Seven Meditation Basics (adapted from Mindfulness Meditation)

 

  1. Environment: choose a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed. Make this a special time for yourself. As you respect it, so will others.
  2. Posture: best to sit with back strait, on chair or cross-legged. Be open, with hands resting comfortably. Eyes closed (though you may prefer softly open).

  3. Relaxation: become aware of each part of your body in succession, tensing on the in-breath and letting go on the out-breath. Move from the scalp down to your toes (or you may prefer the other way around). Pay attention to the tension, and keep dropping deeper into your seat.

  4. Breath: notice the breath going in and out, warm and cool. Don’t try to control it, but allow your abdomen and diaphragm muscles to release. You breath may become slower and shallower as the relaxation response slows you down.
  5. Mantras: choose a word or sound to focus on, repeating it silently in time with your breathing. Alternatively, you may wish to focus on a candle flame, or just your breath.
  6. Non-Judgement: whenever you begin to question if you are doing it “right”, notice that and remind yourself there is no right way, only what is happening now. Simply bring your attention back to your breath and/or your mantra, over and over again.

  7. Practice: any habit can be developed if done regularly every day for 3-4 weeks. Short sessions often (at least daily, if not 2-3 times a day, for 3-20 minutes) will bring better results than a few irregular long sessions . As you continue in this way, you will naturally grow accustomed and not want to miss your meditation.
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