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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Open Heart Project

I've been interested in meditation for a long time, and have in the past attempted to establish a meditation practice of my own, but it never "took". I would practice a few weeks and then forget, or be unsure if I was doing it "correctly", or I would feel foolish. For one reason or another, I would always end up dropping out.

Then a few months ago I heard an interview with Susan Piver, a meditation leader, and impressed by what I learned, I signed up for her Open Heart Project. The Open Heart Project is an online meditation practice which sends you meditation practice videos twice a week, for free. The twice-weekly discussion of how to do the meditation practice help give me confidence that I'm doing it "right" (although I admit I don't use all of Susan's techniques, but have replaced a few with techniques I learned from other attempts at meditation practice). Susan's practice calls for 10-minute meditations, which I can handle. There's no feeling of inadequacy for not sitting an hour or two at a time. And she even says that taking the weekend off is okay, as long as you otherwise commit to your schedule.

What really works for me is that Susan's advice is not to feel guilty or inadequate when your mind wanders during practice. She teaches a loving acceptance of one's self, and one's tendencies to stray. "Just bring your attention back," she says, and she even congratulates you when your mind has wandered,  with, "Congratulations, you've just woken up."

My sleep issues have lessened substantially since I began practicing, and I'm less prone to get frustrated and angry. The acceptance of self and others and the world that comes through Susan's guidance has really been useful for me.

So that's what I wanted to tell you today.

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