- What is this about?
- What if I find out about this after the start date… Can I still join in?
- What if I miss a day during the 108 days?
- Will you do this again?
- Are there recommended practices for beginners?
- Do I have to be a _________ to learn to meditate or participate in this project?
- Do I have to post messages or use the related resources?
- Why 108 days?
- Why call it [the Remix]?
- Why is this so hard to do?
- The Stages of Change are mentioned a lot here. What are they?
- Who is behind this?
What is this about?
Making a commitment to sit for 108 days in a row and seeing the commitment through to the end. This is the primary objective. During your 108 day meditation marathon you may find yourself inspired or discouraged, insightful or confused, in the zone or off the cushion. Any and every experience is valid and perfectly okay. The hope is that you will find in this space a mix of motivation, information, resources and support for your journey.What if I find out about this after the start date… Can I still join in?
You can join in anytime during this 108 day cycle (or any future cycle). Continue your personal cycle until your 108 days have come to pass.What if I miss a day during the 108 days?
Recommit and begin again without delay. If you cannot or do not do so, your practice is to explore the reasons why. Understand that there is a difference between wanting to meditate and wanting to meditate daily. The first is an occasional lifestyle enhancement, the second a comprehensive lifestyle and behavioral change. Any time you attempt to start (or stop) doing something with consistency, you are pushing against your normal behavior patterns and habits in the attempt to create new behavior patterns and habits. Do not enter into this process without a clear understanding of how difficult this process can be. When you sign on to do 108 days, you are taking a step towards a lifelong behavioral change. Regardless of whether or not you miss days, you are taking steps to do something that you have wanted to do and you are learning about yourself and whatever resistances might be in the way. Embrace every aspect of the experience and understand at all times exactly where you are in the Stages of Change. Also, take every opportunity to understand exactly why you want to do this in the first place. Without a strong conviction, commitment and intention, it is difficult to find the will to push against everyday patterns and ways of being.Table of Contents Will you do this again?
My intention is to continue to host this in some form for as long as it takes me to develop a daily sitting practice. When I get to that point, if there are still kalyana mitta hanging around who want to continue, I will continue to host this project in support of them.Are there recommended practices for beginners?
I consider myself a beginner though I've been involved with meditation practices in some form or another for the past 10 years. I am not an ordained teacher so please don't take my opinion as anything more than one layperson's opinion, but I think simple is best for beginners. Here are a few suggestions:
- Count your breaths (1-5) and repeat. You can do this mentally or audibly count with the out breath
- Sit in a more formal posture if you are able. Burmese style or Lotus style sitting requires the body to remain active. If you are lying down or sitting in a comfortable chair, it is easy to fall into sleepiness which will hinder your practice.
- Use a mudra. Zen Buddhists typically sit holding the dhyani mudra, but there are many other choices. There is even a mudra for trying to establish a meditation practice!
- Use a timer that you don't have to interact with.
Find more information on The Practice page.Do I have to be a _________ to learn to meditate or participate in this project?
Meditation as a spiritual practice is available to practitioners of any particular religion or tradition. This project is open to anyone from any tradition. Personally my spiritual orientation is Buddhism/Zen. You will find that my posts often include Buddhist terminology and references. Please don't feel put off by this if you are not of the Buddhist or Zen persuasion. Please know that your personal perspective is welcome as long as it is respectful of the other practitioners along for the journey. Here we are all united by the desire to meditate daily. Let's focus on that intention and not squabble over differences in spiritual orientation.Do I have to post messages or use the related resources?
Please feel free to use this site and the other posted related resources as you feel led. There is a wonderful community out there on 43things and they will send you warm and wonderful cheers of encouragement if you join the site and post to the goal meditate daily. I can't speak for the number of people that might stop by this site or choose to participate, but I believe we can all be bolstered by our willingness to share.Why 108?
108 is a significant and special number in the Buddhist tradition. There are typically 108 beads on a mala which are said to represent the 108 klesas (or kleshas).
In traditional Buddhist thought, people are said to have 108 afflictions or klesas. There are six senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and consciousness) multiplied by three reactions (positive, negative, or indifference) making 18 "feelings." Each of these feelings can be either "attached to pleasure or detached from pleasure" making 36 "passions", each of which may be manifested in the past, present, or future. All the combinations of all these things makes a total of 108, which are represented by the beads in the ojuzu.
According to the Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, the term klesha literally means "trouble, defilement, or passion". It refers to all the properties that dull the mind and are the basis for unwholesome actions and thus bind people to the cycle of rebirth (samsara). According to the text, one can get rid of them through regular meditation practice.Why [the Remix]?
108 days was an online experiment that became a support group and formed a community of ordinary people who wanted to start a daily meditation practice. It was hosted on a blog between January 1 and April 18 in 2007. It was inspired by a similar venture called 100 days. I'm calling this one [the Remix] because it is not the first.Why is this so hard to do?
We will talk about this over the course of the 108 days but I think we experience our experiences as hard or difficult because we want them to be easy. If you are looking for an amen corner to back you up in feeling that daily meditation is difficult, I can say this… behavioral change is a bitch. Ask anyone who has ever tried to break a deep seated pattern or addiction and they will tell you… it is a daily challenge/a daily struggle. All that being said, hard ≠ impossible. Don't be stopped because something is difficult. Be unstoppable.The Stages of Change are mentioned a lot here. What are they?
The Stages of Change model was introduced by James O. Prochaska, Ph.D., John C. Norcross, Ph.D., and Carlo C. DiClemente, Ph.D. The following table is comprised of notes from their book Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward. While the title suggests that the model only applies to individuals who want to break an unskillful habit, these stages are equally valid when attempting to create a skillful habit.
|Precontemplation||People at this stage usually have no intention of changing their behavior. Most precontemplators don't want to change themselves, just the people around them. Precontemplators, in short, resist change... but even precontemplators will progress toward change if they are given the proper tools at the proper times.|
|Contemplation||In the contemplation stage, people acknowlede that they want to make a change and begin to think seriously about taking the necessary steps. Contemplators struggle to understand their resistances to change, to see the causes of resistance, and wonder about possible soluitons. Many at this stage have indefinite plans to take action within six months or so, but contemplators may be far from making a commitment to action. That is often the nature of contemplation: knowing the destination, and even how to get there, but not quite feeling ready to go yet.|
|Preparation||Most in the preparation stage are planning to take action within the very next month and are making the final adjustments before they begin to change their behavior. Although those in the preparation stage are committed to action and may appear to be ready for action, they have not necessarily resolved their ambivalence. They may still need to convince themselves that taking action is the best next step.|
|Action||The action stage is the one in which people most overtly modify their behavior and their surroundings. Action is the most obviously busy period, and the one that requires the greatest commitment of time and energy. Changes made during the action stage are more visible to others than those made during other stages, and therefore receive the greatest recognition. The danger in this is that many equate action with change, overlooking the critical work that prepares people for successful action and the more challenging efforts to maintain the change over the long term.|
|Maintenance||During maintenance, the challenge is to work to consolidate the gains attained during the action stage and other stages, and to work to prevent lapses and relapse. Change never ends with action. Without a strong commitment to maintenance there will surely be relapse and a later restart at a preceding stage.|
|Termination||The termination stage is the ultimate goal for all changers. Here, maintaining your skillful habit (or refraining from your unskillful habit) requires no further continuing effort. You have exited the cycle of change and attained your goal.|
My name is chalip and I'll be your hostess. You may know me from my blog, or through other affiliations. If you don't know me but want to learn a little more, see this About page. Mostly I want you to know that I am just like you. I value meditation and I am ready to make my occasional and sometimes fledgling practice a constant in my life.