The New Kadampa Tradition is an international association of Mahayana Buddhist meditation centers that follow the Kadampa Buddhist tradition founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
Last week I joined Sharon Salzberg and 30 or so others at Tibet House in New York City to prepare for a 28-day meditation challenge that begins on February 1. Participants will run the gamut, from a fireman to an investment banker to a TV producer, from beginners to old pros. Sharon gave initial instruction and plenty of encouragement, especially to those who are new to meditation practice.
Many of you will remember the first 28-day meditation challenge Sharon led online back in 2007. Thousands joined and the challenge succeeded beyond our expectations. But if you missed it, not to worry: This time Sharon will host a new and improved challenge at her own site, and she has invited everyone to join. I say improved because Sharon's new book, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, is a highly structured 28-day program that will guide you through the four-week period.
On Tuesday, a Meditation Challenge blog at Sharon's site will go live, and participants will post daily. Sharon encourages everyone to visit and comment—and tweet (UPDATE: Use the hashtag #realhappiness). Throughout the challenge Sharon will answer questions and offer advice.
And there's more: For the month of February, we'll feature Real Happiness at the Tricycle Book Club. Sharon will lead the discussion and Tricycle Community Members can buy the book at a discount. (If you haven't already, you can become a Member for free here.) When you buy the book through Tricycle, you will be supporting Sharon and more events like these. We will begin offering the book to Members at a discount on January 31. When you order the book, you can instantly download it and begin reading while you wait for the hard copy to arrive. The hard copy includes a CD with guided meditations.
As we did in 2007, the entire Tricycle staff will participate in the medtiation challenge, and we'll post here and at Sharon's site simultaneously. For us it's a great opportunity to reinvigorate our practice and to enjoy the support of a growing community.
We look forward to sitting with you—and you can count on a few more reminders!