Getting started…

just sitting down to blog for the first time (ever, in fact!)  To be honest, I was more unsure about the blogging and tweeting and all that than the actual sitting…

Background: As I tucked myself in on Jan 31 shortly before midnight, it dawned on me: tomorrow, or rather within minutes, I would start the 28-Meditation Challenge. Yay! I was excited and hopeful and glad.  My meditation routine as of late was, well – it wasn’t.  It had begun in spurts and starts over the summer, hit a nice smooth course followed by some low times and then back strong, almost daily only to disintegrate into every few days, to once and awhile, and quickly down to nothing.  Why couldn’t I sit for even 10 minutes, as I’d done when I so eagerly started?  Certainly there were busy days and weeks.  But if I were honest, I know that wasn’t the reason.  It was deeper and think it was that I just wasn’t sure I was getting anywhere with it. I’d lost my motivation or the curiosity. I unconsciously had an expectation of something, results of some sort. I wanted answers. Yet, I think I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, so I’m going to welcome it as an opportunity instead view it as some failure.  I’m choosing to believe that the universe has something else in mind for me.  So, humbly, I’m trying again…

Day 1 – All that being said, keeping my expectations in check, I was pleasantly surprised in my first sitting with a very simple observation.  I was suddenly overcome with a profound and simple feeling of gratitude, simply for my ability in that moment, to breath. That’s right, just breath.  I’m alive. I’m breathing and it felt really, really good somehow, better than I’d noticed before (ever?).  Is this crazy, silly?  I mean, I was suddenly in love with…breathing. LOL. I almost started laughing.  Maybe it was partly because I was just getting over a cold.  And it was just nice to breath a bit better.  (You know how when you’re well, you can’t really imagine what it’s like to be sick and when you’re under the weather, it’s hard to imagine what it’s like to be well.)  Whatever the reason, who knows, I’ll take it.  Gratitude is always a nice thing to try to summon when you’re just not feeling it or, in this case, unexpectedly discover.

Day 2 – I participated in an all day yoga and meditation workshop today.  The day was full, with many and varied opportunities to meditate, via sitting or through the asanas.  Because there were so many slots built into the day, I tried both the laying down and sitting varieties as well as closing and leaving one’s eyes open.  We also walked through some helpful checklists for sitting similar to the one Sharon writes about in ‘Preparing to Sit’ from grounding your sit bones and relaxing the central channel all the way through the body up to relaxing the jaw, tongue and eyes.  We also touched on beginning by setting intention, proceeding by remembering (aka keep coming back) and ending with a dedication of your effort.  I really like this aspect.  Being an organized kinda person, this really helped me feel like I had a road map for the task at hand.  Also, I felt a very different vibe in a room full of meditators than I do when I sit at home.  It was a nice additional level of energy and feeling of connection.  Next time I sit, I may think (just briefly!) of all of you, my fellow 28 day-ers, as we embark on this together.

Day 3 – Here I am writing but I haven’t sat yet!  See you all soon!

– Brian

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