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.