Được dạy bởi Sư Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu
Dịch Việt: Việt Hùng
Lời người dịch: Trong các bài Hỏi & Đáp như vậy, tôi sẽ chủ yếu dịch thoát ý, chứ không chặt chữ. Một mặt đây là việc tôi làm để có thể nghiền ngẫm phần trả lời của Sư Yuttadhammo. Một mặt, tôi chia sẻ lại đây, và hy vọng nó hữu ích cho các thiền sinh Vipassana tham khảo.
Bài pháp ngắn này được đăng tải trên Youtube vào ngày 10/12/2011. Phần English transcript ở cuối bài. Link Youtube của bài nói ở đây: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aucEZdM9DKE
TẠI SAO (NÊN) THỰC HÀNH THIỀN ĐI TRƯỚC?
Mặc dù đã cố gắng tốt nhất trong khả năng của mình, tôi chắc chắn không thể ghi xuống được một cách chính xác 100% tất cả các từ ngữ, đặc biệt là các từ Pali mà Sư đề cập trong bài pháp. Tôi sẽ tiếp tục cập nhật bản ghi, bất cứ khi nào tôi thấy được những điểm còn thiếu sót.
Con xin thành kính đảnh lễ tạ ơn Sư Yuttadhammo về bài pháp thoại ngắn quí báu này. Con nguyện cho Sư được mọi thuận lợi và sức khoẻ trong hành trình tâm linh của Sư.
Các bạn có thể tìm hiểu thêm thông tin của Sư Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu và các lời dạy của Sư tại trang web: https://www.sirimangalo.org/.
Bài gốc được SMP đăng lại từ: https://viethungnguyen.com/2021/08/15/hoi-dap-thien-tai-sao-nen-thuc-hanh-thien-di-truoc/
English Transcript (quickly jotting down)
Question: A technical question, what is the reason to do first walking meditation and then sitting? Is it okay to do the reversed, if that’s more convenient for someone? Seems to me it’s harder to concentrate during walking and become distracted much easily. Because there’s one more sense included. I’ve tried to close the eyes, but it doesn’t work.
You lose your balance. Yes. Don’t walk with closed eyes. You lose your balance. Something I should’ve told you before you tried it. Well, the classic problem that you’re, um, you’re proposing here are the classic problem with your question that comes up time and again is your goal. Your goal is concentration. That’s wrong. The goal should not be concentration, and this is something that has to be repeated again and again. Mostly because not only concentration, but happy feelings, pleasant feelings, calm feelings. So what we’re looking for in meditation, which is really a huge hindrance. It’s an attachment. It’s a desire. You want your experience to be other than what it is. This isn’t directly answering your question, but it’s pointing out a part of the problem that you’re having, that the walking there’s nothing wrong with the walking. What you’re seeing in the walking is at the very least, impermanent, suffering and non-self of the mind that you can’t keep the mind… The mind is changing all the time. So one moment you’re with the foot and then boom, all of a sudden you’re gone, seeming like the two minds had no relationship with each other. Suffering, it’s not the way you want it to be. It’s not according to your desire. And non-self, you can’t control it. You can’t make it be the way you want to be. So you think now I’m going to be mindful from here to the wall and two steps later you’ve forgotten and you’re gone. If you’re lucky, if you’re not lucky, you’re going to spend the next from here to the wall, forcing yourself to be mindful. And some people actually do that. And they say, I was able to be mindful, concentrated from one end of the wall to the other, one wall to the other. And they think that’s some kind of accomplishment. And really all they’ve accomplished is a headache.
This distraction has to go away naturally, you can’t repress it and force it away. You’re just giving rise to more delusion. The idea that I can control the mind. The proper concentration has to come naturally through understanding. The word samadhi is best not translated as concentration, the word samadhi means focus. And it means focus, because sama has to do with saying. It comes from the same root as the word same meaning leveled, balanced. The important thing is not to become concentrated. It’s the balance of concentration with effort.
