Reflections on 30 days of meditation

Last month I invited you to try a 30-day meditation challenge and ten of you took me up on the challenge! During this time, we have had a lively Facebook group sharing the joys and struggles that come along with starting a new habit. This month, instead of me writing the newsletter, I’m going to let the challengers share pieces of their own meditation journey. Some people committed to 5 minutes/day and others for 30 minutes. Some people already had years of meditation experience, while others were making their first foray into a disciplined practice. Here are their words:

“I was spending time on Facebook earlier and then I started reading some posts on this page and I realized I wanted to be meditating and not reading about it, although I was inspired by all of you. SO, I abruptly closed the lid on my laptop, grabbed my cushion and sat for 30 minutes. It was a good sit and I remembered something I read recently in a Cheri Huber book: ‘We have plenty of time. We have plenty of willingness. We’re spending our time on what we are currently spending it on and we’re willing for what we currently have in our lives. We need to check in with exactly how we are spending our time and what it is we are willing for.’ I have come back to this many times since. It reminds me that I want to spend my time and use my willingness for that which will feed my heart and nurture my spirit. Love!”

“My Fridays I have off-work and I hang with my 3 year old boy. I tried to do my meditation while he napped and ended up falling asleep. So after dinner (which included a rare margarita), while my husband was out with friends for the night, Max (my son) and I watched Free Willy and before I knew it, it was 9:30pm. I put him to bed and thought of this group and took a mulligan. With the help of my favorite app (My Meditation, $1.99) I almost completed a full meditation, until Max woke up 8 minutes in and needed some help getting back to sleep. A minute later, I rejoined the app and completed a meditation at 9:50 pm. Thank you Laura Humpf and this group for helping me stay on task. Love.”

“I took 3 days off due to a nasty cold. It was tough to come back, only in part because I still can’t breath through my nose. I realized that after the first few days I was using being sick as an excuse, so it was really helpful to have this commitment as motivation!”

“What keeps me coming back (and I’m so happy I can finally say this) is love. Sometimes I wander away from my practice and get all caught up in my head, until I can’t tell the difference between my me and the story about me, which is so painful and small that I end up with no choice but to grope my way back to the only thing that has ever broken that spell. Which is to sit really quietly, to touch the breath that’s happening in precisely this moment, and to watch the stories with as much kindness as is available. The total miracle of it is that every time I come back to the practice, the kindness is deeper and the space around the story is bigger. And I’ve learned all this stuff that makes my day-to-day experience more joyful – how to stay close, how to be curious, how to companion my own experience. And then, to top it all off, when I hang out with myself in this way all sorts of stuff becomes clear that was not clear before. Hmm, I feel like I should also offer full disclosure: The effort to stay – to pay attention without numbing or distracting in any way – with what’s happening when what’s happening is really painful or confusing is also the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And hands down the most liberating, and healing. So cheers to everyone for doing it again and again and again. It’s beyond worth it.”

“Planning, quiet, impatient, happy, leg falling asleep, aware, distracted, back to breath, counting, not counting, back to breath again and again. : ) No matter what comes up or how it is, I am always glad when I sit!”

“Challenge is the time
And when I find it I am
Completely at peace

Beauty is the calm
Patience is resurrected
I am my best self

A haiku in 2 to respond to your delicious query.”

“It was difficult to convince myself to sit this morning – my grandmother died yesterday and I’ve been noticing a fierce desire to distract myself from both sadness and anxiety around the upcoming family gatherings. 30 minutes felt impossible, so I allowed myself 10. And I did it. It was not impossible. The other night one of my teachers suggested that in meditation we simply leave ourselves alone. To be full of awareness, but to not try to fix or manipulate the parts of ourselves we don’t like. So I left the aversive part of me – the part that desperately wanted to keep moving, that wanted nothing to do with this seat – alone. I let it just be there as I sat.”

I am inspired and touched by everyone’s commitment, honesty, compassion and openness to this challenge. Also, some people decided to continue meditating another 30 days! Stay tuned in the new year for the opportunity to join in on yet another challenge.