Author Topic: February Meditation Challenge  (Read 2830 times)

wordnerd

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February Meditation Challenge
« on: January 26, 2018, 06:32:54 AM »
After seeing Sharon Salzberg recommended on the forum, I looked her up and saw she has a 28-day meditation challenge in February. I don't have a regular meditation practice (though I have somewhat regular yoga practice), so I'm excited to try it out. I'm also checking out her book from the library. If anyone else is interested in joining, here's the link: https://www.sharonsalzberg.com/meditation-challenge-2018-registration/


DTaggart

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 08:14:00 AM »
Oh perfect, I am in! My last day of work is Feb 1st, and one of my FIRE goals is to start meditating regularly. I've tried a little bit here and there and find it very helpful when I do it, but I haven't managed to develop any kind of consistency. This is the perfect time for me to work on a new habit.

Caoineag

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2018, 09:20:10 AM »
Neat. I signed up since this is something I do want to do more of. Should be helpful for getting through the last month of work...

Chippewa

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2018, 09:40:01 AM »
I’m in for the challenge too. Which also includes challenging myself to get up earlier to enjoy the quiet time.

Serendip

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2018, 10:00:16 AM »
I'll join as I've already signed up for Sharon's course.

 I started a consistent daily mediation practice for 2018 (missed 1 morning so far due to a course I was in and the excitement surrounding it!) but so far it's been 25 days.
I love it, even though it's astonishing how utterly distracted my mind is.

Cezilous

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2018, 10:03:02 AM »
I'm in.  I've been on/off meditating for years.  I decided in October to take it seriously, for reasons, and have been meditating almost daily since then, for about 20 minutes.  If anything, I feel like I'm going in the wrong direction (not sure if that's how this works), so perhaps this will help me out.  Thank you for sharing!

kaleidoscopicalkris

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2018, 11:13:51 AM »
I'm in! One of my goals for the new year has been to try and meditate/find quiet time, but school starting totally threw me off track. Hopefully this helps me figure it out, and the daily reminder email is one of the best ways for me to remember things.

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2018, 11:54:08 AM »
Awesome! Glad to see (read?) you all!

This is part of my plan/challenge as well (I am not a morning person so we'll see how it goes):
Iím in for the challenge too. Which also includes challenging myself to get up earlier to enjoy the quiet time.

Urchina

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2018, 08:10:08 AM »
I'm in.  I use and enjoy the Heads pace app, and would like to make this a daily practice.  I'll use this month to try different times to sit each day and see what works best for me.

EmFrugal

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2018, 12:49:02 PM »
I'm so glad you posted this. I read the Real Happiness book not long ago and it really transformed my practice. It basically taught me how to meditate on my own. Meditation is one of those things that evolves over time but it is incredibly life changing, especially once you do it consistently. Your patience levels increase drastically and the little things that stress you out or bother you, no longer matter. You basically get to the point where life is filled with mostly the things you value and the stressors (while still there) no longer take up as much of your mental energy.

That being said, I signed myself up for the Feb Challenge just now because I started feeling so good from my consistent practice that I got lazy the last few weeks and stopped doing it! And oh man do I feel the negative effects. I'm grumpy, emotional, and starting to get insecure. I know how incredibly important meditation is but I need to start sitting consistently again to reap the benefits.

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2018, 03:58:20 PM »
I'm so glad you posted this. I read the Real Happiness book not long ago and it really transformed my practice. It basically taught me how to meditate on my own. Meditation is one of those things that evolves over time but it is incredibly life changing, especially once you do it consistently. Your patience levels increase drastically and the little things that stress you out or bother you, no longer matter. You basically get to the point where life is filled with mostly the things you value and the stressors (while still there) no longer take up as much of your mental energy.

That being said, I signed myself up for the Feb Challenge just now because I started feeling so good from my consistent practice that I got lazy the last few weeks and stopped doing it! And oh man do I feel the negative effects. I'm grumpy, emotional, and starting to get insecure. I know how incredibly important meditation is but I need to start sitting consistently again to reap the benefits.

