It’s hard to believe that a month has gone by since we began the challenge. I’d like to thank all of you for your practice. You inspire me every day.
Some of you are new to meditation and some renewing an old friendship. The most important thing, and the hardest thing, is to have a regular practice. See if you can discern what would be most supportive to you – sitting in the morning or in the evening, sitting at the same time every day or sitting in the same place every day, sitting, walking, standing, lying down -- Whatever it is (and of course, it will change) please try to make it real by doing it.
Many people find support in a community. If you don’t live in a place or it isn’t convenient to join a group, you can do it virtually, just as we’ve done it here. I have a group of 4 friends who together with me have formed a group called the “turned left sangha (sangha is Pali for community.) It began when one friend said that if he got up in the morning and turned right he was at his desk, and if he turned left he was at his meditation cushion. So we agreed that after practicing, we would email the other 4 and the subject line would always be, “turned left.”
It’s so much fun, especially because you can see all the usual dynamics play out in your mind, and laugh. For the longest time I was the first one each day to write, and I just watched my thoughts, “They’re going to think I’m showing off. They’re going to think I’m a goody-goody.” Another friend mentioned that he was almost always the last one to write, and would sometimes skillfully use that peer pressure to make sure he did sit so he could send the email!
Whatever you experiment with that helps you actually do the practice, use it!
And please don’t be chagrined if you find you have to continually begin again...in the course of a sitting, and if you’ve skipped sitting altogether for a while. The amazing gift of being alive is that no matter what, we can always begin again.