February 01, 2012

Meditation Month begins today!

Brad Warner / Mike Taylor TricycleAt 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


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deepurple's picture

I have difficulty sitting for meditation but I am able to meditate while I walk, even on noisy public transportation or when I do needlework.

MarkG's picture

I sit every morning at 5:30. My wife sits too. Our two cats choose a lap and sit as well. We rarely miss a day. When I miss a day I feel incomplete. But, that said, I also know that sitting is only one part of meditation. We sit to learn and gain wisdom. This learning does not stop when I get off the cushion and I know this, remember it and use it in my daily activities. Being mindful is a full-time activity.

KonchokRangdrol's picture

HI, Okay, one more posting, it does seem that the pdf is "Free" however, it is free only for "Sustaining Members".

That said, it is free is you are a paying member.

HEre is the info, bottom right in the FREE MEDITATION BOOK! section.

"Join the Tricycle Community at the Supporting or Sustaining Member level. "

So, clearly expressed, one has to be a supporting or sustainin member, which means you have to pay to get the "FREE PDF".

This should have been made VERY clear from the get go...

Philip Ryan's picture

Hi Konchok Rangdrol and others,

Yes, the ebook is free when you join the Community as a Supporting or Sustaining Member. We're sorry about the confusion and will make sure this is very clearly stated on our posts!

Best wishes,

TW77's picture

Where's the best place to post questions about what we're experiencing - specific to this month's topic? Should i wait till later in the month or just dive in now? There's a statement above that says to twit your stuff but no mention of where to post.



Sam Mowe's picture

smo404 & Jonathan.s, The link should work now. Thanks, Sam

Jonathan.s's picture

I did the same! Started the year determined to sit twice daily - morning and evening. Well, I've sat most mornings, but I don't think any day has seen two sessions. And I keep sleeping in! This is the main issue. I need to commit to getting up early - the technique is simple, just put the alarm clock on the other side of the room, and don't go back to bed when you've turned it off. Well, it might be simple, but I flunk it often!

I am joining a sitting group, first session is this week, and I am going to re-commit to this twice daily sitting.

Dominic Gomez's picture

Have you tried walking meditation? Or for that matter, meditating while you work, etc.?

smo404's picture

I get a page not found error when trying to access the link to the book in the last sentence.