28 Days Later

image credit: Zochi Alonzo Young

All right, what’s your big resolution for 2011? A bunch of us are committed to meditating every day for at least 5 minutes.  We’re part of a virtual practice community called 28 Days, which was started last year by Gibrán Rivera of IISC  (Interaction Institute for Social Change). It’s a practice that includes people from all over the country. You can join in for 28 days, 60 days, 90, or, 365.

Rivera feels like adding meditation to his list of commitments gives a foundation to everything else that happens in his life. Because it facilitates so many other things in his life, he calls it “the resolution for all resolutions!”

So true.  Everything you do on the cushion, whether it’s being distracted, focused, etc., you take into your everyday life. All of it.  Meditating cultivates the “attitude” for your whole day, even if you only spend five minutes doing it. It lets you spend time practicing how you want to be in your life. You end up bringing that “attitude” to the relationships you have with other people— especially to those folks with whom you want to be in better relationships.

Rivera says what motivates his sitting meditation is his activist work. “I’m doing this because I am part of an activist community that is working for social transformation and I believe that the more of us are meditating the better the chances are that we will have any effect, and so I thought I would help.”

Once you sign up the process is simple, your name goes on a Google docs sheet, shared with all participants, and every day you record how long you sat. Having to record how long you sat brings some accountability to the whole process. It feels as though you’re telling others what you’ve done and reminding yourself of your commitment at the same time.

And you can fashion the process to suit you. You can do any kind of meditation that you like and you can set your own intentions. You can do it at any time of day. You can do it on your own, in group, you name it… The point is that if you know other folks are out there doing it as well, you can use this as support. Not just because you know they’re out there on a Google spreadsheet, the Web site encourages folks to post their sit times on facebook, add comments, videos, intentions, encouraging thoughts to the blog.  All in an effort to develop an community that sits to make changes in their lives and beyond.

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