So good to hear! I picked up the book from the library about an hour ago and am looking forward to starting it tonight.

missmodular

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2018, 07:05:01 PM »
I'm in! I've had a pretty inconsistent practice in the last year or so (like 3-4 times/week), but I really need to make it an everyday habit.

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2018, 05:29:28 AM »
Day 1 is in the books. I managed to get up early, did the guided meditation, and then meditated awhile longer. Per a suggestion in the book, I'm keeping a short log of how I feel during meditation (e.g., "energized") and then will jot down a few words of how I feel at the end of the day.

One thing I immediately noticed was the calm I had post-meditation evaporated the moment I reached for my blackberry to see what came in overnight. There was nothing important in there, but the anticipation of something stressful threw off my mojo. I got some of the calm back when I was holding my kid in his quiet, dark room as he woke up.

Nancy

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2018, 07:08:44 AM »
Count me in!

katscratch

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2018, 10:49:28 AM »
I signed up. I've used guided meditations to help me fall asleep before, but only once on a day last summer have I "successfully" meditated just to do it. I know it helps me and even my internal medicine doctor recommends meditation as a routine practice.

Thank you for sharing this; I haven't heard of this book and it sounds great.

DTaggart

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2018, 08:04:05 PM »
Day 1 complete! Had to squeeze it in in the evening, but I'm hoping I can make it a morning habit going forward. It was my last day at work today so my brain's been racing, I definitely need some consistent practice.

SlowlyButSurely

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2018, 09:59:00 PM »
I'm so glad I saw this before they closed the registration! I've been trying on an off to get a daily practice to stick, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm looking forward to trying again, and this will be some nice external accountability.

I've actually been planning to make 2018 the year of meditation experimentation. I've been looking at various intro classes in my local area, with the idea of trying out a few of them to see if any feel like a good fit. I did my first all-day class last Saturday. We alternated between sitting, walking meditation and some lectures. It was a lot for a beginner, but I felt great at the end of it. The best analogy I can come up with is that it felt like I'd gotten a massage, but starting from the inside out. I'm curious to see if that feeling turns out to have been a one-off, or if it happens again.

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2018, 04:56:20 AM »
Welcome newcomers! Glad to have you here!

Day 2 is a sound meditation, which I struggled with because apparently there is no sound at 6am in my suburb(?). Or at least none I can hear inside my house. I kept wanting to focus on my breath, but I tried to stay open for sounds. Still good to know how to do sound meditation, but I'm not sure I got much out of this morning's practice.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2018, 07:33:28 AM »
Cool! I really like Salzberg and I'm sure she'll throw in some loving kindness meditation which I sorely need to practice these days. I have a pretty much daily practice, but I think that you need instruction from time to time to get more out of it. Thanks for posting this.

Caoineag

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2018, 07:40:27 AM »
I am relatively new to meditation but Day 1 (Breathe) and Day 2 (Sound) are the two forms I have actually done before. I actually do really well with focusing on sound and use it as my preferred meditation form (especially when I am outside). It will be interesting to see the other lessons (I have been reading the transcripts since I prefer that to listening, the human voice early in the morning triggers rage, not peace for me).

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2018, 09:26:58 PM »
I'm in. I liked the sound meditation a lot. I find that focusing on my breath makes me hyperventilate. I went outside and it was lovely (but cold!). I am grateful to live in a very rural place where almost every noise comes from nature.


Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2018, 08:04:14 AM »
I've done this for two days now and I really appreciate the tips and Salzberg's calming voice. I need to go back and do the first two days, maybe in the evenings this week. Today's (day 5) was especially good, reminding us to go easy on ourselves and not be too judgey when our minds wander (or any other time either). For many many years I just didn't understand this about meditation, that it was okay when your mind went monkey on you because it happens to every mind. I think a lot of people who think they can't meditate don't realize that it's such a forgiving practice.

How is it going for everybody else?

Serendip

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2018, 12:31:19 PM »
I've done this for two days now and I really appreciate the tips and Salzberg's calming voice. I need to go back and do the first two days, maybe in the evenings this week. Today's (day 5) was especially good, reminding us to go easy on ourselves and not be too judgey when our minds wander (or any other time either). For many many years I just didn't understand this about meditation, that it was okay when your mind went monkey on you because it happens to every mind. I think a lot of people who think they can't meditate don't realize that it's such a forgiving practice.