That’s what walking does. Because sitting meditation is a great, great thing to do. But if done for an extended period of time, it can make you drowsy, at which point you should get up and do walking again. Walking meditation is great for developing energy, but it can have the problem of making you distracted. So when you feel distracted, you might decide to sit down and do it to do sitting instead. This is the good part of what you’re saying. What you’re seeing is that in order to balance the faculties, this is why we do both of them, in sitting, you can become lazy and drowsy and got caught up in the in the calm and the tranquility, you can fall into a trance, in certain states. So getting up and walking can help you to break that up. And in fact, it can help you to overcome this attachment to pleasant states. Because it breaks it up and it forces you to be objective. We like the sitting because you can be like lying even better, not because you can enter into very peaceful states lying down, even falling asleep. Why we do walking first? So that’s why we do them both. But that’s not really a question important to talk about why we do the most is for balancing. Why we do walking first? Not a hard and fast rule, but my understanding is it’s based on the Buddhist teaching of what are the benefits of walking meditation.
The fifth benefit of walking meditation is that the focus of mind lasts for a long time because it’s dynamic. It’s in according to the Buddha, it has the ability to last on into the sitting meditation. So what you’ll find not only that, but also it’s a segway from ordinary life into a static position. If you go from a dynamic, working in the world and acting in the world directly to sitting, you find it so extreme. This is why people find themselves nodding off and and then drifting off or even getting lost in thought. The walking meditation is halfway between. It’s not perfectly still. It’s a way of easing your way into the sitting. But combined with the fact that the focus that comes, the balance of mind that comes from the walking meditation is said to last for a long time, that it actually augments the sitting meditation. And this is verifiable. If you do it for some time, you should be able to see that by the time you get to do sitting, you feel charged, you feel like you’ve wound up or charged your batteries. And your sitting posture, you know, you’re already ready to have a clear mind. You should find that you have a clear mind. But it’s not a hard and fast rule. And you’re welcome to experiment.
When you’re living in daily life, when you’re living an ordinary life, sometimes you want to give up the walking entirely because you’re just walking all day or you’re active all day. And it can be that you might just do the sitting meditation. So you don’t have to keep it as a hard and fast rule, especially when your life dictates. The Buddha said that this is the way we should do, we should practice the walking and sitting, walking and sitting is when we’re doing intensive meditation, sleep, lie down only four hours out of 24 hours. Then you’ve got 20 hours to do, walking, sitting, walking, sitting. That’s how the Buddha explained we should do meditation. Why we do it first, I think is is because of the benefits it has in sitting.
[Answer from the other bhikkhuni] In my meditation experience, I found that doing the walking before the sitting is, as you said, bringing the sitting to focus.
[Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu] I think many people, so many beginners don’t like the walking. And there will come a point in your practice where suddenly that changes. Suddenly you hate the sitting and the walking is actually nice because the sitting is too intense. And then it goes back again and back and forth. But in the beginning, people tend to prefer the sitting. That changes not in not so long of a time. And it makes it seem so absurd. Because people in the beginning they’ll start to develop a grudge for walking. And you have to spend all your time explaining to them the benefits of walking and encourage them to try it. And no, no, we’re not really worried about concentration. We’re trying to understand and to see the distraction and to overcome it and to let go of it. And then eventually, boom, they’ll come to you and say… you know the funny thing today, I really, really like the walking and the sitting, and so they’re kind of embarrassed and they’ve totally had to give up this bias that they had. Because they started to believe. I don’t know if this meditation’s for me. I think walking meditation to some crazy thing that this monk invented himself or something. So that’s worth keeping in mind in case you have this kind of doubt about walking meditation. That will change and there will come this kind of humorous time where you realize that where your mind changes and suddenly like the walking better and you feel more charged and more alert and more awake and sitting, you just wasting your time or you’re dealing with pain or so on. Eventually, of course, that all levels out and it all becomes meditation.