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Join us for Wildmind’s 100 Day Meditation Challenge

100 day mediation challengeWe all need encouragement with our practice, and many of us need help in meditating regularly. So to provide some support that will hopefully continue long after other new year’s resolutions have worn off, we’re running a 100 Day Meditation Challenge, starting January 1, 2013.

The aim is to support people to meditate daily for 100 straight days. There aren’t any “rules” as such, but we suggest that a “sit” should consist of a minimum of five minutes of practice, which could be sitting or walking practice. Ideally, though, you’d do at least 20 minutes of meditation a day. A “day” counts as the period between waking and sleeping, so if you sit after midnight before going to bed late, that still counts.

If you have the Insight Timer app for Android or iPhone, you can use that to log your meditations.

You can let us know how you’re getting on by posting on Wildmind’s Facebook page [we subsequently withdrew from Facebook, disturbed by the negative effect the company was having on society] or our online community.

I’ll try to create a 100 Day post each day of the 100 Days, so that you can post there what sitting you’ve done. There will also be opportunities to post on Wildmind’s blog, where I’ll create special 100 Day posts.

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A new online Wildmind community

I’ve created a new online space for people who have a connection with me based on practice.

A lot of people have practiced meditation with me over the years, at face-to-face classes, online classes, Skype classes, through CDs and MP3s, through Wildmind’s online meditation guides, or via books I’ve written. I’m in touch with some of those people directly, but there are many people who follow what I post on Facebook, Wildmind’s blog, my personal blog, Google+, and Twitter, that I have no contact with at all. And perhaps some of those people would like to have contact with each other. And I’d like to have that — to create more of a sense of community. But how?

Google+ to the rescue

You may be on Google+ already. But if you’ve never heard of it it’s Google’s equivalent of Facebook. In many ways it’s better than Facebook, because there are no ads (and probably never will be), and because there are awesome features like “Hangouts” where you can have (FREE) videoconferencing with up to nine people. And most people find that the quality of what’s going on in G+ is better than in Facebook, although that’s subjective, of course.

So, Google+ has recently (just yesterday!) started a new feature called “Communities.” These are basically online moderated forums. Some are public. The Wildmind community is private, which means that only members can see what’s posted there.

Here’s the link to the Wildmind community. Of course you won’t see anything until you’ve joined.

How is it going to be used? Initially, I’m suggesting that it’s a place we can talk about our practice and get feedback and encouragement from others. As well as sharing what’s going on in our own practice, the community allows for discussion, which could include giving moral support and showing empathy, comparing notes about how we’ve handled particular problems, sharing useful approaches to practice that we’ve stumbled upon, etc.

I’m not seeing this as a “Bodhipaksa fan club” because I don’t see the focus as being on me. I see the focus as being on the community itself. But it’s not a general forum for people interested in Buddhism and meditation, but for people interested in Buddhism and/or meditation who have some kind of connection with me, even indirectly.

If you’re interested in this, then you’ll have to visit the community and request to join, because of the private nature of the group. And you’ll have to have a G+ account, of course, but that’s easy to set up. Just go to https://plus.google.com and follow the instructions.

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YogaHub’s second annual Virtual World Yoga Conference

From Tuesday, Feb. 8th to Saturday, Feb. 12th, 2011, YogaHub will be hosting its second annual Virtual World Yoga Conference. This year’s theme, “Yoga, Meditation, and the Philosopher’s Stone” is dedicated to improving an individual’s inner practice through a variety of workshop topics focusing on yoga, health, and happiness.

“The response to our first Virtual World Yoga Conference on yoga, health and happiness, held last year, was far more than we had hoped for”, says YogaHub founder Christina Souza-Ma. “We had participants from over 30 different countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Since our intent is to establish a global community, this year’s goal is to have participants represented from every country in the world.”

For those who did not participate last year and are not sure what a virtual world conference is or how you can practice yoga online, Segovia Smith, YogaHub’s high-tech visionary, offers the following explanation. “A virtual conference enables individuals to participate in workshops from the comfort of their own homes or anywhere else you choose to be, without having to worry about travel, hotel, food, and other expenses usually associated with a conference. Participation is by phone or internet access and, once registered, participants will officially have a “seat” in all classrooms. This is an ideal opportunity for like-minded people to share their knowledge and expertise of yoga and other health modalities online. Participating in an event where travel costs are non-existent makes this yoga conference easy to afford and available to all”.

For $297, individuals will be given private phone and web access to this year’s Conference, which will offer five full days of exciting and innovative workshops presented by over 60 experienced teachers who are enthusiastically looking forward to sharing their wisdom and expertise. Their workshops will focus on guiding individuals toward transmuting life’s difficulties, challenges and tragedies into peace, happiness, and well-being.

Participants can take the Conference workshops at their own pace. Each session will be recorded so that participants have up to two weeks after the live conference has ended to listen to any or all of the workshops again and ask the presenter questions on the forum.

Christina also said “In addition to nearly doubling the size of this years conference, we’re grateful to all of our sponsors including Massage Magazine and LA Yoga Magazine who have both come on board as media partners.”

For more information on the Virtual World Yoga Conference, check out https://VirtualYogaConference.com or call 1-888-YOGA-HUB.

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Can you do nothing for two minutes? Come on, give it a try!

do nothing for two minutes

On Facebook the other day I came across a link to an excellent—and very simple—online mindfulness tool.

It’s called “Do nothing for 2 minutes,” and it’s an invitation to sit in front of an ocean landscape, with the gentle sound of waves, and to (well, you guessed it) do nothing.

What makes this interesting is that there’s a timer on the screen that counts down the two minutes second by second, and the timer resets any time you touch the mouse, trackpad, or keyboard. This discourages multitasking and encourages you to, well, Do Nothing for Two Minutes.

It’s a lovely idea.

One person who wrote to me about this tool said “It has done wonders to punctuate the information overload that I tend to get during a day of work and stress.”

I can well believe it.

Click here to do nothing for two minutes.

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