The goal of this challenge is to become more mindful in your daily life. It has far reaching benefits:
- You will be more focused, alert and alive
- You will not get carried away with thoughts as often (usually we run worries in mental loops)
- You will be kinder and more empathetic to others
- You will not be easily disturbed or dragged into negative states
- Your health will improve as you release mental blocks and stress
- You might start getting great ideas as if “out of nowhere”
In my personal life, there was a period when I was constantly worried about the future, my family and the world at large. I tried to stop thinking these thoughts, tried to prove to myself logically that I was exaggerating, that there is nothing to be afraid of, but the more I tried the more I kept thinking those thoughts of worry. I’ve met a person named William at one of the freeCodeCamp meetings here in Toronto and he told me that meditation could help with my problems. He recommended I read “Wherever You Go, There You Are”. I’ve started reading it and meditating right away. I’ve stopped thinking the ‘worry’ thoughts after 3(!!!) days of meditation. Ever since, I regularly meditate and I have an enormous respect and reverence for the process.
Feel free to modify these rules as you see fit based on your needs and preferences.
For the next 100 Days:
- I will meditate for 15 minutes every day*
- I will tweet an update daily with the hashtags: #100DaysOfMeditation #100DaysOfX and a day on which I am on, and with my thoughts/feelings on that day
* You can commit to any time you like, for example 5/10/20/30/45 minutes.
How to do it
There are a myriad ways to meditate. I will briefly describe the simplest way I’ve found so far (I got it from the book “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn).
Sit down, close your eyes. Focus on your breathing, be conscious of it – inhale and exhale. As you do that, your mind will do what it usually does - start daydream, worrying, thinking about the situations that have happened or it thinks will happen, etc. The fact that it does this is ok. The only thing you have to do is to notice that and come back to concentrating your attention on breathing. That’s it.
If you are doing a 20 minute session, and on the 19th minute you notice that all this time you’ve been carried away - thinking about this and that and the next thing - it’s not a failure, it’s a successful session no matter what happens during it. It’s a bit of a difficult concept for us, especially here in the West as we are focused on goals, results, etc. We need to learn to treat this process as our practice. There is no goal to get to, no standard to reach. All you need to do is sit down and concentrate on your breathing.
Go to this template link, and click on the top menu: “File -> Make a copy”. Then change all the highlighted information to your own and use it every day to write your updates there. Then transfer them to Twitter (sometimes in shorter form or with more media).
#100DaysOfMeditation Log Template
- Don’t put off meditation because you are not sure how to do it. Start on the first day and meditate each day after, while watching videos on meditation and reading more about it as you are going through the challenge. Check out the resources below to get started.
- Track your progress with an app or in a calendar - it will help you stick to the habit. Popular apps for this are: Headspace, Zenfriend and Calm. Zenfriend even has a series of videos in it that teach you meditation. The benefit of these apps over a timer on your phone is that they also track your progress on a calendar so you can easily see it
- Take a pillow and put it on the floor for your to sit on - this will help you sit more comfortably, and, hence, you won’t be distracted as you would if you were uncomfortable
- If you are not using a special app, you can use any timer to time your sessions - a phone timer or a kitchen timer will do fine
If you have any concerns, questions or need support in this challenge, contact these people: