The rat of walking Cankama back and forth should be moderate, neither too fast nor too slow, so it is pleasing to watch and in the good manner following the tradition of the practitioners of the Lord Buddha's time. This is walking Cankama Bhavana. There are various positions of Bhavana – walking, standing, sitting and lying down. In whichever posture of exertion, the purpose is for the cleaning up of the Kilesas with the same kind of tool. The tool which is the Dhamma that suits one's character and inclination is not changed. Before starting to walk Cankama, the direction and length should be established. One should then start by standing at one end of the path with hands in Anjali (palms together) and raised to between the eyebrows, and reflecting on the blessings of the Triple Gem, the Lord Buddha, the Dhamma, and Sangha, the one takes as refuges and as the Heart's anchor. One should also reflect on one's father and mother; Upajjhaya and Acariya: and everyone else who has been kind and compassionate to one. Then one should not the purpose of one's exertion; and that one is about to do it earnestly for that particular purpose. The hands are then lowered and rested just under the navel, the right covering the left hand following the Lord Buddha's example when he would stand in reflection. One then radiates the Four Brahma-Vihara before starting with gaze downwards in a reserved manner. One establishes Sati with the Citta and the Dhamma one is using as a Parikamma object, or investigates the various Dhamma that one was doing in the other postures.
One begins walking from one end of the path to the other, in a reserved manner, having Sati constantly attending to the Parikamma object or the object under investigation. One should not send the Citta away from the work it is doing at that time. One should not walk with the arms swinging, or walk with the hands behind the back, nor folding the arms across the chest, nor looking here and there, which is not a reserved manner.
One may stand at any point along the path for reflection, the length of time depending on the subtlety of the Dhamma that one is reflecting on. One reflects until understanding clearly before continuing to walk. Sometimes this may take nearly an hour before one comes to a clear understanding. When one uses a Parikamma object or is doing investigation one does not count the steps. One only counts the steps when one is using the counting as the Arammana for that exertion. In all postures of exertion, Sati is the important factor. Lacking Sati means the lacking of exertion for that particular period. The cultivator should place as much emphasis on Sati as on the Parikamma object, for even if the Parikamma object is being continually recited out of habit; if Sati is lacking, the result – calmness of the Citta – will not be in accordance with the intended purpose.
The length of time for walking Cankama is left to the practitioner to decide for himself. In the various postures for exertion, some may find one posture more suitable than others. However, exerting in the other postures is also for the purpose of changing postures and not only for the eradication of the Kilesa. This is because of the necessity of maintaining the Dhatu Khandha which is the tool which preforms practically and usefully. The changing of posture is suitable for the Dhatu Khandha which is constantly at work. If it is not maintained by the various means, the Dhatu Khandha can turn to be a menace to the owner; it will be injured and put out of order and finally will not be able to finish the work according to the pre-established goal.
The Kammatthana Bhikkhu takes walking Cankama as his life's work. Mostly, he spends an hour or more on each walk. In the morning after finishing the meal he will enter the Cankama path and will not leave until about eleven o'clock or midday. After a short rest between one and two o'clock he goes again to the path to walk Cankama until it is time to sweep and bathe. When this is finished, he enters the path until about eight o'clock, but if it is not the Cold Season he will continue walking until about ten or eleven o'clock before retiring to his dwelling place to carry on the practice of Samadhi Bhavana.
The practice of walking Cankama and sitting in Samadhi must be done constantly, regardless of place and season, over a long stretch of time. The Kammatthana Bhikkhu's exertion is constantly maintained, not allowing any lapse which will give opportunity for the Kilesa to disturb and bring trouble to the Heart. He is constantly trying to curtail them in every posture. With this kind of effort h comes to see some of the results of his exertion. He will see this increasingly as he progresses
In observing the Citta and establishing Sati while walking Cankama, please do it seriously and systematically, befitting one's intention in seeking good things. Walking Cankama Bhavana is the correct way in the search for good things. It is blameless and praised by the sages all over the world.
One should endeavour to make the Citta calm during that time. Do not merely preform it. One will then come to see the supreme marvel within oneself. The filth that wraps the Citta blinds one from seeing the importance of that which is being wrapped. One is fooled into thinking that the filth itself is important and one is totally immersed in that delusion. The truth, concerning the renowned Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha of the Three Worlds, arise out of the Heart which is both the cause and the result of the aforementioned marvel. It is this Heart that is free from those filthy wrappings; and it is this Heart that is either known as Buddha or Sangha, according to the state of each possessor.
Once without the possessor it is absolute, total, Dhamma. Then there are no terms within like Citta or Lord Buddha, which are just Sammuti of the highest level. All that remains is the term “Dhamma”, and even this is still only Sammuti of the highest level; yet it has to remain in usage as the principal basis for the world that is still dependent on Dhamma. When one has attained to independence, one will then definitely come to know the term 'Dhamma', even if one has never experienced it before.
