How to Meditate
There are many ways to meditate and practice mindfulness. The following is a description of a seated meditation.
- You might want to find a stopwatch or a timer and set it for 10 minutes. Start with 10 and add more minutes as you become comfortable with the technique.
- Find a chair or a cushion that allows your back to be straight. If you are not familiar with meditating for long periods of time, use a chair at first until you become accustomed to sitting up straight for an extended period.
- Start your timer. Place your hands in your lap or on the arms of the chair. Relax. Now gently close your eyes. If closing your eyes is not comfortable for you, then cast your gaze toward the floor or on your hands.
- Focus your attention on your breath. Notice how your belly rises and falls. Some people notice the rise and fall in their chest. Either way, it is okay. Just notice the breath. Become aware of the temperature of the breath. It could be cool flowing into your nose and warm as it exits your nose.
- As you breathe, you might notice your thoughts wandering. This is normal. The mind thinks. That is what the mind does. You can’t stop the thoughts. All you have to do is simply return to the breath as stated above. This back and forth between the thoughts and the breath is meditation!
- Don’t worry or judge yourself if your thoughts wander. Remember the goal is not to stop your thoughts, but to become aware of each moment, to cherish it and be thankful.
- Keep practicing!
Get this process in a downloadable graphic.
Myths of Meditation
- You have to quiet your mind in order to have a successful medication practice
- “Even if it feels like you’ve been thinking throughout the meditation, you are still receiving benefits of your practice. I am having thoughts might be the most important thought you have ever thought.” —Chopra
- I don’t have enough time to meditate.
- “In life’s paradoxical way, when we spend time meditating on a regular basis, we actually have more time.” —Chopra