let’s sit together

by blogasana on May 6, 2011

Photo credit: Ashlee Gadd

After missing the Women’s Meditation Retreat at Spirit Rock last year, I promised myself I’d go this year.

But for a myriad of different reasons, I am not going again.

I attended this retreat for two consecutive years and had profound, albeit different, experiences at each. It’s a highly scheduled, controlled, quiet, introspective time. For me it was as painful as it was peaceful (as sitting with yourself can be), and the effects stayed with me for weeks/months/ever.

In part, I look to this retreat to reconnect me with my sitting practice, which admittedly ebbs and flows. After a week of sitting 4-5 hours throughout the day, 30 minutes in the morning seems pretty doable.

But why does it have to be so extreme?

Why do I need to jump back in with 4-5 hours of sitting (and 3-4 hours of walking meditation) to get started?

Isn’t it the small steps that count? The day to day that makes a difference?

Would you like to sit together?

As a form of accountability, and also because it is wonderful to sit with other people, I invite you to virtually sit with me for the next 3 weeks: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:15 – 6:30 am. Rise with the sun at 6, pee, get some tea, get what you need to be comfortable, and get online. I’ll ring the bell at 6:15, we’ll sit together in quiet, and the bell will indicate the closure of our sit 15 minutes later.

Maybe you’ve never tried sitting meditation, or you have tried and you felt completely tortured, or you sit twice a day and watch the thought clouds pass by. Skill, experience, even affinity for sitting do not matter.

Why? or How?

I have had periods of mostly peaceful — or at least not combative — sitting. And, I’ve had periods of such distraction and discomfort that getting through five minutes was all I could bear.

What I know is this: no matter what the quality of the sit — how “right” I think I did it — my day is better for it. My state of mind is more clear. My attention is more present. I am more patient and connected.

If you are interested (oh, I hope you are…) email me at michelle@itsallyoga.com and I will send all the details on the virtual magic that will make this possible.

There is room for 12 people in this virtual experience, including me. So if you would like to sit together, contact me soon.

Other logistics

When will it be?
Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 10th – 26th from 6:15-6:30 am.

Do I have to “attend” each sit?
No, but it would be super cool if you did.

I work/sleep/do something else at that time, will you do it again?
Probably! Just know that I am (as are millions of others) sitting at that time. If you remember to feel your breath, you’ll be connected to it as well.

I don’t have a computer. Or I have a computer but I don’t have built-in video.
If you don’t have a computer, we will sit together in spirit.
If you have a computer with speakers, you’ll be able to see and hear me, but I won’t see or hear you.
If you have a microphone, we’ll hear each other.
And if you have video, we’ll see and hear each other.

How expensive, techy, and complicated will this be?
It’s free.
Techy? I figured it out. And that says a lot. I’ll send a link, you’ll click the link, and sign in as a guest — nothing to download or sign up for.
It really is that easy. I tested it with Bubby and he got it, easy peezy. (And I’m the technical mastermind in the family. Frightening, I know.)

I’ve never meditated. Will these be guided?
These will not be guided meditations.  There are some free guided meditations on this site with different techniques for focusing attention. The over-simplified way to approach it is: just sit with yourself, as you are, without pushing your thoughts or feelings away or getting completely wrapped up in them.

I don’t know you. Will that be weird?
Won’t be weird for me.

Have other questions?
Just ask.

Or just do it! It’s six mornings. A hour and a half out of your month. Little steps. We’ll take them together! Email me at michelle@itsallyoga.com.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

madyoga May 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm

What a beautiful idea! That’s my journaling time, but I salute you and the group I’m sure you with gather. Brilliant.


Leili Learning Life May 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm

This is just the kind of accountability I need right now. Even if not “virtually,” it’s powerful to know that others are quieting their minds at the same time.


Cecile May 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm

AAAh Michelle- perfecto para mi. I am in a different time zone and beginning my journey home on the first meditation day. I am going to start my trip a half hour later just to partake and set the tone for my long drive north. Assuming the internet is up and operating I can be with you in the ether on Tuesday from Loreto and Thursday from Santo Tomas or thereabouts. Next week it will be Sacramento. Hasta pronto mi amiga.


geanette May 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I am IN! Jake will walk a little earlier on these days so I can “sit”… What a perfect time!

Email coming shortly!


Traci May 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Sign me up! It was so wonderful, beautiful, peaceful to sit with you yesterday…i can’t wait to try this virtually :)


blogasana May 7, 2011 at 1:34 am

wonderful, ladies!!!! really excited to see how this can work to support us in this practice of peace xoxo


Kelley M May 10, 2011 at 12:43 am

Only 12 people (insert sad face here). I’m too slow on the uptake and behind in my emails. I’ll let you all work out all the kinks (lol) and jump in next time. Big hugs to you for such a great idea.


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