Therefore with the term 'Citta', everybody's Citta all over the world is essentially the same. But there are things that cause a differentiation among the Citta to a point beyond speculation, description, seeing, or proof, within the society of ordinary people who still have have Kilesa. There are various kinds of existing inter-related conditions and environments beyond description that are interacting. The Citta, though quite different from these things, because it is mixed, entangled, and covered with these things becomes indistinguishable from them. It is covered to the point where it is impossible to know how much each Citta is being covered by these things, and also impossible to trace where each Citta previously existed or what covers it most.
Regarding all those things under the name of Kilesa or filth as seen by all the Supreme Ones, if anyone were able, to whatever degree, to eradicate and uproot them, then they would to that degree also experience happiness, all according to the ability in clearing them up. If it can be cleaned to the point of purity, one is then totally free of Dukkha within the Heart and yet still exist among the Khandha that one still possesses, as did the Lord Buddha and Arahant Savaka who attained to Enlightenment and realized Dhamma. They all experienced the bliss of deliverance – Vimutti Sukha – right there and then without depending on time and place. All that is required is for the Kilesa, the enemy of the Citta and Heart, to totally disappear, and therefore it is only the Kilesa that obstructs the Citta from attaining Magga, Phala, and Nibbana. There is nothing else that has this power of obstruction.
The teaching of Dhamma therefore concentrates on the Citta which is the hiding-place of all the Kilesa, having the practical Dhamma of Sila, Samadhi, and Panna as the principal basis among the Dhamma of correction and clearing.
In summary: if one finds walking Cankama suitable and experience calm and gains various kinds of Upaya (means) to a greater degree than when sitting in Samadhi, one should then walk more than sit. But if the Citta gains better results in sitting, one should sit more than walk. But one should not exclude the changing of body posture which is very important for the body, which is the tool that preforms the work.
Both of these methods are the means for the destruction of the Kilesa, the things that accumulate lives and existences and all the kinds of Dukkha within the Heart. Please give attention to the Citta which is also the essence of the world. The world and oneself will then live in harmony and not in turmoil and trouble. One is protected because the Citta is well trained. This is better than not having any protection at all. When it is time for the dissolution of the Khandha, one can depend on the inner sanctuary of virtue that has been built up.
Worldly beings come and go according to their good and bad Kamma. They experience the results of happiness and Dukkha all the time. There has never been a single being that has escaped experiencing undesirable results. Even in the human world, we can fully see both in ourselves and in others, and with the animals, that all experience some happiness and some Dukkha, here and there, now and then. The training in the way of virtue, which is having Sila, Samadhi and Panna as the Heart's sanctuary, is something which the cultivator can experience in the present, today, and in this life, without any doubt – just as in the Lord Buddha's time.
The discussion on the methods of walking Cankama and sitting in Samadhi Bhavana has been treated generally and is practical both for householders and those ordained. The primary result of walking Cankama and sitting in Samadhi Bhavana is calmness of the Citta. When the Citta converges, it is singular, having only one Arammana.
The secondary results vary according to each type of character. The practitioner should not therefore be concerned about the minor results which one hears form other practitioners, some of whom will describe the experience they have had, for example, seeing various kinds of Nimitta. One should be concerned with the primary result which is the state of calm when the Citta converges. Generally, this is the essential result of practising Samadhi. On who exerts and endeavours, regardless of profession, householder or ordained, will definitely come to see the marvel of the Citta from Samadhi Bhavana. The news that one reads about those Ariya Savaka will eventually become the news about oneself; for the Kilesa, the bad deeds, and the Dhamma, the device for overcoming the Kilesa, are impartial with everyone, both in those days and in the present.
One who practises correctly – Samici Kamma – the right practice of Samadhi which gives appropriate results, like those experienced by the Ariya Savaka, will also experience those same results. The importance is not to speculate more about the time and place of Magga, Phala, and Nibbana than about the actual practice with the Magga, the suitable Dhamma, as the means. This is the device that totally eradicates the Kilesa from within the Heart, together with the heap of Dukkha. This Magga is the Dhamma that directly counters the Kilesa from that time up to the present without change. Please us it to correct the Citta, which is the origin and home of all the various kinds of Kilesa, until one comes to see fully that the Heart has changed from being the container for Kilesa to the container of Dhamma, gradually, until the whole Heart becomes Dhamma.
Once the Heart is wholly Dhamma, no matter where one lives the 'Dukkha within the Heart' will never appear; except for the Dukkha of the Dhatu Khandha which is directly the home of Dukkha. The Khandha are just Khandha; and Dukkha is just Dukkha. They remain so until the end when they cease to be Khandha and Dukkha. The Avijja that previously was all powerful over the Heart loses its powerful grip at the time when the Citta becomes wholly Dhamma. This is the work of Dhamma and it has an ending and one can gain deliverance, unlike the work of Avijja which spreads infinitely all over the world of Samsara without ever coming to an end. Even if this later work is done for Kalpas upon Kalpas it will continue to revolve eternally.
But there is one work that has the possibility of an ending. One does not have to revolve with the burden of Dukkha forever; and one who has experienced both of these 'works' will know their contrasting results, like two different worlds. If one were to choose with Dhamma, which would one choose? One can see with this that there is a way out; one does not have to be entangled with this revolving work to the point where one forgets to pay attention to the treasures of Dhamma that one could have for oneself in the future.