30 Day Challenge
Welcome to the Three Jewels' Sit for Good: 30-Day Meditation Challenge. We’re so stoked you’ll be meditating with us and we are confident that if you stick to it, you will see an incredible transformation. Here are a few suggestions passed down from meditators throughout the centuries that will set you up for an awesome meditation. Dive in and happy meditating!
Where to Meditate
Ideally, you want to be somewhere that you won’t be bothered by others and there isn’t too much noise. It’s helpful to have objects that are special to you around the spot where you’ll be sitting for example, a photo of someone you love and admire. And lastly, clean it up! You want your spot to be fresh and inviting so that you look forward to meditating there.
What is Meditation (and What It’s Not)
Before you begin your meditation, it’s important to understand what it is and it’s NOT so you don’t set yourself up disappointment. The biggest mistake we’ve heard is that you should turn off your mind and stop thinking. In fact, that’s technically impossible. A better way to describe meditation would be training the mind to think about one thing instead of bouncing between a million different things at rapid succession. Master meditators have compared a beginning meditator’s mind to a monkey. It’s running everywhere and you can’t control it! But with practice and diligence, you can tame the monkey and eventually decide what you want to think about instead of being a slave to whatever thoughts and emotions happen to pop up. And that is the beginning of transforming your life.
How to Sit
You can sit in a chair, cross-legged on the floor, or even lay down on your back (just don't fall asleep). Either close your eyes completely, or leave your eyelids slightly cracked to let in a bit of light, but not enough to make out shapes. The most important things are that your spine is straight and it’s really helpful if your hips are higher than your knees. Check that your shoulders are relaxed, not slouching forward and your chin should be parallel to the floor. Relax the muscles around your mouth and in your face. Place your tongue right where your gums meet your top teeth (this helps with the flow of saliva while meditating), and voila! Now you’re ready to observe your breath.
Before you start each meditation, think about why you want to meditate. Ask yourself, “what am I seeking?” If you know what motivated you to withdraw from your senses and examine your mind, you’re more likely to last through the rough patches that are bound to happen during meditation. And just so you know why we love to meditate - if it’s possible to analysis every negative thought and emotion and understand what caused it, then you could remove it from your mind. Just think how happy you would be if you no longer had any “bad” thoughts! You probably would stop acting on those bad thoughts and harming others in the process. And most importantly, imagine how capable you would be help others remove the negativity in their mind, and then stop harming others. It would be a perfect world, and who wouldn’t want to live somewhere like that?!?
The Foundations of Meditation
Goal: Improve focus and attention
Object of Meditation: Breath
Sit comfortably with a straight spine, and scan your body for tension. Wherever you notice tension, try to release it.
Notice your breath. You’re not trying to control it, just observe.
If you catch your mind wandering, gently bring it back to the breath.
See if you can place your attention on the sensation of air at the tip of the nostrils and try to hold your mind there for ten breaths.
Witness the tactile sensations of your chest rising and falling in sync with the breath.
To sharpen your focus, pay slightly more attention to the exhale. Observe the beginning, middle, and end of the exhale and notice if your body begins to relax.
To brighten your mind, bring more attention to your inhale. Observe the beginning, middle, and end of the inhale.
To go deeper, place your attention on the space between the inhale and exhale, and between the exhale and the inhale.
If your mind wanders at any stage of the breath cycle, the moment you become aware, kindly bring it back and be happy you noticed!
Feel your body on your seat, and notice the air touching your skin, temperature of room, and any ambient sounds.
As you open your eyes, notice the different state of consciousness you now embody because of your meditation.