These basic meditation instructions can be helpful for beginning meditators. If you already have a meditation practice, you can try these instructions, or you can meditate in the ways that you are accustomed. Please keep in mind that these are not rules which you must follow. They are just suggestions, or recommendations, which you may explore in order to find out what is most helpful for you.
- Find a quiet spot to meditate where you most likely won’t be disturbed by others or by the phone. Decide how long you are going to sit (anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes) and either set an alarm or have a clock nearby to peek at on occasion.
- Sit in a comfortable posture, either on a chair, couch, or on a meditation mat or cushion. If you do need to move during the meditation sitting, try to move slowly and quietly into a more comfortable posture.
- Close your eyes and bring your attention to places where your body touches either your hands, resting one on top of the other in your lap, or the points of contact of your legs, feet, and rear against the cushion or the floor.
- But don’t hold your attention there. Instead, allow your mind to go where it will. If you are drawn into thoughts, feelings, memories, or fantasies, let your attention go there. Your attention may at times also be drawn to sounds, bodily sensations, fragrances or odors, or your breath.
- When you feel that you have been away from the contact of your legs, feet or hands for several minutes, you can remind yourself to come back to awareness of the touch and stay there for a few seconds before allowing your mind to wander again.
- If you feel restless, bored, confused, discouraged, elated, sleepy, upset, anything, it is okay. You don’t have to do anything about it, or, you can bring your attention back to the awareness of touch. But if you do return to the awareness of touch, just stay there for a little while, and then, if your mind wants to go back into the feelings or thoughts that you left, you can let it. If something else draws your attention, you can go there.
- When the meditation sitting is over, take a couple of minutes to mentally recall what you can of the sitting. If you would like to journal your meditation sitting, just try to write a description of what you remember.