28-Day Meditation Challenge: Day 1, Setting a Goal

I am participating in Sharon Salzberg’s 28-day meditation challenge as part of the Brooklyn Yoga School team. I’ll be cross-posting between and there as I re-commence my meditation practice. Here’s my first post over there:

As I start this challenge, my goal is to make my meditation practice regular since I’ve been meditating on-off for three years.

When I say I’m an on-off meditator, I am admitting that sometimes days or weeks will go by and I miss those minutes of quiet time with myself. When I meditate regularly, at the same time every day, I feel calm, am centered, am ready to meet any challenge head on, and I know — yes I know — how it is good for me.

When I started meditating, I knew I wanted to make some changes in my life, wanted to work through old issues. Meditation became a way to prepare myself for change and to let go of those issues.

I remember an early yoga teachers telling us, “The purpose of yoga is to prepare the mind for meditation.” I do not practice yoga every day but before I sit, I do stretch, shake my arms and hands out, or will do a head or shoulder stand as a way of telling my mind that my body will need to still. Sitting then becomes easier even if I can’t focus on my breath, can’t get my mind to focus.

My other goal during this challenge will be meditating at a regular time. If I had my way, I’d meditate at 5:30 am and start my day knowing that I’ve taken time for myself. In the last few months I haven’t been able to sleep well enough to get up that early, so instead, I’ve been stopping everything at 11pm and meditate then.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll keep you posted on how this works out. What do you plan to do?