing Meditation is exactly as it sounds, we stand and meditate, the most important factor with Standing Meditation is to keep your eyes open. Shutting our eyes causes us to loose our balance and fall.

With our eyes open we have an opportunity to focus our attention on something, a burning candle, a statue or painting of the Buddha, a vase of flowers, or maybe incense burning. The choice is yours, so long as the feeling you get from looking at your object, is a natural one and in no way bringing emotions out of you.

Now With your back straight and your feet firmly placed on the floor, relax your shoulders and have your arms loosely hanging by your side. Keep your head and eyes looking forward and slightly down, and focusing on your chosen object of meditation.

Lying Meditation

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Lying Meditation is one of the easiest ways to fall asleep and isn’t really recommended for beginners. The correct way to meditate while lying is to do it on your right shoulder, using your hand as a pillow, resting under your head and slightly bending the legs.

The above method is recommended if we are trying to meditate for longer periods, because this way we are more likely to stay alert, than if you were to meditate flat on your back.

If we are using Lying Meditation as a way to relax and unwind after a busy and stressful day, or indeed to aid falling asleep, then try lying comfortably on your back, on the floor or a bed, with your legs out in front with a small pillow under your knees to allow your back to rest flat. Begin with Breathing or Samadhi Meditation for a deep relaxation.

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Find out more

We hope you have found this to be of real benefit and now you have that energy and determination to start meditating for the first time or even on a regular basis. I can highly recommend it and the benefits that come from a sustained practice.

If there is anything we hear at 4enlightenment can help you with regarding meditation questions The please Contact Us and will respond with a personal email. If you would like to know our linage Of Meditation, length of time spent meditating, or any thing else then have a look at the About Us page.

Wishing you every success in your meditation practice.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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meditation

How to make Meditation a regular part of our daily lives

Meditation and mindfulness has the ability to change your life and should be taken as seriously as we do our health, fitness and what we consume in our daily diets. For meditation is what a gym membership is for your mind, and with regular practice we become less stressed, more energised and generally contented and happier.

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Everyone who has tried meditation knows the wonderful benefits meditation has to offer, however to the same extent that we all know the Meditation Benefits we also may have realised how difficult it is to keep meditating on a regular basis, even for those of you, like myself, who have had more experience in meditating than others.

I had been meditating for many years as a lay person before I became a Buddhist monk, and even as a Buddhist monk spending hours and hours meditating everyday during the allotted morning and evening sessions, I could on many occasion watch myself avoid meditating during the day, instead searching out some form of distraction. After a while I found four things to be almost essential in keeping me enthused and motivated to meditate, and I would like to share them with you.

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The first important lesson with meditation is to be kind towards yourself at all times. This means that inner dialogue you have with yourself, be kind, don’t scold yourself or be harsh, be kind. Everyone’s mind wanders when we first start to meditate, some of us more frequently than others, every time you notice your mind somewhere else, gently and kindly bring it back to the breath. This also includes the times when you promise to meditate but forget, don’t be harsh, be kind, a chuckle and a smile will work a thousand time better than scolding. When you do remember, if you can, take a seat right there and then and follow the breath for just a few minutes.

The second most important lesson and essential to keeping meditation a part of our daily lives, meditation doesn’t and shouldn’t be just for sitting meditation, meditation can be practiced anywhere and at anytime, your daily commute to work, back of a taxi or meditate while brushing your teeth. This is a great article on the very same subject, entitled how to make meditation part of your daily life

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The idea is to allow meditation into our life, everyday, everywhere, not just forcing ourselves to sit for a gruelling 1hr, this is an outdated Victorian school approach to meditation that doesn’t and won’t work. As Ajahn Chah used to say

If meditation was all about sitting for long periods of time, all chickens would be enlightened

The third piece of essential advice is to practice with others. Meditation is a very personal journey and experience, but meditating with a group of people who meet regularly helps a great deal. However some caution must be exercised, while the regularity of the meditation group is of great benefit, the people can become a great distraction. Try not to spend time in idal gossip on your meditation practice, this leads to feelings of grandeur or inferiority and both won’t be good for your practice.

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Even as a Buddhist monk in a monastery environment where everyone is supposed to be there in the seeking of enlightenment, there were large ego’s competing, superstitions that led to misunderstandings and feelings of pride over others or inferiority, we were always encouraged not to discuss our meditation practice, because every time someone did it led to either disappointment or pride, neither feelings are helpful too becoming calmer and more peaceful.

The fourth idea uses 21st century technology to give us the boost we sometimes need in the form of an App. There are some fantastic apps on the market, both free and paid for, the best Apps, in my opinion, have meditation timers that then record our progress showing us our progression with images of graphs and pie charts based on our statistics. This seems to work very well for western minds who have been schooled in this scientific method.

Equally for those of us that are a little older or prefer not to use technology in this way, then a simple note book or small diary can be used as a meditation schedule book that will serve just as well.

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So if we are determined to make meditation a part of our daily lives and we are starting to use kindness towards ourselves and our inner dialogue, we have joined a group of like minded individuals who meditate regularly. We have the latest app downloaded on our smart phone and ready to go, then we stand a very good chance in succeeding.

Now there’s just one more little thing I want to share, for all those of you who have read this far, I’m going to tell you secret that will help you progress and keep meditating regularly.

As we progress in meditation and only after a short period of time we develop, quite naturally, something known as the watcher mind. That is to say your mind becomes used to observing and will naturally sit non judgmental and non discriminating just watching your thoughts and there karmic reactions. Meditation now becomes part of your everyday life and quite naturally.

Warning. At this point it doesn’t mean we can rest and stop our practice of sitting meditation on a regular basis, at this moment that the watcher mind develops, all those struggles from before will fade into distant memory, and we gently keep on the path, using our apps, schedules and kindness towards ourselves we keep practicing. Only now it becomes less of a struggle and more of a want and a delight to meditate.

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Problems will arise, it is the nature of seeking happiness, to know suffering, and when they do may I suggest seeking out advice from Buddhist monks trained in the art of meditation, every monastery I’ve ever been to around the world always had someone I could talk too. Failing that approach, our Tips and Tricks Page to help you out with most of common issues faced with meditating. And also visit this website as often as you want, find inspiration form our Weekly motivational Short Stories, or find motivation in our Inspirational quotes and words of wisdom from some of most enlightened. Or alternatively use the Contact Form and I will endeavour to do my best and answer your questions or just be an ear to listen.

I spent a long period of my life as a Monk learning about myself and consciousness, I have spent thousands of hours in meditation learning first hand meditation techniques from enlightened meditation masters. The thousand and thousands of mosquito bites I received on my bald head as a monk, were not in vain. It has taken almost six years after leaving my monastery in North Thailand for my meditation practice and training to come to full bloom, just as my Abbott had predicted, and it is now, at this point in my life I wish to give back, freely, the awesome experience I’ve had exploring our human consciousness with mindfulness and meditation.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa