During walking meditation and day to day activity if sees the mind intention of doing something is earlier than that of bodily action. Is that mindfulness enough to generate right view in a person and disappearance of sakkaya ditti?

2 Answers 2


Very good question. :)

The answer is: Yes and no. Yes, seeing intention before the doing is a great way of getting to see anatta in action (so to speak).

No, because I fear you won't be able to keep this up. Plus it's not necessary to go into that much detail. Don't forget that every single action is preceded by intention. You really can't keep this up. Also, the mind is way, way faster than the body. You will miss a lot which is not a problem, but it could discourage you.

Here is a proposal of what you could do:

Day 1: Pay attention to the intention related to the change of posture. So, see if you can catch the intention to stand, to sit, to lie down or to walk. This goes for daily life as well as walking meditation.

Day 2: Pay attention to the rising and falling of the abdomen in daily life.

Day 3: Pay attention to the four elements throughout the day.

You can create your own 'trainings schedule'. Point is that it should be doable for you, challenging but not too overwhelming so that it would be discouraging. You can play with what you want to keep an eye on any given day. As long as it is in the realms of the four satipatthana. Then the mind will pick up the right knowledge and wisdom along the way.

In addition: Don't forget to remind yourself. "Intention to sit, intention to sit, intention to sit"; "intention to walk, intention to walk, intention to walk"; "hard, hard, hard"; "soft, soft, soft"; "rising, falling; rising, falling"... and so on. That reminding yourself is the sati-part of the practice (mindfulness).

Have fun! :)

  • Not all the actions are preceded by intention/volition according to both science and Buddha, therefore, not all actions produce kamma (i.e. some body movements both internal and external are neutral). For example, here: 1. washingtonbuddhistvihara.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/… 2. dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/…
    – user13383
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 12:28
  • I'm not talking about kamma. That's not the sort of intentions I refer to. In meditation it will become quite obvious that every movement/action is preceded by the intention to move/to act. Every walking is preceded by the intention to walk, every sitting is preceded by the intention to sit, even every blinking of the eye is preceded by the intention to blink; every rising, every falling, every swallowing... they are all preceded by the intention to. This is what we refer to when we talk about practical applications. Hope this makes it clearer.
    – user13579
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 15:35
  • But it is very much about kamma. Practical implication of practising mindfulness and purpose is to quote Buddha: "Do good, avoid evil and purify your mind" and it is about perfoming a good kammic action, so mindfulness is keeping in mind the right set of ethics and views to apply them whenever we notice thought formation that leads to act that arose from moods or emotion or drive.
    – user13383
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 15:51
  • I think this could be due to a difference in understanding. As stated on my profile: my answers and comments are rooted in practical experience, not theoretical knowledge. I'll leave it at that.
    – user13579
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 15:55
  • I guess the original author's question was about mindfulness and relation to right view. It is not so much about practical experience or not; mindfulness is a tool and has a purpose that is not done for mindfulness sake. For example, we want to be mindful to eradicate one of the corrupted, bad habits that we have that makes us suffer. So we are aware of when the drive and volition comes so we can overcome it with wisdom. This way one practises Eightfold path in eight directions keeping in mind right view.
    – user13383
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 16:04

Walking meditation isn't strictly the same as mindfulness. In walking meditation you have a set of repeated phases that you divide walking in order to concentrate on each phase in a single-pointed fashion. Note that its a set fixed set of points. That is not strictly doable in a everyday life as it is more unpredictable to know of all phenomena and phases beforehand due to cause and effect and interconnectedness of beings. Also there are also actions on a subconscious, free of volitional intent level; reactions facilitated by storehouse consciousness actively working with sense consciousness. Example being quick reflex reactions that lead to action.

With mindfulness it is that the view and recollection of the view comes first in the way that you are aware of the right view so you can apply wisdom to formations that happen as a reaction to feelings, drives and moods.

And this is what walking meditation trains, it trains sati which is reaction timing/window to the phenomena to which you can apply wisdom accordingly. For instance, thought arises as a reaction to sadness, and you are being mindful of by keeping recollection, so you have the choice to not "act" upon it.

Focusing on breath and body throughout the day also trains and brings recollection.

Please see what is right mindfulness:

Is Mindfulness a poor translation for Sati?

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