This week, Sharon explores the powerful tools of meditation at the launch of the Eight Annual Real Happiness Meditation Challenge.
Whether you are brand new to meditation, or a longtime practitioner, Sharon offers down-to-earth expertise based on 40+ years of practical experience studying and teaching. This free month-long program follows Sharon’s New York Times bestselling book, “Real Happiness” and covering a wide variety of meditation techniques throughout the course of the month. Since 2011, tens of thousands have participated in this challenge from around the globe, fostering an inspiring community dedicated to finding deeper happiness and peace of mind. Sign up to take the challenge and commit 2 sit this month: Real Happiness Meditation Challenge
Real Happiness Meditation Challenge (Opening) – No matter what your experience of meditating is like, especially if it not what you expected it to be, it is important to remember that there is no failure in meditation. Sharon offers perspective on a mindful approach to meditation practice that can make every experience a constructive one.
“One of the common things I hear if I am introduced as a meditation teacher is, ‘Oh, I tried that once and I failed at it.’ We believe you cannot fail at it, its impossible to fail at it. What matters what matters is not so much what you are experiencing, but how you are relating to what you are experiencing. How much presence, balance and kindness are you bringing forth in relation to what you are experiencing?”
Do you have a regular practice? – Mindfulness as a Daily Habit
Sitting Mindfully (16:10) – Being mindful during meditation reminds us that there is no failure because we just let go and begin again. Sharon discusses ways that we can practice mindfulness during our meditation and rest in the moment.
“Mindfulness is awareness of what is happening in the present moment without grasping, aversion or delusion. The openness of mindfulness is built on the stability of concentration. Concentration just means stability, it’s an ability to be centered and to be settled.”
Sitting Together (30:00) – Sharon leads us in meditation – guiding us through the hurdles of thought and into the heart of awareness.
Reflections on the Journey (42:20) – Sharon takes questions about mindfulness and meditation practice from the live audience. She looks at ways we can use the breath as a tool to cultivate awareness, addresses ways to manage discomfort and talks about approaching Buddhism from a place of experience instead of belief.
“The whole point is not to become a Buddhist or adopt that belief system, the whole point is the practice.”