How to Meditate

Many people think you have to bend yourself into a pretzel in order to meditate. A lot of times, beginners find themselves wondering if they are ‘doing it right’ and become concerned, when, after a few sessions, they haven’t had a brilliant insight. The fact is, it is difficult *not* to do meditation correctly.

Start by sitting in a way that is comfortable for you, either on a cushion on the floor or in a chair. Keep your back straight, but not stiff, and don’t allow your face to have any particular expression. Just concentrate on relaxing.

You can meditate with your eyes open or closed. If open, don’t focus on any particular one thing, just let them rest in front of you. Now, start by listening to the sounds in the room. Just by noticing them, you become more aware: you’re not trying to change the sounds, they just are.

Now, notice your breathing. Just as you listened to the sounds, you aren’t trying to change how you breath, you are just noticing and experiencing it. Try to concentrate on your breath, how it feels, and what it sounds like.

If your mind wanders away from your breath to events in the past or future, that’s ok. Just notice your thoughts and gently go back to concentrating on your breath. Your mind may wander a lot. Just as you noticed the sounds in the room, notice your thoughts. Don’t try to change them, or controlling them: just be with them. Let your thoughts come and go and then bring your attention back to your breath.

Notice how your body feels. You may feel tingling with each breath as you breath in and out. Just rest your attention there.

The most important thing about meditation is not how long you do it, but how frequently you do it. Five minutes of meditation every day is better than an hour once a week. And, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

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