Day 1 - Welcome!

Welcome everyone. It is a great joy to think of you all participating in this challenge.

We all seem to relate to structure in different ways, or perhaps more accurately, in different ways at different times. Sometimes we rebel, sometimes structure seems like an imposition, other times it helps create clarity out of chaos and delineates a path so we don’t have to try to make it up all by ourselves all of the time.

I generally feel supported by structure (though sometimes I do rebel.) Having a method of practice and knowing what my commitments are help me not to just get lost in discursive thinking –“What should I do? Should I do this or should I do that? Oh, time must be up…no time to do anything.”. It helps me to put off evaluation until I’ve really experimented with something (as compared to constantly separating from a process to ask, “How am I doing?” “Is this as good as it gets?”)

I started my own meditation practice within the context of intensive retreats, very structured, with bells ringing marking beginnings and endings of sittings, a posted schedule, periods of silence. But it was awfully hard for quite a while for me to practice when I wasn’t on retreat. I think a 28-day challenge, bringing some structure to my ordinary day, would have helped.

Comments

Day 4

I'm so happy to be meditating with all of you. You are all my sangha.

I decided when I first started to meditate that no matter what happens,I wouldn't judge it-even when I'm judging it! This is a good stance for me, so meditation for me becomes a refuge.

Sharon, I liked your image of cradling the breath. I remembered this when my breath felt tight or constricted. My breath then, felt very light and soft, like a whisper.

I also really, really like keeping a meditation journal. It's something that never occured to me before. I'm excited for the insights I will make in the process of journeling. I was also amused that I was thinking about what I would write in my journal when I was meditating!

Day 2

I had a tough time getting settled yesterday. I managed to shut my finger in the car door taking my son to school. I tried to meditate a few hours later and my concentration was really off. This morning was much better. My cat curled up in my lap and I focused on his breathing. What can one do when something like that happens and steals your focus?

Enjoying the challenge, Thank you.
Hilary

Grateful

I'm grateful to be a part of these 28 days of meditation. It's good to know we are not alone on this journey to nowhere. We're in this together. Grateful, so very grateful!

day 4

sat today at noon at the village zendo. it took a while to settle down. I was feeling apprehensive. When i did settle which happened just before the bell of the first 30 min rang, I was feeling very grateful, cherishing the love that I have known both giving and receiving. almost in tears over a past love so great. The next session was quieter. I left more grounded, and felt that things were inwardly more centered quieter.

welcoming to all

Sharon...and all others on this 28-day practice:

Thank you for offering this opportunity for awakening. On retreats, I, too, find it not so difficult to sit on the cushion. In everyday life, it's not a great challenge to practice mindfulness. But going to the cushion every day, sitting down, being right there - not so easy! So, I am grateful for assistance on this path, grateful for all of you who are sitting with me, and for all those with whom I connect with every breath. With hands together, Eileen

question?

Hi Sharon, i am a little experienced at meditaion, i meditate 2 times a day morning and night, my question to you if you can answer it, i have stuttered my whole life, and was wondering if you had any ideas through meditation that might help?

Re: Question

My sense is that meditation would affect stuttering in a variety of ways: helping clear away judgment, noticing triggers, general relaxation, and of course mindfulness. I will ask various researchers if someone is doing a study,and I bet there is someone. You also might look at the writings of Ellen-Marie Silverman and Zindel Segal. Zindel has worked more with depression, but I wonder if some of the techniques he developed for Mindfulness Based Cognitive therapy would also apply. The meditations we are doing are the basis for all the mindfulness applications that are becoming so popular.

Day 1

Amazing how weak I am. I managed 5 minutes of meditation only (I had a looong break) and suddenly I felt like fainting. I'm not sure if it's normal, but I will sure continue my practice. 28 day structure is something I need to start and feel stronger. Thank you Sharon for this opportunity.

28 days!

Sharon: What a challenge! I've borrowed your book from the library and obviously have to have a copy of my own. My only previous experience of meditation was a weekend at the Shambhala Center of Toronto. So, 81-years old and novice that I am, I chose late afternoon as my time, and my large, carpeted cupboard as the place. I have five cats and they would find my sitting on the floor too enticing to ignore. It felt good in the cupboard! Thank you for making this opportunity available.

Re: 28 Days

I'm so glad you are doing this. Eventually your cats might enjoy sitting quietly on your lap to simply be along with you.

28 Days of Meditation

I am new to meditation. I have only been practicing about 4 months. I think this challenge is great and can`t wait to see how many others are up to the challenge.I find it hard to slow down thought and concentrate on breath but I`m getting better.My mind can be like a subway train station with thought arriving every so many minutes and a flood of thought unloading from each car.But I find relaxing breathes closes that subway station to early morning when nothing is running and that one exhale comes that puts my meditation in full peace and calm with the breath.Hope this doesn`t sound silly.Also I hope Sharon reschedules her Baltimore Md. Book signing would like to meet her.Peace and metta to all, good luck on the challenge.

Re: 28 Days of Meditation

That doesn't sound silly at all...and I will reschedule Baltimore for sure.

oh yes, Structure!

works for me too, Sharon!! And I am so excited about this opportunity to strengthen my wavering practice with you on this 28-Day Challenge! And, to be honest, I thought that I would jump out of my skin, to have to sit for 20 minutes! But to my great delight, I actually found freedom, even on my first 20 minute sitting! Why? Because of your generous support and encouragement in Real Happiness, that everyone's mind will experience distraction! I just continued to move back to my breath, with self-compassioin and love and patience. Thank you for this! I am elated in the experience and opportunity available here!! Blessings and Gratefulness to you and to all, here!

Gratitude

Thank you Sharon for your wonderful book and for this amazing opportunity to renew my vows to meditation....in solidarity with so many others. In my meditation time this morning I felt held energentically by all who were venturing into this amazing 28 day experiment....then I dropped the thought....right!....returning to my breath..... but not until I allowed a wonderful feeling of gratitude to wash over me. Thank you for the opportunity to deepen into peaceful mind, beautiful heart and calm center. Metta Jude

Dear Sharon, Thank you for

Dear Sharon,

Thank you for doing this. I encouraged my boss to take this challenge for our busy pediatric practice. My co-workers are young and energetic and really new to the concept of meditation. I just want to see how this 28-day challenge will affect them in terms of handling stress in the workforce and outside, how it will affect their personal relationships and how it will affect their daily lives. I will keep you posted if something comes up.

Namaste!

Re: Thank you for

I'm also interested in seeing how groups of people might get benefit from meditation practice, though if there is a result of course it might take time. Do keep me posted.

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