What is the Meditation Challenge?

The Meditation Challenge "challenges" you to develop the habit of meditation. The goal is to help 100,000 people develop the habit of meditation.

What do you mean when you say "develop the habit" of meditation?

A habit is something that is engrained into your life. It is something you repeatedly do over and over. The goal is for meditation to be like brushing your teeth! (And with the 21 day program you learn that you can meditate while brushing your teeth!)

The goal with the Meditation Challenge is to help people make their lives a "living meditation."

What are 21 day Meditation Circles vs. 21 day LIVE Meditation Instruction?

Actually, the two are synonymous. You may hear them described as 21 day LIVE meditation circles or 21 day LIVE meditation instruction.

Meditation circles was the original name for the 21 days of meditation. I love the idea of a Meditation Circle. Because it's not about me (or the facilitator) but about all of us coming together (as a circle) in meditation. Everyone in the circle is important and we have great discussions/comments after the meditation. The energy of the group is palpable.

Some people were looking specificially for meditation instruction, so I started referring to the Meditation circles as 21 day LIVE meditation instruction. This is true also. In the "Meditation Circle" you are exposed to numerous meditation techniques. There is always a "facilitator" to gently remind you of the "technique". The facilitator is also available to answer any questions and promote dialogue between participants. (See the difference between guided meditations and facilitated meditations below).

Again, you can look at them as meditation circles or as meditation instruction. Either way it is about coming together in meditation and finding out what works for you in a supportive, loving environment.

What are the biggest obstacles to developing a habit" of meditation?

According to an international survey* of 400 participants from 45 different countries here are the biggest obstacles to developing a regular meditation practice:

* Lack of self-discipline
* Having the right place to meditate
* Falling Asleep
* Having too many distractions
* And not knowing HOW to meditate

The 21 day meditation program is THE answer to overcoming ALL of these obstacles.

With the 21 day program, you find that you naturally and easily convert waiting time into meditating time and incorporate meditation into your daily activites. Meditation then becomes a way of LIVING! You also will know how to incorporate distractions into your meditations. Forget falling asleep, because meditation is such a joyous, blissful process! And you'll be able to meditate anywhere, under any circumstace with all the "techniques" you learn during the 21 days! You can even meditate while driving or walking through a crowded mall.

*Survey compiled Jan 2008 by Lisa Hepner of Peaceful Earth, LLC

What is Meditation?

Meditation is really being present in the moment. It is living from the awarness of the truth of who you are!

From this definition, you can see that meditation isn't about closing yourself off in a room for hours in an uncomfortable position, repeating a mantra you can't even pronounce. Meditation is a way of LIVING.

When your life becomes a meditation, you live from a place of peace, centeredness. You live from that place of presence.

What are the common misconceptions about meditation?

I offer a FREE report on the common misconceptions of meditation. Go to the Don't Wait-Meditate Pledge link on the left and sign the pledge. You will receive your FREE report!

What if I have an active mind?

If you have an active mind, you would benefit greatly from meditation. Meditation slows the incessant chatter, while increasing creativity!

It is a common misconception that meditation is about getting rid of thought! That would set anyone up for failure! Yes, while practicing meditation, the incessant mind chatter does decrease, but you certainly don't get rid of thoughts! The mind becomes a powerful tool! You learn to become the observer of thoughts rather than the reactor.

What are the benefits of meditation?

There are numerous scientific studies that show the benefits of meditation on health.

Other benefits according to an international survey of 400 people from 45 different countries revealed the following benefits:

* Peace of Mind, Inner Peace
* Calmness, Calmer
* Stress Reduction
* Relaxation
* Focus
* Improved Health
* Connection with "Higher Power" and Others
* Clarity
* Balance
* Wisdom

There have also been numerous studies on the effect of meditation on our relationships and environment. Meditation helps you experience a deep onnection with others. Meditation helps you experience harmonious relationships. And meditation has positive changes on the world around us. (reduction in crime rate, increase in abundance, reduction in drugs)

How did the Meditation Challenge start?

I had been studying spirituality for over 15 years and writing and speaking about peace for 6 years. After reading Eckhart Tolle's (one of my favorite author's) book A New Earth, I was trying to figure out how to incorporate all that CONTENT into a way of BEING.

I knew these principles about living in the moment and knowing the truth of who we are, but I knew this intellectually without a deep KNOWING.

I knew the importance of meditation which I believe is the key to living in the moment, but I had tried numerous times to incorporate meditation into my life unsuccessfully.

I realized I needed partners to hold me accountable. I also rememberd that statistic that it takes 21 days to make a new habit. So I set up a 21 day meditation circle with two other gals. The results for us were transformational, so I decided to offer this service to others.

It's a 21 day "program" that really is a program on living in the moment and being aware of the truth of who you are. It's a program about living from the inside out.

