Concentrating, One, Two, Three, Breathe: Beginning Again

Fits & Starts to beginning the writing portion of my participation in the meditation challenge. Several attempts were begun, embraced, cherished  & then sadly left to their own devices as fragmented drafts on the blog and on my desktop as text files. Some great titles, ideas and impressions but as I’ve been feeling a bit sensitive recently I hesitated trying to find some ‘voice’ to bring consistently and authenticity to my writing this year.

Forgetting Sharon’s lesson of the ability to start again for almost a week I hadn’t given myself over to the processes of the meditation challenge of sharing and externalizing through regular writing. The was bringing up fear & resistance to opening up publicly about my life, practice & emotional journey as it relates to what goes on inside my head when I sit.

Seeing first hand in my own life how daily regular meditation practice has subtly transformed my relationships & quality of positive behavior directly through doing this yearly practice I was just being dramatic to avoid the work.  I write & journal fairly regularly and was making excuses of not concentrating  my attention on begining my meditation journal for this year’s challenge.

In last year’s challenge I wrote unabashedly with courage and it really helped me understand things in a new light. Having to express the delicate shifts & stirrings in written form allowed me to examine and understand them better myself as I shared with the virtual sangha that reads these blog journals. Quite a bit can go on while one’s on the mat so with the process of refining impressions into interesting conversational blog worthy bits usually has been beneficial to me. As with all forms of writing the act is the time consuming & ‘hard part’ but it’s also been a great joy to connect with other people working to develop a regular practice through the comments, tweets, Instagram & Facebook conversations.

Submission by Gary Dunne

In Tibetan Buddhist the Three Jewels are described as The Buddha (The Teacher), The Dharma (The Teachings) & the Sangha (The Community) and I didn’t understand what the Third Jewel really was until I joined this yearly mindful “Real Happiness” experiment, connecting with the others embracing regular mindfulness & meditation practice under Sharon Salzberg’s gentle instruction. Being apart of a larger community of sitters for 28-Days each February has ripple effects year round as many people I’ve met through participating have become genuine friends, both online & off.

I have deep gratitude for the friends, teachers & anonymous readers who stumble upon this writings apart of my #Commit2Sit Pledge I hope to share weekly honestly & informally here on the blog like I did last year.

Meditation practice is a life saver for me & I am greatful for the Real Happiness meditation challenge community for helping me discover that. This will be the fourth time I’ve participated in the 28 Day Challenge and the second year I’ve written and shared my experiences publicly through Sharon’s site.

The first week of the challenge is my favorite with it’s focus on simply setting the space and sitting. Being a person who’s mind is quite fond of complexity and the wealth of opportunities for distraction it can provide I find great benefit working on developing my ability to concentrate through formal daily sitting meditation.

Looking forward to connecting with this year’s pack of meditators in the next couple weeks as we practice together. I’d love to hear what everyone’s first week has been like and learn what parts of the Real Happiness challenge are inspiring them-

Feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter. Follow me @justinstoned, I follow back.




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