Re-establishing my daily practice

I am now several weeks into re-establishing my consistent practice of meditating 2 hours a day. Mostly, this was a personal decision motivated by my desire to re-center myself in Dhamma, but there is a bit of added motivation in the form of guidelines that old students accepted to sit a Satipatthana Sutta course should be trying to maintain a daily practice — I have registered to attend my first Satipatthana course this year.

So, how is it going, now several weeks in? It’s going well, actually. It is very grounding to structure my day around my twice daily sittings, and it has led to other improvements in my life as well. For example, the evening routine is to meditate, exercise and cook dinner — not always in that order, but these activities have now become linked in my mind, and therefore more automatic (cooking and exercise didn’t used to happen consistently, either, lol). But the bigger difference is that I am successfully feeling more anchored in Dhamma. As a result of consistent practice, I am more able to calm my mind, observe sensations and experience some degree of panna. I find myself having valuable insights about myself and about how to better navigate life’s challenges with wisdom. Some days are better than others, but continuity has provided positive reinforcement to keep going. Also, on days when it’s difficult to sit, I have been calling to mind a quip from an old student on the Insight Timer Vipassana group— “the only bad sitting is the one that you miss!” I draw support from knowing there are other people out there committing themselves to the same challenge each day. After a few years of inconsistent practice, it feels good to finally be in a place that I am able to do this.

“Start again.” — Goenkaji

Have a great day!

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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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