Meditation Kickstart: Day 1 of 30
Before you embark on a journey, it’s good to decide why you’re going. This journey starts with an intention. An intention is your orientation towards the practice.
- Are you choosing this path with an earnest desire to live more fully and with greater ease?
- Are you making an investment in choosing self-awareness and freedom from reactivity?
- Do you wish to open your heart.
Consider for a moment from this start, “Why is this commitment important to you?” Are there patterns in your life that you wish to change? Do you wish to show up differently for others? Whatever it is for you, specifically, take some time to connect with it now.
Write down why it is important to you. Keep it handy either in your wallet/purse or electronically where you can return to it from time to time throughout these 30 days (and beyond!).
There’s a long list of benefits of a regular daily meditation practice. A subset includes:
- greater self-awareness (seeing patterns in thoughts, reactions, behaviors, emotions that are automatic habits)
- increased self-connection, including awareness of the sensations in your body
- decreased reactivity and more opportunities for choice in every moment, even in the presence of upset
- increased levels of focus and attention
- increased resilience, with greater equanimity in the face of adversity
- more resources to investigate the wholesomeness of desire (yes, there is wholesome desire!) and to tolerate craving
and many others, too numerous to list.
- Now that you have set an intention, let’s continue …
It is often said “the practice is simple but not easy.” It’s true.
Today, you’ll start with a breath-centered meditation:
- Sit upright. Set a time for your desired duration.
- Focus your attention on the sensations of the rising and falling of your belly while breathing.
- When you notice your attention has wandered, celebrate that you noticed that you had been distracted, and return your attention to the sensations of the rising & falling of your belly.
- Continue until the timer sounds.
That’s it! Invest a few moments at the end to check in with yourself about your experience. How was it for you?
See you tomorrow!
“Attitude is everything. While there are many meditative strategies, what makes the difference in terms of spiritual awakening is your quality of earnestness, or sincerity. Rather than adding another “should” to your list, choose to practice because you care about connecting with your innate capacity for love, clarity and inner peace. Let this sincerity be the atmosphere that nurtures whatever form your practice takes.
A primary aspect of attitude is unconditional friendliness toward the whole meditative process. When we are friendly towards another person, there is a quality of acceptance. Yet we often enter meditation with some idea of the kind of inner experience we should be having and judgment about not ‘doing it right.’ Truly- there is no ‘right’ meditation and striving to get it right reinforces the sense of an imperfect, striving self. Rather, give permission for the meditation experience to be whatever it is.
Trust that if you are sincere in your intention toward being awake and openhearted, that in time your practice will carry you home to a sense of wholeness and freedom. Friendliness also includes an interest in what arises- be it pleasant sensations or fear, peacefulness or confusion. And the heart expression of friendliness is kindness — regarding the life within and around us with care.”
Periodically it will be helpful to turn to a reminder of why are you choosing to invest in meditation. Here is a partial list of benefits…