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At the beginning of 2012 I committed to reinvigorating my meditation practice. But we're only a few weeks into the new year and I've already let myself off the hook. I feel as though I have a million things to do and as a result I've put finding time for practice on the back burner. There just doesn't seem to be space in my day for meditation. But this morning, as I read through the meditation tips that Zen teacher Brad Warner offers in the new issue of Tricycle, I found some simple advice on how to make space in my day for meditation:
Wake up half an hour earlier. You’re busy. I know. So am I. So is everyone. But when I decided to commit myself to a daily practice, I looked honestly at what I did each day, and I saw a lot of wasted time. I did all kinds of things in the name of “leisure” or “relaxation” that weren’t really that relaxing. I shopped. I watched inane television shows. I goofed off in a myriad of ways. So I revised my schedule and started going to bed a little earlier and waking up a little earlier so that I could meditate. Maybe the same thing can work for you. That one last thing you need to look up on the internet can wait.
My goal for week one of Meditation Month is to take a critical look at my schedule and identify the "relaxing" activities I indulge in that don't actually leave me feeling relaxed or refreshed. I'm also going to follow Warner's advice and begin waking up a little earlier each day to practice before I eat breakfast and head to work. No more excuses--I'm committing to sitting everyday this month.
What are your goals for meditation month? You can share your Meditation Month tips, heart-advice, frustrations, and questions under the hashtag #MeditationMonth on Twitter (follow us at @tricyclemag).
Throughout February we'll be offering videos, audio interviews, articles, and tips from well-known Buddhist teachers that will help you develop and maintain a meditation practice. If you find yourself in need of advice, "Meditation Doctor" and Zen teacher Brad Warner will be answering reader questions here all month. To further support your practice, we've put together an e-book featuring 25 carefully selected articles on meditation. Download your free copy of Tricycle Teachings: Meditation here.