How to Get Started with Meditation

The practice of being quiet.
The practice of being quiet.

Meditation is not a mystery or exotic eastern practice.  All of us fail to realize that we actually live in a meditative way.  It’s just that our meditations are dominated by automatic thoughts and reactions.  Conscious meditation is a process of clearing the mind so we can come into contact with our senses and our deeper impressions.

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable place.  Its best to sit in a chair with your head, neck and back straight but not stiff.
  2. Try to put aside all thoughts of the past and future and stay in the ongoing present.  Notice things in the room, sense the chair and become aware of your body…this is your contact with the outside world.  Let your senses expand.
  3. Bring your attention to your breathing,  Notice how the breath seems warmer as you exhale.  Exhale slowly through your mouth.  Pay attention to the way each breath changes and is different.
  4. Watch your thoughts come and go, some are pleasant and some are not so pleasant.  When thoughts come into your mind, don’t ignore or try to suppress them but simply note what they are, remain calm and use your breathing as a focal point to return to….
  5. If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts, observe where your mind went and then simply return to your breathing.  This is how automatic and intrusive thoughts can be so don’t be hard on yourself if this happens.  It will occur less frequently with practice.
  6. Keep this clearing state for only 10 or 15 minutes, not longer.
  7. As you come to a close, sit for a minute or two, becoming aware of where you are and get up gradually.
Ron Doctor, Ph.D.