Basic Meditation Instructions
The Posture of Meditation
- The spine is upright, with its natural curves.
- The hands are resting on the thighs.
- The arms and shoulders are relaxed.
- The back of the neck is relaxed, which allows the chin to come
- The gaze is downward; the eyelids are half shut.
- The face and jaw are natural and relaxed.
- If you're sitting on a cushion, keep your ankles loosely crossed.
If you're sitting on a chair, keep both feet firmly on the floor.
- Take the posture of Meditation
- Make a clear and precise beginning to your practice: Now,
I will begin to work with my mind and develop peace.
- Place your mind on the breath. stay with its flow, which soothes
the mind, allows for steadiness and relaxation, and reduces discursiveness.
This is ordinary breathing; nothing is exaggerated. If you're
having a hard time staying with the breath, you can count the
in and out cycles; in and out - one; in and out - two. If you
use this method, count seven or twenty-one breaths and then start
over. If you become distracted and lose county, start over again
at one. Once you are more focused, you can drop the counting.
- When you notice that you're caught up in thinking, acknowledge
it. Label it thinking, if you
wish. Recognizing and acknowledging the thought allows it to dissipate
as you return the placement of your mind to the breath: Now
I am placing my mind on the breath.
- Talking about your meditation practice with someone else and
being part of a community of fellow meditators can be a tremendous
Guidelines for Contemplative Meditation
- Calm the mind by resting on the breathing.
- When you feel ready, bring up a certain thought (i.e. compassion,
love, abundance, mercy, etc) or intention in the form of words.
- Use these words as the object of meditation, continually returning
to them as distractions arise.
- In order to help rouse the heartfelt experience of their meaning,
think about the words. Bring ideas and images to mind to inspire
- As the meaning of the words begins to penetrate the heart, let
the words drop away, and rest in that.
- Conclude your session and arise from your meditation with the
meaning in your heart. Meaning
is direct experience, free from words.
- Now enter the world aspiring to conduct yourself with the view
of your contemplation. For example, if you have been contemplating
the preciousness of human birth, your view will be one of appreciation.
above from: Sakyong
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