'Dr Woody and The Monk, Michael Woodward'
Source: 'Dr Woody and The Monk, Michael Woodward'

Let’s face it, the proliferation of digital mobile technology has accelerated the pace of life in this country to the point where we are nearly always on and can rarely afford to be off. The challenge is that our brains aren't always up for this increasingly exhausting task.

Managing the mental strains of this ever-widening gap between our rapidly advancing technological capabilities and our human capacity to manage those capabilities will require focus and discipline in 2017. Ironically, mastering this discipline will come not from the technology of our future, but from the simplicity of our past, our very far past.

The 3,000 year old practice of mindful meditation, only recently discovered by many here in the US, is just the elixir we need to keep our sanity. So, why not kick-off 2017 by committing to the Mother of all Resolutions: Taking Control of Your Mind!

I consulted with Pandit Dasa, known as The Urban Monk, to come up with a simple 21-day challenge (every weekday/work day of January starting on the 3rd) for those new to the practice of meditation to get the year started off right! Here is our New Year’s Meditation Challenge:

  • Commit to a time of day each weekday (5 days a week – your work week) that you can regularly mediate
  • Start with just 5 minutes each day (10 minutes if you are ambitious)
  • Use the timer app on your phone to set the alarm to alert you when your five minutes is up (this way you don’t have to worry about checking time)
  • Start by getting in a relaxed position. One where you won't fall asleep!
  • Take five deep breaths to set your mood. Focus on feeling the cool air come in through the nose and the warm air come out while you exhale. Now you are ready!
  • Close your eyes and follow these steps for simple focused breathing! Repeat this at least five times or for the duration of your timer: 

        o Take in a deep breath in while silently counting to five

        o Hold that breath for a count of five

        o Exhale that breath for a count of five

        o After exhaling, hold your breath for a count of five

Note: If at any time the mind wanders, which it inevitably will, gently bring your awareness back to the breath going in and out of your nose

  • To conclude, bring your awareness back into your mind and take inventory of the thoughts going through your mind. Just notice them. Don’t get absorbed in any of them. Take three deep breaths to empty out any stressful thoughts.
  • Gently bring your awareness to your eyes and slowly open them

Leave home with a smile and make your calm contagious! I'd love to hear your success stories, questions, worries… so feel free to post comments and either myself or Pandit will be sure to respond! 

Happy New Year and Good Luck!!!

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