This is the first time I’ve been part of a virtual sangha, and it’s interesting! Long-time IMS meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg‘s clear and simple audio meditations are a fun way to connect with a larger community (even though I miss the special something that’s created when we bring our physical bodies to sit together, especially in a spot as beautiful as IMS with its soaring pines).
This is the sixth year of the meditation challenge, but the first year that I’ve signed on — I wasn’t sure what it had to offer someone like me who, at long last!, has a daily meditation practice.
I’m so glad that I did! It feels like summer mindfulness camp for adults. Blog posts from thousands of participants, daily guided audio meditations from Sharon, parties, readings from classic texts…fun and inviting.
The audio meditations remind us of key parts of the practice, like her piece today on metta, sending out lovingkindness out to pairs of opposites, “so that taken together, they form the whole of life.” We send lovingkindness to all enlightened beings, then we send lovingkindness to all unenlightened beings (those who live in ignorance). Bridging the dichotomy and reminding us that we are all one.
You can still sign up (there are a few days left) or consider it for the dark days of next February. And listen to some of Sharon’s mindfulness podcasts here on key topics like sympathetic joy, doubt, and suffering as an opening to faith.
May all beings be happy!