When I first started meditating, I would sit down and be overcome by a waterfall of thoughts. Thoughts about my clients' lives. Thoughts about what to do tomorrow. Thoughts about what to eat. Thoughts about the person sitting in front of me. Thoughts about the practice and whether or not I was doing it right. Thoughts about myself, especially those that were doubt-ridden and questioned my basic worth. Like a continual movie playing out, sometimes stuck on the same tape-loop, regurgitating on itself; it often felt like acid reflux of the mind.
Where there is love there is life. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
We are on day 21 of a 30-day meditation and yoga challenge inspired by Cyndi Lee, "OMYoga 30." Making the time for meditation practice every day is not so much a challenge for me. What I do have to check in with is my intention every time I sit and be clear about the practice. I am liking the accountability even if it is in my own mind. I am also enjoying getting on my yoga mat more and lots of yoga nidrapractice. Today is March 1 and many people completed Sharon Salzberg's 28-Day Meditation Challenge. One of the practitioners, Robert Colpitts, relays an experience post the 28-Day challenge, "The point is that making a commitment — a gentle one — to move forward on our path is important." It's never too late to start meditation. Start your Day One whenever and go from there. There will always be a Day One for someone just as there will be a Day One Thousand for someone else. Start where you are. How can you start from any other place? This blog can also be used as a place for communication and sharing your practice.
Daily Sit invites you to practice meditation with a live online community. Inspired by "Sitting Project," a daily meditation piece,Kim Brownand I thought it would be supportive to the community to offer an online interactive presence for meditation. I will post each week a photo like the one above and a thought (just a thought, right?). If you would like to share a peek at your experience or a simple notation that you sat, please do so in the "comments" section.
"Don't fight the darkness. Don't even worry about the darkness. Turn on the light & the darkness goes. Turn up that light of pure consciousness: Negativity goes. Now you say, 'That sounds so sweet'.It sounds too sweet. But it's a real thing"
I’ve always pegged “Next” as a demon. Next pushes one to bitterly reboot or insatiably chase. Next is an instant reaction that propels one into tomorrow with (what seems like) little maturity. Devilish. Pathetic. I’ve desperately tried to avoid it.
In mindfulness meditation we train in shamatha—peaceful abiding. This is basically the ability to hang out with and be curious about our experience, whatever our experience is. Through shamatha, we learn that our experience is valid and worthy.
I AM JUST NOW emerging out of a long period of retreat where I spent much of my time in solitude — reading, reflecting, experimenting with various forms of prayer, and just sitting. The last three months of this period I spent in a simple guest house on a relatively quiet lane in Ubud, Bali, where I was given a bed, a place to hang my clothes, a chair on a terrace and a simple breakfast each morning. I took my second meal of the day at an off hour in a cafe down the street, and generally skipped the third. There were few distractions and few interactions.
In a world of 24-hour connectedness and frenzied activity, this sort of retreat is profoundly counter-cultural, particularly since I didn’t use the time to master fancy yoga techniques or other spiritual technologies such that I would emerge with a new skill and credential — another line item for my cosmic resume. Rather, I spent this time attempting to shake all of that off and find the naked truth of what was underneath the cultural and social conditioning I have been subject to that insists on constant new experience, constant striving for improvement of myself and the world, and constant productivity.
This morning I moved onto the "Mindfulness of Emotions" chapter. You see, I haven't really been following the program. It has been a difficult time, practice wise, but also quite wonderful. Because I have been experiencing some anxiety lately, I spent a lot of time on the body and just using practice to feel good and locate myself.
The basic problem, it seems to me, is that one can be well-intentioned and yet play an objectionable role in an economic system that has become unjust and unsustainable – in fact, a challenge to the well-being of all life on this planet. David Loy