If you haven’t noticed we yogadorks are huge fans of the Namaste Book Club! And so we are super thrilled to be a part of their great meditation challenge, ‘Meditate on This’, a month-long journey through daily meditation practice. Without too much YD yapping, we’ll just let Namaste Book Club founders, the fabulous Nancy Alder and Jenny Naes, tell you all about the experience, reflections, oh, and the prizes!
‘Meditate On This’:Reflections
by Nancy Alder and Jenny Naes
On September 10, 2009 Namaste Book Club officially launched our latest reader challenge: ‘Meditate on This’. In the month-long challenge, we asked our members to meditate every day from September 10 through October 10 and encouraged them to share their experiences on Twitter using hashtag #nbcmm. The challenge so far has been a wonderful success, with participants ranging from brand spanking new to meditation all the way to those with established daily meditation routines. While every participant truly wins this challenge by discovering peace and tranquility built from the inside out, Namaste Book Club is also randomly selecting two winners to receive one of two prizes: a YogaDork “Bailout” tee (donated graciously by member @gomelissago) OR a paperback copy of The Blooming of a Lotus: A Rev. Ed. Of the Classic Guided Meditation for Achieving the Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh (donated by Namaste Book Club).
As October 10th is just around the corner, our month of meditation challenge is drawing to a close. We’ve been thrilled by the response from #nbcmm participants and the tales shared of going inward in different places and in different ways. We have seen how this month has helped so many members stay focused on a daily meditation practice, and remark on how doing it with the group has further deepened their experience.
We’d like to hear from you!
Were you too shy to share via Twitter? Did you meditate every day and forget to tweet with the #nbcmm hashtag? Do you want to sing from the roof tops, in a quiet pensive way, about how it has affected your approach to meditation? Well here’s everybody’s chance!
In honor of the last ten days of ‘Meditate on This’, we have teamed up with YogaDork, upped the ante and are offering now a THIRD prize. With a nod to the profound affect the month of meditation has had upon us as leaders of the club, how it has been wonderful to share it with everyone, and with a big thank you to a suggestion from fellow yogadork @tweetsuzi, we picked a lovely book for our fourth reading. Upon conclusion of our third club selection, Hatha Yoga Pradikipa, we will read The Wisdom of No Escape and The Path of Loving Kindness by Pema Chödrön.
Win a copy of this book by simply adding a reflection about your monthly meditation below in the comments, describing how the challenge has affected you: positive, negative, majorly, not at all, etc. Share your tale with fellow #yogadorks (you can even be anonymous if you wish). Everyone adding a comment (excluding Nancy and Jenny) will be entered into a random drawing to win.
To get you motivated and inspired to share, we asked two members @jodim and @veganyogini to offer reflections about what the ‘Meditate on This’ challenge has meant to them and how it has affected their practices. Here are just a few testimonials from club members so far:
Jodi M (@jodim, www.iamblossoming.etsy.com) writes of her experience:
The month of meditation has kept meditation in my mind constantly. Sometimes I wonder if I can do driving meditation. Walking meditation. lying in bed meditation? It has been such a gift to know that others are striving toward the same goal, and to feel their energy. I bought a few books and try to read something about meditation every day. Some days I have formally meditated three times. Other days, it’s just a minute. But really, my blood pressure lowered, and I have felt more grounded. This makes me want to go on a vipassana retreat to see what would happen if I could really just shut up for ten days and see what happens. 🙂
Carrie K (@veganyogini, veganyogini.blogpsot.com & Louisville Vegan Examiner) already had an established daily meditation but shares how it transformed this past month:
As a frequent meditator before the challenge I can say that the challenge did open my eyes to various forms of meditation, as well as helped me to break free from my attachment to the time/place I meditated. Typically I would meditate at the same time in the same place each day. During the challenge I have broken free from that, and have begun to meditate more frequently, in various places, realizing that meditation doesn’t have to be siting on my cushion in my room, and for 30 minutes.. It’s drawn attention to how meditation affects my state of mind, and has lead me to see that even brief periods of thoroughly focused attention helps me to see the world through new eyes. Seeing all of the tweets from participants kept me going and reminded me to meditate frequently. Seeing that my Twitter community was meditating as well really made me feel connected, almost as if a group meditation was occuring, even when I was alone.
Jenny N (@evvashtangi, everythingflowsonward.wordpress.com, Namaste Book Club co-founder) had dabbled with meditation prior to the contest, but never consistently until the challenge began:
I had tried to maintain a daily meditation practice before, but I never stuck with it. I would start when my mind was in the right place, and stop when the meditation got “hard” (ie: I was finally sitting down face to face with my fears.) I was greatful for the opportunity this month to finally sit down with my fears instead of running from them. In the past month I realized that I gave my fears a lot of power, but through encouragement from my fellow twitter friends, I was able to deal with things that I’d been avoiding and recognizing that the things I’m afraid of do not have control of my life, only I do. I feel like I still have a ways to go with my personal meditation, although I’m proud to say that I have meditated every day and feel that I am really getting over the first hump in making meditation a daily habit. I have also noticed that my disposition has become calmer and I feel a stronger connection to those around me. This month, meditation has given me the gift of greater loving kindness, both towards myself and towards others, and for this I am full of gratitude.
