How to Meditate:
Simple Steps for Meditation Beginners
Set a regular schedule
The first step is committing to a regular, daily practice. Setting aside time for formal meditation is an important way to establish a routine and get comfortable with the practice. Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.
Meditation isn’t only
about the mind—
it’s also about the body.
Sit in a comfortable position
Find a quiet space where you can relax. Sit up straight—on the floor, on a cushion, or in a chair—a straight spine will help you to stay alert for your meditation. Don’t perch or lean back. By being still, you will feel directly whatever you are experiencing in your body at the moment because you are not moving away from it.
If you would like to sit on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you. You can also sit on cotton battings or cushions which can support your body in sitting with better posture.
If you sit on a chair, sit comfortably with your hands resting in your lap or on your knees. Keep your back straight —sitting at the front of the seat might help.
Your neck should be relaxed, with your chin slightly tucked in.
Gently close your eyes and begin by taking some deep breaths. Try taking a few “cleansing breaths” by inhaling slowly through your nose and then exhaling out your mouth. After a few cleansing breaths, continue to breathe at a normal relaxed pace through your nose with your lips gently closed.
Let your thoughts float
After few minutes of meditation, your mind will wander away from the focus on the breath in the lower abdomen to thoughts, planning, daydreams, drifting along, and so on. Observe the inner dialogue playing in your mind. Let it float by. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? Just observe; don’t engage.
Guide your attention back to breathing
Then try to bring your attention to your breathing. Don’t make any effort to change it, just observe the rising and falling sensation that it creates in your body. Notice where these sensations occur—be it your belly, your chest, your shoulders, or anywhere else. For a few moments, focus on the quality of each breath, noting whether it’s deep or shallow, long or short, fast or slow. Begin silently counting the breaths.
Take it with you
Before standing up, form a clear idea about what you’re going to do next, like brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea, or getting your keys to leave the house. It’s so easy to just jump up off the seat and lose the calm and spacious quality you’ve just created. Try to carry this awareness with you to the next activity.