Sit on a chair, a mat and cushion, or meditation bench. Sit in a stable, relaxed, andcomfortable position and keep the back, neck, and head in a straight line. Close your eyes.Diligently keep your attention focused on the changing physical sensations in the nose,chest, and/or abdomen as you naturally breathe in and breathe out. Just as the heart beats,the mind thinks, so the attention will be distracted by thoughts, feelings, sensations,sounds, and smells. Your attention may stray for a few seconds or several minutes. Everytime you notice it is not on the breath, gently and without judgment, let go of wherever itwent and return it to the breath. Meditate 15 to 60 minutes once or twice daily, or for justa few minutes when time permits, but decide before each sitting how long it will be.Mindfully focusing and refocusing on your breath anchors you in the here and now. Ittrains the mind to identify and let go of harmful conditioned patterns and attachments, sothat thoughts, speech, and actions are less reactive and more appropriate, compassionate,and loving. You feel happier and more peaceful, feelings that often spread to thosearound you.
OTHER MEDITATION & MINDFULNESS PRACTICES
Lovingkindness and Compassion Meditation:
irect to yourself and others, duringa sitting meditation or anytime, such phrases as, "May I (or name a person or group) be well, happy, safe, and peaceful. May I be healed, free from suffering,and at ease with all that happens. May I live in peace and harmony with all beings."
Walking Meditation: Focus on the breath while walking or on the sensations ineach foot as you place it on the ground. Or walk slowly enough to experiencesensations in the heel, ball, toes, ankle, and leg when lifting, moving, and placingeach foot, and in standing and turning around.
Mindful Breathing: Occasionally observe the breath, e.g., before answering the phone, waiting in line or for an appointment or traffic light.
Mindful Eating: Mindfully pick up and eat each bite of food before taking thenext bite. Be aware of hand and arm movements; the food's aroma, taste, andtexture, and the sensations associated with chewing and swallowing.
Meal Meditation: "This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, sun, rain,and much loving work. May I live and eat with mindfulness and gratitude. May Ithink and act in positive ways and overcome negative feelings. May I eat onlyfood that nourishes me and prevents illness. May I accept this food in order toexperience understanding and love." (Thich Nhat Hanh)
Mindful Living: Mindfully attend to the moment-to-moment sensory experiencesof showering, dressing, washing dishes, feeding a pet, driving, working, and all