How to Meditate

Mindfulness meditation begins with learning to concentrate your attention on an object, typically the breath, which enables you to notice how your mind is reacting to what it is experiencing.

 

1. Start by sitting in a chair or on a zafu (meditation cushion) in a quiet space with your eyes closed.

2. Direct your attention to the breath as it touches the body in a single spot, such as the tip of the nose, or focus on the rise and fall of the chest or the movement of the belly as the breath passes in and out.

3. Stay with the experience of the breath as best you’re able using one of these techniques: counting, noticing the speed, making mental notes using labels such as “in” and “out” or “rising” and “falling,” or coupling a word with each breath.

4. At first you won’t be able to keep your attention on the breath, because your mind will become distracted by thoughts, emotions, and sensations. When it wanders, gently direct it back to the breath. The breath becomes the anchor to which you return in order to stabilize and focus your attention.