We have exciting plans for next year. We kicked off 2013 with a 100 Day Meditation Challenge, and then continued with 100 Days of Lovingkindness. Lots of work went into these, and for the second event I managed, somehow (mainly by sleeping very little) to produce a blog post for every one of the 100 days.
I loved the focus that this gave to the blog and to our practice. Many, many people participated in these challenges and experienced big breakthroughs with their practice.
I also loved the fact that over the course of 100 days I managed to write 90,000 words on lovingkindness practice. That material is going to evolve into a book, for which I already have a publisher lined up. And that book, once it’s published, is going to end up reaching even more people. I love synergy!
Inspired by the good that came from these two events, I want to run even more special events in 2014. We’re calling this our Year of Going Deeper. So we’re running even more events, and this will give a wonderful focus to our practice. It will also lead to me developing a large body of blog posts and guided meditations that will be freely available as a gift to the world. And we’ll also end up with more books, CDs, etc.
Soon we’ll be announcing how these events will work, and how you can sign up for them (they’ll all be free, although donations are encouraged), but I want to give you a sneak peek at what’s coming up. Here’s the program we’ve put together:
- Jan 1 – 28 Sit : Breathe : Love (A 28 Day Meditation Challenge)
- Jan 31 – May 10 100 Days of Lovingkindness
- May 13 – Jun 9 Sit : Breathe : Love (A 28 Day Meditation Challenge)
- Jun 6 – Aug 10 60 Days to Jhana
- Aug 13 – Sep 9 Sit : Breathe : Love (A 28 Day Meditation Challenge)
- Sep 12 – Oct 23 42 Days: 6 Elements (An exploration of the 6 Element Practice)
- Oct 27 – Nov 23 Sit : Breathe : Love (A 28 Day Meditation Challenge)
- Nov 28 – Dec 25 4 Weeks of Insight
We decided that although a 100 day meditation challenge at the start of the year was a wonderful thing for those who participated, it was also daunting for many people, which meant that they didn’t even try. So we decided to start with a 28 day challenge in 2014 instead. The aim is to help people develop a habit of daily sitting.
And so that people don’t feel that they’ve “missed the boat” if they can’t get on board for the first challenge, we’re repeating the challenge throughout the year. The 28 day challenges will focus on mindfulness practice.
The program follows the traditional approach of exploring samatha approaches to meditation, which help us develop calm, concentration, and emotional positivity, before exploring vipassana (insight) approaches to meditating.
In the end what we’ll have is a whole program that gives you everything you need, meditatively speaking, to reach awakening.
I hope you find this program as exciting as I do.
But here’s the thing: I have way too much on my plate as it is. This program can only happen if I’m freed up from some of my administrative responsibilities so that I can concentrate on writing and teaching.
And that’s why we’ve set up the Free Bodhi project, where we’re raising seed money so that I can employ a business manager. We’re trying to raise enough to employ a business manager for six months. What about after that? Well, having a business manager (actually he has a name — Mark), will help Wildmind become more financially stable. Our publicity will be better, so that more people will attend the events I’ve been telling you about. And with more people, we’ll receive more donations. I’ll also be freer to develop books and CDs, which we’ll sell through our store and through Amazon. So within six months we project that we’ll bring in enough extra revenue to support Mark indefinitely.
There’s more I could say. I’ve been thinking much more long-term about Wildmind, and what we’re doing. But I’ll save that for another blog post.
In the meantime, I invite you to contribute to our Free Bodhi project so that the program above can become a reality.