February is Meditation Month! The Tricycle team members have challenged ourselves—and our readers—to meditate every day and blog about our experiences. We needed a little help, so we called in bestselling author and meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg to lead our meditation-themed retreat this month and speak to us on how to incorporate meditation practice into the workplace. We’re also featuring three meditation e-books: Tricycle Teachings: Meditation, Tricycle Teachings: Meditation, Vol. 2, and Tricycle Teachings: Commit to Sit. Last but certainly not least, back by popular demand is Brad Warner, known this month as our Meditation Doctor, here to answer any questions we have about our personal practice.

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The dog on a mission to interrupt my meditation practice.

Meditation Month has kicked off here at Tricycle and I have quickly realized just how out of practice my practice really is. Meditating every day? I guess they don’t call it a “challenge” for nothing.

I had to get up very early in the morning to get fifteen minutes (yes, fifteen minutes; baby steps, people) completely to myself, without the distraction of the dog, the boyfriend, or the iPhone. I tiptoed, quiet as a mouse, out of the bedroom. Naturally, the pup woke up immediately, barked, and I found myself outside in pajama bottoms and a winter coat, waiting for the dog to do her business and watching valuable meditation time tick away. 

All right, back inside. Satisfied dog, quiet and warm pre-dawn living room.

And breathe.

Ah, this is nice. I forgot how lovely this is. To luxuriate in time when I don’t have to think of all my weekend errands…like how I need to schedule my taxes. Or like that 20% off coupon for using H&R Block. Where was that coupon? I put it somewhere. Wait. Focus. Focus. I wonder how much it’ll be if I just do my taxes myself. Focus. I’ll probably miss something though—they scare you with all of those advertisements. Focus. I wonder if Super Bowl traffic will delay Ryan on his way up from West Virginia. Focus. He’ll be fine. Focus. But what if he isn’t? Focus. I wonder what taxes are like in West Virginia.

Focus.

Et cetera.

You see, I am not victim to what many meditators suffer through during their practice—namely, that they feel uneasy with the silence and that the seconds crawl by. Fifteen minutes flew by! But that’s because I had fifteen minutes of thoughts and anxiety and “what ifs” and “hmms” to fill them up, no problem. I blame the Super Bowl.

So, four days in, and at least I’ve highlighted the things I need to change in my practice, right? This week’s goal is to calm the anxiety, let the thoughts float by like clouds, and try to revive the diligent practitioner I was four years ago.

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