If you are thinking of starting a personal meditation practice and you don’t know where to begin, here are a few tips to get you started.
Choose any comfortable sitting position, whether that be on the floor, sat on a cushion, legs crossed, or straight out in front, kneeling or even sat on a chair. Keep your spine straight, shoulders relaxed and hands resting on the knees or thighs. Relax your face muscles and gently close your eyes.
Begin to take the breath in and out of the nose. Easy, natural breathing.
Stillness and Relaxation
Now you are comfortable, let’s focus on being still. Release all the tensions from the body, physical, psychological and emotional. Calm in your stillness, trying not to distract your mind through shifting and moving the body. Relax your feet and ankles, relax your knees and hips, as your thighs fall heavy. Relax your stomach and your chest, let them soften. Relax your shoulders as your arms fall heavy. Keep your spine and neck long and straight.
Relinquish… Release… Relax…
Bring your focus upon the breath. Observe your inhalations and exhalations. Follow the journey of your breath in and out of the body. Feel the touch of your breath in your nostrils. Feel the cool air as you inhale and the warm air as you exhale. Cultivate your concentration upon the breath entering and leaving the nostrils, perhaps you can feel which nostril is more open.
As you continue to concentrate on your breathing, with a relaxed and still body, observe your awareness of your breath and stillness of mind. If the mind wonders and mind chatter creeps in, be aware and observe this. Let it pass without involving in the thoughts further, and bring your awareness back to the breath. Be the continual observer of your awareness in the present moment.
Begin to deepen the breath (as it becomes shallow the deeper we fall into meditation) Bring the awareness back to the physical body. Bring movement to your toes and fingers. Rub the palms together, build a little warm in the palms. Place the palms in front of the eyes. Gently and slowly blink open the eyes, let the light filter through the fingers. Draw the palms down and away from the eyes. Stretch out the legs in front and shake out the knees. Sit in stillness for a moment. Allow the body to recondition itself to its external surrounds.