Day #1 :: Intentions :: 31 Days of Devotion

It's official. 2017 has arrived. And so has Day #1 of 31 Days of Devotion. 
I'm so excited to be practicing with you this month. 

Today kicks off our theme for week 1 :: Intentions.
Over the next 7 days, we’ll be focusing on inquiries and meditations that ask us not just what we want to achieve — but how we want to participate — and the feeling tone we want to infuse into the coming months ahead. 

If you want to skip my introduction and get right to the action, you can forward the video to the 8 minute and 20 second mark. 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video above. 

Day # 2 :: Intentions :: 31 Days of Devotion

Welcome to our second day of practice together! And what a mighty fine day for it.

At this point, you've probably swept up the glitter confetti and empty champagne bottles and have started to ponder what your intentions are for the rest of the 363 days ahead. Great news: because that's the theme of our practice today. 

But first, I wanted to ask: have you ever had the experience of getting teary eyed at a commercial? 
Yep. Me too. 
In fact, just last week as I was sitting next to my Dad in the movie theater of my home town waiting to see Star Wars, a Coca-Cola commercial flashed on the screen that made my heart swell with so many feelings.
It was about a little girl, waiting for Christmas, and it captured the tone of the holidays perfectly: the feeling of wonder, of magic, and the nostalgia for childhood. 
In that moment, Coca-Cola wasn't selling fizzy soda, they were selling the feeling of childlike wonder. And I was in it
Well played, Coca-Cola. 

I wanted to share that story, because it has a lot to do with today's meditation practice, and locating the feeling tone of our 2017 aspirations.   
 

Day #3 :: Intentions :: 31 Days of Devotion

There's a beautiful quote by writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley, where he says,
"My fate cannot be mastered, it can only be collaborated with. And thereby, to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul; I am only it's noisiest passenger."

In today's practice, we'll be continuing with the theme of Week #1: Intention. And guided by one of our contributing teachers, Kate Johnson

It's one of my favorite in this series-- in part because Kate is the kind of teacher that radiates her message. She's warm, funny, clear and open, and her guidance in practice always feels to me less like an "instruction", and more like a "transmission". 

She'll be talking about Intention as our navigation system, and what it means to orient ourselves by the inner compass of our principles and values, in a moment to moment way. 

Meditation practice begins at the 2 minute and 50 second mark. 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video above. 

Now, let's set sail. 

Day #4 :: Intentions :: 31 Days of Devotion

I hope that this week's practice of sinking into our Intention for 2017 has been helpful and clarifying for you.

Today, I'll be back with you as the contributing teacher, but first, I wanted to give a little backstory to today's recording.

The very first time that I met the woman I consider to be my primary or root teacher, she was visiting NYC and giving a public talk at The Interdependence Project-- a multi-lineage hub based in secular Buddhist studies, meditation and activism in lower Manhattan. 

She was seated at the front of the room, dressed in her Tibetan monastic maroon robes, with a shaved head, looking very traditional and the like, when she paused, and then pointed declared:

"We all care so much about what other people think of us, and frankly, it's a f*cking nightmare." 

Yeeessss. 

The candor and incisiveness of that statement was refreshing to my ears, and spoke to something that I had felt so deeply, but had never heard spoken so bluntly. Plus, a monastic nun just said the F word. 

That's when I knew she was my Lady. 

She's dropped many more wisdom bombs (and a few F-bombs) over the years that I've been lucky enough to be audience to -- including one that inspired today's topic. 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video above. 

Meditation begins at the 3 minute and 50 second mark. 

 

Day #5 :: Intentions :: 31 Days of Devotion

A few weeks ago I ran into an acquaintance of mine who was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt that said "Deep and Dope" in block letters on the front. 
He mentioned that this was the tag line for some electronics company, but strangely enough, that's exactly how I would describe today's contributing teacher, Sydney Faith Rose. 
(Or in less slang terms: wise, and thoroughly, thoroughly delightful.)

Sydney is giving us a generous helping with a 30 minute recording today that centers on what she calls "Courageous Insight" and discusses why meditation is a radical practice that goes "against the stream", what it means to cultivate a Warrior Spirit, and how our personal practice ripples out to affect everything around us, based on the choices we make. 

If you want to skip straight to the action, practice begins at the 6 minute and 17 second mark. 
Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video above. 
And as Sydney says: 
May the Force of freedom, happiness, and kindness be with you. 

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Day #6 :: Intentions :: 31 Days of Devotion

I'm excited to be back with you for practice today where we'll continue the week-long theme of Intentions. But first, I wanted to take a moment to point out that there is an Epiphany in our forecast today. 

I was just as surprised as you to learn this --- though maybe you're not surprised at all--- when I was filling in my fresh 2017 calendar and saw it printed there, in bold faced ink. January 6th. EPIPHANY. 

Naturally I Googled the significance of this, and it appears that Epiphany is a holiday first observed in Eastern Christian faith. It also appears that "Epiphany"-- translated from it's Greek roots -- means "Manifestation", "Striking Appearance", or "Vision of God". What a delightful forecast. 

May any number of these things happen for you today. 

Meditation begins at the 5 minute and 10 second mark. 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video above. 

 

Day 7 :: Intentions :: 31 Days of Devotion

Good Morning,
Today wraps up our theme for week 1 :: Intentions.
If you're still with us on this one, your Devotion is strong, Padawan. 
(I'm still geeking out on Star Wars) 

Hopefully this week has added a clarifying cornerstone to the beginning of your year.

Tomorrow, we'll segue into our weekly theme of Compassion --with an emphasis on Self-Compassion-- but first, Sydney Faith Rose is back in the house (and back on the cushion) to help us close out our week of Intention by pointing out the distinction between baseline intentions vs skillful intentions, and how we can cultivate -- and stay true to -- the latter.  

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video above.