Well, those two weeks went by fast, huh? I’m so glad you’ve made the decision to stick with us for the “Commit To Sit 2015 Meditation Challenge”. Knowing what meditation has meant to me, I’m really excited in anticipation of how this experience will transform your life over the next year.
Let’s face it, sometimes opening up to one’s experience is difficult, because the experience may not be what we wish it could be – but when we do… when we take just 10 minutes a day during the work week- you start to see that you’re building up these internal resources that help you cope with stress a lot better. It’s not always easy so stay positive over these next few weeks and trust me!
Homework for this weekend:
– Wherever you are – spend at least five minutes outside with nature. Whether we know it or not, we all have meditative experiences throughout the day… when we’re out walking the dog, staring off into the ocean, playing with our kids, looking up at the stars, listening to the sounds in our environment, and breathing in the fresh air. We can all be present with our experience – the hard part is learning to sustain it for more than just a couple of breaths outside without picking up our phones – and that is what we’re starting to cultivate in class.
– S.B.L.S. (Stop. Breathe. Listen. Smile.) Stop, take a breath and get in the habit of asking yourself: “How do I feel? What do I need right now?”
I think the question that was asked most this week was: How do I REALLY know that I’m doing it right?
1. You’re sitting for five minutes – twice a day. (you’re doing it right)
2. You have thoughts, feelings, or get distracted by external noises. (you’re doing it right)
3. You fall asleep. (you’re doing it right – especially in that first month)
4. You are aware that you you’re focusing on the physical sensation of the breath in your body. (you’re doing it right)
Remember, it’s totally normal for your mind to wander. There’s no need to criticize yourself when you notice that your mind has wandered. The point is not to suppress thoughts or emotions but rather to have open spacious awareness with it.
THE BEST WAY TO REALLY TELL IF YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT is AFTER you open your eyes. Is your day easier? Are you taking things a little lighter – less serious? One of my teachers, Sharon Salzberg likes to remind us, “When it comes to meditating, it helps to have a sense of humor.”
Have a great weekend!