How is it going for everybody else?

So true, I love the idea that the moment you notice you've drifted is the 'magic moment' when you can choose to respond kindly to yourself.
I have been enjoying it so far, she is fantastic--they are simple and I always end up wishing they were longer!

meghan88

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2018, 12:38:14 PM »
Meditation is something that I know that I need to learn how to do, but can never really get into.

Even when I try to do breathing exercises, I can count to maybe 8 breaths at most until I lose focus.

I heard about a book called "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" and it sounds perfect for me, but I'm too fidgety and skeptical to track it down ...

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2018, 01:23:20 PM »
Yes, I enjoyed today's too. I am daydreamer by nature and spend a lot of time lost in thought of futures that will never exist. It's one reason that meditation is both challenging and important for me. The reminder to be gentle with aspect of myself is helpful.

I also wish they were longer, but enjoy the time I take after the guided meditation ends to really practice concentration. In the book, she recommends 20 minute sessions. I'm not up to that yet, but do between 10-15.

Serendip

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2018, 09:19:18 PM »
Meditation is something that I know that I need to learn how to do, but can never really get into.

Even when I try to do breathing exercises, I can count to maybe 8 breaths at most until I lose focus.

I heard about a book called "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" and it sounds perfect for me, but I'm too fidgety and skeptical to track it down ...

Heard an interesting interview/podcast : one person, a long-time meditator, said something along the lines of "it is usually beginners who think that doing only 5 minutes of meditation before getting distracted is a weakness,but  once you have been meditating a while (years even), you recognize that actually being able to do 5 conscious breaths is a real accomplishment" !!

I loved this idea..
the more you meditate, the more you can notice distractions and just guide yourself back vs thinking it's a failure. Ha, perfect.
Meghan88:  fidget and be skeptical..we all start here and 8 breaths is pretty darn good.

palebluedot

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2018, 06:24:24 PM »
Meditation is something that I know that I need to learn how to do, but can never really get into.

Even when I try to do breathing exercises, I can count to maybe 8 breaths at most until I lose focus.

I heard about a book called "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" and it sounds perfect for me, but I'm too fidgety and skeptical to track it down ...

It's a common misconception that if you lose focus when meditating that you're doing it wrong. If you are becoming AWARE that you are losing focus, this is good progress!! That's exactly what mindfulness meditation is. As soon as you lose concentration, observe it, and then use your anchor (breath in this case) to return to it.

The course I took was Camp Calm a couple years ago. I've established a consistent meditation session since.
http://campcalm.com/blog/

katscratch

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2018, 07:14:15 AM »
I'm struggling with finding time to do this without being a time of day I fall asleep! I think I may start over on the weekend.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2018, 07:28:29 AM »
Several of you have mentioned her book, but my libraries don't seem to have it. Would you say it's worth purchasing? Does it come with a cd/dvd of the guided meditations?

Caoineag

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2018, 07:48:18 AM »
I'm struggling with finding time to do this without being a time of day I fall asleep! I think I may start over on the weekend.

Today's walking meditation at least shouldn't put you to sleep...

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2018, 03:20:23 PM »
Several of you have mentioned her book, but my libraries don't seem to have it. Would you say it's worth purchasing? Does it come with a cd/dvd of the guided meditations?

It comes with a CD with guided meditations (different than the ones from the challenge). I enjoyed it and would consider purchasing it.

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2018, 03:21:17 PM »
@palebluedot, I read your username in Carl Sagan's voice, and it makes me happy.

EmFrugal

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2018, 11:11:22 AM »
I have to confess that I haven't been doing the emailed meditations, but I have been sitting daily for anywhere from 5-20 minutes. I tend to just do a breath meditation. Some sessions are great. Others, I am super distracted. And I've been doing this for a half year now.

For those of you who say you're too fidgety, you're not. Random thoughts happen for everyone. Some sessions feel like pure torture. Others are pure bliss. It just takes lots of consistency, so keep at it.

