Taos’ Sage Institute for Consciousness, Creativity & Environment is offering a month-long meditation challenge for beginning and advanced practitioners alike. Closing on the solstice, June 21st, this 28 day challenge is meant to guide participants into the spacious experience of making mediation part of their daily routine. I spoke with Hannah Rappaport, the managing director of Sage Institute, to find out more about what’s happening at Sage and how they hope to nurture a community of meditation with the challenge.
This is the second time Sage Institute has hosted a month long meditation program. The idea was born from Tania Casselle, wife of Sage’s founding director Sean Murphy, who had participated in a challenge at her local gym and found that doing things in community keeps people motivated to keep going. One of the common pitfalls of trying to kickstart a personal meditation practice is just making the time and space to sit. When I asked Hannah about this she said, “The challenge is here to help people get a momentum going — to experience the subtle and sometimes miraculous positive changes that can take place in their lives when they come to their ‘one seat’ daily.”
Let’s face it — it’s a trait of humanity to engage in the art of distraction. Cultivating the fortitude to move slowly and introduce the elusive quality of careful consideration, in this author’s opinion, is an art form. What Sage Institute is offering is a chance to try that on for size ten to twenty minutes out of our very busy day.
Here’s what the challenge looks like. Each day participants will receive an email reminder with audio links to guided meditations led by experts, plus a forum to ask questions, chat with other participants, and get personal feedback from meditation teachers. When you do your meditation is entirely up to you, but the support and the reminder are there.
The instructors for this challenge are Hollie Laudal, trained in Tibetan forms of meditation; Sean Murphy, a Zen practitioner for many years; Mirabai Starr, author of several books about the Christian Mystics and teacher/workshop leader; and Hannah Rappaport, a certified meditation leader as well as an ordained Gnostic priest.
While the official start date of the challenge was May 24th, the sign up period has been extended for another week to offer access to anyone in the community who wishes to join. For more information about Sage Institute, its teachers, and to join the challenge, check out their website or visit them on Facebook.
If you’ve ever been curious about what can happen in the space of a quiet mind, there’s no time like the present.
photo credit — Mel A. James