Sunday, 11 May 2014

Meditation transitions - Trigonos harvest part IV

On the beginners' silent retreat weekend at Trigonos, something emerged clearly for me, about movement and transitions. The programme was very effectively structured with alternating half-hour sitting and walking meditations.

I've long known that a simple walking meditation  is one of the working methods that suits me best. You place your attention with your feet, feel your balance change and shift as you lean, lift a heel, then the whole foot and very slowly take a pace. 

(Use a CD, or better, a teacher, if you want to get into this for the first time - a blogpost won't do it for you!) 

You remind yourself that walking has been described as barely-controlled falling over, then you gently return your attention to your feet on and off the ground. I find it a good way to stay in the present, and to return to it as thoughts move in and lead off elsewhere.

Sitting meditation for at least half an hour is the core thing, I think. I accept that "informal practice"(e.g. sitting by a mountain torrent for ten minutes, or looking round the garden first thing in the morning) is not as productive in the long term, though it is valuable, and helps join meditation to the rest of one's life.

At Trigonos, I found the transition between sitting and walking also very helpful. We are creatures of motion and change. It was the transition itself that helped me return to the present moment, as well as the sitting, and the walking.

A group of people doing walking meditation must look very odd to any passer-by - like the start of a science fiction movie - we've been taken over by aliens. Happily, the staff at Trigonos are well used to it, and one or two visitors were tactful enough not to stare or giggle.

No comments:

Post a Comment