- The Meditation Challenge
In a recent coaching post I created a meditation assignment for an LBS. I think the meditation challenge I assigned is a great exercise for everyone.
For the next month set aside a minimum of 15 minutes—preferably 30 or even more—for meditation every day. Spend 15 minutes meditating. I recommend you set aside more time because you can enhance your sacred time by creating some rituals to go with it. Create a preparation ritual and an ending ritual that come before and after your meditation time. You can choose a variety of different techniques and tools but make at least 50% empty-mind meditations where you are not thinking of a thought, word, idea…
Start now—today if you reading this in the morning. You can use candles, incense, aromatherapy…to enhance the mood and experience. You can use sensory objects such as beads, visual objects that are not the television or computer—or you can close your eyes, audio should have no words other than chanting and should not have a tune or beat. But do it. Find a comfortable place when and where you will not be disturbed.
After the month is complete, keep going! This is your sacred time and space; honor yourself with it.
Some people like to use special tools such as Tarot or I-Ching. Some consider these tools divinatory, whereas others use them as a meditative focus to break up thinking. In this exercise use these tools to enhance your meditation and shift your thought patterns rather than as predictive tools. Use these tools as part of your sacred time no more than once a week. You can create a specific ritual around them that is different than your other meditation rituals. If you use the tools, consider using your first 15 minutes of meditation as a preparation before using the tools.
It has become popular to use the tools through online resources. I strongly urge against doing that as a part of this challenge. I recommend you only use electronics for listening to audio such as meditation music.
The I-Ching, for example has a variety of casting methods. Read about each and choose one. Have a book on the specific tool available for reference.
This challenge is not about asking what something means or what you should do. Just cast and contemplate the meaning of the symbols and metaphors rather than trying to interpret.
Consider journaling as a part of your ending ritual. Or you can start and end with journaling if you would like. Also, record your Tool sessions if you do them. At the end of the month you can reassess if you feel ready, or continue. You may want to change the ritual, while continuing the challenge. At that time you may want to review your journal and previous readings, or not—I don’t tend to review. Instead I assess the present rather than the journey that got me there, but do whatever feels right.
If you are on the forum, you can use your thread as your journal, but during your sacred space no electronics (except audio) allowed!!! So journal later or earlier and later. Do what feels right, but I am not personally recommending you journal on the forum because these journals are not meant to be discussed and considered or analyzed. They are meant as a free-flow of thought and in the forums people want to respond and be helpful. But sometimes that just puts us back into thinking mode and that is not where you need to be. So use your thread if you want to, but you may want to put a disclaimer at the top of each post about it being a journal that is not meant for responsive discussion.
I wrote several articles about Redirecting and Reprogramming thoughts which reviewed a variety of techniques including meditation. Over the next few days or weeks I will begin to transfer those former newsletter articles to posts here on the blog.
Try the challenge and let’s talk about your results.
Are you creating the time and space to dedicate?
Do you feel stiff and want to move around when still?
Is your mind quiet or active?
There are no wrong answers, mine is active!
Is this scary or peaceful?
How are your answers to these questions changing as the month-long challenge progresses?