Summer of Meditation Challenge is Coming! Learn more about this fresh challenge for 2015

Summer of Meditation Challenge is Coming! Learn more about this fresh challenge for 2015

For your invitation to join this free online training program watch this quick (2 min) video today! xo Courtney

For your invitation to join this free 8 week online training program watch this quick (2 min) video! xo Courtney

Meditation is a relationship. It is a relationship with the deepest part of yourself: that conduit for wisdom, peace, + presence.

But one of the things I’ve observed over the past few years writing about my own meditation journey as well as teaching others is a gap (for many of us) between knowing what to do and living into it.

Likely you know that a daily meditation practice brings serious mental and physical benefits.

You may have heard of the numerous studies documenting that 8 weeks of meditation is enough to rewire your brain to be more stress hardy + resilient.

And that half an hour a day (or less! I meditate between 12-20 minutes each morning) makes you less likely to trip into overwhelm and sound the alarm of the fight or flight response.

But it isn’t always that easy to begin a new habit.

And phrases like “connect to your breath” or “release unwanted thoughts” can seem a bit simplistic. (Or annoying!)

Would you like to know my #1 tip for getting started meditating on a regular basis?

Take meditation out of the “should” category and put it into the “fun” category. Because it seriously is. And the fruits of a regular practice are really tasty.

This year I’m distilling down what I’ve learned about meditation into a simple process. I won’t say it is exactly linear. Truthfully I hate those “8 weeks to slimmer thighs through these proven steps” type of programs.

This Summer of Meditation Challenge will be more of an organic unfolding: week by week me distilling down what I am reading (I have 5 new shiny books on meditation, mindfulness and leadership:) adding a few sparks of inspiration and offering you my favorite practices for getting started or going deeper. Especially the tips I have observed help people sidestep common struggles and settle into their own routine.

That’s it. One simple invitation and mindfulness meditation for you each week for 8 weeks. Fresh. Light. Easy. Like Summer!

{Check out the two minute video above to learn more about my motivation behind the challenge + this year’s theme.}

And I hope you will take the invitation, week by week, to try something new. Likely you will learn some practices that you enjoy. Others maybe aren’t the best fit. But I can guarantee that if you commit to meditate you will feel better in your own skin and life.

{Subliminal message: This is not me being the expert. This is me inviting you to be your own expert.}

You already have all this wisdom, presence and peace within you.

Why not commit to taste it?

Look for more details next week. And of course invite your pals. Social accountability is one of the most powerful aids to creating a new habit. Find a friend to walk through the 8 weeks together. Or customize the program by setting up your own DIY coaching session/s to give you the support you need — including dismantling any roadblocks to meditation — along the way.



UpLevel Filming

Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a weekly e-newsletter on real-world mindfulness practices. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and conscious approaches to leadership and parenting. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three young children and remember to water their garden boxes. Courtney can be reached at or you can schedule a complementary conversation to talk more.

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Meditation Tip #2 + One Question Most Forget to Ask

Meditation Tip #2 + One Question Most Forget to Ask

Heart's Desire

So often we approach change and growth as a “should” as in “I should really meditate.” Yet it is actually the process of tuning into the desire behind the should which is the engine for the whole process. It is the desire which you can draw strength from when you hit resistance to a new habit.

Meditation Tip #2: Tune Into Your Heart’s Desire for Your Practice

Ask yourself: What is the desire behind your meditation practice?

Do you want to boost your immune system?

To be more present with your children?

To let go of old emotions?

To digest stress?

To detox your nervous system?

To discern your way through a challenge or an opportunity?

Specificity is powerful. The desire can and does evolve over time, but being clear on what is motivating you right now –this season– is what fuels you through final bumps until the new practice becomes a habit.

I’m sending a few extra tips (with my encouragement) this week as we gear up for the Summer of Meditation Challenge. Look for one more tomorrow.  Like this post and invite a friend to meditate with you.


PS This summer to complement the free 8 week etraining program I’ve developed a meditation support circle to offer audios of guided meditations, support calls and a sense of connection for those embarking on the challenge. Watch the video below and read all the details and register here.

Guided Meditation Video for Summer of Meditation Challenge

Summer of Meditation Challenge: A Free Online 8-Week Training Program

Summer of Meditation Challenge: A Free Online 8-Week Training Program

Summer of Meditation

Get your meditation groove on! Click on the photo above to watch a video about the Summer of Meditation Challenge…

Plus enter your name and email below to learn more about this free 8 week online training program which starts June 6 2014 and to receive Bird in Hand’s weekly enewsletter on conscious living.  In addition to a complete “how-to-get-started” meditation curriculum, this year the meditation challenge is focused on mindfulness practices for the “real world,” especially our work lives.  Please sign up below, “like” this video, and invite friends to join in with you!

Join the Summer of Meditation Challenge Here!

* indicates required

Themes we will be covering this summer*

Week One: Balance

Week Two: Concentration

Week Three: Compassion

Week Four: Resilience

Week Five: Communication and Connection

Week Six: Integrity

Week Seven: Meaning

Week Eight: Open Awareness

*based on Sharon Salzberg’s newest book: Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace (2014).

This year I’ll also be offering 8 audios of guided meditations as well as two live group coaching calls. Registration for this group coaching program will open after Memorial Day Weekend.  Sign up now for the free training program and you will also receive details about these additional options for more support as the program gets closer.

Here’s to your spacious summer– and to cultivating the presence of mind to enjoy it all.