Why should I PAY for meditation?

I belive that no one should have to pay to learn to meditate. That's why when you sign the Don't Wait-Meditate pledge you receive a FREE link to meditation podcasts explaining all the meditation techniques we go over in the 21 day circles!

And we also have a FREE Meditation Monday every month. For more information go to:

(The free meditation Mondays are also a great "introduction" to the 21 day circles.)

Also there are many churches/organizations that offer meditation training (they are able to do this often because of their non-profit status and their abilility to accept donations).

What you are paying for with the 21 day meditation circles is the SUPPORT for 21 days and a lifetime to follow. You are paying for the facilitator's time to guide you through the 21 day process!

I wanted to make this program accessible to all so made the price very reasonable compared to most of the meditation programs out there that offer prolonged, live support.

Remember, this program offers 21 day live instruction (like having your personal meditation coach) and a LIFETIME of follow up. It requires a commitment of time and energy on the part of the facilitator.

The 21 day program ends up being less than $10 a day. Plus you have to factor in the lifetime of support you get as well!

Also, if anyone is seriously in financial need ,we have scholarships available.

How does the 21 day program work?

You sign up for a circle that works for you. During those dates and times you call a long distance number. You have a live meditation facilitator "facilitating" the meditations. You also have certain "assignments" to help you incorporate meditation into your daily life!

The calls are LIVE except on Saturdays and Sundays. We changed this format (they used to be live throughout the 21 days) because people weren't showing up on the calls on Saturdays and Sundays! They had a hard time committing to the same time on Saturday or Sunday.

Now, we give participants a call in number that they can call in ANYTIME on Saturday or Sunday to listen to the meditation. Plus, you're assigned a partner to help hold you accountable!

What about long distance rates?

You are given a U.S. long distance number to call for the 21 days. Check with your long distance carrier. The conference calls are a long distance number. However, many carriers offer free long distance calls to anywhere in the U.S or Canada.

If your carrier does not provide free long distance, we recommend signing up for low cost rates at www.jajah.com. The calls within the US average about .50 cents for a 30 minute call. So with this rate you could expect to pay about $10.50 for the 21 days assuming you would spend 30 minutes on each call. (And international rates are only about $1.00 for 30 minutes).

At jajah.com you don't need any special software or headsets.

What can I expect from the 21 day program?

I'd encourage you to click on the "testimonials" link above to see what others have experienced from the 21 day meditation circles.

However, I'd caution you against "expecting" anything out of the circle. If you set an expectation, you can either achieve it or not. The meditation circle is about learning how to BE in the moment and how to experience peace regardless of what is going on externally.

Try not to make meditation into a goal, because then it becomes something you can either pass or fail at. I encourage everyone to just "show up" for the process.

Don't expect to become enlightened at the end of 21 days. Nothing can be added to you. You already are! The meditation circle just helps support this awareness.

What is the difference between "facilitated" meditations and "guided" meditations?

While guided meditations are beneficial they usually involve some sort of visualization and an outcome. We do not use guided meditations in this 21 day program.

This 21 day program is based on simple meditation techniques that do not require any visualizations or outcome. Again the idea is to be able to experience peace regardless of what is going on externally.

If you are interested in guided meditations, we do offer many of them at our site www.peacefulearth.com

How does this program relate to "positive thinking? "

Positive thinking is usually about "re-programming" the mind. Whereas meditation is about moving "beyond the mind" into the realm of being. So instead of "fighting the thoughts" as you often do when you are "re-programming" the mind with affirmations, you become the observer of thoughts.

You don't get wrapped into the drama of thoughts. You experience peace and joy beyond the thoughts.

How does this program relate to the "Secret" or the "Law of Attraction?"

The Law of Attraction says that what you "think," you attract. The law of attraction seems to focus on attracting things with our thoughts.

This places our happiness outside ourselves. By attracting that new car, new job, new spouse into our life we are "post-poning" our happiness until we manifest that "thing" into our lives. Once we manifest this "thing" into our lives, THEN we will be happy!

Meditation shows us that we already are whole and complete and that there is perfect peace right where we are.

With the law of attraction we often place our salvation upon some projected future instead of living in the moment!

It seems that the law of attraction is backward. Really it's about living from the awareness that you are whole and perfect where you are! And as you live from this place, all the good that resonates with you is brought into your awareness.

This is what it means to live from the inside out. Please check out the "Inside out" movie above.

What meditations are used in this 21 day program?

The meditations used in this 21 day program are open to anyone and honor all paths. They are not based on a specific form of meditation!

The meditations used in this program were selected based on their ease and simplicity!

If you like the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, you will love this program. The program is about living in the moment and being aware of the truth of who you are.

