Saturday, January 29, 2011

January Round-Up

There's just two more days of this month and the "sitting challenge," before we move on to a whole new Daily Practice. I'd love to hear from those of you who had committed to sitting every day as to how it went. What kind of resistances did you find? Were you able to begin again if you missed a day or two or three? What keeps you from sitting when it's something you want to do?

I'll be posting a new practice for February tomorrow morning, but I do hope that you will continue to sit every day. And remember, consistency is perhaps more important than the quantity of time you put in. While it seems that for most of us, a good solid 15 - 20 minutes is a good minimum for touching the stillness that is possible to touch in sitting practice, it is still better to sit every day for five minutes than for one or two or three times a week for an hour.

Thank you for practicing!

frank jude


  1. in these winter months i have shifted my night time routine, turning off the telly much earlier and sitting. i have been taking part in deepak chopra's 21 day meditation sit before i sit for longer. deepak's meditations are not meditations as i am used to, they seem to me more along the lines of a spa like relaxation with a lot of words and a lot of cheesy music. this is supposed to be an introduction to meditation and their 'version' of mindfulness is about being aware of everything, sounds, feelings, mental thoughts, it's an interesting 'take' on mindfulness. i sit for their meditation and then sit for my still meditation. There are some nights when i get caught up in my mind and what ifs and what will be and things that have happened during the day, which usually have caused me annoyances (why is it never the good things i ruminate on?) and then there are the meditations that i am present with my breath, i feel more of an energy flow and notice subtle shifts in my body and in my mind and there is less of the shifting mind and tangents.. i feel more at ease more distanced from things, not distanced but less attached less emotional, less quick to respond to things,
    i am still using the gatas before bed and when waking up and the drinking water gata all of which 'remind' me to be more aware.

    at work one of my jobs it to wash the forks, knives and spoons and cups of my 14 children I LOVE this opportunity to be with each utensil, to be in the moment and wash each item as if it were a baby

    of course there are moments when i get caught up in my annoyances with other people, and i get stuck in the future, and find myself quick to anger, but i have noticed this practice has given me pause in life

    i have also been reading and re reading and re re reading the chapters in freeing the body freeing the mind and as i read your commentary and other people's questions i notice how i tend to think less of myself for not having the same questions, or not 'getting' the points made by your frank or by others. i tend to think of myself as 'the dumb blonde' (though i am not blonde and this is a term i use a lot about myself) who sees things on the superficial level... why do i jump to berating myself? why do i expect myself to know what frank knows? we are different humans and we all have things we know more about and this is why i joined this sangha... i can say for sure this journey has opened up my life on so many levels. all of which i am thankful for

  2. Interesting how much more I can follow through on a commitment when it's made not just to myself. For example, I'm much more likely to work out if I join a gym than just practice at home. I have found with surprise that I have developed a habit of daily sitting meditation! I do so in the open space of my living room before the others in our home awaken, and I have found myself agitated when I'm almost "done" but I hear stirrings in the house. Good yeast for the practice.

    I've also met a new "friend" through my morning practice: the air traffic controller. In my workday I teach elementary school, and so am habituated to nearly constant decision-making, analyzing, etc. What I've begun to notice during practice is the tendency to slip into problem-solving mode. Or, I'll have what feels deceptively like a "really great idea" followed by the urge to get up and write it down before it evaporates. All really interesting.

  3. Sam,

    Your opening sentence resounds with something I often speak about: in Buddhism we call it "Vow Power." I may have the desire to commit to something, but if I keep it to myself, I am less likely to actually follow through than if I tell even just one person (such as my wife!).

    And, that 'air traffic controller?' I think I know him too!

    Thanks for sharing your comments!

  4. I can relate to both Sara and Sam here. Sometimes I just don't know what to say to the ideas expressed in the book and by Frank and other posters. And I get impatient to understand more fully. This is so much like learning a new language...all the nuances of words and meanings.
    And I committed to a daily sit when I first took the Mindfulness Yoga class in the fall. Of course I've missed a day here and there.
    Usually if I miss it's because I slept in. I rarely get to sleep in - maybe once a month. And so if I get up too late and the house is already going then I figure no way can I find stillness :-)
    I too like to sit in the living room and I used to get a bit irritated when the family got up earlier than usual. But now I've gotten a lot more relaxed about it. Sometimes the cat sits with me and lately, if I'm really fortunate my 10 year old son joins me for 10 minutes of the sit.
    I too also slip into the problem solving mode too often. And it is tempting to let that thought train run because truly i've come up with some pretty good solutions while sitting. And sometimes some creative ideas just seem to pop up out of nowhere. How can I just let those go??! lol