How 40-Day Meditation Can Improve Your Life

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The other morning I work up and decided that I wanted to do a 40-day meditation. I haven't done one since my teacher training in 2008 and I get the feeling it's time once again. Even though I work on my personal practice nearly every single day through meditation, asana, pranyama or inquiry, dedicating myself to 40 days of meditation is entirely different and takes real commitment and determination.

We see the 40-day practice pop in many different religions and spiritual practices.Why? Well, it is said that it takes 40 days to establish lasting change, replacing thought patterns that do not serve you to more peaceful, contented thoughts. In my case, I wish to cultivate greater confidence, clarity and creativity. Given that it's a new year and there is a ton of great energy surrounding the charge of 2011, I can't think of a better time to begin. The last time I embarked upon this journey was completely eye opening and while I am letting go of any expectations this time around, I feel confident it will be just as inspiring.

It won't be easy. The meditation I've chosen to do, with the help of my friend and yoga teacher, comes from the Kundalini tradition and will require 31 minutes of quiet time each day. No matter where I'm at, I'll need to make space for this commitment because once you start, you don't stop, or you have to start all over again! It will be easy some days, and tough others, but in the end I know it will be worth it.

I've decided to start my meditation on my birthday next Tuesday, 1/11/11, and plan to share my experience along the way. All of the numbers of my birthday this year add up to the number five and in numerology the five signifies change. With this in mind, I cannot think of a better time to start my 40-day meditation!

Have you ever done a 40-day practice, either mediation, religious, or otherwise? What kind of experience was it for you? What challenges did you face along the way and how did you overcome them?