Nancy N (@yoga_mydrishti, Hartford Yoga Examiner & YD contributor, Namaste Book Club co-founder) had some experience with meditation and drew further inspiration from the collective effort:
I am relatively new to a daily meditation practice mainly because I find it hard to have a few moments of quiet in my crazy life. Some days I haven’t been able to do it, honest truth, but knowing that others have and reading their tweets has given me peace. I have been able to find space that didn’t exist before we started. I have found quiet in my mind at all times of the day and in all sorts of random locations. I’ve learned that if I can do it anyone can. Finally, I know that I have a wonderful network of folks to turn to for inspiration if I need it.
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This meditation sharing has been wonderful. It’s taken what has been a kind of lonely pursuit and made it into an almost communal one. I look forward to sharing all my new discoveries with the group, and I learn new things to try by reading their Tweets.
And its all so immediate with Twitter. I once described the Yoga Journal Community as a big Coffeehouse where all your Yoga friends hang out. Same with Twitter, thanks to #yogadork and #nbcmm.
That said, there’s a wonderful passage in the Upanishads about a serious Yoga philosophy contest. The prize is a cow. When the eventual winner is asked how he has managed to become so wise about Yoga philosophy, he replies “I really want that cow”.
I love that Bob, thanks for all your inspiring tweets! Thanks to YD for letting us share our contest here and being such a great fan!
A few days before September 10th, I started my own challenge of a daily meditation practice for 40 days – to end October 20th. I had no idea this Namaste Book Club meditation had been happening simultaneously. For years I’ve struggled with trying to keep a steady practice, but this is the first time I’ve found the strength to push through, get up 20 minutes earlier – or carve out a place during my weekends, consistently. Could it be that I was tapping into this power without even realizing it? Maybe your group meditation reaches farther than you know.
I have been meditation since I came home from ny retreat in June. This gave me a boost to remeber that I still needed to be doing it everyday. I tried various types of meditations this month as well and realized that beyond sitting I was doin meditation in other ways as well. Like things I don’t generally like to such as sweeping and mopping my massive floors. I turned into a meditation and now I don’t hate to do them so much.
I praticed various mantras and types of meditation. I have a very stressful job as a commishioned sales person. This has taken some stress out or greatly reduced it.
Honestly there are times I would get up from meditation and be upset. Realizing things that I had been pushing to the side were the real problems that I should be working on, not only personally, but in my marriage, friendships, and ‘day’ job.
Meditation helps to quiet the mind and body so u can hear your heart. For me sometimes this hurts and isn’t pretty. But I know I must face these things to grow and be a better person. Namaste ashdyogi
Love Bob’s cow comment – often it boils down to motivation.
I have found most of my meditation comes when walking, running, or hiking. There is something about the great outdoors, tuning into nature, that heals my soul and helps connect me with who I really am. I can face my fears, calm my troubles, and gain perspective by noticing the changing seasons, the colour of the sky, the wind ruffling the leaves. Each time I breath easier and settle more into myself.
I huge thank you to my meditation partner, Buddy, my 7 years old Sharpei Cross, who insists on a daily practice.
The Namaste Book Club Meditation Month Challenge has been inspirational on so many levels- physical, mental, social and spiritual.
Being in contact with others on the challenge has physically supported me throughout the month with everyone’s presence. Hearing from others about their experiences kept me buoyant, whether it was hearing about them chanting while doing the dishes, grabbing a minute of meditation in the car park before shopping or working out what is the best time to meditate.
It’s been a mental challenge to write about my experience every day for a month. After the initial excitement and enthusiasm there came the discipline of going to the Tweetdeck, reflecting on the practice and writing something genuine that was a reflection of my practice and hopefully being of benefit to others. Remembering the meditation experience was also a challenge. Usually when I get off the mat I leave my meditation there but because of the challenge I carried the learning with me during the day.
It was spiritually nourishing being able to reflect on yesterday’s practice and last weeks practice and see the patterns of thought and memory. To notice the kinds of thoughts and the ways I responded to them gave me some great insights. During the month there were times where I could have written the same thing, such was the state of my mind. I thought my practice was routine and the same everyday but it wasn’t until writing about it that I realized how many different ways I practice, with/without pranayama, before/after asanas, in groups, by myself, after yoga Nidra – all became strikingly evident once I began to tweet about them.
And socially, I feel a deeper connection to all of you, the people I tweet to, those who popped up on the #nbcmm, the regulars, the one off Tweeters, the community, the shala. To be together practicing, writing and reflecting is satsang, a group of like minded people coming together to speak the truth. The month was made up of some many small truths that when viewed together have created a far greater truth than I think I can really understand right now.
Much love to everyone
The #nbcmm has been nice and consistent for me. It is something that has already been consistent in my life, but not something I always share with others. I think the camaraderie has been the best.
And as for Jodi I stay wary of driving meditation in a classical form but will sing mantra like a mofo as I am driving a long 🙂