Step 1: Choose a quiet place where you won’t be distracted or disturbed. Often when you are new to meditation, it is easy to get distracted, so consider putting ear plugs in your ears or even your iPod ear buds in your ears…but forgo playing your Hit List for now.
Step 2: Sit on the floor or in a chair. If you choose to sit on the floor, you may want to put a blanket under you for some extra padding. Once you have some meditation time under your belt, you might want to consider purchasing a zafu and/or a zabuton. A zafu is a round traditional mediation cushion, measuring about 35cm and stuffed with buckwheat hull. A zafu is positioned under a person practicing meditation in a cross legged seated position for extra comfort. A zabaton is a cushion traditionally used in Japanese homes for seating. When meditating, a zabuton or yoga blanket is often set on the floor and then a zafu is placed on top of the zabaton or yoga blanket for added comfort. Using a zabuton, yoga blanket and/or zafu when meditating is more comfortable than sitting directly on the floor. The zafu also helps to maintain proper posture for the health and comfort of your back. These meditation accessories can help define that special place you have created for meditation.
Step 3: Close your eyes and begin to take slow, deep, measured, controlled breaths.
Step 4: Concentrate on your breathing and be mindful of the feelings associated with the deep breaths you are taking slowly – in and out. Some people like to use a mantra or repetitive phrase during meditation, which helps keep them focused. There are many ways to meditate and we recommend you try different methods as your meditation practice evolves to see what works best for you. For now focus on your breath. When your mind starts to wander, don’t get discouraged or frustrated. Just bring your concentration back to your breathing. Again, breathing in measured, slow breaths. If it helps, you can create a counting system – breath in 1.2.3..breath out 1.2.3.
Step 5: Establish a time frame. Start with a period of 5 minutes or so. Set a timer so you are not constantly opening your eyes to see what time it is.
Once the timer goes off, stay in position for a minute or two longer and slowly bring your awareness back to the present moment and time. Build up to 20 – 30 minutes a day. Experiment with timing.
Some people like to meditate in the morning, when they first rise from bed, as it sets the mood for the day, but often, especially those new to meditation, will feel their mind is too active in the morning, and evenings work best for them. Whenever and however you choose to meditate, your body, mind and soul will reap the rewards.