I definitely recommend buying the Real Happiness book if your library doesn't have it. I think it's about $7 on Amazon. I Ioved it so much I'm considering buying it for my house.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2018, 11:31:49 AM »
Several of you have mentioned her book, but my libraries don't seem to have it. Would you say it's worth purchasing? Does it come with a cd/dvd of the guided meditations?

It comes with a CD with guided meditations (different than the ones from the challenge). I enjoyed it and would consider purchasing it.

Good to know! Thanks!

Serendip

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2018, 05:12:06 PM »
Just saw this posted from a fellow/podcaster I regularly listen to..
it's the fidgety skeptic meditator!  Haven't listened yet but hopefully this weekend.
:)
http://www.richroll.com/podcast/dan-harris-2/

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2018, 05:41:41 PM »
Just saw this posted from a fellow/podcaster I regularly listen to..
it's the fidgety skeptic meditator!  Haven't listened yet but hopefully this weekend.
:)
http://www.richroll.com/podcast/dan-harris-2/

I read Dan Harris' book, 10% Happier, last year and found it thoroughly enjoyable. I may check out the new one as well at some point. Thanks!

palebluedot

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2018, 09:53:04 PM »
@palebluedot, I read your username in Carl Sagan's voice, and it makes me happy.

Right on! Reading things in Sagan's voice makes everything better. I recently made a wallpaper for my phone with just a quote from Carl. I deleted all my home apps and keep a clean page. I attached it if you want to use it (or if you need a customized made let me know) :-)

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2018, 04:12:28 PM »
@palebluedot, I read your username in Carl Sagan's voice, and it makes me happy.

Right on! Reading things in Sagan's voice makes everything better. I recently made a wallpaper for my phone with just a quote from Carl. I deleted all my home apps and keep a clean page. I attached it if you want to use it (or if you need a customized made let me know) :-)

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2018, 06:46:56 PM »
We're into week 3! This is the week I'm most excited about since I think I could benefit a lot from better awareness of my emotions.

I'm also starting to think about keeping my practice going after this ends. A friend recommended a free app called Insight Timer. I installed it, and you can select a guided meditation by length and type or just use a timer. Looking forward to trying it iout!

Serendip

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2018, 09:55:12 PM »
wordnerd--I LOVE insight timer :)

It's got a great variety of guided meditations and also nice to have the timer option. I've been using it for a while and it's my favorite app although I wanted to check out the 10% happier one as well.

I've noticed that as I try to increase meditation time that I feel like my brain is getting louder rather than quieter.

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2018, 06:41:25 AM »
Serendip--glad to hear it works for you.

And, interesting about increasing meditation time. I have noticed that a bit, though my sessions aren't particularly long at this point. To put in economic terms, it seems like there are diminishing marginal returns to increased time meditating and, at some point, the returns turn negative. Or maybe, I just don't understand meditating yet. :)

katscratch

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2018, 10:37:48 AM »
I'm still reading all the emails even though I haven't completed the exercises on the day they are published. I really love how her challenge is laid out, and how she writes.

wordnerd

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2018, 02:33:34 PM »
I've really enjoyed them too and think I've learned a lot. I'm also a lot less anxious than usual (though that may have to do with impending FIRE ;)). In all, it's been quite worthwhile for me, and I hope it has been for others as well.

Now, to keep it going...
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 02:39:40 PM by wordnerd »

Serendip

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Re: February Meditation Challenge
« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2018, 02:42:11 PM »
Serendip--glad to hear it works for you.

And, interesting about increasing meditation time. I have noticed that a bit, though my sessions aren't particularly long at this point. To put in economic terms, it seems like there are diminishing marginal returns to increased time meditating and, at some point, the returns turn negative. Or maybe, I just don't understand meditating yet. :)

I think for me, it's more that longer time unmasks my inner chatterer!

If I stick with short periods, I notice my distraction but it doesn't seem too bothersome..if I am trying to do 20-30 minutes, all of a sudden I realize I am TOTALLY lost in thought, planning, re-playing, ruminating, etc :)

and if I try longer..then I get frustrated.
Another lesson.

 Little by little. Learning a lot.
Learning that I am not always so gentle with myself. This is a goal.

I previously had signed up for a Vipassana retreat (10 days of silent meditation)..so I am reminding myself that this is much less hard-core than that would have been.