I loved Week 2 of the Real Happiness Challenge because it took meditation out into our natural habitats. The meditations were focused around the theme of “Mindfulness of the Body,” and included two walking meditations, a sensation meditation, body scan, eating meditation, drinking tea meditation, and washing dishes meditation.
Lessons and confessions from this week:
1. Formal meditation is a rehearsal for life
When you spend time slowing down and observing the small actions of life, the concentration cultivated during the breathing meditations from last week of the challenge are now being transferred to other actions of the body throughout the day.
2. Mindful actions can lead to insights
I tried eating some cookies and cream ice cream as a part of the eating meditation. Focusing on the sensation of the ice cream in my mouth, the flavor, the smell, and the whole experience, made me realize that it didn’t taste that good to me. I had been telling myself the story that this was a treat, when the true experience wasn’t that pleasurable.
3. Insights during meditation take time to stick
The flip-side to insights is that it’s hard to let go. A big part of me is resisting the fact that I don’t actually enjoy the ice cream that I thought I liked. I’ve read and heard that true happiness comes from letting go, but I still want the fake happiness a little. And that’s why I ended up eating another cup of the crappy ice cream the next night…
4. Sleep happens
I have to be honest that I never got to the end of the body scan meditation this week, despite attempting it twice. During this meditation, Sharon encourages finding a comfortable position, including laying down. I probably shouldn’t have done this in bed with my sleep mask on, but hey, that’s life.
I’m beginning tonight with week 3: Mindfulness of Thoughts and Emotions. Stay tuned for a recap next week.
Have you been following along with the Real Happiness Challenge? Do you have experiences with these types of meditation practices? I’d love to hear in the comments or on Instagram!