This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.
How to quiet your life…
There is no doubt about it, 2010 is MY year for personal improvement. And as my 30 Day Thai Language Trial was successful, I decided to follow with Vern’s 22 Day Meditation Course.
When I asked Vern how it came about, he replied:
In 1997 I began to meditate. I discovered meditation by reading some Buddhist books and a book on Vipassana by S.N. Goenka.
But, I was not religious. I did not have a belief in any “ism” (Buddhism, Catholicism, Deism, Theism, Christianity, Islamism, Hinduism). None of it.
I was not ant- any of these religions, but I found that I was more of a “free thinker” so to speak. Not believing in a certain God, and yet not at all sure that one doesn’t exist.
I found the books on meditation to be full of extra “fluff” that I wasn’t sure I needed. The essence of Buddhism is in trying things out for oneself and seeing what your experience is.
I decided to try meditation without the Buddhism. Without any -ism, if that’s possible.
It was. So I wrote about the basics in this free ebook…
… and my experience with meditation in the late 1990’s led to my moving to Thailand… where I’m destroying the Thai language daily…
I intended to get to Vern’s course at the beginning of February. But as usual, time got away from me. Then, when my good friend Mark McGuinness wrote What Daily Meditation Can Do for Your Creativity, I was reminded of my plan to quiet my life.
Checking my calendar, it looks like I’m fairly free (no weekends running around) starting next Monday, the 8th of March.
If you want to learn how to meditate too, download Vern’s Free EBook – 22 Day Meditation Course.
In the meantime, I’ll gather all I can about the benefits of a regular meditation schedule and language learning. And get back to you.
Note: If you are interested in more ebooks about Thailand, head over to Vern’s site, Thailand eBooks: Living and Working in Thailand
12 thoughts on “Vern’s 22 Day Meditation Course”
Rick, keeping to a schedule will be tough – which is why I’m hoping my iPhone’s don’t break the chain app will help.
I’m also wondering how my cats are going to react. I can’t even visit the ladies without them whining outside the door and scratching at the flaps.
Today is day one. I’ll take notes of my progress (and theirs 😉
.-= Catherine´s last blog ..Thai Language Thai Culture: Telephone Thai =-.
I took two semesters of evening yoga classes at a local school six or seven years ago. I remember the pinprick of realization that I am learning something new and I need to practise this. Well, modern life and all, I didn’t do anything once the classes stopped. But I did take away the experience of relaxing, even for a few minutes. I started doing it at home but, again, fell out of the habit quickly because, well, there’s so much else to do.
But I did start to use the techniques of meditating while walking, while sitting quietly in my office chair trying to calm everything after the latest idiocy, while sitting on public transit, while waiting in lineups. Even if I was able to calm myself for a minute or two or five, I felt better about it.
So I was interested in what Vern has to say. I’ve read his introduction and first day of meditation, as well as his thoughts on mindfulness. For example, his being in the present while washing dishes, I’ve done. Strange how the simplest activity can be involving and calming. Instead of rushing through it so you can do something else, stay in the present, if you want to find a way to rest the mind and gain benefits from that activity!
His first day I thought was really helpful and sensible. Vern’s approach and thoughts really appeal to me.
Catherine, you have a delightful way of popping up with most interesting blog ideas. Thanks.
.-= SiamRick´s last blog ..Canadian boys need to toughen up =-.
Jo, Excellent! I would prefer a weekend meditating around rolling waves somewhere, but a beach retreat would have to wait as I’m an impatient person (hence, my drive to learn meditation now 🙂
I’m starting on Monday, so I will know more in the next week or so. And just like my 30 Days Thai language trial, I’ll keep a record on my iPhone. But I won’t post weekly.
Feel free to ask 🙂
There are also some good temples that offer weekend retreats in the greater Bangkok area if you don’t want to go too far but the ebook looks like a great start.
.-= jo´s last blog ..Phrase Lesson 3: General answers (Audio) =-.
Hey Jo, I’ve heard about the retreats but I am so far away from knowing about meditation that I’ll have to wait. Patiently.
Yeah, I know… I should just jump into life and not depend so much on research and all… but…
Ya… now I know who to come to when I have more questions 🙂
Cat, being so focused is great! If you get more experienced with meditation you will be able to stay mindful for longer and longer periods of time. It is quite an interesting feeling to be so aware of everything around you 🙂 (it just lasts for some hours for me after doing some meditation)
People should really take advantage and get into meditation while staying in Thailand. I saw this with my friend Jay. He could not meditate for a long time but he kept on trying and eventually it worked for him. It is similar to learning Thai, you just have to keep on trying and do it on a daily basis. Even just a little bit helps.
There are also good beginner retreats here in Thailand in which you learn the basics of vipassana and walking and sitting meditation.
And now breath in – breath out – count 1 – breath in – breath out – count 2…. (up to 10 and then begin again). This is a very basic way of doing meditation and works for many. You can also focus on the up and down of your chest or the air coming in and out of your nose to aid your concentration.
.-= jo´s last blog ..Phrase Lesson 3: General answers (Audio) =-.
Martyn, You have the type of personality I’d love to have – constant movement. I get focused on one thing and hours later I look up to see that it’s dark outside. I would love to get a clear focus on the world around me – mindfulness – and then just maybe I won’t flubb my days away.
No worries on the catch up. Back-to-back shift work was tiring when I was a lass (I couldn’t imagine pulling it off now).
And now I’m off to read your much awaited February 2010 Review 🙂
I’m with Vern on having no affiliation to any ‘ism’ although if you include alcohol I could be borderline.
I’m also with Talen in that meditation is not for me, I struggle to watch a movie throughout (watched about 4 in the last five years) and can’t sit still for too long if it involves concentration and no real movement. I’m an impatient sort who wants to do everything yesterday so that if I found I liked it I can do it all again today. I guess looking at my pension forecasts there’s never really been a tomorrow.
I’m struggling to catch up with your latest posts at the moment, I’ve been on the night shift again. I’ll get there I can assure you.
Talen, I wish that falling asleep was as easy as closing my eyes – I’m envious. I spend a lot of time reflecting, living in my head. So I thought that if it was channeled more, I could get use out of the time.
I will certainly write a post about the CD’s. My buddy Jay tells me that there are several types of Tai Chi, so I also need to find out what kind they practice in parks all over Thailand. As usual, I need to get stuck into researching for the post.
Sadly meditation just isn’t for me. If I close my eyes for anything it always is quickly followed by sleep. Sitting quietly and reflecting has worked for me though.
Cat, I am also very interested in Tai Chi and would love to know more about it…so let me know how those cd’s work out. There is a park in Nakhon Phanom that has a daily Tai Chi get together and I plan on checking that out when next in country.
Good! Company is needed as it’ll keep me going. Religion is not my thing, but I’m all for being grounded too. And to help this along, I’ve ordered more books on meditation, along with a few CD’s on Tai Chi (not sure when they’ll be here though). Khun Phairo has a friend who will walk me through the Tai Chi moves too, so it won’t all be digital.
I’m in. Many moons ago, meditation was a regular part of my daily life. Actually, twice a day. But, as typical, life moved on and I got away from it.
There’s certainly a spiritual aspect to most meditation practices, however, it wasn’t really a part of my practice. For me, it wasn’t so much about enlightenment as it was about grounding and centering myself. But, with that came a fair amount of personal insight.