HMC Day 11: Discover a new author

Holiday Meditation Challenge Day 11.pngFeeling inspired — and knowing where to go when your well is running dry — may help you hold onto your commitment to a meditation routine.

So today I’m encouraging you to find a writer in the mindfulness/meditation “genre” who inspires you.

I’m always delighted when I read about a concept I know well in a new and different way, and feel reinvigorated or motivated as a result. Or when I go back to a favorite book, re-read a chapter, and reconnect to my commitment to meditation.

I’m including here some writers to check out. If you Google the names, you’ll find articles and/or blogs they’ve written. Some have TED Talks or other speeches/lectures available online. They also have books, some of which I’ve mentioned below.

 Ronald D. Siegel, author of The Mindfulness Solution

 Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

 Pema Chodron, author of When Things Fall Apart and Start Where You Are

 Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living and Wherever You Go, There You Are

 Mark Nepo, author of The Book of Awakening and The Endless Practice

In addition to finding a new favorite writer, sit for 10 minutes after reading the following excerpt from Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening:

>> It was a snowy night and Robert was recalling the time two springs ago when he was determined to paint the family room. Up early, he was out the door, to the hardware store gathering the gallons of red, the wooden mixing sticks, the drop cloths, and the one-time brushes that always harden, no matter what you soak them in.

He mixed the paint outside and waddled to the door with a gallon in each hand, the drop cloth under his arm, and a wide brush in his mouth. He began to chuckle in telling what happened, “I teetered there for minutes, trying to open the door, not wanting to put anything down. I was so stubborn. I had the door almost open when I lost my grip, stumbled backwards, and wound up on the ground, red gallons all over me.”

At this point, he laughed at himself, as he has done many times, and we watched the snow fall in silence. I thought of his little story the whole way home. Amazingly, we all do this, whether with groceries or paint or with the stories we feel determined to share. We do this with our love, with our sense of truth, even with our pain. It’s such a simple thing, but in a moment of ego we refuse to put down what we carry in order to open the door.

Time and time again, we are offered the chance to truly learn this: we cannot hold on to things and enter. We must put down what we carry, open the door, and then take up only what we need to bring inside.

It is a basic human sequence: gather, prepare, put down, enter. But failing as we do, we always have that second chance: to learn how to fall, get up, and laugh.

+ Meditate on some threshold you are having trouble crossing in your life. It might be at work, at home, in a relationship, or the doorway to greater peace.
+ Breathe steadily and look to yourself to see if you are carrying too much to open the door.
+ Breathe slowly and with each out-breath put the things you are carrying down.
+ Breathe freely now and open the door <<

**If you missed the introductory post, welcome to the Holiday Meditation Challenge! To receive a summary of each week’s assignments in e-mail form so you can go back to them anytime, click here: