Just getting started?
1. Sit in a comfortable position, in a chair is a good place to start or cross-legged on the floor. If you sit on the floor, you might try sitting on a cushion or a folded blanket to raise your hips higher than your knees, this is more comfortable.
2. Close your eyes or if this is uncomfortable for you, pick a spot on the floor in front of you to focus on.
3. Bring your attention to your breath, and if possible, breath in out through your nose. If you are congested, just breath in and out in any way that is comfortable for you.
4. As thoughts enter your mind, just let them be, imagine that they are clouds floating by, and let them pass, bringing your attention back to your breath.
5. If you should drift away from your meditation practice for a while, don’t be discouraged. Remember that the essence of meditation is to start over again and again. You can renew your practice at any time, in any moment.
6. Start by practicing this for 5 minutes a day, if possible first thing in the morning before you fully wake up to start the day. The mind is more amenable to calmness when first waking and it will set the tone for the rest of the day. If the morning isn’t possible for you, it doesn’t matter, any 5 minutes will do.
7. Try this 5 minute practice for 2 weeks and then increase it to 15 minutes for another 2 weeks, and continue increasing your time as it is comfortable and possible for you. 30 to 45 minutes a day will change your life and calm your mind throughout the entire day but it is better to work up to this and to keep your meditation time within your comfort zone. No need for it to feel like a stretch in any way.
Listening to guided meditations is a wonderful way to begin a meditation and to form the meditation habit. Here are a few audio links to great beginner meditations from Mindfulness by Mark Williams:
Feel free to contact me with any questions that emerge.
Amy Reyer, Ph.D., CPCC, ACC
Mindfulness Educator/Meditation Instructor