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Beginning Sitting Meditation on the Breath
After you’ve picked a time and place to sit in meditation you’ll probably be thinking how to begin the quiet time. Here is a plan that will get you started and serve as a regular meditation ritual for the long term:
If you are sitting on a cushion facing an altar or just sitting on a cushion anywhere such as the floor or a firm bed or the beach then fold in your legs tailor style. Sit up straight. Clasp your hands in your lap or lay them palms up or palms down on your thighs.
If you are sitting on a chair plant the soles of your feet firmly on the floor, and fold your hands in your lap or lay your palms on your thighs face up or face down.
Do not lean back in the chair, but rather, keep your back straight to facilitate meditative breathing.
Throughout your meditation breathe in a regular and even pattern, such as one count to breathe in and one count to breathe out. Do not hold your breath at any point.
Before going further, silently say a prayer voicing your requests. It is the highest prayer to give thanks for what you have, and request what is for the highest good to flow into your life, rather than request a particular object.
Close your eyes and begin the listening part of your meditation, the quiet time. Pay attention to your rhythmic and even in and out breathing. If your thoughts wander as soon as you realize it bring your attention back to following your breath.
A huge benefit of even breathing and tracking your breath is it calms your body and mind. Cares of the world don’t have room to enter and the body relaxes.
After a period of time bring your attention back to the present and think an appreciation for someone or a pet you love. Mentally extend this thought to family, friends, the planet and universe. In the larger sense we are a big family of the world.
To finish your sitting meditation take a deep breath in and slowly release it; stretch out and go on with your day. Now would be a good time to reflect on any changes you’d like to make to improve yourself.
I invite you to join me in a world-wide cyber meditation every day of the year. Click on this link to read about it.
Meditation plan by Susan Helene Kramer; photo credit Stan Schaap: author in sitting meditation position at Meditation Mount, Ojai, California
For offline reading
Gentle Yoga and Meditation – for All Adults
Gentle yoga poses and meditations for adults of all ages, plus a dose of yoga philosophy and virtues. All poses illustrated. 107 pages. Table of contents at this link.
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.
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