Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Meditation Challenge

 Meditation is a wonderful way to clear your head and relax. There are many benefits from mediation, including reducing stress, increasing blood flow while slowing the heart, and more self-confidence. However, anyone who has ever meditated will tell you, it's hard. It seems like it's easy but it can be incredibly hard to sit, breathe, and just be.

I've dabbled in meditation off and on for well over a year now but I can't seem to get in the habit of meditating everyday. Seriously, it's so spontaneous I hardly count it as true meditation experience. I always say that I am going to get up 10 minutes earlier and do it....and then I just hit the snooze button again!

We went to Boemeosa temple in Busan last Sunday. It's the most famous temple in Busan and it's comprised of many buildings, all beautifully painted. There is a mediation area with cushions to sit on and a big gold Buddha against one wall. There are prayers hanging from the ceiling and incense burning. Sometimes there is chanting or singing too. It's a very relaxing and spiritual place.

We sat there for about 10 minutes and I meditated.  

It was the best meditation experience I have ever had. 

I felt such peace and love. It was a level of relaxation and comfort I'd yet to feel since moving to South Korea. I know this is a bit strange, but I felt like I was connecting with my soul. I was whole and one with myself. I was so happy and completely in the moment. I felt that natural high throughout the whole rest of the day!

While we were walking down the mountain away from the temple, I thought to myself, "I need to stop making excuses and meditate more. I am the only one holding me back." I figured what better way to hold myself accountable than to blog about it. Instead of just keeping it to myself like I had always done before, I decided to tell everyone I know of my plan.

So here it is:
My very own meditation challenge!

I've read up on meditation and it's not something you can see results from right away. Meditation takes patience (which I need to work on!) and dedication. Just meditating for a week won't be worth it. That's why I've decided to make this a three month challenge. Then I will re-assess myself -- see how I feel and if I want to continue with the practice. 

Here are the deets:

meditate every day for 10 minutes a day for one week (August 17-24)
increase to 15 minutes for two weeks (August 25-September 8)
increase to 20 minutes for two weeks (September 9-23)
increase to 25 minutes for two weeks (September 24-October 8)

change to twice a day, 15 minutes each for two weeks (October 9-23)
increase to 20 minutes, twice a day, for two weeks (October 24-November 7)
increase to 25 minutes, twice a day, for two weeks (November 8-22)

I will be blogging throughout the challenge on my various experiences. I hope to write about difficulties and challenges as well as accomplishments. I know there will be days that I just don't want to meditate or think I just don't have time and I'll write about that too (and hopefully still meditate!). I'm serious about starting a practice of meditation but I know meditation doesn't always have to be serious so I hope to find some humor in this experience too!

If you've always wanted to start meditating and need a sign, THIS is it! Do this challenge with me! 

I would really love to have some buddies to share experiences with so if you're interested, please email me at maggieehigh (at) gmail (dot) com

much love and namaste,


p.s. If you are very new to meditating, here are some links to guide you through the basics: Meditation 101 from Yoga Journal, How to Start Meditating from Big Happy Buddha, new to meditation...some basic questions from Reddit

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