When it comes to your mediation practice, the first thing you should do is schedule your mediation time between two activities that typically happen every day of the week. For example, in between waking up and eating, in between coming home from work and preparing dinner, or in between working out and showering. Scheduling your meditation time between two other habits will help it become a part of your daily routine.
Once you have determined WHEN you will meditate, next you need to decide WHERE you will meditate. All you need is a quiet space where you can be undisturbed for however long you are going to meditate. The quieter the better but it doesn’t have to be dead silent. A quiet room, a park, or even your car will work. Your location needs to have a place where you can sit or lie comfortably.
Once you have the WHEN and WHERE, next comes the HOW. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes. Then sit or lie in a comfortable position. If you are sitting, make sure your back is straight, your shoulders are not hunched forward, and your head is up and slightly elevated (like someone is gently pulling on a string that is attached through the top of your head to the bottom of your spine). Set your timer for however long you will be meditating, place your hands on your knees, thighs, or folded in your lap, close your eyes, and gently lift your gaze with your eyes closed to a point on the back of your forehead between your eyes (in meditation this is called the “third eye”). Then start breathing.
First take two long, loud breathes where you inhale deeply through your nose and exhale loudly through your mouth. Then, let your breath settle into long, slow, measured breaths where you inhale through your nose for four, full seconds, pause for one second, and then comfortably exhale slowly through your mouth or nose for another four seconds. Pause at the end of the exhale for one second and then repeat this process until your time is up, focusing on your breath the entire time. Feel free to take more time to inhale and exhale as you relax more.
Your mind might wander or thoughts might pop in your head (especially if you are new to meditating). You may even feel an uncomfortable urge to stop to go take care of a “To Do” in your life. This is totally normal. Just because you are having these thoughts doesn’t mean you are not meditating correctly. Every time you have one of these thoughts, calmly recognize that you are having it, let it go, and refocus your attention to your breath. A particular thought might come back again and again. Again, this is normal and part of what meditation is about; letting go of these thoughts and being present. Every time this happens, calmly acknowledge the thought, let it go, and refocus on your breathing until your time is up.