STEP ONE :: START BY SITTING COMFORTABLY. USE YOUR COUCH, A CHAIR, BLANKETS, PILLOWS, BOLSTERS, STUFFED ANIMALS, ETC.
If you want to take your meditation to a higher caliber, there are a few secrets to sitting properly. Make sure your hips are higher than your knees with about a 6-8 degree tilt to your pelvis. This will ensure that your lower back is not rounding and will help to release the diaphragm. Stack your shoulders over your hips with your ears in line with your shoulders to alleviate upper back tension. The front of your face should slightly pull in and up to open the soft palate. Relax the back of the throat, the base of the tongue and the bones behind the eyes. Focus on the ascension of your spine as you descend the mind back into your heart.
STEP TWO :: SET A TIMER FOR 15 MINUTES AND AND TURN YOUR PHONE ON SILENT. INSIGHT TIMER IS A PHENOMENALIPHONE APP FOR MEDITATION.
The amount of time you sit comes second to the fact that you choose to sit at all. 15 minutes is a good place to start but again, anything is better than nothing at all. Be creative if you have to, 5 minutes before getting out of your car in the morning will beat not tapping in to the stillness. Try to work up to 30 minutes, twice a day and don’t be hard on yourself if you have trouble. Truth be told – mediation is not easy. Like anything it takes practice.
STEP THREE :: CLOSE YOUR EYES GENTLY. ENVISION A THIN SILK FABRIC BEING DRAPED OVER YOUR EYES. LISTEN TO YOUR BREATH AND FOCUS ON THE SOUND OF YOUR BREATHING. WHEN YOUR MIND STARTS TO WANDER, COME BACK TO YOUR BREATH.
For many people breath awareness meditation can be quite tricky. Try using a word or a phrase that has no real meaning to connect you to the breath. This type of word is called a mantra which translates to mean mind-tool; literally a tool to anchor the mind. Try saying to yourself “I breathe in,” as you breathe in and “I breathe out,” as you breath out. Every time the mind starts to wander, which it will, come back to the phrase. If you would prefer something with less meaning the soham mantra is a good place to explore. As you breath in, say “Sooooo” and as you breathe out say, “Hummm.” Meditation is not about erasing thoughts but instead learning to not listen to them.
STEP FOUR :: WHEN THE TIMER SOUNDS, TAKE A FEW MORE MOMENTS OF SILENCE. THINK OF SOMEONE YOU WANT TO DEDICATE YOUR MEDITATION PRACTICE TO; A FRIEND, A RELATIVE, A LOVED ONE, OR SOMEONE/THING IN NEED. SEND THEM LOVE, KINDNESS, AND COMPASSION.
This final part of the meditation is called a metta meditation. Metta is a phrase in Pali, the language of the Buddha, meaning loving-kindness. Say the phrases “May I be filled with loving kindness. May I be well. May I be peaceful and at ease. And may I be truly happy.” Then invoke the image of someone you want to share the meditation phrases with. Then say, “May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. And may you be truly happy.” And finally send the phrases to mother earth, all sentient beings, friends, enemies and everything beyond. “May we be filled with loving kindness. May we be well. May we be peaceful and at ease. And may we be truly happy.”