February 08, 2011

Real Happiness 28-Day Meditation Challenge, Day 8

Looking for inspiration on how to keep it going as we enter the second week of the 28-day meditation challenge? Keep moving, nothing to see here. One of the first things you'll hear when getting meditation instruction is that you should pick a time and place to sit every day and stick to it with sticktoitiveness. Yet we've been having trouble squeezing in sits here in the Tricycle office. Yesterday a few of us were out most of the day on Tricycle business, and the few hours we were all together in the office, we couldn't manage to sit together. (It wasn't my fault—it was everyone else's.) Someone had a conference call, someone else just had to finish something or go somewhere. Don't worry, most of us managed to sit at home either before or after, so the challenge wasn't blown, but I was a bit disappointed.

Today we agreed to sit immediately following our morning meeting, which I generally lead, but the meeting went in unexpected directions and ended abruptly. Suddenly everyone hurried off and disappeared behind mounds of work. I fretted and stewed and finally walked around and collected everyone. So today it happened because of me.

A week or so ago in the New York Times there was an article on pepperoni. A friend of mine who is very interested in pizza (because we're both from New Haven naturally) sent me the article this morning saying, "You'll find this fascinating." Moi? I read it closely, looking for the part I'd find fascinating. What stuck with me from it was this bizarre image:

Pepperoni certainly has conquered the United States. Hormel is the biggest-selling brand, and in the run-up to the Super Bowl this Sunday, the company has sold enough pepperoni (40 million feet) to tunnel all the way through the planet Earth, said Holly Drennan, a product manager.

Goodness how odd. Pepperoni tunnelling through the planet? How alarming. But more importantly, why was I of all people supposed to find this fascinating? Where am I in here?

So this morning as I sat, I kept circling around how today everything had been about me: I had to rally everyone to sit, my meeting was interrupted by busyness. I was even looking for myself in an article about pepperoni. So this afternoon I'm not going to make it all about me. As the title of Ajahn Sumedho's book says, "Don't take your life personally."

Discuss Real Happiness and the 28-day challenge in the Tricycle Book Club—where, in a separate discussion, we're also discussing Martine Batchelor's The Spirit of the Buddha!

Image: klynslis

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