Taking time to settle down before sitting in meditation gives us a chance to gradually unwind. It avoids the shock of rushing around, and plopping down expecting to suddenly feel peaceful.
One way to make the transition from daily activities to meditation is to bathe and put on fresh lightweight clothes. I keep a set of yoga whites handy, which are made of cotton and cut full; loose pants and an over shirt. Sometimes I wear a full skirt and over blouse, because Iím from the generation where women wore skirts most of the time.
After getting changed set up your meditation altar. Freshen the flowers; burn incense, I like sandalwood; light a candle; place a crystal if you like; lay out an inspirational book alongside the altar.
Now itís time to sit on a cushion or on a chair with your back straight. If on a cushion fold your legs in and place your hands in your lap or palms face up or face down on your thighs. If sitting in a chair hold your hands the same way, but firmly plant the soles of your feet on the floor for balance.
Begin by saying a prayer for personal and world peace, or read a verse from the book by your altar.
Close your eyes and begin even regular breathing, such as one count to breathe in and one count to breathe out, one count to breathe in. Continue this rhythmic pattern throughout your meditation. Do not hold your breath at any time.
Breath is the tie between the body and mind. Calm, even breathing settles the emotions and relaxes the body. You can use this when you are stressed during the day to regain control of your thoughts and feelings and to give yourself a little rest from rushing here and there.
While sitting in your meditation pose and breathing evenly take time to watch your thoughts come and go. You are the observer and not the doer while sitting there. When confronted by a problem we can always stand back in our mind as the observer and think it through, using our thought process to come up with a solution for the best resolve of the situation.
Come back to the present and send thoughts of love to someone or a pet. Now extend that rainbow of love to everyone in the world and the whole universe, our true universal home.
Take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Open your eyes, stretch out, go on with your day, refreshed and energized in body and mind.
As you go
To be your best.
Article by Susan Helene Kramer
For offline reading
Meditation Lessons 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.
Sign up in the space below for our free weekly newsletter to keep up with the featured articles on the Meditation site.