Last month acclaimed meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg conducted a 28-Day Meditation Challenge that followed the program set out in her new book, Real Happiness. Among the participants, Keith Villanevva, a New York City firefighter. Above is a photo of the book in Keith’s firetruck. Keith also blogged during the challenge. Here are a few excerpts:
…It has been brutal weather these past few weeks in NYC. A lot of us firefighters are being over worked due to the city’s low budget. So even though we were running around all day and night for 24 hours I managed to squeeze in a meditation session while we sat at a manhole fire for 3 hours.
…The breath is like the emergency eject button in a fighter plane. It gets us out of trouble and brings us back to earth. Thank goodness for the breath. We always have it with us wherever we go.
…The mind is like an anxious dog. When you let go of the leash it tends to run around like crazy checking out everything in sight and getting into trouble. Once you notice it, you whistle to get its attention so that it can come back to you and behave.
…Another great thing is that Sharon right away teaches you to have compassion for yourself while trying to meditate. She shows you right away that it’s ok and perfectly fine to start over again and again and again. I love that. There is no need to beat yourself up while trying to do something that is meant to help you. This is what Real Happiness is about. Going with the flow without judging yourself and allowing yourself to experience the experience. This is the way we achieve self inquiry. Meditation is the true path to the “Self”.
Thank you, Keith, and everyone else who participated in the challenge.