My Blogging Goals

I started this blog to help me process all of the thoughts and emotions I faced while when returning to the real world after spending time at the center. I didn’t feel like I was having all of the conversations I needed to properly integrate this practice into my life so I decided to have a one-sided conversation with my blog. Instead of letting these questions and emotions be ambiguous hurdles between myself and a sustained practice, I wanted to narrow my concerns down to clear and concise statements. I didn’t worry about spelling, grammar or logical flow. If there was something in my head that wasn’t sitting well I just started writing. Sometimes I wrote as many as four posts a day just to get all of my thoughts out on paper.

I shared my blog with a few close friends and meditators and they expressed appreciation for me sharing my experience and that it helped them improve their own daily practice. At that point the goals of my blog got a little blurry. My primary goal was still to help me articulate my personal concerns so I could face them but now I saw an opportunity to help others along the way. I started sharing my blog more publicly a month and a half ago and this site has accumulated over 2200 hits in that time. I don’t know how much my blog is helping people but there is certainly an interest in reading what I have to say. Realizing that there is a global community of meditators facing the same challenges I am is very comforting.

65 posts later I’m feeling much more confident in my daily practice. I know this is a technique that is helping me become to person I want to be and it’s becoming easier and easier to complete my daily sittings. The need to write this blog for myself is becoming weaker. In its place is a very strong desire to continue supporting the global community of Vipassana meditators.

I want to facilitate appropriate conversations among meditators of this tradition that can help us deepen our understanding of this profound yet subtle practice. I want to continue sharing my personal experiences and successes to motivate other people facing similar hurdles. I’m happy that my initial struggles are documented at the beginning of this blog for anyone to reference when they need them. The first year of practice is said to be the hardest so I’m glad to provide some support in this difficult time.

I plan to write less frequently so more people have the opportunity to respond to my posts. Hopefully the extra time to create posts will allow me to develop interesting topics and insights. Thanks to everyone who has been reading my blog. Thank you for your support as I’ve crossed the initial stages of integrating this practice into my life. Hopefully some of my words can help you do the same.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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