HOW TO MEDITATE
Try these simple directions and see what happens.
1. Sit comfortably, with your spine erect, either in a chair or cross-legged on a cushion.
2. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, andfeel the points of contact between your body and the chair or the floor. Notice the sensations associated with sitting feelings ofpressure, warmth, tingling, vibration, etc.
3. Gradually become aware of the process of breathing. Pay attention to wherever you feel the breath most distinctly either at your nostrils or in the rising andfalling of your abdomen.
4. Allow your attention to rest in the mere sensation of breathing. (You don’t have to control your breath. Just let it come and go naturally.)
5. Every time your mind wanders in thought, gently return it to the breath.
6. As you focus on the process of breathing, you will also perceive sounds, bodily sensations, or emotions. Simply observe these phenomena as they appear in consciousness and then return to the breath.
7. The moment you notice that you have been lost in thought, observe the present thought itself as an object of consciousness. Then return your attention to the breath or to any sounds or sensations arising in the next moment.
8. Continue in this way until you can merely witness all objects of consciousness sights, sounds, sensations, emotions, even thoughts themselves as they arise, change, and pass away.
MY MEDITATION PRACTICE
Find a time that works best for you:
Number of minutes (Tip: Start with as few as five.)
Place (choose a space where you are unlikely to get interrupted).
After you have tried to do your initial meditating write about your experience and any challenges you had with the practice and what you think might make it easier, or any plans that might help you to hang in there.
Always remember there is no right or wrong way to meditate, and it gets easier over time, much easier. It may take time to feel yourself becoming calm or notice any benefits. Once you do experience any of those things, it becomes much easier to continue doing it. Try to practice at the same time or on some regular basis if possible. Once it becomes fairly easy you can increase the minutes or the days, but go slowly. Doing too much too soon easily leads to frustration, and you may want to give up.
We are both proof that you don’t have to believe in meditation for it to work. If you are at all like us, closing your eyes to meditate might seem silly, uncomfortable, or just not worth it. Hopefully you will try it, or at least another mindfulness practice anyway. You can practice right now. Accept whatever feelings exist, notice how you feel in your body reading through this Key or trying to do the assignments, let go of any fear, judgment, or negative feelings. Just let them pass. Sit quietly for a few minutes until you feel calm and neutral. Now that you are in a receptive place, read about a few other mindfulness practices you can try.