A week ago today I participated in my first “Tweetchat.” This is quite an accomplishment for me as six months ago I didn’t have a clue what Twitter was all about, and I still don’t fully understand it. For those Twitter-challenged like myself, a Tweetchat is sort of like a virtual meeting held on Twitter. Everyone gets together at a certain time and uses the same hashtag (#) and an actual conversation takes place (it’s magic!).
This Tweetchat was with Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation. Although I had some anxiety ahead of time (What would I ask? Would I sound dumb? Would I make some Twitter faux pas?), it went really well and I got a lot out of it. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with organizing the content. I saved everything right afterward (because I don’t think Twitter keeps things very long), printed it all out, and then organized tweets by topic. This isn’t everything, but it will give you some of the highlights.
First, as with any social engagement, there are a few pleasantries and introductions:
Sharon Salzberg Getting ready for the #realhappiness #tweetchat at 1:30 PM today! Tweet you soon!
barbmarkway Ready for my first tweet chat with @Sharon Salzberg #realhappiness
HMKoutoukas Happy President’s Day! This Month’s #TweetChat will start at 1:30 PM with @SharonSalzberg. Open to all! #realhappiness
On meditation practice in general:
HMKoutoukas Q: What time of day is best to start your practice via @FaceBook Fan #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@HMKoutoukas The time when U’ll actually do its the best time. Going from thinking abt it 2 doing its the hardest part #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@HMKoutoukas I try to sit first thing in the am, before e-mail! #realhapiness
barbmarkway Sometimes I feel like I’m just daydreaming with a few deep breaths thrown in #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@barbmarkway Sometimes it is just a few mindful breaths! but in the long run, we are still building awareness. It’s good #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@TheBuffyProject They say the Buddha taught med. in 4 postures – sitting, standing, walking & lying down #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@2catsandapencil Even if I’m sleepy or concentration seems crummy. In the end, it’s all good. #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@2catsandapencil Sometimes we think things r going badly but when we look back we see we were building strength and openness #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@2catsandapencil Please keep going. it takes time but meditation really does have an effect. #realhappiness
On dealing with thoughts and anxiety:
SpicedNutmeg When I sit initially my mind is quiet and then there is flood of thoughts and no stop to it. Thank #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@SpicedNutmet Practice cn B more abt getting space from thought than stopping them. Then flood of thoughts is no problem. #realhappiness
CharleySez Hi. Meditating can give more space for anxieties and worries as there are no distractions. How best can we sit with these? #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@CharleySez true. 1st understand it’s normal. 2nd, we work w/balanced awareness & compassion 4 ourselves #realhappiness
SharonSalzbert@CharleySez it includes feeling the worry in yr body then moving attention 2 something easier 2 b w/then back. #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@CharleySez We try 2 call anxiety painful rather than “bad”. that takes practice 2! #realhappiness
CharleySez@SharonSalzberg Thank you. Being with the worry, also with compassion for self, taking it moment by moment – I will do that. #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@CharleySez That sounds great! You will see changes, more in your life than on the cusion. but that’s where it counts. #realhappiness
On dealing with emotions:
SpicedNutmeg I find it difficult to separate the thought and emotion. I’m caught in it. #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@SpicedNutmeg mayB ask yourself “What am I feeling in my body?”. Breath & body will giv sum space w/out denying the emotion. #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@SpicedNutmeg Can u feel your emotions in your body? that is often grounding, and interesting 2 #realhappiness
TheBuffyProject Sometimes it’s important to give yrself the space to feel unhappy, too. That, too, is #compassion #realhappiness
TheBuffyProject “I feel what I feel, and it’s ok.” Recognition leads to potential options. #realhappiness
On dealing with anger:
Stacysingsone Wanted to ask ? about compassion–the more compassion I feel, the more angry I feel when others do not #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@Stacysingsone When you c lack of compassion can u remind yourself that the lack is itself suffering? #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@Stacysingsone It is hard 2 c. The Buddha said, within & without, we are fighting ignorance. #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@Stacysingsone It’s not that anger is “bad” but it won’t work. #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@Stacysingsone If we think of it as bad we usually strengthen it. even tho we don’t want to #realhappiness
Stacysingsone@SharonSalzberg Thanks for thoughts on anger. have more work to do. #realhappiness
On working with pain:
barbmarkway I struggle with “Is pain real?” I blame myself. I sometimes use the mind/body connection against myself. #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@barbmarkway Pain is real @ it’s hard. it also changes w/in itself. we can make it harder due 2 habits. Rt. thr is R work. #realhappiness
barbmarkway@SharonSalzberg Yes, I do a lot of “add on” like you write about. Trying to notice that more. #realhappiness
SharonSalzberg@barbmarkway Very hard. But good to examine what makes things worse. that’s the part we don’t have 2 feel helpless about #realhappiness
barbmarkway@SharonSalzberg So hard not to anticipate more pain when you’re in “chronic pain” cycle #realhappiness
MettBomb RT@SharonSalzberg@HMKoutoukas Research shows Med. affects pain first by helping us not anticipate next hit of pain. #realhappiness
barbmarkway@SharonSalzberg Thank you for this! #realhappiness
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