Tag Archives: habit

Summer Resolution: Meditate!

Do you make “summer resolutions”? I do. New Year’s resolutions rarely work out for me because I’m too busy thinking about my spring semester teaching assignment. Summer, on the other hand, is always a time when I can imagine turning over a new leaf, picking up a neglected project, and trying to replace some unhelpful habits (not sleeping enough, not getting enough exercise, …) with helpful ones.

If you have been thinking “I’d like to get into the habit of meditating more often” then maybe summer is just the right time to get started. You can start small. There’s an opportunity every day for a 1 minute mindfulness break. It might be right after you pull into your parking place. Or right after you sit down at your desk. Or the minute before you go back into your office after lunch. One minute of pausing, stopping physical activity, and just noticing what is going on now (I trigger this by saying “just this” in my head) could be just the break your day needs. It could also be the way to (re)launch a meditation practice.

And, of course, you are more than welcome to join me and others in the Eliot chapel on Tuesdays this summer beginning tomorrow for a longer sit. Drop in when you can. Stay as long as your schedule allows. When its time to leave, just get up and go. Nothing to worry about. I’m just glad you can join us.

Have a peaceful, restorative, and happy summer,
Alan

Need more encouragement? Related reading: 5 reasons you didn’t meditate today + 1 more
Ready to try meditation right now? Sit up straight. Click on this link for a 3 minute guided meditation. We have even more resources for you on our Sit Now and Resources pages.

5 Reasons You Didn’t Meditate Today + 1 More

Sometimes this blog just writes itself.

Today I found this link in my inbox: “5 Reasons You (And Everyone Else) Are Having a Hard Time Meditating” (Trike Daily, 12 Jan 2018). So, rather than draw this out, just follow my link and see for yourself what these folks imagined might be getting in your way.

Reluctant to open another tab on your web browser? I get that feeling a lot. Here’s their list of 5 reasons plus one more that I thought up all by myself. But why dwell on the obstacles? Go to their site and see what you can do about these things. Happy meditating!

  1. How do I find time to meditate?
  2. Will people think I’m weird?
  3. Meditation could bring up too many painful emotions.
  4. Meditation could make me too soft.
  5. Something else is my meditation.
  6. (Alan’s favorite) I meant to meditate, but I forgot. =)

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Ending Digital Distraction in 2018?

Could this be the year we put an end to digital distractions in our lives? If my own life is any indication, I strongly doubt it.

I crossed the Rubicon this month and purchased my first (yes, first!) smartphone. I had been living quite happily with a flip phone for a dozen years or more, and a ‘hockey puck’ for another dozen before that. I carried Flippy only for emergencies and the occasional out-of-town trip so my family knew better than to call me. But we’re considering cutting the landline at long last and the unlimited calls/text option on my flip phone was more expensive than adding a smartphone to my wife’s plan.

One of the first things I did with my new smartphone was to delete most of the apps. I needed a phone, not another device, but then the trouble started. The phone was in my briefcase. As I went about my day I discovered that my digital decision tree had subtly changed. Work on the laptop, the tablet, or … the phone? Yikes! I hadn’t expected this.

Here are 4 recent news articles, all fairly breezy, about digital distractions of one sort or another. Take your pick. Continue reading

2017 Resolutions – Patience & Equanimity

Last night I sat at the dining room table making a list of things that I needed to do today. As I wrote a few items down, new things, some that had been nagging me for days, even weeks, started to crowd around, demanding to be added to my list. So many things to do.

The ultimate To-Do’s, of course, are my New Year’s resolutions. Like everyone else, I tend to treat my life as a Personal Improvement Project. Just a little thinking about the ways I might improve myself in 2017 has unleashed a flood of ideas: eat better, get more exercise, get more sleep, go to bed earlier, pick up the flute I used to play, pay and file bills more regularly, get my finances in order, clean the house regularly, … and I was just getting started.

So, before your New Year resolve flies out the window, here’s a much shorter list of resolutions inspired by a David Nichtern‘s 2011 New Year’s Resolution published in the Huffington Post:

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New Year’s Resolution – A Little Time Every Day (Or So)

“You may start each day intending to spend half an hour on your zafu, practice walking meditation in the park, or write three haikus capturing the essence of your insights. But you’re out of yogurt and broccoli, there are 237 unread emails in your inbox, your taxes were due last week, and your child has knocked out a tooth skateboarding or needs you to buy Japanese print fabric for a history project. So you put off meditating or working on your memoir for one more day. And then one more.” writes Anne Cushman (Lion’s Roar, 4 Jan 2016).

If this sounds like you, don’t worry. Anne has a 6 step plan for getting you to your daily goal. The steps are: Continue reading