How to Meditate: Learning to Meditate for Beginners
Meditation can be practiced anytime, anywhere, for as little as 10 minutes a day. All you need is a simple, effective technique for calming the mind and relaxing the body, that inspires and motivates you to practice again and again.
*Daily meditation for at least 10 minutes per day has proven physical, mental and spiritual health benefits.
Instructions for Practicing Meditation
How to Sit in Meditation
- Sit upright in a chair with your spine straight (if possible without leaning against the back of the chair).
- Place your feet flat on the floor.
- Turn your hands palms facing upward, placing them at the joint between your thighs and torso, where your shoulders will be able to relax (shoulder blades back).
- Try to adjust your cushioning so that your legs are parallel to the floor (either by placing cushions under your feet or beneath your sit bones).
- Tilt your chin down slightly, so that the back of head and neck are in alignment with the spine.
How to Relax the Body
- Tense the whole body until it vibrates with energy. Release and let go of all tension.
- Feel the released energy vibrating throughout the body now.
- Now add a double breath– inhaling sharply through the nose two times (first short, then long). And exhaling through the mouth (first short, then long).
- Together! Tense and double inhale. Relax and double exhale. Repeat several times.
- Feel the body especially in its relaxation phase, full of energy and tension-free!
Even-Count (Measured) Breathing for Meditation
- Keeping to an even-measured count, practice watching the breath. For example: Inhale slowly counting to about 6 (or all the way to 12 if you can!), then hold the breath for 6 counts, then exhale slowly to the count of 6.
- Repeat this 3, 6, or 12 times, until you feel a sense of deep relaxation.
Hong-Sau Meditation Technique
- At the end of your last round of even-measured breathing, wait at the last exhalation for a natural pause before your next inhalation, letting it come about on its own, without your control.
- When this next inhalation comes, mentally say the word Hong (rhymes with song).
- Let your exhalation come naturally as well, and with it, mentally say the word Sau(pronounced saw).
- Continue to watch the breath flow naturally, repeating the mantra Hong-Sau *with each inhalation and exhalation. If you find yourself pausing longer and more deeply, let it happen. These are “Pauses of Peace.”
*Hong-Sau is an ancient Sanskrit mantra, made of syllables that have a special meaning. A given mantra has spiritual power to affirm a truth, especially with repetition. The Hong-Sau mantra means “I am Spirit,” and is affirming letting go of the little self, by absorption into Spirit.
Gazing Upward to the Seat of Spiritual Consciousness
- Close the eyes.
- Gaze upward as if you were looking out just above the horizon.
- This brings the gaze to a point midway between the eyebrows at the forehead.
- Concentrate here and practice Hong-Sau, increasing the length of time gradually as you practice.
The location of the seat of spiritual consciousness as taught to us by the great yogi masters, is also the location of the frontal lobe of the brain where functions of higher consciousness and awareness have been scientifically-proven to be most active.