February 01, 2013

Meditation Month Begins Today!

It might not say this on your desk calendars, but it's Meditation Month here at Tricycle! That means that starting today, it's time to join the Tricycle staff in making the commitment to sit every day of February—no exceptions and no excuses. We'll be blogging our triumphs and tribulations here and at Vipassana teacher Sharon Salzberg's "Real Happiness" website throughout the month. We'll also be sharing videos, audio interviews, articles, and tips from well-known Buddhist teachers that will help you develop and maintain a meditation practice. To start things off, you can download last year's Meditation Month e-book, Tricycle Teachings: Meditation, here

Beginning Monday, February 4, you'll be able to:

Are you excited? I'm excited! Here's a sneak peek of Sharon doing her thing so that you can get even more excited:


All the excitement notwithstanding, I have to be honest. I might be talking a lot of big game about Meditation Month ("no exceptions, no excuses!"), but my 28-day challenge is already off to a rocky start. I promised myself last night that I would wake up early in order to meditate before work this morning. And did I? Of course not.

But I'm determined to sit before the day is done. During last year's meditation challenge, I found that if I could at least sit down on my cushion every day of February, then actual practice would inevitably follow. It's a little trick to overcome whatever resistance you're throwing up against yourself. "Okay," I tell myself, "I'm not going to practice. But I'm just going to sit down on my cushion for a sec..." That turns into, "Okay, I'll practice for 5 minutes, since I'm already here, but that's it..." which soon becomes a genuine half-hour meditation session. And if you can build the habit of doing this throughout the month, eventually you won't have to use the trick at all. Like Sharon says above, it's all about patience and consistency.

Another thing that helps, at least for me, is to make myself accountable to another person. This year I decided to tell my roommate that I would be participating in the challenge, and asked her to be my own personal nagger. She's doing well so far! (This morning it was: "Did you meditate this morning? No? Weren't you supposed to?" Which was exactly what I wanted her to do. Thanks, Molly.) So now that I know she's keeping tabs on me, there's a greater chance I'll make it to my cushion. Because who wants to be nagged at every morning? This strategy might not work for everyone, but it might be worth a shot if you find yourself continually making excuses to avoid practice.

Let us know if you're planning on meditating with us this month. We'd love to hear from you!

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ronka48's picture

Of course I will join.

sallyotter's picture

Count me in. Thanks.

Julie Miller's picture

This is just what I need to get back into regular practice. Thank you!

suewilley's picture

I have moved interstate and don't have my usual sangha to be encouraged by and sit with - so I am really happy to have this opportunity to join this wondrously big sangha and participate in this month of meditation with you all.

jdkees's picture

I'm up for it, cheers all.

Ericae842's picture

I also would like to join. Thank you.

kate8's picture

I'm in!

elwelch's picture

Thank you Tricycle, thank you Sharon, and thank you to everyone who is joining in! I just read the first article and am starting now.

krychk1013's picture

I am in ! Time to make it a daily routine and not a once in awhile thing :(

sharmila2's picture

excited to join; I very rarely skip my daily sitting anyway but it's nice to make this a special focus - reminds us of what our priorities should be.

mlbagley's picture

Ah, back to the cushion. I am grateful for this community and this "challenge." Namaste to my brother and sister sitters.

pwhite's picture

I'm in! Going to sit right now.

gjensen510's picture

I'm in! As I commit to sit, it's nice to know I'm not alone!

trijen's picture

Just saw this...
I've fallen away from a regular sitting practice as I navigate a very challenging time in my life, so this is a very timely opportunity to invite myself back to the cushion. Thanks.

ding47's picture

Due to health issues I have lost my daily meditation. My intention is to get back on the cushion with you.
Thank You.

sierraden's picture

This is just what I needed! I'm in too.

massrunner's picture

Every February, I am blessed and encouraged by this "Challenge". I call it an "Invitation" to peace of mind, to stillness, to self discovery, to wholeness, to rediscovering our own inherent goodness. Thank you, Tricycle and Sharon. Namaste.

jardine057's picture

Thank you for the invitation to join in. I am looking forward to it.

nathanielwhitten's picture

Thank you for the cushion suggestion:)
count me in.

Mike Heffner's picture

I have not sat for many months, and have decided to join this. Last night I read the first article in the Meditation ebook, and began sitting this morning.

willoughbyacupuncture's picture

This month just happens to coincide with a class I am taking at New School, Mindfulness, Meditation, and Psychology. I feel so much more clarity and intention in my daily practice with this kind of support. The focus is refined and sharpened on this purposeful event of the day. I am happy to feel a part of a global Sangha that inspires me and holds me as I hold it, like the breath, I commit now to this present moment. Thank you to everyone who has declared this month as meditation month and furthering the engagement of awareness and connection. May we all be happy!

Anicca1956's picture

I will do it.

Jim Spencer's picture

I will join you.