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28-Day Meditation Challenge Day 14: "I Didn't Sign Up for This."

Earlier this week I was walking down a crowded sidewalk and overheard a young man, in a defeated tone, complaining to his friend: "I didn't sign no up for this," he snarled. 

I thought to myself this is exactly how I've felt in the past about my meditation practice. Witnessing the subtle moments of self-sabotage in my own mind has led to similar disheartening & discouraging sentiments. Who am I to take on all this mental junk?!
 
 
(photo by flickr user shazbot music)
 
In Week 2, just as in Week 1, the practice is in gently letting go of anything that is unessential in the present moment, with a bit more emphasis on the sensations of the body. Even if we catch a glimpse of our darker nature, we always have the opportunity to begin again, again, and again and again. Noticing a moment of reaction is the first step toward releasing the tangled energy that binds up our appreciation of life -- of the present moment.
 
"When we can't just let the moment in front of us be what it is (because we're afraid that if it's good, it will end too soon; if it's bad, it'll go on forever; and if it's neutral, it'll bore us to tears) we're out of balance. Mindfulness restores that balance, we catch our habitual reactions of clinging, condemning, and zoning out." - Sharon Salzberg, in Real Happiness
 
So if you are experience any sense of "I didn't sign-up for this" around meditation, you're not alone. Joy often rides the waves of sadness, and through meditation difficulties slowly dissolve into appreciation. Seeing our shadow-side is another opportunity for shifting our perspective, practicing kindness to ourselves, and returning to whatever is vital in our experience.

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IDP bloggers are taking part in Sharon Salzberg's 28-Day Meditation Challenge, based on her book Real Happiness. Learn more, read about other people's experiences, or join in here.

Patrick Groneman is a meditation coach, artist, and aspiring organic gardener. He is the former director of the Interdependence Project and has a special interest in applying the practice of mindfulness to everyday life. He currently lives in Ireland and New York City
 
You can keep up with his blog and learn more about his coaching services at livingwithmindfulness.com
 
 
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Photo used under Creative Commons License - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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