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Real Happiness Challenge - Week 1 - Groundhog Day

Groundhog DayMeditation practice feels a lot like the movie Groundhog Day.  Everytime I sit down to focus it's the same thing, over and over again; my attention is on my breath, then I get distracted by a sound, a memory, a plan, or a fantasy.  The next thing I know, I'm entirely lost in thought.  It takes five, ten, or maybe even 30 minutes before I notice that my attention isn't on my breath and I'm not meditating at all.  Or am I?

"Successful" meditation isn't one-pointed focus on an object.  Successful meditation is _noticing_ when my attention isn't focused where I intend it, and choosing to return it to where I want it to be.    Noticing where my awareness is, and exercising my ability to place it where I want it to be, is the heart of being mindful and developing concentration.  As Sharon Salzberg says, "The essence of practice is to begin again."  And again.  And again.

Happy Groundhog's Day Everyone!

IDP is participating in lineage mentor Sharon Salzberg's REAL HAPPINESS Meditation Challenge.  This 28-day practice follows the the program outlined in Sharon’s New York Times bestseller, Real Happiness for the entire month of February. We encourage everyone to join us; since 2011, thousands have participated in this challenge which will help you develop your meditation with support from the entire community.​

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One of my favorite movies

And wish-fulfillment of sorts. I sometimes wish I had an infinite amount of time, away from my "public," to learn piano, learn how to write, learn how to be the perfect husband, etc. Meditation stretches out time, humbles me, and forces me to appreciate how much is already there and always was.

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