Some people have said that this program is like the Eastern "mindfulness" program.

What if I sign up for a circle and find the dates and times don't work?

While we do not offer refunds (because the price is based on a service that we provide you), we do allow you to sign up for any future meditation circle.

For example, if you start one circle and find the date and times don't work for you, I will let you know of all the upcoming circles and you can choose from one that works for you.

And as we get more facilitators on board, we will have more times and dates to choose from!

What if I have to miss a day or two during the 21 day process?

While I encourage everyone to show up and commit to the 21 days, I am aware that LIFE HAPPENS!

If you have to miss a day or two, that's okay. All the phone calls are recorded and you will have 24 hours to listen to the recording before the next call!

How does this program differ from other meditation programs, like the Transcendental Meditation Program?

The Transcendental Meditation assigns a specific mantra to you to be used in meditation.

While we use what could be considered as a "mantra" in one of our techniques, the purpose of meditation is to be aware of the truth that the mantra points too!

In other words, any word or words could be used as a mantra, and if you just commit to saying words over and over again, it becomes an exercise in concentration NOT meditation.

However, if you are aware of the truth that the "mantra" points too, then you are meditating. Mantras are like "road signs" that point us to the Truth.

Why is important to drop the technique?

You will hear me say often during the 21 day program, that while the 21 day "program" introduces" many different meditation "techniques" that it's ultimately about dropping the technique!

In other words, the technique serves as a pointer to the present moment. Then you no longer need the technique and can just BE.

Can my kids/partner/spouse benefit from the program?

Since these meditations are facilitated via teleconference, your kids, spouse or partner may benefit from it as well. You may put the calls on speaker phone and allow others to participate in the 21 day program with you! (Or you can share the techniques with them and teach them how to meditate).

Meditation over the phone?

Yes, the idea sounds funny at first, but it is actually quite effective for three reasons. One, the meditations can be done from the comfort of your own home. The familiar environment aids in relaxation. Two, you join with people from all across the world! And third, since it is over the phone, you don't have to worry about what others may be thinking about you! The calls provide anonimity which takes away judgment!

If you have a question that has NOT been answered in this section, please email
lisa@meditationchallenge.com with your questions.

"The Meditation Circle has changed my life in the way I can Be. Instead of reacting in a negative way as I did before, I now accept what shows up. I am calmer, and happy."

Lori H. - Pennsylvania

"The 21 day meditation circle has helped me to make a commitment to meditate daily, which I hadn't been able to do on my own. It has been a special knowing I am meditating in community even though I am on my own at home. Lisa is a gentle cheerful leader!"

-Susan W., Canada

"I continue to use the 'I am' technique; I enter the space when I first wake, I look forward to it again at the end of my day before I sleep; during the day I am using it out in the world even driving!"

-Sunny, Australia

"Opening my eyes during meditation was a totally new experience and felt awesome, and I felt fully alive, and I experienced life for the first time living from the inside - out, instead of vice-versa."

- Joe B. California

"What has surprised me is how powerful this is, something I wasn't expecting....although quite alone in my home I feel quite connected to the others who are in this Meditation Circle. And it goes without saying...it so convenient!"

-Karen H, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

"Well, now I live in a meditative state most of the time and keep reminding myself of my true nature and gift. I try to surrender myself to the higher Self and strive for all my thoughts, words and feelings to emerge from that loving place within me."

-Zarina, California

"Through this meditation circle I have found out how to connect with my body in a way that is both absolutely physical and absolutely spiritual. I feel this deep sense of aliveness that I can reconnect with instantly any time I choose, in any situation. In that moment, I feel at one with myself, in touch with my higher Self, and immediately connected to everything around me."

-Nancy G., California

"I felt a difference around day 5 or 6. That peacefulness has continued. I meditate every morning before I start the day. Things seem to go better or I just handle them better."

-Peggy, Arizona

"I was a bit reluctant at first, but I have noticed that this is a great way to maintain the conscious connection between my internal self and my external world."

-Jennifer S., New York

"I am especially pleased to have learned the open-eyed meditation, which will help me to cultivate the practice of meditation/mindfulness during my daily activities. Meditating has become a daily habit that I really enjoy and look forward to as a way to tune in to the peaceful, ever-present truth within my being."

-Raechel, California

"Once I realize that my mind is running wild, I can see it for what it is and can slow my mind and myself down. Blissful can only give an idea of the feeling that follows."

- Margo Purcell
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

"Now, thanks to Lisa and her meditation circle, I can enjoy the benefits of daily meditation, including feeling more calm and grounded as I go about my day. Thanks Lisa!"

-Hilary G.

"Practicing feeling the "aliveness" in my body and meditating with my eyes open has made it easy to meditate anywhere anytime. Thanks, Lisa - what a gift."

Atlanta, GA