This is a meditation of love and appreciation for discovering the eternal joy that communion with the Divine shares with us.
Begin by preparing an altar. Cover the table with a fresh cloth and set out a plant or fresh flowers. Light a candle and some incense if you like. Wash and dress yourself in your yoga-whites or comfortable clothes.
It is handy to have a light blanket to drape around your shoulders if your body starts to cool down from sitting still. If you have a rosary or mala place it on the altar for your meditation practice.
Important: Pick a time to meditate when you will be undisturbed by others.
Facing your altar, sit on a folded blanket or cushion on the carpet, or alternately, sit on a chair with your feet firmly planted on the floor for balance. Either way, sit up straight to keep your attention from going off to sleep.
Close your eyes and begin with a prayer of appreciation for all that you have in your life and to put you in a positive frame of mind.
If you use the rosary or mala do a few rounds then set it aside for the introspective part of your meditation. (The photo shows the way to hold the mala to move each bead ahead one at a time.)
Begin even and regular breathing, for example: one count to breathe in and one count to breathe out, one count to breathe in and one count to breathe out. Continue this pattern without actually saying the counts throughout your meditation.
Breath is the tie between body and mind to counteract stress. When you need to de-stress begin a pattern of even rhythmic breathing and if you can, take a short walk while breathing evenly. Conversely, if you are stressed out physically begin a pattern of even breathing to gently bring your body back to normal.
Take a few minutes to reflect on anything that is bothering you, and consider various solutions for resolution that cause harm to no one and are equitable for all concerned. This period of sitting quietly without outside distractions gives you the precious commodity of time to consider without being rushed. At the end of your meditation write out your new resolves in your meditation journal.
If you have no outer concerns at the time use this session to dwell on a virtue you'd like to develop in yourself to a greater degree. Ask yourself what you need to do to effect this improvement. Being kinder is always a useful place to start self-growth leading to spiritual fulfillment.
Finish your meditation with a short prayer for world peace. Open your eyes, stretch out, record any insights in your meditation journal and go on with your day, refreshed.
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.
Article by Susan Helene Kramer; photo of how to hold the mala by Stan Schaap