After that brief interval we return to the series of posts on meditation. This is the third so far, being the last of those concerning preparation. If you’ve missed the first two, where have you been?!

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4. WALKING MEDITATION = EFFORTLESS SITTING MEDITATION

Can you imagine a decent pilot saying no to a pair of turbo boosters for his plane? Just as he’d start to move along that runway he’d flick the switch and, ‘WHOOOSH’. Then he’d sit back, calmly pull back the controls, and take off with ease and grace. So too, a decent meditator wouldn’t say no to a little walking meditation before he sits. Walking meditation (cankama) empowers the mind with steady mindfulness. If you want to give your sitting meditation a turbo boost, try doing some walking meditation beforehand.

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We interrupt this series of posts to bring an important teaching!

(I thought I’d temporarily suspend the posts on meditation and write on something that’s been in my mind. So you’ll have to wait for the nail biting end of the last post to be resolved!)

 

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Raging Bulls

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.“Whatever you frequently think about, that

  will become the inclination of your mind”

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In the Majjhima Nikaya of the Pali Canon is found a small sutta called ‘The Removal of Distracting Thoughts’ (MN, 20). In it the Buddha gives us five ways with which we can become a ‘master of the paths of thought’.

Powerful

Thoughts have an immensely powerful influence on our lives. Unfortunately most people don’t understand this, let alone the fact that we can actually take control. I was talking about this last night with the group of Banbury meditators, and we commented that most people do not realise that they don’t have to be ruled by their thoughts, and that they can, in fact, become the ruler of their thoughts. Two factors are essential to the development of thought mastery.

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3. GOOD MINDFULNESS = GOOD CONCENTRATION
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Once, when I was a young monk, I had been involved in some building work (not unusual). This time one of my jobs was to pour the sand, cement and water into the cement mixer to make the concrete. When that was mixed and ready the contents would be poured into a wheelbarrow and then delivered to the place where it was to be used.

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This is going to be the first of a series of posts on meditation. I’ll start by talking about the prerequisites and how we can ensure we give our meditation the best possible start. In the subsequent posts I’ll move on to talk about the process of developing and maintaining a solid and reliable practice.

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