Meditation Basics

Here are some simple instructions for a sitting meditation.  Be open to the experience -- there is no right or wrong way to meditate so avoid judging yourself.  Focus on the breathing and gently bring your mind back to the breath whenever you notice it wandering away.  Here are suggestyed steps but feel free to improvise:

1. Find a quiet place to sit upright in a comfortable position . . . straight back chair works well.

2. Set a timer for the amount of time you wish to meditate . . . 5-10 minutes is a good place to start.

3. Close your eyes or soften your gaze and begin by listening/feeling your surroundings for a minute or so to put your mind in the present . . . "here I am . . . right here, right now".

4. Scan your body from top to bottom -- acknowledging areas of tightness or pain and softening/relaxing each area of your body.

5. Now focus on your breathing . . . don't try to control it . . . just observe the breath in and out.  Notice how deep or shallow, rapid or slow.  Notice the gap between the in breath and out breath.

6. If you notice your mind wandering . . . just gently bring your attention back to the breath.  Some people find counting each breath up to 10 and then down to 0 helps them stay more focused.  Others like to think the sound "huumm" as they inhale and "saaahhh" as they exhale.

7. Continue your focus on the breath until the timer rings.  Then slowly open your eyes and re-engage with your surroundings.