Welcome to this very first installation of our 10-day Chill Pill Challenge: a series of 5-minute mini-lessons on meditation that are available as Facebook Live Streams (on our FB page) and instructive blog articles (like this one). The objective is to help you use meditation to cultivate:
- Peace of mind
- Lucidity about your inner workings.
- Ability to appreciate life as it is (whether you’re taking action for change or not)
… all key ingredients for a happy, productive life, wouldn’t you say?
The live streams for this first 10-Day Chill Pill Challenge will be happening on our Facebook Page daily at noon Eastern Time, December 12 thru December 21, 2016.
Can’t make one or any of the Facebook live streams? You can watch the recordings in the videos section of our Facebook Page here. Or directly in these blog posts (we’ll be posting one per day for 10 days).
If gaining peace of mind isn’t enough, you also get the opportunity to win cool prizes by participating in the challenge. More details on those prizes and how to win them in the “Prizes!” section at the bottom of this page.
Why we recommend meditation to our clients
At our Washington DC acupuncture clinic, meditation is one of the top so-called “lifestyle recommendations” we make for our clients. Some clients come in straight up asking about it (“I’m interested, but I have no idea how to get started.”) And others make indirect comments that tip us off that meditation may be a “good fit” for them. Here are just a few examples of such client comments:
- “I wish I had a button I could use to turn off my anxiety.”
- “I’m so frustrated by my low productivity at work lately.”
- “The next month is full of exams–if I’m not laser-focused, I’m screwed.”
- “I LOVE my judo classes, and I’m inspired to really master it.”
- “My day-to-day life has been feeling stale.”
- “My emotions are running the show–I feel bullied by them.”
- “Ugh. Things are insane at the office, so it’s only natural that I’m stressed out of my mind.”
- “I think it’s time to get more serious and step up my spiritual practice.”
- I feel out of control — I have these racing thoughts that take me over during the day and prevent me from falling asleep at night.
- “As if migraines weren’t bad enough, I actually get anxious about the idea of getting them when I don’t even have one!”
- “I dread going to work because there’s so much tension there with so-and-so.”
In short, these are people who desire more ease, peace, focus and fulfillment in their day to day lives. Read on to understand how meditation helps deliver what they’re looking for.
Meditation: what it is.
In our 10-Day Chill Pill Challenge, we present meditation as a simple exercise that helps you develop “life skills” for your mind (listed below). With regular practice, you will:
- Spend less time being pissed off or upset at stuff. (Or, to put it positively: get good at acceptance– being cool with people, places and things as they present themselves). Lesson #1
- Hone your ability to identify and observe your subtle internal experiences. Lesson #2
- Develop single-pointedness of mind (this comes in handy for… just about any endeavor) Lesson #3
- Create space between you and the thoughts, feelings and emotions that arise within you. Lesson #4
- Objectify feelings as sensations in the body. Lesson #5
- Look without judging / interpreting. Lesson #6
- Intentionally cultivate positive feelings positivity (such as love and kindness). Lesson #7
- Know thyself. Lesson #8 and Lesson #9
- … (Note – Lesson #10 will be a recap and a response to participant questions.)
We call the bullets above life skills because they are useful and directly applicable to pretty much all aspects of your life experience–whether it’s in the realm of work, play, relationships, spirituality, “inner” work, or your dealings with the “external” world.
A million meditation styles, but no need to get overwhelmed
There are a million ways to meditate, but the nice thing is that most meditation exercises will cultivate the aforementioned life skills, whether you’re watching your breath, using a mantra or gazing at a candle. You don’t have to apply a specific style of meditation to cultivate each life skill.
That said, for each of our 10-day Chill Pill Challenge lessons, we will suggest different meditation exercises to try out. The goal there is to simply give you a sense of the breadth of seated meditations you can try.
Tips on how to sit for meditation
It’s simple. Just sit in such a way that you:
- Feel physically comfortable
- Facilitate alertness
- Minimize outer distraction.
To these ends, we recommend:
- sitting (in a chair, or cross legged–perhaps on a cushion to elevate your hips)
- Good posture (back straight)
- Bundle up (your body cools down when still — you don’t want chills to distract you)
- A quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
- A timer with a gentle chime (you can use your smartphone alarm or one of the myriad meditation apps out there– we use the Insight Meditation Timer).
… that’s it!
Quicklinks to all 10 meditation lessons
Below is a round up of all 10 meditation lessons, each one covering a benefit of having a regular meditation practice. Enjoy!
More vacation time with a meditation practice
Develop more mental clarity to advance your truth-seeking and deep-thinking
Strip the problematic-ness from your problems
Judge less, discern more (and how that makes you happier)
Generate positive feelings (and spread them) with loving-kindness meditation
Make negative feelings more manageable with this simple technique
Train your mind to be more focused (making you happier and more productive)
Sensitize yourself to the subtle (yet POWERFUL) thoughts and emotions that determine how you interpret the world
Develop life’s #1 most useful attitude with meditation: that of acceptance (and why practicing acceptance does NOT make you a doormat)
Questions or comments about meditation or your meditation practice?
We’d love to hear them! Please leave them in the comments below.