Open Practice: 90 Days of Sitting is Just a Beginning

I joined Tricycle’s 90-day meditation challenge called The Big Sit back in February. Although I’ve been already practicing formal meditation since January, I felt that it was a good idea to join a group of virtual meditation practitioners as part of my Open Practice to keep my momentum going. I’m glad I did.

Today is day 90 of the Big Sit. I’m happy to report that I’ve completed the challenge, and then some. Geeky as I am, I even kept a log of it in my (hyper)stream. (See my #bigsit Twitter stream on Friendfeed.) As you can see in the stream I have two practice sessions daily. I practice in the morning and in the evening, 1.25 hours each session, for a total of 2.5 hours a day. Each practice session is a mix of sitting and lying down meditation. I’ve described the details of my meditation practice in my previous post, see Algorithmic Approach to Meditation.

For experienced and expert meditators 90 days of dedicated sitting practice may seem to be a piece of cake, but I’m neither experienced nor an expert. In fact, just five months ago I could barely sit for 20 minutes in one session. But now I could sit more than one hour each session without feeling like I’m having a root canal. I consider that a big accomplishment in my behavioral pattern. I give credit to Shinzen Young’s Five Ways strategy for dramatically improving my meditation practice. It fits me like a glove, and it makes practice practical and fun. Below is a video of Shinzen giving a quick summary of the Five Ways.

They say that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. In completing the 90-day Big Sit challenge, not only have I created a new positive habit, but in effect, I’ve actually started a new positive lifestyle.

The Big Sit may be over, but I’m only warming up with Open Practice. Thanks to Tricycle Community for the challenge.