Magical Moments: Beginning Practice

Doing anything on a regular basis isn’t my strong suit. Jumping into the chaos others run from is what I’m good at.  My ability to juggle a million variables under the worse possible circumstances is what makes me thrive as a grassroots community organizer,  Sandy disaster case manager, protest medic & deescalation facilitator. Or so I thought. Leaning on those skill sets for nearly three years non-stop has led to me feeling physically burnt out, psychically over extended & me convincing myself that my meditation practice in shambles.

Sharon points out that the ‘magical moment’ in meditation is when you realize you’ve been distracted & you gather back your attention. The #RealHappiness online group practice has become one such moment, albeit on a much larger, annual scale.  The past couple years the 28-Day Meditation Challenge & the community it’s brings together has served as an annual reminder to check in with myself, my commitment to meditation & with my fellow online sentient beings making a point of hitting the cushion.

Photo by Craig Milano

Photo by Craig Milano

I had the privilege to start off my year with a much needed personal retreat volunteering at a program with Bob Thurman & Sharon at Phoenicia’s Menla Mountain. It was during this New Year’s Retreat that I got to meet several of my fellow #RealHappiness Challenge participants in person for the first time.  In the past I’ve made a go at trying to participate in the blogging part of the practice but gave up quickly.  After talking with people (in person, face to face) and hearing from them, directly the value in their lives of the practice/writing process used in the challenge I was convinced at trying again.

In the resulting month since so I’ve been able to rededicate myself to my own personal daily practices to get ready for the challenge.  Keeping a Journal, Sitting twice a day, doing bouts of walking meditation & doing my best to be gentle on myself. Hoping this foundation of intention, deeper sense of focus and the inspiration of my fellow participants will carry through all month here on the blog.

As I get ready to hit ‘publish’ on my first post in this year’s challenge I am deeply moved by the kindness of my fellow bloggers who nudged me into stepping out from the shadows to lend my voice to the mix. I got mad gratitude for you all. You know who you are, so thanks.

Justin SD

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