30 Day Challenge – 20 Minute Daily Meditation

Whist at a workshop over the weekend there was a discussion about getting outside your comfort zone and trying something new.

The following TED talk by Matt Cutts was then played:

This got me thinking…

First of all, a bit of background…

Back in January when away on my house sitting trip down south, I had planned to stay with one of my ‘mindfulness‘ buddies Jean (we met at a retreat years back) on my arrival on Tuesday, then stay with another couple of friends down in West Cork before hitting Kinsale where I was to house sit for 9 days.

I thought once I got to Kinsale, it would just be me, the house, Bongo the dog and Wasabi the cat.

However Jean told me on Tuesday that another good friend of ours Gavin / Br. Gavs / Br. Dao Kien (he is on a 5 year monastic programme in France) was visiting family in Cork and that the Cork Sangha gang (mediation group) were getting together on Sunday for a dinner before Sangha in the evening.

I thought, YAY, I’ll come up to Cork, surprise Br. Gavs and the rest of the crew.

When I arrived it was awesome… lots of people I know but hardly ever see. It was a super lovely night 😀

Later that night Br. Gavs said to me about another Sangha happening on Tuesday night.

So off I went up to Cork city (half an hour drive from Kinsale) again a few days later.

Following the Sangha on Tuesday (after surprising another few people), myself, Br. Gavs and an old good friend of mine Sarah Jane went for hot chocolate and chats.

It was there whilst sipping on my yummy hot chocolate and listening to Sarah Jane talking about how much a daily meditation practice influences her life in a positive way,

that I knew this was something I had to do too.

I had been sitting on and off …. sometimes just 5 or 10 minutes, sometimes not at all.

I did try to make it a consistent practice upon my arrival home from Plum Village (the mindfulness/Buddhist practice centre in France) last year, however my sits lapsed when the anxiety and depression took over.

But this time, listening to those guys, deep down in the pit of my belly, I knew that committing to a practice would be really really good for me and my mental health.

Later that week I met with few Sangha friends again and ended up going to another couple of Sanghas before my Kinsale house sit was over…

… Annnnd I was also in contact with another Brother from Plum Village about his future travels to Ireland!

It was like Plum Village, Sanghas and Meditation, were all calling me.

The universe was guiding me 🙂

The first week and a half/ 2 weeks back in Dublin I made a conscious effort to sit daily … and I felt more grounded and at peace for doing so.

Though soon after I stopped when something uncomfortable came up at work.

…. and I felt the difference… I just wasn’t as at peace in myself.

My practice has been on and off a little since… the days I do, I feel better in myself.

So, as of today, I’m gonna commit to 30 days, 20 minutes a day.

I do know that at the end of this 30 day stretch it will be Paddy’s Weekend here in Ireland and I am heading away for a friends birthday so for 2 or 3 of those days, I may do a much shorter sit.

So I’m going to be gentle towards myself about this… and at the same time, do my best to stick to this commitment.

I’ll update in 30 days 🙂

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