SitYou can use a meditation cushion (zafu) or meditators bench (Seiza Bench) or just use a chair. If using a chair (which I often do), make sure it is a solid one (no desk chairs with wheels). Sit toward the front edge of your chair. Once you are sitting, you’ll want to roll your pelvis forward, so you are sitting on the two bones in your bottom, sometimes called the sitting bones. Allow your back to be straight and dip your chin a bit. In your sitting, find a balance. You don’t want to be worried about being sitting ramrod straight, but don’t slouch either. Think of the string of a music instrument – not too tight or too loose.
BreathRest attention on the breath as it travels in and out of the nose. Just allow yourself to feel the breath. You may find it useful to count it – on the in breath, mentally say “in”, and on the outbreath, mentally count “one”. We will come back to the breath in a minute.
Hands. Do something with your hands. You may want to make a steeple, or “lions paw”, or forefinger and thumb touching, or prayer hands. Or something else. Regardless of which position (mudra) you pick, it is yours, and you’ll want to keep using it when you meditate.
MindHere is the part that people find the most challenging, both in getting over their own preconceived views of what meditation is as well as what they are supposed to be doing…and just sitting still with your self! As you sit and breath, with the intent to rest attention on the breath, counting away, you’ll find the mind wants to wander. Stories of the past, the future, what else you could be doing, are you doing this right, I took a right on my way to work when I meant to go left but I came across a nice little store where I found that vase that had oh right meditating. Your mind will wander. It is ok. If your mind wanders 10,000 times during your sitting, it is ok. Come back to the breath. I use a mantra I heard that, as I recognize my mind has wandered, I say to myself “Recognize, relax, return to the breath”. I am acknowledging that my mind has wandered, I am not allowing myself to be frustrated about it, and I am getting back to sitting with the breath.
- One thing that will make this practice easier are to be consistent in when and where you meditate (every morning, by this bookcase)
- Start with a timer set for 10 minutes. When you are ready, you may find it beneficial to go to 20 or 30 minutes.
- If you find yourself saying “I am not doing a good job at meditation!” then congratulate yourself on your sitting in one spot for 10 minutes practice.
- When meditation is easy, then practice meditation when it is easy. When meditation is hard, practice meditation when it is hard.