Learning to Sit: An Introduction to Meditation

inner_tranquility_thumbnailBy Darren Main
Reprinted From Inner Tranquility: A Guide to Seated Meditation

The Buddha was once asked which meditation technique was the most effective. The master’s response was both simple and profound. “The one you practice.” Therefore, start your practice with this simple technique and explore others as well. The important thing is that you get started and that you practice consistently.

Sit in a comfortable upright position. Some people sit cross-legged, and others prefer to kneel. It is also acceptable to sit in a straight-backed chair. Allow your body to relax and take a few deep full breaths to shift into a quiet space.

As you begin to quiet down, focus on the sensation of the breath flowing in and out of the nose where it touches the upper lip. There is no need to change the quality of the breath. Simply watch it move in and out. You will find that the mind will frequently wander. This is natural. Once you notice that the mind has wandered, bring the mind gently back to the breath.

The whole process is one of bringing the mind back to the breath over and over again. Try not to be discouraged by how much the mind will wander. You have been letting your mind wander without discipline for many years. You can’t expect it to sit still overnight. Rather than chastising yourself for letting your mind wander, praise yourself for noticing and gently bring it back.
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