30 Day Meditation Challenge
Ten minutes a day. Every day. For thirty days.
Can you do it?
Can you meditate for at least ten minutes a day, for thirty days in a row?
Challenge yourself to actually stop everything you are doing and complete a seated meditation practice, once a day. Aim for at least ten minutes a day.
It’s a lot harder than it sounds! But when people can’t manage to do this, it’s not about the time. We ALL have ten minutes that we could carve out of the 960 minutes that we’re awake each day (that’s if you sleep a full eight hours…). Ten minutes is nothing…
Meditation is good for the brain and body. It can help us reduce stress and anxiety, and increase self-awareness, creativity, problem solving skills, memory, and emotional well-being. There’s plenty of evidence pouring in about how meditating each day can give us an edge. It’s free. It’s fast. It takes zero skill (practicing it is actually doing it -- so even a beginner is meditating the first time they attempt it).
Even though it’s free, easy to do, and takes a short amount of time, lots of us find excuses not to keep up a regular practice. Myself included. So this month, for thirty days, I’ll meditate every day.
Do you want to join me?
Here’s the technique I am going to use. You can use it too, or choose your own way of meditating.
‘Hear Out’ Meditation Technique
Meditation expert Shinzen Young teaches a way of practicing mindfulness that involves six sense categories: See In, See Out, Feel In, Feel Out, Hear In and Hear Out.
For a quick meditation technique that’s easy to learn, we’ll just focus on “Hear Out”. This sense category refers to sounds in the outer environment. An example is the sound of traffic outside of your window. I like this strategy because you don’t have to be in a silent or even quiet room to use it. You can hear sounds, and as long as you are focusing on them, you are meditating.
Here’s how to do this simple meditation:
Check the time. Note when the ten minute mark will be, or set a timer.
Sit with a straight spine.
Fold your hands in your lap.
Close your eyes.
Then, start listening to sounds.
When you focus on a sound, like the hum of the refrigerator, note, “hear out” mentally to yourself. Focus on the sound for a beat or two, and then move on to another sound.
Focus on the sound of water dripping from the faucet. Note “hear out” to yourself mentally. Just pay attention to that drip, drip, drip. Then, after a beat or two, move on to another sound. It might be the refrigerator motor again, or it could be something new.
If you start to get distracted by some mental noise, like a thought about an item on your to do list, just catch yourself when you can and go back to focusing on sounds.
That’s it! Simple, right?
I’ll leave you with two quotes. The first is from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience:
“Control of consciousness determines the quality of life.”
The second is from the Live Harder mission/philosophy:
“With constant growth and purposeful progression, we strive to create the best version of ourselves. This never ending challenge is what brings us together.”
Are you in for the 30 day meditation challenge?