Friday, May 09, 2014

Walking meditation: chankramanam

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In Sivananda yoga we do morning walks, as part of the training, and an aspect of meditation.  The first time I did it, even though I was an avid gym and yoga practitioner, I thought I would die from a heart attack. It was rather demanding. It was a fast-paced walk, through the Kerala fields, and slippery rural roads because in Kerala, whatever the season, it always rains. I was wearing bathroom slippers, foolishly and had no torch light; it was very dark,  since it was early in the morning, before the sun had condescended to rise. But since then, every time I have been there I have done the walk and am exhilarated at the way the mind may be watched in this activity. It is a silent walk, and of course, you have to be a walking meditator to be able to mentally chant your mantra, but chanting was one of the ingredients for a real meditative experience.

I am reading Yoga and Kriya by Sw Satyanandaji, and here he explains that chankramanam is a meditation walk, used by serious meditators to loosen up and remove lethargy and prevent excessive introversion or extroversion of the mind. He says Buddhists, Christian monks do it also. He says this is very crucial aspect of yoga practice and a five minute daily dose is important.

Mmm.. which just shows that you never ever fully learn yoga and must keep on learning fresh things in its practice and application.

It means wandering, roaming about (my kind of being:)

  • Used to intensify and clean up the meditative experience.
  • Remove stiffness that comes from serious meditative stillness.
  • Intensify the awareness of the moment, and remove one's attachment to thoughts.

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