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Buddhadharma : Fall 2016
82 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 1 6 During walking meditation, you will be aware of sensations or movement. There may be trembling or unsteadiness, especially at first. The movement will not be continuous, and you may also experience slightly odd sensations. For example, you may feel as if you or your foot are being pushed. Practice restraint of the senses, not looking here and there. Nor is it neces- sary to look at the feet; just place your gaze a little ahead of yourself, so that you can see where you are going. Sense- restraint while walking develops con- centration; it also avoids unwholesome mental states not yet arisen. General Activities Slow down all your movements on retreat. Moving super slowly is a great tactic, which helps us see many, many minute details in the body and the mind. Myriad things arise that we are usually not aware of; seeing them develops wisdom. However, if you succeed only in feeling restless, or if a torrent of thoughts develops, find a pace where your mindfulness can coordinate with your body movements. You should be aware of all activities without exception. If there is a sound on waking, it should be noted. Notice sit- ting up in bed. Also be aware of meals, of taking food onto the plate, and of all the complex activities required for eating. Continuity, restraint, and slowness will support your meditation. Questions Can you give us more guidance for refin- ing our noting practice? Can you give an example of a powerful single note? You have to get very close to the object to see it well. In the body, distinct objects arise. They all have to be known distinctly and clearly. They arise and pass, arise and pass. Heat is not just one thing but a series of heat sensations. First it is seen as a composite, then you recognize that it is breaking up. Send the mind toward the object. Align with it. As sati, or awareness, gets closer and closer, it gets better and better. The object will be seen in great detail. A line of ants, from far away, is seen as a dark line across the road. As one gradually approaches, one sees it waver- ing slightly and then that it is composed of many, many individual ants. Crouch- ing down, one begins to make out indi- vidual ants, with spaces between them; in fact, it is no longer so much a line that one is perceiving, for that concept has dropped away. At some point one can appreciate the antennae, the six legs, and three sections of a single ant’s body, and maybe some small crumb it is car- rying in its jaws. When is it better to cut off thoughts or sensations, and when should one con- tinue to note them? › Get very, very close continued from page 63 THE---------- -CRE- ATIVE---- -----LIFE----- - ---------AND- - -MEDITATION A RETREAT WITH JOHN TARRANT SEPTEMBER 16 – 18, 2016 THE GARRISON INSTITUTE, NY THE FIRST THING ABOUT CREATIVITY IS NOT THINKING WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY THINK- ING. IT COMES FROM MAKING SPACE, FROM NOT KNOWING, FROM PLAYING. LEARN MORE AT PACIFICZEN.ORG