Basic Meditation Instructions

Here are basic meditation instructions to get you started meditating quickly. As we progress, we will adjust this practice and add other exercises to it to further train our mind.

1. Posture

  • Sit comfortably, either on a chair, a cushion or a meditation bench.
  • Keep your back, neck and head straight for the duration of the sit.
  • Make sure that your knees, sitting bones, and back are properly supported.
  • Close your eyes. This will make it easier to concentrate

2. Relax and prepare

  • While maintaining a straight back, relax your face, arms, shoulders, abdomen and legs. Release any tension.
  • Take a moment to appreciate this time away from tasks and concerns. You’re offering yourself a gift: enjoy it!
  • Regardless of what happens, resolve to practice seriously for the entire meditation session. Distractions are inevitable, but we must not indulge in them.

3. Breathe

  • Breathe through your nose as naturally as possible. Don’t intentionally control the breath.
  • Turn your attention to the breathing sensations around your nostrils and upper lip. If you prefer, you can also observe the sensations in the chest and abdomen area.
  • Allow your attention to stay centered on these sensations, but don’t suppress other experiences. It is perfectly normal to keep hearing sounds, feeling physical sensations or experiencing thoughts.
  • Keep observing the sensations of breathing.
  • After a few breaths, your mind will get distracted. This is normal.
  • As soon as you recognize the mind has wandered away, take a moment to appreciate this instant of clarity. Good job! You’re aware enough to notice mind-wandering! Doing so will reinforce the mind’s ability to become aware of its state.
  • Once you have appreciated this recognition, bring your attention back to the breath at the nose.

This technique is simple, but as you’ll see, it is not easy. Practice it often and you’ll see substantial improvements after a few sits.

Throughout this course, we’ll practice many different variations on this technique, but the general idea – observing sensations that naturally occur in our body – will stay the same.