Basic Meditation Tips
If you’re new to meditation, start slowly. Try it for two or three minutes, then build up to longer periods, between 20 minutes to an hour a day.
Depending on your schedule, it’s perfectly fine to break up your meditation into several short segments throughout the day.
Try to do it every day, and and place every day. This trains your mind and body to expect it, and allows you to more easily transition from daily life to a meditative state.
The most important tip: Don’t judge yourself! Doing so will only add stress and pull you out of your meditation. You’re not in competition either with your previous day’s meditation or with anyone else. As long as you’re making the effort, you are “doing it right.”
Sit comfortably, either cross-legged, on the floor or in a chair. Do not lie down, because you’ll fall asleep. Keep your spine as straight as possible to allow for an easy flow of the breath. Close your eyes.
Focus on your breath as it goes in and out of your body. If you want to count each breath, don’t go any higher than two, otherwise you’ll focus on the number, bringing competitiveness into it (“yesterday was only 360; today I got all the way to 789!”).
Notice when your mind has wandered from the breath (because it will—known by practitioners as the “monkey mind”), and calmly return to your breathing. Don’t become angry or frustrated, just go back to watching your breath.
When the time you’ve allotted is up (yes, it’s fine to peek occasionally, or you can set an alarm), slowly open your eyes and notice how you feel. Stretch a bit and return to your day.
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