This is one of my favorite practices, even after many years in meditation and yoga.
Have a space reserved for your meditation. A corner of your room with a screen in front is fine. On the floor place a folded blanket or cushion to sit on facing a small low table with a candle and flowers. Have a small book of devotions or inspirations on the table to read after sitting and before meditating.
To begin meditation:
Wash and put on clean comfortable clothing. Light the candle on your meditation table. Sit with back and head erect, legs folded in, hands clasped and resting in lap, eyes closed. Alternately, keep eyes rested but not quite closed and look at the candle flame. If you wish, chant OM 3 times.
Begin breathing in and out evenly without any breath retention. Example: breathe in 1 count; breathe out 1 count; breathe in 1 count and continue.
While breathing evenly, listen to the sound of your breathing. This is for concentration, to help the mind wander less.
If you are very quiet and concentrated you may begin to hear the inner vibration, seemingly generated under the crown of your skull. If you hear this hum like a gently rushing sound of water, begin listening to the vibration rather than to your even in and out breaths.
Listening to your even breathing, or to the inner vibration, calms and centers the body-mind. A centered body-mind becomes a creative tool in all aspects of living.
Sit for 5 minutes at first and increase the time of your meditation session gradually.
Anytime of day is good for meditating, but just before retiring gives you a chance to unwind from the day and spend some moments in reflection on the day's events and plans for the morrow.
Conclude your meditation with a prayer for family, friends and world peace.
Take a final deep breath, stand and stretch.
Kundalini Meditation and Prayer
Mandala or Yantra Meditation
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda - Book Review
For offline reading
Meditation for Adults
More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. 114 pages.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.
Article - Susan Helene Kramer
Photo credit - Stan Schaap