How to Meditate: simple, step-by-step instructions.
HOW TO MEDITATE IN DAILY LIFE: EXPERIENCING LIFE EACH MOMENT
1. Let go of whatever you were thinking about before. Just be here now, experiencing life in this moment! You’ll notice that you’re experiencing life, right here and right now, mostly through your eyes, ears, and body sensations.
2. Realize that you are experiencing your body right now — including the sensations of the ears (sound), the sensations of the eyes (light), the sensations of nose and mouth (smell & taste), and the sensations of the brain (electrical activity which we perceive as thought and emotion). Stop for a moment and experience all of the body sensations now.
3. If you’ve taken a moment or two to try the above two steps, you have probably noticed how the realization of your actual experience of life has expanded your awareness to encompass things that you wouldn’t normally be aware of. Maintain this awareness of your total experience of each moment… from moment to moment… as you go through the rest of your life! Enjoy 🙂
4. If at any point you notice that you have become distracted and lost consciousness of your experience of life in the present moment, then, in that moment of noticing, you will automatically realize that you are still experiencing the present moment 🙂 You may have lost consciousness of that experience for a few minutes, a few hours, a few years… but that’s OK. It happens. Be grateful that you have woken up into this moment, Now 🙂
HOW TO MEDITATE ON THE BREATH: FORMAL SITTING MEDITATION PRACTICE
5. While maintaining your awareness of your experience of this moment, mindfully sit your body down in a quiet place, on a cushion, or a carpet, or in the grass outside. If you can do it, try to sit in one of the various meditation postures. I recommend burmese sitting posture for beginners, or half-lotus if you’re flexible enough to do it (use youtube to learn the positions).
6. While maintaining your awareness of your experience of this moment, allow yourself to become aware of your experience of your body’s breathing process. Notice the sensations of the breathing in the nostrils. Notice the sensations in the torso as it inflates and deflates. Just watch these sensations in the present moment as the breath flows in and out.
7. If at any moment you notice that you are not aware of the experience of breathing, then you know that you have lost just that much consciousness. Your mind has “fallen asleep” and drifted back into the dream of thought. Whenever you notice this, you will automatically wake back up, and notice that you are once again aware of your experience of breathing.
8. Keep waking yourself up when you notice you’ve fallen asleep. Even when you “get up” from your meditation, get up in a state of wakefulness, being aware of your experience of “getting up.” Be awake to your experience as you walk around in life. Enjoy 🙂
Most people sleepwalk through life, completely oblivious to the beauty of what they are experiencing, because they are so caught up in the dream of Mind. Many people go through their entire lives this way. Meditation is a process of waking ourselves up, so that we can experience the beauty of Existence while we’re still alive. If you find yourself sleepwalking, don’t have a cow, man! Just wake up, laugh at your silly sleepwalking self, and enjoy your experience of Existence, RIGHT NOW 🙂
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Meditation Magazine.