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Simple meditation

The basic instructions for meditation are really quite simple:

1. Sit somewhere
2. Focus your attention
3. When your mind wanders (and it will), return to Step 2.

Yes, it’s really that simple.

Now here’s a bit more detail that should help you keep it this simple.

1. Sit somewhere

Notice that Step 1 says to sit, but it doesn’t say anything about where or how. That’s because it really doesn’t matter. Many believe that to meditate you must sit on the floor in some excruciatingly painful posture. That’s not necessary. Simply sit somewhere that you can be comfortable sitting for a little while. Where you sit and how you sit should simply be conducive to creating an environment for Step 2.

2. Focus your attention

Notice that Step 2 says to focus your attention, but it doesn’t say anything about what or how. That’s because it really doesn’t matter. Many believe that you must focus on a candle flame or on repeating a mantra, or visualizing something in your imagination. That’s not necessary. Simply focus your attention on any ongoing bodily experience. The most common focus for attention in meditation is the breath. Simply feel your breath moving in and out of your body on its own. The breath is handy because you always have it with you. The important part is not so much what you focus on, as the fact that you are focusing your attention on one aspect of your current experience. That is the basis of meditation.

3. When your mind wanders (and it will), return to Step 2

Notice that Step 3 includes an expectation that your attention will probably wander. This is perfectly normal. Do not feel frustrated or upset with yourself if it does. Simply return to Step 2 and focus your attention again on your object of meditation. You will notice over time that your attention will wander less often, but it will probably happen every time you meditate. Just remember that is normal, and simply return to Step 2.

2 Comments

  1. Reply
    Walker Bramblett June 4, 2016

    I am interested in learning more about the online course you mentioned in response to my post on Insight Timer.

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