Blizzard. Whiteout. What a fitting metaphor for Day 1 of the "28 Days of Meditation." I'm a meditation teacher who lives in Chicago. I am deeply grateful to Sharon for the teachings and her dedication to the practice. We're expecting up to two feet of snow in white out conditions with wind gusts of up to 60 miles an hour and waves off of Lake Michigan up to 25 feet high - oh my! I'm smiling, feeling pretty peaceful. I'm ready. I have a good shovel, de-icer, yummy food, firewood and a clear mind. I appreciate days like these. They're good reality checks that remind me not to take anything for granted. They also strengthen my faith in my own experience - because I know that although all I can see is snow - and it is coming down - the sun is still up there in the sky - shining brightly. It's comforting to know my solar brother joins me in awaiting the passing of this storm. I liken these conditions to the weather of the mind. There's weather here where I am and weather where you are. What are the conditions? There's also internal weather. There's the weather of my mind and the weather of your mind, best characterized by the intensity, velocity and clarity of our thoughts. And like the weather outside, the weather of the mind is always changing.
This is how I start my daily meditation practice: After taking a comfortable seat, I check the weather of my mind. By doing so I learn what mind I woke up with today. Knowing this, I can make the most of the miracle of this day. I also affirm my motivation. What am I willing to be a stand for today? I can't imagine my life without my practice. It's like the air I breathe - essential to my well-being. I tell the students who study with me to regard the practice the way they start their day. Using the bathroom, splashing some water on the face, brushing the teeth, bathing the body. I don't wake up each morning and debate the merits of using the toilet or brushing my teeth. I know from experience that I have a better day if I do these things. No second thoughts. And so it is with my meditation practice. Regardless of what shows up on the field of my life, I'm always better able to handle it due to the grounding I feel as a result of my practice. As you embark on this 28-day journey to greater peace and real happiness, I send you every blessing on the mighty Chicago wind. Let it snow! May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.