I decided on a formal timetable. I will officially start the challenge on June 1st. That’s early, but our host has given permission to start in June if research is complete.
As preparatory work I will do silent, non-mantra meditation every day between now and June 1.
Completed my first session today. I practiced Shamatha – silent, eyes-closed meditation in a cross-legged position with my back supported by a wall. I wasn’t really striving for a time goal; I basically just started with the intent of meditating “as long as I felt like it.” When I finished my session turned out to be twenty minutes. Not too bad. I’ll try to go longer tomorrow.
I’m used to silent meditation, so I felt the familiar transition from chatter to inner silence, then back to chatter, then silence, then chatter, then silence. My only concern is that once or twice I caught myself falling asleep. (Like nearly everyone else in the United States not yet retired, I am chronically sleep-deprived.) We will see how much of an issue this is in the future.