Basic meditation guidlines
For people who are new to meditation, the following guidelines can be useful. If you already meditate, you may want to follow the practice you are used to, or you may like to give these guidelines a try:
- Find a quiet spot to meditate where you most likely won’t be disturbed by others or by the phone. Decide how long you are going to sit (anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes) and either set an alarm or have a clock nearby to peek at on occasion.
- Sit in a comfortable posture, one that you feel you will not need to change for the duration of the sitting, either on a chair, a couch, a meditation mat or a cushion. If you find you do need to move during the meditation sitting, try to move slowly and quietly into a more comfortable posture.
- Close your eyes and bring your attention to the touch of your hands resting one on top of the other in your lap. But don’t hold your attention there. Instead, allow your mind to go where it will. If you are drawn into thoughts, feelings, memories or fantasies, let your attention go there. Your attention may at times be drawn to sounds, bodily sensations, fragrances or odours, or your breath.
- When you feel that you have been away from the contact of your hands for several minutes, you can remind yourself to come back to the hands and stay there for a few seconds before allowing your mind to wander again.
- If you feel restless, bored, confused, discouraged, elated, sleepy, upset, anything – it is okay. You don’t have to do anything about it or, if you choose to, you can bring your attention back to the touch of your hands. But if you do, only stay with your hands for a little while, and then, if your mind wants to go back into the feelings or thoughts that you left, you can let it go there. If something else draws your attention - let it.
- When the meditation sitting is over, take a couple of minutes to mentally recall what you can of the sitting. You may also decide to journal your meditation sitting.