28 Days of Practice

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May 1

Thank You

Deep gratitude to the hundreds of you that joined me for six months of “28 Days of Practice.”  It has become more challenging to give our community the attention that it deserves and so I will be stepping away from hosting until otherwise inspired.

Keep returning to the breath

Be Blessed!

Gibrán

Day 17

I like to define mindfulness as the energy that helps us to be there one hundred percent; the energy of our true presence”

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Day 15 - Week 3, the Halfway Point

Mindfulness:

"awake attention to what is happening inside and outside so we can respond from a place of wisdom"

- Sylvia Boorstein

Day 15 - Week 3, the Halfway Point

Meditators,

Today we begin week 3 of our 28 days of practice.  The half way point in our shared experience.  If you’ve been tracking along with Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness then you are continuing your mindfulness practice but you are shifting your focus from the body to thoughts and emotions.

How has your practice been?  What are you learning?  How have you been challenged?  How have you been surprised?

Have you had a difficult time getting to the mat?  Are you judging yourself for that?  How can we help you to let go of any such self-judgement? 

Please know – you are invited to return to the mat, you are welcomed to do so!  You have our encouragement!  Can you meditate for at least 5 minutes over the next 14 days?  Come back!

And do let us know how you are doing.  Just click on the title of this post.

“In mindfulness meditation, you observe what you’re feeling with interest, curiosity, and compassion, then let it go, without beating yourself up over it (I’m a horrible person!) or clinging to it (how can I make this peaceful feeling stay?) without musing on its meaning or coming up with a game plan (though you can do both of those things later after your meditation session).  Mindfulness meditation doesn’t eliminate difficult feelings or prolong pleasant ones, but it helps us accept them as passing and impermanent.  Our goal is not to hang on to them, nor to vanquish them, but to pay attention to them in a deeper, fuller way.”

-Sharon Salzberg

Be Blessed!

Gibrán

Day 14

Mindfulness of the body helps us to be more grounded in the reality of our experience, in the reality of who we are. It helps us to move beyond the stories in our head to what our life actually is at this moment. With these instructions we also make the transition from concentration meditation to insight meditation in which we bring moment to moment concentrated, mindful and compassionate awareness to the ever-changing flow of our experience. When the change from concentration to insight practice begins…

-Philip L. Jones

Day 13

This ability to be present for all of our bodily experiences allows us to begin to have insight into, to see more clearly, the true nature of these experiences. One of the things that we come to see is that they are an ever-changing process which arises and departs simply due to causes and conditions.

Before we can experience these truths for ourselves, though, we have to learn to bring mindfulness to the body. We have to learn to open to our bodies, to physical sensations, with mindfulness, compassion and curiosity. We have to discover for ourselves what an itch or pain, a touch, a sound, a smell, a sight or taste actually is. Can we allow it to be? Can we come to rest in our life as it is in this moment? You can begin by practicing mindfulness of physical sensations.

-Philip L. Jones

Day 12

One of the joys of beginning this practice is re-discovering the body, re-discovering what it is like to live in the body once again. We begin to become re-acquainted with our bodies and the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. In order to re-connect to the sense pleasures of the body, though, we need to be open to all of our sensory experiences, some of which are not so pleasant. Through mindfulness we learn how to be present with the unpleasant sense experiences as well as the pleasant. This ability to be present for the full range of our human sensory experience frees us from the constant effort that we make to avoid the uncomfortable and to seek comfort. Through mindfulness we discover an ability to experience this full range of experience with equanimity.

-Philip L. Jones

Day 11

We spend most of our day caught up in our thoughts. While taking a shower in the morning, we may be thinking about our schedule for the day and the projects we have to work on or the places we need to go. While eating a meal, we may be reading the paper, watching TV or thinking about what has happened or is about to happen. Although all of these activities seem important, as we live this way our life is slipping away from us. Each moment of our lives is a moment that is unique and that will never return. Yet, rather than fully experiencing what our life is in this moment, we spend much of the day being out of touch with most of our sensory experience. How often do we truly experience the sensations of taking a shower, or the taste and texture of the food that we are eating?

- Philip L. Jones

Day 10

Suffering is
a function of two variables:
one’s discomfort and one’s habit
of resisting that discomfort.

~ Shinzen Young

Apr 9

Day 9

I think meditation is one of the most empowering practices.  It significantly builds our capacity to be with what is - a much better place to act from.

"When we can’t let the moment in front of us be what it (because we’re afraid that if it’s good, it will end too soon, if it’s bad, it will go on forever; and if it’s neutral it will bore us to tears), we’re out of balance.  Mindfulness restores that balance; we watch our habitual reactions to clinging, condemning, and zoning out, and let them go."

-Sharon Salzberg