Thirty Day Meditation Challenge

JordanWriting. Practice.12 Comments

Meditation is one of those things people often think they “should” do but don’t know why, exactly. Not to mention it might feel like just another “something” to find time for. And then there’s that whole stopping one’s thoughts issue. At night it makes you fall asleep. Who has time in the morning? When things are tough, I think of it longingly as something I know will bring comfort, but rarely do it. When things are easy, I figure I don’t need it.

If these aren’t your thoughts on meditation, they’re some of the multitude I’ve had over the years as I’ve dipped in and out of a practice with no real consistency.

And then I read THIS article in the NYT:

Some of the choice tidbits included: “M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after the participants’ meditation regimen found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.”

Also: “It has been hard to pinpoint the benefits of meditation, but a 2009 study suggests that meditation may reduce blood pressure in patients with coronary heart disease. And a 2007 study found that meditators have longer attention spans.”

Whether you’re spiritually motivated, or just motivated to feel better, meditation seems to bridge the divide between the two. And because I love to challenge myself, I decided that I’d launch back into the process of stilling my mind, reducing my blood pressure and helping my concentration by doing a daily meditation and journaling challenge. Every day in September I’ll meditate for a minimum of 20 minutes at night and journal first thing in the morning. It’s my hope that, like exercise, this month-long challenge will kick into gear a life-long practice. And I hope some of you will join me. I’ll be blogging weekly about the process, about epiphanies and tips both from my own experience and the wisdom of those who have gone before me.

And I’ll tell you one last reason why I’m eager to meditate on a daily basis (I’ve been meditating on a weekly basis but not consistently, this past month): in that twenty minutes of silence and calm, I experience a feeling of pure joy that is disconnected from any event or person. I can’t explain it either—why should joy come to me while I’m sitting there doing nothing? I don’t know, but it does, without fail. No striving, no accomplishments or tasks to earn it, either. Just sitting, silently, with myself.

I’ll take more of that please. Hope you join in!

(That’s my son in the picture)

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If you like what you’ve read, you might enjoy my novel, Forged in Grace, my writing book Make a Scene, or my creativity guide with Rebecca Lawton, Write Free (purchase through one of us directly).

JordanThirty Day Meditation Challenge

12 Comments on “Thirty Day Meditation Challenge”

  1. Lauren Sisco

    You feel joy because that’s our true nature… When we drop all the chatter in our mind, the soul celebrates!

  2. Patricia Schiavone

    Yes! I badly needed this invitation to challenge myself. Thank you so much, Jordan.
    “See you” on Sunday. Only that I will do it in my morning, because at night I can’t manage to stay awake.

  3. Linda Simoni-Wastila

    Happy Birthday Jordan!

    I will take you up on your challenge to meditate daily during September. I do meditate, though not as often as I like or should, and have felt the need to do so more regularly. After a thirty minute session yesterday, I felt rejuvenated and less anxious. So yes–here’s to meditation! And to random acts of kindness. Peace…

  4. Sharon Lippincott

    Thank you for this invitation Jordan. It comes at an ideal time for me, having recently arrived at a similar conclusion. I’ve begun experimenting with binaural beats as a sleep aid. In just a few days I feel like a new person, so crutch though it may be, I shall use this technology to enhance meditation time. YouTube is packed with videos of varying lengths. Most have the advantage of videos for visual immersion as well. If you want to try this, search for “binaural delta wave” or “binaural beat meditation.” Delta wave frequencies are perfect for meditation. Be sure to use headphones with any binaural beat audio.

  5. Sharon Lippincott

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JORDAN! And calm down about any big changes when you turn forty. I didn’t consciously expect any at that point, but fell into a deep funk hole when nothing changed. Nothing changed on the next two Big Events either, and probably won’t in the impending third. Changes have happened, but not on or near birthdays. And the curmudgeonly stuff? Forget it! If you are joyful now, you’ll become more so. Listen to your body, not to doctors!

    Fiftieth anniversaries are different. Something did shift into an even more wonderful place at that point.

    Thank you for this meditation invitation. It comes at an ideal time for me, having recently arrived at a similar conclusion. I’ve begun experimenting with binaural beats as a sleep aid. In just a few days I feel like a new person, so crutch though it may be, I shall use this technology to enhance meditation time. YouTube is packed with videos of varying lengths. Most have the advantage of videos for visual immersion as well. If you want to try this, search for “binaural delta wave” or “binaural beat meditation.” Delta wave frequencies are perfect for meditation. Be sure to use headphones with any binaural beat audio.

  6. Ana Manwaring

    Jordan, meditation is the only way to stay sane! Unfortunately it’s the 3rd so I didn’t start on time (hey, story of my life!) but I’m going to go get quiet anyway.

    Happy birthday to you, Jordan! 39 IS NOT middle age! middle age starts at 50.

    I hope it was a lovely day,
    Ana

    1. Jordan

      Ana, we both know there’s really no competition. You can start whenever and it will be perfect. I’d like to think middle age begins at 50 but then that means I have to live to 100, and I’m not sure I want to

  7. Pingback: Day 5. On Vulnerability: My Soft Candy Center | Jordan Rosenfeld

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