Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment!"
- Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
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Getting Started in Meditation
This meditation will take about 20 minutes.
- Get into position and just sit quietly for a moment, breathing naturally and letting the feeling of busyness settle in your mind and body. With your eyes closed notice the sensation of your body sitting on the cushion.
- Mentally work through your body, starting at your feet, relaxing each muscle as your mind passes it. Adjust your position, if you need to, at this stage. Relax your shoulders, let them drop and hang comfortably supported by your lap. Relax your face, your eyebrows, your jaw, your lips, your eyes.
- When you are ready, start to count your breath. Place the count before your breath...
Count one - breathe in, count two - breathe out, count three - breathe in
Continue this until you reach ten, then begin again at one.
If you forget what number you're at, don't worry, just start again at one.
- You will soon realise your mind has wandered off from this counting. It's very important that you don't lose patience with yourself when this happens. It happens to everybody!
Just gentley and kindly return your attention to your breathing and start your count at one. Keep doing this for the whole 20 minutes if you need to. It's okay, just continue this practice and it will get 'easier'!
- After 5 minutes place the count after your breath.
Breathe in - count one, breathe out - count two, breathe in - count three...
Continue this till you reach ten, then begin again at one.
- After 5 minutes stop counting and just focus on your breathing.
To help stay focused bring your attention to the point where your breath enters your body. It might be the top of your lip or where your breath enters your nostrils.
If you find this is too distracting you may find it helpful to focus on the gentle rise and fall of your belly as you breathe in and breathe out. Choose whichever you feel suits you.
- After 5 minutes, stop your focus on your breath and 'Just Sit'.
Allow your mind to experience the space created by your meditation. Thoughts may arise, let them, observe them, don't hold on to them, let them pass.
You may feel peaceful, calm. This last 5 minutes is for you to enjoy this feeling.
- When you are ready, gradually allow your mind to return it's attention to your body, and then to the room you are meditating in.
- Open your eyes!