WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE RESTLESS
We know that many of you (especially newcomers) struggle with the 40-minute commitment that the Feast suggests. Many of our teachers use "division of 10s" in their 40 minute sessions: 7-10 minutes of teaching, followed by three ten minute sessions of stillness, usually marked by the striking of a bell or gong.
It occurred to us that the idea of “rounding” might be applied when you find yourself restless and unable to sit for the full 40 minutes. Rounding is a technique that Davidji tells us they use at the Chopra Center for meditation retreats. If you find yourself ready to “bolt” at the end of one of the 10-minute segments, consider using the next 10 minutes to do some gentle stretching, a walking meditation, or some yoga asanas for one of the ten minute segments. Then return to your sitting. The important thing is to keep your focus on your inner stillness. Know that any agitation will subside with the breath and time. Trust the meditation process and let it do the work.
If you become restless, try “rounding”.
Rounding is a way of alternating sitting meditation with yoga, walking meditations, and simple stretching. The important thing is not to give up and keep your focus on your breath and the present moment. Meditation is all about starting over…and over…and over… Really!!!
The forty-minute commitment is a way of building new neural pathways in your brain. It takes this kind of discipline to activate your neurons and give them time to reorganize themselves into a new and more evolved neuronal complex. *Rounding will allow you to stay with the practice in a way that keeps your mind still without giving up and leaving the session.
Another thing that helps is to do some breathing practices before you begin sitting. Breathing practices have a way of calming the mind so that it is ready for stillness. And some simple stretches can be used to open the chest cavity and invigorate your brain to stay with your commitment.
We hope this helps those of you who find yourself struggling with your commitment as you begin, or continue, this 40-day journey with us. Here are some links that may help you:
Meditations App (iOS)
Meditations App (Android)
Meditation Timer (online and apps)
Words of Encouragement
*Look for the article “Hidden Treasures of Daily Spiritual Practice” in our next newsletter.